Fade – VALORANT Agent Guide
First known under the codename “BountyHunter”, Riot did not promise too much with Fade, the fourth Initiator to join VALORANT.
When her appearance was first revealed, Fade was immediately compared to Reyna, carrying similar features in both her appearance, her backstory, and her personality.
Fade has some very unique abilities packed with CC and some new effects which haven’t been in VALORANT before.
Let’s run them down.
- EQUIP a Prowler. FIRE to send the Prowler forward. HOLD FIRE to steer the Prowler towards your crosshair. The Prowler will chase down the first enemy or terror trail it sees, and nearsight the enemy on impact.
Prowler is very similar to Skye’s Ultimate or the Twin Hunters Orb in Spike Rush.
This ability, although it can be destroyed, is incredibly powerful for entering sites and fast pushes. It has 100 HP, so it requires at least 3 bullets from most common weapons.
- EQUIP a knot of raw fear. FIRE to throw. The knot drops down after a set time. RE-USE to drop the knot early. The knot ruptures on impact, holding nearby enemies in place. Held enemies are deafened, and decayed.
Fade’s Q ability rounds off her kit very well, giving her an ability that can be very effective when used defensively.
Seize is another grenade-like ability, which is thrown and travels very similar to Phoenix E (Hot Hands) ability. The re-use option makes Seize even more versatile and allows you to throw it to your desired destination relatively easily.
Similar to Astra’s Gravity Well, this ability is strongest when combined with utility that deals area damage such as Killjoy’s Nanoswarm, Brimstone’s Molotov, or Kay/O’s FRAG/MENT.
E (Signature Ability): HAUNT
- EQUIP a haunting watcher. FIRE to throw. The watcher drops down after a set time. RE-USE to drop the watcher early. The watcher lashes out on impact, revealing enemies in its line of sight and creating terror trails to them. Enemies can destroy the watcher.
The Haunt is very effective, especially when combined with Fade’s Prowler since the Prowler will follow the trail of enemies affected by Haunt.
Haunt travels relatively fast and can be thrown very far, which makes it very difficult for enemies to react fast enough and shoot it in time. It’s a very versatile ability and we can recommend learning some lineups for it.
Just like with Reyna’s Eye, Haunt is a great ability to mess with your enemies’ crosshair placement so make sure to throw it up on high surfaces.
- EQUIP the power of nightmare itself. FIRE to unleash a wave of unstoppable nightmare energy. Enemies caught in the wave are marked by terror trails, deafened, and decayed.
Nightfall not only looks cool, but it’s also one of the strongest abilities when it comes to taking control over a site, whether it’s on attack or a retake situation on defense.
When placed well and with correct timing, Nightfall is almost guaranteed to hit all enemies who will be a major threat while entering the site. The amount of information you and your teammates receive from the trails can be very strong. Combining that with the fact that deafened enemies won’t hear your footsteps while entering the site, it will give you a major advantage in gunfights.
One can say that Nightfall bundles all of Fade’s abilities and effects, which are already strong on single targets, and allows her to apply them to all her enemies at a time. Sounds strong right?
A Radiant player’s thoughts on Fade
Fade is a very promising agent and it’s pretty much guaranteed that she will be a strong pick in professional play. She shines the most in a coordinated environment and offers some very deadly combos with other agents.
She also brings a whole new effect into the game, “Deafened”. In a game like VALORANT where sound matters so much, taking the ability to hear from your enemies AND blocking off their map at the same time can be really powerful and we’re excited to see this effect in action.
So far, she also seems promising in Ranked, quickly becoming one of the most picked agents on all Ranks and maintaining a Win Rate of over 50%. This is not typical and most agents had relatively weak starts after their release because it took players a while to figure out how to use them effectively.
Having high teamplay potential also comes with the disadvantage of when not using her in a coordinated team, Fade’s kit can seem a little underwhelming. Compared to meta agents like Jett and Chamber, who are very strong even without much teamplay, Fade offers lots of value to her entire team and can’t capitalize on that value by herself.
Nevertheless, it’s also important to stress Fade’s potential in 1vs1 clutch situations. During these situations, where two players are walking with SHIFT on a site, not knowing where their enemy might be coming from, the trails from Haunt or Nightfall can offer an advantage that can almost be described as overpowered.
I think Fade will be the most effective on maps that have many close quarters like Fracture, Haven, and Bind over maps with long lines of sight such as Breeze and Icebox.
Hope you learned something about the new agent here, and as always, good luck with your VALORANT grind!
‘Fade’ is the 19th agent set to release in the next Act. She is of Turkish origins and is likely to be classified as an initiator.
There is also a lot of speculation around “Codename Bounty Hunter” being a character with a Turkish background.
In a recent dev blog post that spoke of the state of Valorant Agents, there was some brief discussion around what sort of agent will be released next, followed up with this image.
VALORANT has shared a few images prior to her release, including this scene above. This image resembles Fade’s interest in other initiators and their methods, as Sova is pictured on screen with what seems like information about him.
Additionally, front and center of this image is a black coffee served in a traditional Turkish style. This image was accompanied by a phrase in Turkish, ‘Herkesin bir korkusu var’, which translates to ‘everybody has a fear’.
