Valorant Common Mistakes to Avoid

by MxChamp24

Hey everyone, my name is Dragonmar and welcome back to another wonderful post of mine. Today, we’ll be going over 5 extremely common mistakes that noobs(and most players) make as well as how to fix them. As always, this post is based off of my YouTube video for those who’d prefer to watch over read!

The Video

Mistake #1: Staring at the Ground(Bad Crosshair Placement)

What is it, when does it happen, and why is it bad?

  • Where you place your crosshair is incredibly important when it comes to your reaction time when acquiring a new target. You put yourself as an incredible disadvantage when aiming improperly.
  • Instead of aiming at headshot level and having your crosshair right next to where an enemy appears, your crosshair will across the universe, requiring you to make a massive adjustment.
  • Enemies are never going to appear at your feet, where are you staring down there?
  • You can miss critical information about player positions who are high up, or in a vertical position when you aim down. Imagine a Jett on top of a box, you probably won’t see her if you are aiming at the floor.
  • This is something that is very common for newer players to FPS games, but it is so important that you break this habit early. A lot of new FPS players feel more comfortable being able to see where they are turning, hence looking down so often.

How can I fix this?

  • Your crosshair should always be placed at a head-height. On ramps and slopes it can be more difficult but you should always try to best to be above the waist. This is particularly useful when clearing corners when your reaction time needs to be as quick as possible.
  • Crosshair placement goes hand in hand with map knowledge as well, as you need to know where to look. Training yourself to aim at head level will always force you to pay attention to where people generally are. Thus, increasing your map knowledge too.
  • How I do this: I visualize an outline of an enemy, kind of like if I had wallhacks (I don’t) and use that as a reference to where I need to aim. I approximate where someone’s head will be if they turn the corner, and aim accordingly. I also use my map knowledge to pre-aim at common angles.

Mistake #2: Force Buying Too Often

What is it, when does it happen, and why is it bad?

  • Force-buying is when you buy weapons/armors/utility or a combination of them in a sub-optimal time where you or your teammates aren’t able to purchase everything you need for the upcoming round. Forcing is typically done when you are in danger of falling-behind, have a commanding lead, or are trying to take your enemy by surprise when they may have as struggling economy as well.
  • Examples of force-buys include: Full Armor + Sheriff after losing the pistol round. $2K team economy and buying Full Armor + Stingers against a full-buy enemy team. 2 teammates full-buying, while the rest have armor + pistols.
  • Just because you CAN buy, doesn’t mean your team can*
  • Force buying is INCREDIBLY destructive in a competitive environment when it is not done in an organized fashion in accordance with your team. You can actually throw away rounds that should have been far more competitive by forcing too often.
  • Players tend to force buy out of frustration, or out of a lack of understanding of the game’s economy. The latter is far easier to correct.

How can I fix this?

  • Make sure your team saves on the 2nd round if you lose pistol. This should solve about 50% of poor force-buying situations for the majority of players. Every enemy you kill in the 2nd round with just your classic pistol will hopefully be one less enemy in the 3rd round who can full buy.
  • Talk to your team about strategy before buying and forcing.
  • Ensure you are buying for the right reason, and not out of frustration. Sheriff + Armor may sound fun, but that’s $1800 you won’t have next round.
  • Try to CONSTANTLY pay attention to your teams economy. REMEMBER, a teammate who is struggling may not have enough money to full buy with the team. Especially if they aren’t getting any money from kills.
  • Try to help your teammates with buys when you can. What is more important? You having 1 extra smoke and $2800, or your teammate who is solo-holding C having a Vandal?

Mistake #3: Not “Playing Time”

What is it, when does it happen, and why is it bad?

