Riot Games will release its first set of “Ultra Edition” weapon skins for Valorant tomorrow, and they look plenty cool. The Elderflame weapon skins transform your assault rifle, automatic pistol, sniper rifle, and knife into miniature dragons, with full animations when they’re in your hand and — for the sniper rifle, at least — dramatic effects when they score a kill. The four weapons are flashy additions to the game, which, unlike many of its competitors, relies more on tight gunplay and strategy than visual effects to draw people in.
All that flash comes at a price, though: 2475 VP apiece. The closest you can get to that is $19.99 for 2050 VP, so each weapon sells for approximately $24. Or, as Valorant Revenue Lead Joe Lee pointed out on Twitter, you can get a bundle of all four for 9900 VP, and an 11000 VP bundle goes for $99.99. It’s unclear as to whether the weapons can be purchased individually or must be part of the bundle; we’ll know more when the set launches tomorrow.
If you think that seems like a lot of money for a weapon skin (or skins), I won’t blame you. Some portions of the Valorant community seem to agree. However, many other games — including several that aren’t free-to-play — have microtransactions that run in the $20-$25 range (like this and this), so the Elderflame skins aren’t that out of line. And as I reasoned a couple of years ago, prices like these are the result of not having to go to loot boxes for a random chance at the weapon skin you actually want — and a lot of junk you probably don’t.