Valorant has officially launched around the globe, and thousands (if not millions) of players are taking their first steps into this new tactical hero shooter. If you’ve only played a few games, you may be feeling a little out of your depth. And you’re probably wondering how so many players kill you with ease. To quote the infamous Illidan Stormrage, “You are not prepared!” But fear not. This guide will equip you with some simple Valorant tips and tricks to help you improve in the shooter’s two key areas.
The two areas players need to master most are individual technical ability (aiming) and planning (or preparation). Improving your individual ability is the obvious way to improve, and it’s where people allocate most of their time. By all means, spend hours playing matches and shooting bots in the training area. You need sharp aim and reflexes to be good at Valorant. However, you can give yourself a massive advantage if you also plan better.
If you haven’t played many first-person shooters or you’re coming from fast and loose FPS games, like a battle royale, you might not be familiar with this simple technique to help improve your aim. And speed up your time-to-kill. Crosshair placement is the easiest and arguably the best way to become a better aimer. And it’s so simple; it just takes discipline. Next time you’re in a game, think about where your crosshair is at all times.
When you’re holding an angle or approaching a door, place your crosshair at the height of your opponent’s head and hold it in the spot where you would expect them to peek. So, if they do peek you, all you need to do is click. And possibly move your crosshair a minuscule amount. Look at the images below to see what I’m talking about.
Another good tip for crosshair placement is to use items lying around the Valorant maps, like boxes, as references for enemy head height. A lot of players also tend to look down at the floor while moving around. And that means you need to move your crosshair horizontally and vertically to try and click on an enemy’s head. Be conscious of this and only look up or down when necessary.
Take a step back
This could also read, “don’t smash your face into the wall.” No Valorant beginners’ guide would be complete without explaining this simple trick. When two opponents are holding an angle, the one that is further back will have an advantage. This is because the one further back will see their opponent’s arm or shoulder first. I could use math to explain why this is, but the popular image below is a lot simpler.
Don’t reload too often
Whenever I kill an enemy in a first-person shooter, I have the burning desire to reload my gun. I don’t know why, but I do know many players feel the same. In Valorant, you can kill an enemy with one bullet. You don’t need to reload if you still have half a magazine.
Players tend to hunt in (at least) pairs in Valorant. So, always expect more than one enemy. If you get the jump on an opponent and manage to kill them, do not reload until you are in a safe space because if another enemy peeks you while you’re reloading, you’re dead.
Mix it up, peeker
In Valorant, you can’t just run around a corner. Enemies could be lying in wait anywhere, so you need to peek corners, or angles, before moving forward. Here are three basic ways to peek.
Pre-fire at the spot you expect the enemy to be as you step around the corner and stop. You can quickly step out from the corner, exposing as little of your body as possible, and then dart back behind cover – this is to bait an enemy into firing to reveal their location. Finally, you can wide peek. This is where you take a few steps around a corner before firing. Wide peeking is risky, but it’s a good way to catch an enemy off guard and force them to flick their crosshair to try and hit you.
The most important thing is not to be predictable in your peeking. Now that you have these three Valorant peeking tricks in your arsenal, you can use them all to catch your opponent off guard.
Get a wingman
While we’re talking about peeking, it’s best to do it with a partner. If you both peek at the same time, your opponent will most likely only be able to take one of you down before being killed. This is called a trade. And when you’re attacking a site that will probably have fewer people than you, a few trades to get the bomb down is a win.
Now you see me, now you don’t
When you’re playing defense, you’ll be holding angles instead of peeking them. Now that you know your opponent will be holding their crosshair where they expect you to be, you can get creative with your angles. But remember: being predictable will get you killed.
When you’re charged with holding an angle, think about where your opponent will look first as they approach it. You can hold the “best” angle, which gives you the most cover and a narrow view of the entry point. But your enemies will get wise to this. So, in the next round, think about holding the angle from a different point. Maybe an elevated place like a box or right up against the corner with a shotgun – this goes against the “take a step back” rule we talked about earlier in the Valorant beginners’ guide, but if it’s unexpected, it’s often good.
Location, location, location
There are a lot of callouts to learn for each map. It would take a lot more than a Valorant beginners’ guide to go through them all. However, there are some basic callouts you should learn to quickly share information with your team. Information is critical in Valorant; it’s what you need to plan and execute. The more you have, the better you can plan.
“Back site” and “front site” – when attacking or retaking a bombsite, these quick callouts will help your team locate enemies you spot.
“Heaven” and “Hell” – any elevated area can be referred to as Heaven, and the space directly below it is Hell. It’s a lot faster and more accurate than saying “above you” or “under the platform at the back of the site.”
That’s it for our first Valorant beginners’ guide. There’s plenty to get you started. You can check out our follow up guide, which has loads of gameplay mechanics you won’t learn in the Valorant tutorial.