Trying to climb in Valorant’s Competitive matchmaking by yourself can be rough, so we’ve compiled the ultimate tier list to help you on your quest for Radiant!
While every player should go into a match with team-play in mind, not all solo-queue games tend to go that way. Ranked matches go much better when you have an Agent that’s built with enough tools to hold down a Reactor Site, stay alive, and clutch up if needs be. Mind you, all Agents have that to a degree, but some are fitted better than others.
These rankings aren’t to determine the best Agent in the game. Rather, it’s to talk about the best characters and their abilities, which, if used correctly, can sometimes make up for the lack of natural team synergy that can often be amiss when solo-queuing in Competitive. So which Agents should you be maining if you’re going in as a one-man army?
Raze’s kit is doused with lethal abilities perfect for an S-tier rank among solo queue Agents. Riot meant for Valorant to be an aim-dominant shooter, with a secondary emphasis on utility disguised as abilities, but this Agent hits different.
“Raze’s goal is to be a highly-threatening Duelist that punishes enemies posted in predictable positions,” the devs said in the April 21 patch notes during the beta.
Not only do her abilities give her some of the best mobility in the game when creatively used, but every one of her moves can easily deal a fatal blow.
With only six Orbs needed to equip the blink-and-you’re-dead Showstopper rocket launcher, a Boom Bot that clears out entire entryways, and Paint Shells that make quick work of complacent opponents, Raze comes with some heat that’s difficult to deal with at any rank.
In all tier lists, there’s bound to be some consistencies. Sage tops out at S-tier because of her all-round ability to keep players alive, literally turn the tide of a round, influence on the map, and thwart advances with her Slow Orbs. Riot has already tried to balance the majority of her kit since the community got their hands on Valorant.
Her Resurrection is the only ability in the game that directly influences economy by bringing back a player, who can then salvage an extra weapon to take into the next round.
She can effectively take trades without consequence, turn a man-down situation into even standing, or hold-off a rush all by herself to buy enough time for rotations.
On Defense, this makes her a stonewall with a chance to keep her team healthy. On Offense, she can let solo-queue players ‘carry,’ since she can keep herself alive and safe at every turn — while being able to aggressively peek with minimal consequence in certain situations, thanks to her ability to heal at any given moment.
Contrary to the explosiveness that you’d think a good solo-queue Agent would have, Cypher’s value comes in his ability to keep tabs on such a large portion of the map.
On Defense, this lets him completely abandon Reactor Sites to help out another part of the map. On Offense, he can zone in on early picks, work on a push, etc., while knowing that potential flanks are covered by a Spycam with Trapwires scattered throughout.
His Cyber Cage isn’t anything impressive, but it gives him just enough space in case he has to quickly reposition or wait for reinforcements.
That’s not to mention his Neural Theft Ultimate, which gives him all the information he needs to either snuff out the opponent’s gameplan or be better equipped to navigate a 1vX situation. All in all, Cypher is great Agent to take into battle if you’re going in solo.
Brimstone ranks so high up because of his Sky Smokes. Love it or hate it, his utility is the best in the game.
Then he’s complimented by a fire-and-forget Orbital Strike laser, an Incendiary that can deny an attempt to defuse the Spike, and a Stim Beacon that’s, admittedly, only nice to have if Sage decides to wall something.
The abilities Brimstone comes equipped with are a Duelist’s dream. He can block-off sight lines, clear multiple corners at once, or split entire Reactor Sites on a in the blink of an eye.
It might be difficult to carry and out-frag some other Agents, but he can definitely be the linchpin to full blown executes or straight up smoke-rushes onto sites, which makes him great for solo-queue.
Omen lets people pick between a lone-wolf approach, to becoming a key figure for a team’s gameplan.
His Shadow Step used in tandem with Dark Cover is versatile enough to bait entire low-elo teams and powerful enough to warrant the respect of higher ranked players.
After the launch patch, the update to his Paranoia was a substantial improvement of what it was before and makes it really easy to punish loud movements from the other team.
Omen lets players switch up their playstyle depending on what the match needs, giving solo players a versatile Agent to queue up as.
An Agent who has enough tools for a methodical player to pick apart a Reactor Site, Breach makes holding a corner a nerve-wracking ordeal for the enemy team.
The reason he ranks so high in this tier list is because he can isolate members of the other team if they’re stretched too thin. Breach has so many ways for solo-queue players to force picks or push the initiative on a site.
A lot of players can make use of his Flashpoints and Aftershock grenades (that slowly seep through walls), as well as two sweeping abilities that inflict ‘daze.’
Since all of Breach’s abilities can be lined-up with the minimap, it’s not hard for someone to be useful for getting kills or assists as the bionic Swede.
