Some of you might have stumbled across this article by accident… but we know most of you came here because you’re hard-stuck in Iron/Bronze/Silver or what we passionately call “Elo Hell” in VALORANT.
Don’t get the wrong idea, though. There is absolutely no shame in being stuck in a lower Elo. In fact, there are probably a few good reasons why you’re still stuck in whatever rank you are in now, you’re just not aware of it yet.
A lot of players will cry out to the VALORANT gods saying: “I deserve a better rank than this.” But the reality is that the matchmaking system will place players in a rank where they definitely belong. The VALORANT Matchmaking system, as bad as some might think it is because of the widespread “smurfing” problem, is actually pretty good at placing players at their respective ranks.
If you feel like you’re stuck and you suck at playing VALORANT, keep reading. You just might figure out why you are still hanging around in Bronze yourself.
Aim Can Only Get You So Far
To win in VALORANT, you need to shoot. No one has ever (probably) won a VALORANT game without firing a gun at least once for the whole duration of a match.
There are a ton of videos and articles online examining ways of how players can improve their aim using training routines such as this Beginner Aim Training Guide for Valorant on the PlayerAssist website. Using standalone aim trainers like Aim Labs, Kovaaks, or even the in-game Practice Mode in VALORANT can also be a great way to train your mechanical aim.
These aiming guides are great for training your mechanical skills and can help newer players gain the mouse dexterity and control they need to be able to play better mechanically.
Aim is something that players will never fail to discuss for as long as first-person shooters exist, for good reason: Good aim will get rid of opponents quickly and efficiently. When players land shots cleaner and faster, they will be able to get rid of opponents quickly and gain a numbers advantage over the opposing team.
This is true, to a point.
VALORANT is a team game, even if you or someone on your team has a godlike aim, it will not guarantee you a win. Ever. I had a game on Ascent where the enemy Jett dropped a 50 bomb in-game and had like 5(!) Aces. (That is nuts.) However, even though the enemy Jett had a godlike aim, their team still lost the game.
Aim can only bring you so far up the ranks. While it is definitely an important aspect of VALORANT, being a first-person shooter, Aim is not the be-all-end-all of the game. There are a ton of other elements in-game that you must learn and integrate into your gameplay to rank up and get out of Elo Hell.
Four Players Can’t Carry A Single Player’s Ego
We have all been in that situation: Your team got the bomb down and you’re playing for post-plant. The enemy is outnumbered three to one. The numbers will tell you that there is absolutely no chance your team loses this round. Absolutely none. Zero. Nada.
That player ends up clutching the round, killing every single one of your teammates, including you.
What just happened?
Chances are, you gave the last player the spark he needed to start a fire. You ego-peeked him.
Ego-peeking, as the name suggests, is when players let their egos take the wheel, and unnecessarily overextend in situations where all they have to do to win the round is chill and play together with their team. The ego-peeker dies and gives the outnumbered enemy team the momentum they need to turn the round in their favor.
This can also work the other way around. Ego-peekers will (occasionally) aimlessly take early and very risky engagements with the enemy team, only to die and leave their team outnumbered four versus five.
Ego-peeking has claimed countless lives in VALORANT. This unnecessary action is something that players need to stop doing to get out of Elo Hell. VALORANT is a team game first and foremost. There is a reason why you are teamed up with four other players – to play together and coordinate as a team.
An important thing to remember is never to take gunfights that you are most likely going to lose. You are hurting your team and your ego by taking and losing these unnecessary engagements. Always try to peek together with your teammates so that if you die, your teammate can at least “trade” you and kill the other person.
This is by far the most prominent reason why players are stuck in the lower elo. VALORANT has expended all the means necessary to help you and your team coordinate and plan attacks and defenses accordingly, yet some players still refuse to use the in-game voice chat, in-game chatbox, the Ping system, or even the Radio Comms.
Think of it this way. If you and your team have perfect communication in-game, you will never need to have an insane flick in your bag of tricks. Why? Because your team will be able to tell you exactly where the enemy is, and all you have to do is place your crosshair at that location. This is arguably an even more reliable way to aim than relying on something very erratic such as a flicking motion.
You can also help save your teammates from premature death by calling out enemy locations and utilities.
There is absolutely no reason why players can’t communicate with their teammates in VALORANT. If you’re feeling too shy to use your microphone, then at least type in something in the Chat Box or use the in-game Ping system and Radio Commands.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
You must have expected a generic “How To Get Better at X” game guide which will generally only tell you to train your aim and just play the game more.
Putting in the hours will undoubtedly help you gain the experience and game sense you need to play better, but some players will be playing aimlessly for hundreds of hours before they realize some of the bad habits that are holding them back from ranking up in VALORANT.
This guide outlines some of the most overlooked reasons why players can’t get out of Elo Hell. Hopefully, you can realize this sooner, rather than later, through this guide and go on to help your team win games and finally get out of Elo Hell by communicating and playing together with your team.
If you’re still on the “but good aim is still more important.” bandwagon, just remember the Jett who dropped 50-kills and still lost 13-9 on Ascent against our less-than-20-kills-each but a well-coordinated team.