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Valorant's Snowball Fight is the sort of chilled-out mode it needed

Pun not intended

Some days, you just wanna play a bit of Valorant, you know? But occasionally you're a bit too tired or not in the mood for the tense competitive matches Riot Games' tactical FPS typically has on offer. Which is why the new winter mode is great. Yesterday, Valorant introduced the limited-time Snowball Fight, and I think running around pelting people with snow is exactly the sort of chilled-out social mode this game needed.

Snowball Fight is a quick 5v5 team deathmatch, where the first team to 50 kills wins. Your only weapon is Brimstone's molotov launcher, except it's filled with unlimited snowballs (rather than fire, obvs). It's high-stakes too, because it only takes one direct-hit to get killed by a deadly snowball.

It's a silly mode that often leads to multiple stand-offs as you and your enemies constantly try (and fail) to lead your shots well enough to kill each other. Usually, Valo is the sort of game where you have to stand still to perfectly line shots up, yet Snowball Fight has everyone running and jumping around like fools, and it's excellent fun.

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At first I thought it could get a little boring, but then power-ups started dropping around the map and the silliness enhanced. Things like rapid fire and ricochet make it a little easier to hit enemies, while ice skates allow you to zoom around (which is entirely pointless and unhelpful, but jumping around like a figure skater is great).

Snowball Fight certainly isn't the best Christmas-themed game mode out there (for me, that spot is reserved for Apex Legends' Winter Express), but it's nice to have something to do in Valorant that doesn't have a chance of stressing you out. If Valo is one of the only sort of "live service" games you play, I think it's important to have the option to play modes that allow you to simply chat with your pals and have a nice time - or even have a fun way to cool down if you find yourself getting a bit tilted by proper matches.

Riot has a team dedicated to making modes that are different from the big Valo matches - this year they've made Spike Rush (a much shorter version of the main game mode), Deathmatch (which can still be a little tense) and now Snowball Fight. After the game launched with the Spike Rush, they realised there was more room for snappier modes like it.

"We know the current gap is in modes where players can go to simply chill," they say

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