Patch Notes Breakdown 3.0
Episode 3 is upon us and the patch that has come along with it is massive.
Here we are going to be covering all the changes and explain what this is going to mean for you in your future VALORANT games.
We suggest following along with the official patch notes for more insight on their explanations related to game design.
Firstly, the new agent KAY/O will be introduced this patch – refer to our previous article for a comprehensive summary of what KAY/O is all about and how he will shift the current meta!
This patch, Riot have quite a lot to say about the changes they are making towards the run and gun problems that have plagued VALORANT.
Moreover, there is information about performance updates, bug updates and details about the remodelling of competitive matchmaking on the official patch notes.
One major change to Ranked is that there will be a harsh rank reset. Expect to drop a rank or two below what you were previously.
For high Elo players, the highest rank you will be able to place in after your 5 placements is Diamond 1.
There is much to keep an eye out for in this new episode. An account levelling system will be introduced to reward players for the time they have dedicated to grinding VALORANT.
A 5v5 tournament system will be coming along soon, like ‘Clash’ from Riot’s League of Legends. Lastly, as seen on VALORANT’s official YouTube, the Anthem video may be teasing a new map!
Riot likes the way that Astra has widespread map control and pressure, but they feel as though ‘she’s able to do that much too frequently and without much counterplay or cost’.
As a result, she is facing some notable nerfs.
- Astral Stars Cost: 200 Credits to 150 Credits.
- At the start of the game, you will only have one star available for usage.
- When recalling a star and temporarily dissipating it into smoke, it will now take 15 seconds to become useable again as opposed to only 8.
- Her ‘suck’ and ‘concuss’ abilities are more than doubling in their cooldown time before they can be used again.
- Nova Pulse (Q) – Cooldown time increased 12 -> 25
- Gravity Well (C) – Cooldown time increased 12 -> 25
- Stars are now inactive when placed during the buy-phase. After the barriers drop, her Stars charge for 1.4 seconds before becoming usable.
- This may make it just a little bit more difficult to execute fast paced, coordinated plays in high Elo.
Compared to other controllers, Astra has felt as though she can apply constant map pressure throughout the entirety of the round.
These nerfs hope to slow down and decrease her ability usage within rounds. Astra mains will have to be a bit more deliberate and calculate when now using abilities that have longer recharges.
- Aftershock Cost: 100 Credits to 200 Credits
Instead of one large explosion, now Aftershock will have three small explosions of 60 damage. This seems like a bit of a nerf as it gives the enemy a greater chance to escape. Despite this there are some buffs to this ability:
- Explosion radius increased 260 → 300.
- Unequip time after firing decreased 1.1 → 0.9 seconds.
Breach’s ultimate ability, Rolling Thunder (X) is now going to feel less awkward when casting.
- Its width is receiving a buff as it is now one large rectangle.
- You don’t have to worry about close corners you may not be including in your ultimate.
- The width of all explosions increased to 2300, which was the previous width of the end point of the explosion.
The major buffs that Breach is receiving come down to his flash and his signature concussive ability.
- Flashpoint (Q)
- Projectile speed decreased 2500 → 2000.
- Flashpoint Cost: 200 Credits to 250 Credits
- Flashpoint Charges: 3 Charges to 2 Charges
- Fault Line (E)
- Full charge time decreased 1.5 → 1 seconds
- Width increased 600 → 750
- Telegraph windup time decreased 1.3 → 1
- Concussion duration increased 3 → 3.5
- Unequip time after firing decreased 1 → 0.7
- Cooldown time increased 35 → 40 seconds.
These buffs hope to make Breach more self-sufficient.
His ‘abilities are getting shorter cast commitments and the speed of his Flashpoint projectile is being slowed to give Breach a chance to re-equip his weapon and work off his tools’.
- Incendiary: 200 Credits to 250 Credits
Brimstone is slightly under picked now in the meta, other controllers have simply had more control over the game than him.
It has been rumoured that Brim will be receiving some buffs so expect to see those in coming Acts.
You will now require seven Ult points instead of six to acquire his ultimate, Neural Theft.
- You will require seven Ult points instead of six to acquire Blade Storm.
- Updraft Cost: 100 Credits to 150 Credits
- Cloudburst Cost: 100 Credits to 200 Credits.
Since players only start with 800 on pistol rounds, this will decrease Jett’s ability to smoke off chokepoints and or smoke herself off in these rounds if she opts to upgrade her classic.
