Astra is a Radiant controller agent hailing from Ghana. Her desire to reshape the battlefields by harnessing the energies of the universe sets her apart from all the pre-existing agents. Additionally, her deep strategic foresight and absolute control over her astral form sets her ten steps ahead of her enemies.
With the introduction of such map-wide vision and crowd-control abilities, Riot is set to change the whole perspective of Valorant.
How will Astra affect Valorant’s gameplay
Astra has a total of 5 abilities. They are-
- Gravity Well
- Nova Pulse
- Astral Form/ Cosmic Divide
With all the abilities in the new agent’s arsenal, Riot Games is going to open up new horizons for Valorant. With her different abilities, Astra can get a bird’s eye view on the whole map, all while keeping herself hidden in a corner on the ground below. By using her Astral Form ability, Astra can place stars all over the map, and according to the situation, she can use those stars to control enemies with Gravity Well, concuss with the help of Nova Pulse, or smoke out a crucial corner or chokepoint with the help of Nebula.
What sets Astra apart from other existing controllers
Astra is a controller who was created with the sole purpose of setting herself apart from all the other existing controller agents. The building blocks behind her control depend on a map-wide presence, leaving her vulnerable to attacks in the existing plane below.
When asked about the designing thoughts behind the creation of Astra in Valorant, Valorant’s designer Jordan “Riot Wrekz” Anton, and Valorant’s character producer John “Riot MEMEMEMEME” Goscicki said,
With Astra, we wanted to make a controller that was thinking about the whole map. Her global presence was there right from the beginning. From there the fine-tuning was in finding the right abilities to balance predicting enemies’ actions and reacting to changing game circumstances. We love that Astra has a (literally) different perspective on the map and from that top-down view starts naturally thinking about all the different ways around could go and how to account for them.
They also added,
However, you can’t always be in the driver's seat dictating the flow of a round, so giving her some ability to react and change her plan was critical, though dangerous, as you leave your physical body vulnerable. We wanted her skill expression to be about gathering information and turning that into a plan, where the execution phase is less about precisely targeting a grenade throw and more about seeing if your read on the enemy came together how you hoped.