Riot’s new class-based shooter is what you would get if Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch had a baby. That doesn’t mean it’s any less hardcore than CS:GO; in fact, Valorant borrows heavily from the team-based mechanics of Valve’s competitive shooter.
A quick trigger finger will only get you so far in Valorant — you’ll need the right composition and tight coordination with your teammates if you want to consistently win. Here, we’ve compiled some of the most important tips and tricks that will help you win and win as a team. No solo carries here.
Don’t Be Over Eager to Rotate
Rotating is the act of repositioning Agents from one location to another, usually from one bomb site to the next. When you’ve been sitting in one spot for too long without seeing any action, it can be tempting to rotate to another position. Just because you can’t see or hear your enemy doesn’t mean they aren’t there!
The trick is to never rotate unless someone has called for a rotation. Don’t let yourself be baited by gunfire or the sounds of skills used. There’s no reason for you to leave a key location unguarded unless you’re certain the enemy is assaulting another position.
Sometimes you’ll get a team that isn’t very communicative — maybe someone has been picking fights or a bad round has got everyone in a bad mood. In this case, pay attention to your mini map. If you see three or more enemies that look like they’re making a move on the other side of the map, it’s time for you to rotate.
Learn to Control the Corners
Pixel-perfect aim and quick reactions are only going to get you so far in Valorant. Consistent victory is dependent on your team’s ability to control the map. This means you have to know how to position yourself to take and hold corners. Of course, this implies that you would need to know the map like the back of your hand.
Just like in CS:GO, peeking is a key part of gameplay in Valorant. However, unlike in CS:GO, peeking isn’t the best way of gathering information about enemy positions. Take advantage of any recon abilities on your team, such as Cypher’s Trackwire or Sova’s Recon Bolt. These will give you an idea of what you’re up against on the other side of that corner.
Be aware that once you’ve used a recon skill, the enemy knows that you’re there and may send out their own abilities. This is where your mastery of map layouts comes in handy. Listen carefully to their movements and peek when they’re likely to be exposed. Exposed here can mean one of two things: the first is the point where they’ve left their corner and are too far out to get back into hiding; and the other is when they’re entering an area and are busy looking about and gathering information visually.
Use Your Items to Delay Pushes
Every player must learn how to hold a position. Remember: half of your play time is spent defending. While some Agents have skill sets that are better at this than others, anybody can contribute to defense with the right items.
For example, throwing a smoke grenade or molotov cocktail at the right location can cause enough indecisiveness in your enemy to stop an all-out assault. It blocks their vision and announces that you are aware that they’re coming — forcing them to either wait out the smoke, force a move at a disadvantage, or try another route. Remember, all you need is a delay of a few seconds so that your allies can rotate and get in position.
Don’t Force Engagements At A Disadvantage
Forcing engagements when they’re not necessary will lose you matches, simple as that. Unfortunately, this is a problem that’s prevalent even in the higher ranks.
Think of it this way: assuming all players are of equal skill level, the team with more players is more likely to win. There’s no getting around it — four guns is better than two.
There’s an easy way to identify if you’re not likely to win a fight, and you can do it before the guns start blasting: count how many enemies are present. Say you and one buddy are guarding Site B while the rest of your team is moving to A; you should never be in a position where you can’t make a quick escape. If you hear multiple enemies incoming, either by listening to their footsteps or the abilities they’re using, alert your allies and reposition yourself in a nearby location.
If you had forced the fight in that situation, your team could be down one or two Agents. The rest of your allies rotating in from A would then be facing an enemy that has more guns and is entrenched in a defensive position.
Use Time to Your Advantage
This relates to the point above about avoiding unnecessary engagements. If you’re at a numbers advantage and have a good holding position, why force the fight? Don’t seek them out; make them come to you.
Playing time means utilizing the in-game round timer to add pressure on your opponents to make a move. If you’re on the Attacking side, you would play time after you’ve planted the Spike. On Defense, you can play time before the Spike has been planted.
Eco or Buy As A Team
Knowing what to buy at the start of a round or to save money for the next is key to winning in Valorant. Since you’re playing at the same time, everyone should be on the same page at the start of a round — buy, force, or eco?
This isn’t just a teamwork issue, though a single person not following along with the plan can definitely hurt the atmosphere of a team. When you’re off doing your own thing, you’re greatly reducing your odds of winning a match. For example, if you force when your buddies have decided to eco, you’re wasting money on weapons in a round where your friends have none. If you eco when your buddies are buying, then you’re the only one in the round without a gun; you’re not contributing to a victory.
Those are just some of the ways you can use to win in Valorant as a team. Individual skill can make for impressive highlights, but you won’t get to the highest ranks without understanding how to work together with your team. Work together with your allies, feed them information and consult with them on decisions, and your group of random misfits will soon be working together like cogs in a well-oiled machine.
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