How to play VALORANT's Icebox map in Episode 4 Act 2

March 28 2022

How to play VALORANT's Icebox map in Episode 4 Act 2
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VALORANT Episode 4 Act II brought a host of new changes to Riot's acclaimed tactical shooter. Among them were multiple changes to Icebox. Let's take a look at what's changed and what it means for players.

The frozen workstation is one of the VALORANT's most complex maps with a number of unique properties. This is the second time Icebox has had some remodeling done since its October 2020 release. This update is focused on making substantial improvements to B site plus a few general quality of life enhancements.  

Unique Features of Icebox

Icebox Valorant

Image source: Riot Games

Icebox is the first map to introduce horizontal ziplines to VALORANT. Like ropes, they allow players to swiftly travel across an area at the expense of using their weapons or abilities. There is only one zipline on Icebox, found in A site. It complements another of the map's noteworthy traits: verticality. 

Each site contains a two-story nest where attackers can plant the spike. They can easily be accessed by vertical ropes or through more tactical means. Icebox also includes stairs, shipping containers, and elevated walkways for players to gain the high ground. There are many opportunities for players to find a quality vantage point on their enemies from above.

A site is entirely indoors and encourages combat in close quarters. B site is totally outdoors in the bitterly cold temperatures of the Arctic. The map's mid is a mix of both, and a large kitchen area with halls leading to the B site nest is the primary landmark.

Callouts

One thing that hasn't changed is the need for good communication when playing VALORANT. This is especially true given Icebox's complexity. Here are the most essential callouts you'll need to know for playing on Icebox.   

A Site

  • Main - the main bottom floor of the site; essentially refers to any part of the floor that isn't elevated.

  • Nest - an elevated rectangular room that can be accessed by both zipline and rope. Acts as the ideal location to plant the spike.

  • Top Tube - another elevated room similar to Nest. The zipline connects Nest and Tob Tube together.

  • Belt – a large, elevated area with a conveyor belt that starts near the primary entrance of A site and extends behind Nest.

  • Pipes - an elevated area in between Nest and Top Tube. The zipline also goes over Pipes so you can drop down onto them from above. 

  • 410 - a large shipping container in between Pipes and Nest. It creates a lot of cover and serves as the primary chokepoint of A site.

  • Rafters - an elevated walkway behind Top Tube. It also includes a door with a stairwell leading to Mid.

  • Hell - the area directly underneath Rafters.

  • Screen - the secondary entrance to A site. It can be identified by the large, flat-screen TV on the wall. 

Mid 

  • Tube - a repurposed jet bridge that starts at the ground and angles upward toward Kitchen. 

  • Crawl - a very small opening beneath Tube that leads to B site.

  • Boiler - A small elevated area that separates Mid from Snowman. It offers great vantage points for teams approaching through Tube into Kitchen.

  • Kitchen - a large, indoor area that is quite literally a kitchen. It is one of the main points of control on the map. 

  • Snow Pile - a stack of crates covered in snow near a window leading inside Kitchen. It serves as a way to jump up and enter Kitchen from B site. 

  • Halls - a long narrow corridor connecting Kitchen with Bridge 

  • Bridge - a small bridge that connects Halls with the Nest for Site B. 

B Site

  • Nest - nearly identical to the one from Site A. Instead of a zipline, it can be accessed by ropes or via Bridge.

  • Yellow - a large yellow shipping container that sits by itself in the middle of an open area to the side of Nest.

  • Green - a cluttered area of green shipping containers that spill out to Yellow's clearing. Acts as the "back route" for B site.

  • Orange - a stack of orange shipping containers adjacent to Green. The massive wall creates a thick barrier between Green and Nest.

  • Snowman - a large clearing that acts as a chokepoint between the Mid area around Boiler and B Site near the crane. It is named after several small snowmen that can be seen nearby.

  • Fence - a closed-off pathway found near the entrance of Snowman from Mid. It provides excellent sightlines into B site near Orange. 

Changes in Update 4.04

Most of the new alterations to Icebox are found throughout B site. Attackers will notice that the building between their spawn and Green now has a different exit. This gives them an additional route so that entering Green is not too predictable. The entire area of Green has been widened to allow more room for players. This should encourage more multi-Agent pushes and teamfights. The pocket of space extending toward Yellow was also made larger.  

Icebox Yellow

Image source: Riot Games

Yellow has received several changes to nerf its effectiveness for attackers. The large shipping crate used to be positioned diagonally across the area. This made it easy for whoever gained control of Yellow to anchor down for the rest of the round. The container has now been made parallel to the wall nearby to create four points of control instead of two. There are now more angles to flush enemies out from Yellow, though it still maintains its status as a planting location.

The lower area beneath Nest in B site has been closed off to lower its impact on gameplay. Nest's doorway has also been moved for improved visibility and now includes a Green in the sightline. The outer wall of the crane between Nest and Snowman has been adjusted to pinch off even more space in the choke point. 

The Spike plant zone has been extended in both directions, stretching toward Green and Snowman. As a result, the spike can be planted in new locations, such as Bridge. Two new crates have been added to Orange to disrupt sight lines. The building near Fence is now closed to remove its impact on gameplay. This change was made to encourage players to utilize Fence more and seek out highlight kills. 

The new changes to Icebox aren't exclusive to B site. Boiler's ramp is now smaller and riskier to use as high ground for peeks. The half cover cart in A site has been replaced with a crate to provide more protection for defenders. Finally, the peek sight in Pipes is now gone to limit A site options that favor the attacking side. 

Best Agents to Play on Icebox

As with every map in VALORANT, a team's composition is key for success. Certain Agent abilities cater to Icebox's verticality and provide a strong advantage for any that play them. 

  • Jett - perhaps the single best Agent for Icebox. Updraft allows her to jump onto any elevated area with ease, while Tailwind helps her traverse through high ground without needing to come back down to earth. Learn how to play Jett.

  • Omen - the dark wraith's incomparable mobility serves him well on Icebox. He can teleport onto the various elevated areas without needing to find a box to jump on or stairs to climb. 

  • Raze - Blast Pack helps the Brazilian duelist launch herself up to elevated areas. She also excels at clearing corners and chokepoints, which are featured heavily throughout Icebox. 

  • Sova - multiple Intel abilities help stuff opposing approaches before they even begin. There are a number of chokepoints and areas for cover on Icebox, so gathering enemy locations is often crucial. Learn how to play Sova.

  • Killjoy - Turret and Alarmbot help stifle enemies at choke points or in Icebox's various hallways and corridors. Nanoswarm is another great tool for catching unsuspecting foes by surprise.

What do you think of changes? Do you think it will change the way you play? Join G-Loot and track your stats while you compete to see how you perform. 

Author Zach Snoddy

Zach
Zach

Midwest Marauder. Wiz with words. Fighting game enthusiast and FPS newb. Not bad at video games but wishes he was better.

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