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28, 04, 2020 | The G FUEL Team | comments(0)

Everything You Need To Know About Valorant: Release Date, Characters, Weapons, Maps, Patch Notes, And More!

Once known as “Project A,” Valorant is Riot Games’ first shooter and is one of the most anticipated releases of 2020. Many gamers have already called this game the next Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and it has the potential to be one of the biggest shooters of all-time. Fans simply cannot wait to get their hands on it.

Let’s take you through everything you need to know about Valorant, as well as the community’s reaction to the game so far!

Go to:
What is Valorant?
Release Date
Closed Beta
Platforms
System Requirements
Servers
Stretched Resolution
Cost
Characters and Abilities
Ranked Play and Ranks
Microtransactions and Loot Boxes
Weapons
Maps
Battle Pass
Anti-Cheat Measures
Spotify Playlist
Patch Notes

What Is Valorant? What Is Gameplay Like?

Valorant is Riot Games’ take on the traditional team tactical shooter, the same genre as games like CS:GO and Rainbow Six Seige. The game is set in a futuristic setting and provides an online-only multiplayer experience.

Similar to CS:GO, Valorant pits two teams of five against each other over the course of a match, which lasts 24 rounds or so. From what we have seen so far, this game seems to have a lot of the same mechanics and gunplay as CS:GO and other shooters. Even with a familiar heavy emphasis on perfect aim and movement, the game itself features a drastically different art style than most shooters. The lead art director for Valorant is actually the same person who worked on the Team Fortress 2 art team, so you're probably not alone in thinking it looks like that game.

The main draw for Valorant is its use of Overwatch-style character selection for each match. When you load into a new match of Valorant, you select which character you want to play as, and your choice will stay locked for the duration of the match. Each character has their own abilities and quirks; there are some that are more offense-focused and some that are better on defense. The characters also have ultimate abilities like in League of Legends. These abilities have to be charged up throughout the match and are super powerful.

Unlike Overwatch, the character you pick does not have a specific weapon they will have to use (we’ll talk about weapons in just a minute). The gunplay in Valorant is similar to CS:GO, with an emphasis on headshots and accuracy.

Release Date

Riot Games released Valorant on June 2, 2020. Check out the official launch cinematic trailer below!

Closed Beta

Valorant Closed Beta started on April 7, 2020.Riot Games

Valorant Closed Beta started on April 7, 2020 and ended on May 28, 2020. Didn't get closed beta access but were eligible? You should've had a Twitch/Valorant player card in your inventory at launch on June 2, 2020. 

Platforms

Valorant is only going to be on PC for now. But there is hope in the future for a console release.

Although Riot Games has not released a major title on console yet, many players are hopeful that Valorant will be coming to console soon. During the gameplay reveal, two of the Valorant developers, including lead designer Trevor Romleski, joined streamer TimTheTatman and answered a question regarding Valorant on console.

TimTheTatman asked, “I know there’s a lot of questions about it, and I have no idea, is there any sign of trying to put this on console or are you guys mainly sticking PC?”

“Our focus right now is on PC. We’re open to exploring new opportunities for other platforms, but for the time being what our current focus is, is on the PC platform,” answered Romleski.

System Requirements

Riot Games has noted that Valorant will be accessible for players not equipped with the best PC hardware. 

Here are Valorant’s minimum PC requirements: 

Minimum (30fps)

OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)

RAM: 4GB

CPU: Intel i3-370M

GPU: Intel HD 3000 (1GB VRAM)

Recommended (60fps)

OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)

RAM: 4GB

CPU: Intel i3-370M

GPU: Intel HD 3000 (1GB VRAM)

High-end (144+fps)

OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)

RAM: 4GB

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2Ghz

GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti (1GB VRAM)

Servers

Another feature present in League of Legends for quite some time now is the Riot Direct servers, which allow players to get optimal performance for every match while playing online. Although there’s a chance you encounter some server lag while playing, it feels a lot smoother than other multiplayer matches. This is a nice feature to optimize players’ experience for Valorant.

Riot Games has also announced that all matches will be played on 128-tick servers. This will result in more responsive games and an overall higher play quality. For reference, Call of Duty plays on sub-20-tick servers, making this a drastic difference from other AAA titles.

Stretched Resolution

Different resolutions has been one of the most controversial topics among game developers and their communities in recent years. More so for games such as Fortnite, where Epic Games famously banned the usage of stretched resolutions just a few weeks before the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers.

Many players did not know whether or not Riot Games was going to allow players to configure their screens in different aspect ratios. However, it appears players are not going to be able to when the game releases soon.

Noted during TimTheTatman’s stream with two of the Valorant developers, they noted that only the regular 16:9 and a few other variations such as 4:3 which Counter Strike players are used to. The developers noted that it would be unfair for players to make the player models wider and allow for more opportunities to get the upper edge if a player did not know about stretch resolution.

Cost

Sticking true to Riot Games’ previous releases, Valorant will be free to play!

Characters and Abilities

One of the most important aspects of Valorant is the game’s cast of characters. It will be crucial to get a sense of how each character works, as each character’s abilities and how you earn them during a match is quite different from Overwatch. Here is a breakdown of how abilities work and how you can obtain them:

Ultimate Ability: This is the most powerful ability each character has access to during a match. It also takes the longest to obtain. It will take multiple kills or objective tasks to gain a character's ultimate ability.

Main Ability: This ability is usable every round, though it will vary from player to player as to how many times you will be able to use it each round.

Purchasable Abilities: This is similar to how grenades, smoke grenades, and other items made for purchase work in CS:GO. The price of each of these will also vary based on the character.

There are numerous characters in Valorant, and we can assume they will release more over time, similar to Overwatch and League of Legends. Polygon and PC Gamer have noted all the descriptions for each character and their abilities, which also appear to be the official ones from Riot Games.

Here are the Valorant characters and their abilities, courtesy of Polygon:

Phoenix

This was the first character showcased by Riot Games with his own trailer and gameplay. From what we know, Phoenix is a close-quarters combat specialist who has a passion for fire.

Phoenix's abilities are listed below:

Phoenix’s star power shines through in his fighting style, igniting the battlefield with flash and flare. Whether he’s got backup or not, he’s rushing in to fight on his own terms.

Hot Hands - Throw a fireball that explodes after a delay or upon impact with the ground. The fire zone damages enemies, and heals you.

Blaze - Cast out a flame wall that blocks vision and damages anyone passing through it. You can bend the wall when casting by turning while holding “left click.”

Signature Ability: Curveball - Cast a curving flare that bursts into brilliant light after a brief delay, temporarily blinding all looking at it. “Left click” curves it left, “right click” curves it right.

Ultimate Ability: Run it Back - Mark your current location. If you die during this ability’s duration, or when this ability’s duration expires, you’ll be reborn at the marked location with full health.

Viper

Viper deploys an array of poisonous chemical devices to control the battlefield and cripple the enemy’s vision. If the toxins don’t kill her prey, her mind games surely will.

Snakebite - Fire a projectile that explodes into a pool of damaging acid.

Poison Cloud - Throw a gas emitter that you can reactivate to create a poisonous smoke cloud at the cost of fuel. The emitter can be picked up and thrown again after a short cooldown.

Signature Ability: Toxic Screen - Deploy a long line of gas emitters that you can reactivate to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel.

Ultimate: Viper’s Pit - Emit a massive toxic cloud in a large area that lasts as long as Viper stays inside the cloud. Enemies inside the cloud are highlighted to Viper.

Jett

Jett’s agile and evasive fighting style lets her take risks no one else can. She runs circles around every skirmish, cutting enemies up before they even know what hit them.

Cloudburst - Throw out a cloud of fog that obscures vision on impact. Hold down the ability button to bend the cloud’s in-flight trajectory.

Updraft - After a brief wind up, propel yourself upwards.

Signature Ability: Tailwind - Immediately dash a short distance in the direction you’re moving.

Ultimate: Blade Storm - Arm yourself with several deadly throwing knives that deal moderate damage and kill on headshots. Scoring a kill restores all daggers. “Left click” throws a single dagger. “Right click” throws all remaining daggers in a short-ranged burst.

