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5 Tips on how to prepare for Valorant’s Rated mode

5 Tips on how to prepare for Valorant’s Rated mode

Naim "EnKay" Rosinski


Riot Games released Valorant on June 2 with two modes available for play, Unrated and Spike Rush. Riot developers decided to test the waters before releasing Rated (competitive) mode, so that no major problems would be encountered on launch. Nevertheless, pros and amateurs all over the world are patiently waiting to finally grind and show off their ranks in the Rated mode. We’ve already received information that Rated may be up sometime June 22-28, however, this is still to be confirmed by Riot.

In the meantime, here are 5 major tips on how to prepare for the launch of Rated mode in Valorant.

1. Set your game settings and stick to them

Altering the game settings and mouse sensitivity should be on everyone’s priority list when getting into a competitive shooter. Here is a list of things you should consider setting up early on upon installing Valorant on your system:

  • Mouse sensitivity
  • Graphics quality
  • Resolution
  • Radar

If you haven’t done any of those things yet, don’t sweat it, but we suggest changing the crosshair and finding your ideal mouse sensitivity ASAP! Smaller crosshairs that allow you to see exactly where you are pointing at is usually the way to go. This will make it easier to pop those headshots. Meanwhile, finding your ideal mouse sensitivity is a more complicated matter, but usually lower sensitivities perform better overall, with pros’ sensitivities usually ranging anywhere from 0.2 to 0.8 at 400 DPI. Remember to stick to your sensitivity, however, as it takes time for your hand-eye coordination to become solid.

You can change your sensitivity in the menu or in practice mode as shown above.

To add to the above, you should also tamper with the graphics quality, and perhaps the resolution. We suggest reducing your graphics quality to get more frames per second (fps) in your game, making it a smoother experience, especially if you have an older computer. Same goes for the resolution, if your machine is somewhat old, reducing the resolution will make it squeeze out more frames, giving you a slight edge in combat.

Reducing your graphics quality is probably a good idea.

Lastly, Valorant gives players the option to tamper with the in-game radar. You can adjust it to your preference by changing the size, if it rotates, and others. But remember, the radar is a crucial tool, make sure that you are comfortable with it, and you can clearly see what’s going on around you. Also, it’s important not to make it too large or it will take up way too much space on your HUD, impairing your ability to see your enemies.

2. Map Knowledge and Pre-firing

There are currently four maps in Valorant. Ascent, Bind, Haven and Split. Considering the amount, everyone should learn the major callout spots on the maps. This allows for better communication within the team, something that is imperative to success in the competitive shooter. Luckily, Valorant’s maps all have callout spots written clearly on the maps, even when bringing them up mid-game.

Split map callouts example. Photo Credit: RockPaperShotgun

Additionally, we advise learning typical spots of holding angles. This will allow you to smoothly check hiding spots and pre-fire them when taking bombsites. Ideally, everyone should go on solo practice mode on any of the maps and pre-fire standard position on bombsites and “middle” or “short” sections of each of the four maps.

3. Always have a Plan B (and C) Agent

There are currently 11 Agents to choose from in Valorant. We advise everyone to ideally learn how to properly play two or three Agents and stick with them. If you decide to solo queue, or as a pair or even a trio, chances are your favorite Agent will get taken away by a random player matched up with you. You should always have at least one (ideally two) more agents that you feel comfy playing with up your sleeve. This will make you more confident, and versatile, in Rated mode.

4. Understand every Agent’s kit

You love playing Phoenix, Reyna, and Sage. That’s great. However, it is crucial to know each and every Agent’s kit in Valorant. Every match you are presented with Agents that are on the opposing team. Depending on your enemies’ Agents, your team’s approach should be different each match. Here are some scenarios to watch out for:

  • A Cypher on the opposing team can be a menace on defense. Being one of the best defense Agents, a great Cypher player can hold bombsites solo. You need to watch out for Cypher’s Trapwire and Spycam that reveal your positioning on the map.
  • Brimstone’s smokes are an excellent way to take bombsites by cutting off rotations to the designated bombsite. When playing against Brimstone, it’s crucial to slow down the attackers’ push after the smokes have settled with abilities such as Sage’s Slow Orb or Viper’s Snakebite. This will allow for a faster rotation of your teammates.
  • Reyna, Phoenix, and Breach have their own ways of blinding their opponents. If you find yourself playing against one or more of those Agents, be ready to turn away from their flashes or destroy Reyna’s Leer.

Obviously, these are just some basic examples. Before the Rated mode, we advise everyone to learn all the skills of the 11 Agents that are currently present in Valorant. You can check out our guides for each Agent.

5. Learn how the economy works

Much like CSGO, Valorant has a deep economy system that every player must understand. We’ve prepared easy to remember tips and rules about the economy.

  • Do not buy fully on each round. Coordinate with your team whether you are having a save round, or a full buy round. Ideally, on a full buy round, everyone should have enough money for a rifle, heavy shields, and most of their abilities.
  • A team receives 3000 credits for a win and 1900 for the first loss. 2900 credits are awarded as the maximum for losing subsequent rounds in a row.
  • Each kill grants you 200 credits and is not dependent on the weapon (unlike in CSGO).
  • It is critical to know how many credits you’re going to have on the next round. Luckily, Valorant devs, have provided everyone with a minimum amount of money they’re going to have in the next round basing on currently purchased equipment. You should always consult this indicator (see the picture below).
  • We advise everyone to have over 4000 credits in the subsequent round when saving. Ideally ~4300. This will allow you to buy a Vandal/Phantom, heavy shields, and abilities on the following round.
“MIN NEXT ROUND” in the top left corner. Something to look out for, especially on save rounds.

Check out our economy basics guide for a more detailed explanation.

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