Valorant Beta Warning: Gamers buying Valorant Beta Keys risk account bans

Valorant Beta Keys are in high demand right now as gamers look to test out what could be a huge new gaming release. Launching Summer 2020, Valorant will take on established names like CS:GO and Overwatch. Valorant will be free-to-play when it arrives later this year but for now, it remains in closed beta.

The only way to earn a Valorant Beta Key is to watch enabled Twitch streams in the coming days.

This means that you need to have a registered Riot Account and a Twitch account linked.

And when it comes to the Twitch Drops, there is no guarantee you will get one. The good news is that Riot Games has offered some guidance on the selection process.

To be in the running for a Valorant Beta Key, you must have watched at least two hours of enabled Twitch Drops streams.

And Riot Games has also confirmed that they are tracking the total Valorant stream view time.

“Yesterday at a rough count we saw peak viewers at 1.7m+ on Twitch, but there were definitely more who came in and out during the day,” a message from Riot adds.

“All of you are eligible for a drop—a few of you may even have woken up to one in your inbox!


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“We are constantly taking everyone who’s eligible for a drop and we give a percentage of them Closed Beta access.

“The selection is random to give fairness, but we give a higher ‘weight’ to those of you who have more hours watched of VALORANT streams.

“This weight gives you a higher chance at being selected but it’s still not guaranteed.

“Hours watched also has diminishing returns, so please don’t burn yourself out trying to marathon VALORANT streams.”

Following that guidance, Riot has also warned those gamers who are buying accounts with closed beta access.

This is clearly not the way Riot wants to see people earn access and they have now confirmed that these accounts could be banned before the game’s full release.

It’s unclear how widespread this is and if some Riot gamers are trying to earn multiple Twitch Drops during the Valorant beta process.

“We are actively looking into account sellers. If you buy an account for Valorant access, please be aware that your account could be banned before launch,” a message from Riot confirms.

“We’re aware of all the viewbotting going on, and do want to reassure you that both us, and Twitch have filters in place to distinguish bots vs. people.

“We’re also aware of a few of you getting “double drops” via Twitch. That’s a UI error but is not taking away anyone else’s entitlement.

“You don’t need to have multiple streams open to increase your chances, and you don’t need to be AFK through the night on streams.”

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Gaming Detail: New Horizons Villagers That Move In Later Have Better Homes

Here’s something you might not know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons: your later villagers have much better homes than your first villagers.

Ever notice how some villagers live in mansions while others live in run-down, basic-looking shacks? Well, it turns out that there’s a reason for that, and it all has to do with Nintendo not wanting to rain too much on your interior design parade.

When you first start New Horizons, you live in a tent. Not wanting to rough it for your entire time on the island, you soon expand into a true home and eventually build a thriving town. But in the beginning, it’s just you and a tent. The first two villagers that arrive also live in tents in strange solidarity with the player.

Then once you can build your own home, those two villagers also get homes that look roughly equivalent to your own. They’re very basic, have rough wooden furniture, and aren’t really anything to write home about.

That changes with the next set of villagers, as explained by Twitter user @Nellichka. In a Twitter thread, she shows how early abodes for villagers are truly awful, featuring dirt floors and bare walls, while later villagers have sweet cribs with furniture, pianos, and espresso machines.

According to @Nellichka, Nintendo designed New Horizons so that the villager will never have a house that’s better than the player’s. Early houses are generic homes that are based on the gender and personality type of the villager. Girls with normal/peppy personalities get bizarrely childlike houses, while boys live in dirt shacks.

After the first campsite visitor arrives, new villagers “will have fancy personalized houses to their aesthetic.”

But there’s a problem: the starter villagers’ houses do not change. They’ll always live in dirt shacks, with few options to improve their lots. First, you can gift them furniture and hope that they use it, but they don’t understand what to do with flooring or wallpaper. This prevents them from really fixing up their places.

