The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Valorant

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With Valorant, Riot Games has released its first eSport shooter. We show the most important rules, tips and tricks in this beginner’s guide.

Valorant contains many elements from other shooters like CSGO, Overwatch or even Fortnite. Similar to League of Legends, Riot Games wants to build Valorant into an eSports title and make it as successful as the MOBA the developer and publisher has become so successful with.

How Valorant Works

Similar to Overwatch or Apex Legends, this is a character-based shooter. This means that each character you choose comes with different abilities. The characters in Valorant are called agents. As in Counter-Strike, there are two teams of 5 players each (agents) who compete against each other in several rounds.

The teams alternate in their roles as attackers or defenders. The first team to win 13 rounds has won the entire match. A team can win a round by either eliminating the entire opposing team or exploding the spike (like the bomb in CS:GO). Similar to League of Legends or Overwatch, there is a rank system in each season where you can level up.

What is the Spike and how does it work?

As mentioned before, the spike in Valorant can be compared to the bomb in CS:GO. As an attacking team, your task is to place the spike in special locations (areas) and detonate it there or defuse it if you are on the defending team. You usually have one minute and 40 seconds to do this.

Each team now tries to develop strategies to prevent the opposing team from detonating the spike or defusing it. The better a team coordinates, the higher the chance of winning a round.

Which agent should I play?

The agents in Valorant are divided into four categories, with each agent filling a very specific role and being equipped with very specific abilities that only they can master. Over time, you’ll probably play with all of the agents once to learn their abilities, but we’ll give some tips on how to find an agent that suits you.

Find an agent category that suits you

  • Duelists – In Valorant, the Duelists are the category of agents that are the first to go on the offensive and attack in almost all situations.
  • Initiators – The initiators are the “supporters” in Valorant. They disrupt enemy combat operations and break through enemy lines.
  • Tacticians – The Tacticians pull the strings on the battlefield, whether as attackers or defenders.
  • Guardians – The Guardians support the team from the background. They try to stay alive as long as possible to support the team at the end of each round.

Learn your agent’s abilities as best you can

Each agent has two main abilities that can be bought for so-called Creds (ingame currency) and must be bought again after using them in each round, and a Signature ability that recharges regularly. In addition, each agent has an Ultimate ability that can be recharged by collecting points in the game. You can also try Valorant coaching from top players.

Learn how to use your agent to counter the abilities of your opponents

Each agent has special abilities that allow them to counter abilities of opposing agents. So if Cypher has a trap wire strung, then you can use Agent Omen’s Shroud Step ability to teleport through the wire without taking damage.

If you want to learn more about the agents in Valorant, don’t miss our guide on how to unlock more agents.

Use credits, weapons, shields and abilities

There are 17 weapons in Valorant, divided into different categories. You should always start with a Classic weapon (standard weapon), but upgrade it further when you have the chance. How much you can upgrade your weapon depends on how many creds you earn in the game. Creds are not to be confused with Valorant Points, which you can use to buy skins or other cosmetic items.

The rule of thumb is not to buy better weapons until you and your team have earned enough creds. On the shooting range you can try out all the weapons and quickly see which one suits you best. Each weapon has advantages and disadvantages, so you should find a good mix of damage, fire rate and recoil behavior for you.

As for shields, it’s simple: you should always invest in shields before upgrading weapons. Normally, you start with 100 HP at the start of a round. A light shield for 400 creds will give you 125 HP, while a heavy shield will bring you to 150 HP. So whenever you have the opportunity to buy heavy shields, you should do so.

Abilities and how best to use them

The abilities of the agents are the big key to success in Valorant. As mentioned before, each agent has a very specific set of abilities that you should use as much as possible. Therefore, it is beneficial to buy your main abilities after each round.

The Signature ability on your agent is the ability you can use most often, as it is usually recharged within a minute on all agents. If your Ultimate is charged, then you should use it wisely, because some Ultimates don’t make sense in every situation.

It is good to have the maps and their layout in mind

There are currently four different maps in Valorant, which are different, but all follow a similar principle. All maps are based on a line principle, as is the case in many other tactical shooters like CS:GO. The attacking team usually has several ways to get to the two spike spots (called A and B).

As you can see on the floor plan of the map “Bind”, certain areas have special names like “A exit” or “B arc”. These terms and locations should be remembered well over time, because with the so-called “callouts” you can give better information to your teammates in voice chat. For example: “An enemy is coming over the B connection” and all the players know immediately from where danger threatens. Mastering all callouts takes time, so you should first concentrate on learning the paths of the maps.

Teamplay is extremely important in tactical shooters

In many action shooters and arcade shooters you can get far as a lone fighter, but in Valorant team play is extremely important. The better you interact and communicate with your team, the more successful you will be yourself. A small tip at the end: don’t move too much when you shoot, since this will cause the recoil to scatter the bullets more than if you don’t move.

Publisher and developer Riot Games has announced that they will crack down on players who try to ruin other players’ gameplay by insulting other players or creating bad vibes. So if you want to play Valorant for a long time, you should hold off here.

Another good tip is to track your Valorant player stats as you get better, to see a more detailed overview of how you’re impoving.