What To Know About All 16 Badass Valorant Agents and Their Unique Abilities

Valorant is a wildly popular game within the gaming community but, if you’re not a gamer, you’ve probably never heard of it. Unlike many other video games these days, Valorant is specifically built to be played only on an actual computer. Since this FPS (first-person shooter) game feels at first glance a lot like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you might think you’ve got a good enough grasp just to pick who you want to play with at random. But now that the game’s meta has matured — and includes a robust 16 agents — deciding who to choose can be tricky. Knowing the different Valorant characters and their special abilities will help you find those that fit your personal playstyle.

Adding to the hype of Valorant? It comes from the American-based Riot Games, the developer responsible for League of Legends. And if you don’t know what League of Legends is, you aren’t a gaming dad — it’s been around for more than a decade and is so insanely popular that many well-known universities have LoL teams and give out scholarships to the best players. (That’s right: Your kid could, in fact, get a scholarship for playing video games.) Why is this important? Well, aside from the brand equity, that means you can expect a similar level of quality play. All the Valorant characters are pretty well-balanced, so you won’t find any “unplayable” agents in the bunch.

Because the game was Riot’s first stab at an FPS game, it follows the same structure as many other shooters — two teams of five randomly assigned and fighting against one another to secure a win. Along with the overarching goal of “winning,” you get various missions (or “contracts”). Completing contracts helps you earn XP that you can then use to unlock new characters, called “agents.” Over time, you can access all 16 agents.

But which should be the very first one you grab? Check out their lists of special abilities and see which agent you want to main.

What are Valorant agents?

We’ve established that Valorant is a 5v5 (short for five versus five) tactical shooter video game, where each of the five players has a character called an agent. At the time of writing, there are 15 agents in the game: Brimstone, Phoenix, Sage, Sova, Viper, Cypher, Reyna, Killjoy, Breach, Omen, Jett, Raze, Skye, Yoru, Astra, and Kay/O. Each agent has four unique abilities (including one ultimate ability).

How do Valorant abilities work?

Each agent comes with their own unique set of special abilities, and each set of abilities helps create an entirely different gaming experience. So, each round, each character gets an ability they can use for free. They also have two other non-ultimate abilities that require purchasing at the gunshop during the buy phase — those abilities have finite uses and should be used sparingly. As for each character’s “ultimate” ability, they require skill points to use, which you can accrue in several ways: grabbing around the map, earning through kills, or passively collecting with each round.

Who are the current Valorant characters?

1. Brimstone

Role: Controller
What we like: Brimstone offers one of the coolest playing options in Valorant. Sky Smoke (E) can be used by pulling up the map and marking preferred locations where a “smokescreen” is set and obscures vision. Why is this so helpful? Because you can deliver an attack without actually being in the area.
Other special abilities:

  • Incendiary (Q)
  • Orbital Strike (X)
  • Stem Beacon (C )

2. Phoenix

Role: Duelist
What we like: Hot Hands (E) is such a great play to make! Upon utilizing Hot Hands, you’ll lob a fireball that explodes upon impact with the ground. The blast causes damage to all enemies within range but heals Phoenix.
Other special abilities:

  • Blaze (C )
  • Curveball (Q)
  • Run it Back (X)

3. Sage

Role: Sentinel
What we like: With Sage’s Healing Orb (E) and Resurrection (X) Orb, she’s a much-needed part of the team. As the names suggest, one orb can be utilized to heal yourself or a wounded friend. The other orb can revive an ally’s corpse. Pretty useful, no?
Other special abilities:

  • Barrier Orb (C )
  • Slow Orb (Q)

4. Sova

Role: Initiator
What we like: Sova offers some of the best reconnaissance options in the game. With Recon Bolt (E), he can fire a sonar that detects and tags nearby enemies. With Owl Drone (C ), you can fly a drone to reveal enemies on the map. Then you can choose one to “mark” and follow until they either deactivate the mark or you kill them.
Other special abilities:

  • Hunter’s Fury (X)
  • Shock Bolt (Q)

5. Viper

Role: Controller
What we like: There are some pretty mean and gruesome tactical options in Viper’s slots. Our favorite, however, is Snakebite (C ). When you trigger Snakebite, you launch a missile that soon explodes and leaves a large pool of acid that does damage to any enemies caught in the splatter zone.
Other special abilities:

