Since Valorant went live, new Agent releases like Skye, Astra, and Yoru haven’t quite landed well with players. They’re among some of the least-played Agents. Riot is aware of the problem, and are planning changes if their popularity falls even further.
The more complex Agents have taken players a while to pick up, especially compared to simpler launch characters like Jett, Omen, and Sage. Even then though, their kits have fallen a bit flat in the meta.
It’s becoming somewhat of a problem as Riot tries to expand Agent diversity. According to new stats, Skye, Astra, and Yoru are among the lowest-played Agents in casual and ranked play.
The Japanese duelist had his entire kit overhauled, with big changes to his flashes and teleport making him somewhat viable — although he still lays at the bottom of most tier lists.
Similar changes could be coming to Skye & Astra in the next Valorant act. However, developer Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm is hesitant on pulling the trigger, given the Agents are pretty “healthy” in their eyes.
“Skye is inherently a very supportive agent who relies on teammates to extract a lot of value from her abilities,” he explained on an April 21 Reddit post.
“Astra is a big-brain agent that scales on coordination, knowledge, and creativity, so we’ve always expected them to be on the niche end for picks.”
“We’re always thinking about if there are ways to improve the experiences that we have on live, though, so that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t explore tweaking aspects of them in the future if we think it’d make them healthier or more fun to play.”
While Altombre’s opinion is just his own, it’s one that has resonated with players. He added that if they were to make changes to Skye and Astra, they “probably wouldn’t be purely balance-driven.”
“We also consider our design goals for the character and what type of experience we want to foster,” he added.
This could involve a simplification of their kit with quality of life changes to try and entice more casual players, rather than just altering the raw numbers.
With Episode 2 Act 3 around the corner, there could be some changes on the way shortly if the Skye and Astra trends continue. We’ll keep you updated.