Updated on July 13, 10:45 a.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy.

Valorant agent Harbor has been a long time coming.

When designing him, the Valorant team set out to create a controller that could be a viable alternative to Viper. They wanted a controller that did not have to “go off into another world” or look at a map to deploy their smokes, as was the case with Astra, Omen, and Brimstone.

“We wanted to create an agent that could compete with Viper on the maps where she is almost exclusively played,” said Alexander Mistakidis, Designer on Valorant.

Harbor was designed to be played more aggressively

Valorant Harbor
Credit: Riot Games

But despite Harbor’s obvious similarities with Viper as a wall controller, he still opens up new avenues of play with his unique abilities.

“Players can be a little more creative in terms of how they shape the battlefield,” said Mistakidis in a new developer Twitch stream. “They can do that mid-round and execute off-the-cuff plays.”

For instance, High Tide can be curved, giving players greater control of the angles that the wall blocks. However, the team had to experiment when it came to how bendable High Tide should be.

“We had a few bugs allowing super bendy walls,” recalled Mistakidis. “People would make walls that looked like scribbles on a page or loop-the-loops. Mirror matches with two Harbors in playtest got a little messy.”

At the same time, Harbor is also intended to be one of the more aggressive controllers in the game. “Harbor is similar to Viper in that they both have wall smokes, but is on the other end of the spectrum,” said Mistakidis. “He can somewhat help with defense, but he’s really good at taking ground, being more aggressive, and spending his resources to get you to move forward as a team.”

With just a single charge of Cascade and Cove, Harbor will also not have much left to work with once he has helped set up an execute, and that’s by design. On the other hand, Viper is able to “hunker down” and play around her abilities, which operate on a refillable fuel gauge.

While Harbor should be viable on the same maps as Viper, such as Breeze and Icebox, the timings and pace of executes will be very different.

READ MORE: Is Harbor the new Viper? Valorant pros can’t seem to agree