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VALORANT Patch 2.04 Adds Astra and Tactical Voice Over

Jalen Lopez

VALORANT Patch 2.04 went live Tuesday morning and introduced several new changes and updates. The new Agent Astra is now available and is perfect for players who like to adapt and change the battlefield.

Astra Patch 2.04

Patch 2.04 adds a new Agent and multiple changes. (Image via Riot Games)

The patch also adjusts how ranks are affected by new acts, and ranks are no longer shown in-game or before games. Players can now experience a new Tactical Voice Over option that will help teams coordinate.

Astra is Here

The newest Agent in VALORANT, Astra, is now available for players to unlock. Astra has a unique ability kit that is centered around her Astral Form and Stars. While in Astral Form, Astra can place Stars around the map that she can activate later in the round. The Agent starts with two stars each round and can purchase three more for a total of five.

Each Star can be activated to use one of Astra’s abilities. Astra’s Gravity Well ability pulls players towards the center of the Star before exploding. Players hit by the explosion are affected by the vulnerable debuff.

The Nova Pulse ability activates a concussive blast that stuns all players in its area. The Nebula ability creates a smokescreen that lasts for 15 seconds. Astra can recall a star with the Dissipate ability, which shortly makes a fake Nebula.

Astra’s Cosmic Divide ultimate ability creates a wall that blocks bullets and dampens game audio. Players and abilities can pass through the wall, but it is still a significant deterrent.

Escalation Update

Escalation was recently added to VALORANT as another casual mode. Some players discovered camping in the teleporter on Bind was an easy way to win games. Riot Games fixed the issue by making the teleporter doors permanently opened in Escalation.

Competitive Updates

Ranks will not be lowered for players who have already received a rank this Episode in Act 2. Radiant and Immortal players will keep their position on the leaderboard, but their Rank Rating will be reduced by 90%. All Radiant players will be moved down to immortal to prove themselves again as “the best of the best.”

Radiant players also must have a minimum of RR and be in the top 500 players of their region to appear on the in-game leaderboard. The required amount of RR varies per region and can be found in the official patch notes.
Players must play one placement match to display their rank. RR and rank could potentially change in the placement match, but it will only vary based on performance in that one match. New players who have not previously placed in Competitive this episode must play five placement matches for their initial rank.

Ranks will not be displayed in-game or on the Agent select screen. The end of the game screen will show ranks. Lower-ranked players can now queue with a broader range of friends as the ranked disparity has been increased. Higher ranked players will still have the same rank disparity to ensure competitive integrity.

Riot will also reduce the RR lost or gained each competitive match by 5 points later in this patch. This is to prevent a player’s RR from getting above their MMR and creating inconsistent games.

Tactical Voice Over

Riot Games has added a new Tactical Voice Over option to help teams coordinate and share information. Agent voice lines involving enemies or the spike now have a Super Region added to the end. This will allow players to track the spike and enemy movement.

Players also have the option to add Tactical VO to the chat window. A chat message with the same information if the option is enabled.

Bug Fixes and Quality of Life Updates

Players with medium to high spec machines can expect slightly better frame rates. Riot improved client framerate by 3% in 10-player games. The patch also addressed several bugs, and a full list of these updates can be found here.