VALORANT is a free-to-play tactical first-person shooter (FPS) published by Riot Games
on June 2nd, 2020. Taking inspiration from other popular shooters, VALORANT delivers
a gameplay blending tactical gunplay (as seen in Counter-Strike) and unique ability
skillsets (as seen in Overwatch) where two teams of five players battle each other.
Players take on the role of one of 19 several ‘Agents’. Agents have special powers that
require charges and a unique ultimate ability that requires charging by kills, deaths, orbs,
or objectives. Each Agent has a unique skillset and playstyle conforming to one of
VALORANT’s four archetypes: Sentinel, Duelist, Controller, and Initiator. These agent
‘roles’ are not a label but rather a guide to help build a team composition suitable for
Controller: Controller agents are experts in creating space for their teammates with a
Duelist: Duelist agents are self-sufficient agents whose team expects, through abilities
and skills, to get high kills and seek out engagements first.
Initiator: Initiator agents challenge angles by setting up their team to enter the contested
ground and push defenders away with their information gathering.
Sentinel: Sentinel agents are defensive experts who can lock down areas and watch
flanks, both on the attacker and defender rounds.
The default game mode in VALORANT, ‘unrated,’ is a search and destroy (SnD) game
mode with a plant/defuse mode. Players are assigned to either the attacking or defensive
team with each team having five players. To earn a point in this mode, your team will
either attack or defend, with the attackers planting a ‘spike’ (bomb) that the opposing team
must defuse or, ideally, prevent you from planting in the first place. The attacking team
can win by either eliminating the rival team or by planting the spike and protecting it from
being defused until the timer runs out. Similarly, the defenders can win by either defeating
the attackers before they can plant their spike or defusing the spike once planted. Each
team of five gets to play as both attackers and defenders during a game. Each match
features 25 rounds, with the team that claims 13 rounds being named the winner.
Each game begins with a “traditional” handgun and one or more “signature ability”
Additional weapons and ability charges can be purchased through an in-game economy
that awards money, based on the previous round’s outcome and any kills and objectives
the player completed. There are a variety of weapons, paired with the diversity of different
agents, each suited to different playing styles.
If playing the standard game mode or competitive isn’t your style, there are plenty of
alternative and quicker-paced game modes you can enjoy. These permanent game
modes include “Spike Rush”, a short, gun game match, and “Deathmatch”; a 9-minute
Finding yourself spectating your teammates more than clicking heads? Look no further
with these three tips and tricks to help you improve your VALORANT skills.
Settings and Practice – Use the Free Range to Hone Your Skills
A simple yet highly overlooked advice for gamers would be to practice. The old saying
rings true; practice does indeed make perfect. Whether that be aim training in deathmatch
games, learning spray patterns and abilities in the range, or even learning callouts and
improving game knowledge in unrated lobbies, these practice elements can all be part of
the recipe for success and improvement in this skill-based shooter. With time, you can
adjust and tune your settings to find the crosshair and key bindings that suit your
Communication and Strategy – Be Unpredictable as an Attacker and Defender
If you’re defending, avoid holding the same position as in the previous rounds. If you’re
always sitting in the same area on a particular map, the enemy team will know where you
are and adjust their plan accordingly. Changing your position every round will keep your
enemies on their toes, making it harder for their communication and plans to push a
bombsite. From an attacker’s point of view, it works the same way; however, if a certain
push or bombsite results in repeated success, don’t be afraid to fall back on that plan! A
balance of unpredictability will be critical for your team’s success with expert positioning.
Economy and Saving
If you’ve played enough VALORANT, there’s one more thing to keep in mind about your
finances. When you’re on the buy menu, there’s an indication that shows how much
money you’ll have when the next round begins. This quantity should be at least 3900
Creds, allowing you to purchase a rifle and shields. So long as you can acquire some
essential loadout components, you can adequately regulate what you buy in each round.
Try to match a similar loadout to your teammates to maximize economic value and impact
for success in future rounds.
If your team can’t afford a full buy in the next round, other options could lead to a round
win. A half-buy entails setting a budget and spending that money to acquire lesser
weaponry and, in some cases, lighter shields.
If you and your team don’t have enough money to buy weapons, a full save for that round
might be the best option. These rounds are usually short because you are not equipped
to take down your opponent; and you can use this round to consider what you can buy
for the next round.