What are the best Valorant agents for ranked play? This Valorant tier list categorizes all of the game’s agents based on their potential effectiveness in the average ranked match. The best agents in our book are those who are self-sufficient, yet have tool kits that blend well with others. Simply, this tier list is perfect for high-octane ranked Valorant.
There are 21 Valorant characters in March 2023, but not all of them are well-suited to tackle the current cut-throat pace of the game. In each episode, you’ll see streamers and pro players favor different agents based on patch updates, toolkit tweaks, and more. Ranked Valorant, however, is different. It’s much more unpredictable and chaotic, and for that, you need agents equipped with the right tools. As you’re most likely playing with friends and can actually string some strats together, you won’t spot hard-carry agents like Reyna near the top of our list, who might otherwise be strong for solo-queue players. That said, then, here’s our Valorant agent tier list for ranked play.
Valorant ranked tier list
S-tier houses Valorant’s creme de la creme, the very best agents available – for obvious reasons. The Valorant agents in this tier list category are your best bet if you’re trying to escape ELO hell, and have the right tools to counter prevalent strategies, helping you climb ranks quicker.
This green-haired agent nabs the top spot on our list for his Wingman and MoshPit. Intel-gathering, planting or defusing the Spike, blinding enemies – Gekko can do all of this and more. He’s a jack of all trades and master of all things Spike.
Gekko is currently the best pick in Valorant for his reusability potential. Sure, there are other great agents, but no one can reuse their abilities as often as Gekko can. With Gekko, you’ll get seven flashes in a single session and a sidekick that’d go the extra mile to plant that Spike. The initiator is perfectly self-sufficient, but his viability increases tenfold in a team setting.
Killjoy is one of the best Valorant agents thanks to her low learning curve and high viability. Her no-nonsense toolkit can punish aggressive pushes, lazy default plants, and deal damage. The sentinel’s main benefit is that her gadgets can collect information without risking her own neck, and her powers are synonymous with Valorant’s post-plant meta that’s so good, many players have grown to hate it.
On larger maps like Ascent, Killjoy is a force to be reckoned with as her Turret takes form of a sixth operator on the squad. Even new players can take full advantage of Killjoy’s toolkit without spending hours in the range. That said, her ultimate ability – Lockdown – can be lethal. Locking down anyone in range can either prove fatal for a well-timed push, or it can help your team retake the site and defuse the Spike.
Jett is an agent for players who want to take big risks but are confident they can hit their shots. She’s fast, nimble, and can escape practically any situation. The best Jett players are sharp with blade-throwing ultimate, can navigate the arena quickly, and can use the Operator or Judge.
Jett is a duelist, and her kit is all about movement: she can hover, dash, soar into the air, and throw down clouds that obscure vision for a few seconds. In the hands of a skilled player, Jett can zoom straight onto a site, carving up the defense and allowing the rest of the attackers to clean up. Her dashing ability encourages playing in unconventional and unsafe spots, as you can get a shot off and retreat immediately. Finally, Jett’s ultimate is invaluable to a skilled aimer, especially if you unleash it on an eco-round. Check out our dedicated Jett guide for more.
Viper’s unrivaled mastery of the post-plant meta allows her to secure large areas and defend against aggressive enemy pushes. For those seeking to climb the ranks quickly in the controller category, the poison handler is the ideal choice. In 2023, Viper is the only controller that deals incredible damage while slowing down movement.
Difficult to master, she requires precision and, piloted by the right person, can lock down a site on her own. This makes Viper the perfect agent to pick on defense as her abilities can be lethal when timed correctly.
Most of her abilities do chip damage rather than killing enemies, so she needs good support so that others can come in and capitalize on the opponent’s weakened state. The addition of the ‘fragile’ debuff to Viper’s Snakebite means players have to avoid her molotov unless they want to take double damage, making it considerably more effective on eco rounds.
A-tier agents are those who narrowly missed the cut to be ranked higher, but they are still highly viable, hence remaining close to the top of the tier list. Players who can’t get the hang of S-tier agents can sail through the ranks just as easily with our A-tier picks.
