When you and your Valorant teammates are caught in a bind, it’s tempting to scatter to the wind. While making a break for another corner of the map might remove you from the firing line, it’s a short-term solution. A displaced team who can’t regroup are sitting ducks. If you don’t have a handle on the battlefield, you won’t stand any chance of turning a game around. Even if you think you understand map layout, this is only a small part of the larger puzzle. Knowing how to navigate Ascent, Breeze, or Fracture is all well and good, but you need to think how you can use these maps strategically.
Consider Elements Unique To Certain Maps
Compared to other first-person shooters, Valorant’s maps are pretty distinct. There’s a variety here, with each map offering features exclusive to them. Some maps like Bind are surprisingly well-balanced. Here, you’ll find plenty of defensive options, along with tight corners and long lines that give snipers a real advantage. With Split, verticality comes into play. Teams who understand the value of a high ground advantage can have plenty of fun here. Then there’s the labyrinthine Icebox. With so many corners and confusing angles, a map like this can level the playing field, even if both teams are particularly experienced.
If you’re playing against low-skilled opponents who are fairly fresh to the game, there’s a good chance they won’t have uncovered these unique map perks. Although Blind lacks a clear middle area for skirmishes, it does boast a pair of teleporters. With these, you can go to the other side of the map in minutes. Even if your opponents suss these out quickly, they might not realize that these teleporters are incredibly loud, quickly sounding the alarm and bringing nearby enemies in.
Choke Point Like a Pro
As with any first-person shooter, choke points are unavoidable in Valorant. If you’re unprepared, wandering into one of these is a guaranteed way of checking out from the game early. However, choke points can also be used to your advantage. By knowing exactly where they are, you can turn a bloody skirmish into a situation where getting rid of the enemy is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.
Recently, many players have turned to duelists like Neon in these kinds of situations. If you need some pointers on how to put this agent through her paces, look no further than the professionals. Although Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto of Paper Rex fame is better known for picking agents like Skye and Killjoy, Neon has become a new firm favorite. Likewise, Dom “soulcas” Sulcas of Team Liquid has started to work Neon into his regular rotation. This agent is good for heading into unexplored sections of the map or navigating around tight corners. If you’re sussing out choke points for the first time, this agent can prove incredibly useful.
Start Learning the Layouts of Every Map
If you’re playing Valorant casually, there’s also the option of having a map layout open on a tablet next to your gaming screen. However, you rarely see this kind of reference point during a major Valorant tournament schedule. Valorant pros not only know the topography of each game map, they know the best ways of getting around them. While it’s good to know your escape route if you find yourself outgunned by an opponent, what’s more important is knowing the way to a plant site. With some maps, your options are severely limited, but others offer a variety of pathways.
While some map domination rules can be applied generally, you’ll ultimately want to prepare custom strategies for each one. Counting down the seconds to a Bind battle? Don’t forget about those handy teleporters. With these, you can stage surprise attacks or rotate your agents. New to Icebox? First-time players rarely take advantage of all that vertical space. If the enemy hasn’t seized on the opportunity yet, you have a significant advantage.