A large number of streamers, casters, esports pros, and other content creators had the opportunity to play VALORANT last week. Based on that footage, we can already see that some agents were more popular and stronger than others.
Here’s our rankings of the nine agents featured in the VALORANT closed beta. The first half of the rankings include agents who are each strong in their own way. They’re expected to have a higher pick rate overall, including at low and high levels. But the skill gap also has to be taken into consideration. Since the closed beta won’t provide a lot of time for players to master the game, agents with a lower difficulty are placed higher on this list.
Sage is the strongest VALORANT agent for a simple reason: she’s the only one who can heal and resurrect allies. But she also offers tremendous utility to her team, provided she doesn’t die first in the round. In addition to up to two heals per round and her ultimate, she has control abilities, such as an overpowered wall and a slow.
The main difficulty of Sage lies in survivability. When players start to fully understand that she’s a real threat to them, she’ll be the first target of every enemy and will have a higher chance of getting flanked. In each round, players should keep an eye on Sage and try to prevent her from getting her Resurrection faster.
Brimstone is clearly a must-pick agent in VALORANT. He’s good at getting control of the map, especially as an attacker. He offers several advantages to his team, including three smokes that can be simultaneously launched anywhere near him, a Molotov that can be thrown over walls, and a deadly ultimate with a dangerously small delay that burns everyone in a large area.
All of these abilities can be used in a variety of situations, including preventing the enemy from planting or defusing the spike, closing a path, or trapping enemies in a small area. In good hands, Brimstone can clearly turn the tide of a game. But his abilities require strong knowledge of the maps, good communication, and flawless positioning to use them without getting killed.
The Moroccan agent is particularly strong for counter-flanking due to his abilities that all serve the purpose of revealing the location of enemies on the map. His signature ability is a camera that’s easy to find and shoot down. His trapwire is highly dangerous and his ultimate can wipe the enemy team if his squad is well-coordinated.
The traps are easy and fast to set out, so Cypher is only vulnerable when he uses his ultimate, which reveals every enemy on the map for a short time by extracting information from an enemy’s corpse. It can be tricky to use depending on where the enemy died, however. The easiest way to use his ultimate is to get an entry kill on a close enemy and cast a smoke to cover Cypher.
Cypher is equally strong on Bind and Haven because they both offer several flanking paths. His only weakness could be defending on Haven because he has little time to adapt to the enemy’s strategy. But even then, Cypher can allow his team to set their defense on two sites with traps and cameras.
Jett is the VALORANT agent with the most mobility. She perfectly suits players who like to make clutch moves. Her abilities allow her to reach locations that only Omen can also get to, offering more opportunities to surprise enemies.
She also offers team utility with her three smokes that last around 10 seconds. Her passive, which allows her to hover after a jump, is another way to create clutch plays.
She’s incredibly fun to play but also hard to use to her full potential. Jett is most powerful in risky positions, even though she can get killed due to the slightest mistake. She can be the top threat on a team and kill several agents by herself, but she isn’t the top-ranked agent due to her high skill gap.
Similar to Jett, Phoenix has the kit of a typical solo player who seeks clutch plays. His power lies in the versatility of his skills. He can blind enemies, burn them while healing himself, and create a gigantic wall of flames. He can switch playstyles in a round by being useful to his teammates and then flanking enemies by using his ultimate, which allows him to go for a play without taking any risks.
But Phoenix will become more difficult to play as players get used to his ultimate, which doesn’t last long and is announced by a line that everyone on the map can hear, similar to all ultimates. While his Blaze and Hot Hands abilities are easy to use, his curved and short-range blind is tricky to cast without putting himself at risk—or blinding himself or his teammates. Still, Phoenix’s versatility makes him fun to play and offers a variety of playstyles that allow him to adapt to the enemy’s strategies throughout the game.
Viper is highly versatile. Her abilities offer so many options that many players didn’t have the time to fully grasp during the playtest. Her mechanic of fuel can be frustrating since the player is forced to make a choice between Poison Cloud and Toxic Screen depending on the situation. And if the enemy team plays aggressively, Viper can lack the time to react.
Viper is at her strongest when her team snowballs. When the team has a site under control with a Viper, you know that you’ll have a hard time taking it back. She can block almost every angle of a site with her abilities and her ultimate is perfect for planting a spike.
But it’s less effective when she’s on the defending side, in which case her ultimate can both turn the tide of a round or put her own teammates at a disadvantage. Viper is difficult to play but she has tremendous potential, mostly as an attacker.
Sova looks like a mix between Cypher and Breach, but not in the most effective way. His ultimate and Recon Bolt are his best abilities. The Recon Bolt reveals every enemy in the radius of his sonar and can discover when the enemies are attacking as soon as the round starts. In addition to this, the three charges of his ultimate can wipe a team when they’re trapped in a choke point by dealing significant damage at long range.
Both of his other abilities look underpowered, however. His Shock Bolt deals low damage for a long casting time and his drone is noticeable and difficult to control—so much so that Sova players almost never get the time to shoot a dart at an enemy before being destroyed. Because of that, Sova only shines for a short time in every round and is most effective with the help of other teammates.
Omen seems to fall behind the other VALORANT agents. Most of Omen’s potential lies in his ultimate, but it’s hard to use it in an effective way since it’s highly noticeable and has a long delay. Omen has little chance of killing an enemy by teleporting to their spawn or on a flanking path because both released maps, Bind and Haven, are relatively small and his location will be easy to discover.
He can still use his ultimate to stall, but he won’t be able to fool his enemies more than once or twice. Yet, an average player will be able to use his ultimate four times in a game. For this reason, Omen has the potential to outplay enemies—and if successful, he can easily ace a team. But it’s a double-edged sword that not everyone can use.
His other abilities can be useful for his team, but they don’t surpass the control potential of other agents, such as Brimstone and Viper, or the flanking power of Jett, who’s easier to use.
Breach has earthquake-themed control abilities that help his team get control of the map. But his abilities are only effective at close range and are difficult to use effectively because the Breach player has to know exactly where his enemies are without putting himself at risk.
Breach’s abilities encourage an aggressive playstyle, even though he doesn’t have any ability to rush an enemy or get more mobility. It makes him almost useless on both released maps without communicating with his teammates. On a smaller map, however, he could prove to be a real monster.
VALORANT‘s closed beta will launch on April 7. Some agents will certainly become more popular than others, which may affect their rank on this list. The agents will also receive changes before the closed beta, like Sage, who seems too powerful after the playtest.
This article will be updated with any changes or the addition of new agents in VALORANT.