SOVA

Sova tracks, finds, and eliminates enemies with ruthless efficiency and precision. His custom bow and incredible scouting abilities ensure that even if you run, you cannot hide.

Shock Bolt - Fire an explosive bolt that emits a damaging pulse of static energy upon impact.

Owl Drone - Deploy a pilotable drone that can fire a dart that will reveal enemies who are hit.

Signature Ability: Recon Bolt - Fire a bolt that deploys a sonar emitter. The sonar pings tag nearby enemies, causing them to be revealed. Can be destroyed.

Ultimate: Hunter’s Fury - Fire up to three deadly energy blasts that spear across the entire map. Each hit enemy takes heavy damage and is marked.

Cypher

Cypher is a one-man surveillance network who keeps tabs on the enemy’s every move. No secret is safe. No maneuver goes unseen. Cypher is always watching.

Free Ability: Trapwire - Place a stealthed tripwire between two walls. Triggering enemies are restrained and revealed for a short time. If the trap is not destroyed, it activates to daze the trapped victim. Can be picked up.

Cyber Cage - Toss out a remote activation trap. Reactivate to create a cage that slows enemies who pass through it. Look at a trap and press USE to detonate it, or hold ACTIVATE to detonate all.

Signature Ability: Spycam - Place a remote camera. After placing, reactivate to view the video feed. “Left click” while in camera to fire a tracking dart. Recharges when picked up or killed.

Ultimate: Neural Theft - Extract information from the corpse of an enemy, revealing the location of their living allies.

Brimstone

Brimstone’s orbital arsenal ensures his squad always has the advantage. His ability to deliver utility precisely and safely make him the unmatched boots-on-the-ground commander.

Incendiary - Launch an incendiary grenade that deploys a damaging field of fire.

Stim Beacon - Target a nearby location to call in a Stim Beacon, giving all players near it Rapidfire.

Signature Ability: Sky Smoke - Use your map to call in orbital deployment smokescreens that obscure vision. Click to set the locations, and confirm to launch.

Ultimate: Orbital Strike - Use your map to target a location, launching a devastating orbital strike that pulses for high damage over several seconds.

Sage

Sage creates safety for herself and her team wherever she goes. Able to revive fallen friends and stave off forceful assaults, she provides a calm center to a hellish battlefield.

Slow Orb - Cast out a radianite orb that breaks into a slowing field upon impact with the ground. All caught in the field are slowed, grounded, and make noise when moving.

Barrier Orb - Conjure a large, solid wall. “Right click” to rotate the wall before casting.

Signature Ability: Healing Orb - Heal an ally or yourself to full health over a few seconds.

Ultimate: Resurrection - Target a friendly corpse. After a short delay, revive them with full health.

Omen

Omen hunts in the shadows. He renders enemies blind, teleports across the field, then lets paranoia take hold as foes scramble to uncover where he might strike next.

Paranoia - Send out an ethereal shadow in a straight line, Nearsighting anyone it touches.

Shadow Walk - After a delay, dematerialize and teleport a short distance.

Signature Ability: Dark Cover - Cast out a stealthed ethereal orb that bursts into an obscuring sphere of shadow at its final location. Can be charged to increase distance.

Ultimate: From the Shadows - Select anywhere on the map to teleport and reform. When arriving, appear as a Shade that will go back to your original location if killed. Once the teleport is complete, become Incorporeal for a short time.

Breach

Breach from ValorantRiot Games/PC Gamer

This was the newest character showcased during the gameplay reveal of Valorant. This agent was not one of the ones initially revealed, but multiple players showcased his abilities and how the character is going to work.  Below are Breach’s abilities courtesy of Dailyesports.gg

Basic AbilityAftershock: Equip a fusion charge. Fire the charge to set a slow-acting burst through the wall. The burst does heavy damage to anyone caught in the area.

Basic Ability – Flashpoint: Equip a blinding charge. Fire the charge to set a fast-acting burst through the wall. The charge detonates to blind all players looking at it.

Signature Ability – Fault Line: Equip a seismic blast. Hold Fire to increase the distance. Release to set off the quake, dazing all players in its zone.

Ultimate Ability – Rolling Thunder: Equip a seismic charge. Fire to send a cascading wake through all terrain in a large cone. The quake dazes and knocks up anyone caught in it.

As the name suggests, Breach is going to be an agent best suited for going into a bomb site first or taking over a crucial choke point on the map.

Agent Raze

Raze from ValorantRiot Games/PC Gamer

Having a similar cosmetic look to Lifeline from Apex Legends, here are Raze’s abilities:

Blast Pack - Instantly throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. Re-Use the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.

Signature Ability: Paint Shells - Equip a cluster grenade. Fire to throw the grenade, which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in their range.

Boom Bot - Equip a Boom Bot. Fire will deploy the bot, causing it to travel in a straight line on the ground, bouncing off walls. The Boom Bot will lock on to any enemies in its frontal cone and chase them, exploding for heavy damage if it reaches them.

Ultimate Ability: Showstopper - Equip a rocket launcher. Fire shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.

Reyna

 

Reyna hails from Mexico and is the 11th Valorant agent.

Here are Reyna's special abilities:

Q - DEVOUR - Enemies killed by Reyna leave behind Soul Orbs that last 3 seconds. INSTANTLY consume a nearby soul orb, rapidly healing for a short duration. Health gained through this skill exceeding 100 will decay over time. If EMPRESS is active, this skill will automatically cast and not consume the orb.

E - DISMISS - INSTANTLY consume a nearby soul orb, becoming intangible for a short duration. If EMPRESS is active, also become invisible.

C - LEER
EQUIP an ethereal destructible eye. ACTIVATE to cast the eye a short distance forward. The eye will Nearsight all enemies who look at it.

X - EMPRESS
INSTANTLY enter a frenzy, increasing firing speed, equip and reload speed dramatically. Scoring a kill renews the duration.

Ranked Play and Ranks

Online ranked matches has been one of the core components of nearly every massive multiplayer game in recent memory. Games such as Apex Legends, League of Legends, and Counter Strike have some of the most recognizable ranks in gaming.

Riot Games is no stranger to developing a competitive community, and this appears to be no different when Valorant releases. The ranking system was revealed during the gameplay reveal, and it appears there are going to be around nine ranks for players to try their hand at during Valorant. Each rank will have separate tiers inside the rank itself. So it’s a similar system to Counter Strike, with the ultimate goal of becoming the “Valorant” rank.

Here are all the Valorant rank names:

  • Unranked
  • Mercenary I-III
  • Soldier I-III
  • Veteran I-III
  • Hero I-III
  • Legend I-III
  • Mythic I-III
  • Immortal I-III
  • Valorant

Microtransactions and Loot Boxes

One of the biggest concerns with the release of any major title nowadays is the number of microtransactions a game will have. Nobody wants to relive the terrible experience of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront launch, where players could essentially pay to win.

This does not appear to be the case with Valorant, as they seem to be taking a different approach than similar games (like Overwatch). For those who don't know, Overwatch has loot boxes within the game that can be obtained in multiple ways and reward players with cosmetic items.

It has been confirmed that Valorant will not feature these loot boxes, but will still have in-game purchases for cosmetic items such as sprays, weapon skins, and more.

In an interview with Polygon, Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon had this to say about skins and transactions within the game:

I think [character skins] would have to be in a way that there’s absolutely nothing to impact the gameplay,” Donlon says. “It’ll be narrow. I think there’s a way to do that. And those are things that we’re interested in exploring.”

Donlon also said that weapon skins will have some sort of progression system when the game releases. Perhaps it will be similar to how Call of Duty works, where you can unlock unique wraps while playing.

Weapons

Once you pick a character to use in Valorant, you also have to pick some weapons to use. Similar to CS:GO, the game will feature an economy and a buy menu before the start of each round. For those of you who aren’t aware of this system, here’s how it works:

At the conclusion of each round, you will be rewarded with some in-game currency called Valorant Points, which will vary depending on certain components. Winning the round with two kills will give you a lot more money than if you die and lose the round, for example. With this currency, you can purchase a weapon or character ability.

We don’t currently know any specifics about how much damage each weapon will do or how the weapons will work. It’s rumored that they will work similarly to how CS:GO weapons work, with recoil patterns and specific aiming styles for each weapon.

