Riot Game's tactical hero-shooter is heavily inspired by the classic Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with a modern twist. Valorant features a cast of 18 agents, each with different abilities in their arsenal. With so many different mechanics, in-game currency, and hero abilities to learn, it can be challenging to know where to get started with Valorant.

Obviously, individual game sense, experience, and mechanical aim are all crucial to any FPS game. But without further ado, here are a few tips on how to get better at Valorant, so you can pop some heads on the enemy team in no time!

Watch Pro Games

The best way to learn Valorant is by watching the professional players in their realm battling it out. Although pro games aren't for everyone, they are a great way to learn movement, new strategies, and other mechanical skills directly from a pro to implement into your own gameplay.

You can catch professional Valorant games live-streamed on Twitch, or VODs on YouTube. Rivalry has got you covered with Valorant betting if you fancy adding a little extra spice to these esports matches to keep the excitement levels high.

Optimize Your Settings

A smooth gameplay experience without stuttering or FPS drops is the dream for FPS games. It can be the critical difference between a win and a loss. It is impossible to aim down the sights when you're lagging like a PowerPoint Presentation!

Before getting into any games, set your display mode to Fullscreen to ensure your PC can produce the maximum amount of frames for Valorant. It's also recommended to turn all graphical settings down to Low and ensure that Vsync is turned off, but of course, this all depends on your hardware and what your PC is capable of.

Consistency is also key. It may be tempting to constantly change your crosshair or mouse sensitivity, but these can actually hinder your performance. Every Valorant player is different, and there is no perfect solution for the perfect crosshair or ideal DPI - it all comes down to consistent practice and your preferred settings. Valorant is a tactical, slower-paced game, so some players may find that aiming with a lower sensitivity will be more beneficial.

Group With Friends

Solo queuing is often considered hell on earth and requires more hard work to rank up. That's why we suggest teaming up with trusted teammates, or at the very least a duo partner, to rank up quickly as you can coordinate your attacks.

Playing with friends makes holding a site more straightforward, as you can rely on each other to watch multiple angles for enemies and have your back. With random teammates, the likelihood of them abandoning a point and not listening to your callouts is significantly higher, making a win harder to obtain. Plus, playing Valorant with friends is much more fun!

Practice Your Aim

There's no better feeling of satisfaction than popping your opponents' heads and securing an ace for your team. However, to do that, first, you need good aim!

Take advantage of free software tools outside of Valorant, like Aim Lab and KovaaK's. From beginners to pro players, these are two perfect games to warm up and train your aim with a proven track record for success. The unique analysis of Aim Lab lets players pinpoint their exact weaknesses and tracks their improvement over time with a personalized dashboard.

You should also use Valorant's Practice Mode before entering competitive games. Four different practice modes are available: The Range, Shooting Test, Spike Planting, and Spike Defuse, and all focus on various aspects of Valorant. These are all great ways of learning Valorant's unique mechanics, getting to grips with the controls and practising the spray patterns on different weapons.

Master Your Movement

Movement is essential in FPS games like Valorant and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Moving unpredictably allows you to become a harder target to kill. In a team fight, it's best to move sideways and strafe, so the enemy has difficulty centring their crosshair and securing a critical headshot on you.

While moving, however, your recoil patterns will be incredibly inaccurate. You should remain stationary for around half a second after moving to ensure pinpoint accuracy. Counter strafing includes moving sideways and then moving diagonally again immediately while shooting, which you can test out in Practice Mode.

Learn A Few Agents

Currently, Valorant has eighteen different agents in the game. Although it would be good to learn them all, it's best for players to only master a select few and learn their abilities inside and out.

There are four general roles for all the agents in Valorant, guaranteed to suit all playstyles so you can find one that works best for you.

  • Controllers are great for controlling the pace of a match. Their abilities can disrupt the enemy's sightlines while covering for their teammates to take/retake a point.
  • Duelists are the offensive agents in Valorant, with abilities that allow them to open opportunities for engagement against the enemy team. Duellists must be proactive in their attacks, so if you're not interested in aggressive gameplay, this is not the role for you.
  • As their name suggests, Initiators are best at initiating team fights against the enemy. They are considered the most vital agents in the match, with dual offensive and defensive capabilities.
  • Sentinels are defensive experts, able to CC opponents and lock down an objective site with traps. Some Sentinels can provide useful utility for their teammates, like healing.

