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Valorant tips: 8 major things to adopt into your game to climb the ranks

valorant tips
(Image credit: Riot Games)

If you're a newbie to this style of first-person shooter, you may need some help from our Valorant tips. Valorant has gunplay like Counter-Strike, but with characters and abilities akin to Overwatch or any other hero shooter, which makes for a style of game not seen before. It's highly competitive and if you go in blind, chances are you're not gonna have a good time, so read up on our top Valorant tips to give yourself a fighting chance.

Check out our guide to all of the Valorant characters if you're unsure who to play as!

1. Use the practice mode to test out weapons, and abilities before you play

Valorant tips: Practice mode

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Valorant's practice mode is impeccable. It's tempting to jump straight into a match but beforehand, spend 10-15 minutes warming up by testing your accuracy on bots in the firing range, learning weapon spray patterns on the targets, or playing some pseudo-rounds against AI enemies. There's even a parkour course to practice your movement... just don't use Jett, because that's cheating!

2. Stand still when you shoot for higher accuracy

Valorant tips: Stand still while shooting

(Image credit: Riot Games)

One of the first mistakes someone coming from another shooter can make in Valorant is to run and gun at the same time. While you may hit a stray bullet or two — heck, you might even nab the odd kill — you're going to be so much more accurate if you stand still. What's even better is crouching as soon as you start shooting. Just for the love of god, don't try and jump shot.

3. Fiddle with crosshair settings to learn how recoil/movement affects it

Valorant tips: Crosshair settings

(Image credit: Riot Games)

The Valorant crosshair can be edited in a lot of different ways. You may see high-level players using a small dot, but the default includes an outer section and options that indicate recoil. There's too much detail to go into here, but make sure you're using both of the movement and firing error options when you start out, so you get used to how both aspects affect your aim.

4. Learn the callouts and communicate to help your team

Valorant tips: Callouts and communication

(Image credit: Riot Games)

No matter where you are on a map, there'll be a specific callout for that spot. If you're not sure what it is, open the map (when it's safe to do so) and it'll tell you exactly where you are. Some parts of the map do have player-created callouts that have gained traction like "U-haul" and "hookah" on the map Bind, but for the most part, the in-game callouts will suffice.

This comes as part of a more generalised tip, which is to communicate! Being a silent teammate is ultimately useless for your team, especially in ranked play. Work out your strats with your team at the start of each round and play with teamwork in mind to stand a much better chance of winning. If you have a toxic teammate, you can hit ESC and mute/report them individually.

5. Keep an eye on your economy so you don't run out of money

Valorant tips: Manage your economy

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Managing the economy is crucial thanks to Valorant's buy system at the start of each round. As you'd expect, the more kills you get, bombs you plant/defuse, and rounds you win, the more money you get. But if it's a very back-and-forth game, not spending all of your cash for an economical  "eco round" is important and can help you later.

6. Walk around aiming at head height, not the floor, so you can hit headshots

Valorant tips: Aim at head height

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Headshots are absolutely vital in Valorant, because most weapons will kill in 1-2 headshots, compared to 3-4+ body shots. A common mistake new players make is to walk around aiming slightly at the floor. Instead, you want to be aiming at head height essentially everywhere you go; just be ready to flick it down slightly if they crouch.

7. Run away from the bomb if it's about to explode to save your gear

Valorant tips: Don't stay near the bomb

(Image credit: Riot Games)

It sounds obvious, but whether you're on the winning team or you're in a 1v5 and need to clutch — if you don't have enough time to defuse the bomb — make sure you hightail it outta there! If you get caught in the blast, you'll die and lose all your weapons and abilities. Knowing when to back out of the bomb site is an important skill.

8. Search the ground for more expensive guns than yours at the end of the round to save money

Valorant tips: Pick up better guns

(Image credit: Riot Games)

At the end of the round, in the few seconds before it ticks over to the next, make sure you're checking the floor for other weapons. If you're only rocking a Bulldog or Spectre and you can pick up a Vandal or an Operator, you've saved money. Even if you don't want to use that gun, drop it for someone on your team then they can buy you back the gun you do want. 

One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. The youngest member of the GamesRadar team, I have an unhealthy addiction to Football Manager, shouting at the TV as Manchester United slowly descend from greatness, and playing Pokemon Go on the bus to and from the office.