Dominating the Valorant Economy: Insider Secrets

Chris Wong - Writer for Buff
By Chris Wong
Tamara Fodora - Editor for Buff
Edited by Tamara Fodora

Updated July 25, 2023.

A gamer wearing a headset and playing a shooter game on two monitors

You probably already know that the economy is super important in Valorant. But what does it mean to manage your economy? Buff is here to give you the full breakdown to ensure that you maximize your time winning rounds with the best weapons you can get.

» Need more VPs? See the best ways to get free Valorant Points

The Basics—Credit Earnings and Buys

No matter how you perform in a game, there are some numbers that are constants. Every player starts the match with 800 credits, and the maximum amount of credits you can have is capped at 9,000. There are different ways to earn credits:

Credit Earnings for Wins

Winning a round gives a flat 3,000 credits to each player on your team. However, there are opportunities within the round to earn even more, such as 200 credits for each enemy you kill.

There are also side-specific ways to earn credits:

  • On the attacking side, planting the spike will give you and each member of your team 300 credits.
  • As the defenders, defusing the spike will grant each member of your team 300 credits.
  • Though not directly tied to economy management, the player who successfully plants or defuses the spike, or kills an enemy, also earns 1 Ult point.

Credit Earnings for Losses

With each consecutive round loss, your team will earn more credits, capping at three straight losses.

  • One Loss: 1,900 credits
  • Two Losses: 2,400 credits
  • Three or more losses: 2,900 credits

Types of Buys

  • Full buy This is the ideal scenario where you have enough credits to have your loadout decked out. This will mean full armor (heavy shields), Vandal, Phantom, or Operator (your most preferred weapon), and key abilities. For this, you need 3900 credits, plus the cost of key abilities.
  • Eco round This is a credit-saving buy, where you are typically getting the Ghost or Sheriff and light armor (light shields). Depending on the role, this may mean just buying key abilities rather than focusing on your weapon loadout. The goal is to have enough credits saved for the following round to make a full buy.
  • Anti-eco This is a response tactic when you know the enemy team will be doing an eco round. Rather than saving along with them, you spend credits to greatly increase your chances of winning the round with a loadout advantage. The most common occurrence of this is after winning the pistol round (first round of the half), as the enemy will almost always go Eco to build a losing streak for the credit earnings increase.
  • Half buy This is a middle-ground buying tactic to save for a full buy in the following round when you have enough credits to buy better weapons than a sidearm, but not enough for a full buy. The range is pretty wide here in terms of weapon and armor choices, but the most common ones are the Spectre, Marshal, or Guardian.
  • Force buy As the name states, this is when your team is forced to buy the best loadout they can. This is typically either when your team is one round from losing or at the last round of the first half, as everyone starts with 800 credits at the first round of each half.

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How to Manage Your Economy

Simply put, the goal is to have as many full buy rounds as possible. There are some rules of thumb that are a good place to start:

  • For the second round of a half, go with a half buy if you won the first round or an eco round if you lost the first round. This is the best way to capitalize on the losing streak to make a comeback, or to take advantage of the enemy team when you know they will be coming with a very weak loadout.
  • Understand the role you play and what abilities take precedence over a weapon in a loadout. There are many new players that misinterpret a full buy as being 3,900 credits and just buy a Vandal and Full Armor with no abilities, when the team may be relying on them to smoke key choke points.
  • Dying during a full buy round means that you have to spend at least another 2,900 credits for a Vandal or Phantom on your next full buy, whereas staying alive effectively means you've saved that same 2,900 credits.
  • The same applies to getting a kill on eco or half buy rounds. If you kill somebody on the enemy team during their full buy, you can save 2,900 credits by picking up their gun and staying alive for the rest of the round.
  • Some new players also fall victim to endless half buys, where they die and only have enough for another half buy the following round. Remember, the goal is to maximize the number of rounds you can make full buys.

Buying After the 3rd Round

The 3rd round in the half is a pivotal moment because this is the round where momentum can really change. There are a few scenarios, all of which dictate what type of buy you should be making:

  • If you lost the first two rounds, this is your opportunity to turn the tides with a full buy from the extra credits you've saved from your losing streak.
  • If you won the first two rounds, this is what is called a bonus round. You are typically coming into the round with the weapons from your half buy last round still intact. Most teams hedge their bets by not making a full buy, knowing that the other team will surely be doing so, effectively saving 2,900 credits for the following round.
  • If you won one round and lost the other, it's best to communicate with your team. See how they'd like to proceed, as it's best to be coordinated.

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Additional Tips for Maximizing Your Earnings

Here are some extra tips that can help you manage your credits better:

Choose the Right Armor

You may have seen some pros buy light armor when they are against an opponent's full buy. The idea behind this is that the Vandal is already a one-hit headshot kill, even with full armor, so it is more cost-effective to just buy light armor. However, pros are playing in an extremely high-skill environment where landing headshots consistently is all but expected. For newer players, getting Heavy Shields is the more sensible purchase.

Don't Forget Your Abilities

Next, some agents have ultimates that equip them with a powerful weapon. Abilities like Jett's Knives, Chamber's Tour de Force, or Neon's Overdrive equip you with some of the most powerful weapons in the game, allowing you to save credits for that round.

Don't Waste Your Credits

The last key tip is to not waste credits by earning over 9,000 of them. Offer to buy weapons for your teammates, as that would improve the team's overall econ. Similarly, watch your teammates loadout and wallets, and ask them for a buy should the same opportunity arise.

» Read our tips for climbing the competitive ladder more efficiently

Perfect Your Economy Skills for Higher Win Chances

Perfecting your economy management is essential to improving as a Valorant player. By understanding what decisions to make and when to make them, you allow yourself the best loadout, which translates to more kills and more wins! And while winning, don't forget to run Buff in the background for some extra rewards.

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