17 Jun 2021 1:33 PM +00:00

Riot Reveals Kay/O, A New VALORANT Agent Whose Ability Brings Players ‘Back to Basics’ in Episode 3: Reflection

Today, Riot Games has revealed the sixteenth VALORANT agent, KAY/O, and released a new trailer for it. The new robot Initiator agent will debut on VALORANT Episode Three: Reflection, and his single purpose is to neutralize radiants. KAY/O has the ability to supress enemies and render their abilities useless.

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Credit: Riot Games

Riot wants his abilities to feel "familiar to FPS players", forcing players to rely on gunplay more than anything else.

"We kind of wanted to push for some really intuitive and almost ‘back to basics' type of inputs," game designer Ryan Cousart said in a statement. "An aspiration we have for KAY/O is that FPS players could take some of the common mastery they have acquired from other games, like throwing grenades, and apply them in an intuitive way to access the outputs of KAY/O's kit."

Watch the amazing gameplay trailer below:

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Longtime FPS players will be familiar with a huge portion of KAY/O's kit. The new agent can throw an "explosive fragment" (FRAG/ment) that sticks to the floor, explodes multiple times, and deals near-lethal damage at its center. The killer robot also has a flash grenade (FLASH/drive).

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KAY/O also has a unique ability called ZERO/Point, which lets him equip a supression blade, and when he throws it, the blade sticks to the first surface it hits, winds up, and suppresses anyone in the radius of the explosion, forcing players in that area to rely on gunplay. This ability was teased earlier this month when players noticed a pulsing blade stuck in a Radianite crage on A site of Breeze.

The new agent's NULL/cmd ultimate lets him overload and pulse Radianite energy that empowers him and causes large energy pulses to emit from his location, suppressing enemies for a short duration while granting him Combat Stim.

If KAY/O is killed while overloaded, he is downed and enters a destablized state, allowing enemies to stabilize his core and revive him.

According to Cousart, the revive mechanic almost didn't make it to KAY/O's live iteration. While some developers made the call to remove revive from the robot's kit, it was too fun to cut it.

"As a bit of a send-off to the mechanic, I lowered the Ult Points to 5 and we just started doing these ‘rescue missions' in our design playtest," the designer said. "I distinctly remember going into the round-ups after the playtest just having the biggest grin on my face and us laughing about these missions and after a full two days of us having a bit of fun on it, we decided to keep the mechanic. After a few tweaks, the downed state gave us a big opportunity to give the KAY/O his killer robot fantasy, enticing him to move forward and kill, while creating a unique mid round objective if he was downed."

Related:
Riot Reveals Which 4 VALORANT Weapon Skins Are Returning For The Give Back Bundle

KAY/O joins VALORANT with Episode Three, Act One on June 22. A new battle pass will arrive to commemorate the game's first birthday, as well as some balance changes.