If you’re invested in the competitive side of Valorant, you probably know how it feels to be dropped by an Operator time and time again. If a player was good enough with the sniper rifle, they could nab it early on and effectively dominate a match singlehandedly. When it came to countering them, it felt like there just weren’t enough options. Well, Valorant’s latest patch has nerfed it heavily to help alleviate this problem.
As of yesterday’s update, the Operator’s price has increased from 4500 to 5000. Its firing rate has been reduced, and its equip time has been increased so it’ll take longer to whip it out after defusing a bomb or interacting with something, for example. And there’s more. It becomes inaccurate sooner when starting moving, and more accurate later after stopping. Finally, its scoped movement speed has been reduced too. Phew, it really has taken a punch to the barrel hasn’t it.
To help defuse upset from Operator fans, Riot explained why they’ve made these changes. So, first off, they still want the Operator to be a challenge for teams to overcome. Mainly, it’s great at holding angles. Players with an Operator can watch a spot, then press the trigger for an insta-kill if someone wanders into their crosshair. But it was a bit too powerful, the stats a little too generous. This meant you could hop around corners and blast people a bit too safely, or reliably ignore enemy attempts to force you into a bad position by, well, blasting them anyway. For many, going up against one – or even two – Operators was oppressive, and aggressively unfun.
With a price increase and plenty of nerfs to its base stats, this should ensure an Operator can’t be bought super early in a match then used with giddy abandon. Players will need to be more careful with the beefy sniper, and those up against them should have a better time countering them with abilities. It’ll still be a challenge for teams to deal with, just not an insurmountable one.
“We hope to better balance the risk/reward of using this premium weapon,” lead Agent designer Max Grossman said.
Also in this patch, you’ll find a few tweaks to a handful of Agents and some overall weapon adjustments too. You can see the lot in the v1.09 patch notes.