Valorant Patch 4.04 Overview: Controller Changes, Icebox Update & More

Recent updates were more of an "evolution" of the game. However, Patch 4.04 is a "revolution" in the true sense of the word.
Patch 4 04 notes
Say hello to Valorant 2. | © Riot Games

Maybe we didn't get a new Agent or a new Map. Maybe the new Battle Pass skins aren't as cool as we'd like (that butter knife, jeez...). And we didn't actually get anything fancy at all, but as it turns out, we did end up getting a new game. Like, for real, we're not exaggerating. Remember Patch 3.0? It's something like that, only scaled up twice. Enough talking, here's everything that's inside Patch 4.04, which will be getting later today (March 1). It's a big one, so we're sure that many of you already jammed that CTRL+F to find some specific changes.

Agent Changes

With Patch 4.04, as many as 9 Agents have been affected by some kind of changes (nerfs, buffs, bug fixes, etc.). In fact, every Controller has been changed drastically, which could mean that Riot is planning to release a new Agent for this class, and they just don't want to power-creep so hard.

We are especially hyped for the Omen buffs, which may make this Agent from C-Tier go even to the top and be able to compete with other Controllers in terms of power potential.

General

Improved the system used to place abilities at targeted ground locations. This update should make it easier to find valid placement locations in tight spaces. These are the abilities affected:

  • Omen’s Shrouded Step
  • Viper’s pit
  • Chamber’s Trademark and Rendez-vous
  • Every Killjoy ability
  • Yoru’s Gatecrash
  • Sage’s Barrier Orb

Omen

Omen smoke
Cover going "brrr" | © Riot Games

Dark Cover

  • Cooldown decreased to 30s (from 40s)
  • Cost increased to 150 Credits (from 100 Credits)
  • Projectile Speed increased to 6400 (from 2800)

This last change... wow. But it's not over!

Shrouded Step

  • Cost decreased to 150 (from 100)
  • Pre-teleport delay increased to 0.7s (from 1s)

Paranoia

  • Added forward spawn offset, so players adjacent to Omen are not hit

So, these are really big changes for Omen, and we're sure we'll now see him on the Ranked Play meta (and maybe even in eSports?).

Brimstone

Brimstone is another Controller to get some sweet changes. We recently claimed that if Brim doesn't get some buffs soon, he will be one of those Agents who are "good at learning the game but terrible in general". Well, looks like it won't necessarly be the case!

Sky Smoke

  • Deploy time decreased to 1s (from 2s)
  • Deploy radius increased to 5500 (from 5000)
  • Smoke height increased to match other Controllers

Stim Beacon

  • Now also applies a 15% speed boost

Astra

These nerfs are pretty big, but the basis of her identity remains the same, so we still expect Astra to be popular in the metagame. But will her power level continue to stand apart from other Agents in her class? Possibly, but definitely not as much as before.

Stars

  • Maximum amount of Stars reduced to 4 (from 5)
  • Cooldown on retrieving a Star increased to 25 (from 14)
  • Astra can now pick up placed Stars during the Buy Phase to refund their charge immediately
  • Max distance of Star Placement increased to 3000 (from 1000)

Nova Pulse

  • Cooldown Increased to 45 (from 25)
  • Nova Pulse no longer affects anyone fully underneath the Nova Pulse

Gravity Well

  • Cooldown increased to 45 (from 25)
  • Gravity Well size decreased to 475 (from 525)
  • Gravity Well no longer affects anyone fully underneath the Gravity Well

Nebula

  • Cooldown increased to 25 (from 14)
  • Nebula cooldowns are now sequential instead of simultaneous
  • Nebula size increased to 475 (from 410)

Astral Form

  • While in Astral form, pings are no longer blocked by level geometry that Astra cannot see
  • Astra’s targeting ring in Astral form is reduced to one ring that reflects the now unified size of all her utility
  • Astra’s targeting ring no longer randomly disappears when aiming across some map locations
  • Increased the speed of the overlay that covers Astra’s screen when transitioning in and out of Astral form
  • Fixed an issue where Stars were placed slightly above the location Astra was targeting

Viper

Viper also received some unfavorable treatment in Patch 4.04. Some personal thoughts from the author – honestly, as an ex-Viper main, I'm not sure these changes will change much in her power level; these nerfs still aren't as big as for Astra. Plus, considering that her Ultimate Ability is left untouched, she may actually become the best Controller in the game (yes, even despite all these nerfs).

  • And what do you think? Join our Discord and let's chat about it!

Fuel

  • Fuel drain increased 50% when Toxic Screen and Poison Cloud are both active
  • Viper’s fuel bar now turns red when she does not have enough fuel to activate her abilities

Toxic Screen / Poison Cloud

  • Cooldown after deactivating increased to 8 (from 6)
  • Cooldown timer now starts when her smoke starts dissipating instead of when the deactivation telegraph plays
  • Deactivation delay increased to 8 (from 1)
  • Toxic Screen now has yellow lights that indicate when it is on cooldown
  • Removed delay on Toxic Screen disabling when Viper is suppressed
  • Added a unique VO line that plays when her smoke is disabled by suppress.

