The Definitive Valorant Guide
Valorant is a tactical first-person shooter developed by Riot Games. It’s extremely popular and has a thriving community and Esports scene.
If you’re a new player just starting to immerse yourself in the game, we made this beginner’s guide just for you!
We’ll help you get on your feet and introduce you to the basics of Valorant!
A Brief Introduction to Valorant
We’ll point out one thing first. Others think Valorant is a mix of shooting games like Rainbow Six: Siege or Call of Duty and Overwatch.
Honestly, it’s more like a combination of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Overwatch.
Why these two shooting games though?
If you want to find out, read on!
Valorant has different game modes. We’ll kick this guide off by briefing you on each one.
This is what makes Valorant comparable to CS:GO. These modes are what Valorant revolves around.
Here, two teams of five players go head-to-head in a series of short rounds.
They involve attackers and defenders with the objective of planting or defusing the Spike or killing all members of the enemy team before the Spike is planted.
Unrated is the standard Plant/Defuse mode in Valorant. Teams play 12 rounds on attack or defense.
After every 12 rounds, teams switch sides. The first team to secure 13 rounds wins. In case of a tie (12-12 score line), teams have to win a Sudden Death round to finalize their victory.
Think of Competitive as Unrated, but with higher stakes. Here, you play against other players to compete for and earn ranks.
One difference is, in case of a tie, games go into Overtime where the first team to secure a 2-round lead wins the game.
In case of another tie after Overtime, players can vote whether to continue Overtime or end the game in a draw.
Spike Rush is also a 5-on-5 game mode, but with some twists. All players begin each round with the same random weapon.
Random orbs spawn around the map. You can collect them to gain buffs for you and/or your team or afflict your opponents with debuffs.
The first team to win four rounds wins.
This is Valorant’s free-for-all game mode where you can hone your gunplay or warm-up before playing a match. Deathmatch involves 14 participants and each one can equip their weapon of choice.
You’re assigned a random agent and can’t use abilities. The first player to reach 40 kills wins.
If nobody reaches the 40-kill limit, the game ends after 9 minutes. Whoever kills the most wins.
Practice Game Modes
These are a series of modes you play in the Range. They give you a nice introduction to how Valorant works.
- Shooting Test – Here, you test your gun skills with different shooting challenges.
- Spike Planting – You practice taking control of a site, planting the Spike, and defending it until it detonates.
- Spike Defuse – In this mode, you try defeating your opponents and defusing the Spike before it explodes.
These are other modes that Riot Games rotates from time to time and were designed for fun. Think of them as bonus modes that each have a unique twist.
We won’t go into detail about them so you can experience them yourselves!
- Snowball Fight
A huge part of what makes Valorant unique is its gameplay revolves around its roster of agents. This is what also draws the Overwatch comparison.
Each agent is a character possessing a unique set of abilities. This gives players access to a playstyle distinctive for each agent!
Agents are categorized into roles that are determined by their abilities. Creating a team composition where agents complement each other is vital for your team to succeed!
We’ll give you a look at each role and the list of agents who fulfill those roles.
Controllers are agents in charge of slicing up areas of the map and allow their team to take control of territory easier.
They support teammates, obscure enemy vision, and prevent enemy advances. The current roster of Valorant controllers are:
Valorant’s duelists are meant to engage opponents in skirmishes. They’re agents expected to dispose of as many enemies as possible.
Their abilities give them an advantage in duels and they’re also players usually responsible for entering bomb sites first! Here are the current duelists in Valorant:
Initiators are in charge of giving your team an opportunity to enter contested territory smoothly. They set up your team for offensive execution.
Their abilities are for clearing angles, gathering information, and driving opposing defenders back!
The current initiators in Valorant are:
Sentinels are agents specialized in bolstering your team’s defenses. They lock down map areas and watch your team’s flank.
What makes them useful is they can do this both on the offense and defense! Here’s the current roster of Valorant Sentinels:
Best Agents for Beginners
We’ve given you a primer about agents and what they do. We’ll give you one beginner-friendly agent for each role next.
They’re simple to learn and will help you learn more about Valorant as you rack up more games.
A player proficient at this character is a cornerstone for executing a good attack in. He’s the perfect character for players to learn each map too!
His Stim Beacon and Incendiary abilities are straightforward. With Sky Smokes, you can obscure your opponents’ vision and block off choke points.
As for his ultimate, Orbital Strike, it depends on the situation. You can use it for post-plants and clearing tight map areas, and preventing your enemies from taking territory.
He’s also perfect for beginners still learning to aim. Well-placed smokes are already keys for your team to secure a round and don’t require engaging in duels!
Here are some tips:
- Study his wrist-mounted map – You’ll learn common map choke points.
- Use Sky Smokes on unexpected angles – This prevents you from getting shot from those spots.
Reyna requires unlocking, but she’s beginner-friendly because her play style is simple. Leer, shoot, Devour or Dismiss, repeat. Nothing more, nothing less!
Her abilities are pretty basic and are perfect for any new player. Leer is breakable, but forces enemies to retreat, focus fire on your flash, or shoot you with obscured vision!
With Devour or Dismiss, you can either heal or flee after killing an opponent! Her ultimate, Empress, takes getting used to though.
You get infinite Soul Harvest abilities and faster reloads, but the increased fire rate makes recoil control more difficult.
