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Valorant guide: How to play as Sova

Sova is an Initiator character so he’s great at setting up fights. His abilities allow him to get his team a little bit of extra information so they know exactly what they’re up against. His signature ability is Recon Bolt, which allows him to find enemy positions, making Sova strong on both Attack and Defense. Even if his scan comes up empty, you can still use it to narrow down the enemy’s location.

While he excels at scouting, Sova’s got plenty of other abilities that make him strong, here’s a look at each one and a few tips on how to use them.

Ability: Shock Bolt

A player in Valorant holds up a bow and arrow about to shoot and electrified bolt Sova preparing to shoot his Shock Bolt Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Fire an explosive bolt that emits a damaging pulse of static energy upon impact.

Tips:

  • Sova’s Shock Bolt is great at clearing areas you can’t see. If you’re moving toward a site, the easiest thing to do is think about where you would stand if you were trying to defend the site, and shoot an arrow at that location.
  • This arrow does quite a bit of damage, but it isn’t enough to kill a full health player, so you shouldn’t use it as a weapon replacement. Instead, it’s best to use this to soften targets from far away, rather than fighting them directly.

Ability: Owl Drone

A heads up display inside Sova’s Owl Drone in Valorant The view from inside Sova’s Owl Drone Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Deploy a pilotable drone that can fire a dart that will Reveal enemies who are hit.

Tips:

  • While you’re using the Owl, Sova will stand still, so it’s important to make sure you’re in a safe area of the map before you jump into the drone.
  • It’s often a good idea to have a teammate follow your drone a few steps behind. If an enemy player shoots the drone they won’t be ready when your teammate walks in behind it.

Signature Ability: Recon Bolt

A player with a bow and arrow in Valorant prepares to shoot a Recon Bolt Sova preparing to shoot his Recon Bolt Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Fire a bolt that deploys a sonar emitter. The sonar pings tag nearby enemies, causing them to be revealed. Can be destroyed.

Tips:

  • This ability can’t see players through walls, so you have to make sure the area you want revealed is within the arrow’s line of sight.
  • The Recon Bolt can bounce up to two times by using the alternate fire — right click by default. This means you can bounce it off of walls to reach areas that might not be safe to fire it directly into.
  • This ability recharges after a short period of time, allowing you to use it multiple times per round.

Ultimate: Hunter’s Fury

Sova hold his bow and arrow and shoots it through walls in Valorant Sova using Hunter’s Fury Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Fire up to three deadly energy blasts that spear across the map. Each hit enemy takes heavy damage and is marked.

Tips:

  • While your Ultimate is equipped, you can see a preview of where it will go on the minimap. It goes through walls, but you still have to make sure the height of the shot is correct. Try to remember which parts of the map are elevated and which parts aren’t before firing.
  • Hunter’s Fury can be great for picking up a kill, but it’s even better for denying an area. If you know the enemy players are trying to get out of a door, the Ultimate can prevent them from getting out while your team advances. Even better, if you plant the Spike, you can use Hunter’s Fury to stop the enemy team from defusing while you’re standing a safe distance away.

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Source: Polygon.com

Valorant guide: How to play as Jett

Jett is a Duelist and is one of Valorant’s most difficult characters. She has an ability that lets her dash in any direction and another that gives her an extra high jump to reach places on the map that few other Agents can. But she can do more than get around quickly. She also has a smoke screen that she can put down to cut off the enemy’s vision, and an Ultimate ability that’s as deadly as any weapon in the game.

Here are all of Jett’s abilities and a few tricks on how to use them.

Ability: Cloudburst

Jett looks at a cloud of smoke she just created in Valorant Jett’s Cloudburst ability Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Throw out a cloud of fog that obscures vision on impact. Hold down the ability button to bend the cloud’s in-flight trajectory.

Tips:

  • These are very small smoke clouds, but they’re great for preventing an opponent from watching a specific angle. Because you can bend the clouds, try to obscure that area from around a corner or somewhere else that’s safe.
  • In the absolute worst case scenario, you can throw one of these directly on an enemy to obscure their vision.

