Ultimate Valorant economy guide: How to manage your Creds

Published: 26/May/2020 14:55

by Andrew Amos


If you want to take your Valorant game to the next level, learning the Agents and weapons is only half the deal. Understanding how the in-game economy works can help you stay a step ahead of your opposition, so let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of how it all works!

While you’ll be able to get by in Valorant on aim and game sense for the most part, if you want to elevate your play to the next level, you’ll need to understand how the in-game economy works.

If you are able to manage your money better than the enemy team, you’ll be at an advantage more often than not. But if you’re struggling to utilize your money to benefit both you and your team (i.e., what to buy and when to buy it), then we’ve got the perfect guide for you.

Valorant in-game economy key terms

Before we jump into talking about the economy, here’s a few terms you’ll encounter on your journey that you’ll need to understand.

  • Eco: Short for ‘eco round.’ If you are doing an eco, you aren’t going to be buying much, if anything.
  • Half-buy: When you invest a bit of money into a round to get Abilities and weapon, but don’t fully commit.
  • Full-buy: Spending as much as you can/need in a round to get fully kitted out.
  • Creds/Credits: The in-game currency for Valorant. This is what you spend to buy weapons.

Valorant economy overview

Valorant's buy menu.
Riot Games
The buy menu can be pretty overwhelming when starting off.

How do you I earn Credits in Valorant? You earn Valorant Creds as a reward for certain actions. Getting a kill will net you 200 Creds. However, unlike CS:GO, you will not get extra creds for getting kills with specific weapons (like bonuses for sneaky Knife kills or for getting aggressive with SMGs). Planting the Spike will net you an extra 300 Creds, while defusing the Spike doesn’t bag you any extra Credits outside of the round win bonus.

Speaking of win bonuses, you’ll earn Creds regardless of whether you win or lose a round. If you win a round, you’ll get 3,000 Creds. There’s no bonuses for going on a win streak. If you lose a round, you’ll only get 1,900. However, you will get loss bonuses if you keep losing to help you break your streak. After losing two rounds in a row, you’ll earn an extra 500 creds. After three rounds, you’ll get an extra 1,000 ⁠to make the maximum loss bonus of 2,900.

When to buy in Valorant

Riot Games
Always buy abilities before anything else.

Should I be buying in every round? Absolutely not. Buying in every round will only set you up for failure. In short, if you drain your economy every round, even if you win, you’ll only have 3,000 Creds. While you may carry over guns, this is only enough to buy a Phantom or Vandal with no shields!

If you constantly buy while you’re losing, you’ll never be able to save up to get a full-buy — which will immediately put you at a disadvantage. This will only lead to more losses, and the loss bonus doesn’t stack infinitely.

If you don’t have enough Credits to comfortably contest the next round, you should definitely look at saving or half-buying. The perfect example of this is after a pistol round win. While you want to push the economic advantage early, your lead can last longer if you buy-up ‘light’ in rounds two and three.

If you can afford a buy but your team can’t, this also calls for a save or a partial buy. It’s a delicate balance, but if your team is constantly in flux about buy rounds, you’re more likely to collapse.

What to buy when saving in Valorant

Player shooting in Valorant.
Riot Games
Shields can be the difference maker in a gunfight.

What should I be buying when saving my Creds? If you want to buy into a round, but don’t have enough to afford full utility, Shields, and a good weapon, you’ll have to compromise. Although there’s a few things to prioritize here.

Always ⁠– and we mean always ⁠– top up your abilities. Abilities in Valorant can tip the scales in your favor during a fight without having a weapon. They are by far the most cost effective part of your arsenal, even if most of the abilities don’t do damage… With effective utility usage, you can win rounds with only pistols!

You should also look at getting shields and less expensive weapon over getting a Rifle with no Shields whatsoever. Light Shields are a cost effective option (400 Creds) which grants you 125 effective HP.

Heavy Shields (1,000 Creds) give you 150 effective HP — so while you’re losing out on 25 HP with Light Shields,  spending 400 Creds is a worthwhile investment, to absorb that initial damage in a gunfight.

Riot Games
Don’t feel the need to buy a rifle every time you have the cash for one.

If you still a little unsure, here’s a steer in the right direction of how to use your Credits depending on your balance. A quick note: you should base your buys on whether your whole team can buy, not just you — so if you can afford it but your teammates can’t, don’t buy-up.

