Climb the Valorant Competitive Ladder: 7 Pro Tips & Tricks

Writer for Buff, Remi Smith
By Remi Smith
Joel Taylor, editor for Buff
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated July 25, 2023.

Screenshot of the different ranks in Valorant

Valorant is one of the biggest FPS games in the esports gaming industry, quickly overtaking its Valve counterpart, CS:GO, in popularity and general interest. Though the two games are very similar in their genre, they have a few key differences that set them apart from one another, creating some interesting challenges when trying to climb the ranked ladder in both games. We've collected the 7 best pro tips and tricks to help you do just that in the Valorant competitive scene.

1. Pay Close Attention to Your Individual Performance

Sure, you should always be paying close attention to your performance during a game, checking the scoreboard to gauge how well you're doing against your current opponents and how you're synergizing with your team, but that's not the review we're talking about.

The best way to get the most information on how you're doing and how you should improve is to watch gameplay footage of a match after it's done.

I've had the accidental privilege of reviewing tons of my own footage since stepping into the streaming and content creation world, and even though the majority of my clips are ones I think I'm doing excellently in, I can still spot loads of little errors in my gameplay, ones I'd never have spotted or thought about during the match itself. Since I've started paying attention to the bad habits I've spotted myself doing in play-backs, my in-game performance has accelerated way faster than just trying to grind the hours to get better would have done.

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2. Learn to Play a Small Pool of Self-Sufficient Agents Well

Though being a jack of all trades is great for understanding how each Agent is played, you lose the opportunity to really master some Agents since your spells and mindset for the right time to use them are always changing. Choosing a small handful of Agents to play and practice with—a favorite Agent, a second favorite Agent in the same role, and an Agent in a secondary role—means that you can focus on and refine a specific play style that you and your team can rely on.

It's nice to try out all the agents, but pick a few that you really like and really develop your skills with them.

3. Play in a Party Rather Than Solo

Admittedly, this one's harder when you've got a small friend pool who aren't interested in joining you competitively or don't enjoy the same games as you. Though it does present an opportunity to chat with people in casual or other ranked games until you gather a group that is keen to play more consistently with you on a competitive level.

The perks to having partied-up teammates are that you eventually know how they perform, what roles and weapons suit them, and vice versa, as well as being able to identify their callouts and unique strategies. Managing to gather a full team of players who consistently play with one another and practice together can be a major advantage against a team full of solos.

4. Work on Your Communication Skills

Practice Your Callouts

Giving clear and concise callouts to your teammates is vital to making sure your team functions well together during a match. Learning how to give short and specific call-outs to your team can tell them where to be watching when moving around corners, or when they should be rotating effectively. Admittedly, the callouts themselves take a good while to master: the fastest way to learn each area is to look at the name of the area you're in underneath the map as you move around. Watching pros make callouts in clips and watching streamers play online is another great way to learn how to communicate the right things to your teammates.

» Struggling with Fracture? Discover the pro callouts, strategies, and tips for Valorant's Fracture map

Keep Your Cool When Winning and Losing

As important as callouts are, so is being a good teammate to talk to. Making sure you don't lose your cool and keeping the morale of you and your team up is an important thing to keep in mind. If all of your teammates are with you on this, round losses and match defeats start to feel like a learning process instead of a kick to the face. I think it's much better to have a teamie saying things like "ah dang, you'll get him next time," or, "try this gun out there instead, I'll support you," when you die, instead of things like telling you to uninstall or throw the game.

Nobody really likes a toxic teamie, so keep your chins up, and you'll find your wins up.

5. Target Enemies That Are Broke

When you're in a match and you've lost a few rounds consecutively, you'll already know the struggle of trying to save up funds to get a better weapon to compete with, only to get bombarded by the enemy team. Well, use this strategy against them as well.

Since you can see how much cash the enemy team has, picking on the guy with the least cash can insure that he stays in a disadvantaged position for a longer period of the match. It's not the nicest tactic, but this is ranked we're talking about, and if you can keep 2 or 3 members of a team broke, then you'll have a serious advantage in the overall match.

6. Warm Up Before Jumping Into a Ranked Queue

This may sound silly, but physically warming up—especially if you're in a cold room—is a great way to make sure you're not stiff and clunky when you hop into Valorant. It's easy to think you might be out of practice or that "something is off," when really, your muscles and joints just need to be loosened up again. When you are physically warmed up, the practice range is where you should be headed next to start working on your movement and aim, before your first match of the day.

Cold hands are a gamer's worst enemy. Warm them up before you play.

7. Make Time for Aim Training

Aim training is another incredible way to get better at Valorant. I mean, if you can click on an enemy's head before they click on yours, you're winning, right? Hop into the practice range for this and try out the different training dummy routines there.

There are 4 main things you should focus on when aim-training:

  • Accuracy: practice getting headshots
  • Target switching: flicking between targets rapidly
  • Shooting while strafing
  • Recoil patterns: spray each gun and find out how to control it

» Master your aim: 5 Valorant Pro Player Sensitivity Settings to Tweak Your Aim To

Stick With It, Ranks Come Slowly

While we can't guarantee you'll see results right off the bat, sticking to these tips will, over time, help you climb the Valorant ladder so you can show off your new ranks to your friends—if you don't run into any of the ridiculous queue problems against super-high ranked players. If you're practicing and climbing the ranks in Valorant, you could be getting free goodies from Buff while you're at it!

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