KAY/O, Valorant’s latest agent joined the roster with the release of Episode 3. The Robotic War Machine is in the Initiator class and features game-changing suppress mechanics with classic first-person shooter style utility in his flashbang and Molotov.
KAY/O is the quintessential First Person Shooter agent that has been designed to skew the balance between Abilities and Gunplay over to the weaponry side. Hence why we felt a Kay/O Guide would be great for our readers. While most agents' abilities do not directly net kills, they can provide advantages that immensely affect the fights.
KAY/O brings with him a new ability mechanic in the form of his suppression powers. For players coming from a traditional FPS game, this agent will make them feel right at home. Many pro players were intrigued by the agent in their first impressions, so here's everything you need to know about how to use the Robotic War machine in our KAY/O Guide.
KAY/O's Abilities: Meta-Defining
KAY/O's first basic ability is FLASH/DRIVE, a classic Flashbang that works similar to those found in Counter-Strike. The flash can be thrown with a long throw with the Mouse1 or a shorter throw with Mouse2. The ability has 2 charges and costs 250 per charge.
VALORANT's flashes so far have mainly been gravity-defying projectiles that are usually easy to dodge. KAY/O's flash however allows you to pop flash around corners and cover in such a way that the opponent gets blinded as soon as they see the projectile.
Similar to Skye's Guiding Light, this flashbang can be thrown vertically which makes this one of the best flashbangs in the game. However, for newer players, this is a high skill ability that can very easily blind your own team if it is used incorrectly. Learning a few lineups will come in handy to provide strong support for your team's entry. A basic flash for A Ramp on Split is shown below.
This ability can also be helpful on the defense so that players can stop attackers from rushing in and disorient them when they enter the sites. It also will come in useful for retakes so make sure to save a flash for the late game on defense. Next up in our KAY/O Guide is FRAG/MENT.
FRAG/MENT (C) -
Despite being named like a frag grenade, KAY/O's FRAG/MENT functions more like a Molotov, dealing Area damage over time. The ability gives you a projectile to throw that bounces off walls till it lands on solid ground. After landing it gives out 4 pulses of damage in its area of effect. The damage decreases with distance being the highest at the center. The ability has 1 charge and costs 200 credits. As part of this KAY/O Guide, we've broken down how each ability can be useful on both Attack and Defense.
Attack - Defuse Denial
The most valuable use of this ability on the attack is denying the defuse in a retake. If you use proper lineups, you can deny the enemy the defuse and clutch out the round. Since the grenade does 20 damage per pulse, you should definitely shoot the enemy after throwing it to confirm the win. Here's a lineup for the default plant on Split's A site.
Defense - Area Clear, Delay
On the defense, the grenade gives you the ability to clear positions in a retake or to stop the enemies from entering the site. The amount of time that this grenade can waste on an attacker's push could mean the difference between KAY/O holding a site solo and the rotations getting there to defend.
Signature: ZERO/POINT (E)
KAY/O's signature introduces a whole new mechanic to VALORANT with its suppressive powers. The ability manifests as a throwable knife that sticks to walls and creates a large spherical field where all enemy agents are suppressed. When enemies are affected by this suppression field, they are unable to use their abilities for 8 seconds, and the icons of the agents that have been suppressed pop up on KAY/O's HUD.
Attack - Suppress Defensive Abilities
ZERO/POINT serves very different functions on attack vs defense. On attack, the knife serves its designed function of suppressing the agents on defense. It reduces the defensive abilities that the opponents could use. Similar to the rest of KAY/O's kit, this again relies on lineups to cover larger areas. Here's an easy lineup that covers the whole A site on Split.
Defense - Information Gathering
Over on the defensive side, the knife has a much more important function. Since the Knife is regenerative, it can be used early in the round and then be used again in the retake. So it becomes a crucial ability for gaining information. Most teams in competitive don't have perfect coordination and so if you can find out where any 2 of them are, you can basically know where they'll attack. ZERO/POINT allows the KAY/O to find out if there are any enemies going for a fast play at his site.
If your ZERO/POINT suppress finds more than 2 players at an entry point you can start rotating players over to bolster the defense. If the knife finds nobody you can stack the opposite bombsite and secure yourself an easy victory. Add to that, the ability for this suppress to work through walls, and you get an ability that is like Sova's Recon Bolt but with added functionality and on a better agent.
Ultimate: NULL/CMD (X)
The Ultimate costs 7 points and gives you a large wave of suppression that emits from KAY/O every 4 seconds. The ultimate also gives you a combat stim similar to Reyna's Ultimate. As a final bonus, if you take fatal damage during the 15 seconds that the ability is active for instead of dying, you enter a downed state similar to those in some battle royale games.
Teammates can reboot a downed KAY/O and return the bot to the battlefield with full health. During the downed state, he also gets a health pool of 850 that ensures that opponents have to spend a lot of time and bullets to finish him in his downed state. This makes them vulnerable to the KAY/O's teammates.
Attack - Entry Suppress, Retake Disruption
On the attack, pop your ultimate as you enter the site if you want to stop abilities like Brimstone's Incendiary and Raze's Grenades from stopping your push. Or you can save the ultimate for the retake so that the enemy's ability planning is sent into disarray.
Defense - Retakes, Setup Supression
Over on the defensive side, the ultimate doesn't get used as much but it is a great tool to have in your toolbox for retakes. Any Viper or Killjoy setups get deactivated when they are affected by this suppression wave. When downed KAY/O serves as a great bait to bring out all the hiding attackers.
What KAY/O's addition means for Agent compositions
KAY/O's utility set is very powerful in the right set of hands and in its current form this agent is sure to find its way into almost every composition, replacing not just initiators but duelists like Phoenix too. His suppress mechanics combined with the recent ability cost increase for all agents marks a move into a new direction for Riot's Shooter.
As for players from Counter-Strike or Call of Duty, this agent is the perfect gateway into VALORANT as this agent provides them all the basic utilities that they are used to along with signature abilities that give them a chance to enjoy VALORANT's gunplay instead of being killed by and frustrated with abilities. This should help grow the player base for VALORANT, and if you found our KAY/O Guide useful, be sure to let us know on Twitter.