Here’s the full list of Valorant weapons, along with how much they will cost in Valorant Points: 

Sidearms

  • Classic – Free
  • Shorty – 200
  • Frenzy – 400
  • Ghost – 500
  • Sheriff – 800

SMGs

  • Stinger – 1000
  • Spectre – 1600

Shotguns

  • Bucky – 900
  • Judge – 1500

Rifles

  • Bulldog – 2100
  • Guardian – 2700
  • Phantom – 2900
  • Vandal – ?

Snipers

  • Marshal – 1100
  • Operator – 4500

Heavy

  • Ares – 1700
  • Odin – 4500

Shields

  • Light Shields - ?
  • Heavy Shields - ?

Grenades

Check out the full list of grenades that will be available to purchase through the in-game buy menu courtesy of FireMonkey:

  • Boomba
  • Bow [Incendiary]
  • Cluster Bomb
  • Earthquake
  • Flashbang
  • HE Grenade Explosion
  • Incendiary Fire
  • Nanoswarm
  • Necro Grenade
  • Satchel
  • Tear Gas
  • Thorns
  • Vulture Mine

Weapon Skins

Cosmetics have always been a massive part of gaming. Since the Fortnite mania started back in 2017, every major title has had some sort of daily item shop. Modeling off of Counter Strike, it appears that Valorant is going to implement some sort of cosmetic system. The game will feature different cosmetic bundles and skins that players can purchase in the item shop. @Valorant_ on Twitter was able to uncover some of these in the game files, and the bundles can be viewed below!

It appears each of the bundles is also going to come with its own knife. The price of the bundles is unknown as of now, but we’lll be sure to update this article when the prices go live.

Maps

We expect Valorant to have an array of maps for players to compete on when the game releases in Summer 2020. For now, we don’t have confirmation about the number of maps or what they’re going to look like other than some confirmed gameplay from sites like Polygon. They note that two of the maps are called Haven and Bind. They report that the Haven has three bomb sites rather than the standard number of two: 

“The addition of an extra bomb site doesn’t change the fact that Haven feels like a traditional tactical shooter map, but it does introduce an interesting new wrinkle that helps the map feel unique.”

Bind, on the other hand, reminds us of Mirage from CS:GO. This is the map we have seen the most so far, and Polygon got to test this map out and spotted a unique feature. Apparently, the map will feature teleporters for one-way travel at some points. Here’s what Polygon had to say about the map:

“The teleporters let players transition from one bomb site to the other quickly, but they make a loud noise any time a player comes through. This means that anytime they’re used, everyone on the map knows, which opens dozens of opportunities for tricky teleportation plays and fakes.”

Since players all over the world were able to showcase their gameplay of Valorant for the first time, some prominent Fortnite leakers have made the move over to Valorant and have uncovered some juicy details. 

One of them is FireMonkey, who posted a flurry of leaks over the weekend. One of those leaks was images of all the maps confirmed to be in the game files. Check them out below!

From what we can tell, the maps in Valorant are going to be a lot bigger than in games such as Counter Strike. A common theme on these maps has been the notion of having three bomb sites rather than two. Not a lot of players mentioned this when showcasing their gameplay, so it probably doesn’t have much of an effect as one may think. 

Battle Pass

Most gamers nowadays are familiar with the battle pass system. The battle pass system has been adopted by nearly every major multiplayer game in recent years.

It appears Valorant is no exception, as FireMonkey also uncovered some battle pass details regarding the way players are going to be able to level up their cosmetics through in-game points called Radiante.  You can buy Radianite in the in-game store using Valorant Points, and earn them by gaining in-game XP. Each skin upgrade will cost 10 Radianite.

Anti-Cheat Measures

A big aspect of competitive gaming is preventing cheating in matches. This has been a focal point in games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, and CS:GO. It appears Riot Games is going to take extra measures to combat cheating with Valorant, taking the following steps to ensure fair play:

Fog of War

This system is to counteract the infamous “wall hacks” that have been so common in other FPS titles. 

Server-Authoritative

This means that all of the game settings will be sent through the Valorant servers rather than the in-game client that we see a lot of the time with other FPS games. 

Proprietary

These in-game measures prohibit players from using third-party accessories to try and gain an upper edge over others.

In an interview with Inven Global, anti-cheat lead Paul Chamberlian had this to say about the consequences of cheating in Valorant and what they are going to look at going forward:

“By being caught just once, that account is permanently banned. Additionally, we’re considering a hardware ban where that PC can’t connect for 24 hours. We’re still discussing whether we would block the whole LoL account or not for using hacks in Valorant.”

“Obviously, the aimbot is critical for FPS games. In Valorant, the time to kill is very short and the tempo is really fast, so aimbots are especially more threatening. To prevent that, we’re developing an anti-hack program in that direction. Also, through Riot Games’ own technology, we’re developing a system that detects aimbots through big data, AI, and machine learning. For example, if a player’s screen moves excessively fast and their first shot is a headshot, and that situation occurs consecutively, the program detects that it’s a hack.”

Earn Up To $100,000 From Riot For Finding Vulnerabilities

That's right. Riot is offering up to $100,000 for finding security vulnerabilities in Valorant's anti-cheat solution, Vanguard. Get all the details from Riot on HackerOne.

Spotify Playlist

The official Valorant sountrack hasn't been released yet, so we created a Valorant-inspired Spotify playlist to get you HYPED. Listen to it below!

 

Patch Notes

Patch Notes 1.01

GAMEPLAY AND BALANCE

SAGE

  • Barrier Orb cast range reduced 20 >>> 10 meters
    • As a Sentinel, Sage is supposed to be most effective when defending territory that she already controls. The 20m cast range was allowing Sage to aggressively take control of neutral territory in a way that was inappropriate for her role in Valorant. This range reduction aims to keep her strong while defending territory but reduce her efficacy at taking ground.

MAP UPDATES

Ascent

  • Fixed several spots where weapons were falling through the world and issues with wall penetration

All Maps

  • Modified several call out names to better match player terms

SPIKE RUSH UPDATE

  • Each game of Spike Rush now features a set of 5 randomly selected orbs
    • The Full Ultimate orb will always be available
    • 4 of the remaining 7 orb types will be chosen at random
  • Chosen orb types will be shown in a description widget both in character select and during pre-round

New Orb Types

  • Health Orb - Grants teamwide health regen (instant)
    • 20 second duration
    • 12 HP per second (3HP per tick)
    • SFX/VFX only play while actually healing
  • Deception Orb - Applies “Paranoia” to the enemy team 3 seconds after capture
    • 10 second debuff
    • Vision is greatly reduced (and a small Field of Vision shift)
    • Fake footsteps and gunfire play for affected players
    • Minimap is disabled
  • Golden Gun - Grants capturing player a Golden Gun
    • One-shot, one-kill
    • Perfectly accurate at all times
    • Agent moves at knife speed
    • Only has a single bullet in chamber and 2 backup rounds
    • Kills grant an additional round

Misc.

  • New pre-round HUD element that shows the weapon & potential orb types for the current round.
  • Players now get 1 ultimate point for collecting any orb.

PERFORMANCE UPDATES

Our performance work this patch primarily focuses on improving performance during combat and general performance improvements for high spec machines. The game should feel even smoother in combat and many scenes will likely have higher average FPS depending on your spec.

