Exactly one week after welcoming South Korea, Brazil, and Latin America to Valorant, Riot Games has released a new patch that makes a number of changes to the competitive hero shooter. It’s important to remember the game is still in beta. Only now that the player base has grown are the developers finding imbalances, bugs, and exploits. Valorant patch 0.50 is here to deal with a lot of these issues. Most notably, it addresses the way guns fire, some agent ability balance, and map design.
The list of changes is long. Like, the amount of time it takes the average person to get Valorant beta access long. We’ll run through the most notable changes below.
Ready, aim, fire
If you’ve watched streamers or played Valorant yourself, you may have noticed many people complaining about weapons being too accurate while running. This was because players would enter a “walking accuracy” state when transitioning from running to a stop. That state has now been removed. To compensate for this, the Valorant team has increased the deadzone (or full accuracy state) from 25% to 30%.
In the same vein, walk spraying with rifles is now slightly less accurate. However, all rifles have had their Gun Recovery Time reduced. The Vandal and Phantom have also had their Tap Efficiency increased. Up until now, burst firing and spraying with weapons in Valorant has been less effective than tapping. These changes should bring some balance to the different firing styles.
Valorant agent changes
Valorant players mostly agree Sage is the most essential agent in competitive team compositions. While many agents have different versions of the same ability, Sage’s abilities are unique. And powerful. Even the patch notes say, “We all know sage is OP (overpowered)”. As such, Riot has reduced her stopping power by decreasing the duration of her Slow Orb from nine to seven seconds and decreasing the amount it slows from 65% to 50%.
Cypher has received two significant nerfs in the latest Valorant patch. His Cyber Cage no longer slows enemies, and his Spycam cooldown when destroyed has increased from 30 to 45 seconds. Riot says it sees Cypher as an intelligence gatherer, rather than a staller like Sage.
Omen has interesting abilities, but their sluggish execution and inferiority to similar abilities have held him back. So, his Signature Ability, Shadow Orb, is receiving considerable buffs. Its duration has been increased from 12 to 15 seconds, and the projectile’s speed has been increased. However, Shadow Orb’s cooldown has also increased from 30 to 35 seconds.
Currently, Viper doesn’t see much play at the highest tiers of Valorant gameplay. So, she will receive a small buff to her Snake Bite ability. Its radius has increased from 350 to 450. That’s a large increase in size, but it may not prove enough to make her meta.
Viper, Phoenix, and Brimstone all receive another indirect buff. Players have been bunny hopping through Snake Bite, Fireball, and Incendiary to prevent taking damage. So, the Valorant team has increased the height required to jump out of area damage abilities from 80 to 120. All of these abilities have also had their damage tick speed increased. So, you’ll take damage sooner, but the total damage per second hasn’t changed.
The cost of power
A little more balancing has been done to the cost of Valorant agent abilities.
- Sage’s Barrier Orb has increased from 300 to 400 credits.
- Raze’s Blast Pack has increased from 100 to 200 credits.
- Phoenix’s Curveball has also increased from 100 to 200 credits.
- Brimstone’s Incendiary has increased from 200 to 300 credits.
- Jett’s Updraft has reduced from 200 to 100 credits.
As for all those credits you’ve stockpiled while massacring your enemies, the credit cap has decreased in Valorant patch 0.50. You can now have a maximum of 9,000 credits – down from 12,000. This change is to assist the losing team in their attempt to catch their oppressors.
The lay of the land
Finally, we come to the Valorant map changes. The attacking team on Split has been having a hard time maintaining map control. So, barrier locations have been changed to help the attacking team gain a foothold.
The balance of the Haven map is better, but players have found ways to get outside the map and use this to defeat their opponents. The Valorant team has introduced a new map exploit system that will deal with anyone trying to escape the playspace.
There’s also a very long list of HUD, UI, and quality of life changes, as well as many bug fixes. You can check them out in detail in the complete Valorant patch notes.