What does ‘thrifty’ mean in VALORANT?

Win those save rounds, people.

Image via Riot Games

VALORANT is a tactical shooter that uses an economy system as part of its gameplay mechanics. The strongest weapons are locked behind an in-game credit system, so you won’t be able to get an Operator or a Phantom in the first round. Rather, a central focus of the game is how to use the credits you have to maximize your chances of winning the game, not the round.

What this means is pretty simple: If you’re behind in the economy, rather than maximizing what you purchase every round, some rounds you’ll have to save resources.

The logic behind this is straightforward. Why would you continue to double and triple down on subpar weapons, with a poor chance of winning every round due to how strong your enemy’s weapons are, when you could throw a round and carry your credits to the next one?

Saving is about winning the war, not the battle, and every tactician knows that a perfect win rate isn’t attainable. It may not feel the best for the more competitive of the bunch, but learning how to play “save rounds” wins games.

This isn’t to say that save rounds are complete throwaways, which is where “thrifty” comes in.

Your team earns the “thrifty” commendation by winning save rounds, rounds where you spent less than your opponent, and had an objectively less powerful loadout. If your team buys three Frenzys, a Marshall, a Stinger, and beats up on a squad with Vandals, Operators, and armor, you’ll get the commendation.

Learning how to score the Thrifty rounds is one of the keys to getting better at VALORANT. You won’t be expected to win 100% of the save rounds, but being able to beat the odds with less powerful weaponry is a sign of effective strategy, better aim, or both. If you’re able to shoot with Stingers, Frenzys, or the Classic, you can likely shoot with the Operator, Phantom, or Vandal.

If you’re asking yourself how to win save rounds to get that sweet, sweet “thrifty” commendation, there are some effective strategies. On one hand, you can camp your side of the map, and try to catch any over-aggressive enemies off-guard. You can also gather your entire team to rush a site, and overwhelm the other team with numbers. Either way, the way to win save rounds is to get a pick, pick up the dropped Vandal, Phantom, or Operator, and protect the player that picks it up.

No matter what way you slice it, you’ll need some smooth maneuvers to get the “thrifty” commendation in VALORANT.