  • Combat Perf : We were able to fix a number of things causing dips during combat.
    • Skins for 9/10 players were failing to pre-load in the game. The first time you’d come across these skin in-game you’d experience a drop in framerate.
    • Reduced frame dips that would occur when a kill callout was added or removed to the hud.
    • Improved the performance of the Viper specific HUD elements which had some performance issues.
  • +FPS on Mid to High Spec : We were able to improve CPU bottlenecks in a few places across the code as well. Lower spec machines may still benefit from some of these improvements but would only see the gains during combat.
    • Added multithreaded rendering support for high end machines. If your machine meets the requirements to benefit from multithreaded rendering, you'll see a new option to turn it on or off in the Graphics Quality menu. It's on by default for these machines
    • Multithreaded rendering improves performance in scenes where the cost of managing objects that need to be rendered exceeds the cost of the game simulation and the cost of actually rendering the scene on the GPU. These conditions most commonly occur when moving through scenes with lots of objects visible (ex. Split attacker spawn) and in cases where the game simulation doesn't require much work (ex. practice range, out of combat gameplay, etc.).
  • Multithreaded vision cones; minimap vision cones will now compute on another thread, if it's able to
  • Large VFX passes across all maps, this reduced the CPU side cost of these particles by allowing the GPU to do more of the simulation
  • Reworked client performance Stats to include more detailed breakdown of frame times

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Sova's Recon Dart will behave more consistently and only reveal the portion of enemies behind a wall
  • Added a setting that allows the inventory to always appear
  • Pings will no longer draw over allies and enemies when placed behind them
  • Transition out of game now shows the map you just played instead of Brimstone and Sage walking into a teleporter
  • In the shooting range, changing character now uses a lightweight and more performant UI than the flow going into a match
  • Missions on the end of game screen are now sorted by completion and by type
  • Minor visual improvements to Contract and Battlepass rewards in the progression widget located at the top of the screen

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed issue where translucent particles, like smoke layers, would show through Reyna’s Nearsight.
  • Fixed VFX that obscured Reyna’s screen if she scoped while healing
  • Reyna’s overheal health no longer incorrectly shows 151 total when maxed
  • Cypher Spycameras placed on the teleporter door frames on Bind no longer teleport it’s view location underground
  • Cypher’s Cyber Cage no longer holds the teleporter doors on Bind open
  • The Area-of-Effect indicators for Sova’s Recon Bolt and Reyna’s Leer now only show up on the enemy’s minimap if the player or their allies are close to the affected area
  • Fixed input and other various pieces of Agent control UI showing up for spectators
  • Fixed a bug where dead player's 1st-person arms would appear to be floating in the air
  • Fixed a bug where activating a spray could exit ADS while firing
  • Fixed a bug with the Bullet Tracers setting, having this setting active used to also disable muzzle flash on some weapons in addition to tracers
  • Fixed an issue with the mouse cursor flickering when moving it over the scoreboard
  • Fixed an issue with milliseconds in the round timer not being accurate
  • Fixed an issue with some keybindings not displaying keybinding conflicts warnings correctly
  • Fixed an Observer bug where the first person being observed in the game did not have a character portrait
  • Fixed an issue with automatic weapons rarely not displaying tracers or audio effects when fired in short bursts
  • Fixed a bug where the defuse bar was duplicated
  • Fixed voice input/output devices and settings not persisting across sessions
  • Fixed a slew of localization issues across end of game screens
  • Fixed a handful of visual issues across end of game screens
  • Fixed an issue whispering players of the same name/general DM improvements
  • Improved chat service error messaging
  • Settings menu is now letterboxed as intended
  • While on the Agents page, clicking on COLLECTION now correctly navigates back to the Arsenal page

Patch Notes 1.0

With the game officially being released around the world on June 2, 2020, Riot Games made some significant changes ahead of everyone logging in. Below are the patch notes.

GAMEPLAY AND BALANCE

AGENT UPDATES

SAGE

  • Healing Orb cooldown increased 35 >>> 45 seconds
    • We like how much Sage is able to heal in a single heal, but felt she was able to use it too frequently during a round.
  • Barrier Orb segment health reduced 1000 >>> 800
  • Barrier Orb duration reduced 40 >>> 30 seconds
  • Friendly Barrier Orb walls now show on the minimap
    • Previous changes to Sage’s Barrier Orb helped give it more counterplay options in pistol/early round but it’s still having too much impact in any given round. Our hope is that the wall stays a powerful stalling tool, but asks you to think more about when in the round you want to use it.

RAZE

  • Blast Pack maximum damage radius reduced 2 >>> 1 meters
    • The Blast Pack has proven to be quite strong, especially when chained back-to-back. By reducing the inner maximum damage radius, we hope to reduce the average damage output of this ability while still keeping it powerful.

JETT

  • Cloud Burst smoke duration increased 4 >>> 7 seconds
    • We feel like Jett has a strong, irreplaceable value in terms of her ability to deny trades. But we think her team-oriented output is a little too low. This should give her and her team a little more time to work off of her smokes.
  • Tailwind automatically breaks Cypher’s Trapwires after being briefly revealed
    • Tailwind force is powerful enough that Jett should easily be able to break free of any leash. This should allow her a little more freedom to make that aggressive, but risky play that creates space for her team.

PHOENIX

  • Blaze duration increased 6 >>> 8 seconds
    • We felt like the short wall duration, combined with the long cast time and short range, was forcing Phoenix to play a little too predictably around his wall. We’re bumping this up slightly to give him some more time to work with.
  • Blaze damage: 15 every 0.25s >>> 1 every 0.033 seconds
  • Blaze healing: 3 every 0.25s >>> 1 every 0.16 seconds
    • These Damage over Time/Healing over Time models are updated to match the recent changes to our other DoT abilities. Additionally, we’ve matched the damage/healing values to be half as effective as Hot Hands, primarily so that the total healing output of these two abilities is at parity (50 health each). We’re also doing this so that Blaze doesn’t become the de-facto “healing” ability compared to Hot Hands.
  • Hot Hands healing: 3 every 0.25s >>> 1 every 0.08s.
    • Updated the HoT model to match recent changes to the DoT abilities.
  • Curveball max flash duration increased 0.8 >>> 1.1 second
    • The flash duration is short given how quickly he can get his curveball out on an enemy caught out of position. Even still, it was a hair too short, especially to justify the new 200 credit price point.
  • Run it Back automatically reloads all weapons on respawn
    • This is closer to a quality of life improvement. Phoenix’s ult often puts him in a position to empty his clips right before getting sent back. It was very jarring for a Phoenix player to wait several seconds to respawn, only to then have to spend another second reloading—potentially under pressure. We think the several second respawn time is enough time to justify an automatic reload.

OMEN

  • Paranoia is now equipped instead of quickcast, and hit detection improved, especially at close range
    • Changed the cast paradigm to reward more proactive use of Paranoia over its previous reactive use case. Enemies will receive a warning when the projectile is fired rather than being in the direct path of it. This should make it hit enemies more reliably.'
  • Dark Cover, Omen now enters a “phaser” world where he can see through walls to place his smokes and pressing RELOAD toggles between phased and normal targeting.
    • We wanted to provide Omen with a more precise way to place his smokes, especially when verticality is at play. We’ve provided a toggle back to the old view mode as well to make sure we still support the quick, close range smoke playstyle many Omen players have honed.
  • Dark Cover controls have been updated where Omen can now increase smoke distance with PRIMARY FIRE, decrease it with SECONDARY FIRE, and throw smoke with the ABILITY KEY.
    • Yeah, this might be a difficult control shift for players who main Omen, but in the long run—and for new players—we think it’s more intuitive for the distance to be controlled by one hand on the mouse by default.
  • Shrouded Step, Omen can now see his teleport location on the map and receives an in-world indicator of where he’s targeting when his vision of the point is obstructed.
    • We want to help Omen understand where he is targeting his teleport, especially when he’s teleporting from out of his smoke.
  • From the Shadow, Omen can now cancel his teleport while in Shade form by pressing the ABILITY KEY again—Omen still loses all of his ult points if he cancels.
    • We want Omen to attempt plays and create fear for his opponents with his ultimate. Previously, the punishment for using the ult was almost certain death if caught by an enemy, and it pushed the ability into more niche use. Allowing Omen to cancel his ult if he’s in danger at the cost of his ult points will hopefully open more possibilities and value, while still pushing him to try and pick the best teleport spots possible.

SOUND VISUALIZATION (AUDIO ATTENUATION)

  • We’ve brought in more sounds made by Agents under the category of sounds that display their audio distance on the mini-map via the white circle. This includes ability sounds, reloads, spike interactions and more.
    • Why? We wanted to provide players with the ability to understand when their noise can be heard by enemies and give them an idea of how far the sounds can be heard.

MAP UPDATES

INTRODUCING A NEW MAP: ASCENT

  • Ascent is a map set in Italy that features a large, open middle area that both teams can skirmish over. Mid is a playground for diverse ability use and successfully controlling the area opens additional routes for Attackers to both Spike sites.
  • As our new map for launch, Ascent will be slightly more common in our Matchmaking rotation for the first few days so that you can get more opportunities to play on the map.

