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VALORANT Patch 4.01: Full notes and updates



Riot Games will introduce Patch 4.01 to VALORANT today. It’s not a major update, but the devs have done a second round of changes to Ares, a weapon that was buffed in Patch 4.0.

The buff to the machine gun made the weapon “noticeably stronger,” according to the devs, and saw the Ares become a more popular choice in games. The changes in Patch 4.01 will increase the price of the Ares from 1,550 to 1,600 and increase its pitch recoil. The way the bullets spread has also been changed. Moving forward, it will be far more beneficial to use the Ares while crouched.

Aside from the Ares, the VALORANT devs also made changes to the game’s melee. The right-click hitboxes are now 1.5-times larger and the left-click hitboxes are now larger than a right-click. From now on, the targets closer to the center of your tactical knife will get hit first.

Moving on from some of the gameplay aspects, Riot has added a new section called the Muted Word List, where players can type words or sentences that they personally don’t want to see in-game. This was implemented because some players found a way around Riot’s automated bad word detection system to be toxic to others.

Here are the full notes for VALORANT Patch 4.01.

Weapon updates


  • Price increased from 1,550 >>> 1,600.
  • Pitch recoil increased.
  • Spread changed from 0.8 >>> 0.7 after 10 bullets to 1.0 >>> 0.7 after 13 bullets.
  • Crouch benefits spread and recoil reduced from 40 percent >>> 25 percent.

Melee (but for real this time)

  • Right click hitboxes are now 1.5x larger. Left click hitboxes are now larger than a right click and have a slightly longer range too.
  • Targets closer to the center of your knife attacks will get hit first, so you still have precision if you need it.
  • Bonus: Knifing walls now have instant feedback when slicing up walls (predicted on the client side).



  • Fixed a bug where the Origin collection idle Animations weren’t playing for some levels and variants in Spectator mode.

Esports features

  • Fixed an issue where observer player hotkeys would change after side-swap.


  • Fixed an issue where performance charts that require NVIDIA Reflex were displayed and could not be hidden.

Social updates

  • “Muted Word List is a new section you will find in your settings where you can type in variations of words/phrases that you, personally, would not like to see appear in-game.”
    • “We admit that some players are often smarter than our automated bad word detection system and continually find creative ways to type things we don’t want to in chat. This is why we need your help to make our detections better! Help us, help you.”
    • For example: Let’s say ‘Riot’ is a bad word (scary, I know). Our detection may catch the word ‘Riot’ as one that should be blocked and penalized, but there’s a variety of different ways to spell Riot that we may not be catching: R!ot, R!0t, Ri0t, etc.”
    • “And no, you won’t get League of Legends banned from chat.
    • “We’re hoping that we can leverage the lists that you and others create to make the chat less toxic by comparing them across regions, and using the data we collect to improve our own detections of bad words. Thanks in advance for all that are willing to lend a hand. Let’s make VALORANT a better place for everyone.”

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Got rhythm? Fortnite will test players’ musical skills with a new—and unusual—weapon, leaks claim



Fortnite has maintained its player base for a successful five years through the introduction of surprising and interesting new mechanics. Chapter Four has already brought improved graphics and movement abilities, and it looks like a new musical weapon might be changing the battle royale for good.

A new guitar-based weapon will be added to the game that will work based on a rhythm game, according to reputable data miner HYPEX. The tweet states players will need to strum the guitar to deal 75 damage per second to all the builds, amounting to 300 damage if they hit all the beats each time. It doesn’t do damage to enemy players, however, and it’s unclear if it affects non-player buildings as well.

This rhythm-based weapon, if real, will be an interesting new mechanic for the game. There’s nothing like it in the game currently, so it clearly shows Epic has no problems experimenting with unique new ideas.

Related: New Fortnite leaks hint at potential arrival of Titanfall-inspired movement mechanics

Epic might have actually already given players a hint about this coming at the start of the season in the cinematic launch trailer. In it, players can see a guitar floating by the screen as Paradigm is being pulled into the island. While this could just as easily be nothing, Epic likely knows fans will pour through every second of any material to look for new items and cosmetics.

Look in the bottom right corner of the video as it pans across the forming island. You’ll have to watch carefully, since it’s only revealed on-screen for a second at most.

