Smokes are arguably the most valuable type of utility in VALORANT.
No other type of ability comes close to the value that Smokes can provide in VALORANT. Smokes are low-cost, can cover a large area, and linger long enough for teams to safely take complete control of areas around the map.
Smoke abilities are such a common sight in just about every VALORANT match these days, so much so that we tend to take smoke placements for granted.
When, where, and how your smokes are placed on the map can affect the outcome of your match. Good smoke timing and placement can make site entry and Defense much easier for both the Attacking and Defending sides.
Here is a quick refresher on what you generally should and should not do with your smoke abilities in VALORANT to get the most value out of them. Let’s get started!
Agents with Smoke Abilities in VALORANT
For the most part, all Controller-class Agents are equipped with smokes in VALORANT.
However, it is worth noting that even though Jett technically also has a smoke ability in her kit, in the grand scheme of things, it does not serve the same purpose as some of the more traditional smoke abilities do.
Viper is also technically a “smoker” Agent since she can cover a ton of space around the map. However, since her smoke/wall works entirely differently from the more traditional smokes featured here, that will be another topic altogether.
Controller Agents such as Viper, Astra, Omen, and Brimstone all have a smoke ability of some kind within their kit. While their smoke abilities may differ from one another in terms of technicalities, they all serve the same general function in complimenting the role that their respective Agents are filling in.
In the early days of VALORANT, Omen used to be the Agent to pick whenever a team needed a smoker. These days, though, an Omen pick is more of a luxury than a necessity since there are other more viable options in the meta if your team wants a smoker agent who can do more for the team.
Omen’s Smoke Ability, Dark Cover, is partly cooldown-based. We used the term partly because Omen can carry two maximum charges at the beginning of every round, but only one of those charges is cooldown-based. After both smoke charges are used at the beginning of a round, Dark Cover goes into a 40-second cooldown.
It is worth noting that Dark Cover is hollow inside, which means that enemy players might be able to use your smokes against you and your team when placed in less than ideal spots around the map.
Brimstone is the only Agent in VALORANT who can set up three clouds of smoke simultaneously. On Defense, Brimstone’s smokes can be a nightmare to go against because of his ability to block off multiple angles simultaneously.
Unlike Omen’s Dark Cover, Brimstone’s Smoke Cloud is dense inside. Player vision is, therefore, reduced whenever they are inside Brimstone’s smokes, which makes camping within them a less than ideal strategy, especially for cheeky Defenders.
This makes Brimstone’s smoke ability a powerful vision-blocking smoke that does not have the drawback of being hollow inside like Omen’s Dark Cover.
Unfortunately, Brimstone’s Smoke has a minimal cast range that requires Brimstone to stand in spaces close to the desired areas to set up his smokes. Besides that, Brimstone has a maximum of three charges of Smoke Cloud to work with every round that costs just 100 credits each.
Ah, Astra, the defacto Controller/Sentinel Agent that can serve multiple roles simultaneously.
As a smoker, Astra is unmatched in terms of range. Her smokes can be placed and activated from basically anywhere on the map, allowing Astra to play from an entirely different bombsite and still provide smoke cover for her teammates from the opposite side of the map.
Astra can even recall her stars (by extension, her smokes) and relocate them around the map to re-smoke key areas as the round progresses.
Astra’s Nebula is very similar to Omen’s smoke in terms of structure, where the smoke blob is hollow on the inside. Astra can carry a maximum of two smoke charges every round. Her Stars cost 150 credits each.
How to Smoke Effectively in VALORANT
1. When Defending, place your Smokes along the edges of entryways:
Defenders generally have the upper hand when playing from behind smokes. Whenever a player crosses or passes through a smoke cloud, whoever is outside or on the other side of the smoke, can see them first.
Rifles or just about any weapon bar the Knife will stick out of the smoke like a sore thumb, which gives whoever is on the other side of the smoke an advantage in figuring out where the enemy is within the smoke.
With that in mind, whenever you are playing Defense or post-plant on-site, it might be a good idea to smoke along the edges of entryways within the site to give yourself a smaller area to work with, which makes aiming much easier.
2. When Attacking, place your Smokes deeper into the site/area:
When using Smokes to cover a bombsite attempt, you will want to do the complete opposite of what is mentioned above.
As you can see, the number of angles that an A-site Defender has to cover against Attackers increases whenever the smoke is placed away from an entryway.
When Attacking, you generally want to make Defending more difficult for the enemies. For example, on Ascent, you can counter an A-Entrance smoke with smokes of your own that are placed deeper inside the A-site so that your team can slowly enter the site itself.
From there, a couple of flashes and mollies should complete the job. Your team will have the numbers advantage anyway.
3. Learn one-way smokes:
One-way smokes are severely underrated in VALORANT, especially in the lower elo, where some players have not yet realized the potential of one-way smokes.
One-way smokes give enemies a false sense of security. Some beginners might even laugh at what they think was a “failed” smoke placement on your part, only to be hosed down by a Phantom the moment their legs show up on your monitor.
If you are tired of playing passively on-site with your traditional smokes or are just itching to fire more bullets every round, then one-way smokes are a great passive-aggressive way to score quick and easy kills on unsuspecting enemies.
Use traditional and one-way smokes randomly within a match to keep enemies on their toes.
4. Coordinate with your Team regarding your Smoke placement:
Knowing when and where to smoke will not mean a thing if your team is unaware of what you are trying to achieve with your smokes. Sometimes, other players might even yell at you for smoking an area that was advantageous for them.
Communication is arguably 50% of what makes a good smoke. Giving your teammates a heads up will allow them to adjust their playstyle and approach according to your smoke placement so your team can maximize the effectiveness of your smokes.
5. Just Smoke it!
Smokes are very cheap in VALORANT. These utilities cost a tiny amount of credits yet can have a huge impact on the outcome of every round.
With that said, a common mistake for beginners and players in the lower elo is not using smokes at all, which makes all of the trouble buying and spending credits to equip them useless.
There is no point in saving your smoke charges for the next round. You can always buy some more for the next round of a small amount of credits anyway.
Heck, whether you win or lose the round, you are bound to have enough credits to afford maximum smoke charges every round.
The King of Utilities
When used effectively, smokes can dictate how fast rounds are played, what path players take around the map, and how Attackers and Defenders play around a bombsite.
Smokes are deceivingly simple to use. Because of this, many players tend to treat smokes as simply a pick and place type ability that players don’t give much thought to.
We hope that these five tips will help inject the right mindset into your smoke placements to help you decide where, when, and how you place your smokes around maps in VALORANT.
Check out PlayerAssist.com for easy-to-follow VALORANT Smoke Guides such as this Cypher One-Way Smoke for Ascent, gaming news, game reviews, game codes, and more!