- Jett will no longer break cypher tripwires with her dash.
This is a serious nerf to her entry power onto sites. Whilst also being an indirect buff to Cypher.
Riot have stated that they believe Jett countered Cypher too easily, ‘we think that Jett should have to play and plan around Cypher’s deliberate setup instead of being able to bust through it without thought’.
- Alarm Bot (Q) – Cooldown after pickup increased 7 → 20 seconds.
- Turret (E) – Cooldown after pickup increased 10 → 20 seconds.
Killjoy has remained in a strong place throughout recent Acts.
This nerf will make it a bit more difficult for her to readjust her setup whilst holding down a site on defense.
However, if she is simply recalling all her gear to rotate to another bombsite this should not affect her too much.
In reality, what will end up being a greater nerf to Killjoy is the presence of KAY/O. His ability to prevent sentinels from using their valuable utility will greatly hinder the defensive power and map control that sentinels once had.
- Shrouded Step Cost: 100 Credits to 150 Credits
- Paranoia Cost: 400 Credits to 300 Credits
- Omen’s power to continuously re-smoke the map is ever so slightly nerfed.
- Granted signature charges reduced 2 → 1. Instead, Omen now must buy his second smoke for 100.
- Cooldown time for his smoke is increased 35 → 40 seconds.
- Curveball Cost: 200 Credits to 250 Credits
- Leer Cost: 200 Credits to 250 Credits
These price increases to duelist flashes are a small effort by the Devs to reduce ability spam.
Such changes are proving that VALORANT will be shifting towards a less ability centralized meta and instead, one that will focus solely on raw gunplay.
Raze is suffering some drastic price changes.
- Her Boombot Cost is increasing from 200 Credits to 400.
- This will obviously affect her most on early pistol rounds.
- The Boombot is going to be a much more treasured ability at the price of 400.
- Additionally, you will require eight Ultimate points instead of seven to acquire her Showstopper.
- Slow Orb Cost: 100 Credits to 200 Credits
- You will require eight Ult points instead of seven to acquire Resurrection.
- The price of her wall is increasing from 300 to 400.
- Don’t expect Sage to have a half shield anymore if she is buying utility on pistol rounds.
Like Breach, Skye is being pushed to become more self-sufficient and is receiving some love this patch.
This is evident since the Devs have ‘made it so Skye no longer needs to put her gun down to activate Guiding Light’.
- After flying her bird is done flying she no longer needs to re-equip her gun.
- Guiding Light Cost: 100 Credits to 150 Credits.
- Every 40s Guiding Light flashes will now regenerate.
- Guiding Light Chargers: 3 Charges to 2 Charges
- Trailblazer Cost: 200 Credits to 250 Credits.
Despite this slight nerf, there are some valuable buffs coming to the way of her wolf.
- Its vision radius is being increased from 1750 to 2250, and the max concussion duration increased 3 à 4 seconds.
- Allowing herself and her team every opportunity to push an opponent that is concussed.
Sova is the only Initiator failing to receive buffs this patch.
- His recon dart is receiving a slight nerf: Cooldown time increased from 35 à 40 seconds.
- Owl Drone Cost: 300 Credits to 400 Credits
- Shock Bolt Cost: 100 Credits to 150 Credits
- You will require eight Ult points instead of seven to acquire Hunter’s Fury.
- Sova has been a strong meta pick amongst the Initiators recently.
With these nerfs he may lose some pick rate to the newly empowered Breach & Skye.
The Devs claim that they have ‘seen a massive resurgence in Viper’s popularity and power, especially at stalling opponents and preventing defuses. We hope to slightly reduce some of this stalling power.’
Viper has played a vital role in the recent post-plant meta and has been an extraordinarily strong Controller pick.
These nerfs will aim to balance her with her fellow Controllers.
- Snake Bites Cost: 100 Credits to 200 Credits.
- Furthermore, the pool on the ground now lasts 1.5 seconds less.
- Blindside Cost: 200 Credits to 250 Credits
- Gatecrash (E) Cooldown time increased 35 -> 40 seconds.
Yoru has been quite an off-meta pick, so it is unusual to see him facing these nerfs. Nevertheless, these nerfs seem quite insignificant.
He won’t be able to take a classic light shield, double flash to a pistol round anymore though.
Significant changes have been made to all weapons.
