Secrets of Unpredictable Play: Angle Holding Tactics for Valorant Victories

Holding angles properly in Valorant is one of the most overlooked aspects of the game. In this post, we’ll cover the theory behind angle-holding. We’ll also put this theory into practice by analyzing real, in-game positions.

If you’d like to watch our corresponding video explaining this concept, check out our definitive guide here!

The Key Principles of Holdings Angles in Valorant

No matter what angle we’re holding, we want to hold it from the position that is most advantageous to us. Generally, we can increase the value of a position by focusing on 7 key principles.

A good position optimizes angle advantage

How many times have you heard the phrase: “They weren’t even on my screen when they killed me!”? It seems to happen quite frequently. 

While the Valorant servers are often the first scapegoat, players don’t seem to realize that the problem is often something completely different. Namely: Angle Advantage.

Look at this scenario on Bind where Raze is holding this angle in showers. Can you spot what’s wrong with this? 

Poor positioning in Valorant

As we explained in our post on Peeking, Raze is standing too close to the wall. Whether she realizes it or not, the attacker will be able to see her shoulders poking out, before she sees them. 

Imagine Skye is standing at the opposite end of her line of sight. If we draw straight lines from each player’s point of view from the middle of their heads, Skye would have the angle advantage here. Skye can see Raze, but Raze cannot see Skye.

Angle advantage in action

To remedy this situation, Raze should take a few steps back and neutralize Skye’s angle advantage. If you’re at least as far from the wall as your opponent, their angle advantage is nullified. Additionally, if you can hold an angle where you’re the one furthest back, then you’ll be the one who sees them first. 

The next time you’re holding an angle close to a wall, keep angle advantage in mind, and if possible, turn it into your advantage by positioning yourself further from the corner of a wall.

Remember though, that standing too far back might expose you to more angles. This brings us to rule 2.

A good position isolates the fewest angles possible

How many times have you spectated someone, and see that they’re trying to watch two, or even three angles at the same time? Not only is their attention divided between the angles, but they’re also exposing themselves to getting shot from multiple angles. 

Remember that a good angle accomplishes two things: it makes the enemy easy to hit, but also makes you more difficult to hit by putting cover between you and the enemy.

Take this case on Haven, for example. 

Holding two angles in Valorant is a mistake

An inexperienced player might try to hold both entries into site by moving their crosshair between each angle. His eyes drift back and forth, and his concentration is divided, likely causing him to whiff if an enemy peeks. 

Separately, this player is also completely unaware of the angles he’s exposed to. Instead, isolate a single angle to focus his concentration on. 

Focus your attention on one angle

If needed, you can periodically peek the other angle for information and remain much safer in the process.

If you are determined to watch more than one angle simultaneously for whatever reason, you should preferably try to merge the two angles into one. 

For example, you can position yourself in a corner to cover two routes into site by a single, straight line. You’re holding one angle that covers two entry points.

Using a corner to cover two sides

Keep in mind, however, that “fewer exposed angles” doesn’t automatically mean “better.” Instead, the angles must also be valuable. 

A good position holds angles of value

Being on the other side of the map while your teammates are executing on site isn’t a valuable angle. You need to hold angles that actually have an impact on the round. 

Think about site control, enemy rotations, chokepoints, and flank cover. On top of this, you need to consider angles not just for yourself, but for your teammates’ positions as well. 

For example, let’s imagine this scenario on A site Icebox. Henry’s team is in a post-plant situation. His teammate, Jett, is holding the spike with her operator. Henry’s job is to watch for a flank from T spawn. Because he does not want to overexpose himself, he takes a position with a ‘soft angle’.

Teammates holding opposing areas of coverage

It feels intuitive, but it’s wrong. Here’s why. 

By holding this angle soft, Henry is giving up important map control. He has line of sight onto a tiny portion of the area where enemies are likely to arrive from. Henry isn’t watching from an optimal angle, which gives the enemy free reign to walk across.

In this scenario, the enemy could shoot at Jett from behind. Jett, thinking Henry has his side of the map covered, would not expect enemy fire from that direction and would quickly be taken out.  

Instead, Henry should have told Jett about the blind angle, or ideally been holding the angle more aggressively. He should have held a Hard Angle”, like the one below.

Holding a hard angle in Valorant

This might expose Henry more, but he’s now holding vital map control. Compared to the ‘soft angle’ from earlier, he denies the space from the opponent and can adequately protect his teammate. 

