The closed beta for Valorant, Riot Games’ team-based first-person shooter, launched a few weeks ago. Players who’ve gotten their hands on the game have been working to master the game’s various classes and weapons in five-on-five, Counter-Strike-esque matches.
There are ten playable characters (or “agents”) available in Valorant’s closed beta, each possessing four unique abilities. These ten agents are organized into four distinct classes, each with their own purpose on the battlefield: Duelist, Sentinel, Initiator and Controller. Here are some tips on how each class, and the agents within them, can best be utilized to achieve victory.
Duelists are Valorant‘s offensive line, specializing in attacking and dealing direct damage to the enemy. They are very versatile, with a wide range of abilities that give them multiple options in any combat situation.
Jett is a highly mobile agent who is able to avoid and confuse enemies, while Phoenix is an extremely versatile pyromancer with a range of moves. Raze, the final Duelist, specializes in explosive weapons used to disrupt the enemy and deal area-of-effect damage.
Duelists will be a great choice for players who like to be right in the heat of battle. Jett and Phoenix are great at closing the gap for close-range combat, making shotguns an ideal choice of weapon. Raze has the steepest learning curve of the three, but her area-of-effect explosives make her deadly against groups of enemies.
Sentinels are Valorant‘s defensive line, keeping the enemy team at bay and protecting their teammates. They are able to lock down important areas and break enemy offensives.
Cypher, rather than physically blocking enemies, is able to protect a position using traps and remote cameras. Sage, another Sentinel, is the closest thing Valorant has to a classic healer. For defense she is able to create solid walls and an area-of-effect field that slows down the enemy.
The two Sentinels fill more niche roles than one might expect from a defensive class. Communication is absolutely key for playing either of these agents. Cypher is great at detecting enemy assaults but usually needs backup to defend effectively, while Sage’s nature as a healer makes her most effective when surrounded by allies.
Initiators excel at planning out and initiating offensive pushes. They help their team stay one step ahead of the enemy and break through defensive positions.
Breach, for example, has a number of Earth-based abilities that are able to damage enemies through walls and help his team break through enemy defenses. Meanwhile, Sova specializes in tracking the enemy and maintaining safe distance by performing trick shots with his bow and arrow.
Choosing an Initiator puts players in a natural leadership role because other players will follow their lead. They shine when playing offensive, although they still have utility in a defensive match. Sova is great at leading his team towards important enemy positions, while Breach excels at tearing those positions down. Expect to be specifically targeted by the enemy team, who will try to prevent you from initiating assaults.
Controllers are a supporting class, specializing in using the map to their advantage in both offense and defense. They make life difficult for the enemy, which makes life easier for their comrades.
Brimstone, for example, specializes in area denial by calling down smoke screens and orbital strikes. Omen, with similarities to Overwatch‘s Reaper, is able to easily flank the enemy team and discombobulate them by shutting down their line of sight. Viper focuses on area denial through the use of chemicals, releasing clouds of poison.
Whereas Initiators shine on an offensive team, Controllers work magic on a defensive team. Players who choose a Controller should find themselves at the bomb site or at key choke points. Brimstone and Viper, when played effectively, will delay the enemy team and pick them off when they get sloppy. Omen, meanwhile, can get behind an attacking team and pick them off from relative safety.
Each of Valorant‘s agents has their own unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. While the game’s four classes are quite broad in their utility, each agent does fall into one of these categories. Whether attacking, defending or supporting their team, players of all kinds should find a character that suits their playstyle in Valorant.
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Riot Games’ team-based shooter Valorant recently entered closed beta. Let’s take a look at the game’s four distinct classes.