How to play Astra, VALORANT’s new controller agent

For those without a galaxy brain.

Image via Riot Games

Astra is VALORANT’s newest controller agent. Her abilities bring an incredible, out-of-this-world level of utility to the tactical shooter that will certainly be a game-changer in the coming weeks.

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to playing as Astra, let alone mastering her. But you don’t need a galaxy brain to be proficient with her, just this helpful guide.

Astral Form

The core basis of all of Astra’s abilities comes from her Astral Form, where she switches to a top-down view of the map and can travel anywhere to put down Stars on any flat surface. Stars are what allow her to use her actual abilities, and this is where she differs from many of the other agents.

You don’t purchase her abilities separately at the start of the round, you purchase the Stars instead at 200 credits each, but you start with two free Stars each round. This actually gives you a ton of versatility and options when it comes to using her abilities, which we discuss below.

Image via Riot Games

In Astral Form, your body stays in place while your form travels around the map. Your body is not invulnerable while in Astral Form, and taking damage will take you out of it. You can place your Stars anywhere around the map while in Astral Form, allowing you to place utility on one side of the map even while you’re defending or attacking another.

Speaking of utility…

How to use Astra’s Stars

Once a Star is placed, you can choose one of three abilities to use: Gravity Well, Nova Pulse, and Nebula. Gravity Well pulls any players into the center of the well before exploding, causing caught players to become vulnerable. Nova Pulse is a concussive charge, disorienting players for five seconds. Nebula is a smoke that lasts for 15 seconds.

Image via Riot Games

When a round starts, you can cast one Gravity Well, one Nova Pulse and/or two Nebulas, if you have enough stars. But each ability has a reset timer of 10 seconds after it is used, allowing you to use it multiple times in a round. If you have the maximum five Stars, you could use it on 5 smokes, 5 gravity wells, or 5 concussive pulses in a single round if you wanted to, or a combination of the three.

Additionally, you can recall a Star after you placed it if you don’t want to use it. When recalled, it briefly deploys a fake Nebula that lasts a couple seconds before returning.

Astra’s Ultimate – Cosmic Divide

When your ultimate is charged, you can use Astra’s Cosmic Divide ability. Enter Astral Form, right click to switch to Cosmic Divide, then left-click twice to determine the direction you want the infinite Cosmic Divide wall to go. The Cosmic Divide wall is an infinite wall that blocks bullets and dampens audio. Players can pass through the wall, but their bullets can’t.

Playing as Astra

Astra’s abilities are an out-of-this-world combination of various other agent abilities, and with her Astral Form she can literally place them anywhere on the map. This gives her a ton of versatility as an Attacker and a Defender.

On the Attacking side, she can smoke off two spots while concussing a defender in another and gravity welling another out of a hiding spot, all at the same time. With two free Stars each round and each additional Star only costing 200 credits, she could pull off this four-ability strike as early as the first round. Additionally, she doesn’t need to be in Astral Form to activate the Stars once they’re on the ground, so she doesn’t need to hang back while the team pushes. This also means she can hold angles with her gun while defending a spike plant and can deploy her abilities at any time after the Stars are placed.

Image via Riot Games

On Defense, her ability versatility is going to be a pain to get past for Attackers. Because each ability has a reset timer, she could theoretically just smoke the same point off five times in a row in the round. That’s 75 consecutive seconds where an entry point could be smoked off, in a round that only lasts 100 seconds.

There’s potential for some insane team-up moves with other agents as well. Her gravity well could be combined with a Phoenix Hot Hands or a Viper Snakebite, forcing a vulnerable player to get stuck in the damaging area. Because her Stars can be deployed anywhere, an info-gatherer like Sova or Cypher can help her pinpoint her placements.

Finally, since her ultimate it literally infinite, it can be used to wall off several entry points and hiding spots to allow your teammates to pass unharmed and potentially unprotected.

We’re only just grasping the basics of what Astra can accomplish in-game, and more tips and tricks will surely follow as the community gets a firmer grasp of her.

Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.