We’ll look at another example on B site Bind. Imagine Jett is holding heaven and asks Henry to hold showers. Henry has two options. 

He can hold showers hard, exposing himself a bit more. 

Alternatively, Henry can hold it soft, ensuring a “safer angle” for himself. This gives up some potentially important map control and restricts the space Jett has to play on Heaven. 

Holding a soft angle

In a worst-case scenario, it could outright cause her death.

To be clear, we’re not saying that one hold is inherently better than the other. There are trade-offs for both. 

You will see scenarios where holding soft is actually the right call. Remember: we need to ensure that our angles hold important map control. 

We’ll cover what this means, and how to decide whether certain map control is essential or not, in our post about map control. Now, onto rule number 4.

A good position is costly or difficult to clear in Valorant

Making the enemy’s life as hard as possible is one of the core goals of holding an angle. You’ve done your job if you’ve forced your opponent to use vital utility, allocate multiple players, and waste precious time to clear your angle. 

This becomes more and more true the later you are into the round. Valorant is a game where you compete constantly with the enemy to deplete each other’s resources and gain an edge. There are a few things we can do to make our position more costly to clear.

First, realize that you don’t have to commit to a gunfight. 

Let’s say you’re holding A main from pillar on Fracture. After peeking and taking a few shots, you have a couple of options.

What to do after peeking in Valorant

You can re-peek, hoping to get a kill or two, or you can stay put and force the enemy to make a move. They will need to clear you to plant. 

If you don’t re-peek the enemy, the enemy can’t kill you. By simply making yourself known and then hiding, you’ve already put the enemy in a defensive stance. 

They don’t know if you’re going to re-peek or not. The enemy then has a few options. They can wait and pray for you to re-peek, wasting time. Your opponents can use up their precious utility to force you off the angle. Lastly, they can bulk up their manpower to clear you out manually. 

The power of “not doing anything” is under-utilized in Valorant. The enemy is now forced to fully commit to the push if they want to clear you out. If you don’t re-peek, there is literally no other way to clear you out except pushing you.

The second tip is not to be static when holding an angle. Have you noticed how pros rarely hold an angle standing completely still? There’s a reason for that. 

As we mentioned in our peeking video, more often than not, the peeker has the advantage in a gunfight. Faster reaction times, ping advantage, good timing, and even concentration lapses all contribute to peeker’s advantage. 

That being said, we can turn our static angle into a peek. It’s really as simple as it sounds. Peek the angle you need to hold, and get back behind cover. Do this every second or so, and you’re fully utilizing peeker’s advantage as the defender.

In some positions, however, peeking and unpeeking may not be possible. Still, in these cases, we can move side to side, and make the enemy’s life a lot more difficult if they peek. 

Try to move side to side so you aren't an easy target

Remember not to make any sound when you step, or you’ll be giving away your element of surprise. Practice for a couple of minutes each day til you get the hang of it.

Utilizing headshot angles is another valuable tool to make your angle more difficult to clear out. Think about it. You only expose a tiny part of your body with a headshot angle, making their shots much harder.

You might’ve heard the term “standard angle” before. Usually, this refers to angles that are hard to clear and hold valuable map control. 

The downside to standard angles, however, is predictability. When a position is crowned as a “standard angle,” chances are that even your grandmother knows about it. Therefore, competent opponents will always use their resources to clear these predictable angles, or will simply be aiming right at your head.

It might be a good idea to change these standard angles subtly to remedy this – which brings us to rule 5.

A good position is unpredictable

I’m sure we’ve all played against a “Henry” before. Someone who for whatever reason is determined to hold the same angle round after round, no matter how many times it fails. It goes without saying, but don’t be a Henry. 

Information is one of the most valuable resources you have in Valorant, and playing the most predictable angle every single round, only serves to help your opponents. Depriving the enemy of reliable information is mandatory if you want to win. So, make sure you’re unseen, silent, and a constant puzzle throughout the game.

Elements of a good position

Now, we’d love to give you a universal checklist for being unpredictable, but that defeats the purpose. If everybody followed this checklist, then it would once again become predictable. Therefore, as annoying as it sounds, you must develop this checklist yourself. What feels predictable for a gold player, won’t translate into Ascendant or Immoral lobbies. 

You need to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Over time, you’ll gain an intuition for predictability that’s unique to you and your rank.

