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Valorant Guides: Tips for Beginners to get better

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If you’ve never played a tactical shooter before, or just want some refreshers on what separates Valorant from the rest of the shooter genre, we’ve got a few tips to help you before you dive in.

VALORANT BASIC MATCH RULES

Each match has two teams of five players. Before a match begins, every player selects a character (called an Agent) with a unique set of abilities. Each team can only have one of each Agent. Matches have rounds, and the first team to win 13 rounds wins the match.

One team starts as the Attackers and one team starts as the Defenders, and after 12 rounds, the two teams switch sides. The Attackers’ goal is to plant a bomb (called the Spike) on one of several bomb sites around the map. The Defenders’ job is to, well, defend, either by defusing the Spike after it’s planted, or preventing the Attackers from planting the Spike within the round’s time limit. Either team can also win a round by eliminating the other team, as there are no respawns during a round.

Here’s what you need to know about Valorant’s two launch maps

At the beginning of each round, every player in the match will get money (called Creds) that they can use during a Buy Phase to purchase weapons, armor, and abilities. The amount of Creds players get is determined by their performance in the previous round. Actions like planting the Spike, getting kills, and winning or losing a round will grant extra Creds.

TIP #1: WALK, DON’T RUN

Every time you run in Valorant (which is the default movement speed), your footsteps make noise, and any enemy nearby can hear you. Running is so loud that there’s even a little circle that appears on your minimap to show you how far the sound of your footsteps is traveling. The solution to all that noise is to walk instead of running by holding Shift. Walking is slower, obviously, but it also makes you more accurate should you need to shoot quickly before you can stop — and it makes you impossible to hear, letting you and the rest of your team sneak up to enemy positions.

You should be walking almost everywhere you go in Valorant unless (A) you know there are no enemies near you, (B) the enemy already knows where you are, or (C) you have to get somewhere in a hurry. If you are confident that enemies aren’t around and you need to move quickly, switch to your knife, as it’s faster than running with a gun out.

TIP #2: DON’T RUN AND SHOOT

With the tip about walking in mind, you should know that shooting accurately and running don’t mix in Valorant, so you should try to avoid it at all costs. If you’re running and you see an enemy you want to shoot, try to stop moving entirely before firing. It takes a while for your aim to settle, but as you get used to it, you’ll get a better idea of when your shot will be accurate and when it won’t be. The reticle growing and shrinking will even give you a hint of your accuracy.

It will take practice to get this skill down, but running and shooting at the same time, then wondering why their bullets didn’t hit, is probably the most frequent mistake that new Valorant players will make.

What about walking and shooting? When you’re walking — again, by holding the Shift key by default — your first few shots will remain accurate, just like if you were standing still. So if you’re walking and see an enemy, you can immediately start firing. But after the first few shots, your aim will start to veer off target more aggressively than if you were standing still.

TIP #3: KNOW WHEN TO SAVE YOUR CREDS

When you’re new to Valorant, it can be tempting to buy weapons and abilities before every round, spending whatever Creds you have. But you shouldn’t do that. Instead, you should save your Creds for better buys and sync with your team. For example, You probably can’t win a round if you’re the only one on your team who bought a gun and everyone else is stuck with the basic pistol. But if you save for a round or two and let your teammates get some Creds as well, then the five of you with guns and armor will have a better chance of winning that round — and carrying that gear forward.

Any time you survive a round, you’ll keep the weapons you ended the round with — so if someone drops a better weapon, grab it before the round ends. If you die, you’ll need to buy new weapons, regardless of whether your team wins or loses. Abilities will carry over from round to round if you don’t use them, and any armor that doesn’t get destroyed will also go with you to the next round (again, if you survive).

There are a few different types of rounds that you should think about when you first start playing Valorant. You can let your teammates know what you’re planning to do in each round over voice chat, or you can use one of the helpful buttons that Riot included on the buy menu that say things like “Save,” or you can let your teammates know that you have plenty of money.

SAVE ROUNDS

Everyone buys very little in hopes of saving for the next Buy round. This might mean you don’t buy anything at all, or that you only buy a pistol and one ability.

FULL BUY ROUNDS

Everyone on the team buys weapons — usually either rifles or sniper rifles — as well as armor and whatever abilities they need.

FORCE BUY ROUNDS

You don’t have enough for a Full Buy Round, but you and your team buy anyway, getting the best weapons and armor you can. You might do this to catch the enemy off guard, or because you need a win here to start a comeback and can’t afford to wait for more money.

PARTIAL BUY ROUNDS

This means that one or two people on the team might buy a weapon, but everyone makes sure they’ll have enough Creds for a Full Buy Round next time.

TIP #4: BUY ARMOR

Guns are the most exciting thing to buy in Valorant, but guns are only good if you’re alive to use them. That’s where armor comes in. Buying armor doesn’t feel like the cool thing to do, but it’s almost always the right decision. Without armor, your 100 hit points won’t last long — one or two bullets could kill you.

