Valorant devs announce “cascading Agent picks” to stop insta-locking in Episode 4

Alan Bernal
Riot Games

Riot Games are working on a feature to stop Valorant players from insta-locking their characters before a game with “cascading Agent picks.”

The feature will work similarly to Riot’s other IP, League of Legends, which places teammates in a random pick-order to select who they will play as. The company is implementing the feature to prevent Valorant players from instantly choosing their Agent before having a clear idea of what the overall comp will look like.

Valorant’s new pick system will be unique in that it will let players at the front of the queue skip their turn and choose after other teammates.

This is the ‘trickle-down’ mechanic that Riot Designer Jon Walker described in the Valorant Episode 4 Developer Livestream on January 10.

Valorant cascading Agent picks

Valorant will soon have cascading Agent picks for teams to choose their composition in an orderly fashion, Riot have confirmed.

“We came up with ‘cascading Agent pick,’” Walker said. “We wanted to have it up at the beginning of [Episode 4]. Hopefully, it’s going to land sometime in the episode.”

Walker explained that the “protected picks” will address insta-lockers who might take away an Agent someone is hovering or people who drop into a lobby and instantly take away someone like Jett.

The feature is still being worked on but Riot is planning to give players about 15-20 seconds before they have to lock in an Agent, lest they skip their turn.

league of legends picks
Riot Games
Players will soon see a pick order system in Valorant which could look something like League of Legends.

Valorant players notice that matchmaking can feel discouraging when someone on the team is playing for themselves. That can start even before a game begins if a person enters a lobby just to take a high-priority Agent for themselves.

Though it’s frowned upon, it’s not uncommon for Valorant players to insta-lock their Agent before they know how their pick can influence the larger team composition.

Riot wants to mitigate the problem by giving lobbies a set order for Valorant players to choose how their side will ultimately look. The Valorant devs said cascading Agent picks are coming soon, so it shouldn’t be long now.