The seven maps in the active pool of Valorant are all challenging, but some are easier than others. Here’s how each map ranks based on difficulty.
Riot Games recently settled on the magic number seven for Valorant’s map rotation. After the addition of Pearl, the game had eight maps, prompting the developer to remove Split. One of the original maps was initially unique in its inclusion of ziplines to, adding a new way to move through the map. In episode 5, the seven maps bring unique challenges to competitive Valorant.
Ranking Valorant maps in difficulty
If you’re new to Valorant, you only have to worry about seven active locations. Thanks to Riot, the game’s new cycle has scratched out Split, adding Pearl into the mix. Here are all the Valorant maps in Episode 5, ranked based on difficulty.
Unlike other Valorant maps, Ascent has nothing unique that’d throw off FPS players. The map follows the classic design with two large sites divided by a middle area.
Players find this map considerably easier to play due to pleasant scenery and spacious bomb sites. Almost all Valorant agents work well on this location, making it one of the most successful maps for both competitive and casual players. Ascent’s mechanical doors are unique, but they’re helpful for both offense and defense.
Bind can be slightly tricky to tackle as it lacks a mid area, but it has a simple design. With proper utility usage, Bind becomes a cakewalk.
Few Valorant maps have gimmicks as powerful as Bind’s. On this map, Riot completely pulled out the mid area and replaced it with teleporters. While they’re a significant change, they weren’t unwieldy in the way some other map features are. Bind remains a comfortable pick for most agents in Valorant Episode 5.
Icebox is a small map with tough angles and chokepoints, but suitable agents can help clear things out.
The frosty location forces attackers to slow down their pace and clear out each angle. Defenders have a difficult time due to small bomb points, particularly with the A site. B’s vast layout helps defenders anchor one site. Quick rotations are also a plus, so attackers may have a slightly tough time on Icebox depending on their agent picks and gunplay.
Breeze remains a challenging location due to its unique split-mid design.
Mechanically, Breeze’s layout is top tier but casual players still struggle with how to approach it. Moreover, new players who believe in spray and pray find themselves whiffing easy shots in long-range firefights.
The Vandal is a powerful weapon, but it’s a gun for FPS veterans who can land the first bullet to the head. Breeze is all about long-range duels, players who opt for the Phantom instead tend to have bad luck with the aim on this beachy locale.
The latest addition, Pearl, isn’t the third-most-challenging map just because it’s new. The massive size of Pearl slightly favors the attackers, who can blast onto the bomb point without worrying about quick rotations.
Pearl is a sight to behold. Serene music, oceanic scenery, and a comic book shop make the competitive experience a bit lighter. However, the map design can be a bit tricky to manage on both sides. The complex mid area creates flank opportunities, so discipline and caution are important on defense. Sentinels can make Pearl bearable, but it’s still a confusing labyrinth.
Fracture is still new, so players are still figuring out the double attacker spawn. After experimenting with Haven, Riot rolled out another gimmick that wagged money tongues.
Fracture sandwiches defenders in the middle of the map, connecting two spawns with ziplines. Attackers have great control over the location, forcing defenders to play cautiously. While spawns favor the attackers, the sites are constructed to suit the defenders. The map is balanced. Still, most upsets happen in this destructed location.
Players are still adjusting to Haven’s three-point layout even two years after the release.
Riot Games loves its map gimmicks, but Haven’s unique feature shook the gameplay. Breaking away from the traditional FPS layout, Riot introduced three sites on Haven, making it a menace for defenders. The infamous 9-3 curse continues to thrive in Valorant thanks to Haven, where successful attackers find themselves struggling on defense. Keeping balance is possible, but it is no easy feat.
Why did Riot remove Split from Valorant?
Riot has settled on a fixed number for the Valorant map pool. From now, players will have seven maps in rotation, which means one has to be cycled out.
“Too many maps to learn can feel overwhelming and doesn’t give some of you the opportunity to really go deep on any one of them. The team thinks seven is a nice sweet spot that offers both variety and mastery,” Riot said.
The map will likely return in the next episode, with another map getting shelved for it. Split lovers can still enjoy it in customs and alternate game modes. However, the developer has also removed it from casual mode to keep parity between all map pools. Playing casual Split may feel like wasted time when you’re playing a map you know you’ll never see in competitive.