What's wrong with Valorant's OP?

What’s wrong with Valorant’s OP? Players call the Operator unfair

By Fariha Bhatti


Dec 30, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

The sniper rifle in Valorant has been heavily criticized by both casual and professional players. But what exactly is wrong with Valorant’s Operator? 

Valorant players have long been picking holes in the game’s gunplay since it went public in 2020. Riot Games managed to fix most of it, but players still can’t seem to make their peace with overpowered Operator. A whole year after Valorant’s release, players are still rambling about Valorant’s “Operator problem.” 

What’s wrong with Valorant’s OP? 

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Valorant’s Operator is built perfectly to suit the game’s style. The problem likely lies within ability usage and agent mobility. 

While veteran first-person shooter players like s1mple might think Operator is “shit,” it’s certainly not all that bad. The weapon is comparatively slower than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s AWP, but it perfectly suits the Valorant movement. Riot’s shooter has a different movement for agent models and weapons, which applies to OP as well.

However, players think Valorant’s Operator is bad because it breaches the tactical balance of the game. 

Is OP too powerful on Jett?

Players are complaining that playing against wealthy defenders is almost impossible in Valorant. Enemies with enough cash equip their Jett with the OP, which is enough to block large areas. The mobility ranger shrouds OP’s poor movement, turning it into a one-bullet cannon. To tackle this, players must invest big bucks to cut the sight of an OP Jett, which taints the FPS spirit of Valorant. 

Conversely, the enemy team saves tons of money when Jett is on OP. Her movement tactics allow her to dry peek at enemies, saving her team tons of utility. With one key, Jett can escape dangerous situations and dash away. Other agents require team backup and flashes to squeeze full juice out of an OP worth 4,500 credits. This makes it highly unfair on defending side. 

Pro player for Sentinels Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan perfectly summed it up in his stream.

“It’s [OP] too clunky to use on any other agent, and the problem is that there’s not a lot of counter options to the OP. Now, if you could use the OP on other agents, you can counter a Jett just walking up with an OP or a Jett just taking a duel or dry peek,” ShahZaM said.

It’s a genuine issue, but it’s not precisely an OP issue. The sniper is perfectly built, but the current Valorant protocol lacks enough agents who specialize in mobility. Jett makes the OP surprisingly fast and maneuverable for its weight, something that no other agent can do. This power imbalance has turned the wind ranger into an OP specialist that’s impossible to counter. 

Currently, there’s no way to balance the OP other than adding more agents that excel at mobility. Leaks regarding agent 19 seems promising as she’s labeled a “sprinter” who goes fast. The new agent would likely bring a counter for Jett’s overpowered tricks on OP.