The second thing you can do is just kick them out and get new villagers, or use amiibo to get them back. But that seems like a mean thing to do to someone living in a shack.

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Lookin’ Cool, Joker! – Domino’s Pizza Tweets Persona 5-Inspired Advertisement

You’ll never see it coming! – “it” referring to Domino’s Pizza’s tweet featuring a Persona 5-inspired advertisement. Is this for real? (It is!)

Domino’s Pizza Malaysia tweeted out the advertisement on their official Twitter account (@DominosMY) earlier today, along with a caption promoting their pizza and encouraging their customers to stay at home.

Oh, and there were some pretty cool references to being a “video game-playing phantom thief” mixed in there as well.

The advertisement featured an image of a tasty looking pizza, surrounded by the battle mechanics of Persona 5. However, rather than the usual battle menu options (such as PERSONAITEM, GUARD, and ATTACK), Domino’s opted for something a little more food-related, replacing the options with ORDER NOWCRUST TYPEEATINGREDIENTSWEAPON (CHILLI FLAKES), and the ever-important CHEESE SMASH. Taking down rotten adults should be easy with that last one.

The ad also paid homage to one of Morgana’s most iconic lines in the game, his famous battle catchphrase to the protagonist anytime he does something impressive: “Looking cool, Joker!”

It’s too bad the Phantom Thieves never celebrated their victories with a pizza party…

Persona 5 was released back in 2016 in Japan (and 2017 in the West) for the PlayStation 3 and 4. The enhanced edition of the game, Persona 5 Royal is available now, exclusively for the PlayStation 4.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is The Most Talked-About Game on Twitter in 2020

Despite only having released a few weeks ago, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the most talked-about game on Twitter according to their stats, both in the last 30 days and for all of 2020. Other popular games discussed often on Twitter are Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, Fortnite, and Fate/Grand Order. 

The news should not really come as a surprise, because compared to the other top games on Twitter, Animal Crossing is by far the most social by design. More than the others, gameplay can be directly affected by communicating with other players, making new friends, and visiting each other’s islands.

The types of Tweets vary broadly as a result, but that range only extends the types of discussions to be had online. Some players want to show off their island progress, while others share codes for custom designs, which can be hugely popular. The Stalk Market also sees players informing the community when they have a great price for selling Turnips, and social gatherings in place of real-life weddings and birthday parties help alleviate the stress of working to maintain social distancing.

With no other big games due for release any time soon, and no others that provide such a hub for socializing, Animal Crossing is sure to remain on top of the Twitter feed for the foreseeable future.

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Google Stadia Pro Will Be Free For Two Months Starting Today

It seems that the free version of Google Stadia will be taking on a new form over the summer, as Google has announced that Stadia Pro will be free for everyone to try for the next two months.

Google Stadia initially launched in November 2019 – but the only way to try it was through purchasing an expensive Founders Edition, which came with three months of Stadia Pro and a Buddy Pass that could give Stadia Pro to someone else. Since then, Google has given out additional Buddy Passes and Stadia Pro subscriptions as part of other promotions. Google has been promising a free version of Stadia with fewer benefits that is supposed to launch this year, but it never gave a solid rollout date.

There are some caveats to using Stadia Pro at the moment. For one thing, you need a decent Internet speed when using the service, which is a tall ask, considering how the Internet is being hammered all over the world due to increased usage. Stadia can be used on any desktop PC that can handle a Chrome browser or on a supported mobile phone, but it can only be used on a TV with the Chromecasts that came with the Founders Edition. The player will also need a compatible mouse & keyboard or joypad, but pretty much any modern controller will work with the service.

The self-isolation period has led to shortages on video game consoles and prices for systems like the Nintendo Switch have skyrocketed on the second-hand market. There is no better time to make Stadia available around the world and to show off the features of the service.