The devs mentioned that after some research into current initiation recon tactics they found an opportunity to explore more ‘localized’ methods of intel gathering.
They stated this new agent should give off a more ‘intimate feeling’ when you are hunting down enemies.
Considering this, it sounds like their kit will be fairly in-your-face as opposed to gathering information from afar.
The Spike Rush game mode has been a good source of insight into new agents’ abilities. Riot generally test-run how some abilities will function in this game mode before releasing the new agent. This was the case for Skye, as there was a form of ‘Seekers’ in Spike Rush, and the ‘Golden Gun’ was a good indication of how Chamber’s Ultimate would function.
This time around, there has been a ‘Paranoia’ orb which leaves the enemy victims with a screen like this:
When one has fallen victim to this Paranoia their senses are obscured significantly and they are left tunnel visioned. This is most likely going to be an integral part of Fade’s Kit and will be her version of making enemies vulnerable for her duelists to capitalize off of her initiation tactics.
Bounty Hunter’s Ability Kit Preview
Equip. Fire to send a creature out which will travel in a straight line looking for enemies AND/OR Trails. HOLD FIRE AND MOVE MOUSE to steer the creature in the direction you’re facing. When the creature finds a trail on an enemy, it will move toward them. Upon reaching the enemy, it will start a 0.5s cook time and then NEARSIGHT the closest enemy for 3s. Only one Creature can latch onto a Trail ever.
Somewhat similar to Skye’s dog, but it sounds like this ability will be most effective after the enemy’s Trail has been revealed.
The strength of this ability will depend on how fast this creature travels and how long they can travel.
No other agent has been able to Nearsight enemies thus far for a significant period of time other than Omen. A full 3 seconds of Nearsightedness will give plenty of opportunities for teammates to capitalize on the vulnerable enemy.
EQUIP an orb. FIRE to throw the orb. The orb will travel in the air a maximum of 1.5s until dropping to the ground. Upon hitting the ground, it will stick in a place and begin to cook for 0.5s. After 0.5s a zone will expand out to 7m and all enemies caught will be tethered to the center. Tethered enemies suffer 75 decay damage, are deafened and cannot escape the zone by normal means for 0.5s. Can be reactivated in flight to drop earlier.
It is assumed a 7m radius will be similar to the circumference of the Controller’s smokes.
This is an interesting ability since it seems very strong on paper. The act of ‘deafening’ the enemy is something new so that is cool to see.
It is assumed they will still be able to communicate on voice chat/ but it would be very unique and add to the feeling of isolation and vulnerability if the tethered agent couldn’t hear comms and or comm either.
This may function similar to Neon’s Lightning Quake ability, a fast-moving projectile that travels in a linear trajectory. It can often be hard to make sure you are placing this exactly where you want, but with Bounty Hunter’s power to ‘reactivate’ this mid-flight to drop it earlier it might be a fair bit easier.
Haunt (Trail ability)
EQUIP an orb. Fire to throw the orb. The orb will travel in the air a max time of 1.5s until dropping to the ground. Once it hits the ground, it raises back up and turns into an eye that can be destroyed. If the eye sees opponents, it will REVEAL them and apply a Trail debuff that lasts 12s. Can be reactivated in flight to drop the projectile earlier.
12s is quite a long time for the trail to last and allows for ample chance to use the ‘Prowler’ ability to catch enemies and Nearsight them.
The size of the eye, how fast it raises up and activates/ spots enemies, and reveals them will play a major role in how strong this ability is.
In other words, hopefully, it is difficult to shoot this eye so that it is viable and can compete with other meta kits like Sova.
Nightfall (Ultimate ability)
EQUIP this ability. FIRE to send out a wave of dark mist. If the mist comes in contact with an enemy, they will be TRAILED, DEAF and DECAYED for 12s.
As seen in Spike Rush, there is a ‘Paranoia Orb’ which showcases a new variation of being nearsighted. This may be indicative of what agents experience when they have been marked by a trail and or are suffering the effects of Fade’s mist.
This ultimate ability sounds like it will be an immensely strong form of initiation.
It is assumed this mist will have a similar cut-off distance to Breach’s ultimate. The mini logo for Nightfall is similar in design to Breach’s ultimate.
So it may have a very structured deployment/travel path as opposed to a mist that spreads across the map like Viper’s ultimate.
After activating the mist, Bounty Hunter’s Prowler ability will play a crucial role in clearing out a bomb-site and spotting multiple trails.
This agent seems well designed and hopefully, their kit is balanced well upon release. Riot have been playing it safe and recently lean towards an underpowered kit when releasing a new agent.
Hopefully, they are confident to disrupt the Sova meta by really empowering each of these abilities. Initiators are staple picks for every map and for a while now in pro-play most teams have been opting to select two initiators.
There are lots of Sentinels, and Duelists that get left out every game but Initiators and Controllers are a staple pick. So it is likely that we will be seeing a lot of Bounty Hunter if their abilities are powerful.
P.S. Remember that Chamber was “Codename Deadeye” for a long while up until his release, so this may not be the new agent’s final name.
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