Valorant’s much-anticipated Episode 2 update is now live, and it introduces a number of major shifts to the game. These changes range from general game balance to Valorant’s competitive mode, as well as the obvious addition of a new Agent to the mix.
The new Agent Yoru is perhaps the most exciting development that Episode 2 brings. Though he fits into the role of a Duelist, his kit is designed to support a stealthy playstyle that is unique among the game’s existing characters. He can use his abilities to mislead his opponents with fake footsteps, teleport backward or forward, or go entirely invisible with his ultimate ability.
The Episode 2 update also introduces many changes to Valorant’s ranked competitive modes, including revamped regional leaderboards, a rank system that better communicates your relative placement within your rank, and the introduction of a solo/duo premade cap for top-tier players.
The patch also introduces several major buffs for Brimstone, including a quick-cast on his Stim Beacon, reduced cost for his Molotovs, and more potent Sky Smokes. On the other side of the ledger, Omen received substantial nerfs, doubling the price of his Paranoia ability to $400 and decreasing the speed of his smoke grenade.
Check out the full patch notes below or check them out on the official Riot blog.
Valorant Episode 2 Patch Notes
This patch we have a small update that should clarify and differentiate the strengths of our Controllers. Omen and Brimstone have been in competition since beta and usually only one of them is considered viable. By giving each more clear strengths, we hope to make both Agents strong in different situations. Viper is on our radar as well, we believe she is underperforming and are looking at ways to help her out in the future.
Happy New Year Brimstone players! We know you’ve been hoping for some buffs this holiday season and we have them just in time. Brimstone is all about the big site execute moment. In that spirit, we’ve increased the duration of his smokes and given him more flexibility in where he can position to drop smokes exactly where he wants them. While at it, we didn’t feel Stim Beacon was fitting smoothly into his execution pattern, or into the situations where you might want to use it. Too often Brimstone would pull out Stim Beacon only to see his allies disappearing around a corner, or correctly recognize a fight was coming, pull out stim to get buffed up for it, and get blown up before he could get his gun back up. We think this is a much smoother, more explosive version of Brimstone that we hope you enjoy.
Will now quick cast (no equip time)
Cost reduced: $300 >>> $200
Cast range increased: 4200 >>> 5000Smoke duration increased:14.25 >>> 19.25
Brimstone no longer makes a sound that enemies can hear when confirming the location of his smokes
Omen’s role as a Controller is to bring consistent pressure. We needed to introduce some tradeoffs in exchange for the consistent pressure his recharging smokes provide. The projectile speed decrease here is meant to give Omen more pressure and responsiveness when smoking nearby targets, while taking a bit longer to get smokes to far away parts of the map that he isn’t actively covering. Paranoia has been quite strong for a while, and rather than reduce its effectiveness and take away some of the most exciting plays Omen can make, we decided to up the cost. On the whole, this brings Omen’s full utility price up to a level that’s more comparable with other Agents as well as making it more important to get value out of Paranoia when you cast it, so that big $400 chunk of cash isn’t wasted.
Cost increased: $200 >>> $400
Projectile speed decreased: 4000 >>> 2800
No updates just yet, but we’re taking this opportunity to say we’ve got our eye on her. We still believe she is underperforming as a whole and we’re looking at changes for her in the new year.
Classic (Alt. Fire)
Jumping error increased: .4 >>> 1.0Increased input queue on right-click: 0.065 >>> .225Firing consecutively now jumps in error, starting at 1.9 for the first burst, 2.5 for the second, and then the third/fourth burst will be at a 6.0Right-click now has a recovery curve starting at .1s The Classic is proving to be a master-of-none choice in pistol rounds, with the exception of jump right-clicks and spamming right-clicks. The spread changes aim to pull the effective range of the jump bursts and the firing error/recovery aim to put some more finesse into how effective you can be while spamming it out. Input queue will help shots between bursts come out more smoothly.
New Competitive regional leaderboards (Jan. 12)Rank system updated, including rank progress bar, numerical progress, and further distribution changes to make it easier to climb out of the lower ranksImmortal and Radiant ranks are now capped at a premade size of twoNew ranked rewards for Episode 1 (pair of Gun Buddies based on your highest Act Rank achieved during Episode 1)Many more changes! Read our rank changes summary article for the complete breakdown.
The “Add Friend” button has been removed from the in-game player list
Fixed an issue where Omen could sometimes teleport past the buy phase barriersFixed an issue where Omen could plant the Spike while elevated on a Sage wallFixed an issue where players on the opposing team could be seen on the minimap long after leaving line of sightFixed an issue where the desktop resolution was not restored after alt-tabbing from the game when playing in fullscreen mode, at lower-than-native resolution. Thank you to player fl0m for bringing this to our attention!Fixed an issue introduced in the 1.14 patch that incorrectly calculated client ping by including client frametime in the calculation
Preview videos for weapon levels currently don’t have audio. Rest assured, the skins still have respective audio in-game, we just have some issues with audio for preview videos found in the Store and Collections.
