When VALORANT was introduced to the world in 2020, it blew the internet. Despite being a new game in the massive first-person shooter genre, it has already made its way to the top of the rankings with the likes of CS: GO and Overwatch. Immediately after release, pro-CS: GO players like Shroud have already taken up arms in VALORANT to try this new and dynamic world — with good reviews.
What makes VALORANT stand out from other fps games is how the game is so nonlinear and full of surprises due to its Abilities Mechanics. Players will choose between a roster of agents, each possessing a unique set of skills and abilities. Despite this, VALORANT is still at its very core a first-person shooter game. It has the same mechanics and issues as all other fps games. Many players dive in blinded by the excitement only to end up dying one after another. If you are finding yourself in the middle of explosions and missing shots, then we’ve got you covered. We’re going to tell you the five most common mistakes new players make in VALORANT and how to avoid them.
1. Bad Crosshair Placement
Almost all noobs (new players) to first-person shooter games make the common mistake of aiming low or high. For the most part, players do this out of curiosity about the surroundings. It’s hard not to look down, especially when you see a bunch of colorful weapons deceased enemies drop. Whether it’s out of amazement of the environment or just bad habits, aiming too low or too high while walking in first-person shooter games is a big NO.
A key thing to remember is that in FPS games, you are at WAR. So you shouldn’t walk around looking down to the ground or up at the birds. You want to be always ready to shoot in the event an enemy suddenly pops up in front of you. There is a small but significant delay when aiming your cursor to the enemy from looking up or down. In case it wasn’t obvious, you can kill enemies faster with a bullet to the head rather than a fray of shots to the legs. The ideal crosshair placement is at head level, so it would be easier to put down enemies that appear on your screen.
The guns in VALORANT have 100% accuracy on their first bullet, so take advantage of this fact by aiming at the head to get an instant frag. Be mindful when going down a floor or climbing boxes so you can adjust your crosshair appropriately. This will require some practice and a certain level of map memorization. But given enough hours to practice, this will be an instinct that gets you through to the next round.
Many players in VALORANT coming from games like Overwatch and noobs tend to shoot while running. While it may work for other games, VALORANT has a big bullet spread applied to weapons while moving. This is an attempt to make the weapons’ behavior as close to reality as possible. There are weapons like the Stinger that can be used to run-and-gun; however, the general rule is to stop moving, aim, then shoot.
If you have your crosshair error option set up, you can see just how large a region your bullets will spread when moving. It isn’t necessarily a fatal mistake since there may be circumstances that call you to shoot while running. And sometimes, you can land a bullet or two. As a rule of thumb, if you want your bullets to hit, then stay still.
Essentially, you will lose all control of your bullet spread when you’re walking, running, and jumping. Additionally, your movements will become slower when you shoot while walking. This makes you a slower-moving target for enemies and can easily pick you off while you’re struggling to land a hit on anyone. So we don’t recommend you do this even with the very small possibility you can land a hit.
3. Not Using Utility
What separates a noob and an experienced player is that experienced players use their utilities a lot while newer players tend to forget them and treat VALORANT like a normal FPS game. While it’s true that not all abilities (utilities) are applicable in any situation, using them will only be beneficial to you rather than letting them go dry in your arsenal. This is where agent familiarity comes in. You will be more confident in using utilities that you understand through practice and combat experience.
When you’re pushing or holding a site, good use of utilities can deter enemy advance, flush enemies out, and even guarantee you a kill. Using your utilities will statistically increase your chance of succeeding in the game. Using large and attention-hungry utilities like Raze’s Showstopper can make enemies run for deal life and mess up their angles. Maximize your utilities by using the time you earned with the effects of the utility to pick off the scattering enemies.
Hitting your buttons at the right time can make a world of difference. Since every utility is unique, they shine in certain circumstances more than others. Learn the different abilities in the game so you can make better decisions and adjust your playstyle according to your agent’s and team’s utilities. There are just too many players that avoid using utilities and wonder why they can’t one-up their enemies.
Lastly, keep a lookout for Ultimate Orbs scattered around the map. This can increase your ultimate orb requirement to hasten your chance of using your most powerful ultimate. Just be careful since enemies tend to lurk around orbs waiting for the audio cue to kill orb-gathering agents. If you happen to be a Sage user, then make sure to use your utilities well if you don’t want to be at the receiving end of your teammates’ complaints.
4. Forcing a Clutch
The concept of getting a clutch means you have killed all your enemies or managed to defuse the spike while the rest of your teammates are just watching you from the screens. While the stunt is certainly alluring, remember that you are outnumbered. If your team has been wiped out, it’s better to hide and save your equipment, especially if you’re wielding expensive ones like the Odin and the Operator.
If you still want to Clutch the game, you have to consider some things before jumping in to save the day. One of the things you need to do is to slow walk. Slow walking helps you stay undetected while moving by removing the sounds of footsteps. However, this will make you walk so slow that you won’t even have enough time to get from Point A to Point B — much less for you to defuse a spike that takes seven seconds. Stay put and use the precious time to find a defensive position in case the enemies decide to hunt you down instead of defending the spike.
If you manage to get to the bomb site by some miracle without being intercepted, you still have to consider a few factors before becoming a Clutcher. Having remaining enemies anywhere between 1 to 5 while you’re on your own raises a few issues you need to consider on the fly.
- Figuring out where the enemies are hiding
- Positioning yourself efficiently to kill them
- Actually kill them
- Defusing the Spike
Lastly, it only takes four seconds to plant the spike while it takes seven to defuse. The chances of the enemies distracting you and planting on the other side of the map are much higher than it is for you to succeed in killing all of them and defusing the spike. If you’re thinking about defusing the spike without having to kill all of the enemies, that would work. However, all remaining enemies will have positioned themselves to defend the spike and kill incoming defusers.
Clutching may sometimes be necessary. Move efficiently, run and walk when needed, and remember where enemies were last seen. Clutching in Valorant isn’t all that uncommon, but the odds of managing on your own are slim. You need to consider the map, where enemies might possibly be waiting, where they could be hiding, and just how much firepower are you willing to take to the face. This is a high-risk situation, but should you commit to it, you can earn the team that win you badly needed and make you quite popular for a few seconds.
5. Learn from Past Rounds
Taking a certain approach that doesn’t work out well is okay. But if you continue to go down the same route, with the same approach, and get killed by the same person from the same position, then we’ve got a problem. Games like Valorant are ultimately a battle of the mind. When considering a play, think ahead whether you’ve already taken that approach before or not. Adapt to the situation and avoid doing the same thing over and over again and risk being taken down by the enemy like clockwork.
This is the same the other way around. If you manage to kill an enemy two to three times at the exact same spot, they will eventually learn and be able to change their approach to catch you off-guard instead. Always change positions, especially when you have been revealed on the map, to prevent being flanked and cornered by enemies. Make sure to avoid obvious tactics to continually keep your enemies on their toes.
Valorant is one of the best FPS games, so expect it to be saturated with pro and experienced players. This makes this a little tough for new players to get that easy win. On the upside, however, this sudden rise in difficulty will make new and old players alike think fast, play hard, and make critical decisions early on. Valorant, like any other game, is a game of reflexes, muscle memory, game sense, and strategies. Take these five tips to heart and see how much better you can enjoy the game when it works in your favor.