Valorant’s goal is nothing more than a newborn child, a set of strategies for formless babies who hope to mature into a real child. But because Riot’s first FPS shares a lot of DNA with Counter-Strike, some ancient concepts carry over directly to Valorant. It’s important to absorb these key concepts about Valorant’s movement, shooting, and economic metagame, especially for players who haven’t touched CS: GO. Here are some Valorant tips to get you started.
Understand the high-level format of the game.
Valorant is structured like American football: two teams line up at a starting line, positioning their players in formations designed to increase their chances of success around a move they agreed to in advance. Players face off, one side wins the round, the whistle blows, and then they all regroup to plan their next move.
Repeating rounds is what makes this style of FPS so different from Battle Royale or 32-player games like Battlefield: you are not running and shooting across a large landscape, you are planning a deliberate chess move within narrow limits , failing or succeeding, and then doing it again. To win you have to anticipate if your opponent is going to pass, bomb or run the ball, in other words.
What you did in the previous round will leave an impression on your enemy’s mind and eventually form an expectation of how your team behaves. Have you successfully rushed B three times in a row? The enemy team will likely put more defenders on B. Part of the fun of this FPS style is altering those expectations and uncovering your opponent’s tendencies: if they are great at shooting, they fear certain bomb sites, or who their input is. -fragger is.
Don’t move and shoot
Weapons don’t fire directly if you move when you pull the trigger, and that may be an adjustment if you’re coming from an FPS like Rainbow Six Siege or Call of Duty, where the accuracy of the weapon is less sensitive to movement. Even walking while shooting is not recommended, although the transition from standing to bending actually stabilizes your aim.
Still, that doesn’t mean you have to sit still in a duel. “Step, stop, shoot” must be your rhythm. Don’t try to fight and run simultaneously: Practice shooting only after you’ve released pressure on WASD. Enabling the “move penalty” setting in the crosshair customization menu can provide valuable information on when your target is most interrupted.
Two different ways to shoot
If you hold down Mouse 1, sit still and point one of Valorant’s assault rifles at the wall, they will draw a bullet pattern that looks like a T from the bottom up. This is Valorant’s recoil system: Every weapon has a 2D recoil signature, and really good players will intuitively know where the sixth or seventh bullets will fly. Your bullet position will drift further from the center of your crosshair as you fire more successively.
Spray is firing a long series of uninterrupted, fully automatic shots. You can still be accurate with this method if lower the cross to compensate for the upward position of your bullets. If you want to hit an enemy over the head, maybe aim your belt with your fifth or sixth bullet. Be patient when learning this technique: it can take a long time to get comfortable if you have never played Counter-Strike.
TouchingOn the other hand, he’s making individual mouse clicks, allowing the weapon’s recoil to reset a bit between shots. This is probably how you will want to shoot at longer distances, but it is certainly possible to annotate a fragment with a spray more than 30 meters away. The Valorant Training Area is a valuable tool for practicing these techniques and adjusting their sensitivity, which should probably be as low as possible to allow for remote micro-adjustments.
The first job is to find them.
In defense, the most important thing in the first seconds of a round is to discover where the enemy is and transmit that information to your teammates. Valorant offers many probing skills for this purpose, such as Recon Bolt and Owl Drone from Sova, or Cypher’s Trapwire. Recognize that scoring information can be as valuable as scoring a murder.
Manage your money
If the majority of your team has <3,500 credits when the round begins, everyone should buy lower-value equipment. This is called an “ecological round”. The thinking here is that if your team half buys (some of you have top tier weapons, some of you have armor), they will not be synchronized in combat strength. It’s okay to lose an eco round to prepare the team for a full purchase where everyone has what they need.
The maximum amount of credits a player can carry mid-game is 12,000. If a teammate approaches this number, ask them to buy equipment for you or another teammate by requesting something from the purchase menu (right click). You can sell anything you have bought for 100% of its value.
Steal and save
Oh, and take whatever weapon is out there that is an improvement over what you currently carry. If you don’t like to use the operator’s sniper rifle, but your dead teammate does, hook the one lying on the ground and drop it (G) at the start of the next round – your team will save when rebuilding equipment.
Similarly, if you find yourself in a no-profit scenario, just fold. Saving the value of your equipment (usually 2,000-4,000 credits) is more important than scoring one or two additional deaths (200 credits per shard).
Only two weapons matter, a little
In rounds where you have at least 4,000 credits, buy heavy armor and then buy one of Valorant’s assault rifles: the Vandal or the Phantom. Just like the CS: GO meta revolves around the AK and M4, these weapons are the backbone of the game because they can kill all ranks quite effectively. Which one you choose depends on whether you prefer more damage per shot or less recoil, mainly.
The Vandal, modeled after CS: GO’s AK, is best configured for ranged, single-shot play as it can kill an armored enemy with a single headshot, and does not have a damage drop at distance. But ghosts have a slightly higher firing speed and are easier to control. Think of these weapons as two sides of the same coin, the same but quite different.
Valorant SMGs, shotguns and secondary pistols, on the other hand, are mathematically worse in most situations, and you should avoid them whenever possible. These weapons are meant to be options when you need to save money after a loss or death, or during the first half rounds.
The descendant of the legendary CS: GO AWP, the operator’s sniper rifle obviously has plenty of power and must be respected. You probably don’t want to execute more than one or two of these on a team, partly because they are specialized weapons and partly because losing them is a huge economic success. Read about these weapons in more detail in Tyler’s Valorant Weapons Guide, which has a full comparison of damage numbers.
The first frags matter a lot
There is a reason why the Valorant marker after the game provides additional points for the first kill. The first fragment shifts the balance of power, causing defenders to rotate to cover holes, and attackers often backtrack and rethink their movement. Do your best not to be the first player off the board.
Hold back pump
The bearer of the spike (bomb) should not be the tip of the spear in an attack. The spike is Valorant’s soccer ball: taking it out of the hands of attackers allows defenders to focus on one position, which can be a great advantage.
Raze is absolutely crazy
If Valorant has an OP character at this early stage, it is Raze, a bomber carrying up to two paint projectile grenades, cluster bombs that deal extensive damage in a large radius and drop secondary detonations. Your ult is a rocket launcher that’s great for clearing corners and boxed positions, and your Boom Bot is a useful probing tool – if an enemy doesn’t fire after you send it, there’s probably no one there. Be careful with her.
Broker Broke = World Record Ace of R / VALUING
Valorant is still in a closed beta state, so there will be a lot more to dig deeper as the game evolves. I will update this guide as our advice on how to play Valorant Changes.