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PS5 Controller Revealed: Key Features Of The DualSense

Sony has finally given us our first look today at the DualSense, the new PS5 controller shipping with the PlayStation 5 later this year. The DualSense sports not just brand new functionality and a host of fresh features, but a brand-new look to match. A post on the PlayStation blog detailing the new DualSense controller makes note of the design decision to keep “much of what gamers love about DualShock 4 intact,” but despite holding on to some of the old controller’s most iconic qualities, the DualSense has a lot of new features to bring into the next-generation of PlayStation too.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new with the DualSense:

  • Two-tone color design
  • Form factor
  • Light bar placement
  • Haptic feedback
  • Adaptive triggers
  • Rechargeable battery via USB-C
  • Built-in mic
  • Create button

Let’s break down what each change means for the new PS5 controller, and what else we know about the DualSense, so far…

Two-Tone Color Design And Light Bar Placement

The most noticeable difference between the DualSense and previous DualShock controllers is its striking two-tone design. The light bar placement has also changed–instead of being located at the top of the controller, it will now sit on both sides of the touch pad. This, according to Sony, will grant it “a slightly larger look and feel.”

New Form Factor

The new DualSense controller seems to have a slightly thicker form factor than the DualShock 4. While we don’t have the exact measurements and haven’t held one in our hands yet, the shape is definitely a divergence from previous PlayStation controllers. According to Sony, the angle of the hand triggers and the grip have been updated to make room for some of its new features, like the introduction of adaptive triggers.

Haptic Feedback And Adaptive Triggers

One of the earliest things we knew about the new PS5 controller is that it would make use of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. That’s still true, as Sony had previously announced. In their blog post, Sony detailed the “variety of powerful sensations” haptic feedback can bring to gameplay, like “the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud.” Haptic feedback is the same technology behind the Nintendo Switch’s HD rumble and we know the Xbox Series X controller will make use of it as well.

Adaptive triggers on the L2 and R2 buttons will introduce different levels of “resistance” with trigger presses, which can work in tandem with the DualSense’s haptic feedback to make gameplay interactions more immersive. According to Sony, adaptive triggers make it so “you can truly feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.”

Rechargeable Battery

The DualSense uses a rechargeable battery, just as previous DualShock controllers did. This maybe isn’t the most exciting news, until you learn about the next new feature, which is…

USB-C Port

That’s right–the DualSense controller will boast a USB-C port for its power cable. Good news for you, bad news for your dusty old micro USB cords.

Built-In Mic

The DualSense will include a built-in mic to chat with friends without requiring a headset–though Sony still recommends using one for longer chat sessions.

Create Button

The Share button has been replaced with a new Create button, though Sony declined to share more details on how the new button is differentiated from the Share functionality. It simply says, “we’re once again pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves.” More detail on that is said to be coming closer to launch.

…And More?

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more about the new PS5 controller. For now, here’s what Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan had to say about the DualSense.

“DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5,” said Ryan. “The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for games – continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future. To the PlayStation community, I truly want to thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us as we head toward PS5’s launch in Holiday 2020. We look forward to sharing more information about PS5, including the console design, in the coming months.”

For more, we’ve rounded up the visual history of PlayStation controllers so you can see how the shiny new DualSense fits into Sony’s legacy. Don’t forget to also check out our guide to the PS5’s technical specs and what we know about the PS5 so far.

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  • PS5 Controller Replaces Share Button With A Create Button
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  • PS5's DualSense Controller Includes A Built-In Microphone
  • Everything We Know About PS5's Price, Specs, Games, And Release Window

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New PS5 Controller Will Recharge Via USB-C Port

Sony has revealed its next-gen controller, the DualSense. While the name and design is a bit of a departure from previous years, one thing remains the same between the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 and the PlayStation 5’s DualSense: rechargeable batteries.

The company confirmed on the PlayStation Blog that the PS5’s DualSense will, in fact, use rechargeable batteries just as prior DualShock controllers did. Sony said that it “took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery.” It’s difficult to tell in the gallery below, but it also looks like the new controller may charge via USB-C and might not feature a microphone jack as it includes a built-in mic.

