A New Addition to the Arsenal: Outlaw Insights

Learn more about how the team designed the Outlaw, before it launches at the start of Episode 8.

Hey everyone! Today, we wanted to share some insights from the dev team about the new weapon—the Outlaw. We’ll be adding this new sniper to everyone’s arsenal at the start of Episode 8 Act 1. It’s been a while since we’ve talked about weapons in VALORANT in general, and it’s also the first time we’re adding a new one since launch. So we want to discuss how the decision was reached to expand the arsenal.


One of our core goals for weapons in VALORANT has always remained the same: every weapon should have a reason to be purchased. We fleshed this philosophy out early on in VALORANT’s development and it was our North Star when creating the Outlaw.

We knew that launching a new weapon would be different than when we launch a new Agent or map. Agents and maps are more restricted, whereas weapons can be purchased by anyone as long as they have enough creds. Basically, new weapons have major gameplay implications.

Because of this, we’ve always believed that each of our weapons need to have a strong reason to exist. It should always be clear which weapons help or hurt your odds in whatever scenario you’re up against, and you should feel confident in your choice at the start of a round.

For example, if you’re on Ascent playing Sova on defense, the Odin is a great pick up. Or if your team’s on a low buy and you’re feeling crispy with aim, you might want to look for a pick with the Sheriff. But to help keep the game balanced, the contrary must also be true—each weapon should have an explicit weakness and opportunity for counterplay.

Since launch, we’ve continued to assess the state of the game and evaluate our weapons arsenal. These explorations led us to a new conclusion about the state of the game in 2023. We felt there was a gap in the current sniper offerings for players, and we were excited to get to work on exploring some options. And with the Outlaw, we believe we’ve found the right fit.



Outlaw is a mid-price, lethal sniper rifle that will bring more options for those of you who like, well, sniping. And a new sniper also adds more strategic depth to VALORANT overall. Ultimately, we hope the Outlaw will fill a gap between the Marshal and Operator in terms of power and price. The Outlaw also has a blend of elements from each of the other snipers, while of course introducing a few new elements of its own.

As we mentioned with our weapon philosophy, it’s important to us that all of the sniper rifles have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. But again, it also needs a reason to exist. The Outlaw’s trademark is its ability to fire two powerful shots rapidly without breaking zoom on your scope. But it also has a long reload which creates a clear window of vulnerability for your opponent if you whiff or if you’re trying to go for more.


While we landed on the Outlaw being a 2-shot weapon, the concept still had to be proven out. But it’s also important to us that we leave room for our designers to make gameplay adjustments as the meta reacts to the weapon, much like we did recently with the amount of ammo in the Judge. Another element during the design process that was crucial to the team was making sure that a 2-shot sniper rifle felt recognizable in-game. To achieve that, we took some time to explore, test, and design what its reload animation, sound, and bullets would look and feel like.

In VALORANT, sound is one of the most important parts and can be the difference maker in a round. Hearing footsteps of enemies rotating, a stray spray hitting the wall outside your site, or the reload of a gun—all are factors that can impact how you’ll take your next fight and play out the round. So when we were developing the Outlaw, we created unique sounds for both the full and partial reload. That way you’ll always know before taking a fight or coordinating one with your teammates what it sounds and looks like when someone is reloading the Outlaw.

We also gave the Outlaw different reload timings, depending on how many shots you’ve fired. So we wanted to create different animations for both the full and partial reload to make each state feel distinct, and help us stay consistent with gameplay clarity.

With the unique reload and double shot mechanics, a break-action design (similar to a shotgun) made the most sense visually. And it also made the Outlaw feel unique compared to the lever-action design of the Marshall and the bolt-action Operator.

But we wanted to make the Outlaw stand out even more, so we designed it to fire a slug instead of a bullet, which gives it a different feel from the other sniper rifles. Let’s just say this thing has quite a kick.


We hope the Outlaw will provide more options and use cases for sniper rifles across a wider variety of economic states

We wanted the Outlaw to be a threat that is respected and played around. So we gave it enough damage to kill an opponent wearing Light Armor with one shot to the body. This should be pretty potent against some strats in the current meta.

With meta-changing implications like these, we’ll stay true to our philosophy and closely monitor how this new weapon affects the state of the game. Especially before we think about adding another new weapon in the future. But maintaining the flexibility to capitalize on opportunities for adding new weapons when we recognize them is what will keep the game fresh and fun for years to come.

We’re going to learn a lot from this release, since it's our first post-launch weapon. So please send us your feedback (and your clips!) once the Outlaw hits your arsenal. We can’t wait to hear from you and see all your crazy plays.