A Beginner’s Guide to Valorant


William Hsieh

Getting an “Ace” in Valorant is one of the rarest achievements for a player. To do this, you must get five eliminations in a single round, which is the whole enemy team.

William Hsieh, Front Page Editor

What is “Valorant?”

“Valorant” by Riot Games is a “5v5 character-based tactical shooter” according to Riot Games. The attackers must plant a spike (similar to a bomb) in one of multiple sites, and the defenders must prevent the attackers from doing so. Valorant is very similar to “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (CS:GO) in terms of objectives and gameplay but with a twist: there are unique character-based abilities for each of the 10 agents. For example, Cypher has a deployable camera, and Sage can heal teammates.

How do I play “Valorant?”

To be eligible to play in the Closed Beta, you’ll need a “drop” from a Twitch stream; more information about the process can be found here. You will need a computer that can run Windows. After finishing the tutorial in-game, you can jump into an online match.

What do I need to know before playing?

If you played games like “Overwatch” and “Apex Legends” before coming to “Valorant,” moving while shooting might be second-nature to you. Don’t do this in “Valorant.” Your weapon’s accuracy will decrease dramatically, causing all your shots to miss the target. Instead, release movement keys (default set to WASD) before shooting.

How do I win?

As an attacker, you have two win conditions: blow up the spike by planting it at a site or eliminate all of the defenders. As a defender, you have three win conditions: defuse the spike, eliminate all of the attackers or let the timer run out. 

What are some strategies for defending?

Having your team spread out across the map can be a good starting defense. However, when the attackers push one site or the other, your team will have to “rotate” (move around) to the site to defend it. Rotations are important to make sure every site is defended.

What are some strategies for attacking?

There are two main strategies: “rushing” and “playing for picks.” Rushing is when your team groups up and attacks one site at the same time to overwhelm the defenders. Playing for picks is when your team spreads out and waits for the defenders to become impatient, which allows your team to find a weakness in the defense.

What do I buy in game?

You usually use pistols for the first two rounds, which are the cheapest weapons. The most common pistol to buy is the Ghost. After that, if your team has enough money, you can buy assault rifles (ARs). The most common ARs to buy are the Vandal and the Phantom. The Vandal has more consistent damage with a slower fire rate, while the Phantom deals less damage over long distances but has a faster fire rate.