This is a stark difference from Microsoft’s next-gen console, the Xbox Series X. While the console features a bunch of new tech and the controller has been slightly redesigned, the company is still putting AA batteries inside of its newer controllers. Xbox partner director Jason Ronald said this decision was because “there is a strong camp that really want AAs” and the team wanted to give players the option.

Sony recently revealed some detailed tech specs for the PS5, which is expected to arrive this holiday season. The company said that despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the launch of the next-generation system should not be affected.

PS5 And PS4 News And Announcements

  • PlayStation 5 Controller Revealed
  • PS5 Controller Replaces Share Button With A Create Button
  • PlayStation 5 Controller Will Use Rechargeable Batteries
  • PS5's DualSense Controller Includes A Built-In Microphone
  • Everything We Know About PS5's Price, Specs, Games, And Release Window

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 10 Great Activities You Can Do With Friends

Everything is better with friends, and Animal Crossing is no exception to this rule. You can have your friend play along with you using couch co-op or by opening your gate for online friends. Many of the activities that friends can do together have yet to be used by many players, and others are related to upcoming events like the fishing tournaments; you may even be able to make more bells than normal.

By having your friends over, you can accomplish some goals much faster and find interesting ways to feel more connected to the world. Below are ten great activities that you can do with your friends.

10 Gather Building Materials

One of the best ways to help your friends out is by gathering materials. If you have friends that have just entered the world, their island will be full of trees and rocks. You can help them harvest all the spots on the island and even reach the cliffs that they can’t. Some players have even started to work with friends to create forests where everyone can harvest wood.

This is a great way to ensure supplies never run low and spend less time gathering supplies.

9 Throw A Party

Players have taken to gathering in-game and doing all sorts of creative events together. Players have gotten virtually married, thrown house parties, and even organized mazes for their friends to take part in. By making a removable party space, you can host creative events with your friends. You can even use QR codes to download interesting patterns to really make things pop.

To top it off, party-poppers can be bought from Nook’s Cranny for an extra special touch.

8 Enjoy Events Together

If you aren’t one for setting up your own events, Animal Crossing will offer you plenty of opportunities to do preset ones with your friends. When a fishing or bug tournament comes your way, just get together with your friend on your island. The tournament will count the number of fish or bugs that you catch together and will even give you a bonus for playing with a friend.

This is a quick way to earn points in these tournaments and get items quickly.

7 Write A Letter

Even when your friend is asleep, you can still interact with their game. To do this, simply go to the Nook Shopping terminal or check the airport’s postcard rack. For a fee of two-hundred bells, you can pick out a card from a large selection of prints and have it sent to anyone on your friend’s list. If you want to go a bit further, then you can use the Nook Shop to send a present and postcard to a friend.

This present can be from any item that you have previously obtained and can ship to yourself.

6 Exchange Fruit

One of the quickest ways to earn money while you’re in the early days of playing is by making yourself a fruit orchard. To do this, you will need to find rare islands using Nook Miles or make some friends with different fruit. You can trade your island’s fruit for theirs and slowly start an orchard. Every few days, each fruit tree will yield at least 1,500 bells’ worth of fruit.

We recommend making a fairly large orchard so that you can have a quick 50,000 every few days.

5 Trade Items

One of the best things about a game with RNG and having friends is that the system isn’t as frustrating. By having friends that you can regularly chat with, you can get help finding the items you really want. Trading items online with other users is a faster way to ensure you get the home you want, especially if you’re trying to avoid time skipping, but don’t want to wait two years for a cute chair.

There are even some online communities for making friends with the sole purpose of trading.