SPLIT

  • Restructured mid chokepoint
    • We felt like Defenders were able to effectively plug up the main choke point in mid for a large percentage of the round. The new layout hopes to alleviate this issue. These changes open up the space quite a bit and provides an additional path to get around stalling abilities on the stairs. It also gives Attackers a few different angles to help siege B Tower and Vents.
  • The train station maintenance crew was able to replace the burned out speaker system
  • A certain frog’s head is now a little warmer

HAVEN/BIND/SPLIT/ASCENT

  • Expanded our new system that combats map exploits to all other maps—this will eradicate anyone trying to escape the playspace
  • Continued to fix level collision in order to enhance the smoothness of the gameplay space
  • Completed draw call optimizations
  • Also continued to block spots for Cypher’s Spycam that prevented counter-play; as always, huge thanks to everyone who helps us find these!

COMPETITIVE MODE UPDATE

  • Competitive mode will not be on at launch
  • Similar to our closed beta launch, our initial focus is making sure our service is stable before activating competitive matchmaking. This is also a way to give new players the same courtesy that closed beta players had to learn the game ahead of turning on Competitive. We’ll also make some adjustments to Competitive based on remaining closed beta player feedback. Our plan is to turn on Competitive a few patches into our launch.

PERFORMANCE UPDATES

The team rallied in this patch to fix a number of performance issues. Our focus for this round is primarily on the framerate dips you may sometimes experience in combat. Simpler scenarios, where very little is happening, may not see the same dramatic gains in FPS. Rest assured, we’re not done improving performance and you can expect to see more from us on this subject in upcoming patches.

  • Combat Performance: Addressed multiple causes of framerate dips in combat. These improvements should help the game feel smoother, especially in combat situations on higher-end PCs.
    • Effect pooling added for impacts, gunshots and footsteps. This should reduce frame drops when these events occur.
    • Disabled bullet casings from calculating physics + audio bounces. We’re looking to bring a more optimized version of this feature back in a future patch.
    • Reduce cost of z-pings and death pings by 10x
    • Fixed bug causing 90 raycasts per second when pinging
    • Fixed a bug where NOT opening the options menu every game would cause framerate to drop on a regular cadence
  • +FPS for mid to high specs: Sped up calculations on the CPU for game and render threads. These improvements will be felt the most on machines with powerful GPUs bottlenecked by their CPU speeds.
    • Optimized minimap for visible elements
    • Fixed bug where minimap would calculate twice per frame
    • Fixed bounding boxes on a variety of VFX, reducing the number of VFX updating at any given time
    • Reduce cost of updating transform on render thread
    • Reworked a variety of HUD elements that were previously built on a particularly slow component
  • +FPS for low to mid specs: Content improvements that will primarily help low to mid tier specs when rendering the world.
    • Reduced draw calls on all maps
    • Removed non-gameplay impacting map particles on Low and Medium Detail Quality
    • Optimized First Person Shadows to no longer consider lights that do not impact final shadows
    • Removed unintentionally large textures across gun buddies, scopes, silencers
    • Optimized VFX for Characters
      • Omen : ALL ABILITIES
      • Sage : ALL ABILITIES
      • Viper: ALL ABILITIES
  • Closed exploit where Nvidia Inspector could be used to see through Viper and Phoenix wall abilities
  • Added a setting for speaker configuration
  • Additional tooltip clarity around what graphics quality settings actually do
  • GPU Time stat now correctly excludes idle time

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Dying to a non-enemy player will no longer grant ultimate points. This includes dying to the spike, fall damage, a teammate’s ability, or your own ability.
    • Context: This should eliminate some of the weird optimization around farming ultimate points when a death doesn’t have enough economic impact (e.g., self-killing at the end of the pistol round, or team kill at the start of a save round. We’ll continue to monitor to see if we need to further dissuade these “save round self-kills.”
  • Added VALORANT Community Code pop-up for new players
  • Added chat and voice restrictions for repeat offenders of our Community Code
    • Chat and Voice restrictions last 72 hours
    • Getting a restriction will require you to log out. Please take a moment to cool down and reflect before logging back in to play VALORANT :)
    • Chat restrictions will be enforced for ‘all’ and ‘team’ chat, but your ‘party’ chat will still be available.
    • Voice restrictions will be enforced for ‘team’ chat, but your ‘party’ voice will still be available.
  • Reporting categories updated to cover a wider range of Community Code violations
  • Transition screens added before Character Select and In Game
  • The button to upgrade a gun skin now indicates what type of improvement (variant, animation, etc.) will be granted by the upgrade
  • Visual updates to collection and contract pages
  • Adjusted ping calculation to be more accurate
  • Added a setting to disable the spectator count widget on the HUD
  • Updated the death camera to avoid obscuring the screen immediately after death
  • Added a build version watermark
  • Observer Updates
    • Added team-specific 1st-person fresnel highlighting for observers
    • Adjusted consistent coloring for Attackers/Defenders on the HUD
    • Attackers and Defenders don't swap in HUD on side swap rounds
    • Keybinds are consistent from round to round for swapping between players
    • Fixed scoreboard not showing the correct score
  • Removed the 'freeze time' that would trigger when waiting for a player to reconnect at the start of the buy phase
  • Updated shop icons

HUD & UI

  • Added VFX to abilities, killfeed, and ceremonies (e.g., Ace or Clutch)
  • Updated Spike visuals in the inventory
  • Updated Armor icons in the shop
  • Updated character portraits
  • Added chat message regulation so that only send one chat message is sent when multiples of the same ping or VO command are used in rapid succession

BUG FIXES: IN-GAME

  • "Fixed a bug with “rewinding” for Hit Registration that could cause the client to slightly disagree with the server on where a target was when you pulled the trigger. This affected all players slightly, but scaled up in severity at lower FPS.
  • Fixed an issue where client-side tracers desynced when yaw switching
    • The server and client would sometimes disagree on where shots were landing when firing extended bursts.
  • Fixed a bug that let you shred the gnar at supersonic speeds using Viper’s Toxic Screen as a projectile boost
  • Fixed the ability to activate Viper’s Poison Cloud mid air if it has been picked up.
  • Removed slow from Viper’s Snakebite tooltip.
  • Cypher’s Spycam now shows the direction it is looking right when it is possessed.
  • Fixed more unintended Cypher Spycam locations
  • Fixed Sova’s arrows sometimes unpredictably bouncing
  • Fixed Sova arrows from revealing through some walls
  • Fixed a bug with Jett’s lower body popping out of place during her glide—thanks physical therapy!
  • Fixed an issue where blood was disabled
  • Fixed an Observer bug where dead players appeared as Phoenix on the HUD when an entire team was dead
  • Fixed a spectator issue where Cypher's tracers would appear inaccurate if the spectator swapped to him after he had entered/exited his camera
  • Fixed an issue where a team could all disconnect on side swap rounds to surrender, but they would receive a win instead of a loss
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Bucky's right click to penetrate through world geography
  • Fixed a bug for the comms halo above a player's head, it should now activate with both Party chat and Team chat
  • Fixed an issue where credits on the HUD appeared to be much higher than the 800 you receive on side swap rounds
  • Fixed an issue with the scoreboard that would show enemy team above the credit cap
  • Fixed a bug where players were fully movement inaccurate after being resurrected or respawning
  • Fixed overruns on interactable objects like orbs or the Spike
  • Fixed an issue where ally loadouts appeared to show damaged allies at full health
  • Fixed issues with HUD prompts that would be cut off if the key to activate the prompt was bound to a key with more than one letter
  • Fixed a bug where the buy phase announcement would always say to press B to buy, even if the key to open the Armory was bound to a different key
  • Fixed an issue where reconnect messages would spam every round start
  • Fixed an observer bug where text would overlap in the buy phase announcement
  • Fixed an observer bug where some abilities were not appearing on the minimap properly
  • Fixed a bug where the ping wheel on the megamap would not grey out when ping limited
  • Fixed a bug in the Armory where weapon details would vanish after purchasing a weapon
  • Fixed a bug where the Equip Last Equipped Weapon hotkey was not functioning properly after using an ability
  • Fixed overlaps with instability indicators (i.e. High Ping) and the Spectator widget
  • Fixed overlaps and overruns in the Combat Report
  • Fixed an issue with dead player models occasionally flickering
  • Fixed an issue with animations when aiming with the Odin for spectators
  • Fixed flickering mouse cursor in a few places
  • The tooltip pointing at Contracts can now be dismissed FOREVER
  • Fixed a bug where half the Arsenal page would fade in when clicking on the Collection tab
  • Fixed a bug where the personalized Store offers would blink before fading in
  • Fixed a bug where various menus could overlap the lobby screen after a queue dodge

BUG FIXES: GAME CLIENT

  • Fixed some visual bugs in the settings menus
  • Fixed a bug with windowed mode where the VALORANT window would not save its location properly

KNOWN ISSUES

While we’ve made good progress at addressing hit registration issues, there’s one known issue we haven’t gotten to yet:

  • In very rare cases where a player has a lot of incoming packet loss, an enemy model may appear to be crouching when they’re actually standing (or vice versa). The connection has dropped the packet that says “this player un-crouched”, and there can be a short delay before it’s resent. We have a fix for this coming asap.

