Jett is easily the best duelist in VALORANT, providing incredible value when used correctly. Players can outmaneuver opponents with ease, escaping danger or positioning themselves for easy kills. Her pick rate in professional play reflects her power and many have considered the character to be slightly overpowered and in need of a nerf. Patch 4.08 is finally set to address the Jett issue, introducing a significant nerf that substantially changes the way players will use the agent going forward.
Patch 4.08 will make an adjustment to Jett’s Tailwind ability, requiring players to activate it, which opens a 12-second window where they can use Jett’s dash. There is also a short delay before the dash can be used, and the ability will expire if it is not used before the time period ends. The Tailwind ability regenerates after two kills, but there is a relatively short period to use it before it’s gone.
The new update significantly impacts the way players can use Jett’s dash on offense and defense, requiring them to strategically activate the ability instead of being able to use it at a moment’s notice. This might seem like a drastic change, but the dash is still a powerful ability when used correctly and Jett players no longer have the ability to correct a mistake by instantly escaping. Jett players might need some time to adjust to the update, but she is still one of the best choices in any composition.
VALORANT agent designer Alexander Mistakidis explained the Jett changes in the Patch 4.08 blog post and how the character’s abilities have “pushed beyond VALORANT’s core tactical cycle in worrisome ways.” The developers determined several critical issues with Jett’s dash, including there being no prerequisite to using the ability since players could use it instantly. This allowed players to play “outside of the tactical cycle” and use it to make up for poor strategic decisions or mistakes, even when the right strategies or plays are being made by opponents.
The developers also wanted to ensure Jett is still aggressive and powerful on offense while reducing her power with an Operator. Previously, players could hold angles and secure an Op kill and escape by using the dash without repercussions. This was tough to counter at all levels of competition, and her two smokes made it even harder to deal with.
In addition, Mistakidis explained how buffing the rest of the roster isn’t a long-term solution and could “jeopardize” the “tactical promise” in VALORANT. Jett’s power also impacted changes to other agents, like when the team considered nerfing Sova before Patch 4.08. Sova is one of the best ways to counter Jett players and nerfing this character before dealing with Jett’s dash could create even more problems.
While the developers clearly put time and effort into the Jett changes, many fans are still worried the popular duelist is no longer effective. Change can be scary, especially when an agent has dominated the competitive scene for months. But the Jett nerf addresses glaring issues with her ability set without nerfing her into oblivion.
Jett players holding an angle with an Operator is easily one of the most annoying aspects in VALORANT. Peeking an Operator is almost always deadly and facing an opponent with an ability allowing them to escape with no repercussions is almost unfair. Jett players could peek and dash away instantly to avoid any issues.
Removing the instant dash mechanic will make players think twice before peeking an angle, especially early in a round. They can still activate the dash and strategically use it to escape if needed. The only difference is that it can no longer be a crutch to escape a bad situation and Jett players will need to think critically before committing to a play.
Jett players can still aggressively push into a site or area with her dash, but they’ll need to use it effectively to avoid wasting it. Previously, players could push a site or location and dash away as soon as they needed it. Now, they have to activate it and have a short window to use it to avoid wasting the valuable ability.
Removing the instant dash is not going to push Jett out of the spotlight. Her dash is still one of the best abilities in VALORANT and few other agents can match her mobility. Perhaps players will start experimenting more with Raze’s Blast Packs or Neon’s sprint ability. Other duelists seeing more playing time in competitive matches is a good thing since it introduces variety and prevents a stale meta where one agent appears in almost all compositions.
Professional teams might start experimenting more with Chamber since his teleport ability provides some of the same benefits as Jett’s dash before the nerf. But players must strategically place their teleports beforehand, aligning with the design choice of the developers.
Jett was in dire need of a nerf and any player (even Jett mains) would likely agree. Some might not enjoy the lack of an instant dash, but it does create a more balanced experience that better matches the pace and design of other agents. The developers are also monitoring the changes to ensure it was the right choice, and fans can expect VALORANT agents to continue to be adjusted as needed for the foreseeable future.
Patch 4.08 is scheduled to go live on Tuesday, April 26.