Snake Bite

  • Duration decreased to 5.5 (from 6.5)

Yoru

We already covered all the changes for the upcoming Yoru rework before, but here you have all the details and official notes (valid for the biggest Valorant nerds out there).

Fakeout

  • Charges reduced to 1 (from 2)
  • Decoy is now a full running version of Yoru and can only be sent running forward
  • Decoy HP: 150
  • Right -click to place a stationary marker for the decoy (Reactivate similarly to footsteps to create the decoy that runs forward)
  • Upon taking damage from an enemy gun, the decoy winds up, turns towards the enemy that shot it, and explodes after a short delay (Enemies within the cone are flashed)

Gatecrash

Oh gosh, we already see all these fake teleports coming to mess with our head.

  • Charges increased to 2 (from 1)
  • Cost: 200 Credits
  • Cooldown charge refresh removed, switched back to 2-kill reset
  • Gatecrash can be faked by pressing F, while hovering over the beacon
  • Fake teleport will play audio and portal visuals as if Yoru is attempting to teleport
  • Time it takes for teleport beacon to re-stealth has decreased to 0.5 (from 1.5)
  • Teleport beacon’s in-game audio while traveling reduced to 12.5m (from 22.5m)
  • Teleport beacon’s speed has been increased to 800 (from 675)
  • Upon activating a fake teleport, the beacon creates a small decal on the floor for 30 seconds to indicate location of the fake teleport

Dimensional Drift

  • Yoru is not revealed to enemies
  • Yoru is now able to cast all utility out of his ultimate
  • Duration increased to 10 seconds (from 8)
  • Yoru’s footsteps can now be heard within 15m of Yoru’s location
  • Cast delay added upon casting Dimensional Drift, preventing the invulnerability frame on cast

Huh, and that would be it for Agent changes. But there's more when it comes to other stuff!

Map Changes

Icebox

So, it turns out that the rumors about an Icebox update were real. It is just as we thought – Icebox will from now on become more accessible for Defenders and therefore become a more balanced map.

A Site

A Site can feel overwhelming for defenders so these changes should give them some new options and allow them to better isolate Attacker angles. (source)
  • Cover on back A site adjusted.
  • Head peak on attacker side pipes removed

B Site

  • Doorway from Attacker spawn building near Green lane moved to the first cubby
  • Green lane slightly widened
  • Yellow container adjusted and new stack of crates added
  • Lower container removed and geometry adjusted into a cubby facing Green. Doorway on the upper container widened and its position adjusted
  • Outer wall on B site and crane structure brought in toward the site
  • Building in Back B closed off
  • Plant zone on B site adjusted
  • Back wall in Kitchen adjusted
  • Crates added to Orange lane to block line of sight from under tube to danger
  • Boiler ramp geo simplified and slightly narrowed. Smokes will now fully cover Boiler and players should find head peaks from ramp more predictable

Ascent

  • B orb can now be taken

Competitive Changes

And here's one big change! Tired of playing Fracture 4 times in a row? Then check this out:

Introducing initial testing of a new “deterministic map system” in LATAM. The goal of this system is to increase the variety of maps that players will encounter. If there are no issues, we plan to activate this system for all regions within the next few days/week.

This deterministic map system is supposed to:

  • Look at all maps players have played over the last 5 maps for that mode
  • Remove any maps that a player has played twice in the past 5 maps
  • Pick the least played map

If all maps have been removed due to the “Twice Played” rule, those maps will be added back to the pool and the least played map will be picked.
Again, even though this deterministic map system is currently available only on the LATAM server, you can be sure that eventually, Riot will implement it on all other servers (maybe in a slightly tweaked form, but still).

Bug Fixes

Although almost every Patch contains some bug fixes, this one has an exceptionally large number of them.

Agents

  • Fixed issue where enemies wouldn’t trigger Cypher’s Trapwire in some situations
  • Fixed the boom not showing up for Astra if planted while in Astral Form
  • Fixed a bug where Viper’s Toxic Screen audio could play in the next round if it is activated right on round end
  • Fixed Yoru’s Gatecrash icon showing up as a big white circle on Brimstone’s targeting map
  • Fixed a bug where Chamber’s teleport would sometimes fail when cast immediately after firing the last bullet of Headhunter
  • Fixed a bug where Chamber’s Tour de Force would inconsistently spawn slow zones when firing at KAY/O during NULL/CMD

Social

  • Fixed an issue with AFKs in Escalation

Esports Features

  • Fixed a bug where the timer would overlap itself while viewing the megamap

Game Systems

  • Fixed an issue where you could tap the scroll wheel to activate the defuse audio without actually initiating a defuse

Patch 4.04 Notes: Summary

Okay, this might be the biggest update since the game came out of Beta. It seems that these are not all the changes that Riot wanted to make in this Patch, and there will be even more to come in the upcoming weeks. That said, it looks like Act 2 will bring us a lot of freshness despite the lack of flashy content. Honestly, we can't wait as this Patch goes live, and yet it's theoretically not as fancy as Episode 4's first update!