  • Poison Cloud (Q)
  • Toxic Screen (E)
  • Viper’s Pit (X)

6. Cypher

Role: Sentinel
What we like: Neutral Threat (X) is another solid option for gameplay. When Cypher kills an opponent, equipping Neutral Threat will allow you to see where other enemies are located. Move fast and grab the whole gang!
Other special abilities:

  • Cyber Cage (Q)
  • Spycam (E)
  • Trapwire (C )

7. Reyna

Role: Duelist
What we like: Reyna is truly a unique and powerful character. When she kills an enemy, it leaves behind “soul orbs,” which she can collect/consume and reap tons of benefits from. This makes her powerful, sure. But we have the most fun utilizing Empress (X) and dashing around at warp speed, doing our usual damage.
Other special abilities:

  • Devour (Q)
  • Dismiss (E)
  • Leer (C)

8. Killjoy

Role: Sentinel
What we like: Who doesn’t love a fucking Turret (C )? Deploying the turret activates a 180-degree firing cone. It pew-pew-pews any enemy within range. Ya know, pretty similar to a real turret gun.
Other special abilities:

  • Alarmbot (E)
  • Lockdown (X)
  • Namoswarm (Q)

9. Breach

Role: Initiator
What we like: All of Breach’s unique moves are pretty cool. That includes Flashpoint (Q), which can be attached to a wall and then triggered to go off and blind those on the other side. Our favorite ability, however, is Rolling Thunder (X). When utilized, Rolling Thunder sends a cone-shaped blast into the playing field that causes a quake, knocks anyone within range to the ground, and typically causes damage.
Other special abilities:

  • Aftershock (C )
  • Fault line (E)

10. Omen

Role: Controller
What we like: Ever wanted the power to teleport? Omen comes with two teleport options. Shrouded Step (C ) allows Omen to teleport short distances. Meanwhile, From The Shadows (X) allows you to teleport and reappear to any spot on the map. Just be forewarned: Your enemies can see you engaging this teleportation and cancel it by engaging you.
Other special abilities:

  • Dark Cover (E)
  • Paranoia (Q)

11. Jett

Role: Duelist
What we like:
We love Tailwind (E) for a defensive movement or act of disengagement. Sure, you could equip Tailwind to chase an opponent and race to the aid of an ally. However, we love using Tailwind as an exit strategy during hairy situations.
Other special abilities:

  • Blade Storm (X)
  • Cloudburst (C )
  • Updraft (Q)

12. Raze

Role: Duelist
What we like: Looking to make some noise? Showstopper (X) is the answer for Raze. Showstopper equips Raze with a rocket launcher that can be fired down a long, clear range. Once the rocket makes contact, a massive explosion is triggered and enemies within the blast zone are dealt serious damage.
Other special abilities:

  • B (Q)
  • Boom Bot (C )
  • Paint Shells (E)

13. Skye

Role: Initiator
What we like: This Australian badass has a band of blazing beasts that hamper the enemy. Trailblazer (Q) allows Skye to equip a Tasmanian tiger trinket which, upon firing, will leap forward and explode in a concussive blast — shocking and damaging direct-hit enemies.
Other special abilities:

  • Guiding Light (E)
  • Regrowth (C)
  • Seekers (X)

14. Yoru

Role: Duelist
What we like: Japanese native Yoru can literally rip holes in reality to infiltrate enemy lines through alternate dimensions. You can’t get much cooler than that, right? This ability is called Dimensional Drift (X), which creates a mask that can see between dimensions — and, bonus, you’re unable to be seen by enemies outside of Yoru’s dimension.
Other special abilities:

  • Blindside (Q)
  • Gatecrash (E)
  • Fakeout (C)

15. Astra

Role: Controller
What we like: This agent “harnesses the energies of the cosmos to reshape battlefields to her whim.” With four abilities that put full command of astral form at her fingertips, there’s not much we don’t like about Astra.
Other special abilities:

  • Nova Pulse (Q)
  • Nebula (E)
  • Gravity Well (C)
  • Astral Form/Cosmic Divide (X)

