Balancing Chamber has proved a big issue for Riot Games since launching the Valorant Agent last year. His ability to teleport multiple times throughout a round, deliver unmatched firepower with cheap abilities and the economic value inherent with that has seen him dominate the game’s meta. Even two separate rounds of nerfs haven’t really solved the problem, and so now the development team has a third in the pipeline that finally looks as though it might.
Coming next week with the release of Patch 5.12, Chamber is having his abilities nerfed across the board. The Headhunter is less effective; the teleport will work differently and have a reduced range; the trip is also much less potent, and the absurdly powerful ultimate is now slower firing. A press release sent to Twinfinite earlier today offers a full overview:
All Chamber Changes in Valorant Patch 5.12
- Updated Stability Curve
- Spread increased after 2nd bullet, when spamming. This is explicitly meant to reduce low-precision body-shot spam as an effective combat measure.
- Chamber now places a single anchor that can be teleported to while inside its range
- Radius increased 15m >>> 26m
- Removed teleport activation height restriction
- You can teleport to the Anchor while on different verticality so long as you are within its radius.
- Increased weapon equip time after teleporting 0.4s >>> 0.7s
- Headhunter is unaffected by this change
- Destroying Rendezvous teleport anchor now disables it for the remainder of the round, instead of being placed on a cooldown.
- Chamber no longer incurs an additional cooldown when recalling his Anchor after teleporting.
- The trap is now range restricted
- Trademark will disable when Chamber moves out of range, and reactivate once he is inside.
- Can now be recalled mid-round
- Does not require line of sight
- 30s cooldown on recall
- Destruction remains permanent
- Initial Arm Time increased 2s >> 4s
- Health Increased 1 >> 20
Tour De Force (X)
- Fire rate decreased by 57.5%
- This applies to both Trademark and Tour De Force
- Reduced 50% >> 40%
- Reduced duration 6s >> 4s
- Reduced size by 30%
Kevin Meier, Agent designer on Valorant said of the changes
“We know you have been asking for Chamber updates after seeing him dominate your ranked games, pro play, and maybe even your nightmares. Chamber remains a defining pick since his last update, and we want to strike the appropriate balance between preserving his character identity and maintaining VALORANT’s game health.
The team discussed and tested a number of ways to balance Chamber. The more we iterated the more it was apparent that his current mechanics were shaping play space in an unhealthy way, infringing on other Agent identities, and breaking VALORANT’s core tactical cycle.
In Patch 5.12, we’ll be making a number of changes to address these concerns. With this update, we want to sharpen Chamber’s identity as a precision-focused Sentinel that puts his body on the line to hold areas, while significantly reducing his sphere of influence and introducing more counterplay for opponents.“
The team’s goals when rebalancing Chamber were as follows:
- Strike an appreciable balance between his first angle power and counterplay avenues
- Drive more deliberate thought into setup
“Counterplay” and “Deliberate” are foundational principles to VALORANT Agent design that the team discusses quite often. Chamber’s mechanics took the place of counterplay in many cases, and the small number of restrictions on his abilities meant he was not required to be deliberate in thinking about setup. This made Chamber deadly at any angle.
Here are a few examples of how these changes have shifted Chamber in testing:
- The distance traveled when teleporting has been greatly reduced. This gives opponents more precise information about Chambers’ new location, and puts him at greater risk of getting closed in. Chamber will still excel at longer angles where opponents cannot close the gap quick enough without the appropriate tools, but holding shorter angles comes at a much higher risk for him.
- The long-distance of Chamber’s teleport also provided strong rotational power that infringed on other Agents’ core strengths. This makes gaining information about Chamber’s location more beneficial because his rotation from one site to another across the map will be slower. More so if he elected to hold an aggressive angle.
- Range restricting Trademark allows opponents to deduce where Chamber could be playing based on Trademark status. This information can be used to better plan site hits or identify which angles are more important to break. Flank watch is meant to be a strength of Cypher, not a standard across all Sentinels. This should more sharply define the Sentinel space and Cypher and Chamber’s strength profiles within it.
- Chamber requires more deliberate setup and decision making, balancing his first angle location and trap placement. Chambers who elect to lurk or push for more information will have to balance that against Trademark value in the current game state. With this version, Chamber should have to make a call between playing aggressive first angles with less safety, or playing back and anchoring a site.
- Managing anchor placement has become less burdensome in this version, reducing the time spent planning mid-round teleports, thus creating a smoother gameplay flow.
Why Is Chamber Being Nerfed? Explained
“Agent abilities have varying degrees of impact on each part of the tactical cycle, but should be sharp in their delivery and offer compromises (to/for) the enemies’ advantage. This is key to ensuring the tactical promise of VALORANT, keeps design space open, and curbs potential power creep as new Agents try to compete against powerful outputs.
Our approach was built around retaining Chamber’s combat strength and fantasy, while narrowing the span of his impact across any given map. Giving opponents more agency to outwit or outplay, and giving Chamber players a deliberate mastery curve. Players who invest the time should still find success as they learn how these new mechanics excel or fail across maps, locations, and play styles.
Like we always say, we’ll keep a close eye on Chamber as everyone adjusts to these changes, pushes his new boundaries, and re-shapes the meta. We’re always prepared to adjust.“
The development team signs off its overview of the Chamber nerfs by explaining that it’s committed to potentially making further changes to the Agent in the future.
When Valorant Patch 5.12 Comes Out
Valorant Patch 5.12 will launch next Tuesday, Dec. 6/7 (depending on your region). It will not mark the beginning of a new Act or Episode but is simply a game update. Act 3 of Episode 5 still has another 40 days to run, bringing us into the new year.
There will be a Night Market and a new premium skin line to look forward to before then, though.
While you wait, why not read up on Parla Esports’ incredible G-Loot tournament run last weekend when they almost beat Navi?