Ability: Updraft

Jett floats high above the map in Valorant Jett high above the map using her Updraft and Tailwind abilities Image: Riot Games via Polygon

After a brief wind up, propel yourself upwards.

Tips:

  • This ability is one of the few ways in Valorant to get up to high places. If you see two big boxes stacked on top of each other, try using this ability to jump on top of them. From here, you can catch enemies off-guard who might not have expected your position since so few characters in the game can reach it.
  • When you launch into the air with this ability your shots won’t be accurate, even if you’re using Jett’s hover ability as well. You shouldn’t use this to try to get a clean shot off, as enemies will be able to shoot you much easier than you can shoot them.
  • Jett also has the ability to hover if you hold jump while you’re in the air. When she’s hovering she’ll fall very slowly, but won’t be able to shoot accurately.

Signature Ability: Tailwind

Immediately dash a short distance in the direction you’re moving.

Tip:

  • This ability is excellent for getting out of situations in a hurry. You can peek an angle, see exactly how many enemies are around the corner, then dash backwards in an instant before they can shoot you.
  • Tailwind will move in whatever direction you’re holding when you activate the ability. This includes forward and backward and side-to-side, as well as diagonally.
  • Be careful rushing forward into a fight with this ability, once you finish your dash, you’ll need to pull your weapon back out, which takes quite a while. While you’re doing that, you will be vulnerable to enemies with no way to defend yourself.
  • This ability will refresh if Jett gets two kills after she uses it.

Ultimate Ability: Blade Storm

Jett hold five knives in the air in front of her in Valorant Jett’s Blade Storm ability Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Arm yourself with several deadly throwing knives that deal moderate damage and kill on headshots. Scoring a kill restores all daggers. Left click throws a single dagger. Right click throws all remaining daggers in a short-ranged burst.

Tips:

  • Unlike guns, this ability is always pinpoint accurate in single fire, so you can use Jett’s Updraft ability to jump into the air, then hover and fire your daggers without fear of them missing their mark.
  • Blade Storm’s daggers also draw quicker than a gun when you dash forward, so you can dash into an enemy, use right click to throw all your daggers at once, thus killing them and refreshing your knives.
  • Blade Storm lasts as long as you want during a round, so you can use it as a replacement for a weapon if you’re in a pinch and trying to save Creds. Just activate it and use it like you would a normal weapon, but remember if you don’t get a kill and run out of daggers, you’ll be stuck with your pistol.

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Source: Polygon.com

Valorant guide: How to play as Phoenix

Phoenix is a Duelist, so he’s often the Agent leading the charge for his team. He can blind the enemy team, and can create a wall of fire to discourage the enemy from coming close. If things go badly, his fire abilities can even heal him. Phoenix also has an Ultimate that can give him a second life to let him try some extra dangerous plays.

Here are all of Phoenix’s abilities and a few tips on how to use them best.

Phoenix using his wall ability called Blaze in Valorant Phoenix’s Blaze ability Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Cast out a flame wall that blocks vision and damages anyone passing through it. You can bend the wall when casting by turning while holding left click.

Tips:

  • If Phoenix walks through his own wall or stands inside it, he’ll be healed, which can make this ability extra useful in tight spots.
  • This wall doesn’t actually stop bullets, but it hides you well enough that you can probably stop an enemy from killing you just by throwing it up as a screen. If they blindfire through it, they’ll have to get very lucky to kill you.

Ability: Curveball

Phoenix in Valorant preparing to use his Curveball Phoenix throwing his Curveball ability Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Cast a curving flare that bursts into brilliant light after a brief delay, temporarily blinding all looking at it. Left click curves it left, right click curves it right.

Tips:

  • Always use this ability around a corner, if you try to throw it straight it will blind you. The curve on it is almost 90 degrees so it’s easy to curve it around a corner before you peak.
  • This ability can blind you and your teammates so be careful how you use it.

Signature Ability: Hot Hands

A pool of fire sits on the ground in Valorant The pool of fire from Phoenix’s Hot Hands ability Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Throw a fireball that explodes after a delay or upon impact with the ground. The fire zone damages enemies, and heals you.