  • Under 2,000 Credits: Keep your abilities topped up, but don’t buy anything else.
  • 2,000-2,500 Credits: Look into getting a pistol, light shield, and abilities.
  • 2,500-3,500 Credits: Get shields, an Ares or Spectre, and abilities.
  • 3,500-4,000 Credits: Get shields, a Phantom or Vandal, and abilties.
  • Over 4,000 Credits: Look into full buying with your team, including an Operator.

Selling items in Valorant

Can I sell an item that I purchased? You can sell items in Valorant, but only those bought during the same buy phase. Once the buy phase finishes, you cannot sell items that you bought. You also can’t sell items that you carry over between rounds or that were bought for you.

While the sell function is handy from backtracking from a certain strategy, you can’t use it to artificially boost your economy by picking up an Operator and selling it for a Phantom the next round.

Valorant Ultimate Abilities: As important as Creds!

Riot Games
Managing your Ultimate abilities is as important as managing your money.

I have my Ultimate Ability, now what? While a lot of the talk so far has been about spending money in Valorant, Ultimate economy is also incredibly important.

You build up your Ultimate in a similar way to how you accrue Credits. Alongside being rewarded for kills and Spike plants/defuses, you also get an Ultimate point after you die. Finally, you can collect Orbs (which are strategically dotted around each map) to add to your Ultimate tally.

Some Agents’ Ultimate Abilities are more situational than others. For example, Sage’s ‘Resurrection’ Ult is one that you’ll want to keep handy for clutch situations — so you might choose to prioritize her Ult progression over a Duelist like Jett.

It’s also worthwhile managing the Ultimates that you invest into a round. If you over-invest, it could come back to bite you in a round or two down the line. Only use your Ultimate if absolutely necessary. Using Cypher’s ‘Neural Theft’ Ultimate during the early stages of a round would be pointless, but deploying it when trying to retake a Reactor Site is a much more appropriate time to do so!

So there you have it… Our crash course on Valorant’s economy. While it seems complex on paper, it’s pretty easy to manipulate in your favor once you’ve got the hang of things.

Want to learn more? Try tapping into our Agent tier list if you’re looking to decide on which character to main moving forward!


Valorant devs confirm new Sage buff on the way in patch 1.13

Published: 2/Dec/2020 5:12

by Brad Norton


While Sage was an insta-lock in the early phases of Valorant, the Sentinel Agent dipped drastically due to a series of hefty nerfs. However, Riot Games has confirmed she’ll be getting some love in the next major update.

When Valorant launched, Sage was the only Agent in the game capable of healing allies. Others were capable of healing themselves, but her kit provided something entirely unique. Combined with an extremely chunky Barrier Orb that could block off a certain path, and you had an “out of control” Agent that was picked in almost every match.

It took multiple balance updates and various ability reworks to bring her back down a notch. Since then, along with the introduction of new characters, Sage has seen her pick-rate drop tremendously. The Agent has only seen play in two professional matches over the past 60 days, according to VLR.

In attempt to find a middle ground and get Sage back on track, Riot has confirmed a new buff is on the way. Here’s what we can expect in Valorant’s 1.13 update coming soon.

While it was a critical Killjoy bug that stole the spotlight on November 30, Sage was also in focus due to an issue with her wall. Thanks to the Barrier Orb being placed pre-round, she could help a friendly Omen teleport across the map and quite literally break the game.

As a result, the Agent will no longer be able to place a wall down before a round gets going. This may have seemed like a temporary fix, though Riot soon clarified it “will be sticking around in the next patch.”

“Don’t worry,” they stressed. Sage isn’t being properly nerfed again. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Despite this adjustment, a “small balance change” is in the works to “put a little power back into her barrier.”

There’s no telling exactly what that looks like just yet. Whether it’s more health, added size, or something new altogether, we’re yet to find out. Though it’s only a matter of time until Sage’s wall is stronger than it’s been for the past few weeks.

It’s clear Riot doesn’t want a repeat of Sage’s dominance. So they’re playing things safe for the time being. Instead of buffing the Agent in a number of ways, Riot confirmed a singular buff to her Barrier Orb and her Barrier Orb alone.

There’s no date announced for patch 1.13 just yet. Though we do already know something else on the way. The incoming update looks to address the smurfing issue once again, cracking down on those making secondary accounts.