Master Valorant: Essential Tips for New and Struggling Players

Are you new to Valorant? Or maybe you’re stuck in a rank and can’t seem to climb? Whether you’re just starting or looking to improve, this guide is for you. 

Valorant is a team-oriented tactical FPS that relies heavily on personal skills and team coordination. It’s a highly competitive game where the first team to win 13 rounds takes the victory. 

Today’s goal is to help you learn the game’s fundamentals with a concise, digestible guide. This guide is catered toward beginners, but even seasoned players might pick up a thing or two. Let’s get started!

Select a Valorant crosshair

Finding Your Crosshair

Your crosshair is your guide, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. The key is to find a crosshair that you’re comfortable with, and that stands out against various backgrounds. 

Start by trying out pro players’ crosshairs and adjust them as you see fit. Don’t stress too much about finding the perfect crosshair—find something you like and stick with it. 

Experiment with different colors to ensure it stands out against the environment. For instance, use a green crosshair on maps with orange and brown tones, or a red or pink crosshair when facing Viper’s green utility.

Sensitivity Settings

Sensitivity is crucial and often a challenge for newcomers. If you’re transitioning from other mouse and keyboard games, consider using a sensitivity converter to match your previous settings

For Valorant, many professionals use a sensitivity of around 0.35 at 800 DPI. To fine-tune your sensitivity, head into the range and track the bots’ heads while moving side to side. If your aim is jittery, lower your sensitivity; if you can’t keep up, increase it. Finding the perfect sensitivity is all about balance and comfort.

Mastering Fundamentals

Mastering the fundamentals goes beyond crosshair placement and counter-strafing. It includes understanding peeking, spacing with teammates, and positioning. The best players consistently excel in these areas. 

We have an entire guide on creating winning habits in Valorant. In that article, you’ll be equipped with the tools to master the fundamentals and create a personalized improvement plan for yourself.

Economy management is crucial

Economy Management

Valorant’s economy determines what you and your team can buy each round. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Full Buy: Everyone can afford a rifle (i.e., Vandal or Phantom) and all abilities. Aim for this whenever possible.
  • Half Buy: Can’t afford a full buy? Purchase cheaper weapons like the Bulldog and light shields, saving enough for a full buy next round.
  • Force Buy: Spend all your money to win the round, often after losing a pistol round or when it’s the last round of the half.
  • Eco Round: Save money to afford a full buy next round. Purchase minimal items like a Sheriff.
  • Save Round: Completely broke? Stick to your classic and save for the next round.

Always coordinate buys with your team for the best results. Otherwise, your squad will consist of people of varying power levels.

Understanding Weapons

Valorant offers a variety of weapons:

  • Rifles: Vandal, Phantom, Guardian, Bulldog
  • SMGs: Stinger, Spectre
  • Shotguns: Judge, Bucky, Shorty
  • Snipers: Marshall, Operator, Outlaw
  • Pistols: Classic, Ghost, Frenzy, Sheriff
  • Machine Guns: Aries, Odin

Each weapon has its use, whether for eco rounds, full buys, or specific strategies. Familiarize yourself with their strengths and weaknesses.

Ideally, you should test out each weapon to understand its strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, this practice will give you an idea of how to play against enemies who are using specific weapons.

Get comfortable with the Valorant maps

Map Gimmicks and Control

Each map in Valorant has unique features and gimmicks. Understanding these can give you a tactical advantage. 

For example, Bind’s teleporters allow quick rotations and support between sites. Control over the map lets you box in attackers on defense or gives you more options on attack. Learn the maps, control key areas, and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Attack Strategies

On attack, your main goal is to plant and defend the spike. Here are three main strategies:

  • Executes: Use utility quickly to overwhelm defenders and secure the site.
  • Splits: Split your team to attack from multiple angles.
  • Defaults: Spread out to cover all angles, gather information, and look for picks.

Defense Strategies

On defense, your goal is to delay attackers or eliminate them. Maintain more players than the attackers to cover the map effectively. If attackers plant the spike, you’ll need to retake the site. 

Use smokes and flashes to retake strategically without taking too many casualties. Also, make sure to check all corners

Gunplay Mechanics

Gunplay in Valorant involves strafing, bursting, tapping, and spraying:

  • Strafing: Move left or right to be a harder target while maintaining accuracy.
  • Bursting: Fire a small burst of bullets at medium range.
  • Tapping: Fire single shots at long range.
  • Spraying: Fire continuously at close range or multiple enemies.

As you’ve probably already noticed, it’s borderline impossible to hit your shots if you are moving while shooting. In 99% of your duels you should try to be stationary before you start shooting. The first 3-4 bullets out of your assault rifles will be the most accurate if firing while stationary.

Peeking Techniques

Proper peeking combines with strong gunplay to give you an edge:

  • Standard Peek: Strafe and peek from a distance.
  • Jiggle Peek: Quick peek for information.
  • Jump Peek: Jump while peeking for safer information gathering.
  • Wide Swing: Strafe wide into an angle to catch opponents off guard.

You’ll need to use different peeks for different scenarios. Try to mix up your peeks through the course of the match to throw off your enemies.

Keep your crosshairs at head level

Crosshair Placement and Pre-aiming

Crosshair placement is crucial—keep it at head level to minimize adjustments. Pre-aim common angles to gain an advantage when peeking. This reduces the need for quick adjustments and can secure easy kills.

If you’re attacking, make sure to check the most common defensive holding positions as you rotate to the site. When defending, keep your 

Improving Your Skills

Improving in Valorant requires practice and reflection:

  • Practice in the Range: Focus on accuracy with tapping, bursting, and spraying.
  • Deathmatch: Warm up and practice specific mechanics.
  • VOD Review: Record and review your gameplay to identify mistakes.
  • Watch Pros: Learn from professional players’ strategies and decision-making.

Getting More Wins in Valorant

Valorant is a complex game, but you can improve and climb the ranks with practice and the right strategies. Focus on fundamentals, coordinate with your team, and keep practicing. Remember, the goal is to have fun and improve over time. Good luck, and see you in the game!

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