Common mistakes Valorant players make, and how to fix them

Olivia Richman • October 7, 20:33

When players first pick up Valorant, it can seem pretty straightforward. Run to the site, use abilities to block off pathways, and then plant the spike. But players who want to climb the ranks or play competitively have to keep a bit more in mind when they enter a match.

There are a lot of things new players may not be aware of. Luckily, most are easy fixes and will make a big impact when implemented. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common mistakes Valorant players make. 

Running while shooting

Valorant running while shooting

Since Valorant is a tactical first-person shooter, accuracy and mechanical ability are at the forefront when it comes to climbing the ranks. Fights should be short, with agents aiming for headshots that instantly kill their opponents. Lower ranked players will often have longer fights because they are sprinting and spraying inaccurately.

While this can sometimes be viable against other low-level players, new Valorant players should focus on counter strafing. This is an advanced technique where players counter their movement with the opposite key (think A and D). The next step is to practice accuracy and aiming. Paired together, Valorant players will have shorter and more successful combat encounters. 

Smoking too early

Valorant smoke Haven

Smoking before making entries takes a lot of communication and teamwork. A lot of times, agents will smoke too early. This not only wastes the ability, it also gives away a team’s positioning. Players should always wait to use their smokes until their team is all in place and ready to execute a push. If not, that’s about six seconds wasted.

For example, players waiting to use a smoke on the A site in Haven should wait until their teammates are at the bottom of sewer and by the orb on long. Then it’s time to move in. 

Approaching too aggressively

When approaching a bombsite, players will often rush the site using all of their abilities and not even bothering to try sneaking. This is called a full rush. While this can definitely overwhelm an unprepared or unsuspecting team, a lot of players don’t think of the alternative option: Being purposely silent while approaching the site. 

By not using abilities or making noise, a team can often make their way to a site without the other team knowing. They will only fire at agents when they are spotted, not engaging enemies otherwise. 

Of course, players can’t be overly slow. This gives the enemy team time to figure out where the cautiously approaching team might be coming from based on lack of sound elsewhere on the map. For this reason, this sneaky approach should be used in the first half of the round and when players don’t see an Operator holding the angle. 

Peeking close to corners

Valorant corner trick

Valorant players should be well aware of their angle when approaching a fight. If an agent is close to an object, their body is more visible to the enemy team. Even worse, that agent won’t have spotted the enemy yet. Beginning players should focus on where they are peeking from and how far they are from the object they are peeking around. A mid to long-range duel should be taken further back from a corner. 

It’s also important to pre-aim for peeks around the corner. A lot of lower ranked players will turn corners and simply aim at the middle of the opening. Former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players know that it’s important to learn the exact spots where other agents may appear. Players should aim where they expect an enemy to be. That way, turning the corner will ultimately lead to an elimination instead of a long, drawn-out skirmish. 

Right clicking automatically

Right clicking in the FPS will allow players to look down the sight or scope of a weapon. In a game all about accuracy this can seem like the smartest play. But right clicking isn’t always necessary. In fact, it can sometimes be a hinderance. When players are mid to long-range, it’s not as viable to use right click. Always start with a left click in this type of situation. Agents should utilize right click when they are in close range, jumping corners, or finishing off an enemy with little health. 

Planting the spike in corners

Valorant spike plant

Valorant players will often automatically plant the spike in corners. This can be seen as “safe,” especially when the site is clear and there’s no danger. But when the site is clear, it’s not always the best move to plant the spike in a corner. While this is a great location for planting the spike, it’s difficult for the attacking team to fight off agents attempting to defuse it.

Instead, it’s important to ensure that the spike location can be seen from a multitude of angles. This could even mean planting the spike in the open. This way, the entire attacking team can keep an eye on the spike from any location on the site, while also watching for approaching enemies. 

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