The best VALORANT character unlock order

These are the best agents to unlock first.

Image via Riot Games

VALORANT is an exciting game filled with a variety of different agents who bring their own unique play styles and abilities to the table. Players will start with five agents unlocked by default. As they play the game, they will unlock new agent slots until they have access to all of the available characters.

It can be difficult to choose what order to pick your agents in. After all, there are many things to take into consideration, including who the best characters are, what character suits your playstyle, and what agents will bring the most value to your preferred role on the team. To help you think through all these things, we put together a list of some of the best VALORANT characters to unlock first.

How to unlock agents

When you first download VALORANT, you have access to the following agents by default:

  • Sage
  • Sova
  • Brimstone
  • Phoenix
  • Jett

The other agents are locked. You will be able to unlock more characters through leveling up and through completing agent contracts. When you reach tiers five and 10 of the early progression system, you will unlock your first two agents. After that, you will need to complete the agent specific contracts to unlock new characters.

Alternatively, you can also pay to access agents without having to deal with the progression and unlock system. Each agent costs 1000 VALORANT points, which can be purchased for cash from within the VALORANT client and translates to about $10 per agent.

Best agents to unlock first

There is no absolute right answer to the question of “ideal unlock order.” At the end of the day, what is best is determined by what role in the team you want to play and your own personal preferences. Nonetheless, there are some characters that offer easier introductions to the game than others.

With that in mind, here are a few agents to consider unlocking first.

1) Raze

Raze is an 'Overwatch' hero trapped in a 'Valorant' agent's body
Image via Riot Games

Raze is a duelist and is one of the strongest explosion experts available in the game. Her kit is straightforward and easy to use in comparison to some of the other unlockable agents, so she is a perfect first unlock for anyone who is just getting started in this game. 

From the start of the match, Raze has access to Paint Shells, which is essentially a cluster grenade. For her purchasable abilities, Raze can carry the Boom Bot, a robot that chases people and explodes once close to them. She can also purchase the Blast Pack which can stick to surfaces and be remotely detonated. Her ultimate ability is called Showstopper, and it is a single-use Rocket Launcher that deals devastating area-of-effect damage to a reasonably large radius.

Her explosives-focused loadout can be really effective once you get the hang of it, and she can bring in some serious kills for her team.

2) Breach 

New 'Valorant' patch nerfs Sage and Killjoy, buffs Brimstone
Image via Riot Games

Breach is a great second unlock. He is an initiator who provides a significant amount of utility to your team. His abilities are designed to force enemies out of position using a variety of explosive and area-control abilities which operate by firing projectiles through walls. Breach is really helpful to his team, and he is a great character to learn early because using him forces new players to really think about the map and learn new angles of attack which will be useful with all characters.

His free ability is called Faultline. It fires a seismic blast which dazes enemies who are hit by it. This stun can be very useful when pushing into a site or checking a dangerous angle. He can also purchase Aftershock, which first a slow timed explosive charge through a wall. Finally, he can buy Flashpoint, an ability which fires a flash grenade through walls, allowing you to blind players from around corners. His ultimate is called Rolling Thunder, and it is a much larger version of Fault Line, which also throws enemies up into the air.

Breach serves as an extra initiator to select if you are not yet comfortable with Sova, which seems probable, since Sova is one of the more challenging agents to play in the game. If you want to play initiator, Breach is a must-have early unlock.

3) Cypher

Image via Riot Games

Cypher is a sentinel with relatively easy-to-use surveillance abilities that greatly benefit your team. On top of being useful, he is also pretty easy to play, making him an excellent choice for your third unlock slot.

His free Signature ability is Spycam, and it allows him to place small cameras on walls around the map. You can also use the cameras to fire a tracking dart that will reveal the locations of enemy who are hit by it.

His first purchasable ability is called Trapwire, and it allows you to place a tripwire which will reveal and daze any enemies who cross it. His second basic ability is called Cyber Cage and it creates a circular zone which blocks line of sight, filling the role of a smoke grenade. Finally, Cypher’s ultimate ability is called Neural Theft, which allows Cypher to use a freshly killed enemy corpse to reveal all enemy players on the map at once.

Cypher’s intelligence-gathering abilities informs about enemy locations without having to spread out the team. If intelligence-gathering is your kind of thing, you should definitely prioritize unlocking Cypher.

4) Omen

Valorant: How to Play as Omen - EssentiallySports
Image via Riot Games

Omen is a good unlock to consider after you have mastered a few other agents and gotten familiar with the game. He is a controller who offers unique abilities compared to the default Controller agent, Brimstone, but he can be difficult to play when you haven’t mastered the finer points of the game like rotations and map knowledge. But if you can learn to use him effectively, you can do some serious damage to the enemy.

His free signature ability, Dark Cover, is perhaps his most useful ability to your team. The ability allows Omen to fire a shadow orb to a location, which obscures line of sight with a dark swirling sphere. This ability is great utility for taking and holding sites, since it allows you to slow down enemy pushes and block off particular paths.

Omen can also purchase Shrouded Step. Using this ability, he can teleport himself to a location within view. This is useful for leaping across enemy sightlines or setting up dangerous flanks. His other purchasable basic ability is called Paranoia, and it fires a shadow projectile through walls and impairs the vision of any enemy who is touched by it. 

Finally, Omen’s Ultimate is called From the Shadows. This ability allows Omen to teleport to any part of the map. This is very powerful, since it allows you to come from nearly any angle imaginable.

Although he takes some time to master, Omen is a good agent to get familiar with due to his essential role in the current VALORANT meta.

After these first four options, start branching out and exploring the other agents you might personally prefer. Since there is no right or wrong unlock order, don’t be afraid to try out whatever agent catches your fancy. Just be aware, that some agents are harder to play than others, and picking up these first four will provide you with a useful, relatively easy set of agents to start with.