Phoenix’s relevance waned in Valorant episode 5 as players found better replacements. But he’s regained his top-dog position in the Valorant protocol for being a jack of all trades. Phoenix is the best agent for the ranked grind to get you out of ELO stagnancy quickly. He doesn’t need heavy team support, so he’s perfect for days when you keep matching up with no-mic griefers.
From his Hot Hands ability that he can use to heal while it burns everyone around him to death to his ultimate that lets him run in, wreck house, and essentially rubber-band back to where he started like nothing happened, Phoenix can do a little bit of everything.
Sage has been tweaked more than once since the game’s release, so her place on the tier list has shifted with the meta. However, she’s pretty strong at the moment, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is she Valorant’s only dedicated healer, but she can also bring dead teammates back to life with her ultimate, which can instantly swing the tide of a match.
Her signature orbs also have other uses – she can place a wall to seal off a route with the Wall Orb, and she can also slow down enemy agents who are caught by her Slow Orb. While these can be destroyed by the enemy, doing so forces them to reveal their position, which can be used to gain the upper hand. Sage can pair quite nicely with specific operators, so if you’re taking her, make sure you think hard about team composition.
Raze gets a lot of flak for being too simple and only being helpful in picking up cheap frags with her Paint Shells cluster grenades and rocket ultimate. However, she’s one of the strongest agents for clearing utility in Valorant. Her Paint Shells and Blast Packs can be lobbed into default Tripwire and Nanoswarm spots, perfect for buying a quick path onto the site. On defense, these same abilities are handy for slowing down pushes.
The duelist’s Boom Bot can be deployed for intel-gathering and corner clearing. It’s also a simple and efficient means of distracting the enemy team, allowing you to swing out and get a shot off. On the other hand, Raze’s Blast Packs are the sole reason she’s A-tier and not S. While the satchels are extremely valuable, not everyone can use them to their full potential. The most obvious application is to throw these packs down and use them to elevate to a higher position or to push or escape an enemy quickly. Unfortunately, learning the satchels is no easy feat, so most players prefer other duelists.
As Riot keeps adding more ability-heavy agents, Kay/O becomes more relevant. In the current meta, playing a high-stake game is a pain if you don’t have Kay/O in your corner.
The war machine is equipped with a suppressor crucial to deal with the likes of Gekko, Chamber, and agents with aggravating utility within their toolkit. Kay/O can shut down the formidable heavy-lifters with just a small holographic dagger. Again, Kay/O has a low learning curve but a high mastery curve, meaning green players can put their rank grind into motion, and old-timers may go wild with the tricks Kay/O’s simple toolkit has to offer.
Skye’s higher up the list than she used to be, thanks to some targeted buffs that mean she doesn’t have to rely so much on teammates exploiting the openings she can create. Guiding Light can blind enemies with its flash effect, and Trailblazer or her ultimate Seekers can help you flush enemies out of cover and deal damage.
Skye’s pick rate drastically improves when playing on smaller maps on both offense and defense, thanks to her impressive utility options. She even has some light healing, although she’s not a replacement for Sage in this regard.
Not the fanciest controller in Valorant, Brimstone’s impact is nonetheless unmatched. The pack leader brings a unique Stim Beacon to Valorant, instrumental in breaking open sites, especially after the buffs. Attackers can swing into the bomb point at the back of the Stim Beacon, providing a solid speed and fire rate buff.
Brimstone is the superior controller for smokes that last for an eternity, owning Valorant’s longest-lasting smokes that stay up for almost 20 seconds. That’s the better half of the round if you use all three smokes in the same spot. Then, of course, his incendiary and ultimate add more luster to his reputation. Originally, Brimstone was thought to be boring, but now that’s the only downside to him.
The Turkish bounty hunter is a certified hit in Valorant, and it’s no surprise why – she’s just that darn good. Fade is easily the best intel-gatherer in Valorant’s current meta, as her Haunt ability spots enemies in rat corners unreachable by the likes of Sova’s dart. Typically, initiators like to stay at the backlines, but Fade can use her Seize to pull enemies right into her crosshair.
