How to be a good teammate in Valorant
© Riot Games
Topping the leaderboard isn’t always enough in Valorant. If you want to start winning more, you have to be a good teammate. Here are some tips to help you be a better contributor.
If you’re looking for the next game to sink all your free time into, you may have found your interest piqued by Riot Games’ new team-based tactical shooter, Valorant. If you’re more than just interested and have already loaded into a few games of unrated, the adjustment can be weird (unless you come from a Rainbow Six Siege or Counter Strike Global Offensive background).
Despite the unique cast of heroes and abilities, this game is vastly different than other team-based shooters, like Overwatch. If you find yourself dying a lot, or are just looking for some pointers to round your game out, look no further.
In the buy menu, you’ll notice there are three options under your player icon: ‘Let’s buy’, ‘I Have extra credits’, and ‘Let’s save’. Econ, short for economy, choices are as important as your mid-game decision making. As each round passes, you will earn some spending money from kills, bomb planting/defusing and round wins. The cashflow opens up your options from an assortment of pistols, to the pricier power weapons of the later game.
If you die you will lose everything, aside from your abilities, and be forced to buy again after each subsequent death. If you don’t spend wisely, you’ll find yourself with barely enough money for a ghost unless you beg your teammates to part with some of their hard earned credits. Each round plays out differently and your team’s choice of weapons will dictate how you choose to spend. If they are all saving, there is a good chance you should be too. Saving money and taking a tactical loss is better than losing a round and starting the next with even less econ.
Even if you go into a round with nothing more than the starter pistol, your abilities and a light shield, you can still walk out with the enemy team’s own vandals to torment them for rounds to come. There are other times where you will find yourself facing down a 5 on 1, as the bomb timer slowly decreases, and saving to live another round, while keeping your hard earned weapons, may hurt your pride but it won’t hurt your economy. Knowing when a round is already lost is as important as knowing when you can risk a round to buy better weapons later on. The goal is to buy together with your team. If you buy a Vandal but all your teammates save and buy pistols, it could just end up being money down the drain.
2. Just shift walk… Please.
Whether on attack or defense, you don’t want to give away your position unless you absolutely have to. If you habitually find yourself going in loud,, you’ll find those Phoenixs and Breachs flashbanging you and sending you to spectate the rest of the round. When flanking on defense, or in the middle of a full rotate to plant on B, knowing when to keep quiet, and when to stomp around is important. It is slower, so rotating to defuse on the far side point might make walking impossible, but always keep it in mind. There are times when making noise is to your advantage but that’s for another guide. For now, staying patient and keeping your plans hidden is the best move in Valorant.
It will quiet your footsteps and not give you away. There is no shorter way to draw your teammates’ ire than to stomp your feet all along the same corridor that they are carefully flanking around. If you want to stomp, go alone and try to create misdirection, drawing the enemy team's eye to the source of the noise, because they will light you up if you stomp around the map without a thought or care in the world.
3. Pre aim your shots, know your spots, and go for the head
So much of Valorant’s gameplay revolves around how well you know the map you’re on and knowing where and when the enemy team will choose to attack. Aim reigns supreme in this game and you will need to have your crosshair trained at “head level” to make getting out of those 3 to 1 match ups a little easier. Headshots are killer in this game, with more than a few weapons able to one shot you through a shield.
Don’t forget, aim in Valorant is very different from COD and Battlefield. Running and firing like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger will get you taken out most of the time, unless you take the shotguns from the buy menu. Your aim will be drastically affected, so stand still.
4. Know your hero before playing in a game
Try to take some time in the range before you drop into an unranked game. Matches in valorant last anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes and it can feel even slower if you don't know what each of your hero’s abilities do, let alone which binding they are mapped to. There isn’t as much time between rounds as you think. Heading to the range will give you a chance to experiment with the uniqueness of each hero and unlock what their kits can do.
The range is your friend!
5. Learn a hero pool!
What’s worse than going into a game with no knowledge of your hero? Going into a game with that one hero you know getting instalocked, then having to play someone else with no background or knowledge. For both you and your team's sake, learn a few heroes.
The cast boasts a variety of classes, like the first-in Duelists, the backline Sentinels, the Initiators who help your team push, and the controllers who block sightlines and help the team make plays. The more heroes you know, the more versatile you are. Learning each hero will also give you an idea of how the enemy might play them, and every advantage you can get helps.
6. Find your weapon of choice
Just like you need to find your favorite hero, you need to find a suitable weapon to go with them. The Operator and its one shot potential comes at a heady 4500 point price so you’ll need alternatives while you get your econ up. You’ll probably need to decide between the game’s two 2900 point assault rifles, like the high power Vandal or the higher fire-rate, silenced Phantom to get you where you need to be. You will go into the start of each round with 800 points and a dream, so find a favorite sidearm too! You will find that even the worst ones can find a niche in your game.
