Ares becomes niche once again in Valorant Patch 4.01

Riot’s recent patch 4.01 has been a short yet very welcomed changed. Riot’s first patch of the year introduced many changes, namely the map change to Breeze and the dreaded buff of the Ares. The community had been quick to call out Valorant developers, stating the Ares had been over tuned, an issue that we had caught onto early in our Patch 4.0 rundown.

The “hotfix” patch has reverted the meta closely to what it was before the patch launched. Ranked play is still seeing some serious skill missmatch after the ladder reset, and Neon has an 80% pick rate.

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Quick changes shift the meta back

The Ares was tuned once again after some serious community outcry. These changes will allow the Ares to keep its high fire rate without the windup de-buff that had been removed last patch. However, the changes this patch has overall slightly tuned down the Ares, making it harder to control with its increased recoil and inverse accuracy. This change will ideally make the Ares a harder gun to use and prevent it from being able to outclass assault rifles at long range.

  • Ares – Price increase to 1600, recoil increase, spread lowered slightly, and reduced crouch accuracy.

Another change, or a late implementation was the “knife fix”. The hitbox for the knife has been largely extended by 1.5 times. This will make creeping up and right clicking enemies in the back more reliable. While certainly nothing life changing, knifing the wall will also no longer incur a delay for those on higher ping, as knifing walls is now predicted on the client side for instant feedback.

Thoughts on patch 4.01 after four days of play

While Riot did take its time to fix their error in over tuning the Ares, at the very least, Riot have listened to their community.  This patch shows they are willing to update the game in response to player feedback. Most important, the de-buffs to the Ares disproves speculations Riot had buffed the Ares especially for lower ranked players, in anticipation of a launch of a new Ares skin to maximize sales.

Ranked play is back to normal, with the standard Spectre spamming second round buys we all love and appreciate. Given the recent nerfs, a lot less running and gunning is going on and rounds are generally slower in the opening match rounds. We noticed this in both Gold, Platinum and Diamond matches.

There is still plenty of players complaining about bad re-rank after the new act launched. Some Immortal and high Diamond players were placed as low as Gold 2 and are having difficulty re-climbing the ladder. We are not yet sure how Riot tweaked the ranked ladder, but a serious mismatch in player skill is noticeable across the board.