Valorant Countermeasures: How to Cope With Shotguns

By Stephanie RoehlerAugust 6, 2020
In Valorant, few things suck more than feeling pumped up for a match, only to turn a corner and get blown to bits by a ready-and-waiting shotgun. The entire game can sour from feeling powerless against these one-shot champions.

Why are shotguns so dangerous in Valorant?

Shotguns aren’t always the most beloved guns in Valorant, but players still often run into a buckshot fan or two every game. While they don’t seem like the most threatening weapon, there is some serious power behind their shock-value and one-shot capabilities. All a shotgun lover needs is a well planned around-the-corner spot and a good shot to be a complete menace in-game.
When it comes to Valorant in particular, their shotguns pack a punch. The Bucky not only is a one-shot kill but has some decent range for a shotgun. Meanwhile, the Judge has deadly accuracy and fires multiple times before you have to reload.
While any character can use this gun to their advantage, Viper, Omen, and Jett (looking at you, Spyder) are particularly potent threats with a shotgun in their hands.

Basic Tactics

Players are hardly helpless against shotgun abuse, though. For any FPS rookies needing some simple tactics, here are things you can try:
  • When rounding a corner, don’t always just hug it. Instead, give the danger point a wide berth.
  • Bait out their shot and kill them while they reload
  • Similarly, bait them out of their positioning in general so you can get an easy shot on them
  • Backpedal! Stay away from corners, and if a shotgun user comes running at you, jump backward to make you a harder target and try to shoot him out before they can get close enough
  • They rely on moving quickly, so recon is not nearly as helpful than you think

Agent-Specific Tactics

Some of the same characters that are great with shotguns are some of the best to counter them. With Jett and Omen’s mobility, they can dodge shotgun tactics effectively. The best way to fight back against a shotgun is to quickly get out of their sight-lines.
Three less mobile agents that still do a good job are Raze and Phoenix, with their many around-the-corner, short-range damage abilities that help them react quickly in a sudden fight. Lastly, the most defensive option is Sage, with her abilities to block, slow, and heal.
But most all of the agents have some abilities that can help disengage from or turn the tables of a shotgun encounter. These listed abilities can help you use your favorite characters effectively:

Dodge: To make them miss their shots:

  • Re-position with Jett’s dashing Tailwind (E) or Updraft (Q), Omen’s Shrouded Step (C).

Blind: If you suspect an impending shotgun or see them rounding a corner, ruin their vision with:

  • Block their vital line of sight with Omen’s Paranoia (Q) or Dark Cover (E), Brimstone’s Sky Smoke (E), Reyna’s Leer (C), Jett’s Cloudburst (C), or Viper’s Pit (X). Otherwise, blind them with Breach’s Flashpoint (Q), Phoenix’s Curveball (Q), or Viper’s Poison Cloud (Q).

Damage: To hit the enemy before they can hit you:

  • Toss Raze’s Boom Bot (C) or Paint Shells (E), Brimstone’s Incendiary (Q), Phoenix’s Hot Hands (E), or Viper’s Snake Bite poison puddles (C) around dangerous corners.
  • Honorable overkill damage: Raze’s Showstopper (X), Brimstone’s Orbital Strike (X), and Sova’s Hunter’s Fury (X). They may be hard to land in a pinch, but they will definitely destroy the shotgun fiend if they hit.

Traps: If you want to catch a shotgun-lover out:

  • Cypher’s Trapwire (C) can identify the enemy’s movements and daze them.

Stun/Slow: To give yourself an easier time with back-pedaling:

  • Slow down a shotgunner’s advance with Sage’s Slow Orb (C) or Viper’s Snake Bite poison puddle (C). If you are good at predicting enemy movements, though, a well-prepped assault with Breach’s Faultline (E) or Breach’s Rolling Thunder (X) can keep distance between a player and a shotgunner.

Why not recon or other traps?

Recon is not nearly as helpful as you think. Shotgun users rely on moving quickly, so other than Cypher’s Trapwires, don’t bother. Focus more on reactive tactics than pre-emptive ones.
In the same vein, moves like Cypher’s Cyber Cage (Q) and Raze’s Blast Pack (Q) could be useful in theory, but they take a lot of keyboard movements to activate (a toss and an activation button) so they could take too much time when reacting to a rushing shotgunner.
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