How to Play VALORANT: Beginner’s Guide

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VALORANTS is the popular FPS from Riot Games that should be familiar to you CS: GO Veterans. Although the game features a similar shooter, it also includes a cast of agents with unique abilities, taking notes from other titles like Surveillance and Rainbow Six Siege. VALORANTS can be tricky to master regardless of your experience level, and most players will need to play a few games before they can kill enemies and easily outsmart opponents.

the VALORANTS the classic game mode features two teams of five players who compete in rounds with a buy phase of 30 seconds and an active phase of 1:40 minutes. Attackers must plant a Spike or eliminate all enemies to win, while Defenders must prevent the Spike from exploding by either eliminating the attackers or defusing the Spike if planted. The first team to reach 13 points wins the game.

With a mix of deadly shootouts and strategic abilities, adapting to the style of the game can take some time. Here are some tips to get used to VALORANTS faster and avoid making common beginner mistakes.

Take the time to adjust your settings

As tempting as it is, going straight into a game without looking at each settings tab is a mistake. Shooting games can be played in many different styles and it’s crucial to find the one you’re most comfortable with. Jump into the driving range and take the time to do everything right.

General

If you’re not used to shooting games, you’ll need to adjust your mouse sensitivity. While it’s not perfect DPI and sensitivity, you’ll want to turn it down and try it out in the range to see what you’re most comfortable with.

For those who play other shooters, here are the conversion rates:

  • CS: GO sensitivity divided by 3.18181818
  • Surveillance sensitivity divided by 10.6
  • Apex Legends sensitivity divided by 3.18181818
  • rainbow six sensitivity multiplied by 1.2

Controls

The default key to defuse and crash the Spike is NumPad 4. Many players, especially those coming from CS: GO, will probably be confused by this setting. You can adjust your keyboard shortcuts as needed or learn how to use this key.

Each agent has unique abilities and powers, so it’s important to find the right keys that you’re comfortable with. You should be able to use certain abilities at any time, so find the right setup for your style.

Reticle

Screenshot via Riot Games

The reticle is an essential aspect of any FPS game. There’s no perfect setting for this, but you’ll want to adjust the options to see if a different color pops out more for you or if you prefer a smaller reticle. You can also copy other players’ crosshairs, and many pros have publicly shared their crosshairs.

Don’t be afraid to stand still

After you’ve taken the time to discover your optimal settings for the game, you can start playing. The first thing that will let everyone know this is a player’s first game is hearing him running around and seeing him move while aiming.

Move while shooting VALORANTS significantly affects your accuracy. The slightest movement can be the difference between a tap and death. You also want to avoid running around as it creates a lot of noise and allows enemies to track your movements.

The hardest thing to do is find your balance between being hard to hit and accurate when shooting. When starting out for the first time, the safest thing to do is to stay still while firing so you can try to be the first to land that headshot.

Using an ability makes you vulnerable

A common mistake made by beginners, especially those coming from Surveillance and League of Legendsuses his abilities too often and in bad times.

Abilities exist to enhance your gunplay rather than becoming your primary asset. Using them makes you vulnerable due to the delay in switching to your weapon. You need to make sure you’re in a safe position to use them, especially for abilities with a long delay.

Aiming down sights can get you killed

On some maps, there are a few corridors that allow for long-range combat. These spots are often covered by a player with an operator, which means you should never look at them without using an ability first. Aiming down sights might seem viable, but this feature is almost always worse than firing from the hip.

Screenshot via Riot Games

Try to avoid relying on the ADS feature as it slows down shooting and limits your movement during a firefight. You can maintain angles while aiming, but don’t rely on it in all situations.

Sound is crucial

It might be obvious for FPS lovers, but playing with a headset is mandatory to perform well in VALORANTS. Hearing the sound of footsteps and abilities is the best way to tell where enemies are. You should also pay attention to the phrases agents say when they use their ultimate.

If you hear Raze’s “fire in the hole”, for example, you’ll know it’s a bad time to force a fight and a time to run away. You can also trick other players with audio queues, like simulating a plant or defusing to lure players out of hiding. Learning to track sounds comes with experience, but eventually you’ll be able to track enemy movement through walls and obstacles.

Communicate with your team

Riot strongly encourages communication between teammates in VALORANTS. The game is not meant to be played solo. Even the ranked ladder encourages pre-made groups and trying to win on your own will rarely work.

With this in mind, communication with your team is crucial. You don’t even need to have a good microphone or perfect English to communicate because a ping system has been created to help share information quickly without speaking. Simple phrases like “Spike A” or “Two B” can also help your teammates when they don’t have time to look at the minimap.

Remember that you can still pass on intel after being knocked out in a round by opening up the map and using pings to help your surviving teammates make the right decisions.

Know what to buy and when to save

At the start of each game, you have to be careful how much you spend because if you end up losing or dying multiple times in a row, you’ll be forced to stick to cheap weapons and a light shield.

The gun turn will determine the next three or four rounds, so coordinating with your team is key. If you win the gun round, your whole team should buy armor, weapons, and abilities in round two. This should almost guarantee another win unless the enemy team forces and buys. Winning the second round means that most of your team members will have lower level weapons in the third round. Round three can be tricky to win if enemies buy guns, but winning round three with your existing weapons is known as a bonus. This is the ideal scenario for the early game since your team will have a three round lead and a healthy economy for the next two rounds.

Losing the gun round means you need to save in round two so your team can fully buy in round three. There are times when forcing is a viable option, but avoid doing so as it can set your economy back significantly in the early game.

Each player must make sure they have 3,900 credits for the next round if they plan to buy in full. That’s enough for full shields and a rifle. Players with essential abilities should also budget extra to ensure they have enough credits to purchase their abilities.

Also, you will switch sides after 12 game turns. There is no need to save your currency on the last turn before switching since you will lose everything after 12 turns, even your abilities.

Several strategies can be formed throughout a game. If you signal that you want to save money or spend it all, it can help the rest of your team decide what to do. You can even take the risky decision to buy an expensive shield and weapon when your team is behind if you’re sure to win the round. It’s all about coordination and style. But remember to think ahead instead of thinking about each run individually. Finally, don’t forget that you can recover the weapons of your dead enemies (and allies).

These tips can help you get the edge over your opponents in your first few hours of play. But VALORANTS has a high skill cap and players need to practice if they want to move up the ranked ladder.

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