Riot Games’ latest addition to the Valorant roster may not be a huge damage dealer, but her cosmic manipulation can still completely ruin an enemy team’s plans.
Astra joins the Valorant roster in Episode 2, Act 2 and brings tons of unique abilities to the table. The galactic agent swirls around the map and drops stars, which can be activated in a number of different ways. Astra has unlimited access to the map and can travel outside of the tangible universe and view everything from space.
The Ghanaian controller is gifted with Astral Form ability to place stars in key angles effectively. However, a new find reveals a game-breaking exploit that players can use in competitive games.
When Astra is in her Astral form, she can view key areas, albeit with limited vision. But it turns out that the agent has X-ray vision of Spike once it’s been planted which allows her to see whether opponents are sticking a defuse or faking. Popular streamer Average Jonas discovered the exploit, which was later re-tested by other Valorant professional players.
— Liquid Jonas (@Average_Jonas) March 1, 2021
This gap in Astra’s X ability could be game-breaking in competitive games. A common tactic for Defenders is to tap a defuse to force a peak out of attackers in pro matches. With Astra on the team, players will know whether the bomb is legitimately being defused or if it’s a fake. The new agent can see the Spike slide in her Astral form.
shroud also discussed this exploit and said that the new agent shouldn’t be released without specific tweaks.
“If Astra comes out in this current state tomorrow, no changes at all, she’s going to be busted. The fact that you can see somebody tap a bomb or stick a bomb or whatever is kind of weird. So, that part doesn’t seem intended. I think it just slipped through the cracks,” shroud said.
The Valorant streamer makes a valid point, as the spike being visible is a huge game-changer and seems like a mistake on the developer’s part. Using Astra’s ability, people can easily find out the site where Spike has been planted. While this is useful for attackers that are looking to identify a real or fake defusal attempt, it’s also useful for defenders to identify where plants happened, especially on three-bombsite map Haven. Astra’s powers just seem to be too strong, even beyond the norm when it comes to new characters.
Fortunately, the developers have acknowledged the game-breaking tactic.
“Being able to see bomb defusal status in Astral Form? Yeah, we don’t like this behavior and are looking into options now,” a Riot Games developer said.
Hopefully, a fix to Astral form will be coming soon. If not, players may want to develop new post-plant tactics when there’s an Astra in the enemy team. The agent joins the Valorant roster on March 3, alongside a new battlepass and the Prime 2.0 skin bundle.