16. Kay/O

Role: Initiator
What we like: Kay/O is the kind of character you want in the bunker with you when shit hits the fan. His edge? He’s all about suppressing the abilities of his opponents, weakening them and making them that much easier to overtake. Null/CMD (X), in particular, proves highly useful. It overloads Kay/O with polarized radianite energy, which sends out large energy pulses from his location. Enemies caught in the path of these pulses are suppressed for a brief time.
Other special abilities:

  • Flash/Drive (Q)
  • Zero/Point (E)
  • Frag/Ment (C)

Ken Jennings Takes Over for Mike Richards as New Jeopardy Co-Host (For Now)

Ken Jennings is the new host of “Jeopardy.” And much like all Jeopardy hosts these days, it’s not permanent. The show announced Thursday that Jennings would be stepping into the now-vacant second host slot after Mike Richards was bounced from the show. So now the game’s GOAT player will have yet another run behind the host podium as he shepherds the show through the end of the year. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Actress Mayim Bialik (who was very good on her guest-hosting run) had previously been announced as the host for special primetime specials and tournaments. She’s been filling in for the production of new daily episodes as well, after the show was left without a host when Richards was fired. Bialik also stars on a sitcom on FOX, so she can’t do the gig full-time. And that’s where Jennings comes in. The two will split hosting duties through the rest of 2021.

Richards stepped down from his hosting job after a shady search for Alex Trebek’s successor, combined with a bunch of comments he made on a podcast that were problematic enough for Sony to cut ties. He stayed on as an executive producer and then was fired from that too.

Jennings is a fan favorite and even joined the “Jeopardy” team as a consulting producer. He was close with Trebek and was widely seen as the successor to the TV legend. He was the first guest host but never seemed to pick up much traction as the full-time host. Much of that hype went to LeVar Burton. In the end, it was Richards, the man leading the search, who decided he was the best for the job.

So now Sony executives have bought themselves some breathing room. At first, they announced they would go back to the guest host format while a new permanent host was found. This way, the show gets *some* level of stability and continuity as the two hosts tag team their way through the rest of the year as their respective schedules allow. And who knows, maybe the best decision Sony can make is no decision, and let the future of the show be split between the two permanently.

Live-Action ‘Driver’ TV Series in Development

The live-action video game adaptations just keep on coming and coming.  The majority seem to be from the ’90s and they’re all about driving vehicles too if that’s your thing.

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the classic Playstation & Xbox video game ‘Driver’ will be adapted into a live-action TV series that will “focus on undercover agent and ex-racecar driver John Tanner as he tries to take down a crime syndicate.”  The series will be released exclusively on Binge.  As if we didn’t already have enough streaming services, Binge is apparently taking a different approach.  Binge is a new streaming platform dedicated to delivering premium entertainment for gamers.  There could be potential there for a host of new video game properties to look forward to, but we’ll have to wait to find out if that’s true.

The Driver series will be produced by Binge’s Vincent Talenti and Allan Ungar, who directed and co-wrote the Uncharted live-action fan film featuring Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake that was released in 2018 (definitely watch it, it’s great).  Executive producers on the project hail from Ubisoft Film & Television and include Jason Altman, Danielle Kreinik, and Genevieve Jones.

“Our mission at Ubisoft is to bring our games to life in new and exciting ways and create content set in the world, culture and community of gaming,” Kreinik said in a blog post. “Working with Binge will allow us to bring a Driver series directly to the audience who is most passionate about seeing this franchise come to life.  As longtime fans of the franchise, we’re excited to deliver an original, premium and rich storytelling experience that will take fans and newcomers on a thrilling ride.”

Out of all the video game properties to be adapted to live-action, I have to say Driver is wildly out of left field.  I mean, the story will fit fine, but in the vast ocean of video games, you go with Driver?  It definitely has potential don’t get me wrong, but it is an odd choice.

I had a lot of fun with the original Driver when it was released on PS1 back in 1999.  The mandatory tutorial at the very beginning was slightly insane, but once you got past that, it was just a really cool game.  It was like a playable version of Steve Mcqueen’s ‘Bullitt’.  It’s kind of a shame we haven’t seen another proper release since the last Driver game was released in 2011 (there was the cellphone game Driver: Speedboat Paradise in 2014, let’s not talk about that).  The franchise has a lot of potential for a reboot, but for now, we’ll just have to play the originals.

