‘Help, my son wants a’ Valorant ‘skin!’

Players refer to the in-game cosmetics as “skins”: visual and audio upgrades or weapon and costume upgrades.

“Do you want a what?” A bewildered Richie Moya responded when his 11-year-old son Miggy said he wanted an “Elderflame Vandal”.

It took a second for the busy mom to figure out what exactly her son wanted: in-game cosmetics for “Valorant,” a PC (personal computer) first-person shooter that got hot during the pandemic.

Moya became familiar with her son’s strange requests. She has seen him play many other video games like Minecraft and Roblox.

She also accepted the reality that being a parent in 2021 means she has to work to earn money for her family’s basic needs like food, shelter and “Valorant” hides.

But what are skins?

Players like Miggy call the in-game cosmetics “skins.” These are usually visual and audio upgrades or weapon and costume upgrades for the gameplay experiences offered by free titles.

“Valorant”, for example, is a free game: players do not need to pay for the software or any type of license to experience the game. Microtransactions compensate for this free access and game developers encourage spending through the games. skins.

Skins usually don’t offer any competitive advantage, but they do enhance gaming experiences through special effects. Miggy’s desired skin, the Elderflame Vandal, transforms an ordinary automatic rifle into a dragon that shows an incineration effect to opponents during final kills. It costs around P900 — and that’s just a gun.

Richie Moya with his son Miggy: “I give him skins as a reward.”

More trendy skin

Over time, the hottest skins become even more coveted and ambitious among players for several reasons: they are offered for a limited time; classified into levels according to value (deluxe, premium, exclusive editions, etc.); products with brands, designers or celebrities; and are not cheap.

Recently, “Valorant” released Spectrum, a special collection from a collaboration with German DJ / musician Zedd. It offered an experience based on Zedd’s music – the bundle of five weapons and accessories costs around 3,740 P. Other wanted items in the game are weapons like the Celestial Fan and the Recon Balisong, and each costs around 1 250 P.

That’s right, today’s kid gamers want real money to be used for virtual things. I’m not going to lie: the heavenly fan is gorgeous.

Other games also put a bounty on their skins. Earlier this year, “Fortnite” featured a designer collaboration: Balenciaga haute couture outfits, gun textures, accessories. League of Legends also released a Louis Vuitton skin in 2019.

So how does Moya get an Elderflame Vandal for her son? Buying skin is not as easy as going to the mall.

There are three things to know: in-game credits, in-game shops, and battle passes. These mechanisms are common to many games. In-game credits are used to purchase virtual items like skins. Players must top up to get credits for their in-game wallets. In “Valorant”, in-game credits are called Valorant Points (VP). These are sold in predefined packs: HP can be purchased for as little as P149 for 375 VP and up to 2,490 P for 7,500 VP.

Radianite Points (RP) is another layer of in-game credits that allows players to further improve their skins. these can be purchased on demand or accumulated in the game over time.

Fill up

Parents like Moya have two options for recharging.

She can sit with her son to top up during a game using her electronic wallet (GCash or Paymaya) or her credit card. The game has standard procedures for using credit cards, so security shouldn’t be an issue; remember to check the box that saves the credit card details.

It can also turn to partners approved by “Valorant” such as Coda (codashop.com). Miggy # 123).

Razer’s Unified Virtual Marketplace (gold.razer.com) also offers PIN codes which can be purchased on their website. These codes can be used to redeem credits in the Valorant in-game store.

An Elderflame vandal costs 2,475 VP. A recharge of 3600 VP (at P1250) or 2100 VP (P749) and 375 VP (P149) makes the purchase possible.

In-game stores don’t work like regular e-commerce sites where every item is available. In “Valorant”, the in-game store has two sections: a Featured Bundle that changes every two weeks or so, and four solo items that rotate randomly every 24 hours. The four solo items vary from player to player.

Players with a skin in mind need to be patient by regularly checking their in-game stores. They also need to be quick. The current items they see might not reappear anytime soon.

More economical way

Periodically, the Valorant Night Market also opens its doors to offer six discounted skins, including high value items. These offers are unique to each player. Despite the nickname, the Valorant Night Market is also open during the day.

A more economical way to get skins for your child is to get them a Battle Pass. It costs around P500. It’s a ticket to the game’s current season that grants access to a dozen weapons and a bunch of items and accessories, which can be unlocked by completing challenges and “grinding” (literally by passing hours and hours in the game).

Battle Passes in other games offer in-game credits which can be unlocked for use next season. In “Fortnite”, for example, players can purchase a battle pass for 950 V-Bucks and earn up to 1,500 V-Bucks. This can be used to purchase next season’s battle pass or items in the in-game store. “Call of Duty” has the same mechanic: spend 1,000 points for the battle pass and get up to 1,300 points. At your disposal.

The current “Valorant” battle pass offers leather and ceramic finishes to select guns and weapons, but unfortunately these aren’t as cool as the Elderflame Vandal Miggy wants.

He is still lucky as his mother has expressed support for his game.

“I give him skins as a reward,” Moya said.

She enjoys how games like “Valorant” keep Miggy’s social life healthy even when he is home most of the time.

Moya said her son is continually connected with his friends and peers. “The game becomes a common interest and an ease of expression,” she said. She has seen Miggy strike up healthy conversations about gambling with her friends while they are out jogging in their neighborhood.

The skins are also easier for her to manage. “They don’t clutter the house like the toys I used to buy. -CONTRIBUTED

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