We’re also looking into ways to improve the visual clarity of our hit impact effects (especially sparks). In many of the clips that we reviewed, readability issues caused shoulder shots to read like headshots, further contributing to the feeling of hit reg being off.

  • All impact effects (spark and blood) are pinned in world space where the hit was registered on the server. These show up after hearing back from the server, at which point the victim or attacker may have slightly shifted positions. Often, we've seen the target crouch into or move their head to where the hit impact renders.
  • It’s difficult to read the exact hit location (center point) from the spark effect when compared to blood.

Patch Notes 0.50

GAMEPLAY AND BALANCE  

WEAPON UPDATES

  • You will no longer enter the “walking accuracy” state when transitioning from run to stop
    • We noticed many players were entering a walking accuracy state during their run-to-stop transition that made it appear as if shots they fired/landed were done at full speed.
  • Deadzone accuracy speed threshold increased: 25% >> 30%
    • Now that you can’t gain walk accuracy while transitioning from a run to a stop, we've also slightly increased the size of the deadzone (full accuracy state) to make it a bit easier to get an accurate shot out quickly

ALL RIFLES

  • Recovery times on all Rifles have been updated, which should make tap and burst firing more efficient. Inaccuracy is accrued any time the weapon is re-fired prior to a complete duration of a weapon’s respective Gun Recovery Time.
  • Base walk accuracy: 0.6° >> 0.8°
    • We felt like walk-spraying with rifles was a little more effective than we'd like, particularly at longer ranges. We're going to pull back on this accuracy slightly and continue to monitor
    • Tap Efficiency Changes (Phantom & Vandal only)
      • Tap Efficiency determines the rate that inaccuracy is accrued when re-firing prior to waiting for the complete duration of a weapon’s respective Gun Recovery Time. The higher the Tap Efficiency, the lower the rate of inaccuracy accrual.
  • Vandal:
    • Horizontal (Yaw) Recoil reduced by 15% while crouched and stationary
      • This was intended to be the case and now properly matches the crouch benefits of other rifles
    • Gun Recovery Time: .4s >> .375s
    • Tap Efficiency: 4 >> 6
  • Phantom:
    • Fixed an issue where the Gun Recovery Time was higher than intended
    • Gun Recovery Time: .55s >> .35s
    • Tap Efficiency: 3 >> 4
  • Bulldog Automatic Fire:
    • Fixed an issue where the Gun Recovery Time was higher than intended
    • Gun Recovery Time: .55s >> .35s
  • Guardian
    • Fixed an issue where the Gun Recovery Time was higher than intended
    • Gun Recovery Time: .4s >> .35s

Machine Guns are significantly underperforming other weapons at their price points.  Machine Guns are meant to be bullet hoses—powerful once they get going. This is a difficult balance to strike in a game where a single bullet from the Vandal will put you down. Our hope here is to make Machine Guns better at what they do (shoot lots and lots of bullets) while also increasing the power of the Ares relative to weapons at a similar price point.

  • Ares
    • Price reduced from 1700 to 1600 creds
    • Firing Error (this value is a curve that has intermediate values between each bullet; bullet 2 has slightly less error than bullet 1, and so on)
      • Bullet 1: 1.0° >> 0.8°
      • Bullet 5: 0.85° >> 0.75°
      • Bullet 10: 0.75° >> 0.7°
    • Reduced the amount and intensity of horizontal (Yaw) Recoil after the first 8 bullets.
  • Odin
    • Reduced the amount and intensity of horizontal (Yaw) Recoil after the first 8 bullets

AGENT UPDATES

SAGE

  • Slow Orb zone duration decreased from 9 seconds to 7 seconds
  • Slow Orb slowing amount decreased from 65% to 50%
    • We all know Sage is OP.  We’ve decided to try to reduce some of her stopping power while still allowing her to fulfill her role as the premier staller in VALORANT.  These changes aim to reduce the overall efficacy of her Slow Orb, especially if they are chained back-to-back.

Cypher

  • Cyber Cage no longer slows enemies that move through it
    • We’ve always envisioned Cypher as a premier sentinel gathering info on his enemies and picking them off, but the slow on the cage was allowing him to move into Sage’s territory by stalling an entire enemy team. We still think this will be a tool he uses to buy some time, but enemies will now have more options when pushing his defenses, especially when coordinated.
  • Spycam cooldown when destroyed increased 30 >> 45 seconds
    • Spycams have been flying into enemy territory like Sova darts at the start of rounds because the punishment for losing one to an enemy is so low. Hopefully this change pushes you to find a safe hiding place for your initial camera (please not inside a box).

OMEN

  • Dark Cover smoke duration increased 12 >> 15 seconds
  • Dark Cover smoke projectile speed increased
  • Dark Cover cooldown increased 30 >> 35 seconds
    • Especially at high-tier play, we’ve seen Brimstone become the dominant controller and we wanted to give his peers a boost to make them more viable while hopefully maintaining their unique playstyles.

VIPER

  • Snake Bite radius increased 350 >> 450
    • We’re increasing Snake Bite’s radius to match other area denial abilities

BRIMSTONE/PHOENIX/VIPER 

  • We see you b-hoppers out there, jumping through Incendiary, Fireball, and Snake Bite while taking no damage. We don’t want to completely negate this skill but we also don’t want it to trivialize a whole set of character abilities.
    • Height required to jump out of all damaging area denial abilities 80 >> 120
    • Snake Bite, Fireball, and Incendiary damage tick speed increased (total damage per second unchanged)

AGENT ABILITY CREDIT COST TUNING

  • We felt the credit cost of some abilities did not match the impact those abilities brought to a match, and made adjustments for a more accurate reflection
    • Sage Barrier Orb increased from 300 to 400 credits
    • Raze Blast Pack increased from 100 to 200 credits
    • Phoenix Curveball increased from 100 to 200 credits
    • Brimstone’s Incendiary increased from 200 to 300 credits
    • Jett’s Updraft reduced from 200 to 100 credits

AGENT ARMOR

  • Armor carried over from prior rounds is no longer destroyed when new armor is purchased, allowing you to sell newly purchased armor and return to your previous armor status (instead of having no armor)

MAX CREDIT CAP

  • Total credit cap is is reduced from 12,000 to 9,000
    • We’re noticing that players/teams who manage to bank a high amount of credits are maintaining a rich economic state for too long, and it becomes a monumental challenge for the opposing team to dethrone their economy

CHARACTER UPDATES

  • Sova's Owl Drone now includes a layer of sound for engine rotors
    • Audio should better reflect thematics, while maintaining how noticeable the previous version of Owl Drone audio was for allies and enemies, as heard in 3rd-person

MAP UPDATES 

SPLIT 

Attacking teams have been having difficulty finding a foothold in territory control across the map. We’ve made a few changes that should allow attackers better opportunities to contest A Main, Mid Top, and B Tower.

