Riot’s new first-person tactical shooter just launched, in this beginner guide we will go through some Valorant tips and tricks. Are you ready to jump straight in? Do all this small changes and get a massive results.
Valorant Tips and Tricks – The Rundown
For those who just want the core points of getting better in the game, we have a quick rundown of the best Valorant tips and tricks that you can use as reference for when the game goes live (and even before that!).
- Gunplay-related tips
- Don’t “run and gun”
- Get used to the ADS mechanic
- Develop the habit to aim at head height
- Ability-related tips
- Treat abilities as utility tools, not main weapons
- Know when you can safely use abilities
- Avoid the habit of “saving” your ultimate
- Map-related tips
- Learn the optimal routes to key map locations
- Learn more about “hotspots” in the map.
- Get used to making callouts as second nature
- Meta-related tips
- Understand why certain guns are “meta”
- Keep an eye on agent tier lists
That’s way more than your typical “git gud” guides. Don’t worry! We have all of that covered. Let’s take a closer look at why these tips can help you get an early advantage over the competition.
Tips & Tricks to Get Better at Valorant
Play all characters at least once
Playing all characters at least once can have a huge impact on your decision making while playing the game.
Why? Because you’ll have a complete understanding of each character available and therefore you’ll have a better understanding of how to counter them while being matched against them.
Let’s say you’re playing against an Omen and you’ve got no idea why your map suddenly turns dark and all the sudden you get shot in your back. It is stuff like this that you makes it extremely important to have a understanding of each Agent available.
Practice one Agent at a time
Although, trying out all the characters once to get a better understanding of how their abilities work doesn’t mean you should keep rotating between all of these characters.
You should practice one character at a time to make sure you become as good as possible on that specific one.
So find the Agent that suits you the best and keep playing it till you’ve become an expert on it. It is better to be an expert at one specific Agent than being average on all of them.
I for once have Omen as my main Agent and the fact that I’ve played him so much now makes me able to throw all of his spells without having to think of distances, cooldowns and such things and simply just doing it all default, which totally shows on my match history and KDR.
So remember, practice one agent at a time and you will become an expert playing it.
Making sure that you keep playing consistently is a big part of becoming better at a game and the same goes for Valorant.
You can spend 20 hours in a row gaming and shooting heads in Valorant and probably get better, there’s no doubt about it. But if you played those 20 hours and then took a break from Valorant for a week. How much of that progress would still be there? Not much.
Each time you take a full day break you’ll have a much longer time getting into your potential form while playing the next time.
So it’s actually better to spread your hours and play 3 hours a day per week than sitting a boatload of hours playing to then take a break from playing for a day or more. It’s simply how your brain works, keep up the consistency with your play time and you’ll see progress faster than you’d expect.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve become a master at your spells but still can’t find those heads, a player that has great aim will always come out as a winner against someone who simply knows how to use his abilities in a correct manner.
So how do you actually warm up in Valorant? Well, you simply go to the shooting range and practice with bots - Here you will be able to set different settings so the bots can respawn faster, give them armor and even make them move.
This is to train your muscle memory. You will want to be able to flick on to someones head without really having to think about it, but doing this involves a lot of training, so before heading into a matchmaking server, always make sure to train on the bots in Valorant’s own shooting range.
The shooting range also has a section where you’ll be able to train you to spray with all of the weapons available.
Lower your sensitivity
Now we’ll talk about your sensitivity, if you don’t have a low sensitivity already, you will probably need to change that if you want to really get more accurate with your aim.
Lower sensitivity will make your wrist movements very much on point as your crosshair will only move about a quarter of the screen, for bigger movements you will be forced to move your arm which also makes your aim more stable.
Now you might think, who are you to tell me to change my sensitivity, and you might be right. But then I would like you to look at what the professional players are using - The most common sensitivity among the professional players and streamers are between 0.45 - 0.9. Examples of these are Shroud with 0.78 in sensitivity, Skadoodle with 0,6 and summit1g with 0.47.
Now it might take some time getting used to but I’m sure it will have a positive impact on your game in a short period of time.
Customize your Crosshair
When you start Valorant for the first time you will get a standard quite ugly and clumsy crosshair according to me, head over to your crosshair settings and start customizing your own to your preferences. Once again we will have a look at the pro players and what they’re using.
The most common is smaller, neat crosshairs and we’ve seen a lot of them using the color white.
However, I wouldn’t recommend totally copying a pro players' crosshair to start with, and instead, learn how to customize a crosshair to what will work for you.
On our website, we have written a full article about this subject so I’ll link that down into the description for you to check it out.
Get comfortable with one position at a time
Why you would want to get comfortable with one position at a time is kind of the same reason why you would want to play one agent at a time. Play one position to better understand how to counter nades, smokes, you will be able to try the same tactic against different players and agents and eventually you will become a master at locking down that particular position.