Every weapon has received slight alterations to their price, whilst some have also had some additional modifications to their functionality.
Let’s run through those now.
The Judge is the only weapon receiving a price increase. It is going from 1600 to 1850. Riot are aiming here to slowly reduce the prevalence and usage of the Judge.
They believe that it is slightly overused now and hopefully the new 1850 price reduces its pick rate somewhat.
Beyond just this price increase, they are also nerfing it in the sense that it will be less effective at longer ranges.
- 10 meters falloff in damage: 13 pellets -> 10 per pellets.
- 15 meters falloff in damage: 10 pellets -> 7 per pellets.
Despite these nerfs, Riot are confident these adjustments will still leave the Judge in a strong position, ‘we want the Judge to be a devastating, multi-fragging, close range option’.
- Previously 1600 Credits, now 1550 Credits.
- Previously 900 Credits, now 850 Credits.
- Previously 2100 Credits, now 2050 Credits.
The Bulldog is also receiving some buffs as Riot have felt that it has been considerably underused.
- The full-auto mode has a firing rate increase from 9.15 RPS to 9.5 RPS.
It has felt sluggish whilst hip-firing and hopefully the increased damage output per second puts the Bulldog in a better place.
The classic has been in a strong position and these changes are like that of the rest of the pistols, so we shouldn’t expect this to change its pick rate.
- Walking inaccuracy changed from .25 -> 0.84
- Running inaccuracy changed from 1.5 -> 2.1
Running and gunning with the Frenzy on pistol rounds has been an immensely strong option for attackers. The incoming nerfs to its movement accuracy hopefully minimises the number of times the enemy full sprint sprays us down with the Frenzy.
- Previously 500 Credits, now 450 Credits.
- Walking inaccuracy changed from .25 -> 0.8
- Running inaccuracy changed from 1.0 -> 2
Pistol rounds have felt chaotic with running right clicks on the classic, sprint shooting with the Frenzy and people non-stop strafing with the Ghost.
The nerfs towards the Ghost will likely aim to change the feel of pistol rounds so that shots which are fired are more poised, calculated and precise.
- Walking inaccuracy changed from .25 -> 0.92
- Running Inaccuracy changed from 1.85 -> 2.3
- Previously 2400 Credits, now 2250 Credits.
- Previously 1000 Credits, now 950 Credits.
The Marshal has been in a strong position, and this will only further that fact. It has proven itself to be a Sheriff with infinite range.
On eco rounds, the Marshal is a strong pick having the power to eliminate opponents at any range despite the fact they may have 150 health.
- Previously 5000 Credits, now 4700 Credits.
This is one of the most significant price reductions. The price of the Operator has been quite hefty and personally, I have seen a lot of players that have opted to use the Operator resort to using light armour because of its taxing price.
We may see this resolving that economic problem players run into.
The Sheriff is the ultimate one-tap weapon. Tapping someone’s head with the Sheriff is a statement to your enemy that your aim is sharp.
Controversially, the Sheriff has long been one of the most accurate weapons whilst moving, particularly shift-walking.
This is counter-intuitive to the character of the Sheriff and what it stands for: precision.
Therefore, I believe Riot have made the right decision to make some drastic movement accuracy nerfs to the Sheriff.
- Walking inaccuracy changed from .25 -> 1.2
- Running inaccuracy changed from 2.0 -> 3.0
- Previously 200 Credits, now 150 Credits.
- Previously, 1100 Credits, now 950 Credits.
Dropping the price may not be enough to bring the Stinger back from the dead. The Stinger has seen a massive drop-in pick rate after the nerfs it suffered in previous Episodes.
Its effectiveness at short range is questionable, and at more than half the price the Frenzy will accomplish a similar job to the stinger in super close-range fights.
- Walking inaccuracy changed from 1.3 -> 2.0
- Running unchanged at 5.0
- Walking Inaccuracy changed from .5 -> 2.4
- Running unchanged at 6.0
- Walking inaccuracy changed from 0.3 -> 1.0
- Running inaccuracy changed from 2.0 -> 2.5
We can see that Riot are trying to prevent players from effectively running and gunning.
The Devs have finally heard our complaints and now understand that the run and gun is too widespread in VALORANT.
These nerfs hopefully decimate the success people have when they resort to running and gunning.
That concludes our Valorant patch breakdown for 3.0! Be sure to check out to see how these changes affected our Valorant agent tier list.