Riot pledges a “bigger focus” on Valorant agent balancing for 2022

As 2021 draws to a close, Valorant developer Riot Games is setting out its stall for 2022 by highlighting which areas of the game will evolve the most next year.

Riot has already teased the upcoming rework for Yoru, Valorant’s most underused and underwhelming agent, but today the developer has promised a “bigger focus” on agent balancing across the board next year. It says in a blog post that in the first half of 2022, several agents will be receiving updates to their kits. Moreover, Riot says it aims to jump onto “emergent balance issues” quicker next year now that it’s finished restructuring the Valorant development team.

Riot acknowledges that throughout Episode 3, agent balancing has been far less frequent than in previous Episodes. It appears for Episode 4, which pretty much coincides with the new year thanks to its slated release date of January 12, will increase the amount of updates we see to the game’s diverse pool of agents.

As well as the update on its approach towards agent balancing, Riot also teases Valorant’s next agent, and its cryptic clues appear to match up with previously discovered information.

Agent 18 was widely speculated to be from The Philippines, and with Riot’s blog post using Filipino phrases such as “mga kaibigan ko” (which roughly translates into “my friends” in English) and “maraming salamat” (“thanks a lot”), that’s now all but confirmed.

A teaser video also previously hinted the next agent will be extremely fast and have some lightning-based abilities. The blog post says that Agent 18 “can outpace the rest of the roster, shocking the competition, and sliding straight into the fight” – so that’s pretty much confirmed too.

2022 looks set to add an electrifying new agent to Valorant, and that bigger focus on agent balancing should ensure they aren’t too overpowered or underwhelming too long after launch.