Here are some Reyna tips:
- Throw a Leer before dry peeking – A dry peek is any peek without knowing enemy locations. Using Leer beforehand minimizes chances of dying!
- Know when to heal or flee – Using Devour during a skirmish can get you killed. Use Dismiss to safely reposition instead!
Sova is one of the go-to initiators, but his abilities (like Shock Bolt) require arrow lineups. Lineups are not beginner-friendly!
KAY/O, meanwhile, has straightforward abilities! He requires unlocking, but it’s worth it. You can launch a knife that reveals opposing players and suppresses their abilities.
His other abilities are just flash grenades and mollies. His ultimate just requires pushing a button to suppress opponents within range!
You can even be resurrected if you’re killed while it’s activated! Here are some useful tips:
- Use NULL/cmd when taking a bomb site or during retakes – It repeatedly suppresses enemy abilities and could secure you a round!
- Flash for your teammates – Blinding opponents for your team is extremely helpful! You can use it to dry peek too!
Mastering Sentinels takes time, but Cypher’s the most beginner-friendly one. You can defend a site and watch your team’s flank easily!
On defense, just place a Trapwire and Cyber Cage in choke points. Attach your Spycam to an obscure spot and monitor your enemies from a safe corner.
On attack, place your traps in locations where flankers may pass or push for a retake. Your traps will do most of the work and you can focus on shooting!
His ultimate ability is straightforward. Just use it on a dead opponent and reveal the positions of the enemy team!
Here are some tips for this agent:
- Use Cyber Cage like a smoke – Help your team push a site by launching your Cyber Cage into angles opponents usually hold!
- Use Spycam on attack to gather intel – Attaching your Spycam to specific spots gives you a nice visual of a bomb site!
How to Unlock Valorant Agents
You start the game with five free agents. Those agents are:
After completing your new player contract, you unlock two free agent vouchers.
The way to unlock the other agents is either using in-game currency (which you buy) or grinding experience points until you complete the 5th contract quest of your desired character.
Valorant currently has six maps. It’s quite a few compared to other fps games so learning them is easier for beginners.
Here are the maps in Valorant’s competitive rotation:
They’re split into your usual FPS game lanes and bomb sites, but each map has its own twist.
Most of them are well-balanced, but certain maps (like Split) are defender-sided. Riot Games make changes to the maps when needed though!
Like every FPS game, Valorant has various weapons. We’ll break down each category for you.
Sidearms are the cheapest weapons in Valorant and your options range from a silenced pistol to a sawed-off shotgun!
Sub-machine guns are inexpensive weapons. They’re best for close to mid-range duels and are good for continuous spraying!
Shotguns are also inexpensive and are best for close-range encounters. Their biggest advantage is you can still hit opponents while jumping or moving!
A rifle is the most versatile weapon in the game. They’re great from close to long-range encounters and they’re accurate!
Snipers are made for long-range engagements. A headshot nets you an instant kill, but a body shot with the Operator nets you a one-hit frag too!
A heavy gun is for bombarding the enemy team with bullets. You can spray them continuously because of their huge ammo magazines!
They’re also the best weapons for shooting through walls!
Best Weapons for Beginners
Now that you know about the different weapon categories, let’s run through one newbie-friendly gun per category!
The Ghost is perfect for those new to the game because of its accuracy. You’ll land shots from short or long-range just by just keeping your crosshair on the opponent!
If you’re new to the game, the Spectre should be your go-to SMG. It has a high rate of fire and decent accuracy while spraying and moving! The recoil control is forgiving too!
The Judge is a semi-automatic shotgun that can cut through any opponent. Aiming it is easy too.
Your crosshair is replaced by a large circle with a center dot when using this gun. Just hold a tight corner and fire when opponents enter your reticle!
The Phantom is accurate, has a high fire rate, and forgiving recoil. Spraying this weapon on your opponent will land you a sure frag!
Snipers aren’t the best weapons for new players, but proficiency requires practice! What makes it easy for a new player is its damage output. A single body shot nets you a kill!
Beginner Tips and Tricks
Now that you know all the basics, here are some tips to help you improve your game!
Make the Most of the Shooting Range
It’s a great way to improve your aim, build muscle memory, and be a cracked shooter!
Find a Comfortable Mouse Sensitivity
There’s no meta mouse sensitivity to aim your gun better. Just use a comfortable sensitivity and practice!
Don’t Overuse the Shift Key
Walking silences your footsteps, but overusing it can slow down your rotations. Use the Shift key only when needed!
Avoid Moving While Shooting
We showed you some weapons that are accurate when moving but spraying your gun while strafing is a habit you should AVOID.
Get used to the controls and recoil control first! Staying still while shooting helps!
Pistol Rounds Matter
Winning a pistol round sets you up to win the next round. If you’re wondering why, securing a pistol round gives you an early economic advantage!
Everyone on the opposing side can only afford sidearms the next round, but you can buy more firepower!
Utilize Time Between Rounds
After winning a round, don’t just wait for the next round to start. It’s the perfect opportunity to find better weapons!
Itching to Play Valorant Now?
We’re sure you are! We hope our beginner’s guide helped you! Now it’s time to grind and begin your climb to Radiant!
If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. We’ll gladly answer them!