Fade’s Nightfall is a great tool to take control of a defender-infested area. Marked by terror trails, deafened and blind enemies are completely vulnerable under Fade’s spell. At this time, pairing Fade’s ultimate with her Prowler can yield unbelievable results.
Deadlock is the newest agent to join the Valorant roster and, as such, might move about once she’s had time to settle in. We debated putting her slap bang in the middle of our tier list, but for ranked play, we actually feel she moves up a notch.
The perfect teammate, Deadlock’s defensive abilities could be game-changing in the right hands, but need team comms to be most effective. Particularly, we think, when it comes to the likes of wrangling skills Annihilation (the ability to pull a captured enemy towards your location) and Barrier Mesh, which can trap an opponent when placed correctly. Sonic Sensor is Deadlock’s greatest ability though, which not only senses nearby enemies, but also concuss opposing players in the area.
B-tier agents are useful but may not work as well in the current game meta. However, they can help you get to a certain rank until high-skilled enemies, wielding the likes of Jett and Gekko, start to test your resolve.
While Neon has the potential to be an exceptional duelist in the right hands, her toolkit is a double-edged sword that demands finesse and skill to wield. For example, High Gear provides sonic-fast speed, but you must also have crisp aim to tackle an enemy right after hitting pause.
Fast Lane is another great ability for giving a clear pathway into space or potentially for isolating an enemy agent for a 1v1 bout. Her other two abilities are less about speed and more about harassment.
Relay Bolt is a great way to disrupt an enemy formation and create an opening for the rest of her team, while her ultimate ability can either be used to crank up her speed to 11 or condense it all into a lightning bolt attack that will make you feel like Emperor Palpatine.
Omen’s feint moves and ability to move around the battlefield without being spotted make him incredibly difficult to read, forcing enemies to second guess anything you do. He can quickly move between cover in the heat of battle without exposing himself, blind and deafen huge areas of a site with his flashes, and cut off important Operator angles with his precise smoke placement.
The main issue with Omen these days is that he can be anticipated and managed, especially as a lot of standard strats with this character are well-known at this point. He’s still great fun for new players, but as you come across more veteran players in ranked play, you’ll find it harder and harder to surprise them.
Cypher’s recon utility is a little too easy to predict and destroy if you’re not switching up placement every round. Still, he is a potent agent in the right hands.
The sentinel’s ultimate is very ‘feast or famine’, relying on Cypher being near a downed enemy. That said, it can be a round-saving ability if it confirms the site is clear for you to plant on, or if it reveals the last couple of enemies hiding in corners ahead of you.
There are many positive arguments and things to be said about Reyna’s potential and toolset, but she’s another ‘feast or famine’ agent, which means she’s only as good as the player controlling her. She can be S-tier in the hands of the right player, especially when solo-queuing, but for the purposes of this list, she struggles to remain in B as she’s a poor team player.
To her credit, Reyna’s flashes are powerful for peaking and pushing, and her ability to chain frags together makes her the ultimate agent for clutching out rounds. This is extremely powerful when paired against a lesser team, but Reyna’s abilities simply aren’t as good when matched up against equal opposition, as she can’t score kills as easily.
If this list ranked agents in terms of how well dressed they were, Chamber would be God tier. Sadly, it’s ranked on how well agents fare in a team in ranked play, and the exquisitely cut Frenchman struggles in this area more than in the wardrobe category.
Chamber’s excellent for eco rounds and has some maneuverability thanks to his Rendezvous ability, but the majority of his lethality comes from how good a shot the person controlling him is. His ultimate ability summons an Operator – so unless you’re particularly good with this sniper rifle, Chamber will be as much use as a sharp suit in a firefight.
As with a lot of the agents in Valorant, Breach can be a powerhouse in the right hands. In the wrong hands, however, he’s as much a hindrance to his own team as he is to the enemy team – and he’s almost always in the wrong hands.
