With players ready to bid farewell to 2023, there isn’t a better time than now to recap the good things that were introduced to our favorite tactical shooter. Let’s reminisce about the best VALORANT skins we got this year, shall we?
Besides all the exciting new metas we got to experience, 2023 was quite the year for VALORANT’s cosmetic side of things as well. It began with Episode Six, Act One, introducing one of the year’s most gorgeous bundles, the Araxys collection, and is now all set to end with the very funky Overdrive collection, introduced as the year’s last set of skins in Episode Seven, Act Three.
Enough of the small talk, here are the best VALORANT skins that were launched in 2023.
Top VALORANT skins in 2023
Onimaru Kunitsuna Katana (Oni 2.0 melee)
The Onimaru Kunitsuna Katana has to be the most hyped VALORANT melee skin of 2023. And while it was thought to be exorbitantly expensive for a Premium melee, I think it’s for some pretty good reasons.
For starters, the Onimaru Kunitsuna offers everything you could ask of a flashy melee skin. Elegance? Check. Oomph factor? Check. Good for bragging? Nothing better. It’s a magnificent, sleek blade you’d want in your inventory—that is, if you have 5,350 VP to spare.
Power Fist (Radiant Entertainment System melee)
The Power Fist is VALORANT’s most unique melee skin so far and also the priciest one at 5,950 VP. Shaped like a gauntlet featuring fun video game animations and sounds that your agent gets to flaunt on their fist, having this melee equipped in your games is surely going to turn heads.
The melee comes in three variants, each celebrating an iconic arcade video game you might have grown up playing. If you’re wondering, I’d pick the K.nock O.ut!! Power Fist, any day.
VALORANT Champions 2023 Vandal
Like every year, Riot released a special bundle featuring a Vandal and melee skin to celebrate the year’s most prestigious VALORANT tournament. And while the melee skin wasn’t one bit impressive, I loved what the Vandal skin had to offer with its deep tones and sparkly evolving design.
The Champions 2023 Vandal was a limited-time skin, though, so it won’t be returning to the store. But those who own it definitely have one of the finest Vandal skins for life.
The Ignite Fan was first released as an exclusive skin for the Chinese servers to celebrate the launch of VALORANT in the country. But the community showered Riot with requests to make it available globally, convincing the devs to release the melee skin for anyone to purchase in a limited-time bundle.
A melee that was so hyped it changed the minds of Riot devs has to be quite special, right? Well, it definitely is and deserves a place in the list of top VALORANT melee skins of all time. Resembling the traditional folding fans popular in China, the Ignite Fan sports vibrant colors of red and gold (purple and blue in the other variant), which is made more beautiful with definitive wavy engravings on its edges. The fan also radiates flames of gold and purple, depending on the variant.
Radiant Entertainment System Phantom and Bulldog
I’ve already hailed this collection’s melee as one of the best skins in the game, so now it’s time to highlight its other wins. The Radiant Entertainment System Phantom and Bulldog are delightful skins you can get for the weapons, offering users the thrill of arcade video games in their inspect and equip animations coupled with sleek sounds that make every headshot feel incredibly satisfying.
Both of these skins are priced at 2,975 VP and are the costliest cosmetics you can slap on the respective weapons so far. Well, if you ask me, I think the hi-fi animations and incredible finisher you get are totally worth it.
Neo Frontier Sheriff and Marshal
The Neo Frontier Sheriff and Marshal skins are, hands down, the best in their category; you simply can’t get a better skin for these weapons in VALORANT—so far.
The reason is pretty clear: Besides the smooth shots these skins are capable of scoring, they feature thrilling equip, reload, and inspect animations celebrating the action-packed and stylish Western genre. The best part? You can choose to stick with the Old West theme, giving the raw feel without the modernized colors and compromising on its eye-catching animations.
Blades of Imperium (Imperium melee)
I can’t get enough of the animations and sound effects that adorn the Blades of Imperium. It’s captivating to look at the waves of dragon breath in vibrant colors moving on the dual blades when you inspect the melee. Its slash animation leaves behind a streak of pretty color as well. The soothing tunes of the swaying flames when you inspect the melee are definitely going to calm you down, especially if you’re having a bad game.
Priced at 4,350 VP, the Blades of Imperium isn’t cheap, but it should be a good choice for those who don’t want to burn as big of a hole in their pocket as the Power Fist or Onimanu Kunitsuna might leave.
Araxys Vandal and Operator
There are many VALORANT skins “drawing power” from dark and mystical sources, but the Araxys Vandal and Operator, with the collection’s powerful sci-fi theme based on alien energy, left quite an impression on me.
In addition to the exciting color variants, I love the matte finish on these skins and how the body fragments into satisfying pieces before attaching back when you inspect or equip them. The finisher is a thriller, too, radiating a beam upwards from all player bodies (enemies and allies) that were killed by the same Araxys weapon after they are disintegrated.
Ruyi Staff (Valiant Hero melee)
Speaking of unique melee skins, the Ruyi Staff is an enticing skin designed for those who love swirling their melee to deep rhythmic music. It belongs to the Valiant Hero collection, themed around the Chinese mythological character Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King. So you’re basically getting to wield the Monkey King’s magical staff in VALORANT.
Priced at 4,350 VP, the Ruyi Staff is a two-handed melee that you can spin around in a powerful stance upon inspection. The golden engravings on the melee’s body, alongside its gilded ends, glow beautifully when you bring it out or inspect it. I particularly adore the traditional folklore music and deep beats that play when the melee spins; it’s incredibly catchy.