Deadlock casting an ability in VALORANT
Image via Riot Games

VALORANT Deadlock tips and tricks: How to best play Deadlock

Spice up your games with nanowires.

With Episode Seven’s launch, VALORANT’s sentinel meta has finally stepped out of its very uninspired state after more than a year of stagnance, and luckily, it’s with a fun, powerful agent like Deadlock. Fierce and confident, the Norwegian operative is definitely going to stir the creativity in you like no one else in the diverse roster.

Recommended Videos

While discovering Deadlock’s quirks on your own can offer a different kind of satisfaction, if you’re interested, our suggestions can help you bypass her flaws and dominate your opponents from day one.

While fidgeting with her kit, I’ve discovered nifty interactions that Deadlock’s abilities have with other abilities in VALORANT, and some of these can be used to boost her kit’s value.

From climbing objects to taking your enemy on a bungee adventure, here’re the best tips and tricks you can adopt to make the most of Deadlock.

Best Deadlock Tips and Tricks in VALORANT

Barrier Mesh

Let’s start with Deadlock’s signature ability, the tough-to-break Barrier Mesh, which generates four health-rich barriers in a cross (X) geometry from a central origin point. Each of the barriers has a fortifying point as well. It takes about a full magazine of Phantom (30 bullets) to break the central orb, while the smaller ones can be destroyed with around 17 bullets.

After it’s deployed, the barrier lasts for 30 seconds, and as time passes, the origin orbs lose integrity, and it takes lesser bullets to break them.

Related: All abilities for Deadlock, VALORANT’s new wire-wielding sentinel

It may seem similar to the Sage wall, but unlike Barrier Orb, Barrier Mesh doesn’t block bullets or the line of sight. It can, however, deny critical space by blocking movements.

Before you go on to deploy the mesh, remember it has only one charge—one of Deadlock’s disheartening flaws. Being judicious with its use is important as Barrier Mesh is Deadlock’s biggest strength, literally. As a Deadlock on attack, you can use Barrier Mesh to block a chokepoint as you enter a site or take control of important areas on the map. Another exciting mechanic is to block the planted Spike with the mesh—place it in a way so that the defuser has to break multiple fortifying orbs to get past it.

Even if your team dies, this trick can stall the defuse just enough for your team to take the round win, considering how healthy the mesh is.

Deadlock's Barrier Mesh in VALORANT.
Deadlock’s Barrier Mesh blocks movement, but not bullets. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Barrier Mesh can also be used with Harbor’s Cove or Sage’s Barrier Orb to infuriate your enemies. Say, on attack, you block Ascent’s B CT spawn with a Sage Wall and a Barrier Mesh; you basically lock down that retake point for the defenders.

Defenders will either have to break both barriers, thus losing out on ammo, or try entering the site from the remaining two points: B Main or Mid-B Market entrance. Unless there’s an agent in the enemy team who can teleport over your ‘lockdown’ combo (Omen, Yoru, and Chamber), you’ll have one less chokepoint to worry about with this trick.

On defense, you can use Deadlock’s Barrier Mesh to block site entrances, which can be incredibly annoying to face as an attacker. That being said, like Sage’s Barrier Orb, Barrier Mesh also has a fortification time. So, if the enemies shoot the mesh before it fortifies, it will take lesser bullets to destroy it.

Another quirky Barrier Mesh interaction can help you cancel Astra’s Gravity Well if she’s playing post-plant and depending on the pull denying the defuse. For this, place the mesh in a way that blocks your movement away from the Spike.

You can self-boost up a box with Barrier Mesh; simply place it underneath your position and jump. This will allow you to scope in from unpredictable angles, much like the Sage wall.  

Lastly, Barrier Mesh supports a plethora of lethal ability combos that you can perform with your teammates: simply deploy the mesh at popular holding spots to restrict enemy movement and then combine it with damage-inflicting abilities like Brimstone’s molly and ultimate, Raze’s grenade and Boom Bot, KAY/O’s FRAG/MENT, Breach’s Aftershock, and more—the list runs long. 

One may argue Barrier Mesh is a weaker Sage wall and that enemies can sometimes cross the barrier by destroying just one fortifying orb. Be that as it may, if they try to cross through by breaking just a single orb, their movement will still be restricted to a degree, giving you an advantage.

Movement plays a key role in VALORANT and is crucial to winning gunfights. If your enemies try to give up on their movement in order to cross through Barrier Mesh by wasting minimal bullets, you can punish them plenty for that risky choice.

GravNet

Deadlock's GravNet in VALORANT.
Enemies caught in GravNet’s radius will be forced to crouch. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

If an enemy gets stuck within GravNet’s radius, they will be forced to crouch and move slowly. They can still shoot, and they can also press the “F” key to remove the net, but it’s still a huge disadvantage to deal with in a fast-paced tactical shooter.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity of a trapped enemy in your net. Fire Raze’s Paint Shells, send in Breach’s Aftershock, or deploy any other deterrent ability to deal humongous damage. If the enemy is trapped, they’ll have a hard time escaping the net, and a well-timed combo can even pick a frag effortlessly.

Lucky for all the ‘Lineup Larrys,’ GravNet is a notorious post-plant ability to deal with, and its projectile path is the same as Viper’s Poison Cloud, Gekko’s Mosh Pit, and Killjoy’s Nanoswarms. So, if you’re a Gekko main, you may already know all the lineups.

Related: VALORANT Gekko tips and tricks: How to best play Gekko

Besides delaying Spike defusals and fueling deadly combos on attack, GravNet can be used to stop an aggressive push effectively on defense. Some agents can break past the net though. For instance, Jett can dash out of it, Raze can satchel out of it, Omen can teleport out of it, and so on. Depending on the situation, you may find it worthwhile to save the only charge of GravNet you have for retake instead of just wasting it at the site entrance.

