How Riot developed abilities for VALORANT's newest agent, Fade
Provided by Riot Games

How Riot developed abilities for VALORANT’s newest agent, Fade

Fade will be a new kind of info-gatherer who can compete with Sova

VALORANT’s newest agent Fade is nearing release. A recent cinematic trailer revealed the Turkish agent and a snippet of her backstory. But what does Fade actually do in-game? Here are the tooltips for the new Initiator’s abilities.

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Fade abilities

“Haunt (E)

  • Equip a nightmarish entity. FIRE to throw the orb which will plummet to the ground after a set amount of time. Upon hitting the ground, the orb will turn into a nightmarish entity that will reveal the location of enemies caught in its line of sight. Enemies can destroy this entity. RE-USE the ability to drop the projectile early in-flight.”

“Seize (Q)

  • Equip an orb of nightmare ink. FIRE to throw the orb which will plummet to the ground after a set amount of time. Upon hitting the ground, the ink will explode and create a zone in which enemies who are caught in it cannot escape the zone by normal means. RE-USE the ability to drop the projectile early in-flight”

“Prowler (C)

  • EQUIP a Prowler. FIRE will send the Prowler out, causing it to travel in a straight line. The Prowler will lock onto any enemies or trails in their frontal vision cone and chase them, nearsighting them if it reaches them. HOLD the FIRE button to steer the Prowler in the direction of your crosshair.”

“Nightfall (X)

  • EQUIP the power of Fear. FIRE to send out a wave of nightmare energy that can traverse through walls. The energy creates a trail to the opponent as well as deafens and decays them.”

Fade’s development

Riot Games expressed that their goal with Fade was to create competition for Sova, currently one of the most popular and powerful Initiators in VALORANT. To do this, Fade uses nightmares to steal enemy secrets and hunt them down.

“The intent is to create a competitor to Sova that plays out differently,” Nicholas Smith, a designer at Riot Games, said. “Fade brings recon to a personal level, more potent in a localized area.”

Smith said Riot wanted Fade to be less line-up reliant and have no “possessable utility” like Sova drone or Skye wolf. The goal was to create an info-gathering Initiator that would also be involved in the action and not controlling utility from afar.

In terms of design, Smith said he took inspiration from other games like League of Legends and even Metal Gear Solid 5. Specifically, Fade’s Seize (Q) ability is based on Camille’s ultimate in League.

“Seize was the sort of ‘bola strike’ or gotcha moment to us when you’ve cornered the prey and want to ensure they can’t escape,” Smith said. “I think it can be used in a multitude of ways, but producing a trail, and seeing where the enemy has run and then capture them is the dream play.”

Fade’s prowlers drew on MGS 5’s diamond dog companion. Smith said that, as a bounty hunter, they wanted Fade to have a hunting partner that could follow the trails and help her clear angles.

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Coby Zucker
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.