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The Real Reason Why Riot Introduced the Outlaw in Valorant

It’s been a few months since Valorant introduced the new gun, Outlaw. It’s an interesting alternative to the Operator with a purchase price of 2400 credits. Why was the Outlaw even introduced to the game?

The Operator is already annoying, and now the Outlaw does 140 body damage. There is a reason for this, and all fingers point towards pro-player loadouts for the VCT. Players opt for a light shield and rifles, saving an extra 500 credits every round. This allows them to play fewer eco rounds and have more rounds with good rifles like a Phantom or a Vandal.

What’s a Light Buy Strat?

Teams like Fnatic used this strategy throughout the VCT masters tournament. Only guns like Vandal and Guardian were able to combat the light buy meta with a single bullet. The Operator was too expensive as it is, so that would not count into this strategy. Saving 500 credits each round by skipping on full shield allows for just one eco/force round in a half. If you win a few rounds at the start, ideally, you are set up for the rest of the half without any other eco or bonus rounds by following the light buy strat.

You might not have noticed this in your games, but after the recent VCT Masters, a ton of players have been secretly following this calculation to make sure that they avoid playing with cheaper guns. 

This is where Riot was forced to introduce the Outlaw, a sniper rifle that does 140 damage to the body and completely destroys the light buy meta. If you are someone who’s been skipping the use of the outlaw, make sure you use it on rounds where you feel that the opponent does not have enough money to go for full buys. In case they force-buy and opt for light shield, this gun literally does what an Operator promises and you can catch players off guard.

Viper on an Outlaw?

Besides the obvious Operator agents like Jet and Chamber, other agents can now snipe using an Outlaw. Agents like Viper can now hold their smoke using an Outlaw. An Outlaw body shot instantly kills enemies trying to push through it. The same applies to Iso, where he can take aim for the body after using his undercut ability. With the quick two-bullet fire rate and the heavy wall penetration feature, playing off Sova’s recon/drone is another combination that works well with an Outlaw. This gun is designed for teamwork and can be a nightmare for players who have been hit by just a single bullet. It’s priced higher than the Marshall and the Guardian, but the body shot benefits do justify the overall price of the Outlaw.

Riot clearly intended for these changes so that players use abilities more alongside the buys they opt for. There were complaints that the Marshall was pretty much doing exactly what the Outlaw did, but in truth, not many were aware of the light shield meta. As weeks passed by, it slowly became obvious that, unlike the Marshal, an Outlaw can completely ruin the enemy team’s economy if used right.


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