Sonic Sensor

Deadlock holds her Sonic Sensor.
Creativity is key for Sonic Sensor to work. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

The only Deadlock ability that has the potential to control flanks, Sonic Sensor, is a tad difficult to profit from unless you’re creative. While it sends out a nasty concuss debuff upon detecting an enemy, a flanker can easily walk past a Sonic Sensor. 

Sonic Sensor uses audio cues to detect enemies. So, if the enemy fires or runs past it, the sensor will trigger. But if the enemy walks past it, the sensor will do nothing—there’s no need to break it, block it with smokes, or find tricky ways to bypass it. This is exactly where Cypher’s Trap Wire and Killjoy’s Alarm Bot do better.

Furthermore, using general abilities near the sensor won’t trigger it; apparently, sound cues from a Sova recon, Killjoy turret, mollies, and more utilities don’t count. But if the enemy tries to Jett dash, Neon sprint, or send Gekko’s Wingman past it, the trap will trigger.

Related: Here are the best agents in VALORANT: Ranked tier list

Be that as it may, these flaws don’t necessarily imply Sonic Sensors are bad for watching flanks. You just need to be unpredictable and creative with placing them. Find uncommon spots to stick the sensor on and shuffle their placements. The sensor’s debuff activates past a barrier or wall, so if an enemy gives out a sound cue on the other side, they will be concussed.

On attack, the sensor can also be stuck on a planted Spike or a common lane to annoy enemies further. Similarly, on defense, you can line popular holding spots with the sensors to inflict major inconvenience.  

Annihilation

Deadlock's Annihilation in VALORANT.
Deadlock’s Annihilation can bounce off walls, so use it to your advantage. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

There’re quite a few tips I can offer for Deadlock’s enticing and potent cocoon ultimate. But before that, let me begin by saying that it’s not all an overpowered ability that lacks counters. For starters, you can very easily miss the target, rendering your seven-point superpower useless. Not to forget, some agent interactions can nullify its advantage and even confuse you and your allies. 

But, well, it’s an ultimate ability that kills by forming a cocoon over the enemy, and Riot has almost done a great job at balancing it. With good timing, coordination, and awareness, you can watch your nanowire cocoon pull an enemy into their grave every time.

Upon activating Annihilation, a timer begins, within which you’ll have to use it. This is great for a post-plant situation where you can activate the ultimate to bait your opponent who’s trying to defuse the Spike; it’ll keep them guessing as you cook a plan.

Another important mechanic associated with Annihilation is the nanowire pulse can bounce off barriers. So, you can angle your ultimate correctly and trap an enemy without exposing yourself. Now, based on this mechanic, Natus Vincere content creator Noodle has discovered just the perfect trick for Deadlock’s cocoon.

On June 25, Noodle posted a video snippet of his Twitch stream on Twitter, describing what he calls the “Deadlock Bungee.” To perform it, one has to bounce Annihilation’s pulse off the ceiling, which will cause the cocoon with the trapped enemy inside to rise up in the air. 

So, even if enemies manage to destroy the cocoon and release their ally, they will take a lot of fall damage. If their HP was low enough before the ultimate caught them, the enemy might even fall to their death. You can also use this mechanic to deny a Spike defuser without exposing yourself.

If you find it hard to hit a target with Deadlock’s ultimate because they somehow manage to dodge its pulse every time, try combining it with a slowing utility like Breach’s Fault Line and Sage’s Slow Orb or a blinding ability like Gekko’s Dizzy, Skye’s Guiding Light, and so on. 

You can also combine other ultimates in VALORANT with Annihilation to make it more effective. Gekko’s Thrash, Sova’s Hunter’s Fury, and Breach’s Rolling Thunder are only a few of the ultimates you can find value with.

Related: Best agents to pair with Deadlock in VALORANT

Deadlock is a refreshing sentinel to play with, offering unique abilities of heavy value on both attack and defense. She’s not your average sentinel; her kit doesn’t force her to set up utilities before every round like Cypher and Killjoy, instead allowing her to take the aggressive path and fight alongside her duelist and initiator allies.

Honestly said, Cypher and Killjoy may be able to bring more value to your team than Deadlock in many cases. Deadlock may be a better choice for double-sentinel team comps, where she doesn’t have to worry about being the sole flank controller. Her kit is crafted for closely spaced maps, making her a viable sentinel pick for Fracture, Ascent, and Bind. On Lotus and Pearl, however, she isn’t the best choice.

Every VALORANT agent has flaws, and Deadlock isn’t the perfect kind either. But her kit can still prove to be the deciding factor, if played to her strengths. Just be wary of the possible counters, and you should be able to flourish in the prevailing meta.


Dot Esports is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article The instalock debate: Shopify Rebellion’s meL explains why VALORANT duelists should be more confident
"meL" of Shopify Rebellion competes at the 2023 VALORANT Game Changers Championship for Knockouts at CBLOL Studio on December 01, 2023 in São Paulo, Brazil.
Read Article How to fix the VAN 84 error in VALORANT
VALORANT agents Deadlock and Jett next to one another.
Read Article VCT Masters Shanghai 2024: VALORANT scores and schedule
VCT Masters Madrid stage
Related Content
Read Article The instalock debate: Shopify Rebellion’s meL explains why VALORANT duelists should be more confident
"meL" of Shopify Rebellion competes at the 2023 VALORANT Game Changers Championship for Knockouts at CBLOL Studio on December 01, 2023 in São Paulo, Brazil.
Read Article How to fix the VAN 84 error in VALORANT
VALORANT agents Deadlock and Jett next to one another.
Read Article VCT Masters Shanghai 2024: VALORANT scores and schedule
VCT Masters Madrid stage
Author
Sharmila Ganguly
Staff 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