5 Pro Valorant Tips to Play Better and Outsmart Your Opponents

Writer for Buff, Remi Smith
By Remi Smith
Tamara Fodora - Editor for Buff
Edited by Tamara Fodora

Updated July 17, 2023.

A gamer winning a Valorant match on a PC

Valorant is a high-intensity first-person shooter game that requires quick reflexes, sharp aim, and strategic thinking. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, there are always ways to improve your gameplay and outsmart your opponents.

» Learn more about Valorant's competitive mode and how it works

1. Don’t Run and Shoot

In Valorant, one of the key elements of gameplay is aiming and shooting accurately. However, one common mistake that many players make is moving while shooting.

This mistake can have a significant impact on your accuracy, movement speed, and control—all of which can ultimately cost you the round or even the entire match. To explain more precisely, moving around makes your crosshair less stable while drastically increasing recoil, making it far more difficult to predict your bullet patterns.

Moreover, staying still while shooting allows you to take advantage of other elements of gameplay, such as using your abilities or staying behind cover and reducing the size of your hitbox.

All in all, by standing still, you can increase your chances of hitting your target, avoid giving away your position (movement creates noise that your opponents can hear), and ultimately come out on top.

» Having trouble landing those headshots? Improve your aim by adjusting your sensitivity settings

2. Master Your Movements

Like other highly competitive FPS games, Valorant is a game that requires players to master a variety of movement techniques on top of incredible aim in order to gain an edge over their opponents. While basic movements like walking, running, and jumping are important, there are also advanced techniques that can be used to surprise and outmaneuver your opponents.

1. Wiggle Peeking

Quickly peeking in and out of cover while rapidly strafing back and forth can be useful for catching your opponents off guard and getting in a shot or two before retreating to safety.

2. Wide Swinging

Move backward and then slowly strafe out wide, keeping the cover in your line of sight. This can give you a much wider field of view, helping you clear corners or take control of map regions while still being able to duck behind cover if needed.

The downside to this is being vulnerable to enemies peeking from the side.

3. Jump Peeking

Jumping while peeking around corners, then changing direction at the climax of your jump and landing back behind the same cover can give you a quick look while minimizing your exposure to enemy fire. Practice this, and mix it up with other techniques to keep your movements unpredictable.

» Discover how to use this and other tactics to climb the Valorant competitive ladder

3. Recognize the Sounds of a Defuser

The sound of the defuser is a distinctive beeping noise that gets louder and faster as the defuser gets closer to completing the task. By learning to recognize this sound, you can determine whether the defuser is being activated. It can also help you estimate how much time you have left to either defuse the spike, eliminate the enemy team who may be defusing, or run to save the Vandal/Operator.

Spike rush is a great way to practice learning the audio cues for the spike and the defuser.

» Master Valorant's Fracture map and Breeze map today

4. Make Use of Your Abilities

Sure, some of the Agents' abilities out there are pricey, but they are definitely worth it. Most agents have abilities that are distinctly useful for specific situations—like using a Molotov to stop a push or prevent a defuse. However, some Agents, like Viper and Omen, can use long-range abilities in a completely different manner to fool enemy players into thinking you're doing something different.

Learning to use your abilities to your advantage and not just for what they were initially intended can confuse enemies and throw them off their game. For instance, smoking and sending breach attacks at the site you're not pushing can make the enemy team rotate over to the wrong site.

5. Know Which Weapon to Use

In Valorant, choosing the right gun for a particular situation can be crucial to winning a round. Here are some general tips on when to use what gun:

  • Pistols (Classic, Shorty, Frenzy, Ghost): Pistols are the default weapon in Valorant and are useful in close-range combat situations. They are also a good choice for saving money in eco rounds.
  • SMGs (Stinger, Spectre): SMGs are effective at close to medium range and are a good choice when you need to move quickly and engage in fast-paced combat.
  • Shotguns (Bucky, Judge): Shotguns are best used in close-range situations, such as defending a narrow corridor or taking a site with limited entry points.
  • Rifles (Bulldog, Guardian, Phantom, Vandal): Rifles are versatile and can be used in a wide range of situations. They are most effective at medium to long range and are a good choice for holding angles and peeking corners.
  • Snipers (Marshal, Operator): Snipers are the most effective at long range and are a good choice for holding angles and taking down enemies from a distance.

When choosing a gun, it's important to consider your team's economy (if you're all broke, don't spend money), the map and how to control its sites, and the situation you're currently in, whether you're close, medium, or long range. Additionally, it's important to practice with different guns in the game's practice range or in custom games. This would allow you to get a feel for their recoil and accuracy.

» Make your Valorant kills more fun by customizing your crosshair

Climb the Valorant Ranks With Our Tips

Remember, practice makes perfect. So, don't be afraid to experiment with different strategies and techniques until you find what works best for you. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to becoming a pro player in no time!

While you're working on your techniques, try running Buff in the background to get a step closer to your next skin or battle pass for free.

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