Valorant, the much anticipated FPS shooting game from Riot Games, has just released the beta patch. The tried-and-true formula game brings elements from different well-known games to form it’s unique characteristics.
The game is a 5 vs 5 match up which could end up in a 25 round shootout. Game model is pretty much the same as Counter-Strike, as attackers would plant the “Spike” (bomb) and defenders have to defuse it within the time limit. The stakes are high as everyone gets only one life per round, and the focus on precise gunplay with low time-to-kill leaves little margin for error.
Agents (11 in total) are the characters that players role-play in the game. Each player start with 4 agents: Sage, Phoenix, Jett, Brimstone, and Sova. Players get to unlock other agents through Contracts (a mini battle pass) or paying USD$10 for each of them.
Most of the guns in Valorant are replicated from other popular FPS game. M4, AK-47, AWP…etc are available for players to choose from and is one of the reason why pro-players get familiar with the game in seconds.
There are four maps available in the beta patch, and more maps will come in later patches with their own characteristics. Let’s have a look at the four maps now:
1. Bind – There is no middle section in the map, players have to choose either left or right at start, and a pair of teleporters would allow players to reach the flanks easily.
2. Haven – Located at a forgotten monastery, agents fight for the control of three sites, and defenders do get a slight advantage as extra real estate could be used for aggressive pushes.
3. Split – Agents rush for control of the looming tower, which is located at the middle of the map. The site is split by an elevated center and agents can relocate quickly using two rope ascenders.
4. Ascent – An open playground divided into two sites, each site can be fortified by irreversible bomb doors. Players have to find another way once the doors are down.
Before we get into agents abilities, it is important to understand how the ability system works. Each character has four abilities: one signature ability is free at the beginning of each round, two others have to be bought and the ultimate gets charged with kills.
The following contains Riot’s exact description for each ability and character.
Phoenix’s star power shines through in his fighting style, igniting the battlefield with flash and flare. Whether he’s got backup or not, he’s rushing in to fight on his own terms.
- Curveball– Cast a curving flare that bursts into brilliant light after a brief delay, temporarily blinding all looking at it. Left click curves it left, right click curves it right.
- Blaze – Cast out a flame wall that blocks vision and damages anyone passing through it. You can bend the wall when casting by turning while holding left click.
- Signature Ability: Hot Hands – Throw a fireball that explodes after a delay or upon impact with the ground. The fire zone damages enemies, and heals you.
- Ultimate Ability: Run it Back – Mark your current location. If you die during this ability’s duration, or when this ability’s duration expires, you’ll be reborn at the marked location with full health.
Jett’s agile and evasive fighting style lets her take risks no one else can. She runs circles around every skirmish, cutting enemies up before they even know what hit them.
- Cloudburst – Throw out a cloud of fog that obscures vision on impact. Hold down the ability button to bend the cloud’s in-flight trajectory.
- Updraft – After a brief wind up, propel yourself upwards.
- Signature Ability: Tailwind – Immediately dash a short distance in the direction you’re moving.
- Ultimate: Blade Storm – Arm yourself with several deadly throwing knives that deal moderate damage and kill on headshots. Scoring a kill restores all daggers. Left click throws a single dagger. Right click throws all remaining daggers in a short-ranged burst.
Viper deploys an array of poisonous chemical devices to control the battlefield and cripple the enemy’s vision. If the toxins don’t kill her prey, her mind games surely will.
- Snakebite – Fire a projectile that explodes into a pool of damaging acid.
- Poison Cloud – Throw a gas emitter that you can reactivate to create a poisonous smoke cloud at the cost of fuel. The emitter can be picked up and thrown again after a short cooldown.
- Signature Ability: Toxic Screen – Deploy a long line of gas emitters that you can reactivate to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel.
- Ultimate: Viper’s Pit – Emit a massive toxic cloud in a large area that lasts as long as Viper stays inside the cloud. Enemies inside the cloud are highlighted to Viper.
Sova tracks, finds, and eliminates enemies with ruthless efficiency and precision. His custom bow and incredible scouting abilities ensure that even if you run, you cannot hide.
- Shock Bolt – Fire an explosive bolt that emits a damaging pulse of static energy upon impact.
- Owl Drone – Deploy a pilotable drone that can fire a dart that will Reveal enemies who are hit.
