After what seems like forever, Valorant Act 3 is finally here, and with it comes a whole host of changes to the game. We already know Act 3 comes with a new map and a new agent, and while we’ll be waiting a couple of weeks for both of those, Riot Games has been working hard behind the scenes on a few other things as well.
One of those things is Valorant’s ranked mode. From Act 3 onward, your squad will need to have a rank disparity of three tiers or less to be able to play together. Previously this was set to six ranks or less, but since there’s been a few dodgy matchmaking cases, the decision has been made to tighten things up.
Top tier players boasting Immortal+ ranks are also subject to a few changes. Now, ranks will only be impacted by winning, losing and the decisiveness of the game outcome, and not by individual performance.
Away from Valorant ranked, Deathmatch mode has also been tweaked to increase the amount of players from 10 to 14. This is because Riot has “fixed some tech on the back end” to support that without compromising gameplay. Spawns have been rigged, the location pulse has been removed, and the match length has been increased. All in all, playing Deathmatch just got a whole load more interesting, especially if you’re playing with the best Valorant agents.
In addition to all of that, Icebox, Act 3’s new map, is going into a beta via unrated, Spike Rush and Deathmatch games. It’ll be in that state for at least two weeks while Riot Games continues to tweak the map ahead of its competitive debut on October 27.
Here are the Valorant Act 3 patch notes in full:
- Early in the patch, players queuing for Unrated will more often get placed on Icebox
- Ascenders (Ropes) / Ziplines
- Acceleration adjusted to prevent sudden shifts in direction (this was added last patch but wasn’t in the patch notes because well, you might start asking about ziplines)
- Added weapon tagging when shot while on Ascenders
- These changes are intended to make players that are using Ascenders and Ziplines less evasive during combat
- Vision Cones accuracy improved for Ascent, Bind
- Haven, Split may also be updated in this patch
- Increased player count 10 >>> 14 players
- Updated spawning algorithm to encourage safer spawns
- Now that we’ve fixed some tech on the backend, we can support up to 14 players without compromising on our commitment to 128 tick-rate servers. With 10 players, you’d sometimes have to run 10 or 15 seconds to even find a fight, which can really kill your flow. Sometimes you’d also spawn way too close to enemies. This was because we had to artificially increase spawn density because of the low player count. Now that the player count has increased, we’ve re-tuned our spawning algorithm to try and give more consistently safer spawns.
- Removed periodic location pulse, and you’ll now only receive a pulse right when you respawn
- Now that there are 14 players on the map, the pulse feels completely unnecessary. We’re keeping a single pulse for players right when they respawn so that they can help get their bearings and find a quick fight without getting caught off guard.
- Increased match length, first to 40 kills (was 30), time limit upped to 9 minutes (was 6)
- We felt like the match length was a little too short to get into a real groove, especially now with more players, so we’re bumping the duration and kill limit up a bit.
- Kill Reloads: On every kill, players get an automatic, immediate full reload of their active weapon (Ares & Odin get 30 bullets back)
- It already felt a little frustrating to have to reload in Deathmatch, and now that player count is higher, reloading feels like even more of a deathwish.
- XP gain increased from 500 to 900 XP
- Honestly, 500 XP felt a little low for Deathmatch. We’re bumping this up to 900 to account for the increased match length with some extra on top.
Quality of Life
- The Battlepass now has upgrade Variants for the Surge skin line, including the free track Surge Sheriff
- Minimap performance increased
- Tournament mode enabled custom games can now fit up to 12 observers
- Requested guns can now be sold back to the shop, doing so will refund the player who fulfilled the request
- Observer can now hold walk when in freecam mode to reduce speed (fast and slow speed can be configured in settings menu)
- In-world pings are now team-colored for observers
- Reyna and Phoenix ult timers correctly update for observers
- The keybind text in the current spectate target widget has been removed for observers
- Flashed indicator for observers has been updated with new art
- Crosshair setting added that allows crosshair colors to be locked to team color for observers
- Players no longer get stuck trying to descend vent ropes while walking (leaving A-Tower)
- Added new modifier keybind for observers to jump straight to freecam when jumping to a player (left shift by default)
- Plant/defuse progress UI is now always visible to observers, and includes which player is taking the action
- Observer player no longer see player-specific hud indicators (e.g. taking damage indicator) when in freecam
- Ability timers now work for dead / spectating players & observers (e.g. Reyna & Phoenix ult durations)
- Players will now be able to add and view friend notes. Notes from League of Legends will transfer over to VALORANT as well. Players will be able to edit these notes from VALORANT
- Social panel will now pause sorting for a short time while you’re interacting with it
- Fixed a Shooting Range bug in the plant/defuse module in the shooting range where players couldn’t buy abilities
- Various Shooting Range UI bug fixes in the plant/defuse module, including incorrect text in the buy phase announcement, also adding a halfway tick to the defuse progress bar
- Fixed a bug where other players’ messages would be forcefully filtered out of chat after you sent a message
- Fixed a bug where the text box would not fade away in game