VALORANT’s cast of heroes have a slew of powers to one up the enemy; but at the end of the day, it’s your aim and game sense that will get you through most situations in Riot Games’ team-based, tactical shooter. While hero abilities are a core part of the game, you’ll notice that VALORANT has more in common with CS:GO (Counterstrike: Global Offensive) than it does with other hero-based shooters like Overwatch.
So if you find yourself kicked to the spectator screen more often than not after turning a corner in VALORANT, don’t worry. These tricks and adjustments will have you clicking heads first in no time. Or if you’ve been struggling to get through the narrow chokes on the Bind map or a late-round C Long push on Haven, this guide will help you be the one sending opponents to spectate.
Heads up: Right now, gamers around the world can sharpen their aiming skills and shoot for a ticket to the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final at the same time…
The Red Bull Campus Clutch Aiming Challenge is designed to help players elevate their gameplay and push their precision through distinctive tasks. The top five players on the leaderboard, distinguished by their exceptional performance, will secure exclusive tickets to experience the World Final in Istanbul, Turkey this November, where they’ll witness the world’s best student VALORANT teams go for glory. Find out more, including how to sign up, at the end of this article.
And check out these tips to help you hit your target.
1. Stacking the odds: Crosshair placement
Crosshair placement is, without a doubt, the most important aspect of aiming to improve your KD in VALORANT. It means keeping your aim centered on screen, setting your crosshair at perfect head height, as you push or peel over the course of the round. The idea is to minimise the amount of correction you will have to make when you see a player. If your crosshair is at head height, then you only have to cover a (relatively small) horizontal distance. This will take time, and the dedication to break a few bad habits. This goes out to any of you aiming at the floor and those of you with your crosshairs in the clouds: Make the effort to change toward this playstyle and you will see your game improve with discipline. Be warned, there has to be a conscious effort to change your playstyle, but it will help you make a huge leap forward in VALORANT.
As the adage goes: to be an expert in something, you must first put in 10,000 hours of practice. While 10,000 might be a tad… excessive? You should be dropping into the range before you queue up, practicing your “flick” aiming and tracking, or getting a feel for VALORANT’s arsenal of weapons.
Want to pick the Operator? Go ahead, it’s OP, but get used to it. Getting a handle on the ranges, spreads and strengths of each weapon while figuring out what you're comfortable with will help you as your econ shrivels up and your options start to run out. Be careful not to spend too long in the range and burn yourself out, though. You can start slow, but 30-minute sessions with consistency will show results.
And now you can also load in for VALORANT’S brand-spanking-new Team Deathmatch mode, where you and four teammates can go one-on-one against an enemy team to experience a lot of action in a short amount of time – with no econ to worry about. It’s a great way to train and warm up.
3. Sit still
Call of Duty and Battlefield have taught us a lot of skills that won’t really be helpful in this game. Sprinting across the map, hip firing a submachine gun is nothing more than a fantasy when you drop into a game of VALORANT. Your shots will be noticeably wild and inaccurate while shooting on the go, even if you aim down sight. Take your time with those corners and plant your feet. A vandal can one shot someone with a heavy shield, but only if you click on their head. In VALORANT, the steadier hand comes out on top just as often as the quickest hand.
4. Your crosshair and you - what you’re doing wrong
Some may think this isn’t a big deal, but finding a crosshair that's right for you and your style of play is important. Reducing the spread indicator and picking a colour to stand out against the drab backdrop of Bind will help a lot. It can also give you a more accurate reference to land that flick headshot with increased consistency. It’s all about what's best for you. Once you adjust your crosshair, you’ll be shocked at the improvement. In the simplest terms: your crosshair should be simple, small, non-distracting and consistent. Always choose a static crosshair over a dynamic one that adapts when you fire or move. If your crosshair can’t be consistent, neither can you.
5. From the hip
Firing from the hip isn’t usually the best option in typical shooters. However, if you’ve been keeping your feet planted while you shoot and have a reliable crosshair you can trust, then scoping out should be your method of choice for clearing corners in VALORANT. Aiming down sight makes you more accurate, but decreases your fire rate. It’s optimal for range but, in close when one shot could be all you need, keeping yourself scoped out gives a better field of view and a higher fire rate for when you find more than just a Sage around that corner.
In VALORANT, the steadier hand comes out on top just as often as the quickest hand
6. Before you play
All these tips are for naught if you aren’t set up properly, so, to the many who will find this insultingly basic, this is for the few who might not know. If you haven’t figured this one out yet: Find a sensitivity that is right for you. VALORANT is a slower-paced game than most, so a lower sensitivity is more forgiving. Adjust your DPI to something comfortable for all games and then adjust your sensitivity as best you can. You can find multiple converters online to figure out preferred settings for VALORANT and all your other favourite games while you’re at it. Most pro players find themselves at 400 or 800 DPI, but find what works for you and a mouse that suits your game to keep your edge.
7. Leave no stone unturned
If you’re new to PC or never really got aiming down with a mouse, then an "aim trainer" might be your best bet. Aim trainers range in price, with different games and drills. Whether it’s tracking, flick aiming or strafe firing, you’ll find more than a few options to help sharpen your skills. Aim Lab have myriad resources and targeted tasks to help with different aspects of PC gaming.
Open to university students, Red Bull Campus Clutch is an open VALORANT tournament, where teams around the world battle to represent their country – and shoot for the title.
Fired up to witness the World Final action in person? You can play for the chance to win a ticket to Istanbul by entering the Red Bull Campus Clutch Aiming Challenge. Here’s how:
1. Install the Aimlabs app.
2. Head to the Red Bull Campus Clutch Aiming Challenge page, then register and participate here. Good luck!