Tips and Tricks to Get Better At Valorant

Viper from Valorant.

Riot’s tactical shooter Valorant is a notoriously difficult game to be good at. A spiritual successor to CS:GO with an Overwatch approach to hero design, Valorant relies on accuracy, teamwork and an almost uncanny understanding of how to use your character’s abilities. Unless you’ve played a tactical shooter before, you’ll likely struggle at first in Valorant, but it’s worth pushing through because it’s an incredible satisfying game.

If you’re wondering whether Valorant is for you, here’s the TL;DR: it’s much slower than most online shooter games, more compact than battle royales and more strategic than other team-based shooters. Anyone who’s ever tried to get into these games and found them a little bit off will most likely find a home in Valorant.

To help with that, we’ve got a few tips and tricks for beginners who want to know how to get better at Valorant.

Understand the Objective

Valorant is a 5v5 game where one team begins as the attacker and the other as the defender. Attackers have to plant a bomb in one of two or three enemy bases, and defenders have to defuse the bomb — or you can win by eliminating the other team.

Each round starts with a Buy Phase, where you’ll buy weapons, armour and restock your agent’s abilities, and teams switch sides after 12 rounds. The first team to win 13 rounds wins.

Find Your Main

There are currently 19 agents in Valorant, with new ones added fairly regularly. Each agent falls into one of four roles: duelists, who take the lead in fights thanks to aggressive abilities; controllers, who are experts in map control; sentinels, who are defensive experts; and initiators, who set their team up to enter fights.

Each agent has four unique abilities, including an ultimate and a signature ability. Sage, for instance, is a sentinel who heals allies with her signature ability and revives them with her ultimate. The duelist Raze has grenades, blast packs and an exploding robot buddy that complement her rocket launcher ultimate ability.

Try out each agent to find one that suits your playstyle, and play as them until you feel confident using their abilities. A well played ability can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

Walk, Don’t Run

Running in Valorant makes your footsteps audible to enemies who are in range. That means they can line up a shot before they even spot you, cutting your plan of attack short. Don’t be afraid to walk, which makes you silent. Obviously it also makes you move slower, but you can switch to your melee weapon by pressing 3 to regain a bit of speed.

Just remember that reloading and swinging your melee also makes you audible to nearby enemies.

Stand Still to Shoot

Moving while firing a gun in Valorant is a telltale sign that you’re new to the game. It throws your aim wildly off target so that even if your crosshair is perfectly placed, your bullet will most likely miss its target. Instead, stand still when you start firing so you know every shot will hit its mark. Crouching while firing can also help reduce recoil.

Don’t Aim Down Sights

This is another difference between Valorant and other FPS games. Aiming down sights in Valorant increases your accuracy but slows your fire rate, so it’s best saved for when you’re taking single shots in ranged battles. At closer quarters, you’re better off hip firing for speed and using the tips above to control accuracy.

Aim For the Head

Valorant requires good aim, but learning to keep your crosshair at head height is even more important. No matter how good your aim is, the less you have to move your mouse to line up the shot, the better. Remember that a headshot does extra damage in Valorant, and a headshot with the Vandal can one-shot someone.

Play With Sound

Hearing what’s going on in Valorant is crucial to your success. You can hear enemies running, shooting or reloading when they’re within range, and even get an idea of which direction they’re coming from. You can even get intel by listening to the enemy agent’s voice lines. Triggering your ultimate makes a distinct sound, and when you hear that sound coming from the other team, you gain a few valuable moments to react.

Manage Your Finances

You earn a certain amount of credits every round depending on what you did in the previous round. You get:

  • 800 credits in the first round
  • 200 credits per kill
  • 300 credits for planting the spike
  • 3000 credits for winning a round
  • 1900 credits for losing a round
  • 2400 credits for losing two rounds in a row
  • 299 credits for losing three rounds in a row

It can be tempting to buy abilities, full armour and a rifle in the early rounds, but you risk not having enough money in the next round if you lose. Be strategic with your credits and learn that sometimes you’re better off only buying a few items in one round to ensure you’re better set up in the next round.

Learn When to Use Abilities and When to Use Guns

In most cases, your abilities should enhance your gunplay, not become your main asset. Using an ability leaves you vulnerable for a few seconds while your agent activates it, so try not to use it in the thick of battle as that leaves you wide open for an enemy to pick off.

Valorant is a tense, fast-paced game that takes a lot of time and focus to master, but the path to get there is full of thrilling matches and edge-of-your-seat gameplay.

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