The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Valorant

Valorant, Riot’s 5v5 tactical shooter and answer to Counter-Strike, can be tough for beginners. Teamwork and accuracy are vital, but none of that matters if you can’t stay alive. Mastering all the nuances of the game can be challenging for newbies.

But understanding how the gameplay works and picking up a few tricks can help you improve your game. One of those tricks is to get a Valorant Gift Card to get a little edge on the competition. You can easily get it from here.


Valorant Agents – Choosing Your Character

Valorant Gift Card at OffGamers

Valorant has 17 agents (characters you can play), and each one has its own mix of abilities as well as an Ultimate ability.

These abilities define the agent’s category. There are four categories of agents:

  • Sentinel
  • Controller
  • Initiator
  • Duelist


New agents are added regularly, but the current roster includes:

  • Astra: Controller who harnesses the power of the cosmos. Astra can activate stars to detonate a Nova Pulse that concusses all players in the area, launch a Nebula to blind players, place gravity wells that suck in players before exploding and enter an Astral Form to launch powerful abilities.
  • Breach: Initiator who fires kinetic blasts to clear paths through enemy territory. Breach can launch charges that blind enemies, release quakes that daze players, fire fusion charges that deal heavy damage and fire seismic charges that knockback and daze players.   
  • Brimstone: Ranged utility controller. Brimstone can launch incendiary grenades, smoke clouds that block enemy vision, stim beacons that give allies rapid-fire, and orbital strikes that deal high AOE damage.
  • Chamber: Sentinel with an arsenal of weapons. Chamber can use a heavy pistol, place teleport anchors to move around the map, place traps that scan for enemies and use a custom sniper rifle that kills any enemy that receives a direct hit.
  • Cypher: Sentinel specializing in spy abilities. Cypher can keep an eye on the enemy’s every move by launching cyber cages that block vision and slow enemies, placing spycams at targeted locations, launching tripwires that stun and daze enemies and even using dead bodies on the enemy’s team to reveal living enemy locations.
  • Jett: Duelist who’s incredibly agile and quick. Jett can propel high into the air, dash forward, throw projectiles that block vision and launch throwing knives at enemies.
  • Kay/O: Initiator and machine of war. Kay/O can throw flash grenades that explode and blind players, throw suppression blades, launch explosive fragment sticks and overload with energy that suppresses nearby enemies.
  • Killjoy: Sentinel with an arsenal of inventions. Killjoy can deploy robots that hunt down enemies, launch turrets that fire at enemies, throw Nanoswarm grenades that launch a swarm of nanobots and fire a device that detains enemies caught in its radius.
  • Omen: Controller with rogue-like abilities. Omen can fire shadow projectiles that reduce vision, fire shadow orbs that block vision and teleport across the map.
  • Phoenix: Duelist with fire abilities. Phoenix can launch flare orbs that blind enemies, fireballs that deal AOE damage, a wall of flames that blinds and damages enemies and the ability to resurrect at a specific location with full health.
  • Raze: Duelist with explosive abilities. Raze can throw blast packs that damage and knockback, throw damaging grenades that create submunitions, deploy boom bots that chase enemies and deal heavy exploding damage, and fire a rocket launcher that deals massive AOE damage.
  • Reyna: Duelist who excels in single combat. Reyna can consume healing soul orbs from dead enemies, become invisible, shorten enemy vision, and enter into a frenzy that dramatically speeds up firing and reloading.
  • Sage: Sentinel with healing abilities. Sage can resurrect team members, slow enemies, heal allies and construct barrier walls.
  • Skye: Initiator with an army of beasts that do her bidding. Skye can send out Tasmanian tigers to damage and concuss enemies, release hawks to scout or damage enemies, heal allies and launch seekers to reveal the three closest enemies.
  • Sova: Initiator with ranged abilities. Sova can shoot shock bolts that detonate on collision, launch recon bolts that reveal enemy locations, send out an owl drone to scout out enemy locations and release three energy blasts that deal a lot of damage.
  • Viper: Controller specializing in poisons. Viper can throw a gas emitter that creates a toxic gas cloud, deploy a line of gas emitters to create a wall of toxic gas, deal poisonous AOE abilities that damage and slow enemies, and spray chemical clouds in all directions to reduce health and vision.
  • Yoru: Duelist who uses deception to take down enemies. Yoru can blindside enemies, teleport to enemy locations, send out false footsteps to fool enemies and wear a mask that sees into other dimensions.


You can learn more about each character in our Valorant Character Tier List & Mini Guide.

When you first start playing Valorant, you’ll only have access to a handful of agents: Jett, Brimstone, Sova, Phoenix and Sage. To unlock the other agents, you have two options:

  • Earn XP
  • Purchase the agent outright using in-game currency


Agents are unlocked every few levels. For example, you’ll unlock your first agent at level five and then another one at level ten.


Valorant Maps

There are currently seven maps in Valorant:

  • Fracture
  • Icebox
  • Ascent
  • Breeze
  • Bind
  • Split
  • Haven


The maps are fairly well-balanced, but to succeed, you’ll need to play off the strengths of each one. In addition, some maps have special features, like the ability to zipline around or fortify sites with bomb doors.


The Gameplay

You understand the agents and the maps in Valorant, but how do you actually play? A standard competitive match will have two teams of five players. One will be the attackers and the other will be the defenders. If you’ve played other FPS games, then you’re probably familiar with this kind of setup.

