VALORANT is balancing 2 of its most and least-picked agents on the PBE this weekend

Change can be a good thing.

Two agents in VALORANT’s growing and dynamic roster will be receiving changes that Public Beta Environment (PBE) players will be able to test this weekend, according to VALORANT community lead Jeff Landa.

Changes to initiator Fade and sentinel Cypher will be the focus of PBE 5.10, which is set to go live this upcoming weekend. Full change notes will be posted later tonight, around 6pm CT, on the “ValorantPBE” subreddit. This confirms reports from September that the two were set to receive changes.

Players can sign up for the PBE, where upcoming features like agents and maps are tested before full release, if they have a VALORANT account with no current bans or restrictions, and they must be “consistent” players in the North America region.

The two agents set to receive changes are very much on opposite sides of the pick rate spectrum. Among most ranks, according to Blitz.gg, Fade is typically in the upper third of agents by pick rate, while Cypher is near the very bottom. The same trend is seen in the professional scene. Fade had a 53 percent pick rate at VCT Champions 2022, second only behind Chamber at a dominant 67 percent. Cypher was only picked in six percent of maps played, mostly on Breeze.

The upcoming changes to Cypher almost certainly have to be a buff to his abilities. Cypher places Trapwires that reveal and tether opponents that pass, but they’re easily destroyed. He also has a Cyber Cage that blocks vision and gives off an audio cue if someone passes through it, plus his Spycam that can fire a marking dart, and his Neural Theft ultimate that reveals the location of all enemy players. His information-gathering abilities pale in comparison to those of almost any initiator, and he lacks the defensive capabilities that other sentinels like Sage, Killjoy, and Chamber have.

Fade, the most recent addition to the initiator group, will also receive changes. Fade can reveal and tether enemies, while also sending out a Prowler that will seek marked enemies and nearsight any enemy it collides with. Her Nightfall ultimate is a massive wave like Breach’s that decays and deafens any enemy caught by it. The changes made to Fade will likely be a rebalancing or a nerf, given that Riot has said in the past that she’s been “overperforming.”

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