“Ted Lasso” Star and Writers Earn Huge Raise for Season 3

“Ted Lasso” has become a smash hit for Apple+ and arguably the service’s most important show. It came out of nowhere to become must-see TV during a time where we never needed it more and has since been rewarded with renewals and a large pile of Emmy Awards. And now, Jason Sudeikis and crew are getting the reward they were likely most interested in, as the entire crew got huge raises for a third season of the soccer comedy.

In an age of divisiveness and snark, it’s truly wild to see a show about soccer and being nice become a sensation, but no one is more responsible for Lasso overcoming the odds more than the titular star itself, Jason Sudeikis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s reaping the reward for ‘believing’ as his salary was bumped up to $1 million per episode. Reportedly, he was paid around $250,000 per episode for the first two seasons.

Season 2 debuted this summer to an audience six times as big as its season 1 debut. The show’s relentless positivity and feel-good motif resonated with the audience as it quickly became a word-of-mouth favorite.

At first, it was just the handful of people you know with an Apple+ subscription or who love sports. Then the murmurs grew as converts were quickly won over and it became a groundswell by the end of the first season. With so many different streaming options, it is surprising a legit hit came out of one on the fringe. But it also says a lot about what was missing from the typical streaming diet, as Lasso’s earnestness defied the odds.

And it wasn’t until season 2 that the show truly broke through. Yeah, it shot out of a rocket with season 1, pulling in any award nomination possible for a television show. But that first period was full of love and encouragement. It wasn’t until season 2 that the haters came out of the woodwork that you knew the show had reached a new level.

It’s the lifespan of ANYTHING in the digital age, whether you’re a new TV show or just a TikTok guy drinking soda on a skateboard, the haters will come for you when you’ve become big enough. The show has been able to keep things interesting and true to form while continuing to gain steam throughout the second season.

Even before season 2, Apple+ renewed the series for a third season. Reportedly, the original concept for the show involved a three-season story arc. So it’s possible season 3 will be the final one for Lasso and AFC Richmond. Or perhaps the critical acclaim, audience fervor, and big dollars will help spur the creators into finding more places to take the characters.

Either way, the people behind one of the best new shows in the last year have gotten the big paydays they all richly earned.

Insider Says N64 Coming to Switch Online, Believes Subscription Will Cost More

A few weeks back, credible video game leaker ‘NateDrake’ revealed during one of his podcasts that Game Boy & Game Boy Color games were potentially coming to Nintendo Switch Online.  Now, Nate claims that the N64 library will be potentially joining the online service as well.

To further back up Nate’s claims, Eurogamer added to the rumors, saying their sources could back up this information and noted that “other retro platforms” are also likely to show up.  Here’s exactly what Nate had to say on the latest episode of his podcast.

“Eurogamer went one step further, having noted that additional platforms will also be added to Nintendo Switch Online in the future. And today I would like to add to that, yes, that information is accurate and one of the platforms that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch Online in the future is the revolutionary Nintendo 64.”

While this is awesome news, Nate seems to think Nintendo will introduce a new Switch Online subscription fee.  Translation: Nintendo knows you love the N64, so they know you’ll drop any amount of money to play those games on your Switch.

“What I’m going to propose, is that when Nintendo 64 does come to Nintendo Switch Online it is going to come with a higher-priced tier.  A premium version of Nintendo Switch Online, if you will.  I don’t think they would try to double the price of it.  I’d come in at $30 a year.  $35 would be the ceiling, any more than that I think Nintendo would be really pushing things.”

While Nate is pretty confident the N64 library will eventually appear on Switch Online, a release date is still up in the air.

“I would give a very realistic probability that it happens in the current fiscal year…but that’s a guess.  I mean that’s a guess but you know, we will find out as we said, September is the month of reveals, the anniversary of the platform itself, so hopefully, we have some news about Nintendo Switch Online this month, but there is no rule that it has to come this month.”

