Riot Games have released a ton of information about their upcoming FPS title, Valorant. Here’s everything you need to know, including the Agents and their abilities, all the Weapons and how to use them, and the maps.
It’s hard to name a game that’s been more highly-anticipated in recent years than Valorant, Riot’s entry title into the first-person-shooter genre.
On April 3, the developers opened the floodgates of info about the game, allowing the content creators that were given early access to finally share their captured footage, including CS:GO legend Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez, who shared some of his early opinions on the behalf of Dexerto.
Riot launched the game’s beta on April 7. The beta is closed, however, and access only granted by tuning into streams tagged as ‘Drops Enabled’ on Twitch. You will receive a notification on Twitch if you’re one of the lucky players selected to take part in the closed beta.
In order to qualify for your chance, you must link your Riot ID to your Twitch account, watch those streams, and hope that you’re lucky enough to get a key. More details about this process can be found here.
We got a good early look at Valorant from last weekend’s capture event, so here’s a breakdown of everything we know.
‘Agent’ is the name given to the characters in Valorant. Much like heroes in Overwatch and champions in League of Legends, each Agent has their own personality, backstory, and, most importantly, a set of four abilities that can affect the match.
Nine of these characters have already been revealed: Brimstone, Breach, Cypher, Jett, Omen, Phoenix, Sage, Sova, and Viper.
Known as the Controller Agent, Brimstone has a wide variety of abilities that allow him to either support the team or deal damage directly to enemy players with the likes of Incendiary and Orbital Strike.
- Ability 1 – Incendiary: Launch an incendiary grenade that deploys a damaging field of fire.
- Ability 2 – Stim Beacon: Target a nearby location to call in a Stim Beacon, giving all players near it Rapidfire.
- Signature Ability - Sky Smoke: Use your map to call in orbital deployment smokescreens that obscure vision. Click to set the locations, and confirm to launch.
- Ultimate Ability - Orbital Strike: Use your map to target a location, launching a devastating orbital strike that pulses for high damage over several seconds.
Breach was the ninth Agent to be revealed and is known as an Initiator, as all of his abilities can impact enemy players with either direct damage or a stunning/flashing effect.
- Ability 1 – Aftershock: Equip a fusion charge. Fire the charge to set a slow-acting burst through the wall. The burst does heavy damage to anyone caught in the area.
- Ability 2 – Flashpoint: Equip a blinding charge. Fire the charge to set a fast-acting burst through the wall. The charge detonates to blind all players looking at it.
- Signature Ability – Fault Line: Equip a seismic blast. Hold Fire to increase the distance. Release to set off the quake, dazing all players in its zone.
- Ultimate Ability – Rolling Thunder: Equip a seismic charge. Fire to send a cascading wake through all terrain in a large cone. The quake dazes and knocks up anyone caught in it.
Check out former CS:GO pro Maniac’s breakdown of Phoenix, Viper and Breach:
Cypher’s main purpose is to try and gather intel about the enemy team and share it with his own. The Moroccan looks to be one of those Agents that every squad wants to have on their side.
- Ability 1 – Trapwire: Place a stealthed tripwire between two walls. Triggering enemies are restrained and revealed for a short time. If the trap is not destroyed, it activates to daze the trapped victim. Can be picked up.
- Ability 2 – Cyber Cage: Toss out a remote activation trap. Reactivate to create a cage that slows enemies who pass through it. Look at a trap and press USE to detonate it, or hold ACTIVATE to detonate all.
- Signature Ability - Spycam: Place a remote camera. After placing, reactivate to view the video feed. Left-click while in-camera to fire a tracking dart. Recharges when picked up or killed.
- Ultimate Ability - Neural Theft: Extract information from the corpse of an enemy, revealing the location of their living allies.
Jett is undoubtedly one of the more aggressive Agents in the game, as her abilities are tailored to boost her movement, allowing her to whiz around and cut enemies up.
- Ability 1 – Cloudburst: Throw out a cloud of fog that obscures vision on impact. Hold down the ability button to bend the cloud’s in-flight trajectory.
- Ability 2 – Updraft: After a brief wind up, propel yourself upwards.
- Signature Ability – Tailwind: Immediately dash a short distance in the direction you’re moving.
- Ultimate Ability – Blade Storm: Arm yourself with several deadly throwing knives that deal moderate damage and kill on headshots. Scoring a kill restores all daggers. Left-click throws a single dagger. Right-click throws all remaining daggers in a short-ranged burst.
One of the more mysterious and sinister-looking Agents in Valorant, Omen is known as the Shadow Hunter due to his stealthy kit that allows him to stay out of sight from the enemy team.
- Ability 1 – Paranoia: Send out an Ethereal shadow in a straight line, Nearsighting anyone it touches.
- Ability 2 – Shadow Walk: After a delay, dematerialize and teleport a short distance.
- Signature Ability – Dark Cover: Cast out a stealthed ethereal orb that bursts into an obscuring sphere of shadow at its final location. Can be charged to increase distance.
- Ultimate Ability – From the Shadows: Select anywhere on the map to teleport and reform. When arriving, appear as a Shade, that will go back to your original location if killed. Once the teleport is complete, become Incorporeal for a short time.
As his name suggests, Phoenix is a fire-based Agent with all of his abilities featuring some sort of incendiary effect. The Fiery Duelist’s kit can both deal direct damage and provide support for his team.
- Ability 1 – Hot Hands: Throw a fireball that explodes after a delay or upon impact with the ground. The fire zone damages enemies, and heals you.