  • Barrier locations (those clear blue walls) have been adjusted across the map to provide attackers more of a foothold into territory control across the map
    • Defender barrier in B Mid has been pulled back. New barriers are in the entrance to Vent and atop the staircase in B Tower
    • Defender barrier has been pulled back at A Ramps
    • Attacker barrier has been pushed forward at A Main
    • Attacker barrier has been pushed forward slightly at B Main
  • Angled the wall on the left interior of B Tower when pushing up the stairs from Mid
    • This removes a 50/50 angle check when pushing into this space, which should make it more approachable for you to try and gain control of B Tower
  • Radianite crate in B has been changed to a metal crate to provide more cover when planting the Spike
  • Revised art to improve performance throughout the map

HAVEN

  • A new map exploit system is in effect which will have negative effects on anyone trying to escape the playspace
  • Updated several floor sections so that they now have appropriate material sounds

SPLIT/HAVEN/BIND

  • Added fixes for Cypher Spy Camera exploits to all three maps— a huge thanks to everyone who has helped us track these down, including clutch stream’s we lurked in for two days, writing down every camera placement and fixing them in real time
  • Backside of spawn barriers are now opaque to prevent some abuse cases
  • Added ability for Spike to automatically fall from elevated boost positions
  • Fixed multiple spots where Sova’s Recon Dart could over-penetrate map geometry—another shout out to everyone that helped with these as well!

HUD & UI

  • Teammate armor is now shown on the scoreboard
  • When the Spike is planted, the Spike icon in the upper middle UI now pulses with the audio beeps
  • New artwork for pings to increase readability in the world
  • Portraits
    • Re-enabled portrait for player’s minimap icon
    • Reduced size of portraits and icons by several pixels
    • Added color to the player’s own minimap icon with a slightly thicker border to aid in finding oneself (on the minimap, not in life)
  • Added regulation of chat messages when using the radio menu or radio wheel
  • Slight increase to broken armor text size to make it easier to notice
  • Relocated flyout menu for Titles dropdown so it opens in a more sensible location
  • Moved Leave Match button closer to the other “Exit” buttons in the menu
  • Made Logout button red to match Exit button, since they both exit
  • Shifted location of Skip button on MVP screen so players do not accidentally press Play Again button when slamming the Skip button
  • Adjusted radio wheel behavior so that mouse wheel up and down always select the other wheels regardless of other keybinds
  • Icon for Need Help changed from the little bug thing to a flag
  • Enabled attack/defend icons in the upper middle game info UI for all players, not just observers
  • Hooked up “Ult Almost Ready” VO when character uses the Ult Status radio command and are within 1 ult point of being fully charged

QUALITY OF LIFE 

  • Cheaters are no longer referred to as “Hackers”
  • Profanity filter setting added; when enabled, will filter out profanity from chat
  • Added a setting that allows toggling between walking and running
  • Viper’s Poison Cloud no longer enters cooldown when picked up during the buy phase
  • Added foe coloring for Sova’s Hunter’s Fury
  • Added Contract level-up animation when unlocking free characters or purchasing contract levels
  • Added tooltips and explanations guiding new players towards activating their first contract
  • Unowned skin levels now list their individual cost (in Radianite Points) and description in the collection pages
  • Made performance optimizations to address FPS drops when you or allies are shooting
  • Various social panel improvements to support better error handling and messaging
  • “Keep Player Centered” minimap setting is now a default setting
  • Renamed “First Person Enhanced Visuals” graphics setting to “Bloom”
    • As discovered by u/Far_OW on reddit, this setting affects more than just first-person visuals—it’s actually a visual bloom, or glow effect, which primarily affects weapon renders
  • Renamed “Shadows” graphics setting to “First Person Shadows”
    • This setting only affects shadows cast on a player’s weapon, hands and arms
  • Observer HUD
    • Dead players will now appear greyed out on the HUD rather than hidden
    • Team colors on the HUD will swap when switching sides, rather than the teams on the HUD changing position

BUG FIXES: IN-GAME

  • Cypher and Sova will no longer float in the air if the Sage Barrier Orb wall they are standing on is destroyed while when using the Spycam or Owl Drone, respectively
  • Cypher can no longer pick up his trap after an enemy has triggered it.
  • Sova’s Owl Drone can no longer rapid-fire darts if the prior one hits an enemy
  • Reduced collision size on Sova’s arrows so they don’t get stuck on corners when fired near them
  • Removed placeholder mesh from Viper’s Toxic Screen projectile
  • When using the ping wheel on the map, right clicking now correctly cancels the action and does not place a ping
  • Fixed a bug where the Spike UI would sometimes overlap with the HUD
  • Fixed a bug where a weapon’s ammo count on the HUD would disappear if swapping your knife, then back, while on low ammo.
  • Removed Spike icon from being visible on enemy player minimap icons
  • Spike can no longer be planted partially in map geometry
    • This also fixes cases where the Spike camera was appearing inside the Spike
  • Barriers on the minimap no longer adjust positions incorrectly during the buy phase if you open the megamap
  • Fixed bug where various issues would occur after multiple players would fulfill a weapon buy request at the same time
  • Fixed issue where the game would hitch/stutter when opening the in-game options menu
  • Fixed issue where the game would hitch/stutter when opening the in-game shop
  • Fixed rare movement bug where resurrected players who were tagged would have jittery movement in 1st-person perspective 
  • Fixed a bug where some weapons lost their muzzle flashes in 1st-person POV when tracers were disabled
  • Fixed a rare bug where players appeared to be standing, when they were actually crouching 
  • Ability details in the combat report will now correctly appear in the buy phase of the round when teams switch sides
  • Fixed miscellaneous Observer mode HUD issues
  • Spectators can now see weapon inspect animations
  • Fixed a bug where the camera could take an invalid position during character select
  • Fixed an issue where the combat report would show 150 damage but the enemy player was still alive (in cases where healing was not involved) 
  • Fixed an issue where a teammate’s voice activity would incorrectly light up more than their own icon in the above-character UI element
  • Selecting a ping on the ping wheel and canceling no longer incorrectly spawns the canceled ping next time the player uses the basic ping

BUG FIXES: GAME CLIENT

  • Fixed incorrect location of text when hovering rewards in the contracts
  • Fixed a bug where purchase refunds were not reflected in client until it was restarted
  • Fixed a bug where player cards were cropped on the arsenal menu screen
  • Fixed a bug where, in some languages, mission descriptions could appear truncated
  • Fixed an issue where the Distortion Graphics setting was not properly enabled
    • Enabling this may have a performance impact on some older graphics cards

Patch Notes 0.49

GAMEPLAY AND BALANCE

Omen

  • Omen now immediately becomes vulnerable and no longer appears dark after he leaves his alternate shadow form
    • If you were to find enemy Omen teleporting in, it was often confusing when you should shoot him to get the kill (vs. sending him back). This change is to both account for an invulnerability bug and score some extra points of clarity
  • The attenuation radius of the arrival sound on Omen's From the Shadows has been reduced to 2250
    • Attenuation is a big word, but the short of it is you have to be closer to Omen to echolocate where he’s teleporting to. We’re trying to give him some spook back since if you do find him, you should now have him dead to rights

CHARACTER UPDATES

  • [Omen] Updated Omen’s visuals
  • [Breach] Updated Breach’s visuals

MAP UPDATES

  • Added curtains to the top of double doors on Haven to remove the Sage Barrier Orb boost that allowed players to see through a sliver of the door at the top
  • Fixed issue with Cypher camera being placed on the Haven A Main boxes
  • Multiple fixes to the geometry on Haven, Bind, and Split to fix exploits and help optimize gameplay—massive thanks to all of the folks who helped to identify these! We see you
  • Updated materials on Bind and Haven to make surfaces more consistent overall
  • Changed color of Radianite crates in order to unify overall visuals

COMPETITIVE UPDATES

  • Added Competitive mode and ranked matchmaking, to go live in the near future

OBSERVER MODE

  • Added “Ghost cheat” as an option to custom games with cheats enabled, allowing you to fly around the map in no-clip mode
  • Ability HUD no longer displays when entering drone camera as an observer
  • Exiting drone camera will now swap back to the most recently viewed player if they’re still a valid view target
  • Swapping through players to view will now iterate through an entire team before going to players on the other team

