There’s no shame in being confused about a new game you’ve never played before. That’s why we’ve decided to put together a Valorant newcomer’s guide. This is especially for those who’ve never played a competitive first-person shooter in the past. Just remember, each match is a learning experience. And, with that, let’s get started.
In this guide, we will be talking about Valorant’s HUD (Heads Up Display), what to remember at the start of each round, and some basic game mechanics.
On the upper left side of your screen, you will see a minimap. This shows you and your teammates’ locations. At the bottom of the minimap is the exact location of your agent (in this case Attacker Side Spawn), or the agent you’re spectating. Enemy agents and their abilities will pop up on the minimap, so make sure to check it constantly.
In the settings menu you can configure the minimap to a fixed orientation or you can set it to auto-rotate with your character. There’s no right option here, play with both and see which you prefer.
Beginner’s Tip: If you’re eliminated by an opponent, make sure to tell your team where you were killed. This will help them plan their next move and prevent them from being flanked.
By pressing the Caps Lock Key, you can open the full map. From there, you can ping your team with: “caution,” “need support,” “on my way,” and “on my mark” notifications. You can also specify where you want your teammates to use their agent abilities, by pinging a location on the map.
Take note that the community refers to some locations on the map by different names. For example, most maps have a high ground overlooking the site, and while the map has a specific name for these sites, most people just refer to them as “Heaven”.
So on Split, instead of A Tower and B Tower, which is what they’re labeled on the map, most people just say A Heaven and B Heaven. Sites that have a cubby area directly below Heaven are often known as “Hell.”
At the top-center of your HUD are the match timer, team score, and team agent identifier. Each Valorant round will have a 30-second buy phase and a 1-minute-40-second round timer. At the start of a normal Valorant match, teams are assigned as attackers and defenders. After the 12th round, both teams switch sides. Lastly, the agents bar shows which agents are still alive in the round.
Beginner’s tip: On round 12, make sure you use up all of your credits because they will not carry over to the next round.
It is incredibly important to discuss with your team who’s doing what at the start of the round.
Attackers should figure out which site they’re pushing into, if they’re attacking from multiple angles, and which agent abilities should be used to gain the upper hand.
Defenders, on the other hand, should make sure to discuss who on the team is defending each key position. It is very important that each site is covered properly. This will give the team valuable information on where to go, and where to cut off opponents.
Beginner’s tip: Ask your teammates to call out how many opponents they see from their defensive position. If they say they see the spike carrier or four or five enemy agents, you can go ahead and ask the entire team to rotate by going to the site or to attack the enemy team’s flank.
At the bottom-center of your HUD are the armor and health indicator, along with all of your agents’ abilities. You can purchase agent abilities at the start of the round. The agent ultimate icon can be seen on the right side of the bottom center HUD.
Agent ultimates charge up by getting kills, dying, planting or defusing the spike, or picking up ultimate orbs found around the map.
Beginner’s tip: If you don’t get to use your agent abilities in the round, even if you were eliminated, they will remain available until you use them up.
On the bottom-right of your HUD, you will see how many credits you have. This is also where your weapon inventory is shown. If you’re the spike carrier, it will show up at the top of your inventory. This is also where additional credits will be shown at the start of each round.
Important: Make sure to plant the spike if you are the spike carrier by pressing the 4 key. This is the same you’ll need to press if you’re defusing.
Beginner’s tip: Always try to go for the spike plant to get extra credits for the next round. Even if you’re in a one versus five situation if you have an opportunity to plant the spike, do it.
On the other hand, if you’re a defender who’s low on health and left to face five agents and defuse the spike, you can always just run and hide to save your gun and armor for the next round. Or you could also aim for exit frags, in which you camp at a spot attackers will be running towards to avoid the spike explosion.
Important: Be aware if you’re on the attacker’s side and carrying the spike. Do not dive into enemy lines with the spike, because defenders will always focus on guarding a dropped spike.
If you’re new to Valorant, you’re going to have to learn how to buy weapons, armor, and abilities. At the start of each round, you’re given 800 credits. If you’re low on credits, you can ask someone to help you buy a weapon by right clicking it. This goes both ways, so remember to buy your teammates’ weapons when you have a good amount of credits.
Keep in mind that there’s a 9,000 credit cap. So, even if your teammate has enough credits to buy their own weapons, tell them you’ll purchase it for them for efficient economy usage.
Beginner’s tip: Always stock up on armor. In Valorant, armor points deplete quickly, and they’re the first to go before you lose health points.
After getting eliminated, a combat report notification will pop up on the right side of your screen. There, you can find who killed you, how much damage you’ve done to the enemy team, and how much damage you’ve received. The combat report is appropriately detailed in showing where you hit your opponents, and where you were shot as well.
Beginner’s tip: Let your team know how much damage you’ve done to enemy agents. This information could help your teammates take future fights.
Player Score Tab
The player score tab tracks players’ performances throughout the match. This shows player names, agent ultimates, KDA (Kill/Death/Assist) scores, Loadout (weapons and armor), credits, and player ping.
Two important things to remember in checking this tab are your team’s agent ultimate tab and the loadout tab. Make sure you discuss with your team when to use their ultimates to help win rounds. Also check that everyone in the team is stocked up, and remind them to buy armor as much as possible.
Beginner’s tip: On the player score tab, you will also see how many credits the enemy team has to start the round. With this information, you will get an idea of what type of weapon, armor, and equipment they have at their disposal.