Once you’ve conquered your position, you can move on to try another one. But keep it to a minimum, you don’t want your gameplay to be cluttery and just be average at wherever you go.
Play with friends
Playing with friends says it self, it’s more fun and you can progress and get better together. Also, once you have played with each other for a long period of time, you will be able to understand each other and develop the same type of playstyle.
See you and your friends as a team, you will be able to practice executes and try out different combos to smash your opponents as a team while your enemies are flaming at each other for not making call outs ;)
Tips and Tricks – Getting Used to Your Guns
Valorant’s guns share plenty of similarities to those found in CS:GO. However, there will still be a few mechanical differences that means you will still need to make adjustments. This is especially true if you’re used to playing more arcade-like shooters like Quake or Overwatch and even more so if this is your first FPS title. Don’t worry, we got you.
Do NOT Run and Gun
This is probably the first thing that should be in a Valorant tips and tricks. All the guns in the game suffer from accuracy penalties when moving or jumping around. This isn’t an issue for people used to playing tactical shooters. However, if you come from something like Overwatch, you might want to start slowing things down or else you will miss most of your shots.
Stop before you shoot. That’s it. If anything is beyond point-blank range, the only way to reliably hit that target is to stop moving so you avoid the accuracy penalty. It might seem easy at first, but the secret to getting good in Valorant is to learn how to stop and shoot fast. Take some time in the practice map to learn how to kill your momentum as fast as possible before shooting your target. When stopping, press the direction key opposite to your last movement direction to come to a faster halt.
Aiming Down Your Sights
One thing that will definitely take a lot of practice is the concept of aiming down the sights. While some guns are decent when “hip-fired”, you’d want to get used to the ADS mechanic if you want well-placed headshots in an instant. In a fast-paced shooter where engagements can happen in a split-second, it pays to be the first one to score a headshot.
You have to remember that while ADS lets you land shots from further away, it also comes with a couple of drawbacks. First, your field of view is significantly narrowed. Next, aiming down your sights will hamper your movement, and even rate of fire depending on the gun. You’d want to develop a habit of going into ADS before peeking around the corner or when already anticipating a firefight. This way, you maximize your accuracy while also minimizing the risks associated with ADS.
Note - ADS is mainly present in rifles/snipers, but the same keybind will let you access secondary options for other weapons such as shotguns with tighter spread!
Aiming at Head Height
Expect the most popular guns (more on that later) to be those that can kill with a single headshot. That being said, you’d want to go for a headshot as much as possible. Have you ever wondered how the best Valorant players will consistently land headshots against their enemies? Aside from good reflexes, they also have proper crosshair placement.
Learning to aim at head level is essential in scoring kills. Picture this: if two players had similar levels of skill, the one who starts with his crosshair already placed on their target’s head will most likely win. The other player has to take time to adjust his aim before firing a lethal headshot. Over time, you will develop the habit of aiming at head height so you reduce your adjustment to horizontal movements.
Valorant Tips and Tricks – Understanding Agent Abilities
The next things on our list of Valorant tips and tricks all pertain to Agent abilities. The game has nine agents, each with unique abilities that will help you win rounds. It’s a given that you need to “use your abilities efficiently”, but how exactly do you go about that? Here’s how you can make the most out of your agent as soon as the game goes live.
Treat Abilities as Utility Tools
Yes, a lot of abilities can and will kill enemies. Yes, some of them are meant to deal a lot of damage. However, you should treat all of them as utility tools, just like how grenades in CS:GO are used for. Relying on them too much to get kills will just railroad you into being ineffective when those skills are gone.
Take Phoenix’s Hot Hands ability. At first glance, it looks like a spell only meant to do damage. However, veteran CS:GO players know that its main purpose is to limit an enemy’s options, just like how that game’s Molotov and HE grenades are mainly used to flush out enemies and prevent enemies from advancing. Trying to use it mainly to kill enemies is an exercise in futility because...
You Should Use Abilities when It’s Safe
There’s no denying that agent abilities have the potential to be game-changers. However, you are forced to put your gun away when you have the ability “equipped”. Sure, you may be getting a lot of utility, but you lose the ability to acquire a target, let alone shoot back when someone targets you.
No matter how awesome your agent’s abilities may be, you have to make sure that you’re using it when it’s safe. Here’s a quick reference on how to tell if it’s safe to use an ability:
- Do you see enemies that are directly facing you?
- Are you sure that you won’t be shot at for the next few seconds?
- Are you protected by your teammate or safe behind cover?
If you answered yes to these three questions, by all means, let loose.
Do NOT Scrimp on Your Ultimate
All agents in Valorant have access to extremely powerful “ultimate abilities”. Compared to regular abilities, these ultimates provide a lot more utility, greatly increasing your chances of winning. For example, Brimstone lets you bombard an area anywhere on the map. If used right, these ultimates are well worth their huge cooldowns.
... if used right.
