Astra’s Valorant pick rate has hit rock bottom, so how can Riot fix her?

Eleni Thomas
Valorant Astra nerf piece
Riot Games

Astra was once one of the most used controller agents in Valorant. However she was nerfed consistently and fallen into obscurity. Now with the lowest pick rate in Valorant history, how can Riot fix the “Astra problem”?

With Valorant players now sinking their teeth into new map Pearl, the game has seen a small surge in the amount of people logging on and engaging in the game. Despite an increase in interest, none of these new players seem to be picking Astra in their matches.

When Astra was first introduced in March 2021, her inclusion was well received by players and she quickly became the go-to controller pick. However, after a bevy of nerfs Astra has fallen by the wayside and is now in the worst state ever.

According to data from ValorBuff, Astra’s pick rate has dipped for all types of play. For competitive games, her pick rate is currently sitting at 3.9%, this number dropping down even further to 3.6% for casual games.

astra valorant
Riot Games
Astra is now Valorant’s least played Agent by a long shot — so what needs to change?

The pick rate’s for her fellow controllers Viper, Omen, and Brimstone is very evenly split at 28.2%, 32.7%, and 26.5%.

Agents being nerfed in and out of the meta isn’t a new concept to Valorant players. However, the reduction to Astra’s powers was a bigger shock to the system than most expected.

Valorant patch 4.04 took Astra right out of the meta by taking away one of her stars and increasing her ability cooldowns. The change was necessary to curb her influence in pro play, but it’s had a drastic knock-on effect.

This, combined with a buff to fellow controllers Omen and Brimstone, pushed her far down the tier list.

While players were once calling for her head, community sentiment has changed. Players now want Astra to be buffed slightly — not too much so she becomes the oppressive meta pick again professionally, but enough so casuals can actually play her.

Players have suggested buffing her smokes or lowering her recall cooldowns could give her back some power without breaking the game.

Valorant Astra sMOKE
Riot Games
Valorant players have suggested that buffing Astra’s smokes would be a good way to bring her back into the meta.

For now though, Astra isn’t quite on Riot’s radar. Some of the game’s other underrepresented Agents like Yoru, KAY/O, and Phoenix are receiving some buffs first before they eye the controller.

But with her continued decline of Astra, it’s really only a matter of time until Riot is forced to try and fix Astra’s flaws. Else, if Episode 5 Act 2 does in fact introduce a new controller like leaks suggest, Astra’s pick numbers might drop even further.

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