You take a dash of CS:GO and mix in a few heroes with unique abilities. The result is Valorant, a 5-against-5 team shooter that is arguably more difficult to learn than its competitors due to these special components. We’re here to provide you with helpful tips and tricks that will help you get more kills and lead your team to victory repeatedly.
What is Valorant and how does it play?
Before we share useful tips and tricks with you, you should be aware of what you are getting into with Valorant. This alone will give you an advantage over other newcomers in the first few rounds. The gameplay of the tactical shooter from Riot Games is very similar to the competitor Counter Strike: Global Offensive. In the standard mode, two teams of five players each compete against each other. The attackers have to place the so-called spike (the bomb) at one of the bomb sites and the defenders have to prevent that.
Before each new round starts, you buy equipment such as weapons, armor or abilities. You keep these if you survive the next round. You get credits for winning a round, for kills or for placing the spike, for example. By the way: If you have chosen an agent at the beginning of the match, you can’t change it later. Although there are many different abilities, in the end it always depends on how well you can handle the weapons. Below we provide you with tips that will make any player better.
Valorant is not a fast hero shooter and is by no means comparable to Overwatch or Paladins. Therefore, practice patience and move slowly and quietly across the map. Hold down the Shift key while walking (default setting) to silence your steps. If the opponent knows where you are approaching from, you have as good as lost the duel. Also, it’s especially annoying when, for example, three of you attack a position, everyone moves quietly, and one of you acts like a bull in a china store and stomps around.
Many defenders also make the mistake of pushing out of cover too quickly. You have to defend the bomb sites and you have an advantage because the enemy has to act. So take advantage of this and position yourself accordingly behind corners or at “choke points” on the map. Positioning and deadly precision will lead you to victory.
More precision in shooting
One of the most important tips in our collection is aimed at newcomers, but even some advanced players seem to forget this advantage: All weapons are more precise when you stand still. Some shotguns or machine guns shoot bullets even more accurately if you crouch down as well. In general, we can advise you to lower the sensitivity of your mouse. There are very often “1 vs. 1” duels or firefights at medium distances, where a high DPI will only prevent you from aiming.
You should also avoid “spraying” and only use the zoom or the weapon’s sight (right-click) in rare cases. Many weapons are simply more deadly and accurate when you shoot from the hip – quite the opposite of Call of Duty, in other words. If you play mostly fully automatic weapons, you can try them out on the training ground and memorize the “spray patterns”. Then aim slightly below the head when pulling the trigger and the recoil will automatically lead to some headshots.
Skills rarely lead to a kill
Our tips wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t give you this along the way: Agents’ abilities are rarely lethal and serve more to support the team or execute your role. Raze’s frag grenade, for example, occasionally scores a kill due to its high damage, but you should rather use such abilities to lure enemies out of their cover or to gain valuable seconds on the clock and keep enemies at a distance.
So you should make sure that you use the abilities in such a way that they weaken the enemy team and you support your allies. Just ten hit points can make the difference between winning or losing a round in a gunfight.
Know and play the role of your agent
The eleven agents are divided into four categories and thus perform corresponding roles: Duelist, Initiator, Tactician, Guardian. By the time you find your favorite agent, a few hours of gameplay will certainly have passed. Therefore, you should always be aware of your character’s role and adjust your play style accordingly. It doesn’t make much sense to choose a supporting agent like Sage and then die first in a hail of bullets. Thus, your team will not be healed and you will lose a crucial advantage. We would like to briefly introduce all the roles to you:
- Duelist: The team’s “damage dealers” who fight on the front lines and score first eliminations. They require an aggressive and fast style of play. Duelists can also often take on more than one opponent thanks to their skills.
- Initiator: If you want to push positions or a bomb spot, initiators provide the decisive advantage with their abilities. They can also set up the next duel, giving you the upper hand.
- Tacticians: Have control over the map, can secure areas for the team, limit line of sight, or track down enemies. Requires a play style with a lot of planning.
- Guardians: The supporters and defenders among the agents. They secure the flanks, provide healing and give the decisive advantage in team fights (example: “2-against-2” situations).
Also good to know: In the “Spike Rush” mode, you can try out your agents’ abilities without having to buy them every round. So we recommend this mode if you want to try out all the heroes.
Use the mini-map to your advantage
The mini-map in the upper left corner is more useful than you might think at first. Of course, you should not get too distracted, but especially in the role of the tactician or initiator you can draw many advantages from the map. For example, if the bearer drops his spike when he dies, it will be marked in the sight of an ally. As an aside, you should always ping the enemy spike’s position. The sighting of enemies is also indicated with a question mark on the map.
You can also see the range of abilities or how far your footsteps can be heard on the mini-map. If Breach uses his ultimate ability, you can even see in which direction the pressure waves travel. Use the map to better read the game and alert allies to dangers. Even after death, you can open the map with M and mark positions that all members of your team can see.
Communicate with your team
Communication is half the battle, and you’ll realize that in Ranked mode at the latest. However, you don’t have to use voice chat if you don’t want to. You can ping hazards or a dropped spike for allies and should always do so. Before the start of the round in the buy phase, you can click to ask to buy a weapon or return a request from another ally. You can also signal the team that you have a lot of credits (also called “creds” in the game) left or that you want to save this round (“Eco” round).
In the role of the attacker, you should also orient yourself on where exactly your allies want to attack. If you approach bomb site B alone and without Spike, you’ll incur the wrath of the team after the very first round, and that simply doesn’t have to be the case.
General tips and tricks
In the following we would like to give you some short tips that can be quite useful:
- Once you, as the attacker, have finished off all the defenders and claimed the round win, you should still place the spike in the remaining three to five seconds, if possible. You only have a few seconds to do this, but you will receive extra credits (about 300 creds) for the next round for the action “Spike initialized”.
- You can get coaching from professional Valorant players and take your skills to the next level. This is a great way to get better, fast.
- Suitable weapons for beginners are the Spectre and the Phantom. Also recommended is the Guardian, as you will automatically get into the habit of not “spraying” and always placing the crosshairs at head height.
- Suitable agents for beginners are Sage and Phoenix. If you play Sage, you can heal yourself and allies. As an ultimate ability, you bring a fallen ally back to life. Sage is generally a good choice for any team and is very welcome. Phoenix has simple and powerful abilities, you just have to be careful not to harm your allies. Almost every player has been blinded by a Phoenix on their own team.
- Try out the training ground and adjust your crosshairs. Everyone has different preferences, but in the aim guide we showed you some things to keep in mind.
- Always buy light or heavy armor first before spending creds on other things. Not only is armor especially important and can make or break a gunfight, you must always buy it yourself and cannot ask an ally to buy it for you. The same goes for your agents’ abilities.
- Don’t limit yourself to just one agent. It is advantageous if you are familiar with two to three heroes, so that you can fill a missing role in the team in case of emergency. Learn when to retreat and secure your equipment.
- Every once in a while there will be “1 vs. 5” situations that you just can’t turn around. Instead of risking a kill or two, retreat to a safe position and secure the round. This will automatically strengthen your team for the next round.
Do you have any tips that you would like to share with us and the community? Then feel free to write us a comment below this guide. We also welcome recommendations for agents or weapons that are suitable for newcomers.