This initiator is a very complex agent to pilot, meaning he’s very difficult to get to grips with, and you need to understand his abilities and how they work to a very high degree if you want to give him a go. Otherwise, you might find yourself blinding your teammates more than the enemies. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Sova is a pure reconnaissance agent, although his ultimate is handy for netting some free kills, and you must spend hours in the range to be decent at piloting Sova. With the right lineups though, you can get a read on how many enemies are stacked up on a certain site.
Another initiator, Sova’s Shock Bolts are useful for clearing out traps, chipping enemies with damage, and halting pushes. His Owl Drone can then be used as a follow-up to the Recon Bolt to gain intel on any areas the bolt couldn’t see. All of this makes Sova equally viable on attack and defense, making him the best agent in the game for supporting a push onto the site.
Finally, there’s Sova’s ultimate, which can be used with map pings to deliver deadly blows to key map positions like heaven and window. Even if you can’t land a kill with the three arrows, you should at least be able to flush the enemy out of position so your team can clean them up.
C-tier agents may struggle to stand their ground against most Valorant agents, but players may still run them on specific maps or situations. These agents possess valuable skills which may require a significant investment of time to master, and therefore may not be worthwhile given their lower effectiveness.
Astra literally changed the game when she was introduced, and it’s no wonder because she has powerful cosmic abilities, meaning she plays quite differently from the other agents on the roster.
The controller can, by definition, crowd control with her Gravity Well ability or concuss enemies with Nova Pulse. She also has smokescreens to block line of sight in an emergency, but underpinning her themed ability set is the need to go into the astral form and place ‘stars’ used to fuel the other abilities. Make sure you don’t get lured by the beauty of this form – as cool as it is to be a ghost, you are entirely vulnerable and unarmed in astral form.
The astral form is also where Astra triggers her ultimate – Cosmic Divide. This splits the map along a set axis with a giant wall that can block bullets and dampen sound, giving your team the breathing room to either regroup or plan an ambush. She’s definitely not easy to steer, but a good Astra player can be valuable in high ELO games.
When launched with his water shield, the hype around Harbor was nothing short of remarkable. But, like many new additions to Valorant, Harbor turned out to be a bust. Some players still swear by his toolkit, but his Cascade and High Tide have nothing valuable to offer. The water screens slow down enemies and create new angles – a job that many other agents are capable of doing much better.
Harbor’s smoke might be unique and valuable, but it can be easily countered. Cove blocks bullets, but a mere seven Vandal shots will leave the defuser out in the open, ready to be toast. Compared with other ultimates in Valorant, Reckoning feels like a waste of seven points, especially at a high ranks. The concuss is wimpy, and sky wisps are tricky to catch during chaotic battles.
After several buffs and a rework, Yoru still languishes at the bottom of the list. However, you can see the potential of his teleport ability in someone like Chamber, who has a more manageable version of the same concept, and other agents are just far better at disruption and intel gathering.
His ultimate is about the only interesting thing about him, but it’s hard to justify picking Yoru just for that these days when there are so many other potent agents above him in this list.
How was this Valorant tier list created
This Valorant tier list takes the current meta into consideration, so while some of the lower tier agents are very powerful on paper, you’ll find their abilities hard to use in ranked because of how most teams generally play. To determine each agent’s ranking, we considered factors such as their overall viability, success/pick rate, learning curve, and whether their skills align with the current meta and popular playstyles.
It’s also worth noting that no Valorant agent is bad. You may see some players breezing through the ranks with a C-tier agent and some at the bottom of the scoreboard with God-tier character. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal play style, practice, and tactics. While some agents may be classified as S-tier, they may not be suitable for everyone.
If your team is trying to figure out what comp they should be running in ranked, hopefully, our Valorant tier list will help you. We’ve done our research tuning into pro streams and dying countless times over in ranked play, so you don’t have to.
With our Valorant tier list for ranked play, you should have trouble blasted through enemies with a solid team of our top picks. If you’re looking for more, then you might want to check out our guide to the best Valorant guns, and pay even more attention to detail by equipping one of the best Valorant crosshairs for precise shooting, and take your ranked journey to the next level.