Skip to main content

VALORANT — The 7 Worst Patches of All Time, Ranked

All patches are well-intentioned, but not all are well-received – let’s explore the worst VALORANT patches.

VALORANT is constantly changing – agents and guns are nerfed, buffed, and cycled in and out of the meta. Every patch brings new additions to look forward to – but sometimes, they also bring changes the player base dreads. Let’s look at seven of the worst VALORANT patches, ranked by severity.

6.08 Killjoy Nerf

Killjoy splash art from Valorant

Killjoy has always been and likely will continue to be a mainstay of the VALORANT meta. Her Sentinel kit is one of the most comprehensive to control and deny space. Time and time again, she has been nerfed but continues to be effective – for that reason, the 6.08 Killjoy nerf lands squarely on the last spot of the worst VALORANT patches.

While Killjoy is still viable, the 6.08 patch significantly changed her kit. Killjoy’s swarm grenades are now visible from a larger radius and are easier to destroy due to a loud audio cue. The audio adjustments extended to Killjoy’s alarmbot and turret, which make much louder deactivation noises. These changes make it much easier to identify a lurking Killjoy’s location. Killjoy’s Lockdown UI also became less distracting for enemies. Though the changes concretely impacted Killjoy’s strength, they did not make her unplayable, and she continues to be a frequent pick.

5.06 Stinger Buff

Stinger patch 5.06 notes

The Stinger wasn’t always the gun it is today. Although it was always handy for close-range spam, its ridiculous recoil and range inaccuracy made it the laughing stock of VALORANT. The Stinger needed a buff, but the buff 5.06 provided was simply too significant.

VALORANT reduced the Stinger’s primary firing error to 1.3 after six bullets and its alt-fire error to only 3.5. Despite these drastic changes, the gun’s cost remained at merely 950 credits. Players abused the gun’s affordability and reasonable accuracy as much as possible, and it even began to be present in pro-level play as an eco-buy. The Stinger’s cost has since (wisely) been increased to 1,100 credits to make it more balanced, and its damage falloff over distance has also increased. It is still a common eco-buy, but not overpowered any longer.

4.04 Viper Nerf

Viper splash art from Valorant

Viper has consistently cycled in and out of the VALORANT meta. The RIOT team has frequently adjusted her mollies, wall, orb and ult to fit the changing array of maps, agents and utility. She is another agent who has been through many nerfs, but the 4.04 nerf was by far the most devastating. VALORANT nerfed every aspect of her kit in this patch aside from her ultimate. The duration of Viper’s snakebite decreased to 5.5 seconds, and her Toxin Screen and Poison Cloud cooldowns increased by 2. Most notably, having both abilities active at once drained fuel 50% faster after the update.

Viper had been previously nerfed in the 2.09 update when VALORANT reduced her in-smoke decay to 30. The recent 6.11 Viper nerf also reduced her fuel regeneration speed. Combined with the 4.04 nerf, her power is nowhere near what it used to be, but she remains useful on some maps like Sunset and Breeze.

6.0 Omen One-Way Nerf

Omen splash art from valorant

VALORANT was once a playground for Omen mains, with near-infinite locations for cheeky one-ways. Omen veterans remember with fondness days when a smoke placed within walls with a red arrow would hover peacefully above the landscape and obscure the vision of any foolish enemy who might push through. Alas, all good things must end, and a single line in the cumbersome VALORANT 6.0 patch notes ended Omen’s reign as king of smokes: “Dark Cover placed inside walls will now fall to the height of nearby ground.”

The VALORANT team stated: “One-way smokes are a part of VALORANT, but they are difficult to play against and we want to keep them limited to intentional and understandable areas. We'll be keeping a close eye on how this impacts Omen's power levels.”

Some Omen one-ways escaped the effects of this adjustment, and Omen’s paranoia luckily helps him remain a viable agent. However, Omen fans will never be the same after this harrowing experience, and Brimstone and Astra have since rivaled Omen’s popularity and effectiveness.

7.4 Jett Nerf

Cool jett splash art from valorant

Jett is undeniably the poster child of VALORANT. Her image adorns countless VALORANT graphics, videos and pieces of merchandise. New players who select her as a starter agent love her just as much as pros like Tenz who flex flashy Jett gameplay. However, the VALORANT team’s love for Jett has limits made clear in the harsh 7.4 patch.

Jett’s Dash window decreased by 4.5 seconds, and her Cloudbursts have a shorter duration of only 2.5 seconds. In addition, the update leaves her with only one Updraft charge. The changes are severe as having only one updraft eliminates many double-updraft and ult combo spots that Jett mains rely on. The single updraft also means Jett cannot reach as many vertical angles, which was a huge advantage for her kit. Finally, her ultimate cost was increased from 7 to 8 points. Dedicated Jett mains will likely continue to play her, but many have switched to Chamber for duel mechanics or Raze for more utility.

5.03 Chamber Nerf

No agent has had a more drastic fall from grace than Chamber. Once the king of the VALORANT Meta, Chamber’s quick cooldowns and cheap kit enabled an aggressive playstyle. He quickly became a steady pick for Operator users and aim demons. Though Chamber was a fan favorite, the VALORANT team decided that enough was enough – and with the 5.03 patch update, they nerfed him into the ground.

The VALORANT team reduced Chamber’s Base and Recall cooldowns by 10 seconds and his Rendezvous activation radius by 6 meters. In addition, Trademark and Tour de Force’s slow durations decreased by 3.5 seconds. Tour de Force was adjusted to require eight ult points instead of 7, and the cost increased by 150 credits for all Headhunter bullets. Though recent changes such as the Jett nerf have made Chamber more viable in competitive play, hordes of heartbroken Chamber mains will forever remember the day he was nerfed.

VALORANT April Fools 2004 Gekko Buff

Wingman with a sniper rifle

All of VALORANT’s patches have surprised the community – but perhaps none as much as the 2023 April Fool’s prank patch notes that shocked the player base. Perhaps the most significant change within this patch is Wingman’s newfound ability to pick up and use guns, or as the VALORANT team so eloquently stated: “Our bestie, Wingman, can now pull up onto site with an Op.” No one expected that Gekko’s cuddly lil’ buddy would strike fear into the VALORANT community’s hearts.

This theoretical update has another benefit – Brimstone’s beard somehow grants nearby players rapid fire. Surprisingly, the patch dictates that the Vandal will be removed from the shop completely so players can only use the glorious Phantom. Furthermore, VALORANT now sorts E-daters into a competitive queue where they can only hear each other’s voice comms. No longer will players hear ‘Her Reyna’ and ‘His Sage’ meowing at each other while they try to clutch – on second thought, maybe this patch would have been nice!

As further VALORANT patches roll out, we excitedly await new maps, abilities and agents. However, let’s hope that future patches are a bit less chaotic and that all agents get the love and care they deserve.