Valorant

How to play as Sova: Valorant’s Initiator Agent with a thirst for intel

by Andy Williams

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Valorant's resident Legolas has an ability set like no other Agent. We break down the Initiator's utility and showcase exactly why they might be the perfect character for you!

Sova is Valorant’s recon expert, who also sports a well-rounded lineup of abilities which support their ruthless knack for precision, while simultaneously allowing them to be the most deadly Agent in the server.

While on paper Sova could be one of the most lethal Agents in Valorant, there is more to the Russian recon expert than meets the eye. So here’s everything you need to know about the game's Initiator Agent.

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Sova’s abilities

Valorant's Sova.
Riot Games

Sova’s abilities are game-changing if used in the right way. Being an Initiator, their trusty bow and arrow can alter the course of a round in the blink of an eye. So let’s delve into exactly why the Russian Agent could fit the bill for you. Firstly, here are Sova’s four abilities:

  • Ability 1 — Owl Drone (300 Creds): EQUIP an owl drone. FIRE to deploy and take control of movement of the drone. While in control of the drone, FIRE to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.
  • Ability 2 — Shock Bolt (100 Creds): EQUIP a bow with a shock bolt. FIRE to send the explosive bolt forward, detonating upon collision and damaging players nearby. HOLD FIRE to extend the range of the projectile. ALTERNATE FIRE to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
  • Signature Ability — Recon Bolt (Free; 35s cooldown): EQUIP a bow with recon bolt. FIRE to send the recon bolt forward, activating upon collision and revealing the location of nearby enemies caught in the line-of-sight of the bolt. Enemies can destroy this bolt. HOLD FIRE to extend the range of the projectile. ALTERNATE FIRE to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
  • Ultimate Ability — Hunter’s Fury (7 Points): EQUIP a bow with three long-range, wall-piercing energy blasts. FIRE to release an energy blast in a line in front of Sova, dealing damage and revealing the location of enemies caught in the line. This ability can be reused up to two more times while the ability timer is active.

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Sova’s Owl Drone will allow you to get a sneak peek at a Reactor Site or specific lane, while allowing you to tag enemies for your teammates. Coming in at 300 Creds, the controllable drone will prove a handy tool for any squad when intel is a must.

Combined with the Recon Bolt, both abilities allow you to obtain a wealth of information on the enemies’ whereabouts while remaining unscathed.

Sova's Recon Bolt Ability in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
The Recon Bolt’s shockwave will not penetrate walls to reveal your foes, meaning that the bolt needs to be fired into an open area.

It's worthwhile noting that both Sova's Recon and Shock Bolt can be bounced off up to two surfaces. So if you're looking to bend the trajectory of your arrow around a corner, use nearby surfaces to your advantage here.

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Sova gameplay

Dexerto acquired the talents of Counter-Strike legend Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez to exhibit Sova’s abilities, while the Swiss pro put on a clinic of how to use the Russian Agent.

The first few clips highlight just how essential Sova’s recon abilities are to allowing you and your team to take effective map control. Given the cost to benefit ratio on the Owl Drone, this tool will prove indispensable when attempting to take control of a specific Reactor Site.

Sova's Owl Drone in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Targeting enemies with the Owl Drone is as simple as locking on your foe and clicking Mouse 1.

One downside of Sova's Owl Drone is that it’s relatively easy for the enemy to destroy. But when you’ve mastered the knack of charging the Recon Bolt to bounce it off of surfaces (making it difficult for enemies to destroy), this can provide you with a plethora of information — as Maniac highlights at 0:36 while defending a Reactor Site.

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Aside from the Agent’s ability to gain key intel on a whim, their Ultimate (Hunter's Fury) is will serve two purposes. Essentially, Sova can fire three deadly energy blasts that penetrate a large portion of the map in the direction that they’re fired. Given that the wall-piercing energy blasts can both dish out damage and reveal your enemy's location, this is a handy tool to have.

Maniac even manages to highlight the devastating effects of Hunter’s Fury when used with the Bolt at 2:46, where the former CS pro essentially wins his team the round just by utilizing his Agent’s Ultimate. Although, as Maniac states, it is possible to avoid the wrath of the energy blasts due to the sound cues it produces while being charged.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sigeQmWl10

Dexerto’s take: Game-changing for intel

One of Sova’s weaker areas is his Shock Bolt. During later rounds — when your opponent is more likely to be equipped with Heavy Shields – you'll often find yourself favoring your weapon to deal damage, as opposed to relying on the explosive bolt.

Saying that, the Shock Bolt is always a handy tool to use to clear out a corner that you suspect an enemy to be camping in — perfect for clearing key areas when taking a Reactor Site!

Maniac’s play from 3:57 puts three of Sova’s abilities in the spotlight, and perfectly showcases how important the Agent can be in determining the outcome of a round.

Sova's Hunter's Fury in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Hunter’s Fury dealt the final round-winning blow to the enemy Phoenix player.

Sova’s ‘Initiator’ playstyle seems suited to someone who leans more towards being nimble on both Attack and Defense. If you're someone who's happy to gather intel for your team, but doesn't want to be bound by Cypher's abilities, Sova is the one for you.