Standing in the cold and staring in through the frosted window, it might seem like everyone and their mum has been given access to the Valorant closed beta. It’s not fun to be left out, but instead of simply waiting for access, you should start preparing. We’ve put together a Valorant character guide that’ll give you a quick synopsis of how each Agent plays, so you’re ready to pick the one that suits you best the second you get access.
Valorant characters: who’s who and what does what
When you finally jump into Valorant – it’ll come, we swear! – you’ll find five Agents unlocked by default, with two more gained after a short sequence of play. We’ve split the list below between starting Agents and unlockable Agents so you have an idea of who you’ll begin with and where to move onto afterward.
Grizzled soldier Brimstone is the man to pick for those who want to control the battlefield and command their team. His signature Sky Smoke ability drops up to three smoke clouds using a tactical map and is one of the best powers in the game on both attack and defense. Stim Beacons boost fire rate, and his incendiary is the perfect Spike defense tool. Oh, and his Orbital Strike Ultimate can be used to kill an enemy halfway across the map if you feel like it.
Brimstone is a near essential pick on most Valorant teams, making him a great character to learn for all players. Even if your aim isn’t superb, the easy smoke and ultimate placements allow you to help your team out massively as Brimstone, all you need to do is learn the maps.
Recommended: Elite Pro 2 Headset + SuperAmp
Designed in collaboration with leading esports teams the Turtle Beach® Elite Pro™ 2 + SuperAmp™ Pro Performance Gaming Audio System for PS4™ Pro, PS4™, PC and Xbox One is built to win!Shop Now
Jett has the tools to outmaneuver any other Agent in the field. Her signature is a dash that can be used to cross dangerous openings and surprise enemies, while Updraft jumps can boost Jett to new hiding spots or surpass defensive barriers such as Sage’s ice wall. Quickfire smokes can be curved to block sightlines for brief moments. Provided your aim is true, her Blade Storm ultimate is capable of wiping out the entire enemy team.
Jett is not an easy character to play, and without the support of her teammate’s abilities, she’s unlikely to achieve much in the match. We only recommend playing Jett once you’re comfortable with each map and can throw out abilities on a moment’s notice.
A counterpoint to Jett, Phoenix trades mobility for an impressive suite of entry powers. Counter-Strike fans will feel right at home here thanks to his Curveball flashbang. His signature Hot Hands ability works both as a molotov and a recovery tool – Phoenix heals from the effects of his own fire -, and his Blaze wall, once mastered, can be used to block sightlines or force enemies back. Finally, his Run it Back Ultimate gives you a limited-time chance to push forward and secure that entry kill without risking your neck in the process.
Phoenix is a fantastic first choice for those moving over to Valorant, especially from shooters like CS: GO. He’s got the tools to push sites on his own and can self-heal if you get into trouble. Just make sure you practice his Curveball controls enough to avoid blinding your own team.
Ostensibly the game’s healer, Sage is much more than a simple Medic. While she does come with a recharging orb that can restore health to herself or an ally, her remaining toolset is arguably even better. Barrier Orb places an Ice Wall capable of stopping pushes, boosting allies to new sightlines or defending the Spike, and Slow Orb is an infuriating tool for opponents to deal with. Her Resurrection ultimate can shift the odds of a losing fight, or can even act as bait to earn a kill on a distracted enemy.
Sage is another fantastic starter class in Valorant, though you will need to practice her Barrier Orb wall placement. Put the time in and you’ll prove invaluable to your team. Much like Brimstone, you’ll rarely see a Valorant side without a Sage on their team, and played correctly she’s one of the toughest Agents to beat on defense.
Intelligence expert Sova is one of the first Agents in Valorant to hate when the enemy team is playing him well. Recon Bolt can be fired from safety to reveal the enemy positions, forcing them to relocate or setting up easy kills for yourself or your allies. He excels on the attack, pushing defenders out of position with Shock Bolts or through darts from his Owl Drone. His Hunter’s Fury Ultimate is capable of hitting enemies through walls from half the map away and will reveal the location of anyone struck.
