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How to Play Valorant

Learn some of the more important skills that the game doesn't teach you directly right here.

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In order to follow this guide you will need to download Valorant. Please click the green button below.

There are a ton of skills that are important to the tactical shooter genre that has taken people a ton of hours to properly learn. This game, while having a tutorial, does a poor job at conveying some of these skills. So, let's take a look at a few essential skills you need to get into the habit of doing.

1. Crosshair Placement

This is arguably the most important skill to have. In fact, professional players have gone on record saying that it's as important, if not more so, than raw aim ability. What is crosshair placement, exactly? It's the ability to place your crosshair in a way that you will need minimal mouse movement to kill someone once you've spotted them. 

All too often, new players will constantly have their crosshair drifting around in empty space, not really looking at likely enemy positions, or they will be staring at the ground or at a wall instead of where an enemy will be. Thus, once an enemy does appear, they have to flick their mouse to shoot at them instead of just simply making a micro-adjustment. In a game, you should always be aiming at corners at head height. That way, if someone pushes the corner, you'll be able to kill them hopefully quicker than they can kill you.

If you're the one pushing, however, you'll need to intuitively know exactly where defenders will likely be and be aiming roughly in that spot before you round the corner. Of course, this skill has a lot of map knowledge involved. If you don't know the map, after all, you won't know where the enemy might be. 

2. Control the recoil spray.

Every weapon in this game has a spray that gets more dramatic the longer you hold the trigger down. Now, pacing your shots out is going to be the best way to control your spray. Your first shot is always pinpoint accurate no matter what and just simply waiting a bit in between shots will let you be perfectly accurate all the time.

However, that's not realistic. There are very few automatic weapons that can kill in one shot, and if you try to pace your shots out to be perfectly accurate, the other player will just kill you. This is when you need to drag your aim down to compensate.

If you just hold the trigger down without compensating at all, then your bullets will go straight up, then go left and right in a random pattern. To compensate for the spray during a pitched gunfight, you need to drag your mouse down as you shoot, then do your best to react to the horizontal recoil. You generally won't need to control the horizontal recoil unless you're engaging multiple enemies and can't afford to let go of the trigger - this is known as spray transfer.

3. Know which surfaces you can shoot through.

This is always great knowledge to have in the back of your head. If your opponent's taking cover behind a flimsy piece of wood, then you can probably shoot through it and kill them. But how do you know if you can shoot through a surface or not?

Very easily, actually. When you shoot at a surface that you can punch through, then the impact mark will be black. However, if you can't punch through a particular surface, then the impact mark will be much lighter in coloration. You can hop into a custom game and figure out exactly which surfaces you can fire through so you don't have to figure it out live in a real game.

And that's that! Some of the most important skills a new player should learn that the game doesn't make explicit. We hope this has helped you.

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