Phoenix is a Duelist with carry-potential who can also heal himself. In theory, that sounds overpowered for solo queue, but only if used correctly.
His Curveball is great, and while it excels at clearing a single close-corner, it’s not the best flash in the game by any means. His Hot Hands projectile and Blaze wall can somewhat heal Phoenix, but it comes at the cost of important utility (not to mention, you’re telling the other team where a low-health player is).
So timing with Phoenix’s utility is key. His Run it Back Ultimate is where he really shines, allowing him to aggressively take duels without expending his life.
All in all, Phoenix can be a viable hyper-aggressive Agent if you’re clean with the duels you win, but there are other characters that pack more heat. This lands him at the bottom of A-tier — a great pick, but only if his utility is used correctly.
The thing with Reyna, is that she can easily be an S-tier Agent, but you need to know that you can carry with her. If you’re picking her for Competitive, then you’re going into the game looking to be the Match MVP.
Reyna is valuable to players who shoot first and ask questions later. She has the best flash in the game (Leer), which gives ample room for high-percentage success on wide peeks. She can also heal or take consecutive engagements with Devour and Dismiss, respectively. Her Ultimate, Empress, only makes her more of a deadly, all-around unit.
“If she doesn’t get kills, though, she’s bad. Like, near-useless,” Character design lead for Valorant, Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott, said when explaining the thought behind Reyna. “You’re making a big bet picking Reyna.”
So she lands on our list as a high B-tier, since she can completely overtake games; but when she doesn’t, the Reyna on a team becomes noticeably invisible when you’re losing. Her viability, more than any other Agent, is contingent on the player picking her up.
There were a ton of reactions to Killjoy in the lead up to her release in Act 2. Luckily, she hasn’t been as oppressive in Ranked as early impressions would have you believe.
Her kit is great to thwart rushes with her Nanoswarm’s ‘area of effect’ damage or set up a crossfire with her Turret to take a few fights in one engagement. The Alarmbot is particularly powerful when combined behind a smoked-off area, but pretty easy to spot out otherwise.
Lockdown is great to blanket an area for the purposes of getting more control on the map or making the other team frantic in a prolonged fight. But if an opponent doesn’t decide to hunt down the destructible Ult, they have plenty of time to exit and regroup around its radius — making it suited for more team-oriented environments.
For solo-queue players, they can get a lot of mileage out of Killjoy’s arsenal. But her options become much more limited once a fight ignites somewhere she didn’t set up all of her gadgets.
Sova fluctuates in tier lists so much, and the reason is simple: If you’re going to play Sova, you’ll want to learn some arrow alignments.
You can’t expect to climb far as a solo-queue Sova if you’re still trying to ‘eyeball’ how much charge it takes to send a projectile over certain distances, hopping before shooting an arrow to give it that last bit of bounce you think it needs, or walking out of cover to angle the shot into a narrow corridor.
There are great resources to learn the most effective Recon or Shock Bolt lineups, and players should know at least some of them to make use of his game-best recon kit.
His Ultimate can keep people off the Spike from a considerable range, the Owl Drone is incredible to get intel before a push, and his arrows give him cross-map scouting/damage. Only caveat: Learn reliable lineups.
Jett’s abilities are all about complimenting the player that picks her. She has the best movement of all the Agents and her Ultimate rewards great aim, as well as decision-making.
Solo-queue players can use her Updraft and Tailwind to break through tight chokeholds, and her Cloudburts are great for setting up dashes — since you’re able to guide them into place.
That being said, without learning the basics for map awareness, Jett has huge potential to fall flat on her face. Dashing into a corridor full of enemies is only going to end one way.
But a good understanding can go a long way to make her a versatile Op-er, or a fun option to get behind enemy lines. Though she’s becoming popular for players that prioritize high mobility, be careful not to use that agility to dash toward a quicker death.
There are so many good things to say about Viper’s abilities, but they mostly apply to a coordinated environment, not solo-queue.
Toxic Screen can come up and down at will, which opens up mid or late-round readjustments. Her Poison Cloud is fine and can create fantastic — but obvious — one way smokes.
While her Snake Bite is scarcely usable, her Ultimate can realistically stop the other team’s plans in its tracks.
She sounds like a really well-balanced Agent, but that’s only if you have a team who is willing to have a semblance of cohesion. Solo-queue is not an environment where a good Viper can really shine, and that’s why she finds herself rock bottom of our tier list.
The great thing about Valorant’s Agents, is that anyone is fun and viable in the right scenario. It’s not unusual to find a Sova who routinely uses a Recon Bolt for a double-kill through a wall, or a Viper who can run circles around a Defense’s weak side.
But going into Competitive with a character that offers more tools for a wide range of situations will make climbing the ranks as a solo queued player much more sustainable.