Tips:

  • This ability is great for making enemies think twice before they come out of a door or into a small hallway.
  • While this ability is good for area denial it doesn’t do a ton of damage, so don’t be afraid to use it to create a personal health pool for yourself.

Ultimate Ability: Run it Back

Mark your current location. If you die during this ability’s duration, or when this ability’s duration expires, you’ll be reborn at the marked location with full health.

Tips:

  • Anything you do while this ability is active will come back with you when you return to the place you started the ability. So if the Spike is in a bad position you can activate your ultimate, grab it, and when the enemy kills you you’ll just pop back up where you started Run it Back.
  • Be careful where you leave your starting point for Run it Back. There will be a fire on the ground there so it’s easy to see and if an enemy runs across it they’ll wait for you to return then kill you during the animation before you can move.
  • This ability is also great to start rounds with. If you’re an Attacker you can rush into a site and either get a couple of kills or gather some valuable information. If you’re a Defender you could throw yourself into the enemy team and catch them by surprise without risking your life.

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Source: Polygon.com

Shadowlands is bringing back tons of tools and toys to World of Warcraft classes

World of Warcraft fans have a big complaint with the current expansion, Battle for Azeroth. Players said the classes are too stripped down and streamlined, leading to a frustrating experience. Blizzard seems on track to change this with the next expansion, Shadowlands.

Today, Blizzard released a new blog post that explains the big picture changes coming for each class and specialization in Shadowlands, and there are some juicy morsels there for long-time World of Warcraft fans.

Fans can check out the post for a full list of all changes, but some of the biggest points have to do with either making an ability standard for all specs, instead of just one, or bringing back an old ability from past expansions that was trimmed away later on. For instance, classes like Rogues and Priests are getting more baseline abilities that are shared across all specializations. Meanwhile, classes like Shamans and Mages are getting reworks so that they have more to do in parties and raids, and a better flow in solo combat.

A lot of these changes are small things that add up quickly, but a few classes are getting big, fun tools back. Frost Death Knights are getting the ability to choose between two one-handed weapons, or one two-hander again, which opens up different ways to play. As a Paladin main, I dread the fact that Warriors can once again shatter invulnerable barriers, making maneuvers like the bubble hearth much more difficult to pull off.

All of the changes discussed on Blizzard’s blog are subject to further iteration; the Shadowlands expansion is just entering alpha, so there’s a lot of time for the developers to hone in on certain skills and find ones that aren’t working.

Combat and abilities are the bread-and-butter of World of Warcraft’s gameplay, so its nice to see them getting some much-needed love. As players explore the mysterious Shadowlands, they’ll have a lot of buttons to press along the way.

Source: Polygon.com

Obsidian’s survival game, Grounded, enters early access on July 28

Obsidian Entertainment’s backyard survival game Grounded will go into early Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on July 28, Microsoft announced during an episode of Inside Xbox.

On Tuesday, the publisher also showcased a new trailer centered on the single-player story experience in Grounded. The new trailer showed base building, weapons, and the dangers of the backyard. Game director Adam Brennecke said a big focus for Obsidian was the environment building in the mysterious backyard — clearly, it’s not your everyday yard. Brennecke also noted that the storyline won’t be finished when it’s in early access, and the team will be looking to player feedback to kick things off.

More information is expected during a live showing of Grounded after the Inside Xbox presentation.

Grounded was first revealed during Microsoft’s X019 presentation in November 2019.

Obsidian was acquired by Microsoft in November 2018, Microsoft announced at X018 the year prior. The studio released The Outer Worlds in partnership with Take-Two’s Private Division in October 2019, which was met with critical acclaim.

Grounded will have four-player online multiplayer, as well as its single-player offering. There are four characters available at the start of the campaign: Max, Willow, Pete, and Hoops. Together, they’ll face a bunch of bugs, like spiders and ants, to survive the backyard gauntlet.


Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Source: Polygon.com

PlayStation 5 controller DualSense revealed

Sony PlayStation has provided fans with a first look at the all new Sony PlayStation 5 controller, and they have noted it is being sent to developers now for final testing of their new games for the console.

The controller is officially called the DualSense controller for PS5.

