VALORANT Patch 1.03 brings big improvements to the Guardian and new rules for Competitive

▲ Image Source: Riot Games


VALORANT is getting a new patch, tackling a few quality of life issues and bringing together a stronger identity for the Guardian. The patch goes live Thursday, and the game will be down for maintenance starting at 6am PST, lasting around four hours. This is the fourth patch since Closed Beta, including the release patch, and is the first without any direct Agent Updates, instead focusing on smaller issues to smoothen the game's overall experience.


The biggest update is to the Guardian, the only semi-automatic rifle in VALORANT's arsenal. For context, the Guardian was nearly as expensive as it's fully automatic older brothers, the Vandal and Phantom, but was less versatile, given its lack of "sprayability." So Riot made changes to make the gun more unique. They reduced the price from 2700 to 2500, keeping it in line with the Bulldog, and 400 cheaper than the above. Additionally, they reduced the fire rate by about 30% but gave it heavy penetration, increased from medium, like the rest of the rifles. "We hope that these changes will sharpen the Guardian's identity as a long range, versatile weapon," they said of the update.


The rest of the changes were much more minor, there were a couple bug fixes, specifically around Sova, and a few updates to the Custom Game mode. They also brought a slight balance shift to Spike Rush on Split, moving the mid orb slightly more in the center to reduce the defense sided advantage. They also added a new orb type, Twin Fangs, (which mirrors the spooky ghosts in League of Legends). Securing a Twin Fangs orb will send two ghostly wolves out to the nearest enemy agents. Upon reaching the agents, it will slow and nearsight them for four seconds, though the wolves can be shot and killed. 



The other biggest changes affect the end game - both surrendering and Competitive Mode's sudden death mechanic. For both Unrated and Competitive, you can surrender after Round 5 rather than after Round 8. In Unrated, surrendering now only requires four positive votes, as opposed to five previously. This change will not affect Competitive Mode, however, since each round after the forfeit counts as a loss and can greatly diminish ranking. 


Instead, Riot updated Competitive Mode's sudden death, adding a win-by-two mechanic. Each round, players will be reset to the same 5,000 credits and four points below ult like in the original sudden death. After every two rounds, if the teams are still tied, an automated vote will pop up giving players the option to keep playing or end in a draw. The first poll requires six votes to end in a draw, the second just three, and the third vote only one. Ending in a draw will not decrease one's rank, but could increase it depending on performance.

Check out all the rest of the bug fixes and small quality of life tweaks in the full patch update post here. And let us know if you're going to be a Guardian Gamer or if you'll stick to the other guns for now. 



For more VALORANT content, check out our dedicated VALORANT page here.

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