Hidden Brimstone nerf in Valorant patch 2.02 has players confused

Andrew Amos
Brimstone in ValorantRiot Games

Brimstone has been seeing a lot of love in Valorant recently. However, in patch 2.02, Riot fixed up a “bug” with his smokes that many players are qualifying as a nerf to the Agent, and they’re not quite sure why the change was made.

Valorant Episode 2 has been kind to Brimstone mains. The major buffs to his kit shipped in Valorant patch 2.00 have elevated the American Controller up the tier lists.

However, Riot are also more keenly aware of his potential power now. So, when Valorant patch 2.02 came around, they finally got around to squishing a “bug” that had existed since the game’s beta. Except, that “bug” has now become a contentious point in the community.

Brimstone in ValorantRiot Games
Brimstone’s smokes were altered in Valorant patch 2.02, but the changes weren’t widely publicized.

The change Riot made in the update “fixed an issue where various abilities did not work inside Brimstone and Jett’s smoke, even when they were visible to their target.”

This included Raze’s Boom Bot, and Sova’s Recon Bolt. Previously, players could hide in the dense smokes away from the vision-granting abilities, even if they were dropped into the smoke. However, that’s not the case anymore.

The change being pinned in the “bug fixes” section, despite drastically changing how players play around these Agents, has confused the community.

“These abilities don’t completely negate the smoke, they just see the same way a player does inside the smoke (instead of the smoke completely blinding them),” developer Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm told players on Reddit.

“A sonar dart inside of a smoke will not reveal you if you are outside it, and vice versa, but if you are both inside of the smoke together, it can reveal you. We’ve been testing this change internally for a while though and it was very much an intentional change to ship.”


However, in the future, Riot has pledged to be more transparent with players about game-altering changes like these. Hiding this ⁠— along with the flash color changes ⁠— in the bug fixes section meant players didn’t soak it up as much.

“This and the flash VFX changes were in the bug fixes section this time around, and could have probably used some more explanation around our philosophies behind them, similar to the ‘normal’ balance changes we shipped,” he added.

There’s no hope of the change to Brimstone smokes getting reverted, which will impact how players use them. However, players should hopefully be more aware of it going forward.