How to play from behind in Valorant

By Carver FisherOctober 24, 2020
How to play from behind in Valorant
Some Valorant games can feel downright frustrating. Getting snowballed by the enemy team and losing 13-1 feels awful, and sometimes that’s unavoidable. However, there are strategies you can employ to keep you (and your team) in the game.

Take an eco round (seriously)

No one ever wants to concede a round and take it as a loss, but sometimes, it’s a necessary evil. There are a few tips on this list meant to help circumvent the need for an eco round, but it’s the way to go if your team keeps trying to purchase cheap weapons and ram their heads into Vandals and Operators. Taking one more loss when you’re down 0-4 is much better than trying to scrap together whatever you can from round to round and consistently losing until the game’s over.
Now, taking an economy round doesn’t always mean running into the enemy team with only a Classic in hand. Weapons like the Shorty, Sheriff, and Stinger are low-cost, and they give you a much better shot at taking out someone with a high-tier weapon in hand. When purchasing, keep in mind that 3900 Creds is the price for picking up a Vandal and Heavy Armor. Valorant’s buy screen shows you the minimum amount of Creds you’ll get next round in the upper left corner, so make sure to keep that number in mind if you’re trying to full-buy next round.

Explore other options

Identifying when it’s best to buy an economy weapon is only half the battle; knowing how to use the gun is equally important. They’ve all got their own little quirks, and getting more playtime with your preferred economy option will pay off when it matters most. Statistically, most players have the same few weapons in-hand every game of Valorant.
Weapon stats in Patch 1.10 at time of publication for competitive matches.
Weapon stats in Patch 1.10 at time of publication for competitive matches.
Good mechanics do translate to using other weapons, but being successful with a Vandal and being successful with a Sheriff require two different skill sets. Personally, I’d recommend giving Deathmatch a try to get more familiar with less popular weapons. There’s no penalty to dying, and you can swap weapons at any time. Plus, the majority of a Competitive Valorant game is spent anticipating a firefight rather than being in it. Playing more aggro-oriented game modes is a good way to speed along the process of learning any weapon, and I’d recommend it for new players trying to get familiar with Valorant’s mechanics.

Get the most out of your Agent

There’s a lot more to Valorant than shooting. Every Agent has their own unique set of abilities. Ultimates can be especially impactful, and many of them have just as much kill potential as normal weapons. Some ultimates are more utility-oriented (Agents like Omen and Cypher come to mind), but other ultimates can fill the need for a primary weapon. Raze and Jett come to mind here, Jett especially. We’ve got an article covering every Agent’s ultimate and when to use it, to help you out.
That said, there’s some ways to play around other Agents’ kits. Vision obstruction is a big one, especially on Attack. Working with your team and throwing all your vision obstruction and disruption at one point is a good way to try and force a win. There’s some caution to be had with abilities, however. While abilities vary in price, anything on top of the signature ability you get every round costs something. Using abilities for the sake of using abilities won’t do you much good, especially from behind.

The buddy system

Ever find yourself down on Creds while your team is able to full-buy? One of my favorite strategies is to buy next to nothing and stick to a teammate who has a good weapon. If your teammate dies, you can just pick up their weapon. If they get the kill, you can try to grab the weapon that formerly belonged to the enemy Agent. This doesn’t always work, but it’s a fun way to get as much out of other players’ purchases as you possibly can without having to spend a single Cred.

Tilt: it swins

Getting frustrated is understandable, especially with a game like Valorant. Everything happens very quickly, and fights can be over within seconds. A strong mentality is just as important as strong mechanics when it comes to Valorant, and the two often interfere with each other. It’s a little hard to be patient when you’re angry. Not to mention, teammates can tilt, too. This can range from slight anger to full-on rage quitting and surrender spamming. However, doing your best to get that person back into the game gives you a much higher chance of winning than returning their negativity.
At the end of the day, losing is alright. Sometimes, the enemy team just has better mechanics or better communication. Don’t let these losses get to you. Losing a game and immediately entering another with that same anger in your head puts you behind before the game even starts. Playing from behind in Valorant is generally about breaking cycles by doing your absolute best with the limited resources at your disposal, and getting caught up in a cycle of negativity yourself can directly affect in-game performance. Understanding in-game mechanics is just as important as working around your team and getting your teammates motivated to win.
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