Riot Games has launched the latest update for Valorant today, introducing a new team-based game mode called Escalation, and several balance changes. Stinger SMG go a nerf, the Frenzy gets a price increase, and Reyna, one of the game's Duelist agents, got a nerf.
The Escalation game mode is a team-based limited-time mode (LTM) similar to the Gun Game modefrom other shooters like CS: GO. The developer describes Escalation Mode as “a casual, fast-paced mode designed for fun social play and perfect for encouraging players to practice with new weapons.” Team start with powerful weapons or abilities, and after every few kills, players will progress to weaker weapons, making kills more challenging as the match continues.
As for balance changes, the Stinger got nerfed. The SMG was one of Valorant's cheapest weapons, and it's pretty effective for its low price compared to more expensive rifles like the Phantom and Vandal. To help balance this, the developer raised the price slightly from 1,000 up to 1,100, slowed the gun's fire ratte, and adjusts the full recoil curve for full auto. The Stinger will still be useable in close range, but it won't be as powerful as before.
Four Valorant agents get updates: Yoru, Reyna, Phoenix, and Brimstone, but the Duelist vampiress gets the biggest nerfed. Reyna can now only carry two charges of her Devour and Dismiss abilities instead of four, and both are now more expensive. To balance this a bit, she now gains Soul Orbs any time an enemy she damages is killed, even if she wasn't the one to hit the final shot. Yoru also gets a few changes, and now players will not be able to body-block with his Dimensional Drift ultimate.
In addition, the Marshal gets a bit of upgrade and price decrease (from 1100 to 1000) while the Frenzy gets a price increase from 400 to 500.
For other changes, check out the full patch notes (2.03) below:
VALORANT PATCH 2.03 PATCH NOTES
- Maximum Devour(Q) and Dismiss(E) charges reduced 4 >>> 2
- Slain enemies that Reyna has damaged in the last 3 seconds now drop Soul Orbs, even if Reyna does not land the killing shot
- Cost of Devour and Dismiss charges increased 100 >>> 200
- Gatecrash now displays the range at which the tether can be seen by enemies while moving on the minimap
- The range that enemies are able to hear the audio of a Gatecrash teleport is now displayed on the minimap
- While in Dimensional Drift, Yoru’s minimap is now visible
- Enemies within Yoru’s vision range, while in Dimensional Drift, are now revealed to ally minimaps, as well
- Dimensional Drift can no longer body block enemies
- The audio of the Incendiary’s lingering fire zone will be easier to hear when other actions and sounds occur nearby.
- The audio of the Hot Hands lingering fire zone will be easier to hear when other actions and sounds occur nearby.
- Movement speed when zoomed is now at 90% of unzoomed movement speed (previously, zoomed movement speed was 76% of unzoomed)
- Price decrease 1100 >>> 1000
- Zoom magnification increased 2.5x >>> 3.5x
Stinger (full auto)
- Price increased from 1000 >>> 1100
- Full auto fire rate reduced from 18 >>> 16
- Full auto fire now reaches max spread at bullet 4, instead of bullet 6
- Adjusted pitch (vertical) recoil curve for full auto, recoil climbs more aggressively past the 3rd bullet
- Decreased yaw switch bullet protection at full auto count from 4 >>> 3 on Full-Auto
Stinger (burst fire)
- Adjusted pitch (vertical) recoil to be more aggressive after the first burst
- Added more error on bursts after the first one
- Improved recovery time on burst mode from .45 >>> .4
- Price Increased from 400 >>> 500
Escalation goes live! (Read our full game mode rundown)
- This is a quick (approx. 7–9 min.) and fast-paced 5v5 game mode where you must race through progressively less lethal loadouts with your team. The loadout gamut varies from match to match, but always features a mix of both weapons and abilities. The same list of loadouts is always used by both teams throughout the match.
- Our biggest goal for Escalation is to offer a quick, fun mode that encourages social play and provides a chance for you to practice using new weapons in a lower-stakes environment. We’re also excited to offer a uniquely short and kinda crazy mode to round out what we have!
- This was one of our more highly requested game modes, so we’re especially excited to bring this one to you.
- TBD on exactly how long this will be live, but we’d like to keep this one out for as long as it makes sense, depending on your engagement
- AFK-ing in Competitive games for a prolonged period (currently defined as 6 or more rounds) will now result in a penalty of 8 rank rating points
- We understand that sometimes your computer, ISP, etc. may have some issues during a game, so we won’t punish you for missing some rounds—but we want to encourage players to come back from those AFKs and play through their Competitive matches.
- Act Rank Badges will now be based on your highest rank win, instead of your ninth best win
For more context around these changes, read our overall E2: A2 rank plans.
QUALITY OF LIFE
- All sprays will now be destroyed on round start.
DEATH SEQUENCE IMPROVEMENTS AND UPDATES
- Fade to black start time decreased 1.75 seconds after death >>> 1.5 seconds after death
- Time spent on a full black screen increased ~0 seconds >>> 0.25 seconds.
- The total time of the death sequence has not changed, it remains at 2.75 seconds
- Camera movement smoothed significantly, especially for those under poor network conditions
- Prior to patch 2.03, any of you (but especially those with high ping or packet loss) could experience camera jitter during the death sequence.
- Based on our investigations of this issue, you can rest assured this camera jitter did not impact combat performance—anyone experiencing this issue was already dead during the unsmooth movement.
- Now everyone, regardless of network conditions, will have smooth camera movement during the death sequence.
- Fixed issue where Yoru’s decoy had slightly different sounding footsteps than Yoru himself
- Fixed issue where the in-world indicator for Cypher’s Cyber Cage disappeared if it took damage
- Fixed issue where Sova’s Owl Drone could clip through specific map geo and view the other side
- Fixed issue where players already affected by nearsight would momentarily see inside smokes that should instead nearsight them
- Fixed issue where Skye’s Seekers would no longer work if she was killed at a very specific moment while casting them
- Fixed issue where Yoru was unable to equip a weapon or ability if he cancelled out of Dimensional Drift right as its buffs activated
- Killjoy’s Lockdown can no longer be placed inside Sage’s Barrier Orb in some instances
- If Barrier Orb is placed on top of Killjoy’s ult, the section of the wall covering the ult will now be destroyed.
- Fixed issue where teleporting to Yoru’s Gatecrash right as it expires caused him to fall through the map to his death (rip)
- Fixed issue where Yoru’s Bait could sometimes fall through the floor when the stationary version was placed
- Fixed issue where Sova could sometimes get the voice over for Hunter’s Fury to play, even though it isn’t used, by trying to equip the Owl Drone at the same time
- The End of Game screen will no longer display “Average Abilities Cast per Round” as 0
- Fixed a couple input bugs around possessing and unpossessing objects (Cypher camera, Sova drone, etc.) in the same frame which lead to locking all inputs or locking view direction
- Sorry Cypher mains—thanks for all the reports!
- Fixed an issue where certain settings would not display while in game
- Your player icon color on the minimap is now white if you turn on any color blind settings
- Fixed a few input issues that were causing players to get stuck using orbs or planting the Spike
Related: Shroud Says CSGO is "F***** Garbage", Explains Why Valorant is The Better Tactical Shooter
*Epic Stream may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase.
All prices listed were accurate at the time of publishing.