VALORANT maps team Reddit AMA: devs discuss Lotus, Split, and more cover image

VALORANT maps team Reddit AMA: devs discuss Lotus, Split, and more

The VALORANT maps team answered questions about the new Lotus map, the return of Split, and more.

Following the release of the new map Lotus and map pool changes, the VALORANT maps team answered questions in a Reddit AMA thread. Read on for details.


Riot Games kicked off 2023 with the launch of the new VALORANT Episode 6: Act 1. In addition to the rank reset, new skin line, and a new battle pass, Riot introduced Lotus, a new three-sited map inspired by Indian culture. Episode 6 also brought changes to the VALORANT map pool by replacing Breeze and Bind with Lotus and the previously removed Split.

To engage with the community and share more details about the creative process, VALORANT designers answered fans' questions on Reddit. Rioters who participated in the AMA were:

  • George "dad_squad" Sokol, Lead Environment Artist
  • Joe “ManWolfAxeBoss” Lansford, Level Designer 
  • Joey “Joeganaut” Simas, Level Designer 
  • Michael "Rhytmical" Shinde, Concept Artist 

Lotus brings back three bomb sites, introduces new mechanics

Riot Games have a different take on map design compared to traditional tactical FPS titles. Almost every map in the VALORANT pool has unique gimmicks, such as an extra plant site, zip lines, doors, teleporters, and more. Lotus is no different because it brings back the third plant site in addition to the new rotating door mechanic. 

During the Reddit AMA, Riot developers explained the reasons behind another map with three sites besides Haven.

"We've always considered 3 site maps to be more of a format than Haven specific. This was just our first revisiting of that. There will likely be more 3 site maps in the future," ManWolfAxeBoss explained.

"Lotus was always a 3 site map during the design process. With Lotus, we wanted to reaffirm that 3 site maps are a standard format in VALORANT and not a one-off idea," Joeganaut wrote.

The rotating door in Lotus (Image via Riot Games)
The rotating door in Lotus (Image via Riot Games)

Developers also shared the thought process behind implementing unique mechanics on VALORANT maps. 

"Every mechanic we use needs to fit with our tactical gameplay, meaning it needs to encourage thoughtfulness and/or coordination," ManWolfAxeBoss explained. "We do a ton of playtesting and tuning to refine any of our mechanics and ensure they work well with agent abilities and general strategy."

He added that "mechanics like TPs, Ropes, Breakable Doors, etc. are always on the table for reuse if a new map idea would benefit from it."

As for Riot's level designer, he shared some advice on how to optimally play on Lotus. "Try to control A main territory and watch their flanks on Attack. Defaulting on Attack, being non-committal, is a good way to start your round," he said. "On Defense, also try to fight for A main - We often run a 3-1-1 setup with an info Sentinel on B."

Map pool changes and the return of Split

At the beginning of Episode 5, Split became the first map to be removed from the active map pool. Six months later, one of VALORANT's smallest maps is back with changes to make the player experience more enjoyable. 

Riot Joeganaut explained the decision-making process behind the active map pool for the next VALORANT Episode as well.

"This is a tough one for us, and there's no exact criteria," he explained. "We like to give newer maps time to breathe to allow players to learn them, so they are generally not on the chopping block for a few acts. Past that, we look for maps that could use some love, but a map being rotated out doesn't always mean it will get an update."

With more maps coming out, some fans are wondering if Riot plans to introduce multiple active map pools simultaneously. However, they dismissed the idea since they don't intend to expand the map pool or have multiple pools.

Rioters monitor player reception to Split

Finally, Riot ManWolfAxeBoss commented on the players' reaction to the Split's return and the potential follow-up adjustments. 

"Players are still getting used to the map again, so we're monitoring player reception. Currently, no plans to adjust anything," he said.

In a recent Tweet, Riot Games’ executive producer and developer team lead Anna Donlon hinted at the potential introduction of a long-awaited replay system. However, there was no further news on that topic in today’s Reddit AMA despite several fans asking the question.

Stay tuned on for the latest Valorant news and updates.