Valorant: State of the Agents, Meta, Balancing, and Roles

Valorant Agents

Valorant Agents

Valorant has quickly become one of the most popular video games in the world. Since its release in 2020, the Riot Games title has gathered a huge fan base. It has also established itself among the most historic Esports titles, such as CS:GO, League of Legends, and Dota 2.

Has it happens in all competitive games, the dev teams carefully look for any balancing issues. They try to make the game as balanced and enjoyable as possible. This is done by regular patches, that constantly shift the meta of the game.

Riot is always proactive with its content and seeks to keep its players happy. They are constantly introducing new agents, maps, weapons buffs, and more. Because of that, some Valorant players lose track of what the meta looks like, and which agents are strong.

So, let's find out what the Valorant meta looks like currently.

How does Riot approach Valorant agent balancing?

Valorant agents
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Before we go into the details of what Riot has noticed about Valorant agents, let's look at what they analyse.

Valorant teams usually look at...

Winrate and Pickrate Data in Solo Queue

  • They look at an Agent’s non-mirror winrate across multiple MMR tiers across different maps to get a high-level gauge of power. 
  • Agent pick rate is split up. This establishes some understanding of what the differences and similarities are when it comes to numerically strong Agents and which Agents players are choosing to play.

Player Perception

  • While they do check and value social media for Agent sentiment, a bulk of the Player Perception data they use for balance comes from what you all think!
  • They send out countless surveys to players all across the world to understand how you are feeling about the game/Agents and understand those they feel are too strong, weak, frustrating, etc. in the current meta.

Pro Play

  • They look closely at Pro Play pick rates and trends to understand what pro teams and players perceive as the most valuable Agents, comps and utility in the game in different contexts.

Our Design Principles

  • Assessing how the Agents are fitting into the design principles the team holds. An Agent’s sharpness, meaning they have clearly defined strengths and weaknesses compared to their peers.

Key Agents meta

The Valorant meta has drastically changed throughout the times. At one point, Jett was viewed as the best agent in the game, until she received some huge nerfs.

Then, it was Chamber that took over Valorant. The Sentinel agent was by far the best character in the game for a very long period. Chamber was a must-pick agent in all maps and had a ridiculous pick rate in both ranked and pro play.

Chamber from Valorant
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In 2022, Chamber dominated Valorant, with no agent having such a big impact on the game as him.

Currently, the meta is in its most balanced state ever. Sure, there are still agents that are stronger than others and some that excel in particular maps. However, pretty much every agent is viable, and there exists a vast variety of strong team compositions.

It's also worth noting that, the most recent Valorant agents that have been released are balanced. Some may even say they are a little too weak and need some buffs.

This is a good thing for players, and the game in general. Having new agents being viable but not overpowered, is what every developer aims for. Riot Games has done a good job at that recently, which massively contributed to this great Valorant meta we find ourselves in.

Player perception

Plenty of Valorant developers, such as Alexander Mistakidis, have spoken about the balancing process. One of the most important things they take into account is the players' perception.

Valorant Agents
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Credit: Esports Illustrated

Players provide invaluable feedback, and their perception of the meta, and the agent's state is very important. As the meta is a living culture which constantly shifts, this can change constantly. That's why Valorant developers are always working in new ways to balance the game, fix issues, and also bring exciting content.

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