Valorant Patch 2.04 is Live, New Agent Astra Unveiled

Posted on March 3, 2021

The new Valorant 2.04 patch is now officially live, and it brings a ton of changes to the game with it. The patch signals the start of Act 2, introduces a brand new Controller Agent Astra, and adds a new Battlepass as well as several adjustments and quality of life tweaks. That’s a lot of news to digest, so let’s dive into it.

Astra – The Cosmic Controller

The new Agent is an interesting addition to the game, fitting the controller role perfectly with her diverse cosmic kit. Her playstyle revolves around activating Astral Form and placing cosmic traps which, when triggered, will cause different effects and provide support for her team.

Astra Valorant
Image Credits | Valorant

Her Q ability, Nova Pulse, is a pulse ability that applies concussion on enemies. The E ability allows her to place stars that turn into a Nebula, providing smoke on the location and denying vision for the opposing team. Gravity Well is her C ability, and she uses it to not only make enemy players caught inside fragile, but the pull effect itself is an interesting mechanic since she can use it behind obstacles and pull the enemy out in the open. Her ultimate is where this Agent turns from fun to mind-blowing. Astra can survey the entire map and place stars wherever she chooses. To top it off, she can choose which ability is going to be activated on each of the stars, allowing for some creative plays.

Competitive Updates

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This patch introduced the Competitive Episode 2: Act 2, and with it came some noticeable changes when it comes to Valorant competitive play.

First of all, players won’t have their rank lowered once the new Act starts. They can keep their position on the leaderboard, but the Rank Rating will be dropped by 90% and all Radiant players will be demoted to Immortal. This was done in order to keep the Radiant players on their toes and motivate them to prove they’re the best once again.

Speaking of Radiant, the requirements to reach this rank have also changed. Players will now have to place in the top 500 of their region and also reach the minimum amount of Rank Rating.

If you wish your name to be shown on the Leaderboard for the new Act, you’ll now have to play only one placement match and your rank will be displayed. However, those who haven’t placed in Competitive during this Episode will still have to go through the initial five placement games.

Overall, these changes allow new players to get into competitive play slightly easier, but reaching Radiant will be a bit more challenging. This works for both sides of the player spectrum – the more casual base now has easier access, while the pros get a harder challenge to prove their skill.

Quality of Life

When it comes to playing Valorant efficiently, communication is key. The new quality of life changes brought in this patch look to address this aspect and improve it, adding additional information to the Agent voice-over lines.

The Agents will now specify the map region when announcing the automated VO lines, which would be something like “Spike spotted C” and lines similar to that. While the professional teams will still rely on team communication before all else, this change will help the more casual players, or players who end up playing in teams with muted members. The tactical VO lines will now also be displayed in the chat window, which adds further convenience to both new and veteran players. All in all, these changes are great, and the Valorant team is definitely going in the right direction. We’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.

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Denis Alihodzic

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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