The new DualSense controller for PS5 features haptic feedback, which allows for more powerful senses while playing games. There’s also adaptive triggers for the L2 and R2 so that players feel the tension while pressing down.

The company also announced that they have changed the hand triggers’ angle and some small updates to the grip of the controller in order to allow for a controller that feels smaller and ensure great battery life of the control.

This provided us with an exciting challenge to design a new controller that builds off of the current generation, while taking into account the new features we were adding. For example, with adaptive triggers, we had to consider how the components would fit into the hardware, without giving it a bulky feeling. Our design team worked closely with our hardware engineers to place the triggers and actuators. The designers were then able to draw the lines of how the exterior of the controller would look and feel, with a challenge of making the controller feel smaller than it really looks. In the end, we changed the angle of the hand triggers and also made some subtle updates to the grip. We also took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery, and to lessen the weight of the controller as much as possible as new features were added.

The Share Button on the PS5 has been replaced with the Create button, which allows players to create epic content to share with friends. More info on this feature to come soon.

The controller also features a built in microphone to allow players to chat without a headset if they want, for a quick conversation.

Now, let’s talk about the colors. Traditionally our base controllers have a single color. As you can see, we went a different direction this time around, and decided on a two-toned design. Additionally, we changed the position of the light bar that will give it an extra pop. On DualShock 4, it sat on the top of the controller; now it sits at each side of the touch pad, giving it a slightly larger look and feel.

DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5. The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for games – continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future. To the PlayStation community, I truly want to thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us as we head toward PS5’s launch in Holiday 2020. We look forward to sharing more information about PS5, including the console design, in the coming months.” – Jim Ryan, President & CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment.

SOURCE: PS

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Modern Warfare and Warzone Season 3 PlayStation exclusive content detailed

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone launches April 8 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for all players, free with a brand new Battle Pass (free and paid tiers), new MP maps, new Warzone modes, and more.

PlayStation users, however, will be getting exclusive bonus content with Season 3 in both Modern Warfare and Warzone. The content is timed exclusive until October 1, 2020.

The new PS4 exclusive content includes:

  • New Survival Mode Map: Shoot House – Outlast the enemy on this fan-favorite Multiplayer map, Shoot House. Battle with your squad and find choke points to take down waves of opponents. Consider taking the high ground in the office. Barricade the entry ways with traps and explosives and show off your marksmanship skills. Or, claim the Alpha or Bravo gates to give yourself more room to maneuver and eliminate the oncoming foes. With new tactics and strategies required, rediscover Shoot House to best the enemy in Survival.

There’s a new Combat Back, available exclusively for PlayStation Plus subscribers starting April 8. The content can be used in both Modern Warfare and Warzone.

  • New Combat PackExclusive to PS Plus Subscribers – Free for all PlayStation Plus subscribers, Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone users can get the Call of Duty: Warzone – Combat Pack. Here’s details on the pack including when and where to download.

This pack includes:

  • Epic Operator skin for Wyatt
  • Epic sniper rifle blueprint
  • Epic handgun blueprint 
  • Epic tactical knife 
  • Epic weapon charm
  • Animated Calling Card 
  • Spray 
  • 60-minute Double Weapon XP Token

And lastly, PlayStation 4 members get an exclusive Weapon Mission to get a unique weapon blueprint to use in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone.

  • Players can head to the Barracks tab in Multiplayer and scroll down to find the newest PlayStation mission in Season Three. Visit the Barracks tab in Modern Warfare to activate this mission and complete the steps to get the final reward – an exclusive assault rifle weapon blueprint.

Stay tuned for the latest news.

SOURCE: PS Blog

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Modern Warfare and Warzone Season 3 Battle Pass Overview

Season 3 in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone officially begins on April 8 and brings a brand new Battle Pass with new characters, items, and more for fans to earn as they level up.

The new Battle Pass features instant access to Echo-131, Alex from the Modern Warfare campaign. In addition, the Battle Pass features access to new weapons, new customization items, vehicle skins, and more.

The Free Tier of the Battle Pass includes two new weapons for fans to earn and play with in MP.

In the Battle Pass system, players can earn two free new weapons at Tiers 15 and 31: the Renetti handgun and the SKS marksman rifle. 

