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Valorant is the most popular tactical shooter on the market right now, competing with the likes of CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege in terms of popularity. It is a well-developed and fun-to-play game, with regular content updates and a hyper-competitive environment.
What makes Valorant unique is that it mixes the popular ability-based Hero-fighting genre with the realistic gunplay of other shooters like Call of Duty and Counter-Strike. Even though this works greatly in favor of the game, this means if you’re a new player coming from one of these genres, you will need to learn how to play the other half of the mix.
So, for CS players, it’s the different Agents and their unique utilities and abilities to master, and for Overwatch or League of Legends players, it’s the slower, less movement-based, and more precision aim-based first-person gunplay. All this can be overwhelming for newer players, so we’re here to help out. This brief guide is the perfect tutorial into Valorant, if you’re new, so let’s get on with it.
Before you enter your first round, you get to pick from a group of Agents, each with their own role and special skills designed to work alongside each other toward a win. The game does a pretty good job of explaining each Agent’s ability right on the selection screen, and also by pressing F1 in-game. But if you’re still confused as to what agent to play here’s a quick overview of some of the most prominent faces in Valorant.
There are 4 classes of Agents in Valorant – The dualists who focus on entry fragging, take aggressive duels, and are overall self-sufficient. Since they don’t provide much support to their team, it is recommended not to play a duelist if you’re having a hard time fragging in the game, or if there are enough duelists already picked on your team. Valorant does not restrict the number of agents of the same class on a team, so you technically play 5 duelists, but take our word for it, that’s not fun at all.
Since duelists are the most important aspect of the game, here are the most popular ones explained:
- Tailwind (Signature): Instantly dash in any direction to quickly get back to safety, or to push into enemy territory.
- Bladestorm (Ultimate): Get several Kunai knives that you can throw at opponents, they deal critical damage: One hits to the head and Three hits to the body.
- Cloudburst (Utility): Throw a projectile vision-blocking smoke, trajectory can be controlled by holding down the keybind.
- Updraft (Utility): You can fly upwards to get onto otherwise-unreachable platforms.
- Hot hands: Throws a molly on the floor, damaging enemies and healing himself.
- Run it Back (ultimate): Gives you a temporary second life, if killed you get teleported back to the spot where triggered.
- Blaze : Creates a flame wall that deals damage and obscures vision of enemies, also healing you at the same time.
- Curveball : A flashbang which can be used to flash corners, by using main fire and alt-fire.
- Dismiss: Devours a nearby soul orb to become invulnerable, lasts a short duration. When used in Empress mode, grants invisibility.
- Empress (ultimate): Increases fire rate, equip speed, reload speed and increases dismiss-devour charges to infinite.
- Leer (optional): Use to equip and throw a orb that nearsights onlooking opponents, lasts for a short duration can be destroyed by bullets.
- Devour (optional): Can devour a soul orb, healing herself. Also can overheal, but is time sensitive.
- Paint Shells: Equip and throw a cluster grenade which explodes on impact to deal instant area damage and also breaks into smaller shells that deal another burst of damage to enemies in a larger radius.
- Showstopper (ultimate): Equip a rocket launcher that deals critical damage to a localised area of impact.
- Boom Bot (optional): Employ an enemy seeking robot, which blows up and deals damage when close to an enemy, unless destroyed.
- Blast Pack (optional): Throw small C4 charges which do not deal damage to you or your teammates and instead, can be used for faster movement.
Then there are the Initiators, who are mainly focused on disrupting enemy vision, clearing space for their team to play in. They have flashes, recon, stun, and suppress abilities and are an integral part of every team. It is recommended to at least have one initiator on your team for best tactical plays.
Initiators include Sova, Skye, Breach, and Kay-O.
Sentinels are Agents that shine when playing on defense, or after your team has acquired control over a site. They deny entry into plant sites and can set up alarms to prevent flanks and are thereby a key component of each team. If you’re more of a passive player, you can set up sites and help your team just by staying alive.
Sentinels Include Cypher, Sage, Killjoy, and Chamber.
Controllers are basically agents with a smoke ability, who need to smoke off entry points when on defense or block defensive sightlines when on the attack. Needless to say, they make entering sites much easier as any Snipers or campers will get blocked off providing safe entry into sites.
Controllers Include Omen, Astra, Brimstone, and Viper.
Unrated/ Competitive Structure
Every match has two sides, the attackers and the defenders. The attackers need to gain entry into one of the 2 to 3 bombsites on the map marked by A, B, and Haven, C. Once it is safe, they need to plant the spike by holding down 4 when on a plantable area.
Note that you cannot equip your gun or move during planting the Spike. The defenders, however, firstly aim to deny to the attackers, entry into sites, and if they fail and the spike is planted, then the aim is to defuse the planted spike before it explodes, by holding down 4 in its vicinity.
Valorant has 7 different types of weapons: Pistols, SMGs, Assault Rifles, Machine Guns Shotguns, Snipers, and Melee. The first round of each half is a pistol round, where you use either the default Classic, the Frenzy, the Ghost, the Shorty, or the Sheriff. In later rounds, you are able to buy other weapons like Spectre, Ares, Vandal, or Operator.
While firing any weapon in Valorant, you’re the most accurate while standing still. You can however employ a tactic called counter-strafing, where you swing left and right and fire your weapon in short bursts at the end of each swing.
This makes you accurate, even while moving. Another thing you need to remember is to keep your crosshair reticle at an expected enemy height level at all times, as this helps with aiming substantially.
Valorant has a well defined rank progression system, that is, Iron -> Bronze -> Silver -> Platinum -> Diamond -> Immortal and then finally Radiant. To rank up in Valorant, you need to consistently win Competitive matches as you rise up through 3 tiers of each rank.
That is all you needed to know about Valorant before jumping in. Note that this game has a steep learning curve, so if you’re having a hard time at first, you need to be a little patient and keep trying, and eventually you will improve pretty quickly. Have fun!