If you’ve been anywhere near the internet or video games lately you’ll likely have heard of Valorant. The online first person shooter has gathered particular popularity thanks to its free-to-play model and competitive scene, making it one of the hottest games of the last few years.
As exciting as all this is, it can be a little intimidating if you feel you missed the boat. Coming to such a popular game after its initial phase may seem daunting, as many highly-skilled players will be throwing around terms you’ve never even heard of. What’s more, sites that promise to help can be clogged with these phrases and leave you with more questions than they’ve answered.
Luckily, Riot Games’ free FPS is not as impenetrable as it seems, and once you’re in there are hundreds of things to see and do, along with regular updates and competitive rankings. Also, newcomers have the added advantage of the many specific Valorant apps for PC, each of which can help with your performance. We’ve put together a few basic tips to get you started. Soon you’ll be able to hold your own in this exciting hero shooter, seamlessly able to tell your Sentinels from your Initiators and your Spikes from your Flashes.
Read on for a beginners guide to Valorant, complete with some handy apps to get you climbing the ranks in no time.
Learn the basics
One of the hardest things in any new game is decoding all the specific terms and phrases used by those more familiar with it. Valorant is no more difficult to understand than any other multiplayer FPS – in fact, once you learn the ropes, it can be a surprisingly quick trajectory into feeling like a pro.
You play as an Agent on a team of four other players who will each select their own unique Agent. Matches are composed of a number of Rounds – the first to win 13 of these Rounds wins the Match. Each team of five will be given a role: Attackers or Defenders, switching sides after 12 Rounds. Attackers must plant the Spike (a powerful bomb), and the Defenders must defuse it or prevent it from ever being planted.
Winning a Round is done by either successfully planting a Spike, preventing a Spike from going off, or wiping out the other team. Players who die will have to wait for the next Round to respawn. Any positive action performed during a Round will award individual players with Creds, a form of in-game currency. These can be used to purchase weapons, abilities, and advanced armour before each Round. Remember that dying means your loot will reset.
Keep the noise down
Valorant is all about visibility, and this can be manipulated in many ways. The main thing you want to avoid is causing the other team to identify you or your teammates as you move around the map. Unless you’re surrounded or being chased, you should try to lower your speed, walking rather than running, as the latter makes noise that could alert enemies to your whereabouts.
Valorant is also not a run-and-gun game – you won’t get anywhere shooting while speeding. Keep things down to a walk and prioritise walking, sneaking, and staying covered.
Flashes are massively useful to this end, as they will obscure the enemy team’s view. Each projectile is individually deployable, and will blind everyone who sees it for 2-4 seconds. Be careful, though – this includes those who have set the Flash off and their teammates.
Use a tracker app to boost your stats
If you’re looking at Valorant players on Twitch and YouTube and don’t understand how they got so good, you probably haven’t discovered the biggest gameplay boost available: tracker apps. These (perfectly legal and ban-proof) apps can be installed via Overwolf onto your PC, keeping an eye on the competition and your own progression from zero to hero. Valorant Tracker, for example, is an exceptionally useful piece of software, displaying stats, ranking, progression, history, and more at a glance.
Valorant is a high-stakes game, and you’ll want to make sure you have the advantage, especially if you’re new. With a tracker app, such as Valohunt, installed, you can have in-game overlays telling you everything you need to know, and helping you make those crucial decisions in the blink of an eye.
After each match, be sure to check your stats and see how you can boost them next time.
Pick a hero that suits your style
Agents are split into four categories: Duelists, Sentinels, Initiators, and Controllers. Duelists specialise in attacking and planting the Spike, clearing areas on the map using Flashes. Some Agents that fall into this category are Jett, Phoenix, Raze, Reyna, Yoru, and Neon.
Sentinels are primarily defenders, keeping sites locked down and safe from enemy encroachment. They plant static obstacles that deter incoming enemies and aim to cut off parts of the map entirely. The Agents that fall into this category include Chamber, Cypher, Killjoy, and Sage.
Initiators are usually in the offensive role, pushing ahead into enemy territory and revealing their location to teammates, rendering them vulnerable to attack. It is both an aggressive and a strategic role. Agents who fit this role are Breach, KAY/O, Skye, Sova, and Fade.
Controllers “slice” up the map, keeping the enemy under control and creating cover for their team. They are in charge of how visible their team is to the other side. To play in this role, focus on Agents such as Astra, Brimstone, Omen, or Viper.
Using the aforementioned Valorant Tracker or the Valorant Lineups app can be a great way to learn how to play to your strengths. With the cast of characters and weapons growing all the time, you can keep up to date on the apps and make each decision in a split-second. You’ll be able to assess which Agents line up with your personal style, or browse the database for something new for more of a challenge.
Share your victories
When you’ve snatched a seriously impressive win from the jaws of defeat, having Nuked.TV installed means you can watch it back any time, or share it with the community. This nifty app automatically detects your important moments and records them for you, letting you relive every win (and loss, if you’re looking for ways to improve!)
For something a bit more hi-tech, you can download Medal, a free video editing software built for gamers. Those silky smooth Twitch transitions and YouTube intros can be made easily using this app, so you’ll be building a loyal following in no time.
Start playing Valorant on PC today, and check out the dedicated Valorant apps on the Overwolf app store to boost your play.