Armor should always be part of your Full Buy Rounds, and you should prioritize it over the best weapons if you can’t afford both. There are two types of armor: one that costs 400 Creds and gives you 25 extra health, and one that costs 1,000 Creds and gives you 50 extra health. Both types of armor absorb 70% of damage taken.

TIP #5: KEEP YOUR RETICLE AT HEAD HEIGHT

The less you have to move your mouse, the faster you can aim and shoot. When you’re walking, you should always try to keep your aim at the same height at which an enemy’s head would be. Most players — all shooters, not just Valorant — have a tendency to keep their reticle pointed toward the ground. But if you run into someone while aiming down, you’ll have to shift your aim up. If your aim is already around their head, it’s a smaller movement to find the sweet spot, and therefore a lot faster.

A nice way to practice is to keep your gun at the head height of your allies before each round begins. This gives you a nice starting point to get used to.

The Best Valorant Agent for Beginners

Not all Valorant agents have a steep learning curve. Most agents have relatively simple toolkits that can get the job done. If you are a new Valorant player or an FPS beginner, these are the best Valorant agents for you. 

Reyna (Duelist)

Almost every duelist requires good aim in order to be properly mastered. Reyna’s kit is very straightforward. The duelists carry flashes, a healing ability, and the power to escape risky situations. With her ultimate, Reyna dramatically increases her firing, equipment, and reload speed. Easy to use and efficient, Reyna is ideal for beginners who are looking to rank up quickly.

Sage (Sentinel)

Healers are a crucial part of any team composition since it’s such a rare power in Valorant. Sage’s kit is easy to learn, making her the number-one pick for newbies. The Sentinel comes with a wall, a slow orb, and an influential healing tank.

As Sage, new players can still play a crucial role in reviving and healing teammates while still working on their aim. So long as you’re providing healing to your team, you’re making an impact.

Killjoy (Sentinel)

If you aim to do more damage and be an active part of the team’s firepower, you might opt for Killjoy. The happy-go-lucky agent is equipped with a robot that detects enemies and deals heavy damage to them. If your aim is still rough, her robot can bag you multiple assists by the end of the game, bolstering your points.

Her Nano Swarms are simple to use and can be game-changing on the defender’s side. The agent can lock down an entire site using her ultimate without learning any complex lineups. 

Kay/O (Initiator) 

Thanks to his long-lasting flashes and intel-gathering dagger, the Terminator is a viable pick across all ranks. New players can efficiently work around Kay/O’s throwable abilities that don’t require a lot of aim to manage. The agent ultimately provides him a second chance at defeating enemies as his teammates can stabilize his core. 

5- Brimstone (Controller)

Almost all Controllers in Valorant require a heavy learning curve, but not Brimstone. This old-school Controller performs all of his tasks by pressing a few buttons on his custom minimap. New players don’t have to lineup smokes and molotovs to use them here. Brimstone’s radar lets him pin exact locations for smokes and his ultimate ability, blocking the enemy’s line of sight. 

All Weapons in Valiant

Similar to Counter-Strike, VALORANT has a buy menu. Every round starts with a buy phase, where you can spend your well-earned Creds for a juicy gun or two. There are six categories of weapons, including sidearms, SMGs, shotguns, machine guns, rifles, and snipers.

Here’s the full list of weapons in VALORANT.

Sidearms


The sidearms are essential to economy rounds. If your team has run out of cash, buy a trusty sidearm. They might not be as strong as rifles or snipers, but they should never be underestimated—the little buggers can sting.
  • Classic (free at the start of each round)
  • Shorty (150 Creds)
  • Frenzy (450 Creds)
  • Ghost (500 Creds)
  • Sheriff (800 Creds)

Submachine guns



VALORANT has two run-and-gun options with submachine guns. They don’t deal a ton of damage but they can provide a good alternative to the more expensive rifles.
  • Stinger (950 Creds)
  • Spectre (1,600 Creds)

Shotguns



If you’re fed up and you want a change of pace, shotguns are the way forward. They deal a good amount of damage and can even one-shot targets at close range.
  • Bucky (850 Creds)
  • Judge (1,850 Creds)

Machine guns


Machine guns are great for spraying and praying. They might not be accurate, but they can easily mow down a whole team of enemies.
  • Ares (1,600 Creds)
  • Odin (3,200 Creds)

Rifles


The rifles should be your go-to weapons of choice in VALORANT. They’re relatively expensive, but their one-shot headshot potential is well worth the extra cash.
  • Bulldog (2,050 Creds)
  • Guardian (2,250 Creds)
  • Phantom (2,900 Creds)
  • Vandal (2,900 Creds)

Sniper Rifles


If you want to style on your opponents and take them out at long-range, pick up a trusty sniper rifle. In the right hands, they inflict deadly damage.
  • Marshal (950 Creds)
  • Operator (4,700 Creds)

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