• Valorant patch 1.07 notes released in a huge update
  • Significant changes to agents including huge Killjoy and Sage nerfs, as well as viper and breach buffs
  • “Hit-reg” update, that should fix the confusing and false animation issues
  • General shotgun nerf: price increases and range reduction
  • Vandal buff: increased fire rate and damage

After a couple of tiny patches we finally have something to talk about, with huge buffs and nerfs for both agents and weapons. Most significant are the Killjoy nerf we predicted (reduced damage from nanoswarm and a delay before it activates) and reduced healing from Sage. For weapons we also see a reduction in the strength of shotguns generally and an increase in the damage and rate of fire for the Vandal.

Basically, this is a huge balancing update, withe the goal to increase the use of the less popular agents, get more pros to pick up the vandal and reduce the OP strength of the Killjoy afterplant. So let’s get into the details!

Killjoy Nerf

As we argued a while back, Killjoy is absurdly OP in a number of contexts and destructive for the game meta. We predicted a fast nerf and that nerf is here. First up we have a reduction in the strength of nanoswarm (60 dps to 40 dps) as well as increased visibility and a windup before it activates to give players a chance to destroy it or escape. 

  • Added a brief windup before damage begins.
  • DPS reduced from 60 >>>> 40.
  • Visual effects have been added to make it easier to spot the grenade on the ground.
  • Stealth audio range has been slightly increased.

This is great for the game as it once again shows Riot’s commitment to improving gameplay and responding to players complaints and concerns . Will it be enough to fix the one-sided afterplant meta? Quite possibly, but we will have to wait and see.

It’s worth noting they’ve also made the turret marginally stronger (now invisible to Sova’s recon bolt and shooting better at an enemy’s last known location). If you read the last article you’ll remember that my main problems with Killjoy were that the turret intoduces AI kills to as FPS game and that it can kill you after everyone else is dead. This is still stupid and I’m still amazed it found its way into the game at all… 

Sage Nerf

The Sage nerf is actually really interesting. The Slow Orb has had its area reduced (which I’m not really interested in), but Sage’s teammate heal has been reduced from 100 to 60 over 5 seconds and the her self-heal (right-click) has been reduced to 60 and takes 10 seconds to complete. Also important is that Sage’s barrier Orb has been reduced in price to 300 from 400 and has only half-strength for the first 3 seconds making it easier to destroy.

This is a hugely positive change. The barrier orb was too expensive to consistently buy, so this now makes Sage a more viable character in more situations, but the strength reduction for the first 3 seconds means it can be more quickly destroyed. That’s going to speed up gameplay too. But the heal reduction is the most important change as it signals the direction Valorant are taking the game. You might remember Hiko’s concern that with the introduction of more damage characters that more healers would be introduced, taking the game away from its pure FPS, low RNG characterisation. This is a move back in the right direction, equalising the agents and better balancing the game.

Breach and Viper Buffs

Continuing the theme of more balancing, the dev team are trying to increase usage of the less popular characters Viper and Breach. For Viper, her toxic screen can now be deployed before the buy phase ends and also rises more quickly. Decay also no longer affects teammates.

For Breach, flash charges are increased from 2 to 3, windup time has been reduced and the flash has been changed to more closely match other flashes and improve effectiveness. 


  • Off-screen flashes now match behavior of other flashes in the game and apply a minimum amount of flash more aggressively
  • Charges increased from 2 >>> 3
  • Reduced windup time from 0.6 seconds >>> 0.5 seconds

 Rolling Thunder

  • Detonation delay between blasts decreased from 0.3 >>> 0.255


  • Concuss now de-scopes players and prevents re-scoping

Vandal buff and shotgun nerfs

Shotguns have been given a general extended nerf that Valorant warned us was likely coming. All shotguns will have reduced aimpunch when hitting enemy heads, and tagging at distances over 10m will result in a reduced movement penalty. The shorty has been made more of a short range weapon with falloff range reduced from 9m to 7m, and headhsot damage multiplier reduced to 2 from 3. Judge has has price increased by 100 from 1500 to 1600.

Perhaps the biggest change for the weapons and by far the most significant is the increase of the Vandal firerate from 9.25 to 9.75 and damage increased from 39 to 40. This is clearly a reaction to pros low usage of the Vandal. Admittedly these are little tweaks but it shows the dev teams desire to balance weapons and make them usable, but it also shows they are going to make small sensible changes rather than huge meta-exploders (like Killjoys…).

