Valorant’s Episode 4 patch adds Neon to the game and nerfs the Spectre

Valorant’s newest update is finally here and it’s brought with it weapon nerfs, map changes, and a whole new character. Valorant Episode 4 Act 1 is titled Disruption, and it includes more changes than any patch in the last several months, including the addition of Neon, the game’s newest Agent.

While Neon is the biggest new change in this patch, it also updates a couple of maps with some new areas. Bind’s major change was a smaller box in the hallway toward short A. Meanwhile, both of Breeze’s bomb sites got reworked to include more cover, which should make for a huge improvement on the map for both the defensive and offensive sides, making for a smoother map overall.

The patch also includes several gun changes that should shake up the meta. The Spectre, the sub-machine gun that has been a terror recently, got several nerfs, particularly to its effectiveness at long-range. On the other hand, the Bulldog, Guardian, and Ares all received buffs, with the Ares possibly becoming one of the game’s best guns for its price.

Valorant’s Episode 4 Act 1 patch is live now in North America. For a look at all the changes in the patch you can check out the full patch notes on the Valorant website.

Valorant patch 4.0 notes

Neon goes live!

Weapon Updates

Melee

The melee’s been too tricky to aim with, making it tough to rely on. So we’ve updated both left and right click melee attacks for more reliable Agent-whacking action.

  • Right click hitboxes are now 1.5x larger. Left click hitboxes are now larger than a right click and have a slightly longer range too.
  • Targets closer to the center of your knife attacks will get hit first, so you still have precision if you need it.
  • Bonus: Knifing walls now have instant feedback when slicing up walls (predicted on the client side)

Spectre

The Spectre’s versatility makes us happy, but it was over-performing in long range engagements and was too powerful even within its intended close range and mobile scenarios. By making the accuracy error come in a bit earlier and switching yaws more often, we hope it will make it more difficult to get kills when spraying over a long range. Likewise, the close range sprays will require more control to be effective.

  • Firing error occurs at earlier bullet stages
  • For example, instead of errors occurring at bullets 4, 7, 10 (in terms of firing order) they will instead happen at bullets 3, 6, 8
  • Increased pitch and yaw (vertical and horizontal) recoil multipliers when running/jumping/on ascender from 1.25 >>> 1.5
  • Protected bullet count from yaw (horizontal) switching while spraying, decreased 8 >>> 5 bullets
  • Lowering time to switch yaw from .24 >>> .18 seconds
  • While spraying, the time you have until you could switch yaws (horizontal movement) again is lower, meaning it can happen more often

Ares

Alongside changes to the Spectre, we hope to improve the feel and power of the Ares and take it out of the shadow of other weapons in its price tier.

  • Removed spin up
  • Firing rate increased from 10 >>> 13

Guardian

The Guardian didn’t need the fire rate penalty compared to its fully-automatic counterparts, so we’re removing it. Adding another bullet before it starts to get unstable should make the weapon feel much more proficient at tapping shots, and improve its overall effectiveness in a fight.

  • Removed firing rate penalty on ADS (Aiming Down Sight)
  • Added an extra bullet before it enters a recovery curve

Bulldog

We’re giving the Bulldog some love to help make it feel like a better buy in those situations when you might need a cheaper but versatile rifle option.

  • Hip fire rate increased 9.5 >>> 10
  • Recovery on burst fire improved from .4 >>> .35
  • Inaccuracy is accrued any time the weapon is re-fired prior to a complete duration of a weapon’s respective Gun Recovery Time. Lower recovery time should improve burst fire efficiency.

Map Updates

Bind

  • The double stack of cover at short A has been changed to remove a very powerful one-way smoke location that made the area a little too difficult for Attackers to approach.
  • Sentinels will still be able to clog the space, but the new layout should open a few options for attackers pushing in.
  • There’s also a small, new bench for a mix up when taking that first peek.

Breeze

  • Increased the width of the A Main choke and removed 50/50s (where you must choose one of two locations an opponent may be located)
  • This should give defenders more options when playing around A Main. It also removes the 50/50 when both entering or exiting the cave, allowing you to be more methodical when pushing.
  • Added a stack of two crates in cave
  • This provides some cover for attackers pushing the cave while also giving defenders more options for contesting the space.
  • Adjusted cover on the back of A Site and extended the pool to the far wall
  • The cover changes should give defenders both a safe place to fall back to and more cover on retakes. Extending the pool should make playing in this space more comfortable.
  • Plant site extension is also to match the new shape of the pool.
  • Adjusted curved wall in mid
  • This change simplifies the space and removes the extra pocket.
  • Added cover to the pillar on B Site, blocked off the back site with a new wall, and added a stack of crates to B Wall
  • The new cover on the pillar allows for new pre and post plant opportunities.
  • The adjusted back site breaks the head peek to B Main while also giving players new cover to work with. This new cover should be useful when falling back and retaking.
  • The new stack of crates limits some angles from B Main, gives you new options when holding or retaking, and should break up some awkward fights that can occur on thin walls.
  • Door on A can no longer be reactivated until it is finished opening or closing

Competitive

As the map and Agent pool has increased, it’s become increasingly difficult for new players to effectively learn and play VALORANT. However, we haven’t made any changes to when players are able to access our most competitive experience. We believe everyone should take time to learn the ins and outs of core gameplay, and have ample exposure to all the maps and Agents VALORANT will throw at you before competing in our ranked experience. To force this learning period, we’ve decided to add an Account Level requirement to play in Competitive.

  • Starting with Patch 4.0, accounts that have yet to play in Ranked are required to reach account level 20 level before they are able to enter the Competitive queue
  • For those that have not yet reached account level 20, but have already played in Competitive queue, you will still be able to play in ranked.

Reduced 5-stack Rank Rating penalty

After getting our initial data on 5-stacks in ranked, we’ve realized we may have been too harsh on the penalty you receive to your RR gains/losses while in a 5-stack. Match fairness for 5-stacks is equal to non-five stacks, meaning it’s difficult for you to bring in a higher ranking player and potentially boost a low rank player. Because of this data, we are reducing the penalties for lower ranks.

  • Diamond 2 and below players will see their RR penalty reduced by 25% compared to the current balance. This means the new minimum penalty is 25% reduced gains/losses compared to the previous 50%
  • We only made this change for ranks not breaking into, or on, the leaderboard to help maintain leaderboard integrity.

Increased Map Randomization

  • Increased our map weights, which should lead to an increase in map variety and reduction in map duplicates from match to match

Bugs

Game Systems

  • Fixed an issue where the Signature Kill Counter was not updating visually

Esports Features

  • Coaches should no longer experience the issue where swapping targets with number keys + mouse clicks occasionally fails.
  • Thanks RobWiz for the report!

Known yet beloved issues

Widejoy

  • We love her too but we’re going to have to fix that banner
  • But not until Patch 4.01, so have fun!

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