This item seems like it will work similarly to a previous item, the Boombox, which was an explosive item that players could throw, only damaging builds and not players.

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Leaked Apex Legends Hardcore mode could break recycled LTM trend—but players already doubt it



While the Wintertide event succeeded in bringing in a season 15 high player peak on Steam for Apex Legends, it didn’t do much to address players’ criticisms of the game using recycled and reused limited-time modes. This go-round for the Winter Express is the fourth year in a row that some version of the LTM has appeared in Apex, and the general sentiment on its return has been middling.

So it’s not exactly a surprise that a recent leak from ThordanSmash caught the attention of the community. The popular content creator and insider teased a new mode that might be coming to Apex: Hardcore battle royale.

According to Thordan, the new mode will be one where players will be eliminated much more quickly and will put significant value on game knowledge. There won’t be any HUD, the highest armor available will be the base white body shields, and bullets will do more damage than they do in the base game. There also won’t be any Gold rarity items except for weapon hop-ups. That means items like Gold helmets that make abilities recharge faster and Gold backpacks that allow players to carry more health items won’t be used in the mode.

In addition to these changes, there will be fewer health items, according to Thordan. This will make for an extremely fast time to kill (TTK) that should have players thinking and rethinking every single rotation and move they make on the battlefield.

Whether this is another LTM on the way or the new mode inhabits a more Control-esque role, a popular mode that commonly returns and feels more akin to Arenas than most LTMs, players are already split on whether a Hardcore mode in Apex is a good idea at all.

There are players who seem excited about the prospect of a Hardcore mode, but several others have brought up how the idea feels like an accelerated version of the standard non-ranked battle royale mode, with no incentive for players to take the mode seriously. That would most likely result in incredibly short games or long stretches where teams that decide not to hot drop don’t see any fights. 

There’s also some precedent in Apex for players not loving a significantly shorter TTK: the much-maligned nerf to all body shields in season six, where all body shields got 25 less health. The player outcry on the change was strong enough that Respawn reverted the change a few weeks into the season since players didn’t enjoy the shorter TTK that the shield change enabled.

The new Hardcore mode sounds like Apex with a more Call of Duty-style TTK, and it’s debatable whether any Apex players actually want that. A new LTM is certainly welcome, but if an Apex mode feels more like a different game, what’s stopping players from just going and playing Modern Warfare 2 instead?

Thordan also mentioned that other LTMs like Team Deathmatch and some other previously-leaked game modes are still in the works. This year has been a fairly successful one for breaking up the LTM cycle compared to 2021, with both Control and Gun Run being popular LTMs in the community. But the response to the newest leaked LTM has been decidedly lukewarm and it remains to be seen if a Hardcore mode will inspire much new interest in Apex.

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First ESL Impact CS:GO tournament of 2023 to kick off in Katowice



ESL Impact, the CS:GO circuit for marginalized genders, will return next year and the first stop will be in Katowice, Poland from Feb. 10 to 12, ESL announced today.

ESL has invited Nigma Galaxy, FURIA, CLG RED, and HSG to the tournament and four more squads will finalize the team list after qualifiers in Europe, North America, and South America are done. Nigma Galaxy were the best all-women CS:GO team of 2022, having won ESL Impact season one, ESL Impact season two, and ESL Impact Valencia throughout the year. FURIA were also consistent, having reached the grand finals of all three events.

The opening event of ESL Impact 2023 will run at the IEM Expo in Katowice and will be open to all fans, with no tickets required. This will be the first time a tournament for marginalized genders will take place in Katowice, one of the most iconic cities for CS:GO esports, since Intel Challenge Katowice in 2019, which was one of the best tournaments for all-women teams back in the day.

The open qualifiers for ESL Impact Katowice will take place from Dec. 14 to 18 in all three regions (Europe, North America, and South America). The best two teams hailing from Europe will qualify for the main event, while North America and South America will have one more team each.

ESL hasn’t revealed the prize pool for ESL Impact Katowice 2023 yet, but the tournament organizer put $100,000 on the line for ESL Impact Valencia in 2022 and offered $123,000 for ESL Impact seasons one and two.

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