  • All shotguns aimpunch update
    • When getting headshot by a shotgun, the aimpunch will be lower than all the other weapons
  • All shotguns tagging tuned for targets beyond 10 meters
    • Hitting an enemy past 10 meters will apply a different tagging value to them instead of the standard tagging
    • New tagging: 30% slow for .5s on a smooth curve going back to normal speed
    • The goal of these changes is to improve the feel of playing against shotguns and to ensure that they don’t end up doing odd things. For example, tagging or aimpunching people from longer than expected ranges and then a teammate ends up killing someone who’s debuffed, or makes it hard to fight back against a weapon that should be deadly up close but fairly non-threatening outside its effective range.)
  • Shorty nerf
    • 1st falloff range reduced from 9m >>> 7m
    • Updated headshot multiplier from 3x >>> 2x (now the same as Judge and Bucky)
    • Our goal here is to make Shorty users work a little harder for the kills they get by requiring them to be a tad closer to their target.
  • Judge Nerf
    • Price increased from 1500 >>> 1600
    • Desire here is to see if giving the Judge a little hit—paired with the other shotgun changes—moves the needle when playing against this gun. We’ll continue to monitor and make other changes if necessary
  • Vandal buff
    • Increased firing rate from 9.25 >>> 9.75
    • Increased damage from 39 >>> 40
    • Goal is to bring the Vandal in closer competition with the Phantom. We believe these weapons aren’t that far off in competition and hope these changes will do that.

“Hit-reg” and animation VXF updates 

Finally we have the promised hit “reg-reg” updates and these shold finally remedy most of the complaints regarding hit-reg. As we explained all of the way back in June, most of what appeared to be hit-reg issues were in fact crappy animations, false blood/hit animations and minor latency and not hit-reg issues. These have been fixed now by making the hit/tracer VFX for headshots slightly smaller and all hit animations activate on the part of the body that was hit rather than the air in front of where the player was hit. 

Bringing this all together this is a hugely positive update for the game, showing the devs are moving in the right direction, making small positive tweaks, balancing agents and weapons, and responding to community feedback. Nice work! There are a few more minor changes, so if you want to make sure you’re up to date on everything, we’ve listed them below.


    • Remake match: When a match begins with a 4v5 (or more lopsided teams), players will now have the option to end the game they’re in and queue for a new one.
      • If any player is disconnected at the start of the match (beginning of buy phase) through the entire first round, a remake call may be triggered at the start of the second round by typing /remake in chat.
      • All connected players on the team that called the remake may vote to remake the game— It’s required that all connected players agree to remake the game
        • The remake vote will last for the duration of the buy phase, if the vote is not passed by the end of buy phase it will expire
      • If the vote is successfully passed and the game is remade, all players who voted do not receive any XP or MMR adjustments for the match. The match will also not show up in match history. All disconnected players not part of the vote will take a full MMR loss for the game, and receive a leaver penalty equivalent to disconnecting from a full match..
    • Act Ranks visuals have been updated to better differentiate wins at different rank tiers
    • Changed some potentially misleading verbiage in the restriction message for players who need to play more unrated games to unlock competitive play
      • This is to better reflect that Deathmatch and Spike Rush do not count towards unlocking Competitive.


    For anyone who’d rather keep their identity private in-game, we’ve added these features:  

    • Hide my name from non-party members (Agent name will be used)  
    • Hide the names of others in my game who aren’t in my party (Agent names will be shown)
    • These features take effect from agent select to game end. We also added an option to hide + auto-reject friend requests.



    • Observers can toggle aim lines for players (default bind: R)
    • Observers can change which teams outline are visible (defaults: H – All, J – Friendly to spectated player, K – Enemies of spectates players, L – None)
    • Corpse markers shown when corpses are disabled now obey colorblind settings
    • Hotkey order for selecting players for observers should no longer shuffle in overtime
    • Observers should now see the money on the HUD for the player they are spectating
    • Added a setting for disabling the in-game UI (General -> Hide User Interface In Game)
    • Added a setting for disabling the cross-hair (Crosshair -> Disable Crosshair)
    • Observers can hide first person character arms. (General -> Hide First Person Arms)
    • Observers can toggle team-based crosshair coloring for spectated targets via the settings menu (General -> Use Team Color for Crosshair Color)
    • Improved framerate by allowing a wider variety of VFX to be multi-threaded, examples include Brimstone’s Sky Smokes and Breach’s Rolling Thunder
    • Hit impact VFX improvements (see dedicated section for breakdown)


    • Fixed a bug where if both teams try to call a surrender vote, the team who called it second wouldn’t get the option to vote
    • Fixed a bug that displayed the Act Rank tooltip in English only when another language was selected