How To Not Suck at Valorant

Valorant, a mystical mountain to those outside the range of tactical shooters, is a game with many layers. You will need a basic understand of the game to discover victory for you and your team.

With a June 2, 2020 release, Valorant signaled the evolution of Riot Games. Riot Games is of course best known for a little game called League of Legends. Branching out from the MOBA genre, Riot dived headfirst into the first-person shooter space with Valorant. As with any game, Valorant suffered comparisons from the get go. Many gamers compared Valorant with the household name of Counter-Strike. The tactical first-person shooter space seems quite crowded in this day and age, only time will tell if Valorant can create it’s own space in the crowded room.

A character shooter at heart, Valorant will force you to make a selection between 11 agents to engage in battle on one of the game’s 4 maps. Team composition will be the foundation of your teams success. There is no good or bad to way to start off with an agent. Play a few matches with each agent to see which of the character’s abilities match your play-style. If you are having trouble deciding on an agent, consider your play-style in other shooters. Do you enjoy being the support character? Are you quick on the trigger looking to make the opening engagements? I personally locked onto Breach and Phoenix due to their ability to entry frag by utilizing their flashing abilities.

Once you have a hold on your favorite agent, now is the time to the learn the maps and understand how your agent can utilize their abilities to improve your chances of winning gunfights. At the end of the day, every player on the battlefield has the same arsenal of weaponry but what sets you apart as a player is your ability to use your special abilities to your advantage. Flash, wall off, jump, or smoke your way to victory. Work with your other four teammates to synchronize your abilities to ensure victory. Valorant’s agents can be seen as a golf club. Allow the golf club to do the heavy lifting and send the golf ball flying. The same idea can be applied to Valorant. Allow your agent to do the heavy lifting while you focus on seeking out engagements that you can win.

You may be asking what I mean by the golf analogy. Down to the nitty gritty, Valorant is a first-person shooter. You will be facing off versus other individuals on some sort of arena. Your weapons and special abilities will be what sets you apart from your opponents. Technically, you could try and enjoy Valorant without ever using an ability, taking every gunfight at face value and perhaps you will win purely off of gun-skill. You should be making an effort to pivot yourself into an optimal position / gunfight by utilizing your special abilities since it is a character-based shooter after all.

For example, below you will witness one of Phoenix’s special abilities. An enemy is around the corner from Phoenix. You could just approach the enemy without using an ability, in hopes of outgunning them. Instead, you should utilize your characters ability (Phoenix’s flash in this case) to blind your opponent, improving the probability that you will win the gunfight.

https://playvalorant.com/en-us/agents/phoenix/

Economy

Your special abilities can be purchased at the beginning of every round along with any weapons you desire just as long as you have the funds of course. Your economic prowess will assist you in succeeding throughout your Valorant career. Picking and choosing your combination of weapons, special abilities, and armor for the round will become an intricate process once you find yourself in a tough match.

You do receive one free special ability that can sometimes be used multiple times a round depending on the cool down. The special ability will remain in your possession if you die with it still in your pocket. This is important to keep in mind because investing early in abilities can assist you with later rounds even if you don’t use them right away. Everyone has their own strategy and you will develop your own but I am a strong believer that investing in the stronger armor with a weaker weapon is the better option when my funds are not overflowing. I can still make something happen even if I am working with a weaker weapon due to my ability to survive the gunfight versus relying completely on my gun skill to defeat my opponent.

Attacking

You will need to be able to coordinate with your team in order to succeed in attacking objectives in Valorant. The structure of the maps will force you to invent new tactics each round to try and keep the defense on their toes.

  • Slow push
  • Split push
  • Straight rush

A few things you should consider while planning your attack:

  • the in-game economy
  • the ultimate abilities available for both teams

Consider the economy, ultimate’s on the field, and the previous positions that players were playing. Contemplate what tendencies the opposition have been utilizing throughout, both on attack and defense.

Defense

Wasting time, that’s what defense boils down to. Tick tock, tick tock. The dial of our mundane existence continues to flow and that remains true in Valorant. Time management is an important skill that must be mastered to find success at higher ranks. Although boring, it is the simplest way to win the round. On defense, you are not the ones that must do the pushing; unless you desire to do so. Often times, you will find that pushing from the defensive side of the map is a disadvantageous move. Freely placing yourself in peril is of no help when you are on defense. Force your opposition’s hand by remaining patient in your position, awaiting the attackers move. Utilize your agents abilities to slow down the attackers if you find that they are approaching you quickly. As Phoenix, I will use my AOE molotov ability to slow down the approaching attackers. This is essential to your success as it will provide additional time for your teammates to adjust to the attackers formation on the map.

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