- Ability 2 – Blaze: Cast out a flame wall that blocks vision and damages anyone passing through it. You can bend the wall when casting by turning while holding left-click.
- Signature Ability - Curveball: Cast a curving flare that bursts into brilliant light after a brief delay, temporarily blinding all looking at it. Left-click curves it left, right-click curves it right.
- Ultimate Ability - Run it Back: Mark your current location. If you die during this ability’s duration, or when it expires, you’ll be reborn at the marked location with full health.
Raze was the only Agent Riot didn’t reveal before the closed beta started, but she instantly made an impact. An explosives specialist, Raze is an absolute nightmare to play against, but a blessing on your squad, as she can force opponents off a bombsite with ease.
- Ability 1 – Blast Pack: Instantly throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. Re-use the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.
- Ability 2 – Cluster Grenade: Fire to throw the grenade, which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in range
- Signature Ability – Boom Bot: Fire will deploy the bot, causing it to travel in a straight line on the ground, bouncing off walls. The Boom Bot will lock on to any enemies in its frontal cone and chase them, exploding for heavy damage if it reaches them.
- Ultimate Ability – Showstopper: Fire shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.
Sage is another Agent that’s fully support-oriented, and she actually has the power to not only heal herself and teammates, but to also revive them back from the death with full health.
- Ability 1 – Slow Orb: Cast out a radianite orb that breaks into a slowing field upon impact with the ground. All caught in the field are slowed, grounded, and make noise when moving.
- Ability 2 – Barrier Orb: Conjure a large, solid wall. Right-click to rotate the wall before casting.
- Signature Ability - Healing Orb: Heal an ally or yourself to full health over a few seconds.
- Ultimate Ability - Resurrection: Target a friendly corpse. After a short delay, revive them with full health.
Sova’s kit is as lethal as it gets in Valorant, giving the Russian recon expert the power to strike fast against the opposition with ruthless force. However, not only can his abilities deal damage to enemies, but some of them have reconnaissance purposes as well.
- Ability 1 – Shock Bolt: Fire an explosive bolt that emits a damaging pulse of static energy upon impact.
- Ability 2 – Owl Drone: Deploy a pilotable drone that can fire a dart that will reveal enemies who are hit.
- Signature Ability - Recon Bolt: Fire a bolt that deploys a sonar emitter. The sonar pings tag nearby enemies, causing them to be revealed. Can be destroyed.
- Ultimate Ability - Hunter’s Fury: Fire up to three deadly energy blasts that spear across the entire map. Each hit enemy takes heavy damage and is marked.
Viper specializes in chemical warfare, as she has the power to poison her enemies both physically and mentally. While she does have the ability to deal damage, her kit focuses more on trapping opponents right where she and the rest of her team can see them.
- Ability 1 – Snakebite: Fire a projectile that explodes into a pool of damaging acid.
- Ability 2 – Poison Cloud: Throw a gas emitter that you can reactivate to create a poisonous smoke cloud at the cost of fuel. The emitter can be picked up and thrown again after a short cooldown.
- Signature Ability – Toxic Screen: Deploy a long line of gas emitters that you can reactivate to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel.
- Ultimate Ability – Viper’s Pit: Emit a massive toxic cloud in a large area that lasts as long as Viper stays inside the cloud. Enemies inside the cloud are highlighted to Viper.
As you’d expect, weapons play a big role in this new first-person-shooter, and there are plenty of guns for players to try out. The primary weapons are divided into several sub-categories: SMGs, Rifles, Snipers, Shotguns, and Heavy.
Each player also gets a secondary, which usually come in the form of a handgun but there is the option of using a mini-shotgun. Much like CS:GO, you’ll have to purchase the gun that you want to use each round, so there will be times when you’ll have no choice but to use a lesser one.
Riot have already confirmed that Valorant will launch with at least three maps, Haven, Bind and Split, all of which are playable during the beta.
Haven is the prototypical, classic tactical shooter map in every aspect except one – it has three sites that the defending team needs to protect rather than the usual two.
The sites are closer together, so while the defending team will have more space to worry about, rotating from one to another doesn’t take much time, which is a disadvantage for the offensive team.
Bind is a lot less of a traditional tactical shooter map than Haven, mainly because it has no middle area and instead only features two main pathways, one to each site.
It also features two-way teleporters that players can use to instantly get from one site to another, however, when used, these machines let out a loud noise, so everyone the map will know if someone’s trying to take a shortcut.
Split differs from the other two maps thanks to its verticality. You’ll find yourself aiming up and down more on this map, with high windows having clear views of both bomb sites.
But, there are easy ways to make up the ground, thanks to the conveniently placed Zipwires that you can latch onto and use to ascend or descend safely (and quietly, if you “walk” rather than “run” on them).
Very narrow chokepoints lead into both sites though, so expect a barrage of abilities as attackers make their entrance.
When Riot first unveiled Valorant, they announced that the game would launch with only one mode, the Search and Destroy-style game-type that CS:GO and Call of Duty players will be familiar with.
Each team, composed of five players using different Agents, will either be tasked with attacking the sites on the map or defending them.
The offensive team’s objective will be to plant the Spike (Valorant’s version of the bomb) at one of the sites, and each round ends when either the Spike successfully goes off, the defending team’s players all get eliminated, the attacking team gets killed before being able to plant, or the Spike gets defused in time.
Matches will be a best-of-25, meaning the team that gets to 13 round wins first will claim victory.
That wraps up our full breakdown of everything you need to know about Valorant. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @ValorantUpdates for the latest news, updates, announcements, guides, and more.