  • This is huge, and something that happens at pretty much every level of play. Generally higher skilled player are more aware of it, but they still make mistakes. Lower skilled players generally are less aware, and thus their mistakes are more on their lack of knowledge and less on their poor discipline.
  • Playing time refers to the act of letting time drain off the clock, while staying alive.
  • Example: 10 Seconds left in a round. You are on defense, and the enemy must plant. You are both on A bombsite on Bind. You are safely behind the boxes in the middle of site, while the enemy is next to the APC.
    • o Do you:
      • A) Peek the player on site with 10 seconds left
      • B) Peek the player on site with 5 seconds left
      • C) Peek the player on site as soon as you hear the plant
      • D) Peek the player on site a second or so after you hear the plant
    • Answer:
      • You’ll want to peek the player on site only if you hear a plant begin. As there are only 10 seconds left in the round, you know that you have time on your side. They will be forced to either rush you(advantage for you) or plant(advantage for you) the only time you take your advantage away is if you peek prematurely.
  • · This also happens when people value their score far too much. You should play to win, not to top the leaderboards. Don’t chase kills, this often can turn a 3v1 into a 1v1 and suddenly you’ve lost a crucial round because you chased.

How can I fix this?

  • Self-Discipline: You’ll need to be able to control your urge to kill every player possible
  • Consider the possibility of yourself dying and the impact on your team before getting overly aggressive
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the maps and bombsites to know where players will be, where you can safely hide, and how peek during a post-plant. Often times you can actually use abilities like mollies to delay defuses, plants, etc.
  • Have a clock constantly running in your head, and think about the time left in the round BEFORE you take a fight with an enemy

Mistake #4: Holding Utility Too Long

What is it, when does it happen, and why is it bad?

  • Holding utility tends to happen when players underestimate the usefulness of their abilities.
  • Players overestimate the cost of buying an ability, and thus feel that using it when they can’t get the BEST play possible means it’s not worth using.
  • Players feel they have to physically see that an enemy will be impacted by their ability before they use it. This is incorrect. Using smokes pre-emptively is sometimes the most important use for them. Mollying a corner can be done simply on the belief an enemy is there. When you physically check to see if someone is in a spot before using your abilities you are putting yourself in danger of getting shot for obtaining that info.

How can I fix this?

  • Try to pay attention to your economy very early on. Check to see what you can buy, and if you lose, what you can buy in the next round. It’s very important to plan ahead. If you know you’ll need 3 smokes in the next round but can’t buy full armor if you do so, you’ll have to plan ahead. You should never be surprised by what you can or cannot buy in a given round.
  • It’s often better to OVERUSE, then to UNDERUSE. Try this philosophy if you find yourself with full utility at the end of every round win/lose.
  • Start practicing more aggressive ability usage, as this tends to be used earlier in rounds rather than later

Mistake #5: Not Trading Kills

What is it, when does it happen, and why is it bad?

  • Trading kills refers to the “trade” of players that occurs when an enemy kills a teammate, and then is immediately killed(traded)
  • It is crucial once you get to higher ranks to constantly be trading kills. Going up 5v4 is a huge advantage as it means a team can safely trade the remaining 4 enemies with their own 4 players and still win.
  • Trading works because of how hard spray-transfers are. When an enemy is focused on one target, it is incredibly difficult to deal with another right after.
  • Players don’t trade kills for a number of reasons:
    • They are playing too scared
    • Poor communication about pushes
    • Using abilities instead of following a teammate into a site
    • Bad map awareness
  • What ends up happening when players don’t trade kills is that your team will constantly end up in 3v5s, etc. If you’ve found yourself in a lot of down 1, 2 men situation early on in rounds then this is most likely a huge factor.

How can I fix this?

  • STOP. TAKING. LONG. RANGE. FIGHTS. THAT CANNOT BE TRADED.
  • That’s a nice SMG you have their Timmy, but I don’t think you are going to beat an OPer holding that long angle, and guess what, neither is your bronze 2 teammate.
  • Check your minimap before moving into a site. Make sure you have players close enough to you to be able to trade out kills
  • Swing with your teammate, not after they have died. You want to catch enemies mid spray, not after it has reset
  • Make callouts and use teamwork to ensure that your push will be followed. If you see a teammate using a flash, peek with him to trade out his death.
  • Use a teammates death that wasn’t trade in time as an opportunity to pinpoint an enemy location. Pre-aim the angle that they were shot from as they most likely will have to reload. Hold, and wait for them to re-peek.

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