A collection of early advice and explainers for players new and old.
Valorant, Riot Games’ new tactical shooter, is finally out in the wild, which means it’s time to put together some quick and easy Valorant tips.
Our advice here includes a super quick rundown of the absolute basics for beginners, as well as a good handful of more intermediate, advanced or just a little sophisticated tips that players coming from CS:GO – or those who got familiar with Valorant through the beta – should hopefully still find handy.
On this page:
Valorant tips: the basics explained for beginners and new players
1. As a rule of thumb, always walk, by holding Shift. It silences your footsteps and makes it miles harder for the other team to know where you are and what you’re doing. Save running for the start of the game, emergencies, or when you know for sure that you’re far enough away to not be heard.
2. Shooting is most accurate when standing still. As soon as you move, the cursor widens – if you’re moving and the enemy is standing still, you’ll always lose the fight.
3. You can only go so far with a mastery of just weapons, or just abilities. The best players will master both, and how they can combine.
4. Learn location names – even if you’re avoiding voice chat, which is totally understandable, being able to quickly call out locations in text chat (and understand what teammates mean when they do the same!) can make the difference.
5. Communicate, coordinate, and work together. That means doing the basics, like making sure all lanes are covered by at least one of your players when defending, but also the more advanced stuff. Learn how to bait opponents, fake attacks, rotate, and try to get your team on-side to do the same, if you can. Strong team play can make up for a spot of potato aim.
6. Sound is hugely important. Listen to footsteps and think about where they’re coming from and going to. There’s no excuse for a player running up noisily behind you and still catching you off guard!
Valorant tips: more advanced tips to give you an edge
7. When shooting, try to not just stand still but crouch, after the first shot. This helps for two reasons: weapon recoil means bullets will tend to end up higher and higher with each consecutive shot. So if your enemy is shooting you, crouching makes it harder for them to keep their shots landing because the recoil is taking their aim higher. Likewise, it lowers your character while you’re shooting, basically helping you manage recoil and keeping your aim low enough to land.
8. Use the shooting range and training facilities – they’re worth it! Try to beat your personal best in the timed target practice round. Aim for 30+ kills in the time limit and keep going. Good, fast aim is half the battle and will make the difference in most low to mid level games.
9. Pick the gun for your role. If you’re going “long”, to a long sightline alleyway down the side of the map, taking an SMG probably isn’t very helpful because you’ll be up against a sniper at the far end. That is, unless you’re going for rapid gap-closing with someone like Jett, which could be a great counter. Likewise, pick closer-quarters weapons if you’re heading for smaller, more confined spaces.
10. Learn which weapons can shoot through which walls. Some walls look impenetrable but actually aren’t, especially if you have a heavy enough weapon, like the Odin LMG. If you know someone’s hiding behind a wall, this can be a great way to pick them off when they think they’re safe.
11. Always plant the spike! Even if you wipe out the enemy team and are about to get the automatic round win anyway, still plant it – and as quickly as possible. Your team gets extra money for successfully planting the spike, and that bit of added cash can make all the difference.
12. Keep your crosshair at headheight at all times – even if you’re peeking to look at a distant, raised window, try to get your crosshair as close to where a head would be in that window as possible before you peek. This makes a dramatic difference to your aiming!
13. Think about the economy – if you lost a round, you won’t have much money for the next one, so even if you buy weapons in that second round they won’t be as good. Often it’s better to spend as little as possible (“econ”) the round after a loss, so the next round you’re guaranteed the money to level the playing field. Try to talk to your team and all get on the same page with this too!
14. When you’re attacking in a single group, ensure there’s always one player guarding your flank or rear. Say you’re attacking A, it’s very easy for the enemies located at B or C to sneak around to surprise you, once they realise you’re all at A, so keep someone on rear guard and make sure they communicate if the flank is coming.
15. The spike takes 4 seconds to plant, 45 seconds to detonate, and 7 seconds to defuse. The final, fastest beeps start when you have 5 seconds left, the second fastest beeps start when there’s 10 seconds left, so you need to start defusing within 2-3 seconds of the second-to-last beeping phase to have a chance of defusing it! (Fantastically helpful tip via lunepassage on Reddit.)
16. If you know you can’t defuse the bomb, it’s completely OK to run away and save your gear and money for the next round. Say you’re the last attacker standing and there are 5 defenders alive still, with 30 seconds left on the clock, it’s better to just run, hide, and save money than it is to give them a free kill and more money themselves.
Valorant is here! Check out the first season’s Battle Pass skins and our best Valorant gun recommendations to help you climb the ranks.
If you’re looking for technical advice, make sure you fit the required, minimum, recommended and high end specs and know how to solve any Valorant error codes.
17. Double peeking, or “repeeking”, is especially dangerous in Valorant because there’s no “peeker’s advantage” – no lag that works in favour of the one doing the peeking. So if a sniper knows you’re behind a wall, and is sitting there waiting for you to pop back out again, it’s better to just find another route than it is to keep trying to peek again. Really, the only reason you should stay there is to bait the sniper while your teammates do the flanking elsewhere.
18. Objects can go through teleporters – a cool one to know! You can throw abilities and the like through teleporters and they’ll trigger the doors opening on the other side too, which can cause major havoc if timed right. (Source: jackattack99 on reddit)
19. Be nice! Please. After all, studies show teams with toxic players have a significantly lower chance of winning the game.