Congrats on your Valorant key! Armed with confidence from countless hours playing other FPS games, you’re cueing up for your first match. Actually, that was earlier today, and you lost badly, which might be why you’re here instead of immediately trying again. Here are a few tips and tricks to help improve your K/D ratio, and to help you win.
An Agent for every Play-style
As discussed in this article, a key difference from other FPS games is found in the different Agents and their abilities. As we saw with the team of game developers that initially crushed all competition, aim isn’t everything in Valorant. Think of abilities in Valorant like those in Overwatch, more so than utility in CS:GO. In Valorant they are very powerful (read OP) when used correctly, which is why, despite your stellar aim, you lost so badly in that first game.
Agents, because of their unique set of abilities, fill different team functions and require different play-styles. Your best bet for early wins is to figure out which abilities best suit your own play-style. Here are a few examples;
- Always seeking out aim duels? Check out Jett.
- Favor aggression? Breach might be the one for you.
- Planning ahead, setting up the best line of defense? Cypher takes longer to master but is an increasingly popular pick in tournaments.
- Do you prefer taking map control, helping your team position? Brimstone is what you’re looking for.
Play to your personal strengths before adapting to what the team needs you to play. In the beginning, your best tactic for winning rounds is simply to kill enemies. A good way to master abilities is to use them to help win 1v1 fights.
Sage is OP. It might be a well-contested agent in ranked but when it isn’t, pick it up yourself. Overall, the most common team comp in competitive play to date is;
Sage, Cypher, Brimstone, Breach + Raze/Jett for fire power or Sova for more recon
There are loads of YouTube videos on this topic. Two of my favourites are;
- Attach a Recon Bolt to Raze’s Boom Bot. The homing missile now also becomes a moving tracking beacon
- Use Omen’s Paranoia to position on top of Sage’s wall. Order a flash thrown over before you jump for extra safety
Abilities don’t just combo with other abilities. Some are perfect for certain locations. Check out these guides to wreak destruction from a safe distance;
Crosshair placement is a key difference between professional and casual players. Flicking looks great in a frag video but it makes missing much more likely. Try to always aim where you think the enemy will show up might seem like an obvious statement, but it is much easier said than done. The calmer your mouse movement is, the more crosshair control you have. If you practice this consistently you also learn angles much faster; where to place your crosshair as you turn corners.
Want to redesign the look of your crosshair to match that of your favorite streamer? Check out this guide.
SMG’s, rifles and heavy weapons all have T shaped spray patterns. If you crouch the pattern stays (somewhat) the same, but narrows. You can find a detailed weapon stats and recoil patterns guide here.
For more practice before your next game, head to the in-game practice range (Practice Mode; Shooting Test)
- Round win | 3000 credits
- Round loss | 1900 credits
- Second round loss | 2400 credits
- Third round loss | 2900 credits
- Kills | 200 credits
- Spike plant | 300 credits
Remember, Valorant is a team game. Coordinate your purchases to maximize winning chances. 4400 credits is enough for a Phantom or Vandal, Heavy Shields, and abilities. A half-buy and typical 2nd round buy if you win the first is a Spectre and abilities, costing around 3000. Anything less and you should probably full-eco with just pistols.
Understand when rounds are lost and you should save what you have. When in doubt; communicate, save, and position for exit frags.
Information is power. Practice speaking up, especially if you find it uncomfortable at first. Making callouts even if no one else is doesn’t just help your teammates make decisions on their side of the map, but it also helps to keep everyone motivated. If you care enough to make the effort, chances are others will too.