Valorant Episode 2 Act I Competitive Changes
With the start of Episode 2, we’re removing the ambiguity in how close you are to ranking up, making it easier to compare how you stack up against the best of the best, a better rewarding of your time invested in ranked, and making a number of other quality of life changes based on your feedback.
A quick summary:
Regional leaderboards displaying stack rank for Immortal and Radiant playersShift to solo/duo premade cap for Immortal and Radiant playersRank rewards and end of Episode changesProgression arrows, replaced with progress bar and numerical progress for more rank granularityMany other quality of life improvements
Everyone wants to know who’s king of the mountain. Each region will be able to see any player who reaches Immortal or Radiant (top 500) on an in-client Leaderboard. We also want to make sure that you trust the leaderboard is a living and breathing reflection of the best, so folks will need to earn their way onto the Leaderboard and stay active in order to hold their spot.
Leaderboard displays in-client (along with a web version on playvalorant.com available within 24 hours less of the Episode 2 going live) Radiant players (top 500 per region)Immortal players (roughly ~1% of rank players per region) Immortal will also only be one rank now, using the Immortal 3 iconLeaderboard Rank and Rank Rating (we call it RR for short)Riot ID, Title, and player cardGames won per ActAbility to anonymize your name as “Secret Agent”Unique per region NA, EU, APAC, BR, LATAM, KRUpdates in real timeRequirements to get on the leaderboard: Requires 50 ranked account games to place on leaderboard (retroactive for returning players)Requires playing at least 1 Competitive game a week (within 7 day period) to stay on the leaderboardBanned players will not show on the leaderboard
CORE RANK SYSTEM
Our previous rank system didn’t provide a great picture of where you stand in between ranks, how much you should generally expect to gain match-to-match, and why you’re moving in the first place. These changes should hopefully make the rank system much easier to understand, more fair, and harder to quickly lose ranks on those off days.
No more arrows. RIP.New Progress bar and Rank Rating show proximity to next rank Rank progress bar will display for Iron to Diamond. For those at Immortal and Radiant, this will shift to showing your Leaderboard rank.Immortal 1, 2, and 3 are now all fall under “Immortal”Players will no longer have their rank hidden (changed to ‘?’) for inactivity This will now only happen if you are in placements
How Does the VALORANT Rank Rating (RR) Work?
Majority of RR comes from wins or losses (match outcome) You will always gain RR on a win and lose RR on a lossOn a win, you will gain between 10 and 50 RR Min 5 RR gain for Diamond+On a loss you will lose between 0 and 30 RR Max drop of 50 RR on a loss for Diamond+On a draw you will gain a max of 20 RR (performance-based) Only for Iron through Diamond, where we take individual performance into account.Demotion protection: You must lose at 0 RR to demote If you demote, you will not go below 80 RR at that rankPromotion boost where you start at minimum 10 RR on a winDecisiveness of a win and exceptional performance at lower ranks for individuals can help you earn rank faster (and more quickly boost smurfs to accurate ranks)New rank ceremony and celebration visual for getting promotionsRank info page updated along with providing info around rank rewards
END OF EPISODE/ACTS, RANK REWARD CHANGES
You need a better reward for your time playing and earning ranked, as well as skill recognition where it’s due. Rank Gun Buddies give players a way to display their best proven skill for a respective Act (their top Act Rank for that Episode). For high rank players on the Leaderboard, your Badge will also show the final leaderboard position with which you ended the Act.
We also wanted to make sure it was clear when Acts and Episodes ended and where you stood by setting a clear end time for Competitive Acts in advance.
Episode 1: Act 3 competitive season will end shortly before the Episode 2 patch: NA – 10:00pm PT | Jan 11thLATAM- 10:00pm CDT | Jan 11thBR- 10:00pm BRT | Jan 11thEU- 10:00pm GMT | Jan 12thAPAC- 10:00pm SGT | Jan 12thKR- 10:00pm KST | Jan 12thRank rewards for Episode 1—which will be respective gun buddies based on the highest Act Rank you achieved during the episode—will be granted shortly after (1 day or less) the start of Episode 2.Act Ranks will give you a rank triangle for the rank you end the match withThis is a change from the previous condition of having to win at that rank for one of those sweet triangles.Your end of Act Rank and Badge will commemorate your final leaderboard position at the end of an Act.New rank rating bonus progression for your initial rank matches each ActThe number of placement games (5) is now consistent for each Act, regardless if you’ve done initial placements or not. The highest rank you can earn with placements is now Platinum rank, tier 3.Updated rank distribution to be more forgiving Significantly reducing the number of Iron players and increasing the percentage of players in Bronze, Silver, Gold and Plat players. Diamond and Immortal player distribution will stay largely the same. Radiant will be the top 500.Removed hiding players rank during an Act if they had not played for 14 days. Once a player has completed placements, rank will not reset or be hidden for the entire Act.
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