Day one of VALORANT Episode 4: Disruption came with a bevy of changes, starting with the new agent in Neon and map updates. But no change in patch 4.0 felt as meta-defining as the adjustment to the Ares fire rate. 

Day one of VALORANT Episode 4: Disruption came with a bevy of changes, starting with the new agent in Neon and map updates. But no change in patch 4.0 felt as meta-defining as the adjustment to the Ares fire rate. 

The Resurgence of the Ares

The Ares has laid dormant in the previous episodes, losing out to the Spectre’s versatility and price. However, the significant nerf to the Spectre’s long range accuracy effectively weakens the ability to control the weapon’s spray. Making he firing error occur earlier in the spray has likely ended Spectre’s reign as king of the half-buy rounds. 

Enter the Ares, a heavy weapon that has largely been underutilized in both competitive and ranked play. Costing 1,550 credits, the gun simply wasn’t fast enough to deal with the Spectre’s rate of fire and aim. Increasing the Ares rate of fire from 10 to 13 drowns out the long spinning animation, meaning it can contend with the Phantom and Vandal. 

In fact, the early returns from ranked are showing an increased buy rate competing with the 2,900 credit assault rifles. Teams are choosing the Ares over the top tier guns making for tricked out economies. Moreover, teams are committing to the Ares in full-buy rounds. It’s yet to be seen whether or not this change will affect pro play, but coaches, organizations, and players are already calling out the weapon as overpowered.

Team Liquid coach Connor “Sliggy” Blomfield went as far as to demand a hotfix from the developer Riot on twitter

In the NSG tournament, a screengrab from Nate “Payen” Lopez shows a match with nine Ares buys in round three. Showing the upper echelon of players are finding use for it not only in early or half-buy rounds.


As for a potential hotfix, the entire community has given their day one opinions on the need to nerf it back to irrelevancy. But that’s not always how Riot handles things. Back during the Stinger meta of early 2021, a weapon that has faced a similar development trajectory to the Ares, wasn’t nerfed until the next patch. Then, it was nerfed into oblivion. Time will tell if Riot reverts the gun back to its natural state, but for now it’s the meta pick.

Filed Under
Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022