Valorant’s Ares is a machine gun that definitely punches above its relatively low price tag. We have all the info you’ll need on one of two Heavies in the game, so you can be prepared for when you eventually take it into a round.
There are 17 different weapons in Valorant, and Riot’s new FPS is already shaping up to be one of those games where you have to know your way around each and every one of them to be able to really compete.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the Ares to see why you shouldn’t let its low price point of 1,600 Credits fool you, as well as giving you all the info you need to mow down enemies in the early rounds when they won’t be expecting it.
What is the Ares?
The weapon is one of two Heavies in Valorant, the other being its much more expensive counterpart, the Odin. But you won’t have to break the bank in order to unlock the Ares and its destructive potential.
It’s magazine holds 50 rounds, which makes it one of the largest in the game. Combine this with a high rate-of-fire and great wall penetration, and it’s easy to see how the Ares can be punishing in the right hands.
Ares’ damage stats
Like its big brother Odin, the Ares is most effective at closer ranges – ideally within 30 meters – because anything longer than that will be affected by the weapon's damage dropoff. So, each shot to a target’s head at 5 meters away will deal 72 damage, while at 30+ meters the same shot will only deal 67 damage.
You’re not going to be relying on your pinpoint accuracy when using the Ares, either. Full-auto means it’s a bit of a “spray and pray” type of weapon, but you can increase your accuracy by intermittently tapping your fire button instead of holding it down.
That said, the Ares is fairly forgiving as far as Valorant guns go. If you whiff on your first shot or two, you can still have a chance to redeem yourself thanks to its high fire rate (up to 13 rounds/sec) and large magazine. As long as you're aiming in the general area of their upper torso and head, a good group of shots will seal an opponent's fate.
Ares’ spray pattern
Being a weapon that relies more on its rate of fire than pure marksmanship, aiming down sights isn’t really necessary with the Ares. While it does provide a hint more accuracy when ADSing, this generally goes unnoticed beyond 15 meters.
In the video below you can see the Ares’ fire pattern, which sways back and forth from left to right as you empty the clip... This happens whether you’re shooting from the hip or aiming down the sights, so if you do open it up and go full auto, be sure to keep a steady hand and pull down slightly on your mouse as you fire to counter the recoil.
As with every other weapon in Valorant, the Ares’ accuracy suffers heavily if you fire it while on the move. The fire rate and large magazine means you could stop moving once you begin firing, but if you can, you should use it from a standstill position — or even attempt to counter-strafe to mitigate the effects of movement inaccuracy!
When to buy the Ares
At only 1,600 credits, the humble Ares is what we like to call a 'transition weapon.' By that we mean it can be purchased as a follow-up to pistol rounds, before teams have the opportunity to full-buy.
The machine gun can handle itself just fine during Attacking rounds, but it's on Defense that the weapon really shines. Its wall penetration paired with the scouting ability of say, Sova, makes it possible to hold doorways and key choke points without ever putting yourself directly in the enemy line of fire.
Best Agent to use the Ares
Knowing where your enemies are coming from is crucial when using the Ares, given its devastating potential to penetrate nearby surfaced. As we just mentioned, Sova is a good fit for the weapon, but nothing can beat Cypher when it comes to keeping track of the enemy team.
Using his camera, you can keep an eye for flanking enemies, while his tripwires will alert you and your team to any opponents getting too close for comfort.
For instance, a few well-placed tripwires in Bathroom near Reactor Site A on Bind, could allow you to take out advancing enemies before they even realize what's going on.
Cypher's Ultimate almost makes using the Ares too easy. Once you know the whereabouts of the enemy team, you can find a nice secure place and wait for them to waltz into range before opening up — making this sneaky character an unlikely fit for the loudmouth gun.
You'll usually find yourself choosing between the Spectre and the Ares, since both weapons will set you back 1,600 credits, and are both good alternatives when your team is on a half-buy round.
It's definitely no Operator, but the Ares does actually have a longer effective range than the Spectre. Plus the weapon's fifty-round magazine will let you keep firing once your enemies have run dry.
It's best to let enemies come to you when using the Ares... So locking down choke points from a good, solid position where you can maximize the high fire rate is key!
The Ares is loud above all else. So if you prefer to keep a lower profile, it might be wise to go with the Spectre, given the silenced audio cues (versus being heard halfway across the map). Saying that, if you've already ploughed through all your foes, it really doesn't matter if they heard you or not.