HUD & UI

  • In-game
    • New directional damage indicator visual
    • New low health and low ammo visuals
    • Removed character portrait from player’s minimap icon to better distinguish player icon; icon will receive additional color and polish in the future
    • Voice activity is now shown above allies’ heads
    • Added color to spike icon above ally’s head to make it easier to see
    • Fixed the ultimate ability icon above teammates’ heads showing as charged after gaining 1 ult point instead of when actually charged
    • Ping elements now fade when under player aim; previously only text faded
  • Out-of-game
    • Relocated Find Match button from social panel to Play screen; renamed to Start
    • Relocated Practice button from social panel to Play screen
    • Added Play Again button to End of Game screen
    • Made the flyouts on the nav progression widget clickable
    • Made main navigation button click targets easier to click
    • Added an option to orient the fixed minimap so that player’s starting side is always at the bottom
    • Adjusted all map assets so that full fixed orientations consistently place attackers at bottom and defenders at top
    • Added hover tooltips to thumbnails in the Collections view to show item name
    • Scroll speed tweaked to make scrolling social panel smoother
    • Made crosshair preview in Settings shorter to make more room for controls

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Added the ability to abandon a multiplayer Custom Game. Using the “Leave match” button in the ESC menu will allow you to permanently leave the match without penalty. Leaving the custom game in any other way (exit client, alt+f4, etc.) will still allow you to return to the match
  • Updated the audio occlusion system to help players better differentiate audio distancing cues. For example, Haven B to A short, you should perceive sounds from their correct distance and not as if they were right next to you
  • Players who abandon matchmade games, or dodge agent selects, will now experience penalties that prevent them from queuing for a period of time. Frequent offenders will experience higher queue time penalties. Leaving ruins the match for everyone else, and should only be a last resort
  • Enabled the ability to see VALORANT players online in Riot games
  • Adjusted play flow UX moving queue buttons into lobby screens
  • Adjusted social panel UX to accommodate additional space
  • Adjusted End of Game UX to clean up design of various widgets
  • Adjusted chat disconnect error state to be less… intimidating
  • Spawn practice bots option in the shooting range moved from the F3 menu to an in-world shootable switch
  • For all shotguns, moved the crosshair’s center dot by 1px to center it on the screen. The devs expect shotgun lethality to increase by 4,000% as a result (this is a joke)

BUG FIXES: IN-GAME

  • [Phoenix] Fixed a bug where Phoenix would get teleported back to an ascender (rope ladder) after respawning, in cases where Phoenix died while Run It Back was active and he was attached to an ascender
  • [Phoenix] Fixed a bug where, for a brief time after Run It Back ended, Phoenix could be damaged in the place where he fizzled
  • [Viper] Updated the appearance of Viper's Toxic Screen on the minimap to show gaps in the wall
  • [Viper] Fixed Viper being able to animation-cancel Viper’s Pit
  • Prevent “Spike Planted” announcement from playing after a round has ended and hiding the round end announcement, which should clearly indicate the result of after-the-buzzer plant rounds
  • Fixed Bomb Carrier Killed announcement from also showing Ally Defusing
  • Fixed a rare issue where players’ weapons would float in front of them; too spooky
  • Fixed a rare issue where third-person player models could get desynced from the server when double tapping a defuse, causing some shots to miss
  • Fixed aim issue that caused some players who were using low sensitivity to have small mouse movements dropped
  • Fixed issue where canceling a plant or orb pickup could sometimes play the wrong (slower) re-equip animation, making it look as if the player could fire too quickly after canceling (timing was correct, animation wasn’t)
  • Fixed map region names as they appear below the minimap from not localizing properly
  • Smoothed out movement during player-to-player collisions
  • Fixed a bug where item UI prompt in the game world would appear to block bullets
  • Fixed a bug where the Z ping wheel could be opened alongside the map ping wheel, creating a scenario where multiple ping wheels could be open at once
  • Fixed a bug where ping wheel wouldn’t show disabled when direct bound pings were used to reach usage limit
  • Fixed a rare bug where either team could win a round by elimination on the same frame that the spike was defused, granting two points for that round.
  • Fixed overlap in ally planting announcement
  • Fixed a bug where the VO radial wheel would hit the rate limit by opening and closing it without selecting a VO option
  • Minimap will no longer randomly hide for all players in a game
  • Update to Bucky’s alternate fire to instead apply instantaneous, hitscan damage
    • Alt. fire was previously a projectile that was able to kill enemies shortly after the user was killed. No other weapon works this way so now it performs as a hitscan.

BUG FIXES: GAME CLIENT

  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to purchase items not available in their respective store
  • Fixed an issue that let players equip content they didn't own
  • Fixed issue where display settings would get re-applied when joining/leaving games, which could move the window or change display mode in rare cases
  • Fixed network stability indicator sometimes appearing when setting was disabled
  • Line of sight is no longer required to pick up the spike when overlapped by a player
  • Fixed issue where the spike would sometimes become unretrievable
  • Fixed an issue preventing some player reports from submitting
  • Fixed various connection issues with voice chat
  • Fixed various connection issues with text chat
  • Fixed various issues with player state being incorrect in social panel
  • Fixed an issue where some players could not requeue after a game without relogging
  • Fixed issues with receiving party invitations
  • Fixed transparent player card icons in Custom Game lobbies
  • Fixed resetting controls for Voice Chat in settings
  • Fixed voice defaulting to automatic transmission for Custom Games
  • Fixed voice being interrupted when navigating Custom Game options
  • Fixed a handful of localization issues across menu screens

Patch Notes 0.47+

GAMEPLAY AND BALANCE

MELEE DAMAGE

  • Melee attacks now inflict double the damage per hit to destructibles, including
    • Sage’s Barrier
    • Haven’s metal double doors
  • Why?
    • There weren’t enough options during low econ rounds—such as the first round and right after switching sides—to combat Sage’s Barrier Orb. Our intent is to add a high-risk, high-reward method for players to interact with her wall, while still being able to take it down, no matter their loadout

RAZE

  • Reduced Paint Shells from 2 to 1
  • Paint Shells now have a kill reset, requiring players to get 2 kills to refresh cooldown
  • Tuned and adjusted audio for Paint Shells, Blast Pack, and Showstopper so that they’ll be easier to hear in hectic scenarios
  • Fixed an edge case where the secondary cluster of Paint Shells would explode quicker than intended. They now have a minimum duration before exploding.
  • What’s up with that?
    • Raze’s goal is to be a highly-threatening duelist that punishes enemies posted in predictable positions, but we felt like the cluster grenades and their number were creating overly oppressive scenarios. Also, players should be supplied proper gameplay information and the audio cues on all of Raze’s abilities didn’t match their threat, so we changed the audio of each. For example, when the Showstopper is equipped or fired from a distance, players should be able to clearly identify and interpret the threat.

SAGE

  • Slow Orb now also slows the air speed of players in the zone
  • Players can now walk through the Slow Orb without making noise
  • Why though?
    • Players were able to circumvent too much of Sage’s Slow Orb by bunny hopping through the zone. We want the minimum slow amount to be a bit more consistent with all movement in the zone, while still allowing for bunny hopping and walking to provide a slight benefit to traversing the zone. Also, we feel adding a stealthy yet slow way to move through the field brings more nuance to playing against the zone and a bit more uncertainty for Sage, since she can't necessarily hear people who move through

MAP UPDATES

  • Several exploits fixed on Bind, Haven, and Split
  • Split: Orb moved from B Mid to B Main
    • The intent is to alleviate some pressure from mid and provide more incentive for players to control B Main.

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Reduced outbound network traffic from client for players running at high frames-per-second
    • Some ISPs and network setups were throttling game traffic, impacting gameplay by causing large spikes in network latency as FPS increased.
    • No impact to gameplay / responsiveness

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed a rare server crash caused by packets occasionally being corrupted by some players’ networks
  • Cypher’s Spycam can no longer use weapons
  • Fixed a bug where footstep audible range would sometimes not appear on the minimap
  • Fixed a bug where players could spam pings, causing frame rate drops for teammates

Have you played Valorant? What do you think about the fully released version?

Tell us in the comments section below!

 

Top image via Riot

This article was written by Nick Farrell, a full-time university student who loves talking and writing about video games.