Valorant is a competitive shooter that borrows elements from Counter-Strike and casual hero-shooters. The game released on PC last year and has quickly risen in popularity, instantly giving tired CS:GO players something new to master. Here’s everything a player new to the world of Valorant needs to know.
Valorant Basics – CS:GO With a Twist
However, Valorant’s secret formula lies in its addition of hero-shooter mechanics. Before each match starts, players can choose to play as one of the 16 playable agents, each with their own unique abilities. This is where the game differs from CS:GO, where instead of individual items like smokes or grenades, each agent has their own alternative that can be used.
At the start of each round, players can buy weapons and throwables from a buy menu with a limited amount of in-game points and credits that vary depending upon wins or losses. Each agent has 3 abilities which are broken as follows:
- One Ultimate ability – This is each agents most unique ability which can be used sparingly per match, and requires collecting charges throughout each round to use.
- One signature ability – This secondary ability is also unique to the agents, and
- Extra throwables – These can be purchased at the start of each round and generally consist of grenades, smokes and flashes.
Valorant Agents List
As of the time of writing, there are 16 agents in Valorant, each with their own unique abilities. Here are all of the agents in Valorant:
Five agents are available for all players at the start, with the newer agents being unlockable through the battle pass.
Valorant Game Modes Explained
Like CS:GO, Valorant includes multiple game modes under the standard ranked and unranked pools. Valorant currently has three different game modes, all of which can be played in either pool.
Plant/Defuse (Ranked): the classic 5v5 bomb (called ‘spike’) defusal mode, where 2 teams battle each other for 25 rounds, with the first to win 13 rounds winning the match. Each round lasts for about 2 minutes.
Plant/Defuse (Unranked): this is the same as the competitive mode, but it doesn’t affect a players official rank within the game. Unrated is usually played as a way to practice and learn the maps and abilities, and new players are required to win 10 unrated matches before they can play in the competitive pool.
A shorter and faster paced version of Plant/Defuse, Spike Rush is a 5v5 mode lasting 7 rounds in total and sees all 5 attackers carry one spike each, instead of just one spike carrier in the team like in Plant/Defuse. Orbs can be found at random throughout the maps, which when picked up can apply buffs to the player’s abilities.
A 5v5 mode which lasts for 9 rounds, the Replication mode sees all players in one team playing as the same agent who is selected in a pre-match vote.
A classic free-for-all 14-player mode where there are no limits to which weapons a player can select. The mode is generally used by players for practicing their aim or learning new maps and new agents’ abilities.
Escalation (team deathmatch)
This is a 5v5 team deathmatch mode where the first team to reach level 12, or have more round wins before the 10 minute timer runs out, wins.
Another 5v5 deathmatch mode where the first team to get a total of 50 kills using their snowball launcher wins the match.
The last three modes – replication, escalation, and snowball fight are all part of a rotating queue. Aside from these, there is also a practice mode where players can move around ts maps freely without worry of losing their rank status and just trying out different weapons, or perfecting their angles for shootouts.