7. Stay on point
Play patient on defense. As boring as that can get sometimes, it's the attackers that need to walk willingly into enemy sight, not the defenders. Generally, you want to split your team in two (three groups for maps with three sites) and hold choke points based on each hero's strengths or on how the game has played out. Sometimes rotating and peeking aggressively can pay off, but defenders have an inherent advantage in Valorant. Don’t throw it away.
8. Watch the clock
Keep track of the clock each round, you’ll find it’s just as useful as your map. When the bomb is planted, use it to gauge how cautious you must be, or how much time you’ll need to plant the bomb in the rounds that go down to the wire. Here is the crucial information to know.
It takes 4 seconds to plant the bomb in Valorant, and 45 seconds for the bomb to explode.It takes 7 seconds to defuse the bomb, and at 3.5 seconds you will reach a checkpoint so you can stop to defend yourself, leaving you, or another, to pick it up already halfway defused.
9. Do not rely on your abilities in gunfights
Use your abilities to set up plays ahead of time rather than in the moment. Sure, a quick flash grenade or stun can turn the tide for you in a fight, but it’s more likely that you will just be killed with no chance of reacting since you’ve got your ability selected. Picking your moments is tough, so knowing the cast time of your signature abilities helps but having your primary weapon selected instead of Omen’s teleport helps more.
10. Teamwork makes the dream work
Make plays off of your teammates and don’t be afraid to combo abilities. Each role in Valorant thrives in different situations. Play to the heroes’ strengths as much as your own. Sage’s revive ability isn’t very good if Sage keeps being the first one to die.
Characters like, Reyna, Breach and Phoenix can all flashbang the enemy and make perfect situations to push through otherwise bad chokes. Combining Sage’s slow ability with Raze’s grenade can dispatch an overexcited defender looking for a pick. Trades are important in Valorant, especially when you have numbers.
Whether with a microphone, team chat or by pinging the minimap. Communicate with your team. A well coordinated team will come out on top more often than not in valorant. Push in together so if your teammate or you die, it will be worth it and another teammate can clean up whoever took you out. If you are up by kills, trading is just as valid as planting the bomb or waiting out the attackers.
11. Walking with your knife is faster
Just like in CS:GO, there’s not much to explain here. If you’re rotating or running through the backline to beat someone to the bombsite, take out your knife. Just put it away at a reasonable distance before you reach the point.
12. Clear the area!
If you’re defending the bomb as time slowly ticks away, the ticking will speed up, giving you the chance to clear the area. Unless someone is already in the middle of defusing it, they won’t have time to finish by then. Economy is important in Valorant and sometimes keeping a Vandal and your heavy shield takes priority. On the other side, if you are defending and think there is no chance you will get the defuse, save. Holding on to good weapons in a lost round is huge for your team. It can lead to you buying a weapon for a cash strapped player or allow more flexibility later.
Over the course of the round, you’ll either be pushed by attacks and have to defend your bomb site, or you will stare down an empty alley as your team casually makes an appearance in the kill feed. Somewhere between those two instances, you will have to make a decision. Will you and the other teammate with you (hopefully they didn’t all abandon you) rotate to the other site and help? Or, if it’s still early, will one of you hold just in case they switch it up?
Accurately Measuring the risk and reward will come with time but, by that point, you will find yourself rotating. Sometimes a teleporter will be available but it usually comes down to sprinting through the backline or carefully stalking through the enemy line, trying to make a high impact play. Use the map to gauge what you can do. If your teammate is holding one side and you are flanking behind, ask them to make some noise and draw any potential eyes away from your potential 3K.
14. Trick them with teleporters
Sometimes just the thought of the teleporter can derail an enemy team's strategy. Since the doors do not open immediately, you can wait in the room until a flanking teammate can reach another sightline and begin a pincer attack. Some abilities can go through the door, so use that.
For example, all of Breach’s kit can go through walls, so pairing him with a full push if the enemy is caught on the B Short area on Bind, also known as Hookah, could pay off if the enemy isn’t prepared. Dropping a weapon, or casting an ability through the teleporter, will also make a sound, but to a slightly different frequency. Use that to your advantage and try to distract the enemy as your team pushes them.
15. Look at your map
Your mini map is great! Use it. It will show you where your team plans to go, if they also use the minimap. The map shows when abilities have been used, when people run and when they fire. It will even show which hero is announcing their presence to the world and burn a greyish black color when Omen uses his ultimate. In a game like Valorant, where going into a situation with as much information as possible beforehand is key, the mini map is your guide.