How to get better at VALORANT

Stairway to Radiant.

Image via Riot Games

Winning in VALORANT can look harder than it seems, especially as you advance into higher ranks. Considering you’re only responsible for your own gameplay, you can only win more matches in VALORANT by improving yourself.

Even if you learn everything there is to VALORANT, the game constantly changes since Riot Games rolls out new seasons and patches to spice up the metagame. Players will often need to adapt and make tweaks in the way they play VALORANT to remain competitive.

If you’re looking to push up higher in the game’s ranked system and make a name for yourself in your region, you’ll need to focus on consistently winning games. Every loss will set you a step back from your objective, so learning how to win more in VALORANT can help you optimize your time in the game.

1) Study the metagame

We all have that one favorite agent we just can’t stop choosing, even if they aren’t in the meta anymore. While playing them can be quite fun, you’ll need to give in to the meta to maximize your chances of winning. Regularly check tier lists and find out which agents are doing better than others. If you don’t know how to play these agents, you’ll need to spare time to learn more about them.

This also applies to guns. Learning the mechanics of the best VALORANT weapons will give you an edge over enemies who struggle to decide which weapon to run in a match. Study the shooting ranges and recoil patterns of different weapons in the game to expand your arsenal.

Learning the ins and outs of all the weapons in the game will turn you into a more versatile player, and help you better anticipate the move of your enemies.

2) Immititate professional VALORANT players

Professional VALORANT players spend hours optimizing their gameplay. Every decision they make in a match will be the result of hours of training. Regular players are blessed with the opportunity to freely watch their favorite pro players and learn from their moves.

Analyzing pro players and implementing their style into your matches can help you improve by leaps and bounds. This won’t be your ticket to the next VALORANT tournament, however, since this method of improving will have its ceiling.

3) Work on your ability timings

Image via Riot Games

Most VALORANT players are guilty of wasting their abilities prematurely in rounds. Knowing when you should use your resources can be key to winning more VALORANT matches and it’ll also help you with predicting enemy movement.

Holding onto an ability to use it at the right time can change the course of a round. A well-placed Slow Orb or a Snake Bite can make a round-winning difference while defending and attacking. Each agent will have different timings and strengths, and learning more about the agent roster should be one of your prime objectives since it’ll also help you understand the game better.

Once you start working on your timing with different agents, you’ll keep track of them when they’re also in the enemy team. Keeping track of your enemies’ abilities can allow you to find more gaps on the map and perform better in the long run.

4) Optimize your VALORANT controls and settings

Each player will have their preferred settings and layouts, but if you’ve been playing VALORANT with the default settings, you may have some room to grow.

Control settings like sensitivity tend to be highly personal. If you favor speed over accuracy, you’ll want your in-game settings to reflect this and vice versa. Players who don’t know where to start can check the settings of their favorite VALORANT player with a quick Google search and see if their layout also works for them.

When it comes to visual settings, you’ll want to maximize your frames per second to fully take advantage of your reaction times. Frame drops and playing suboptimal frames can cause you to perform poorly since you’ll be at a natural disadvantage against other players.

5) Don’t tilt

Even the best players can tilt which can cause their performance to drop significantly. Players often tilt when they’re on a losing spree or frustrated with the game.

There’s no cure for titling, but you can prevent it from affecting your gameplay by walking away. Taking a break and not playing VALORANT while tilted will increase your win rate in the long run since you won’t be losing matches out of frustration. 

6) Implement strategies

Winning doesn’t necessarily require hours of practice and foresight to change your games. Implementing confusing, off the cuff strategies can completely throw opponents. 

For example your whole team is on an eco round on the defending side, buy flashes, grenades and utility for scanning enemies and blindside the opposition by rushing A site. Your team is on an eco/low-buy anyway, so this strategy could work wonders by taking a gun off an enemy and, if you’re lucky, you can be in a 5-vs-4 or better. 

Always make sure you can afford the next round though: choose your utility sparingly. 

7) Learn movement

While the movement isn’t as difficult as Counter Strike, learning to side-strafe, jiggle-peak, and wide-swing is incredibly important for you to climb the ranks. 

By jiggle-peaking on low health or against operators, you can get vital information with a low chance of taking any damage. Learning when and where to do these movements is an effective way to improve in VALORANT.

Also learning when to stop movement is necessary. If you’re moving, you will not be accurate. Your velocity controls your accuracy, so moving when shooting, (unless you’ve completely understood how to move in VALORANT) is something to avoid. 

There are countless guides on the internet that show how to do these movements, it doesn’t require much time at all to aim like a professional.

8) Learning how to change the pace

Image via Riot Games

Being aggressive every single round is going to get you killed more often than not. Opponents (if they’re smart) adapt to tackle any aggression you’re showing. 

By being aggressive on particular rounds, it surprises opposition and causes players to have to use utility or to take risks in order to clear angles. By implementing aggression early on, opponents have to now counter that every other round to make sure it isn’t happening again. 

By throwing in an aggressive play every four rounds or so, opponents won’t get time to adapt, as you’re adapting faster.

Follow the trends of professional players. Recently, on Fracture for example, the meta involved players taking control of B-Main and switching it up randomly by taking A-main or Arcade instead. By taking control of choke-points on the VALORANT maps, you eliminate areas that assist the attacking side in taking the site you’re controlling. Use your utility efficiently and effectively and pair it with another player like a duelist to help get map control.

Map control is integral to winning games. It can give your teammates time to rotate, and wastes opposition’s time and utility. On attack it can freak the defending side, causing them to over rotate and split up, giving you an easy kill or trade on any site.

9) Find more players to party up with

Solo queuing can be a nightmare. Finding one or more other VALORANT players to queue with will help you build trust in your teammates, create small strategies that can help you play off one another and is overall more fun. 

It also gives you someone you can trust to perform the duties in their role. 

10) Warm up in Deathmatch before games

Deathmatching is usually seen as a throwaway VALORANT game like Spike Rush. However, deathmatching before competitive games can make your aim crisp. 

Change it up in a deathmatch. Playing different spots and changing up your weaponry throughout the game will help you practice for eco rounds, half-buys, and full-buys.Playing in spots you would use in a competitive VALORANT game will help you learn the angles you should hold during a rush, or alternatively practicing an A-short rush on Bind will help you learn the angles to clear.  

Hitting the range is also very effective. Practicing effectively makes a world of difference.

While trying to get better in VALORANT, you’ll want to remove the element of stress as much as possible. If playing ranked matches is just too much pressure for you as you’re grasping the ropes, you should consider playing unranked games until you feel confident.

Due to the competitive nature of VALORANT, most players forget about the unranked mode’s existence which is still filled with great players that will help you test your mettle.