The next act of Valorant is nearly upon us. Keeping the game's momentum strong just a couple of months into 2021, Act 2 of Valorant Episode 2 will bring several exciting updates to the hero shooter game. The headliner is a brand new Agent named Astra, who is unlike any game's previous characters.
Inverse previewed this new update early and spoke to the Valorant development team about some of the many changes. Here's everything you need to know about Valorant Episode 2, Act 2 and all of the new updates that come with it.
When is the Valorant Episode 2 Act 2 release time?
You don't have to wait much longer for the next Act of Valorant. The game will switch over to Episode 2, Act 2 on March 2, 2021. Logging on that day will give players access to the new battle pass, new Agent Astra, and other changes coming to the game.
Is there a Valorant Episode 2, Act 2 trailer?
While this Act does not have a new cinematic like the previous one yet, there is a trailer unveiling Astra, the Agent tied to this new update. Check it out below:
Who is Valorant Episode 2, Act 2's new agent?
Astra is different from any Valorant Agent before her. Producer John Goscicki describes her as mischievous but wise. "We have been wanting to explore an Agent from other areas within Africa since before launch," he tells Inverse. Astra hails from Ghana specifically.
"Once we started wrapping our heads around the gameplay for Astra and exploring thematic [concepts], there was this amazing cohesion that was created between galactic themes and African Futurism." When it comes to gameplay, Astra's abilities work differently than most other defense-focused Agents.
Pressing X will send Astra into her aptly named Astral Form, and from here, she can place Stars around the entire map. She can use 2 by default but can purchase more on the buy screen. Once these are placed, she can use them to use her abilities.
Gravity Well pulls players towards the Star before exploding and making players fragile. Nova Pulse concusses all players in its area of effect when it goes off. Nebula creates a smoke around the star so players can't see through it.
Finally, her ultimate Cosmic Divide puts players back into Astral mode to choose two locations. An Astral Divide is created between them and blocks bullets and audio. Inverse went hands-on with Astra and was pretty fun to use, though she will be very tricky for newcomers.
You'll want to know general map layouts and the best uses of Smokes and something like Cosmic Divide before you play as her. Still, the developers hope that her unique abilities will allow Astra to impact the competitive scene significantly. They don't think she'll be overpowered thanks to the time commitment it takes to place stars around the map.
What is in the Valorant Episode 2, Act 2 Battle Pass?
The latest Act of Valorant has yet another Battle Pass that players can buy for 1000 VP. On the free track, players will get the Prism III Classic pistol, its variants, the VERSUS // Bind + Icebox card, a new buddy, and a Dumpster Fire spray. The paid track adds a Prism III Axe melee, its variants, a new vandal, a new operator, a VERSUS // Sova + Cypher card, and the Make Some Noise spray into the mix.
Finally, players will get the Super! Spray and the Good job, Paul! Card if they reach the pass Epilogue. If you want to spend some more money on Valorant, this battle pass will give you more ways to customize your weapons. The Prime 2.0 skinline, which follows up on a skinline from Act 1 of Valorant, will also make its debut alongside Episode 2, Act 2.
What are the Valorant Episode 2, Act 2 Ranked Changes?
Patch 2.04, which converts the game to Episode 2 Act 2, also brings some significant changes to competitive and a couple of game modes. Bind's Teleporter exit doors are now permanently open, and the pick rate is evenly rated once again in Escalation. More Tactical VO lines have been added to make information clearer during a match, and several bugs have been fixed.
When it comes to Competitive, lots of changes are in store. Riot Games will no longer lower Ranks at the start of an act unless you are Radiant; instead, Rank Ratings will be reduced by 90 percent. Also, returning players only have to do 1 placement match to display rank, and the RR requirements to reached Radiant have been changed. In North America, it requires 300 RR.
The final major changes make it possible to queue with players in lower Ranks more easily. Riot has decided not to display Ranks before or during games to reduce toxicity. Ranks will be displayed once the game is over. This is the most significant competitive update in a while.
That, coupled with how excited Astra is, means Valorant Episode 2 Act 2 isn't an update that players should ignore.
Valorant is available now for PC.