VALORANT: Patch 4.01 Ares Balance, Knife Buff, Profanity Filters

BY JOHN

John

Writer and Storywriter

PUBLISHED 5 MONTHS AGO

Riot has always been great with game updates for their titles. In a highly competitive game such as VALORANT, the last thing you want is for certain in-game elements to feel overpowered or broken.

VALORANT: Patch 4.01 Ares Balance, Knife Buff, Profanity Filters

VALORANT Devs were quick to remedy the problem with the quick rollout of Patch 4.01, which addresses the recent changes to a certain machine gun that accidentally made it one of the best guns in the game. Along with the slight changes to the Ares, the humble Knife is given a slight buff and polish, and in-game chat profanities can now be filtered to the players’ liking.

Ares: God of War No More?

The Ares was the main talking point of the recent Patch 4.0 release. It might have even overshadowed the release of a very exciting Duelist in Neon.

The budget machine gun received its first serious buff in Patch 4.0. However, as much as Riot wanted to make the Ares just a tad more relevant for competitive matches, their changes to the Ares were enough to make it one of the most bang for the buck weapons in-game.

From a purely price-performance standpoint, it might even be better than the mainstream rifles such as the Vandal or Phantom.

The Patch 4.0 changes to the Ares made the weapon noticeably stronger, and we were happy to see it show up more in-game. However, it’s overall tuning made it too easy to control and the lack of spin up removed some of what made the weapon unique. We love the benefits that the adjusted fire rate provided in terms of how the Ares felt to use, so we want to keep that. However, the adjustments below should make the weapon more difficult to control and bring back some of the weapon’s character by including a more prominent inverse accuracy.

Riot Games

Ares Changes:

  • Price increased from 1550 >>> 1600
  • Pitch recoil increased
  • Spread changed from .7 >>> .8 after 10 bullets to 1.0 >>> .7 after 13 bullets
  • Crouch benefits spread and recoil reduced from 40% >>> 25%

Patch 4.0 made the Ares too rifle-like in spray control and damage. With Patch 4.01, Riot muted the Ares’ capabilities just enough to make it behave like a machine gun once again.

These changes were enough to take the Ares’ “overpowered” status to a ” very viable half-buy round weapon and strong in certain situations.”

It was only a matter of time before Riot took action on the Ares’ huge power spike following the Patch 4.0 update. Before the 4.01 update, teams can be seen with up to 5 stacks of Ares’ in the second round of each match. Regardless of which side won the pistol round, the Ares’ insane damage output and accessibility at just 1550 credits meant that second round Ares-buys were going to be the meta for Patch 4.0.

Thankfully, that is not the case anymore with Patch 4.01 moving forward. It was fun while it lasted, though.

Muted Words

Life’s a *****.

Riot has always sought to bring a player-friendly environment for all walks of life regardless of regional differences. As such, an in-game profanity filter for common English slurs has always been available as an option in the VALORANT settings menu. The setting blocks off common English slurs that could potentially make the in-game chat more toxic than it already is at times.

VALORANT Devs sought to push things further with a new profanity setting called: Muted Words.

We admit that some players are often smarter than our automated bad word detection system and continually find creative ways to type things we don’t want to in chat. This is why we need your help to make our detections better! Help us, help you 🙂

Riot Games

This option allows players to manually input “curse words” that they do not want to appear in the in-game chat.

While Riot’s profanity detection system is good at blocking common English slurs, it is not “smart” enough to catch spelling variations of certain curse words. Also, because of Riot’s multiple regions in VALORANT, slurs derived from some regions’ dialects will still show up.

Riot says it will use the data it collects from the compiled “Muted Words” list to “improve their detections of bad words.”

Buffing and Polishing the Knife

In the grand scheme of VALORANT, the Knife is probably just a glorified movement-speed booster at this point. Sure, it might be great for destroying traps and utilities without alerting the enemy team of your exact position, but that is about it.

We are pretty sure you have experienced an embarrassing moment with the knife yourself: Attempting to stab an enemy in the back only to miss and make a swishing sound, alerting the enemy of your position.

Trust us. You die thrice whenever that happens in a competitive match: Once in-game, another while laughing our butts off, and lastly, out of embarrassment.

Everyone knows that something was inherently off with the VALORANT Knife. Riot knows this and decided to polish the Knife’s mechanics.

The melee’s been too tricky to aim with, making it tough to rely on. So we’ve updated both left and right click melee attacks for more reliable Agent-whacking action.

Riot Games
I guess I’ll die now.

And rightfully so. The VALORANT Knife was either a literal hit or a miss in-game. To remedy this, Riot increased the Knife’s right-click hitbox. The left-click hitbox is made slightly larger than the right-click hitbox, plus it has more reach than the right-click.

In terms of precision and aiming, Riot optimized the targeting for the Knife by prioritizing enemy units that are closer to the center of the knife.

To round off the Knife update, Riot moved the hit registration of the Knife from the Server-side to the Client-side. This should remove any hit-registration delays when knifing walls, etc.

Overall, a great move by Riot to polish and “sharpen” the in-game Knife. With this update, the Knife should be more useable as an actual in-game weapon and not just a decorative ornament that players whip out to increase movement speed.

Balanced Gameplay

Riot has always been quick with updates and bug fixes. Patch 4.01 is no exception.

In Patch 4.01, Riot games went back to the workshop and fixed the apparent Ares problem before it starts affecting Ranked games significantly. A quick cost and recoil change were enough to tame the machine gun to more machine-gun-like levels.

The addition of the Muted Words option in the settings is undoubtedly going to be a great in-game option that could slowly rid the game of chat toxicity.

Finally, the Knife has been given the quality of life updates it desperately needed for ages now. Players can now confidently attempt Knife kills, knowing that their trusty melee weapon won’t fail them anymore.

Overall, Patch 4.01 is a great quick update by Riot. Queue up and start fragging! What are you waiting for?

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