You can play a competitive match and earn points to boost your rank, or you can play unrated matches for fun.

Matches have 13 rounds. The first team to make it to round 13 wins. Players only get one life per round, so it’s essential to be strategic with where you move and how you take down enemies. One wrong move and you’re done for the round.


The Weapons

Valorant has several different weapons. Like agents, they are broken down into different categories:

  • Rifles
  • Sniper rifles
  • Sidearms
  • Shotguns
  • SMGs
  • Machine guns


New players will receive a sidearm and a knife for free, but other weapons will need to be purchased with Creds (the in-game currency).

Available weapons include:

  • The Phantom: An assault rifle with a quickfire rate and excellent first-bullet accuracy.
  • The Operator: A long-range sniper rifle that packs a punch. The Operator can kill fully armoured enemies with a single bullet.
  • The Spectre: An SMG that deals a lot of damage and is excellent for close-range combat.
  • The Vandal: An assault rifle that deals a little more damage than the Phantom.
  • The Judge: A reliable shotgun that can go fully automatic.
  • The Sheriff: Powerful sidearm that can deal fatal headshots.
  • The Guardian: Semi-automatic rifle that deals burst damage, but has a limited mag.
  • The Shorty: A cheap weapon that’s really only suitable for dealing with one enemy and holds just two bullets.
  • The Ghost: A silent sidearm that can deal headshot damage from 30 meters.
  • The Stinger: An SMG with a rapid-fire rate and short-range. Damage per shot is lower than nearly every other weapon.
  • The Bucky: A cheap shotgun that’s only useful for close-range shots. Alternate fire increases the gun’s range.
  • The Bulldog: A fully automatic rifle with a magazine that holds 24 bullets. The fire rate is decent, and the alternate fire shoots 3 round bursts.
  • The Marshal: A sniper rifle with fast movement speed and high damage output.
  • Ares: A machine gun that’s best suited for wall-banging and long-distance shots.
  • Odin: Another machine gun that’s ideal for wall-banging and allows you to fire at its maximum fire rate from the get-go.


The Operator is arguably the best weapon in the game, but each one has its place and can certainly take out enemies if you play them right.


Valorant Tips and Tricks To Improve Your Game

It’s no big secret that Valorant is a tough game for beginners. However, the challenge is part of what makes this game so appealing and fun. Use these tips and tricks to improve your game and take down more enemies.


Walk Everywhere

Agents run by default in Valorant, which, unfortunately, makes a lot of noise. Each footstep that slaps the pavement is a chance for enemies to hear you coming.

To avoid being detected and taken out two seconds into the match, walk everywhere you go. Yes, it will take you longer to get where you need to go, but enemies won’t be able to hear you, and your shooting accuracy will improve.


Play The Right Characters

Valorant is tough for beginners, but choosing the right character can make all the difference. Most players agree that Sova and Sage are the most beginner-friendly characters.

  • Sova has recon abilities that make it easier to locate enemies. The Shock Bolt ability can help you develop play strategies and learn the ropes of the game. For example, arrows can bounce off corners or objects in the game to strike enemies from different angles and positions.
  • Sage is an excellent support character. Her Resurrection ability is incredibly powerful, but she can also heal allies and slow enemies.


While these are two beginner-friendly characters, you may have more fun playing Jett, Brimstone or Phoenix. Of course, everyone has their own play style and preferences, so don’t be afraid to give every available agent a try.


Aim Is Everything, So Get Used To Your Controls

At the end of the day, Valorant is a shooter game. Your aim is the key to dealing a lethal blow and giving your team a leg up on your enemies. Your agent’s abilities will certainly help, but ultimately, you’ll want to focus on improving your aim.

One simple way to improve your accuracy is to stop running and shooting. For example, if you’re running somewhere and see an enemy, stop moving and then take your shot.

If you’re walking, your initial shots will be just as accurate as if you were standing still. But keep in mind that after those initial shots, your aim will deteriorate more quickly than if you were standing still.

Improving your accuracy and aim will take practice, but it’s worth the effort.


Communicate With Your Team

Communication is key with a game like Valorant. You need to be talking to your teammates and letting them know where enemies are if you hope to win. Teams also communicate how they’ll spend their Creds during each Buy round.


Know When To Spend Your Creds

It’s tempting to spend all your Creds on abilities and weapons right away, but that’s not always the best approach. Know when to spend and when to save your Creds.

Communicate with your team about spending Creds to make sure that everyone is on a relatively even playing field.


Don’t Forget To Buy Armor

Weapons are important in Valorant, but they’re not the only thing that matters. You can have the best weapon in the game, but if you can’t stay alive, you’re useless to your team.

Without armor, one or two bullets are enough to take you out. There are two types of armor in Valorant, and you should buy one with every full buy round.

  • One armor gives you 25 more health
  • The other gives you 50 more health


Both armors will absorb 70% of the damage taken, so they can make or break the round.


Tweak Your Settings

Sometimes, it’s not your gameplay that’s hurting you – it’s your system or connection. A little latency here and a little glitching there can put you behind other players and make you an easy target.

Check out our guide on How to Make Valorant Run Smoother and tweak your settings to improve gameplay.


Final Thoughts

Valorant is difficult for beginners, but understanding the game and using the tricks above can help you improve your game drastically. Don’t forget to get your Valorant Card, and make sure that you’re watching players on Twitch and YouTube. Sometimes, watching streams and gameplay can help you pick up on tips and tricks to improve your gameplay.