Of course, this is all speculation, but I do love good speculation.  What’s interesting about September being the “month of reveals”, is the original Game Boy released in September of 1989.  We’re already halfway through the month, so are we going to see those rumored Game Boy and Game Boy Color games on Nintendo Switch Online shortly?  The N64 was released on September 29th, 1996.  Could you imagine if they just dropped both the Game Boy & N64 games on us at the same time this month?  That would be quite the bold move.

You know what I say about all this “potential” business with releasing the classics though?  I say enough with it already.  Quit holding the classics hostage and just give us the damn games Nintendo.  The fans want the good stuff!

Taco Bell Is Testing a Subscription Service For Taco Lovers

Taco Bell is starting a subscription service. We aren’t getting Taco Bell+ streaming into your TV (although I would totally watch that!), rather, the fast-food eatery is starting a monthly Taco Lover’s Pass for super fans.

While not an unprecedented move, it is an unusual approach to food and fervor, but Taco Bell is nothing if not a company that takes some chances. But this isn’t them jumping into the chicken sandwich wars, this is them doubling down on what people already love most about the Taco Bell experience.

The chain is testing the “Taco Lover’s Pass” in certain markets. Customers can order one crunchy taco, soft taco, spicy potato soft taco, or Doritos Locos taco per day for 30 straight days on the app. How much does this Taco Lover’s Pass cost? That’s part of what the test is for, as it’s different by location. The price typically ranges from $5 to $10 per month. That’s chump change when it comes to declaring your love of tacos.

 

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Then again, the idea of eating at a fast-food restaurant EVERY DAY is not the sanest thing either. The brand is trying to get people into the store on a regular basis. It’s also an effort to get more people using their app.

Executives at their parent company have said to investors the typical Taco Bell loyalty member spends 35 percent more on their visits compared to before downloading the app. While I don’t fall into the Taco Lover category, there is no question that restaurant apps have never been better and easier to use. If there’s one good thing to come out of 2020, it’s having more food at your fingertips.

The Taco Lover’s Pass is being tested in various markets through late November, at which point it could get a nationwide rollout.

Anthony Mackie Nabs Lead Role In ‘Twisted Metal’ TV Series

As Hollywood continues to mine existing intellectual property for content, they have inevitably turned to video games. Over the years, there have been a bunch of movies based on video games, but none have been particularly good. Lately, they’ve been pivoting to television. A Last of Us series is in the works with Pedro Pascal, as well as shows based on Assassin’s Creed, Halo, Far Cry, and more.

The latest show to get a high-profile announcement is the PlayStation game Twisted Metal. An action-comedy game about a fast-talking dude tasked with crossing a post-apocalyptic wasteland to deliver a package. Based on an idea from the writers behind the Deadpool movie, the starring role requires someone with the charisma to handle the title role. And it looks like they’ve found him in the former Falcon, current Captain America, Anthony Mackie.

“We’re thrilled to have Anthony Mackie on board. His ability to blend comedy, action and drama is perfect for the Twisted world we’re creating,” said Asad Qizilbash, head of PlayStation Productions.

Mackie will embody John Doe, the smartass hero at the center of Twisted Metal as he attempts to find a better life – if he can survive an onslaught of violence from all manner of bad guys, including a demented clown who drives an ice cream truck. Can’t wait to see who they cast in that role!

“We’ve been big fans of Anthony’s phenomenal body of work over the years and knew he was the only actor who could play a character as complex, funny and compelling as John Doe. Fortunately for us, he agreed,” said Glenn Adilman, EVP Comedy Development at Sony TV.

Cobra Kai writer Michael Jonathan Smith will write and executive produce the series, which has yet to find a home but sounds like a fun opportunity for Mackie to step outside of Marvel and do something with a bit more edge.

7-Yr-Old Spreads Message of Self-Love To Help Others After Being Bullied

Being a kid isn’t always easy. Sure, you’re free from things like taxes and insurance deductibles. In place of adult responsibilities, however, kids face the undeniable challenges of growing up. Kids are just getting their footing in the world, learning the ins and outs of being a human being. When they encounter life’s challenges for the first time, they have to choose how to handle them. When 7-Year-old Rowyn Montgomery found strategies to help him deal with bullies at school, he decided to help other kids do the same.

