Tactical team-based games are a lot of fun and often lead to exciting moments that you and your friends remember for years to come. The time needed to reduce the skill gap between inexperienced players and veterans may be very long, but fortunately there are many people out there willing to share their knowledge and tricks to accelerate player development – after all, everybody wants to have the best experience possible, especially in team games. Here are the top 10 things I wish I knew when I started playing Valorant – things that helped me rank up, feel a valuable member of the team and enjoy the game more.
1. Pre-aimAs you are moving around corners, move the crosshair to a position where you expect the enemy to be the moment you go past an obstacle (a wall, box, etc.). This way you save time and only need to pull the trigger when you spot another player.
2. Jiggle peekingOtherwise known as shoulder peeking, this combat technique is based on repeatedly tapping A and D when standing at a corner, peeking just barely enough to see past the wall and gain information on your enemy, or to provoke a shot from an operator. If an operator does take a shot, you can then try to peek more openly and shoot back, just make sure you are pre-aiming.
3. Combined/double peekingIf a teammate is close, you can both peek together from behind a wall, increasing the amount of rounds fired and outnumbering the enemy 2 to 1.
4. Wide peekingThis technique means you peek out more openly than the enemy would anticipate. When your enemy is pre-aiming, he will usually have the crosshair slightly on the side of the wall where he expects you to come out. If you surprise him by moving away from the wall a bit more, you will force him to lose a shot or waste time to change his aim – giving you a bigger window of opportunity to hit him.
5. CrossfireEvery map has points that you want to guard. Have a choke point, such as a door, guarded from two angles, with your teammate pre-aiming from a different vantage point. By doing so you can cover a larger area, perhaps even a bit of space behind the wall where the enemy would like to to peek from. If the opposing team doesn’t notice you and rushes through the door, two guns should be more than enough firepower to take them down.
6. Pre-fireIf you heard the enemy or if you know he is about to peek or expose himself in any way, you might want to pre-fire if you were already pre-aiming. Peek and fire the moment your crosshair moves from behind cover. Do not give your brain the time to process whether your enemy is there or not, just shoot.
7. RotateReact to calls to rotate (move to specific positions). Issue your own rotation calls. Observe the situation on the map and make your own decisions to rotate if teammates don’t make any calls.
8. Learn the jargonThis point alone would need a separate article, but there are many places you can find explanations of key phrases used in Valorant. There are a number of terms that are crucial when coordinating with your teammates. Some of them include: bait, dinked/gushed, tagged/lit, drop, heaven, a number of terms referring to the bomb or economy, and more. Learning those terms should not take you a lot of time and will greatly increase your situational awareness and make you feel more confident about what is happening on the battlefield.
9. EconomyHalf buy/eco round: a round in which you do not spend all your money, but save for a full buy to get all the best things. Anti-eco round – this is a round in which you know you have very good equipment and the opposing team is saving or late-buying. Remain extra-cautious, stick together as a team, you have the advantage so don’t lose it. Force buying – when it’s a close match and you don’t have the funds for a full buy, you might actually want to purchase as much as you can to tip the scales in your team’s favor in these final moments of the game. Full save – you don’t buy anything, e.g. as a result of losing the pistol round. Your team is generally poor, under 2000 credits, so you decide to save your resources for the next round to purchase as much as you can.
10. Strength in numbersDon’t be a lone wolf when your teammates report you have a number advantage. Play more safely and stick together to maximize your efficiency, don’t pick 1v1 fights – duels are optimal when the situation is reversed, when you are outnumbered and want to even the odds.
These are just some of the lessons I learned while playing Valorant. Of course, there is much more to the game than these 10 short pieces of advice, but had I known these tips when I first started playing, my initial games would have been much better.