Valorant has just released its 5.01 patch notes, changing up the Agents again, fixing some bugs and adding new Smurf Detection updates for North American players.
Here’s the official tweet from Valorant’s Twitter feed, which briefly notes some of the key changes:
For those who don’t know, “smurfing” is a strategy where high-level players use new accounts to effortlessly decimate everything in sight.
This creates a serious problem for new players, and often discourages them from sticking with the game. Many first-person shooter games suffer from this tactic, which is basically a cheat, such as Apex Legends. Of course, that game has miserable matchmaking issues anyway.
Now, Valorant will be improving their Smurf Detection function to maintain balanced matchmaking. North America will be receiving the trial run this week. The devs are also planning on a global rollout, though no release date has been cemented for that.
Players can also move closer to each other more comfortably, making it easier to exit spawn or push as a group. This will also be crucial for tucking against corners together, which is a key tactic for playing lines of sight properly. Especially in a game with such a low time to kill.
Agent Updates breakdown
Phoenix, Yoru and KAY/O have all received major balancing changes for the new update. Firstly, Phoenix was adjusted to coincide with more aggressive plays.
Phoenix’s “Curveball” has been buffed, increasing the duration of Flash Max to 1.5 seconds and lowering the Flash Windup to just half a second.
“Run it Back” has also gotten a serious buff, giving players the same amount of shields they had when they first cast the ability. Again, this allows fans to take bigger risks.
Yoru mains will have two more seconds to capitalize on their ultimate, which may not sound like a lot, but two seconds can be a lifetime in fast-paced shooters.
Lastly, KAY/O got some interesting changes to FRAG/ment and NULL/cmd. FRAG’s damage will apply without lines of sight. Only allies will hear the full channel audio of reviving KAY/O, and enemies will only hear a short audio cue when the revive has started.
You can find the full list of changes on the official blog post. Read more about Valorant and other hit FTP shooters by checking out our news section!