Rivalry already has an article on the best agents in Valorant if you require a more in-depth guide on each character.

Communication is Crucial

Communication is key to success, like all competitive games that rely on teamwork. Whether you're solo queuing or playing with your best friend, communicating with the rest of your team is incredibly important. There is voice-chat option or you can just type in-game if you don't want to use a microphone.

If you need clarification about the map system in Valorant, you can press M to view the entire map, or you can see your current location in the top left corner of your screen. Effective callouts are a must and can be the difference between winning and losing a round.

Pick A Good Crosshair

Valorant offers plenty of options for crosshairs and customization options with the in-game settings. However, it is recommended by professional players to have a smaller crosshair to increase precision. Reducing the spread indicator and changing the color of your crosshair are also two important factors to consider.

Bad habits to break include placing your crosshair anywhere instead of being focused on a singular spot. Good crosshair placement is critical to winning games in Valorant. You'll find that most pro players have their default crosshair placement centered at a head level, even when not engaging in a gunfight.

Rivalry has already covered some of the best crosshair codes. Still, we will briefly go over two of the most commonly used crosshairs for inspiration.

Dot Crosshair

Big crosshairs can be distracting and take up too much space in the centre of the screen. Luckily, the Dot Crosshair placement is small, clean and, compact. It used most players in the Valorant community, from beginners to pros as it is said to improve aiming accuracy.

Four-Line Crosshair

The Four-Line Crosshair is not too far from the default crosshair. It has a clean hole in the middle, allowing players to point and shoot at the enemy's head in just one click, and promotes good aim.

Bonus Tip: If you're spectating a teammate and like the look of their crosshair, you can test it out for yourself! Just type "/cc" into the chat and their crosshair will be added to your game. You can then equip this same crosshair to use in your later rounds.

Review Your Gameplay

Watching yourself back is always cringe-worthy, whether that's recordings of yourself or old gameplay, it can be embarrassing watching yourself make silly mistakes. However, accepting and acknowledging you're not the greatest Valorant player, and that there's always room for improvement is a step in the right direction.

Reviewing old gameplay and previous matches can eventually hardwire your muscle memory to avoid making the same mistakes twice. You can notice things that can be improved in your gameplay or shooting. It can be rewarding to compare old gameplay to your current games to see your improvement.

Manage Your Economy

How to get better at Valorant

Taking inspiration from CS:GO, Valorant utilizes an in-game economy, unlike other hero shooters like Overwatch or Apex Legends. Knowing how to manage your in-game currency and economy is the crucial difference between high and low ELO players. There's a fine balance between buying weapons/armor and saving for future rounds.

It's usually best to save for one round, play with a pistol, and go into the following round with a full-buy, instead of going through the entire game with half-buys and weak weapons. A general rule of thumb is to always ensure you can afford the next round.

Communicate with the rest of your team if you need to initiate an eco round when you're low on funds, and let them know if you want to commit to a full-buy. A full-buy is only helpful if the rest of your team has better weapons to synergize with you, otherwise it's just a waste of resources.

Play Valorant Daily

TThe only way to get better at Valorant is through consistent gameplay, to get used to the game and how everything works. From there, you will figure out the ins and outs of each map, the best routes, and which weapons work for you. Even playing a few daily matches will allow you to develop some critical game sense.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and Valorant is no exception. Logging in daily and experiencing matches will wrack up the XP so you can level up, allowing you to unlock better weapons and recruit new agents to try out.

Concluding Thoughts

Playing Valorant is no easy task, but these few tips and tricks will help you know how to get better at Valorant so you can start climbing the ladder. Remember to be patient with yourself and keep practising - you will see progress over time!

If you need more Valorant in your life, Rivalry has got you covered with the best Valorant players to follow, how Valorant MMR works, all Valorant maps, and more!