Unfortunately, a lot of players tend to hold back on using their ultimate. They tend to think that they should save it for a bigger play where they can net multiple kills or that it’s too precious to use against a lone target. However, this should not be the reason why you lose a round. If an ultimate was used to take down the top guy on the enemy team or buy enough time to secure an objective, then it would have served its purpose well.
Valorant Tips and Tricks - Developing Your Map Knowledge
While personal skill is important in any FPS game, map knowledge is also just as important. In fact, you can greatly make up for your lack of skill simply by being at the right place at the right time.
Using the map properly is important for so many reasons, you will be able to spot enemies and see the exact spot to make your own presumptions of what is going on, and if you got a team that isn’t talking or doing all the call outs properly, you still have a chance to know how to make your next move in the best possible way and adapt to what you’ve seen on the map.
Find the Best Paths
Every map in every first-person shooter will have an optimal route from point A to point B; Valorant is no exception. Optimal routes have one or more of the following things going for it:
- Distance - The shortest path will get you to your destination ASAP.
- Safety - It's the path that will expose you to fewer angles so you're less likely to get ambushed.
- Utility - The path either lets you see a big part of the map or allows you to get the jump on your enemy.
Of course, knowing which part is the best also depends on your current tactic and the current situation. There will be times when making a beeline for the objective will work and times when the slower, but safer path will give you better results. Knowing these paths will also help you make better guesses when it comes to telling where your opponents will be so you can set up an ambush or try to evade them.
Learn Your Callouts
One of the best ways to provide and receive info during the match is by using map callouts. For example, when you're playing in haven and a teammate spots an enemy in "C-Long", you'll instantly know which part of the map they will be.
Knowing the callouts is one thing, but being able to "connect" these callouts will be even better since you can actually anticipate enemy movement. For example, an enemy going "Sewer, going to Tunnel" will give you an idea that the enemy is possibly moving towards site A instead of trying to circle down bottom and heading to C.
Remember the "Hot" Spots
Valorant's maps will have certain areas that get plenty of action. Aside from the choke points leading to map objectives, other "hot spots" include junctions or areas that can serve as popular hiding spots. But didn't we already cover these locations when talking about callouts?
You see, you have to understand that most of your actions will inadvertently revolve around these hot spots. Going back to the Haven map: Is your team planning to go to point C as the attackers? The mid doors and connectors will be considered major hot spots so expect something to happen at those locations. Developing a good sense of where the action will happen will dictate which team will get the tactical advantage for that encounter.
Use the ping for smokes etc
Another cool feature to start using that games like CSGO lack is the ping function available for the map. Instead of calling where you’d like to have a smoke and have it not quite the way you were hoping for. You can ping for your teammates exactly where you would like to have that smoke.
Valorant Tips and Tricks - Meet the Meta
As with any competitive game, there's bound to be a few options that will be considered better than others at specific roles. These optimal choices will be considered the meta, so you can expect competitive play to work these picks into their strategy.
Identify the Agents
Valorant is only in closed beta, but it's easy to see where Agents sit at the competitive tier lists. You want champs who can reliably provide a good amount of intel or keep your team going longer in a battle of attrition. Here are just a few things that people have already considered meta as early as closed beta.
- Sova is already considered a top-tier pick, thanks to his sonic arrow and drone being effective detection tools. His ultimate is basically a free kill when used in tandem with these tools.
- Viper has insane area denial ability, especially in an attacking team. With all of her obscuring and damaging abilities, trying to defuse a spike is very risky.
- Sage helps increase enemy TTK (time-to-kill), which means your team will always have an advantage in direct firefights. She can also revive a fallen teammate, which means your team has a virtual 5v6 advantage.
As with most competitive games, future changes will turn some characters weaker or stronger, so pay attention to future changes in the game!
Know the Good Guns
Not all guns in Valorant are created equal. Some are excellent for close range combat while others are long-range powerhouses. Just like how CS:GO has its AK, M4, and AWP, Valorant has its collection of guns that many will consider as the go-to picks. These are the guns you're willing to "go eco" for.
- Phantom is the closest thing the game has to CS:GO's M4A1-S. It has good recoil and good damage at all ranges.
- Vandal is easily this game's answer to CS:GO's AK-47. It hits hard, kicks hard, and most importantly kills in one headshot.
Sniper - Even non-CS:GO players know the mighty AWP with its accuracy and one-shot kill potential. Valorant's AWP equivalent is the Operator. This will no doubt be a high-priority purchase for the team's designated sniper.
Pistol - Again, you have two choices: the Ghost has well-rounded stats in terms of recoil and damage (it can kill with a headshot at close to medium range), plus it is quiet. On the other hand, the Sheriff sacrifices a bit of speed and stability for better accuracy and higher damage, pretty much like CS:GO's Desert Eagle.
Valorant Tips and Tricks - Conclusion
That sums up our discussion on Valorant tips and tricks! We hope this will help you win more matches right from day 1!