The 5 Must-Have OP Agents for Dominating Valorant Ranked in 2024

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

Updated November 16, 2023.

Gaming PC setup displaying Valorant loading screen behind speakers, keyboard, and mouse

Valorant is a round-based competitive shooter that's pretty much the same as its influencer, CS:GO, but with one key difference: your team is comprised of unique playable characters (Agents), each with their own abilities, gadgets, and ultimates that add huge twists to strategy and team composition. Having the right group of Agents on your team can turn the tides of your game simply by how well their abilities work together to help the team. That said, there are 21 Agents and counting, most of them with a chunky grind to get through before unlocking them to try them out. So who should you focus on adding to your Agent roster first? We've got you covered.

Luckily, most of the Agents in this list are playable right from account sign-up, so you can start practicing them right away as you work on your next Agent contract.

» Need help? Read our tips for climbing the Valorant competitive ladder

1. Killjoy (Sentinel)

Killjoy Agent Overview

Passive CQEX
N/AA remotely detonated grenade that is invisible to enemies out of its proximity and deals damage over timeEquip an invisible bot that explodes when enemies come in range, applying a debuff that makes them take double damageDeploy an automated turret with a 180-degree cone of site Deploy a bubble dome with a large radius that explodes, causing all enemies hit to be slowed and unable to use guns or abilities for 8 seconds
N/A200 credits200 creditsFree7 ultimate points

Our Tips

Killjoy is a must-pick in most competitive maps in 2023. Since Chamber got his huge nerfs at the end of last season, Killjoy has risen to be the most-picked (if she's not banned) Sentinel Agent in ranked play, simply because of how strong her overall kit is, and how her gadgets allow her to play safely. Her Nanoswarm ability is very versatile and on its own gives killjoy a strong defense mechanic to bring to the team. The ability can be used to halt aggressive pushing from opponents and prevent them from planting or defusing the spike, all while avoiding damage herself.

Killjoy does not lack in offense either. Her alarm bot and turret gadgets are relatively cheap for their effectiveness, both individually and in combination with other abilities and gadgets. Her ultimate practically locks everyone in place. The beacon can be destroyed while it's charging, but it's a huge risk to do so, meaning most opponents will run outside of the zone to stay safe. This can mean free planting zones if played correctly.

» Not enough VPs? Discover the best methods for getting free Valorant Points

2. Viper (Controller)

Viper Agent Overview

ToxinSnake BitePoison CloudToxic ScreenViper's Pit
Viper's toxin-applying abilities reduce an enemy's maximum healthEquip and fire a chemical canister that creates a debuff zone, dealing damage and applying Vulnerable to enemiesEquip and fire a gas emitter that has a smoke effect and applies damage/reuse to create a toxic cloud that drains Viper's passive fuel to remain in effectEquip and fire a line of gas emitters that have a smoke effect and deal damage over time/reuse to create a toxic wall that drains Viper's passive fuel to remain in effectEquip and fire a chemical spray gun that emits a large gas cloud around Viper that acts as smoke and reduces the maximum health of affected enemies
N/A200 credits200 creditsFree7 ultimate points

Our Tips

Viper has been my personal favorite Agent since Valorant's launch. While she's a challenging Agent to master, she's still up there as one of the best Controllers in the game. Her kit allows her to be both aggressive and defensive, though she really shines if backed up by a good teammate. Her Poison Cloud and Snake Bite make for a nice wombo-combo if played correctly, and her wall can be cast through terrain at an incredible distance.

Viper really shines when you're thinking two steps ahead and worrying about player locations. At the same time, she's considerably harder to play if you're not comfortable with using abilities strategically and you're keen on some casual fun.

3. Sova (Initiator)

Sova Agent Overview

N/AOwl DroneShock BoltRecon BoltHunter's Fury
N/AEquip and fire a remote-controlled drone that can mark targets with darts, revealing them to the playerEquip and fire a bow with explosive bolts that can bounce off walls or detonate on hit and damage nearby playersEquip and fire a bow that can bounce off walls or detonate on hit and reveal nearby enemies to the playerEquip and fire a bow with 3 wall-piercing energy blasts that deal damage and reveal nearby enemies to the player
N/A400 credits150 creditsFree8 ultimate points

Our Tips

Having a Sova in your squad can be like having wallhacks for the team. He's the ultimate reconnaissance Agent whose whole kit is built around revealing enemies' locations and providing that information to the team. His shock bolt can bounce off walls and reveal enemy silhouettes, while his owl drone lets him fly a camera to a considerable distance to gain an extra visual advantage. His kit is just as useful for pushing sites as it is for defending them, and with a microphone and the right teammates, Sova can be one of the most useful Agents to add to the squad.

Sova is best played when you've got a strong memory of where opponents or their gadgets might be on the map. Combining this with his ultimate, Sova can remove the competition easily with the 3 deadly rounds he can send across the map through any terrain.

» Need help with your aim? Tweak your sensitivity settings to match the pros

4. Jett (Duelist)

Jett Agent Overview

GlideCloudburstUpdraftTailwindBlade Storm
Hold jump button to glideThrow a cloud that briefly blocks visionPropel yourself vertically into the airActivate a gust of wind that can be used to propel you in the direction you're movingEquip throwing knives that recharge on kill. Can fire one knife at a time or all knives at once
N/A200 credits150 creditsFree7 ultimate points

Our Tips

Jett is that knife-wielding assassin you've probably seen in many Valorant clips till now. Her kit is built around mobility and fast-paced killing. Most notably, her ultimate gives her 5 throwing knives to use that one-shot enemies and have no bullet drop, allowing Jett to ace a team on her own if she's bold and skilled enough to take on the challenge.

Most Jett players rely on their own high accuracy in combination with wild movements to zip around the map and take out enemies while evading their gunfire. Taking Jett into the firing range and practicing her jump and dash abilities around the parkour course is essential to getting comfortable with her.

» Hone your strategies with our tips for Valorant's Fracture and Breeze

5. Sage (Support Sentinel)

Sage Agent Overview

N/ABarrier OrbSlow OrbHeal OrbResurrection
N/AEquip a solid wall that can be rotated and then placedEquip and fire a slowing orb that detonates on impact and creates an AOE zone that slows playersEquip a healing orb that can be fired at damaged allies to heal them or activated to heal yourselfRevive dead allies and return them to full health
N/A400 credits200 creditsFree8 ultimate points

Our Tips

Sage is the best support to have on any team in Valorant, not only because she's the only Agent in the game who has heals for herself and the team, but also because her ultimate ability can revive a downed teammate from death to rejoin in the fight. Paired with the team carry, Sage can effectively double-up your teamie's power by keeping them healthy and alive, or reviving them after they've gone down to change the tides of the round in your favor.

Sage's wall orb is just as useful as the rest of her kit, where she creates a thick wall of ice that cannot be traversed through without shooting it down, making it an amazing form of control to stop pushes or close off an entrance or exit so your team can plant or defuse safely. The wall can also be cast underneath Sage or her teammates to lift them up, providing unique positional advantages that no other Agent can match.

Which Agent Should You Play?

Based on past trends and tier lists, these 5 Agents have almost consistently been rated as S-tier or A-tier Agents by professionals globally, so there's a really good chance they'll stay up there as the most effective ones to play for a while to come. Depending on your playstyle, pick any of the ones listed here to start practicing, without the threat of them becoming less viable.

And don't forget to download Buff for some free Valorant rewards.

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