New Valorant Escalation Game Mode And Patch 2.03 Now Live

Valorant gets a brand-new mode, tons of balance changes, and more in the game's latest Patch 2.03 update.


Developer Riot Games has dropped a brand-new patch for its free-to-play multiplayer tactical FPS Valorant. The update, Patch 2.03, makes a number of changes. This includes adjusting various characters, tweaking weapons, and implementing quality-of-life improvements.

A few of Valorant's playable characters have been tweaked. Reyna, for example, has the charges for her Devour and Dimiss abilities decreased. Their cost, however, has increased as a result. Meanwhile, Yoru's Gatecrash is now visible on the minimap, and the audio for both Brimestone's Incendiary and Pheonix's Hot Hands abilities have been properly balanced.

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Now Playing: Unleash Your Arsenal // Escalation Game Mode Trailer - VALORANT

On top of these character adjustments, Riot Games has introduced a brand-new game mode called Escalation. It's a fast-paced mode where two teams of five battle each other with progressively less lethal weapons as the match continues. Both teams start with the list of loadouts, though they get mixed up at the start of each match. Riot said its aim with Escalation is to offer a "quick, fun mode that encourages social play" and a chance for players to test new weapons in a non-competitive environment. There's no confirmation that Escalation will be a permanent mode, but Riot Games said the possibility is there depending on engagement.

Elsewhere in Patch 2.03 are quality-of-life improvements, such as sprays getting destroyed at the start of the round, weapons like the Frenzy pistol and Marshal sniper rifle having their prices increased, and harsher adjustments to penalties for leaving a match due to inactivity. The latter feature is also a focus of Valorant's upcoming updates, Patches 2.04 and 2.05.

Check below for the full patch notes to Valorant's Patch 2.03 update.

Valorant Update 2.03 Patch Notes

Agent Updates

  • Reyna:
    • Maximum Devour (Q) and Dsimiss (E) charges reduced from 4 >>> 2.
    • Slain enimies that Reyna has damaged in the last 3 seconds now drop Soul Orbs, even if Reyna does not land the killing shot.
    • Cost of Devour and Dmiss charges increased from 10 0>>> 200.
  • Yoru:
    • Gatecrash (E) now displays the range at which the tehter can be seen by enemies while moving on the minimap.
    • The range that enemies are able to hear the audio of a Gatecrash teleport is now displayed on the minimap.
    • While in Dimensional Drift (X), Yoru's minimap is now visible.
    • Enemies within Yoru's vision range, while in Dimensional Drift, are now revealed to all minimaps as well.
    • Dimensional Drift can no longer body block enemies.
  • Brimstone:
    • The audio of the Incendiary's (Q) lingering fire zone will be easier to hear when other actions and sounds occur nearby.
  • Pheonix:
    • The audio of the Hot Hands lingering fire zone will be easier to hear when other actions and sounds occur nearby.

Weapon Updates

  • Marshal:
    • Movement speed when zoomed is now at 90% of unzoomed movement speed (previously, zoomed movement spped was at 76% of unzoomed).
    • Price decreased from 1100 >>> 1000.
    • Zoom magnification increased from 2.5x >>> 3.5x.
  • Stinger (Full Auto Fire):
    • Price increased from 1000 >>> 1100.
    • Full auto fire rate reduced from 18 >>> 16.
    • Full auto fire now reached max spread at bullet 4 instead of bullet 6.
    • Adjusted pitch (vertical) recoil curve for full auto, recoil clumbs more aggressive past the third bullet.
  • Stinger (Burst Fire):
    • Adjusted pitch (vertical) recoil to be more aggressive after the first bullet.
    • Added more error on bursts after the first one.
    • Improved recovery time on burst mode from .45 to .4.
  • Frenzy:
    • Price increased from 400 to 500.

More Updates

  • Escalation goes live.
    • This is a quick (approx. 7–9 min.) and fast-paced 5v5 game mode where you must race through progressively less lethal loadouts with your team. The loadout gamut varies from match to match, but always features a mix of both weapons and abilities. The same list of loadouts is always used by both teams throughout the match.
      • Our biggest goal for Escalation is to offer a quick, fun mode that encourages social play and provides a chance for you to practice using new weapons in a lower-stakes environment. We're also excited to offer a uniquely short and kinda crazy mode to round out what we have!
      • This was one of our more highly requested game modes, so we're especially excited to bring this one to you.
    • TBD on exactly how long this will be live, but we'd like to keep this one out for as long as it makes sense, depending on your engagement.

Competitive Updates

  • AFK-ing in Competitive games for a prolonged period (currently defined as 6 or more rounds) will now result in a penalty of 8 rank rating pointsAct Rank Badges will now be based on your highest rank win instead of your ninth best win.
    • We understand that sometimes your computer, ISP, etc. may have some issues during a game, so we won't punish you for missing some rounds--but we want to encourage players to come back from those AFKs and play through their Competitive matches.
  • Act Rank Badges will now be based on your highest rank win instead of your ninth best win.

Quality of Life

  • All sprays will now be destoyed on round start.

Death Sequence Improvements and Updates

  • Timing:
    • Fade to black start time decreased from 1.75 seconds after death to 1.5 seconds.
    • Time spent on a full black screen increased from ~0 seconds to 0.25 seconds.
    • The total time of the death sequence has not changed, it remains at 2.75 seconds.
  • Camera movement smoothed significantly , especially for those under poor network conditions:
    • Prior to patch 2.03, any of you (but especially those with high ping or packet loss) could experience camera jitter during the death sequence.
    • Based on our investigations of this issue, you can rest assured this camera jitter did not impact combat performance--anyone experiencing this issue was already dead during the unsmooth movement.
    • Now everyone, regardless of network conditions, will have smooth camera movement during the death sequence.


  • Fixed issue where Yoru's decoy had slightly different sounding footsteps than Yoru himself.
  • Fixed issue where the in-world indicator for Cypher's Cyber Cage disappeared if it took damage.
  • Fixed issue where Sova's Owl Drone could clip through specific map geo and view the other side.
  • Fixed issue where players already affected by nearsight would momentarily see inside smokes that should instead nearsight them.
  • Fixed issue where Skye's Seekers would no longer work if she was killed at a very specific moment while casting them.
  • Fixed issue where Yoru was unable to equip a weapon or ability if he cancelled out of Dimensional Drift right as its buffs activated.
  • Killjoy's Lockdown can no longer be placed inside Sage's Barrier Orb in some instances:
    • If Barrier Orb is placed on top of Killjoy's ult, the section of the wall covering the ult will now be destroyed.
  • Fixed issue where teleporting to Yoru's Gatecrash right as it expires caused him to fall through the map to his death (rip).
  • Fixed issue where Yoru's Bait could sometimes fall through the floor when the stationary version was placed.
  • Fixed issue where Sova could sometimes get the voice over for Hunter's Fury to play, even though it isn't used, by trying to equip the Owl Drone at the same time.
  • The End of Game screen will no longer display "Average Abilities Cast per Round" as 0.
  • Fixed a couple input bugs around possessing and unpossessing objects (Cypher camera, Sova drone, etc.) in the same frame which lead to locking all inputs or locking view direction.
  • Sorry Cypher mains—thanks for all the reports!
  • Fixed an issue where certain settings would not display while in game.
  • Your player icon color on the minimap is now white if you turn on any color blind settings.
  • Fixed a few input issues that were causing players to get stuck using orbs or planting the Spike.

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