At the end of the day, the best tip we can give you is to use your brain. Switch up positions depending on your enemy, and always keep them guessing. Think about what position to take rather than habitually taking the same positions because you “always play there.” 

Additionally, don’t be afraid to hold an angle that feels instinctive and unplanned. Sometimes, the most unpredictable things you can do in-game will surprise you too. 

Now, onto off-angles. Off angles, though more risky in nature than standard angles, are designed to catch your opponent off-guard. 

Off-angles catch enemies off-guard!

You hold an angle slightly off a standard angle, hence: off-angle. While the opponent expects you to be in one or two logical spots, you catch them off guard by being elsewhere. 

The later into the round you utilize off-angles, while the enemy is under time pressure, the better. Since they’ll have less time to clear every angle, this is where off-angles shine.

Another angle to remember is what’s known as a “one and done” spot. These angles are completely and utterly dangerous to hold in normal scenarios. They have no fall-back plan and almost guarantee that you’ll be traded even if you get a kill. 

A one and done spot in Valorant

Therefore, the most logical scenario to use them is during 1v1 or 1v2 situations. Ideally, you can take advantage of these spots with time pressure for the enemy.

We’ll be going into detail on standard angles and off angles in our dedicated video soon, so look forward to that. Whichever angle you use, always keep principle 6 in mind.

A good position has a plan behind it

In the pursuit of unpredictability, we can sometimes fall into the trap of over-extending ourselves. We might over-commit with an aggressive angle to catch the enemy off guard but have no actual fall-back plan. 

To avoid scenarios like this, it’s crucial to plan ahead and make sure you have some idea of what’s to come, and how you’ll react. Think ahead and plan.

This is why Jett and Chamber are fantastic agents for aggressive off-angles. They can over-commit almost infinitely. At the click of a button, they can always fall back. If you aren’t playing one of these agents, however, there’s a bit more we need to focus on.

First, expect enemy utility use. You’ll never play a game of Valorant where zero utility is used. So why does it catch us off-guard so often? Think mollies, smokes, and if the enemy lineup has a Phoenix, Breach, Skye, or any stun agent, expect to be flashed, and prepare to 180. 

Additionally, what does the enemy lineup look like? Is there a specific agent who can neutralize your position with ease? Expect, and plan for a fallback. 

Also, think back to previous rounds. Is there a pattern you can spot in the enemy movements? What does your crosshair placement look like? If you’re about to get peeked, is it better to have your crosshair directly along the nearest wall? Or would it be better to expect a wide swing and have your crosshair slightly further out?

Practice good crosshair placement

Then there’s what we call the 30-degree rule. Simply put, it’s the idea that based on your crosshair placement, there’s a good chance that enemies that fall outside your 30-degree cone of vision have the advantage over you in a gunfight. 

That said, you should look for positions that force the enemy to fall within your cone, while you don’t fall into theirs. Yes, aim and sick flicks are hugely essential skills in Valorant. But putting yourself in a position where you have the split-second advantage, is just intelligent gameplay.

The 30-degree rule in Valorant

With all that, let’s move on to the final principle of holding angles.

A good position in Valorant plays around your team

Even though we’ve covered tips on improving your angles, it’s just as important to consider the team aspect too. A well-rounded Valorant player doesn’t just play for themselves. They understand how their positional changes affect their teammates.

The most important tools here are crossfires and playing contact. If two of you hold an angle, why give the enemy two individual 1v1s? Why not make the enemy’s job a hundred times harder by holding a crossfire instead? 

Create crossfires with your teammates

Whenever you’re in a 2vX situation with a teammate, always be aware that doubling your firepower is a great way to guarantee winning rounds. Alternatively, you can play off each other’s contact too. 

Position yourselves so you can quickly back each other up if one of you gets into contact with the enemy. Mindful positioning is a crucial factor here. Be mindful of the spacing between you and your teammates, how your fall-back from one position affects other players, whether you need to communicate a position change, etc.

Next time you choose an angle, evaluate that position. Ask yourself: “How easily can I fall back from this position? Does the angle cover valuable map control? Should I be holding this angle hard or soft? How predictable is this position? How much does it cost to clear me, utility and time-wise? Is this position helping my team and the macro picture? 

Questions to ask yourself throughout the game

Evaluating your positions like this will engrain positive playstyles throughout your career. Also, make sure to check out our article on creating winning habits in Valorant to take your game to the next level.

Let us know what other Valorant tips you want to learn about in the comments section!

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