How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide

Abhimannu Das
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How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide


  • If you want to learn how to play Valorant, here are some quick pointers to help you get started with Riot Games' competitive shooter.
  • The path to success in Valorant lies in teamwork and it is important to communicate and execute strategies if you want to win games.
  • Valorant is a tactical shooter and it is important to plan your next step instead of rushing in head-on.

How to play Valorant might is a question many ask themselves before delving into the game. If you are new to shooters, it can feel daunting at first, but it’s easy to feel comfortable even with experienced squads once you get the hang of how things work. To know how to play Valorant, you need to understand how the game modes work, how to coordinate with your team, and what each agent brings to the table. We’ll take a closer look at all of the game’s core mechanics, so let’s get started and learn how to play Valorant.

How to Get Started

How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide
Image Credit: Riot Games

Downloading Valorant and Launching it

  1. Head to the official Valorant website and click on the Play Now or the Play Free button. 
  2. Your web browser will now begin downloading the Installer package. 
  3. Click on the downloaded file and choose your preferred download location. You require 8 GB of free space to install the game. 
  4. You need to sign into a Riot Games account to login and start playing once your download completes.

After the download, a new icon should show up on your Desktop to launch Valorant. You can also search for “Valorant” in your Windows search bar and launch the game.

Creating a Riot Games ID

  1. Go to Riot Games’ official website.
  2. Click on 'Create Account', and you will be redirected to the sign-up page. 
  3. Enter your email address and click on the Start button to begin registration. 
  4. Fill in the required details including date of birth, username, and password. 
  5. Confirm your registration.

Valorant Basics: How Does The Game Work

How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide

If you have played CS:GO before, you will feel right at home with Valorant. If not, there’s nothing to worry about either. Both teams have five players each, and the goal is to win 13 rounds. Each round aims to either detonate the “spike” (explosive), defuse it, or kill the entire enemy team.

You only get one life per round, so you need to make it count. There are attacker rounds and defender rounds that change during a match. As an attacker, your job is to push with your team to plant the Spike while the Defenders stop or defuse the spike. The gameplay is tactical and slow-paced compared to other titles like Overwatch and Apex Legends, where characters can traverse half-way across the map in a matter of seconds. Unlike CS:GO agents have abilities that you can take advantage of, so make sure you understand what each agent does to make the most out of its kit.

Understanding Roles in Valorant

How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide

There are four roles that Riot Games has allotted for all the agents in the game. Here is a quick breakdown of how each class plays out. Do note that some agents can easily fit into more than one category because of their versatile utility.


The “DPS” class is capable of getting quick frags in rounds. All duelists can hold their own in fights with their offensive abilities. Jett is by far the most popular duelist in the game, with the best professional duelists taking advantage of her kit.


Initiators have abilities designed to initiate fights and give teams an advantage when a teamfight breaks out. They can break open sites or zone opponents for a tactical advantage. Sova is one of the best Initiators to pick up if you want to try out the Initiator class.


Sentinels are all about holding zones and reinforcing territories. Sage is a great sentinel to pick up as she is a classic support character capable of reviving teammates, and she can also set up walls to block off zones.

Controller: If you want to take charge of the battlefield and dictate fights, the controller class might be the one for you. Controllers can help teams execute strategies by blocking off areas with smokes and disrupting the enemy team. They can be a menace to deal with if you do not strategize against them.

You can check out the kits of each agent in-game to get a better understanding of their kits.

How to Play Valorant: Gameplay

Agent Selection

Each time a match kicks off, you get to choose an agent. All players must pick unique agents, and it is recommended to get a good mix of classes to ensure victory. While you can win with 5 Duelists, it isn’t exactly optimal.

Buy Phase

Once you load into a random map, you will either start as the attacking team or the defending team. Before the start of each round, you have to buy abilities or weapons. Your performance dictates how much currency you get, so you might not get the best loadout every single round.

In the first round, you start with one ability and a sidearm. You have to earn credits to buy better guns and abilities. Do help out your team if they are low on credits and buy them guns if they need them (if you have the budget). Kills, plans, and wins give you the most credits.

Round Start

If you are an attacker, your goal is to put down the defenders or plant/detonate the spike. If you are a defender, you need to take out the attackers or stall them long enough. If they plant the spike, you can defuse the planted spike to win the round as well. You have only 100 seconds to execute your plan, so communication is key.

Which Weapons to Choose in Valorant?

How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide

There is no “best” weapon that works in all situations in Valorant. Your personal playstyle plays a big role in determining what weapon you need to pick. The Phantom and Vandal are two of the most popular options in the game, but you can choose from sidearms, smgs, rifles, snipers, heavy weapons, and shotguns.

Each map is different, and you might not always have the credits to get your favorite weapons, so it is important to practice with multiple weapons to become comfortable with them. You can head to the training range and try out all the guns to get used to them.

How to Play Valorant: Tips and Tricks

How to Play Valorant: A Beginner’s Guide

There are different maps in the game, and more agents and maps are added all the time, which keeps the gameplay loop fresh in Valorant. Regardless of which map or agent you are using, the core objectives remain the same. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you win more games if you are new:

Planting/Defusing Spikes

Playing the objective is what you should focus on. While taking out the enemy team also wins you the round, one bad, rushed teamfight can completely ruin your odds of winning a round. Even if you are aggressively going for kills, you should focus on the objective.


Take advantage of the high ground and sneaky angles to take enemies by surprise. The TTK (time-to-kill) is very low in Valorant, so getting a jump on enemies can offer a massive advantage in fights.

Adaptability: You should be ready to adapt to the enemy team and your team composition at all times. The same playstyle might not work in every match, making it essential for players to focus on each situation differently.


It is essential to coordinate with your teammates to assure your chances of success. Valorant is a team shooter, and if you are unable to communicate and help your team, you will not find success in the game.

Combine Your Abilities

Some agents can work together and create cool combos. You can also combine abilities with your weapons. Take advantage of your smokes and disruption abilities to give yourself an edge.

Steady Your Aim

Running and gunning has been a menace in the game for the longest time, but it received nerfs recently. If you shoot while sprinting, you will have a more challenging time aiming at enemies.

Listen to audio queues

This will take a lot of practice but try to learn the sounds. You will be able to figure out when enemies use teleporters or when a specific agent uses an ability. Learning audio queues takes time, but being alert in-game will help you a lot in the long-run.

Always plan your next move: Each time an enemy goes down or your teammate goes down, reassess your plans and communicate your next approach. You need to be methodical and have a plan if you want to win in Valorant.

Now that you know the basics of playing Valorant, you should download the game and give it a shot right away. It is one of the most popular competitive games out there right now, and it is approachable for players of any experience level.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.