Valorant’s latest update is aimed at improving gameplay on the game’s new map, Icebox, which hasn’t enjoyed a positive reception from players since launching back in October.
The new changes are “focused on getting the A site and verticality just right.” That means simplifying the A Site and reducing the height of some of the most vertical areas on the map, while a new seethrough grate has been added to give defenders a forward defensible position. Other changes include reducing the size of the smaller boxes in the middle of the site, improving the line of sight across the board.
Over on B site, meanwhile, the double-stacked container boxes have been reduced by one, making for less clutter and a clearer line of sight.
Beyond changes to Icebox, Patch 1.14 balances Sage’s Barrier Orb ability: can no longer be cast during the buy phase and, once cast, won’t lose health points over time.
Patch 1.14 also tees up the launch of Valorant’s festive Snowball Fight mode, which is set to launch on Dec. 15 and run through until Dec. 29. Here’s a breakdown of the details:
- 5v5: Team Deathmatch
- The first team to 50 kills wins
- Respawns are enabled, so get back in there
- The snowball launcher is your weapon of choice
- Killjoy has rigged a custom version of Brimstone’s molotov launcher
- Projectile based snowballs have travel time and an arc (make sure to lead that shot!)
- Infinite snowballs—don’t stop shooting!
- The gift that keeps on giving: Power ups!
- Gifts spawn around the map, sometimes a portal appears and gifts come pouring out
- Each gift contains a power up when opened (shoot to open)
- You can only have one of each power up at a time, so make sure to share with your teammates
- If you die, you drop your power ups and someone else can snag them
- Gift types
- Rapid Fire: fire even faster
- Growball: grows over time while traveling in the air
- Ricochet: for all those snowball trick shots off the ground and walls
- Skates: skate around quickly and in style. Jump higher!
- Week 1: Check out the festivities on the newly updated holiday version of Icebox (Snowball Fight only!)
- Week 2: Snowball Fight can be played on all current maps
- Get 750 XP for each game completed, and 150 bonus XP for a win
- Snowball mode does not progress missions
Finally, the other key takeaways from Patch 1.14 include changes to Competitive mode that make it easier to climb the lower ranks, and a new requirement of 10 Unranked matches before accounts are eligible for Competitive mode.
For a full breakdown of the entire patch, which includes some bug fixes and social updates we haven’t mentioned here, head over to Riot Games’ official post.