Valorant’s new Xenohunter skin bundle is now live in the store, but you may not want to rush to pick it up just yet.
Some players have noticed that particular skins in the bundle may actually put you at a competitive disadvantage, especially when you’re standing on high ground.
This applies specifically to the Xenohunter Phantom, which features a flip-out heartbeat scanner on its left. The display is fairly large, which means it can obscure enemies in certain situations, putting you at a massive disadvantage.
The Xenohunter Phantom puts you at a big disadvantage
YouTuber SeLFlo demonstrated the problem on Ascent. When standing just behind cover at A Heaven, the display on the Xenohunter Phantom completely blocks out a Jett player at Generator, a potentially fatal handicap.
This means that an enemy could creep up from A Short, walk behind Generator, and kill the player from below Heaven without being noticed.
On a different skin without the display, Jett comes into full view.
A similar issue arises when standing at the top of A Ramp. When hugging the wall, you might miss an enemy player standing right in front of you because of the large display.
The Phantom skin is the only one with this problem, since the others all feature built-in displays on the back of the weapon.
However, it’s worth pointing out that these are all extremely specific situations. Players will not be thrilled about having a skin that could potentially cost them a round, but the chance of actually losing a game because of the skin appears relatively low.
There are also ways to mitigate the risk. For instance, holding farther back from these angles can help prevent the display from blocking the enemy. In general, playing farther away from an angle also gives you the advantage over someone holding from a closer distance because you see them first.
That said, other fans were quick to point out that most skins in Valorant technically put the player at a disadvantage as well, whether it’s because of distracting VFX effects or overpowering audio cues.
There have even been instances of players not seeing an enemy because of the handedness of the gun model. Team Cruelty player Darker lost a round against Fusion in the VCT Latin America North Stage 2 Challengers group stage because of his left-handed view model, which blocked the enemy player on his left as he was looking down from Top A on Icebox.
In other words – don’t worry. There are so many other things that could lose you a game, and a chunky display is the least of your problems.