Rather than fight back, Rowyn utilized the power of self-love to counter the impact of the bullies’ cruel words. He embraced himself for exactly who he is, focusing especially on things that bullies picked on. In one of his videos, Rowyn discusses how bullies used to tease him for having a “unibrow.” But, as Rowyn explains, all that matters is how he feels about himself.

“I used to be picked on about it, but I don’t care. I’m myself,” Rowyn says in his Instagram video. And if someone teases you about the things that make you different, “You can just walk up to them and say, ‘I’m myself. It doesn’t matter what other people think about me. It matters what I think about myself.’”

Wise words for a 7-year-old, and a lesson that many still struggle with as adults. Rowyn (with his mom’s help) has shared more than a dozen videos in which he reflects on self-love, and his thousands of followers adore him for both his positivity and his sincerity.

“I started making these videos because I didn’t want anybody to feel sad for being bullied,” Rowyn told his mom, Michelle, who then relayed his message to The Dad. “I want people to embrace themselves and love who they are. I hope my videos help people.”

If the comments are any indication, Rowyn’s videos are helping people. It’s one thing to hear these messages from adults, but hearing it from a fellow kid hits differently. Rowyn shares his videos on both Instagram and YouTube, spreading his important message to those who need it most.

Mom Gets Early Morning Revenge on Late-Night Partying Neighbors

Every parent knows how hard it is to vacation with small children. Sleep is hard enough as it is, but when toddlers get cruel with late-night wake-ups on a trip, that can make parent life hellish. It was that feeling which prompted some vacationing parents to get revenge on some partying 20-somethings.

A couple with kids was vacationing in Wales (ok, they were on “Holiday”, for you internationals) and staying near some younger folks who clearly did not have kids. We all know those are two VERY different trips. The kids were blaring music into the wee hours of the morning.  The mom asked them to keep it down (a reasonable request when you have young kids and it’s midnight), and the partiers just kept doing what partiers do.

Every parent can relate to that fury they felt at that moment. And sure, you can cut them a little bit of slack, because we were all young and carefree once. But if you repeatedly ask them to keep it down and they make very little effort, that’s basically a declaration of war.

@heatherminsh##payBack ##IWin 😂😂♬ original sound – Heather

In this case, the method of revenge from the mom was diabolical. She woke up at sunrise (you know, like you do with kids) and chucked a TON of bread on the roof of their rental to summon a hungry flock of seagulls as a brutal wakeup call.

Imagine having a great party all night with a bunch of other carefree 20-somethings, only to be awoken by the call of hungry birds. That is no way to start your hangover.

The mom shared the story and video on TikTok, where it got more than a million views, probably from other parents.

College kids can go all night, but only sleep-deprived parents can hit the extreme vengeance level needed to win that battle.

Landlord Paints Over Roach, Twitter Turns Comment Section Into Photoshop Battle

There are certain things in life that make our brains, for lack of a better term, glitch so badly we have to do a hard restart (bang our heads against a table for a while). Some things make so little sense that we genuinely can’t believe they’re real. In those instances, we often turn to social media as a way of asking, “am I losing it, or do you guys see this too?”

When a Twitter user named Chelsea (@chellzyeah) shared a photo in early September, it fell squarely in the category of, “you seeing this shit?” Over 360,000 likes later, two things were abundantly clear. One, Twitter was absolutely seeing that shit. And two, it was just as ridiculous to strangers around the world as it was to Chelsea.

The picture in question shows a small section of Chelsea’s wall, a slightly-dented edge the color of day-old oatmeal. But wait, there’s more.

“My landlord painted over a fucking roach,” Chelsea captioned her photo.

In the middle of the wall, a cockroach attempting to make its escape was frozen in place like Han Solo in carbonite. The detail visible on the ill-fated insect is astonishing, almost as astonishing as the level of not-giving-a-fuck necessary to paint over a cockroach. Before long, the people of Twitter rushed to the comment section to breathe life back into the perished pest through the power of Photoshop.

There’s the roach who’s here for a good time, not a long time

If anyone can do it, this crew can-can

This guy’s getting dangerously close to encroaching on Tony Hawk territory

Is this a game to you

Fatality 🙁

This one doesn’t include our fallen friend, but it brings up an important point. If it isn’t attached to the wall, don’t freaking paint it.