Thanks to the varying bounces and charge power of his arrows, Sova is far from the easiest Agent to master in Valorant. If you’re the kind of person who’s happy to put in the time learning arrow shots for every single map, your Sova will be indispensable, but if you prefer to freestyle it each match, we’d suggest avoiding the electric archer.
Another popular competitive choice, Breach has all the tools an attacking side could ask for. Flash Point can blind enemies hiding around corners, Fault Line staggers foes through walls, and Aftershock obliterates anyone hiding in a cubby. His Rolling Thunder ultimate is one of the best in the game, capable of clearing an entire plant site and throwing anyone caught into the air, dazing them for a short time.
All of his powers work through walls, with many requiring a wall to be used. For this reason, Breach is a more advanced Agent. You need a good understanding of the maps, sightlines and hiding spots to put his Flash Point and Aftershock to good use. Combined with Brimstone, he’s an incredibly threatening offensive force, and one you can expect to see on many professional teams.
The ultimate lurk character. If you like waiting on the other side of the map to catch out any pushy enemies, Cypher is your man. Spycam keeps areas under watch and can mark enemies with an infuriating dart that must be manually removed. Tripwires force foes to tread carefully or be dazed and revealed, and his Cyber Cages can slow and block enemies. Cypher’s Neural Theft Ultimate can also scan a fallen opponent to reveal the location of all surviving players on their team through walls.
Smart placement of his camera and tripwires takes some practice, but once you get to grips with them, Cypher is an incredibly powerful Agent, especially on defense. He can keep track of the enemy team’s movements from afar, informing his team and even revealing them if necessary. However, without many direct combat tools, he’ll struggle against duelists and controllers who can out power and position him.
Omen can only be the brother of Overwatch’s Reaper, given how they share a taste for edgy clothing and teleportation. This shadowy figure can set up teleports to surprise opponents, block sightlines with his Dark Cover orb, or straight up remove sight by hurling his Paranoia projectile through walls. His Ultimate allows him to teleport anywhere on the map. Yes, anywhere. If that sounds unfair, it’s only because it is.
Like to confuse and misdirect your opponent? Omen is your guy. He lacks direct attacking powers and relies on coordinated strikes with his team to really excel, so Omen shouldn’t be a choice for players who like to roll solo.
Already causing a good deal of consternation online, Raze’s idea of a fair fight is tossing an unpleasant number of explosives in your face. Her signature paint shells are an incredibly irritating cluster grenade that you’ll learn to hate online, while Boom Bot can be sent out to scout for enemies in a particular pathway. Blast Packs can be detonated to send Raze flying to new heights or surprising peak angles, and her Showstopper ultimate is literally a one-shot rocket launcher.
Like tossing explosives? Raze has got your covered. She’s one of the only characters who directly kills with abilities, and boy does that make her a target for a lot of hate. In Valorant’s early stages she’s proven powerful and also pretty easy to play, but expect small nerfs to arrive before long.
Another Controller class, Viper plants recharging gas emitters across the map, activating them to block vision and damage anyone caught in their effects. Toxic Screen lays down a lengthy wall, while Poison Cloud creates an orb in one location. Snake Bite coats the floor in slowing, damaging acid, but it’s her Viper’s Pit Ultimate that really sells the character. Cloaking a large area in green smog, it reduces vision and maximum health for anyone who enters, and will only disappear when Viper leaves or is killed.
Thanks to the requirement of careful aim and positioning, Viper is one of the tougher Agents to master, and arguably worse than Brimstone as a controller. That said, her Ultimate and ability to recharge toxin supplies make her a unique threat, for those willing to put in the hours.
Hopefully this guide has helped you figure out who you’ll want to play once you get access to Valorant. All we can do at this point is pray that Riot Games doesn’t make you wait too much longer!
Read More: Valorant Beginners Tips You Need To Know
Competitive gaming isn’t fair. To transform you into a Valorant virtuoso as quickly as possible, we’ve put together a series of Valorant beginners tips.
Henry Stenhouse was formerly a PhD physicist before being born anew in the fires of game journalism. An unashamed Super Smash Bros. fanatic, he’s still waiting for the rest of the editorial team to accept his daily challenges for an Ultimate showdown. Other genres of interest include FPS, RTS and western RPGs. You can follow him on Twitter at @Fernoface