4 Catch Rare Bugs & Fish

If you don’t mind time-skipping, but don’t want to activate it on your personal save file, then use a friend’s island who has. By going to islands with time-skipping, you can catch the bugs and fish that are exclusive to that month. If you started a bit late, then this is a great way to catch the bugs and fish from the previous month. Some players even have more stumps to spawn beetles.

By working with your friends, you can fill up your museum much faster than normal.

3 Give Island Tours

If you are a player who prides yourself on creating gorgeous towns, then you’re going to want to show it off. You can invite a group of friends over for a guided tour of your completely decorated island. If you do this with other decoration buffs, it’s a great chance to bounce ideas off of each other for creative set-ups or ways to use user made patterns.

Some players have already started making islands for tours based on popular movies like The Shining. Maybe don’t hop onto one of those particular themed tours during winter.

2 Start A Shop

If you like the idea of running your own shop, then there are a variety of ways to sell items in-game. You can set up a cute stall and then offer players goods in exchange for items. You can even use online forums to make new friends in need of supplies like iron, or rare items. This is a fun take on the game and can be used to help newer players get the things they want without taking a loss at Nook’s Cranny.

Some players have even set up dedicated shops for wood and iron.

1 Clear The Island

One of the hardest tasks to accomplish is completely clearing your island so that you can decorate it. To make things easier, you can invite friends over and make them best friends so that they can help remove trees and rocks. This is a great way to split up the work, give them some free supplies, and make the island you’ve already dreamed of. You may even be able to start a business out of it.

In addition, if you have better tools than your friend, you can get rid of obstacles like rocks that they can’t manage just yet.

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Google Makes Stadia Pro Free For Two Months

Several months ago Google launched Stadia to lackluster fanfare. In our experience, the underlying technology is promising, but the lack of unique features and must-play games really hurts the platform. Google is slowing updating Stadia, so that may be changing. If you’re curious to try game streaming yourself, you can now sign up for a free two-month test run of Stadia Pro. 

Stadia Pro members get assess to nine games for free, including Grid, Destiny 2: The Collection, Thumper, Gylt, Serious Sam Collection, Spitlings, Stacks on Stacks (on Stacks), SteamWorld Dig 2, and SteamWorld Quest. Personally, I recommend checking out Thumper and the SteamWorld games if you’ve never played them. Hopefully, this will help your quarantine run a little smoother.

Stadia Pro normally costs $9.99 a month, and you can purchase additional games separately to play through Stadia’s service. Thankfully, you’ll get to keep any of the purchases you make during this free trial, and if you’re already a paid Stadia Pro subscriber, you won’t be charged for the next two months. 

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons first Fishing Tournament this weekend

Not only does the Bunny Day event end this weekend but there’s also Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ first fishing tourney to look forward to.

Although the coronavirus crisis has clearly been a factor, the enormous success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is primarily down to one thing: it’s a really good game, and a major improvement on its already well-loved predecessors.

If it’s your first experience of the series though you won’t be familiar with many of its traditions, some of which only become a part of New Horizons after several weeks of playing.

One of these is the Fishing Tournament, which will be happening for the first time in everyone’s game, no matter how long you’ve been playing it, this Saturday, 11 April.

Since this is the first one, things might work differently in New Horizon, but the usual procedure is that someone will come into town (probably C.J. the beaver) and challenge you and your fellow villagers to catch the biggest fish possible before the end of the day.

Win and you get a trophy and a special prize. Although things may be more involved now given that New Horizons has more advanced online features than previous games.

As for Bunny Day – which actually lasts for over a week – it finally ends on Easter Sunday, 12 October. That will be your last chance to collect eggs and egg-related DIY recipes and meet the only slightly creepy looking Zipper T. Bunny.

But before that, another of the April events will be coming to an end, with the cherry blossom season ending on Friday, 10 April. That will be your last chance to collect cherry-blossom petals and, presumably, the related DIY recipes that have been appearing in balloons.

Then, once all that’s over, the next big event will be one themed around Earth Day, which will take place on 22 April and feature Leif the sloth.

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