  • Renetti is a well-rounded semi-auto 9mm pistol with an alternative three-round burst attachment. Unassuming, yet deadly, this sidearm excels in close-range combat, but can be kitted for a variety of situations.
  • SKS, a lightweight, semi-auto carbine chambered in 7.62x39mm rounds. This hard hitting and agile Soviet-style marksman rifle focuses on utility over accuracy, which has helped it stand the test of time. It flaunts a faster fire rate than other weapons in its class, but a carefully placed round will eliminate the need for follow up shots entirely. 

For the paid stream, there’s a variety of new content for fans to earn in the Season 3 Battle Pass.

  • New Operator – Echo 131 – After selflessly – and supposedly – sacrificing his own life to destroy the toxic gas factory by manually triggering explosives. Somehow, Alex escaped General Roman D. Barkov’s chemical facility and remained in hiding until Price needed him to come back into the fray…
  • Vehicle Customization Items

There is also new distinct Operator threads available in the Battle Pass system.

  • At Tier 10, players will get the first of new distinct Operator threads modeled after various armed forces divisions. These ‘mil-sim’ skins include the U.S. Expeditionary Force (Tier 10), the South Korean Special Forces (Tier 30), Pararescue (Tier 50), and the Counter Terrorist Special Police Force. 

The full suite of the Season 3 Battle Pass is available to start earning on April 8 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

SOURCE: Activision

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Modern Warfare and Warzone Season 3 Roadmap

Infinity Ward has released the roadmap for what fans can expect for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with the newest Season, Season 3.

Season 3 officially begins Wednesday, April 8 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with new content across MP and Warzone.

Here’s the roadmap:

Available Launch Week:

  • New Operator:
    • Alex
  • New Multiplayer Maps:
    • Talsik Backlot – In the middle of the Urzikstan desert lies an urban city with a major construction project taking place at its center. With its citizens long evacuated, combat takes place from door-to-door as teams fight for control of the various overlooks and buildings.
    • Hovec Sawmill – A sleepy farming village is under peril, as its main sawmill building has caught fire. Operators will fight within the burning wreckage and around it, visiting the local businesses such as the butchery, the mess hall, and even the beekeeper’s area, which includes a couple of active hives!
    • Aniyah Incursion – You’ve experienced it in 10v10 and in Ground War – now fight within a more enclosed version of the area based around the central palace in Aniyah Incursion. Note the long sightlines looking out over the main courtyard and pool, along with the small crawl spaces within the palace that can be used to flank your enemies. And be careful with Killstreaks: The Palace can make it tricky to aim them into this complex, so placement will be key to getting those confirmed kills.
  • New Warzone Game Mode:
    • Quads
  • New Weapons:
    • SK5
    • Renetti
  • New Skins:
    • Vehicle Skins

Available later in Season 3:

  • New Operators:
    • Ronin
    • Iskra
  • New MP Map:
    • Hardhat
  • New Gunfight map:
    • Aisle 9
  • New MP Modes:
    • Gun Game Reloaded
    • Reinfected Ground War
  • New Weapons:
    • Classified
    • Gunsmith Customs
  • New Warzone Content:
    • Scopes & Scatter Guns
    • More To Be Announced

SOURCE: Activision

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Modern Warfare and Warzone Season 3 details announced – Trailer

Activision and Infinity Ward have officially announced the details on Season 3 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone, following the teaser image released last week.

Season 3 in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone will begin on April 7 at 11PM PT on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC when a new patch update goes live.

Season 3 revolves around the new Operator, Alex – who joins the fight with Battle Pass. Instantly access Alex with the purchase of the Season 3 Battle Pass.

Here’s the highlights of what’s to come with Season 3 for Modern Warfare:

  • New Maps
    • Talisk Backlot (remake of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s Backlot)
    • Hovec Sawmill (new map)
    • Aniyah Incursion
  • New Weapons
    • New Sniper
    • New Pistol
  • New Battle Pass
  • New Updates to Warzone
    • Quads Mode
    • Fresh Vehicles
    • New Weapons

Here’s the trailer for the new Season:

Season 3 begins April 8, free for everyone on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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