Valorant features a range of maps, but if you plan on practicing your skills before jumping in, your best bet is The Range. It’s an offline training mode that features a variety of different specific training exercises, as well as a general free roam. Here, we’ll run through what each mode is, and how it can best be used.
Open Range mode lets you wander around the map at will. Since you can’t do this on the actual in-game maps, there’s not much point in learning the layout, as you’ll never use it in competitive gameplay. However, Open Range is not without its uses. You have unlimited credits for this mode, so can switch between guns at will to find the perfect loadout that works for you, without the risks of picking a new gun in-game and finding out you hate it.
You can also switch between characters at will, which can help you get used to their abilities. The best thing about character switching, though, is that you can switch to characters you haven’t even unlocked yet – meaning you get a little bit of a ‘try before you buy’ deal going on as you climb the ranks and get more agents in your roster.
Use these perks to get the 'lay of the land', so to speak. Soak in everything you can about how these characters work, and how each weapon reacts to how you play... it's better cutting your teeth here than in the midst of battle.
Shooting Test is exactly what it says on the tin: a mode in which you can practice (and improve) your aim. Accuracy is a big deal in Valorant, as moving while aiming causes heavy bullet spray and there’s no respawn until the end of the round. Getting your shot right when it counts can make or break a match, and in this mode you get to practice on a variety of targets, working on both your speed and aim against the clock.
You can customise the settings and difficulty, but it involves shooting a set of appearing and disappearing mannequins before the time is up. We recommend having a few goes at this before you jump into the game proper, just to make sure you understand exactly how the guns and mechanics of the game work before putting yourself in the middle of the action. You don't want to let your teammates down, after all.
Spike Planting & Spike Defuse
The final two practice modes both deal with the Spike, the former being an attacking exercise and the latter one defensive. In either instance, you play against a set of bots who spawn in a variety of locations, and must either kill them or keep them pinned back enough for you to get the spike planted or keep the area defended.
You can choose whether to have unlimited ammo or not, which means either dealing with the realism of reloading and the shooting delay that comes with it, or just get rid of it while you get to grips with the game’s basic functions.
On easy mode, it is basically just a rehearsal for how the game plays; getting you used to the buttons and execution of the core gameplay. One more difficult levels, you will play against tougher bots, who move faster, take longer to go down – just like human players. These modes more accurately represent what it is like to play Valorant for real.
Abilities do tend to be slightly more effective in practice than they are for real, but if you want to get to grips with a new agent, Spike Planting and Spike Defuse are two robust ways of learning by doing without risking you teammates – or indeed your rank.