Valorant’s cheapest SMG is back in the meta following updates toward the end of last year that not only improved its accuracy but also nerfed the accuracy of the Spectre. The shift in power between these two weapons wasn’t immediately obvious, but it’s now becoming apparent across both professional and ranked play that the Stinger might be a little too powerful. It’s something that pro player and popular streamer ShahZam thinks might need to be looked at by Riot Games.
UPDATE 02/04/2023: Riot Games has announced plans to nerf the Stinger for Patch 6.02. A Tweet from the development team explains that its cost will increase by 150 Credits, and that the Damage Fall Off would increase so that the weapon is less powerful at range.
Original story continues below.
Speaking to his stream following G2’s win over Faze during the opening match of North America’s Challengers, ShahZam said “the Stinger is busted. I don’t care what anybody says, that shit is so ******* bad,” clarifying that he meant it was not a good thing that the Stinger was so absurdly strong.
He later explained that after a headshot “you can melt people and they stand no chance,” which he believes thinks that “the Stinger needs a change,” though admitted that he wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like.
The Stinger was buffed back in Patch 5.06 of September last year with the following changes:
- Primary Fire error adjusted from 1.6 error after 7 bullets to 1.3 error after 6 bullets
- Alt-Fire first shot error adjusted from .5 to .35
Those changes by themselves weren’t immediately recognized for being all that impactful, but following a nerf to the Spectre it’s added up to a much more impactful swing in the meta. Especially as the Stinger is just 950 Credits compared to the Spectre’s 1600, it’s a weapon that offers substantially more bang for buck. It’s so cheap, in fact, that it’s possible for teams to “force buy” (purchase despite having lost the previous round) much more frequently now with a greater chance of success.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Stinger has been a meta weapon. Infamously, it was so powerful during the early days of Valorant that it was sometimes purchased instead of rifles and low armor due to its ridiculous performance. Nobody wants a return to those dark days! To be clear, the Stinger of the current meta is not nearly as powerful as that, but even its current strength sounds as though it’s too much for the likes of Shahzam. We’ll just have to wait and see what Riot Games does about the situation.
You can read up on the incredible viewership of Shazham’s opening Challengers match versus FaZe here.