The Operator in Valorant finally got hit with some heavy nerfs leaving the fans of the one-tap killer sniper rifle asking is it still good? We try to answer that question today and look at when and how you should buy/use the nerfed Operator.
In patch 1.09 Riot Games decided to nerf the Operator siding with the community of haters. The high skill, high impact Valorant weapon can be a dominating force in the right hands. In your pub matches if there is a skilled sniper it changes the entire way you have to play the map. Riot decided that this was too strong and hit the gun with some massive nerfs:
Valorant Patch 1.09: Operator Changes
- Price increased from 4,500 to 5,000
- Scope Movement Speed reduced from 76% to 72%
- Scope Deadzone increased from 30% to 50%
- More inaccurate aiming sooner after moving and it slowly becomes accurate after 2.2 seconds
- Fire Rate buffed from 0.75 to 0.6
- Equip Time is now 0.5s - It was 0.3s
- Leg Shot damage reduced from 127 to 120 dmg
- Slightly longer inaccuracy time after landing from a jump
For the rest of the 1.09 Patch notes check out our previous article.
Why Was the Operator Nerfed?
Riot tells us that the gun is too good at peaking and re-peaking and simply bought too early in a match. The devs go into the fine details:
For you Aggressive Operators—dry peeking angles with an Operator is noticeably more effective than we’d like. Additionally, pushing an Operator off of an angle with utility feels less valuable since the user is able to re-peek and kill their opponent at a reliable rate. This suite of mechanical changes targets these issues, increasing counterplay around high-mobility Operator play. The Operator is still quite potent at peeking angles but predictable repeeks should be easier to punish.
Full-Buy Rounds With New Operator Price
The cost of the nerfed Operator is now 5,000 credits which is perhaps the biggest nerf to the gun. Now you will need to win the first two rounds without buying any guns, weapons, or abilities to have enough for a full buy with an Operator (5,000), Armor (1,000), and abilities (800) in Round 3. Winning two pistol rounds without any buys is no easy feat.
If you lose your Operator, it will take another 3 rounds of winning and saving to buy another. Also, now the enemy team has a free Operator if they managed to pick it up after killing the enemy sniper.
Finally, it will not be possible to double full-buy with the Operator if you lose it, even with the max credit limit. Let’s go into the details, say your team is winning a lot of rounds and you now have the maximum credit limit of 9,000. So, if you full-buy with the Operator you will have 3200 credits left. That means if you win the round but you lose your Operator in the process, you won't be able to full-buy with the Operator again (as you will only have 6200 credits). This means you will see less Operator(s) in your matches even if you are dominating the other team.
The "New Feel" of the Operator
The feel for the gun is different, just about everything was changed and now it feels much slower. The scoped move speed is slower, the movement-aim plenty is longer, and switching to the Operator takes more time. All of these changes will throw off your muscle memory and you will now need some time to adjust to it and perhaps relearn your flicks. It's back to the firing range. In this YouTube footage, you can see the difference in the speed, timestamp starts at 0:42:
When Should you Buy the Operator?
Not an easy question to answer, and perhaps the pro players will be the first to better answer it as the new meta plays out in the next couple of weeks. In pub matches, saving for 3 rounds without any buys is probably too hard and risky to pull off as your team is not likely to win any of those rounds if you're not using your abilities. For example, no flashes on Phoenix, now you're a pretty useless teammate at this point.
In a squad match, with everyone on voice coms, it will be easier to coordinate saving and grabbing weapons off the ground before the round ends. Allowing you to save credits while still having a decent gun in hand. Also, your team will know that you do not have a flash or wall to use.
That’s the best we can do at EarlyGame. We really need the pro scene to guide us normies when it comes to the best meta-game strategies, so tune into your favorite pro-streamer or catch an upcoming tournament. Perhaps there, you will find some great insight!
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