- Signature Ability: Recon Bolt – Fire a bolt that deploys a sonar emitter. The sonar pings tag nearby enemies, causing them to be revealed. Can be destroyed.
- Ultimate: Hunter’s Fury – Fire up to three deadly energy blasts that spear across the entire map. Each hit enemy takes heavy damage and is marked.
Cypher is a one-man surveillance network who keeps tabs on the enemy’s every move. No secret is safe. No maneuver goes unseen. Cypher is always watching.
- Free Ability: Trapwire – Place a stealthed tripwire between two walls. Triggering enemies are restrained and revealed for a short time. If the trap is not destroyed, it activates to daze the trapped victim. Can be picked up.
- Cyber Cage – Toss out a remote activation trap. Reactivate to create a cage that slows enemies who pass through it. Look at a trap and press USE to detonate it, or hold ACTIVATE to detonate all.
- Signature Ability: Spycam – Place a remote camera. After placing, reactivate to view the video feed. Left click while in camera to fire a tracking dart. Recharges when picked up or killed.
- Ultimate: Neural Theft– Extract information from the corpse of an enemy, revealing the location of their living allies.
Brimstone’s orbital arsenal ensures his squad always has the advantage. His ability to deliver utility precisely and safely make him the unmatched boots-on-the-ground commander.
- Incindiary – Launch an incendiary grenade that deploys a damaging field of fire.
- Stim Beacon – Target a nearby location to call in a Stim Beacon, giving all players near it Rapidfire.
- Signature Ability: Sky Smoke – Use your map to call in orbital deployment smokescreens that obscure vision. Click to set the locations, and confirm to launch.
- Ultimate: Orbital Strike – Use your map to target a location, launching a devastating orbital strike that pulses for high damage over several seconds.
Sage creates safety for herself and her team wherever she goes. Able to revive fallen friends and stave off forceful assaults, she provides a calm center to a hellish battlefield.
- Slow Orb – Cast out a radianite orb that breaks into a slowing field upon impact with the ground. All caught in the field are slowed, grounded, and make noise when moving.
- Barrier Orb – Conjure a large, solid wall. Right-click to rotate the wall before casting.
- Signature Ability: Healing Orb – Heal an ally or yourself to full health over a few seconds.
- Ultimate: Resurrection– Target a friendly corpse. After a short delay, revive them with full health.
Omen hunts in the shadows. He renders enemies blind, teleports across the field, then lets paranoia take hold as foes scramble to uncover where it might strike next.
- Paranoia – Send out an Ethereal shadow in a straight line, Nearsighting anyone it touches.
- Shadow Walk – After a delay, dematerialize and teleport a short distance.
- Signature Ability: Dark Cover – Cast out a stealthed ethereal orb that bursts into an obscuring sphere of shadow at its final location. Can be charged to increase distance.
- Ultimate: From the Shadows – Select anywhere on the map to teleport and reform. When arriving, appear as a Shade, that will go back to your original location if killed. Once the teleport is complete, become Incorporeal for a short time.
- Aftershock – Equip a Fusion Charge. Fire the charge to set a slow-activing burst through a wall. The bust does heavy damage to anyone caught in the area.
- Flashpoint – Equip a blinding charge. Fire the charge to set a fast-acting burst through a wall. The charge detonates to blind all players looking at it.
- Signature Ability: Fault Lines – Equip a seismic blast. Hold Fire to increase the distance. Release to set off the quake, dazing all players in its zone in a line up to the zone.
- Rolling Thunder – Equip a seismic charge. Fire to send a cascading quake through all terrain in a large cone. The quake dazes and knocks up anyone caught in it.
- Blast Pack – Instantly throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. Re-Use the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.
- Signature Ability: Paint Shells – Equip a cluster grenade. Fire to throw the grenade, which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in their range.
- Boom Bot – Equip a Boom Bot. Fire will deploy the bot, causing it to travel in a straight line on the ground, bouncing off walls. The Boom Bot will lock on to any enemies in its frontal cone and chase them, exploding for heavy damage if it reaches them.
- Ultimate Ability: Showstopper – Equip a rocket launcher. Fire shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.
Even though game setting is typical, there are still differences that makes the game stands out. Valorant thrives on the strategic in-game decisions, tight pace and the mixture of different agent’s abilities, all that form into the intense, tactical 5 vs 5 game play. Learning how to use your agent at their full potential is the key to win this team game.