New agent Astra and ranked changes coming in new Valorant patch

Fariha Bhatti • March 2, 17:42

The wait’s over. Valorant’s much-anticipated patch 2.04 is out and it features the galactic agent Astra, extended queues, ranked changes, and a new skin line.

The first extension to the controller roster had players hyped for Valorant patch 2.04. Apart from Astra, Episode 2, Act 2 addresses some restricted lobby issues. After patch 1.10, players could only match up against opponents with three tiers rank gap. The latest update changes that. Here are all of the changes coming up in patch 2.04.

But first, catch up on previously revealed Valorant patch 2.04 content

Valorant patch 2.04 brings big changes to ranked matchmaking

Placements have changed for the start of Valorant Episode 2, Act 2. If you have already placed this Episode, then your rank will no longer be lowered at the start of an act. Instead of demotion, your Rank Rating will be reduced by 90%, and all Radiant players will be bumped down to Immortal. To reclaim Radiant status, players must prove themselves worthy in the new act. 

Riot Games has also softened the process of getting ranked for previous players. Players are only required to play one placement match to unveil their new rank. Those who didn’t play Valorant in Episode 5 will stick to the old rule of playing five placement games. 

After Act 2, making it to Radiant rank will become more challenging. Players must gather a specific RR to hit Radiant rank, based on region population size and RR distribution. 

  •  RR threshold for Radiant region-wise:
    • LATAM & KR: 100 RR
    • BR: 200 Rank Rating
    • NA & APAC: 300 RR
    • EU: 400 RR

Apart from these changes, a reduction to the RR change following a win or loss will be altered later in the patch. During patch 2.04, the developer will switch up demotion logic for players from the previous 80 RR to 70 RR.   

The last change comes to how players can party up in ranked matchmaking. While there have long been harsh restrictions when it comes to how people can party up in Valorant, Riot is softening things a bit in Valorant Episode 2, Act 2.

Parties in ranked mode changed, solo queue comms improved in patch 2.04

Players can now more easily grind on their way up the ladder alongside friends with a loosening of restrictions on the rank range allowed within a party. The acceptable parity narrows as players reach higher ranks, with the intent of maintaining the integrity of high-rank play. This should give friends more freedom to play the game with friends without destroying the ranked matchmaking experience for those who solo queue.

The developer has resolved the issue of party games and makes sure that solo queues are free of toxicity. To deal with mic-less teammates, Riot has introduced refined team-comms. After patch 2.04, players will hear location-based callouts and other important voice lines to help with team play, with greater clarity given to prefab pings. For example, players without microphones will be able to send an alert to teammates that says “enemies spotted B” instead of the established, more vague comms. 

Escalation mode exploit on Bind fixed in Valorant patch 2.04

Earlier, a tactical teleporter play was discovered, which provided winning teams in Escalation mode with an unfair advantage. The latest update has tackled the issue by forcing the doors open to reduce the potency of camping on the map in Escalation.

The tactic was incredibly powerful in Bind due to the lack of abilities in Escalation and the highly defensible position the teleporters are in. Though camping will certainly exist to some degree moving forward, it won’t be as overpowered as it has been.

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