Y9S1.3 Designer’s Notes

In this latest edition of Designer's Notes, we'll go into detail about the balancing changes that'll come with the Y9S1.3 update and give you some insight into the reasons behind them.



Please note that we are using presence to gauge the popularity of an Operator. This notion had to be introduced to reflect the implementation of the pick & ban.

Presence definition: pick rate of an Operator when not banned. Win Delta: The Win Delta is aggregated from Operator's Win Deltas per Bomb Site.



As observed in the Balancing Matrix, there has been a significant increase in the presence of certain operators. However, despite this shift, their performance statistics do not raise any immediate concerns. Consequently, we have decided not to make any adjustments to the sights distribution in this patch.

It's essential to recognize that the graphs presented reflect only a small segment of the Ranked player base. Below those ranks and across the broader player community, the presence of these operators is considerably lower.

Their presence was higher at the beginning of the season and gradually declined to the numbers you see right now. This downward trend suggests that these operator choices are driven more by novelty than by overwhelming strength. We observed similar patterns during the 1,5x era, and based on tests conducted over the past year, we prefer a cautious approach rather than immediate reaction because the system is still too new. We believe maintaining the current distribution throughout the entire season won't compromise the overall balance.

Additionally, prematurely removing these operators could prompt players to swiftly switch to the next operator equipped with Magnified Scope. Such a shift might adversely impact the balance of other operators that have not received as much attention and are currently in a good position. Hasty removal would not allow sufficient time to thoroughly evaluate all the pros and cons of the new sights, especially considering that nostalgia and novelty are still influencing the decisions.




  • Increased by 10% the damage received by High caliber Handguns and Revolvers.
    • Handguns: .44 Mag Semi-Auto, D-50
    • Revolvers: .44 Vendetta, Keratos .357, LFP586
  • Increased by 10% the damage received by Medium caliber Submachine Guns and Assault Rifles.
    • Submachine Guns: K1A, P90, UMP45, Vector.45 ACP
    • Assault Rifles: 416-C Carbine, 552 Commando, 556XI, AK-12, AR33, AUG A2, C7E, C8-SFW, Commando 9, F2, F90, G36C, L85A2, PARA-308, POF-9, R4-C, SC3000K, Type-89
  • Increased by 5% the damage received by High caliber Assault Rifles and Light Machine Guns.
    • Assault Rifles: AK-74M, ARX200, M4, M762, Mk17 CQB, Spear .308, V308
    • Light Machine Guns: 6P41, ALDA 5.56, DP27, G8A1, LMG-E, M249, M249 SAW, T-95 LSW

The weapon base damage, the damage drop-off curve, the distance to the barrier, and the barrier resistance are just a few of the variables we need to consider for the +100 weapons available when balancing this system. We were already aware that the Kiba Barriers might still require too many bullets to be destroyed by certain weapons. However, we wanted to be cautious not to render the barriers completely ineffective now that every operator will be able to deal with them. As a result, we opted for an initial release with barriers that remain robust. Our plan is to iterate, seeking the optimal balance while closely monitoring the impact of each adjustment.

Despite the data is showing that the new feature is being utilized, the lifespan of the barriers hasn't significantly changed. This suggests that Attackers continue to face challenges when dealing with them. Explosives and melee attacks remain the primary methods of destruction, making the risk associated with shooting at a barrier still high enough to favor the use of explosives.

Upon analyzing the damage received by the barriers during destruction, we observed that Designated Marksman Rifles perform exceptionally well against them. Consequently, our focus will primarily be on increasing the damage received from Assault Rifles and Light Machine Guns. The additional weapons mentioned here are affected for the sake of consistency, as they share the same caliber configuration.



  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Impact EMP Grenade. Removed Stun Grenades.

Considering her ability to bait defenders and facilitate re-frag opportunities for teammates following the hologram, she should be an excellent operator choice for support players. Additionally, her infinite intel gathering resources make her particularly advantageous in the current situation, where drones are limited. Therefore, we will enhance her support capabilities by incorporating Impact EMP Grenades and maybe look into the Gemini Replicator in the future.



  • Initial damage: Reduced to 3hp (from 5).
  • Gadget refill timer: Increased to 25 seconds (from 20).


  • Secondary Gadgets: Added Observation Blocker. Removed Impact Grenades.

