So you’re curious about Valorant. You’ve watched streamers playing it, watched a random YouTube guide of a video of pros fragging out, and seen any number of articles about how fun it is to play. It looks fun to you. You’re honestly not only intrigued, but downright tempted to try it out. But there’s one potential problem that has you hesitant to jump right in: a complete lack of experience with Counter Strike: Global Offensive or other very similar games.
You’re intimidated because of that lack of experience. I was too, at first, because while I am experienced at first-person shooters, I’ve never played slow tactical shooters like CS:GO and its ilk. Even though I was similarly intimidated, I made the plunge anyway. I struggled at first – much like you probably will – but I stuck with it, and I started to have fun! With enough perseverance, you can not only have fun, but thrive.
This is a guide meant for those players who want to start. or have just started playing Valorant, but need some guidance on how to maximize the fun they have. This guide won’t make you a pro player, obviously. But what it will have is much needed advice that all new players should follow to make sure they have fun. If you’re new to Valorant, take a read and follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to having a good time in Valorant.
Actually pay attention to the tutorial
The tutorial for Valorant exists for a reason. If you’re feeling confident in your ability to play shooters, you may be tempted to skip the tutorial. Don’t. The tutorial does its job of telling you which mechanics are unique to Valorant. For instance, it tells you one key mechanic that is key to successful gun fights – the less you move, the more accurate your gunshots will be. This one mechanic of Valorant can tell you volumes about how you should play. Because of this, Valorant rewards patient, calculated play; going in guns blazing most of the time will get you killed. This isn’t Call of Duty or Doom.
Play Deathmatch (and practice in general)
Deathmatch is a casual free-for-all mode. However, despite its casual nature, it can help you get better at Valorant in an atmosphere with far less pressure. Agent abilities are disabled, placing the emphasis on pure gun skill. You can buy whatever weapons you want, allowing you to get used to whichever ones you pick. As such, Deathmatch is a great way to warm up before you go into Valorant’s main mode.
Even though Valorant’s agent abilities are potent, they’re not a crutch, so brushing up on your gun skill is vital. Deathmatch is an ideal place to do so, as you won’t have teammates breathing down your neck if you happen to do badly.
A related tip: use the Practice modes. The free Range in particular can help you get a handle on Valorant’s agents and their abilities. The various other modes in Practice can also be helpful, although the AI bots aren’t exactly useful to practice on. Even though they’re pretty much fodder, the bots can still help you get a handle on the fundamentals. And don’t forget to turn up the difficulty on each simulation.
Even though Valorant is relatively new to the competitive game scene, there are already countless strategy guides, in both written and video format. There’s plenty of material you can access to give you pointers on how to up your game. For one, Riot themselves have provided a complete beginner’s guide that presents some tips that may not be obvious for beginners. On the YouTube end, there’s an official ProGuides channel dedicated to Valorant that has some more advanced strategies.
Beyond the pre-written and pre-recorded guides, there’s also the pro scene. Watching streamers such as Spencer “Hiko” Martin is a great way to pick up more strategies you may not have thought of. And then there’s the esports scene! Valorant has a vibrant esports scene despite its relative youth, and it’s full of pros to learn from. Pay attention to the official Valorant website for updates on the latest esports events, including the currently running Ignition Series.
Be a good citizen!
Riot’s communities aren’t known for being the most chill. They have their fair share of toxic players, just like every other competitive game out there. However, that’s no excuse to sink to their level and be toxic yourself. If anything, that will hamper your ability to learn from others. You’re more likely to find friends to play with in the future if you’re nice to others. Don’t be afraid to say you’re new, as most players recognize they were new once.
Inevitably you’ll come across the really toxic player. Instead of being toxic in return, though, you can use Valorant’s in-game tools to more effectively deal with the toxic ones. You can always mute a particularly obnoxious player through the Scoreboard. And if a player does something especially egregious (such as hate speech), Riot has a place to report such players directly to them.
Hopefully you will find this guide helpful in starting your Valorant journey. The tips contained here should help you overcome your initial hurdles of playing and enjoying Valorant. Do the more experienced Valorant players among us have any additional tips to share to potential new players? If so, please comment down below!
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