Valorant

Riot have Operator nerfs in their sights for Valorant Patch 1.09

by Theo Salaun

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In Riot Games’ 1.08 Valorant patch, the developers have revealed that they're aware of how powerful the Operator sniper is and working to balance it in their next update.

For a few months, the Operator has been a sore point for Valorant’s player base, especially among its higher ranks. People aren’t mad that it’s a one-shot sniper, but they’ve grown frustrated with the fact such a high-impact weapon is so easy to use, particularly with Agents like Jett.

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Fortunately, players should be excited to hear that Riot is explicitly working to balance the weapon, as Lead Agent Designer Max ‘Orcane’ Grossman transparently communicated to players in the 1.08 patch notes that their team is continuing to test out adjustments to the hefty sniper internally.

The combination of Jett’s mobility abilities and the Operator’s lethality have worried players for months, but the issue has grown more prominent recently as people decry the gun’s presence because its meta is dominant and incredibly hard to counter, exceptionally so for attackers who are forced into initiating and peeking the “OP’s” angles.

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In the 1.08 patch notes, Grossman explains that this lighter patch gives developers time to focus “on a more pressing issue: the Operator,” before explaining that they “know that this weapon can feel very oppressive to play against, often leaving players feeling like there is no hope when attacking.”

At higher ranks of Elo, the gun is a nightmare as players rarely miss shots and therefore slow the game down substantially with no one wanting to peek any corners for fear of getting immediately sniped.

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Unless you have a pro team’s chemistry and strategies, teams are rarely able to counter a Jett with an Operator since her Tailwind, Updraft, and Cloudburst abilities grant mobility and visibility obstruction for rapid disengagement.

valorant operator
Riot Games
The Operator in Valorant, the game's most dominant sniper rifle.

While Grossman didn’t explain how Riot intends to balance the Operator, a frustrated community has come up with a variety of ideas.

Some of the more prominent ones include adding a scope-in sound (akin to CS:GO’s AWP), adding damage flinch, furthering its scoped and un-scoped mobility nerfs, and even simply raising its price.

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Each of those proposals has its pros and cons, so the game’s fans are divided on what would be the best way to tackle the gun’s dominance. For now, it’s encouraging that Riot is looking at fixes and players will be eager to hear what possibilities are being tested.