Valorant‘s Episode 2: Act II update is now live, and its star is the cosmically named new controller agent Astra, who’s out of this world — or at least out of her body, from time to time.
Astra can enter Astral Form, where she gets a top-down view of the battlefield, from which she can place stars anywhere she wants. When she returns to her body, she can detonate the stars for a variety of effects, such as concussing other players, setting up smokescreens, or pulling players into her gravity well. Her ultimate ability, Astral Divide, erects a giant wall across the map that blocks bullets and heavily dampens audio.
Riot Games is also making good on several of its long-term promises from last year. You can now queue up in competitive mode with a wider group of friends at lower ranks, and you only need to do one placement match if you earned a rank during the previous act. There are also new measures in place to discover AFK players and toxic chatters and punish them appropriately.
Other changes in this update include better context for automated agent voice lines and Teleporter exit doors are now permanently open; they were previously too difficult to assault if one team had the advantage. You can get the rundown on everything that’s new in Act II here and check out the complete patch notes here.