Valorant Patch 4.01 Overview: Ares Nerfs, Melee Buffs & Anti-Toxic Features

You knew it was coming. We hope you enjoyed your time with Ares and earned some RR points, but you can't play the game that way anymore. However, Ares nerfs aren't all we got in Patch 4.01.
EP 4 Act 1
Less toxicity and Ares, more sneaky Melee kills. | © Riot Games

It's been an even week since Patch 4.0 came out, and we're already getting the first hotfixes. That's pretty fast, but well, Riot promised us more frequent balance changes, and if that's the way it's going to go, then we're happy. Not only have these changes been made quickly, but they are also super accurate and, in our opinion, perfect for the current state of the game. With Patch 4.01 coming out, the game should be more balanced, less toxic, and you might score some Melee kills more often. Let's see what Riot has prepared for us in the second Patch of Valorant Episode 4!

Weapon Changes

Let's start with the most significant changes of Patch 4.01 – Ares nerfs and Melee buffs.

Ares

Let's go with Ares nerfs first. It has been pretty much a cheaper Vandal for the past week, meaning you could play full pretty much every round. It was kind of funny, but you know, it couldn't stay that way.

  • Price increased to 1600 (from 1550)
  • Pitch recoil increased
  • Spread changed from .8 to .7 after 10 bullets & to 1.0 to .7 after 13 bullets
  • Crouch benefits spread and recoil reduced to 25% (from 40%)

Melee

Ktac sword
Finally all these swords will have a reach they should | © Riot Games

Melee changes were supposed to come in Patch 4.0, but ultimately Riot decided to wait with them. Perhaps they preferred not to implement so many changes with one patch. What do these buffs mean for the game? That it will be easier to hit your opponent with a knife, and now all those katanas and swords will actually have the hitbox they deserve.

The melee’s been too tricky to aim with, making it tough to rely on. So we’ve updated both left and right click melee attacks for more reliable Agent-whacking action.
  • Right click hitboxes are now 1.5x larger. Left click hitboxes are now larger than a right click and have a slightly longer range too.
  • Targets closer to the center of your knife attacks will get hit first, so you still have precision if you need it.
  • Knifing walls now have instant feedback when slicing up walls.

Social Updates

Social updates in Patch 4.01 focus heavily on reducing the game's toxicity by adding Muted Word List to the available settings. Here's how this feature works:

  • Muted Word List is a new section you will find in your settings where you can type in variations of words/phrases that you, personally, would not like to see appear in-game.
For example: Let’s say “Riot” is a bad word. Our detection may catch the word “Riot” as one that should be blocked and penalized, but there’s a variety of different ways to spell Riot that we may not be catching: R!ot, R!0t, Ri0t, etc. And no, you won’t get “League of Legends” banned from chat. We’re hoping that we can leverage the lists that you and others create to make the chat less toxic by comparing them across regions, and using the data we collect to improve our own detections of bad words. (source)

As you may know, Riot has been on a solid war against toxic players for some time now, so expect a lot of these types of features coming to the game this year.

Bug Fixes

Widejoy
Any Widejoy enjoyers? | © Riot Games

And lastly, some bug fixes. Nothing major this time, Widejoy still exists, but still, a couple of nice changes.

Weapons

  • Fixed a bug where the Origin collection idle animations weren’t playing for some levels and variants in Spectator mode

Performance

  • Fixed an issue where performance charts that require NVIDIA Reflex were displayed and could not be hidden

Esports Features

  • Fixed an issue where observer player hotkeys would change after side-swap.