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Gekko and Deadlock splash art
Image via Riot Games

How to play VALORANT with a controller

You can, but why bother?

Riot Games’ hit tactical shooter VALORANT has been designed for PC and is only available on that platform at the moment. Despite the rumors pointing to a mobile release in the near future, the game is intended to be played with a mouse and keyboard just like every other FPS made for PC. It’s theoretically easier to move around the map and shoot your opponents with a mouse and keyboard.

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If you’re a console gamer or are just used to playing every game with a controller, however, you’d naturally want to use a controller to experience VALORANT as well. But does the wildly popular game support the use of a controller? I’m here to confirm that and help you set up accordingly.

Is it possible to play VALORANT with a controller?

Harbor Skye and Chamber on Lotus in VALORANT
Using a controller isn’t going to make things easier. Image via Riot Games

It may not be official, but yes, you can play VALORANT with a controller connected to your PC. You’ll need to use a third-party software, so it’s definitely a headache. You can’t plug in your controller and start playing the game with it. Furthermore, there are not one, but many downsides of using a controller in a game with no official support for the peripheral.

If you still want to go ahead with your love for controllers, there are two third-party software options—JoyToKey (free) and reWASD ($7)—that allow you to remap your controller for VALORANT. The process is long and arduous with JoyToKey and will require some fiddling to get right. ReWASD, though, is much easier to get to grips with and comes with a neat and tidy interface.

How to use a controller to play VALORANT?

Download any of the apps stated above to map your keyboard to the controller, then follow these steps to use your controller to VALORANT.

  1. First, connect the controller to your PC and open the key mapping application.
  2. Create a profile and map the keys you use to move around and use your abilities in the game to the controller’s buttons.
  3. Save and exit.
  4. Open VALORANT and you should be ready to go.

Note that you should strictly avoid using multi-key binds to create unnatural mechanics which are not possible using a mouse and keyboard on PC. Riot Games is already intolerant towards third-party applications, and using such programs to create such mechanics will only increase the chances of your account getting flagged.

Should you use a controller to play VALORANT?

If you ask us, we don’t recommend using a controller in VALORANT. Using a PlayStation, Xbox, or even a Switch controller certainly doesn’t count as cheating—it might, in fact, put you at a disadvantage over your mouse and keyboard counterparts. A lack of aim assist and high sensitivity make hitting headshots a tall order.

Trying to fight a player using a mouse and keyboard with a controller is an unbalanced experience. You might feel more comfortable with this layout, but you certainly aren’t doing yourself any favors. Consider learning how to use a mouse and keyboard before going through the tough process of getting a controller to work with VALORANT.

Vanguard, VALORANT’s anti-cheat system, also tends to block third-party software and could even falsely flag your account for cheating. This means you could lose your VALORANT account forever along with all the skins you acquired.

That said, we recommend you think twice before trying to play VALORANT with a controller. It’s entirely possible to use one, but the risks of using a controller outweigh the benefits. If you’re having trouble learning VALORANT, you can find some useful tips for beginners that could help you improve in no time.


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Jerome Heath
Jerome Heath is a senior editor at Dot Esports.
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Leonardo Biazzi
Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for HLTV.org between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.
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Sharmila Ganguly
Freelance Writer at Dot Esports. An enthusiastic gamer who bumped into the intricacies of video game journalism in 2021 and has been hustling ever since. Obsessed with first-person shooter titles, especially VALORANT. Contact: sharmila@dotesports.com