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VALORANT Patch 3.0 Introduces KAY/O, Gameplay Changes

Jalen Lopez

VALORANT Patch 3.0 is one of the most significant updates in VALORANT history. Patch 3.0 introduces the new killer robot KAY/O and also adjusts the cost, cooldown, or effects of every other Agent. Weapons were also changed to nerf run-and-gun gameplay and to emphasize “precise gunplay.” In most cases, their costs were also lowered, impacting the in-game economy and forcing players to reconsider how they spend their credits each round.

VALORANT Patch 3.0

Patch 3.0 is one of the biggest updates in VALORANT history. Image via Riot Games.

Players will need to adjust their strategies to the huge changes in Patch 3.0, but the updates should create a balanced gameplay experience.

Agent Updates

Every Agent received adjustments in Patch 3.0 that raise the cost of abilities in most cases or increase their cooldown. Some abilities received much-needed buffs, but their costs also increased.

Each Agent’s signature ability now only provides a minimum of one charge per round instead of accumulating a charge every round. In addition, charges gained from cooldowns are temporary. Visibility also returns faster during the fadeout period of all flashes.

Here is a breakdown of the Agent changes in Patch 3.0


Nova Pulse (Q)

  • Cooldown time increased 12 >>> 25

Gravity Well (C)

  • Cooldown time increased 12 >>> 25

Stars/Astral Form (X)

  • Stars are now inactive when placed during the buy phase
  • When the barriers drop, her Stars charge for 1.4 seconds before becoming active and usable.
  • On Attack, Astra can now see the Spike’s location in Astral form
  • This representation does not animate, so it will not provide additional info on the status of the Spike.
  • Recall cooldown increased 8 >>> 15
  • Granted signature charges decreased 2 >>> 1
  • Star cost decreased 200 >>>150


Flashpoint (Q)

  • Total charges reduced 3 >>> 2
  • Cost increased 200 >>> 250
  • Projectile speed decreased 2500 >>>2000

Fault Line (E)

  • Full charge time decreased 1.5 >>> 1 second
  • Width increased 600 >>> 750
  • Telegraph windup time decreased 1.3 >>> 1
  • Concussion duration increased 3 >>> 3.5
  • Unequip time after firing decreased 1 >>> .7
  • Cooldown time increased 35 >>> 40

After Shock (C)

  • Now explodes three times with each blast dealing 60 damage with no fall off, blasts are .6 seconds apart
  • Explosion radius increased 260 >>> 300
  • Unuequip time after firing decreased 1.1 >>> .9 seconds
  • Cost increased 100 >>> 200

Rolling Thunder (X)

  • Width of all explosions increased to 2300, which was the previous width of the final explosion


Incendiary (Q)

  • Cost increased 200 >>> 250


Neural Theft (X)

  • Ultimate points required decreased 7 >>> 6


Updraft (Q)

  • Cost increased 100 >>> 150

Tailwind (E)

  • No longer breaks Cypher’s Trapwire

Cloudburst (C)

  • Cost increased 100 >>> 200

Bladestorm (X)

  • Ultimate points required increased 6 >>> 7


Alarmbot (Q)

  • Cooldown after pickup increased 7 >>> 20

Turret (E)

  • Cooldown after pickup increased 10 >>> 20


Paranoia (Q)

  • Cost decreased 400 >>> 300

Dark Cover (E)

  • Granted signature charges reduced 2 >>> 1
  • Omen now must buy his second smoke for 100
  • Cooldown time increased 35 >>> 40

Shrouded Step (C)

  • Cost increased 100 >>> 150


Curveball (Q)

  • Cost increased 200 >>> 250


  • Model has been updated with a polish pass

Boombot (C)

  • Cost increased 200 >>> 400

Showstopper (X)

  • Ultimate points required increased 7 >>> 8


Leer (C)

  • Cost increased 200 >>> 250


Slow Orb (Q)

  • Cost increased 100 >>> 200

Barrier Orb (C)

  • Cost increased 300 >>> 400

Resurrection (X)

  • Ultimate points required increased 7 >>> 8


Trailblazer (Q)

  • Vision radius increased 1750 >>> 2250
  • Max concussion duration increased 3 >>> 4
  • Cost increased 200 >>> 250

Guiding Light (E)

  • Charges reduced 3 >>> 2
  • Charges are now replenished on a 40-second cooldown
  • Skye no longer needs to re-equip to trigger her flash
  • Guiding Light’s projectile now goes around corners tighter when free-flying and is more responsive to guiding
  • Audio attenuation when cast reduced 3250 >>> 1250
  • Cost of charges increased 100 >>> 250


Shock Dart (Q)

  • Cost increased 100 >>> 150

Recon Bolt (E)

  • Cooldown time increased 35 >>> 40

Owl Drone (C)

  • Cost increased 300 >>> 400

Hunter’s Fury (X)

  • Ultimate points required increased 7 >>> 8


Snakebite (C)

  • Duration reduced 8 >>> 6.5
  • Outer edges of Viper’s acid patch form faster to ensure it is lethal if an enemy sits in the entire duration
  • Cost increased 100 >>> 200


Blindside (Q)

  • Cost increased 200 >>> 250

Gatecrash (E)

  • Cooldown time increased 35 >>> 40

Weapon Updates

Patch 3.0 adjusted every weapon type to help remove the run-and-gun gameplay that allowed players to win gunfights without precise aim. Bullet tagging and Weapon Deadzones were adjusted for all weapons, and each weapon type received individual changes to help resolve the issue. The Shorty, Bucky, Stinger, Marshal, and Operator now cost less, allowing players to purchase them more often.

Competitive and Performance Updates

Patch 3.0 introduces several changes to the ranked mode, which should positively impact the ranked experience. The possibility of being “hard stuck” on old accounts should be reduced. Matchmaking accuracy across all ranks is also improved, making it smoother to climb through ranks.

Close games will have a smaller effect on rank rating gains or losses, and the Rank Rating curves have been adjusted. This means climbing or falling through ranks will feel less volatile. Individual performance will also be accounted at Immortal ranked and higher. The Rank Distribution has been updated, and placements have been raised to Diamond 1 to help relieve the stress of climbing back to your original rank at higher levels.

Performance updates in Patch 3.0 also allow players with medium to high spec machines to see up to a six percent performance improvement.

Social and Progression Updates

VALORANT players can now enjoy an updated Killfeed that provides more information for each kill. For example, the feed now shows other players who assisted with a kill. Players can also see if the player was in a second-life state when they killed an enemy.

The Year One Event Pass is a new free progression system similar to the battlepass. Players can earn free rewards as they level up the event pass, which will be active throughout Patch 3.0. The new Squad Boost feature allows players to level up quickly when they queue with friends, and the bonus increases with more players in your party. This feature will also be active throughout Patch 3.0.

Fans can also level up their accounts with the new Account Leveling feature, which increases by playing VALORANT.

Patch 3.0 also addresses dozens of bugs across all game modes and features, and a full list of these changes can be found in the official patch notes.