Quick Start Guide: Valorant

by Phirex

Valorant is a first person shooter game from developer Riot Games, who you may recognise as the developer of League of Legends. 

The game is technically not released yet but is available to play in a closed beta if you receive an invitation. 

Two teams of five players compete in a best of 24 rounds competition where one team must try to plant and detonate a bomb known as the Spike, and the other team must prevent the Spike from exploding. 

How do I play?

To play Valorant you will need to use WASD keys to move your player, while your mouse controls where you are aiming. 

Left-click is used to fire your weapon. You’ll want to make sure your crosshair is over the head of your opponent before shooting and make sure to drag your mouse down as you fire, to account for recoil.

Most weapons in Valorant have the option to aim down the sights by pressing the right-click button. 

Each Agent also has four abilities you can use by pressing the corresponding button on your keyboard, some abilities need to be triggered by left-clicking after pressing the ability button.  

How Do I win?

Each match is a best of 24 rounds so the first team to 13 rounds wins, with a tie-breaking 25th round being played if scores are tied 12-12. Teams swap sides at the start of the 13th round. 

To win a round the attacking side must plant and detonate the spike at one of the bomb sites on the map, or kill all of the defending team. 

The defending team can win by defusing the spike after it has been planted, killing all the attacking team, or preventing the attacking team from planting the spike before time runs out. 

Economy

Managing your money is a key tactic in Valorant. If you have a ton of money but your team doesn’t you should probably save it for the next round when you can all buy a good weapon. Money does carry over from round to round but is reset at the start of round 13 when teams swap sides. 

All weapons, apart from the pistol you start each round with, cost money to use in a round, as do two of your four abilities. You will get money at the end of every round and for other positive actions, such as getting kills or planting the spike. 

What guns should I use?

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The Operator sniper rifle

As Valorant is so new players haven’t figured out the very best weapons to use in all situations yet, so perhaps more than other titles it really does come down to what you feel good with. 

However, both the Phantom and Vandal assault rifles have proven to be very strong and cost-effective, while the Operator sniper rifle is incredibly powerful and can kill with one shot to the body. These are great weapons to use in most rounds. 

How do I get better at Valorant?

Everyone is still figuring out ways to improve in Valorant and there is no doubt that there is still a long way to go before players hit the limit of what is possible in the game, but there are always ways to improve. 

Valorant has a great practise mode where you can perfect your aim, ability use and play certain situations against bots, which is a great way to sharpen your skills. 

Watching top streamers can also give you a lot of tips, and a quick YouTube search for how to play certain Agents will show you some tips and tricks you never considered, like shooting Sova’s Recon Bolt across the map or using Sage’s wall to boost you up to new high ground areas.

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