Since the removal of cloaking from his GU Mines, we've observed positive changes in his performance. Despite the uncloaked mines, the number of mines triggered per round has remained relatively stable, resulting in higher average damage than initially anticipated.

To maintain the core essence of the GU Mine, we have made a slight reduction in its initial damage. Our intention is to emphasize the urgency of removing the mine and the fear associated with encountering another one. Rather than an immediate kill, we aim to create a strategic window of opportunity for players to engage with the enemy.

Lesion's increased resources allow him to exert significant map control very quickly and block attackers' access to the building from very early in the round. Consequently, we've extended the time required to acquire the mines. While this may reduce early-round map control, it ensures Lesion's continued impact in late-game scenarios. He remains a priority target for attackers.

Regarding secondary gadgets, we believe that the GU Mines should be enough for slowing down Ballistic Shields and the Impact Grenades give him too much flexibility. So we are going to change them for the Observation Blocker, which also synergies well with its primary ability providing extra protection.



  • Duration: Increased to 30 seconds (from 20).
  • Cooldown: Increased to 30 seconds (from 20).

The recent changes to Frag Grenades, along with increased operator access, have had a negative impact on Nokk's presence.

To mitigate this issue while we investigate other solutions to make her more impactful, we will be increasing the duration of the HEL Presence Reduction. This adjustment will allow Nokk to traverse bigger areas more comfortably without being detected in defenders' cameras and catch them by surprise.



  • Will destroy Deployable and Talon shields. The dash is not interrupted.

We are updating the Remah Dash to improve comfort and consistency. From now on, Deployable Shields and Talon Shields will no longer impede Oryx during the dash; instead, they will be destroyed and he will go through. This adjustment aligns with player expectations, especially considering Oryx's existing ability to pass through Kiba Barriers and Reinforced Barricades.



  • Max. Resources: Increase to 4 R.O.U. Projectors (from 3).

Despite the numerous improvements to the POF-9 and the additional utility that brings, Sens continues to underperform. We acknowledge the intricacy and skill required to use the R.O.U. Projectors effectively. The unpredictability of bounces can sometime work against you. We hope the new Trajectory Previsualization can help to improve accuracy, but we are going to allocate additional resources to enhance flexibility and provide more opportunities for error correction while we keep investigating new ways to improve it.




  • Damage: Reduced to 40hp (from 60).
  • Radius: Reduced to 2 meters (from 3).


  • Azami
  • Caveira
  • Clash
  • Echo
  • Goyo
  • Maestro
  • Melusi
  • Rook
  • Valkyrie
  • Vigil
  • Wamai

We recognize the growing significance of Impact Grenades over the years. They play a crucial role in site setup, facilitate defenders' swift rotations, aid in clearing attackers utility, deny walls, and even eliminate adversaries. However, we acknowledge their excessive versatility, which prompts us to address their killing potential and wall-denial capabilities.

We have implemented a reduction in damage. As a result, double-impacting an enemy will no longer result in an immediate kill. Also, opponents must be even more damaged to employ a grenade to secure the elimination.

The reduction in explosion radius will yield two key effects:

  1. Impact-Tricking countermeasures: Attackers can prevent it by positioning the hard-breach device as close to the ground as possible in additional locations, And defender must be more accurate to do it successfully.
  2. Precision requirement for utility clearance: Defenders must exercise greater accuracy when dealing with attackers' utility, such as Airjabs and Claymores. This adjustment allows attackers to place more reliance on this type of gadgets and experiment with unexpected placements.

Our intention is to promote the use of the right tool in the right situation, rather than relying solely on something that can serve multiple purposes. Defenders have other tools at their disposal that can achieve these objectives more effectively. Our final goal is to enhance tactical gameplay and reward the correct decision-making in every match.




  • Explosion: Trigger threshold reduced to 30 damage (from 50).


  • Blitz
  • Fuze
  • Montagne
  • Clash

Our goal is to ensure that the Impact Grenades remain effective counters against Ballistic Shields. Because of the recent damage change, we find it necessary to adjust the threshold for breaking a shield owner's guard. 

The guard break system relies on the damage received, and it's important to note that no other explosives have undergone alterations. Consequently, other explosive devices will now create larger openings than before.

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