If you’ve played Counter-Strike, Riot’s new FPS game will look familiar. However, look closer and you will spot differences. One example is the characters, or agents, and their many abilities. Mastering each ability and understanding how they best combo with each other will help you turn the tide of rounds and matches. This is a walkthrough guide of the basics.
Valorant has 4 categories of agents; Duelist, Controller, Initiator, and Sentinel. Every agent has the same basic Ability setup;
One Signature ability; available for use at the start of each round. For some agents, the signature ability also recharges over time or kills.
Two abilities you can Purchase; These are available for credits during a 30-second buy phase, same as weapons and shields.
One Ultimate ability; The Ultimate ability is charged by kills and black orb captures and usually takes several rounds to make available.
- Hot Hands | Molotov. Damages enemies and heals you
- Curveball | Flashbang that curves as you cast. Perfect for corners
- Blaze | Wall of fire. Damages enemies and heals you
- Run It Back | While active, dying, or letting the timer run out returns you to the spot where you activated the ultimate
Curveballs don’t just curve around corners but also upwards into, for example, windows. Run It Back is a great way to test the defense of a bomb site before committing with the whole team. For maximum effect, use it from a position where you can reach two sites quickly. For example, close to the teleporter on Haven.
- Tailwind | Dash
- Cloudburst | Smoke grenade
- Updraft | Jump boost
- Blade Storm | Summon throwing knives with great accuracy. Left-click for single-use and right-click for throwing all at once. Resets on kills
Perhaps the most skill-based agent in Valorant right now, Jett has great mobility and a deadly ultimate. Use the mobility wisely and with caution to strike at the right time; hit-and-run’s on enemy reloads for example. The Updraft jump boost is perfect for both holding off angles, and for boosting over Barrier orbs.
- Blast Pack | Two sticky C4 charges
- Paint Shells | Cluster grenade
- Boom Bot | Straight-line bomb bot that locks on to enemies it finds
- Showstopper | Rocket launcher. A huge rocket that creates a big bang and aimed well, dead enemy agents
Valorant’s “Junkrat” is just as fun to play as the Overwatch original. Combo her damage abilities with lots of CC for maximum death and destruction.
- Toxic Screen | Long-range toxic wall
- Snake Bite | Poison Molotov
- Poison Cloud | Toxic smoke grenade
- Viper’s Pit | Massive toxic cloud. Large enough to cover a whole bomb site. Enemies that enter take damage and are outlined for the Viper
Use her ultimate to help plant spikes in tricky situations. She’s the best in the business for it but keep an eye out for ultimate abilities from an enemy Brimstone, Phoenix, or Breach, as these are all strong counters to Viper’s Pit.
- Dark Cover | Smoke grenade that goes through walls
- Shrouded Step | Short-range teleport
- Paranoia | Projectile that goes through walls, briefly reducing the vision of enemies hit
- From the Shadows | Teleport to anywhere on the map
Use smokes and teleportation to move around the map and position yourself where you can do the most damage or create the most distraction.
- Sky Smoke | 3 smokes you can place from far away
- Stim Beacon | AoE buff to allies within range. 10% improvements to rate of fire, reload time, weapon swap and recoil spread recovery
- Incendiary | Molotov grenade launcher
- Orbital Strike | Fire a large radius laser airstrike from very far away
Sky smokes are one of the most useful abilities to take map control. Smoking off choke points makes a big difference before you and your team storm a bomb site. Because you can deploy smokes from far away, they are just as good for fake attacks. Don’t just save them for the final attack though. Enemies will think twice before going through smokes and so placed well, they control movement even in the first seconds of rounds.
- Recon Bolt | Recon arrow, revealing enemies in line of sight
- Shock Bolt | Lightning arrow with AoE splash damage
- Owl Drone | Flying scouting drone capable of short trips, armed with a tracking bolt
- Hunter’s Fury | Three arrows piercing the map that both do damage as well as reveal enemies hit
Just like with utility in CS, recon bolts can be shot over buildings and strategically placed from far away. Working out the angles for every map will involve practice and take a while. Here’s a video to help get you started.
- Aftershock | Explosive blast with burst damage through walls
- Flashpoint | Similar to Aftershock, but the hit blinds instead of doing damage
- Fault Line | Earthquake that disorients any enemies caught in its path
- Rolling Thunder | Wider earthquake. Disorients and knocks up enemies caught in its path
Breach offers a solid start to any attack. Walls and other line-of-sight obstacles mean much less when he’s in the game. If he is your pick, remember that Breach’s cc abilities also affect your team-mates and so be careful with your aim.
- Healing Orb | Heal yourself or an ally
- Barrier Orb | Blocking wall
- Slow Orb | Explodes on the ground and slows enemies that cross
- Resurrection | Bring back a dead ally to life and full health
Be generous with the healing orb, and try to combo slow orbs with damage abilities of other agents. Barrier orbs are great for blocking off bomb sites and access to planted spikes.
- Spycam | Camera with access remotely. Armed with a tracking dart
- Trapwire | Reveals enemies walking through
- Cyber Cage | Invisible trap with a remote trigger
- Neural Theft | Use on a dead enemy within your crosshair to reveal the location of all living enemies
Take time to plan your set up and remember to communicate with your team. Be vocal about where your traps and camera are placed as well as when enemies are spotted. The spycam is excellent bait and working with a team-mate you can use it to not just spot enemies but kill them as well. Cypher’s ultimate will discourage enemy agents from pushing. Use this space to push further on other parts of the map.
Effective communication and use of abilities are just as important as good aim. 40 abilities and a maps pool with more corners and angles than Inferno make Valorant, at least in its current form, actually very different from CS. Whether that’s good or bad, creates excitement or rage, is for you to decide.