A beginner’s guide to the VALORANT economy

Learn the ins and outs of the economy, from Creds to the metagame.

Image via Riot Games

Contrary to belief, VALORANT isn’t all about fragging. The economy is one of the most important aspects of the game, dictating how and when you (and your teammates) can buy weapons, abilities, and armor.

Learning the economy is fundamental to understanding VALORANT. It's the bread and butter of the tactical shooter, attributing to each and every round. It can often be the difference between winning and losing.

Here’s a beginning guide to getting to grips with the economy.

Creds: what are they, what do they do, and how do you earn them?

Creds are VALORANT's currency. Everything you do in the game contributes to earning Creds. At the first round of each half, you and your teammates start with 800 Creds. If you win a round, you earn 3,000 Creds and if you lose a round, you earn 1,900 Creds.

Additionally, 500 Creds are compensated for a losing streak of two games, and 1,000 Creds are compensated for a losing streak of three games or more. You earn 200 Creds for a kill, 300 for your team planting the spike, and 5,000 for overtime.

Creds reset after 12 rounds when switching sides. You also can't accumulate more than 9,000 Creds at a time.

Related: All weapon stats in VALORANT

With Creds you can buy abilities, weapons, and armor. Abilities range from 100 Creds to 400 Creds. Pistols like the Shorty cost as low as 200 Creds, and snipers like the Operator cost as high as 5,000 Creds. You can buy 25 armor for 400 Creds and 50 Armor for 1,000 Creds.

The meta: should you full buy, force buy, or eco?

There are many different types of buys in the VALORANT meta including full buys, force buys, quasi buys, eco/saves, and full saves.

  • Full buy: riflers or snipers, armor, and abilities
  • Force buy: SMGs, pistols, some armor, some abilities
  • Quasi buy: some rifles, some SMGs, some pistols, some armor, and some abilities
  • Eco/save: pistols and very few abilities
  • Full save: no weapons or abilities

In the ideal situation, you'll full buy each round, stocking up on rifles, abilities, and armor. But, this won't be an option in most circumstances. After losing a round or two, your Creds will be quickly depleted. To counter this, you can force buy.

You should generally force buy after losing the initial round of the half. A force buy, if executed correctly, will put your Creds back on track. It will also put a dent in your enemies' economy. If unsuccessful, try ecoing the next round.

If your team are all on the same page, an eco will quickly help you replenish your Creds. Winning an eco, especially, will put you in a strong position going forward. If you lose an eco round though, consider full saving, or quasi buying the next round.

A full save (after an eco) will ensure your team has enough Creds to buy rifles, armor, and abilities the following round. This is generally a safe approach to the game but you risk losing back-to-back rounds. If you lose the following full buy, you're back to square one. That's where a quasi comes into play.

Instead of ecoing or full saving, buying whatever you can afford could save your skin. A rifle and a couple of SMGs between you and your teammates might be just enough to scrap a round. If you win, you can replace your ragtag weapons with your enemy's.