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What to expect from Lotus, VALORANT’S newest map

What to expect from Lotus, VALORANT’S newest map

Brandon "Mothman" Moore


VALORANT Episode 6 Act I is on the horizon and with it comes a brand new map. This is the first map since Pearl arrived in June 2022. VALORANT players will be able to dive right in to the new location, named Lotus, when the Episode launches on January 10, 2023.

Read ahead for more information regarding Lotus’ design and various gameplay mechanics that you’ll encounter.

The location of Lotus in VALORANT

The Lotus map loading screen image in VALORANT.
(Image via Riot Games)

VALORANT lore employs separate universes. There is the Alpha Earth, or Earth-1, which acts as the game’s primary location. Then there is Omega Earth, also known as Earth-2 or the Mirror Earth. The two Earths have been a heavy focus of the VALORANT cinematics.

When it comes to Lotus, there is a version on both Earths. The Alpha Earth version has been ransacked and destroyed, while the Omega Earth version remains beautifully intact. The latter is the map’s location. It is set in the Western Ghats of Omega Earth’s India, left untouched by the likes of Kingdom and other corporations.

Setting and inspiration

A look at one location on Lotus.
(Image via Riot Games)

Lotus is “inspired by traditional Indian stepwells and rock-cut Dravidian architecture,” per Riot Games. It is explicitly a non-religious location and not to be labeled a temple. Rather, it is more a ruins-like area or considered a Lost City. The tops of many of its structures are adorned with glowing pink Lotus flowers, giving the map its name.

Joe Lansford, the Level Designer, stated the map was originally meant to be a space station with an airlock mechanic. He scrapped that for the idea in place for Episode 6’s release. Instead, you can expect a mystical location that is visually stunning and all the while mysterious. There is said to be a visual tie to the Guardians on this map, which Riot Games is leaving the players to discover on their own.

Map features

A platform on Lotus sits in the middle of a site with a large drop.
(Image via Riot Games)

Lotus brings some already established VALORANT mechanics with a couple of new ones to keep things fresh. You’ll find three sites on the map, much like Haven, in an attempt by Riot Games to show that it was not just a one-time feature. They intend on implementing three site maps more throughout the shooter’s lifespan.

In addition to the three sites, you will come across rotating doors, a destructible wall, and a silent drop. These will be essential mechanics for players to study. You’ll need to utilize them to their fullest potential to execute site hits, defensive stands, and rotations if your initial plan doesn’t quite work out.

When you can play Lotus in VALORANT

So, when can you play Lotus in VALORANT? Well, the new Episode goes live on January 10. Lotus will have its own playlist at that time, with the Swiftplay game mode for one week. It will not immediately be in competitive and ranked queues.

Lotus will arrive in the other modes after patch 6.1. You’ll have a decent amount of time to learn how the map works before it becomes a normal part of your ranked experience.

Stay tuned to Run It Back for more features as VALORANT’s 2023 kicks off with a bang.