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The 10 Types of Players in Valorant (and How to Counter Them)

There are tons of players and strategies that can be really difficult to deal with when you’re playing Valorant. Whether it’s someone always lurking or people spamming your site with utility, dealing with these problems can be easier than you think if you incorporate these tips to deal with the players and strategies that you see in your ranked games.

Understanding Valorant Players and Strategies

Now, the first type of player that we have to talk about is the W key, and this is the person that is always running it down. They’re running it down mid, they’re running it down on your lane, they’re literally just pushing through smokes and psychopathically onto your site, and often times, these guys will kill you because they completely miss your timing. As in, you are checking certain corners, you’re holding certain angles, and because they’re constantly W keying, they end up in a place that you would never expect them to be.

Countering Aggressive Players

So, how do you deal with these W key type players? Well, the first thing that you need to understand is that passivity often times beats aggression. These players are relying on you to just get mistimed by whipping out a piece of utility or trying to make an aggressive peak or play yourself. But if you are being patient and you wait for these players, you can shut them down by simply understanding that they are going to be kind of just storming in very, very quickly.

Being able to be passive, being able to just hold a corner or a cubby allows you to punish these players because you’re not going to be caught off guard; you’re going to be ready to react to these players. Now, another thing that you could do to shut down a W key is by joint holding and generally just having two people holding positions is going to be really, really easy to shut down a player that is just psychopath swinging through not clearing every angle because they’re not playing to the fundamentals, and you can just easily shut them down that way.

Or you could even use preemptive utility. A lot of times, there are tons of utility that will just set up a player that is going too fast, make them slow down, force them to slow down, and then their timing’s all off, and they can’t just get the better of you with a simple W key strategy.

Improving Your Gameplay

Now, speaking of W key, I’m going to need you to focus on improving your gameplay to counteract these strategies effectively. We have in-depth movement guides, character guides, and everything that you need to build top-tier aim. So, if you really want to get better and you want to do it risk-free, now is the time to dive deeper into strategies and practice routines that can elevate your playstyle.

Encountering Shotgun Users

The next type of player that we have to talk about is the shotgun users. These are the players that are just running around with a shotgun. They could be doing it on attack, or they could just be holding positions with this unorthodox method, challenging traditional gameplay and requiring you to adapt quickly.

Dealing with Shotgun Users in Valorant

Their sight around the corner with the Judge or they’re always playing in smokes. Whatever the case may be, these players are really annoying because you challenge space with a Vandal or some other rifle and then just get completely demolished by this person that is just jumping around and seemingly ignoring all of the rules of tactical shooters.

The first thing and the easiest thing to do is just play from effective ranges. If you’re trying to clear an angle or push onto sight, clear one side and then hold the opposite side as far away as you possibly can when you’re swinging out so that the shotgun user doesn’t just get to kill you for free, or it takes them one extra shot to kill you, which gives your teammates one extra moment to deal with the shotgun user, at least trade.

The worst-case scenario is just running through and then two, three, four of you are dying to a Judge, and often times, this is the mistake of everybody involved. If you play from further effective ranges, you’re going to be just fine.

Optimizing Engagement Ranges

In addition to that, gen fighting and trying to challenge areas on the map that have longer sight lines where your gun has a strategic advantage is going to mean it’s less likely for you to die to a lot of these quarters and cubbies. If you have ways to gather info or ways to clear out corners with utility, that could be fantastic ways to not fall victim to just someone crouching around the corner. I mean, if you have to put them in a damn retake scenario, literally find where they are, rotate to the other site. It’s super simple and easy, but it could put that shotgun user in a situation where they’re completely useless on the retake.

Using Utility and Wallbangs

Now, the number one tip though that I’ll give you is to make sure that you’re wall banging and spraying through smokes a ton. Being able to wallbang certain corners so that you can check and see if there’s a shotgun user there, spraying through smokes so that if there’s someone crouched with a freaking Shorty, you’re going to punish them. Guns that can spray through smokes without tracers, like the Phantom, are going to be a little bit better than the Vandal up against people that are just abusing shotguns. Overall, you’re just trying to gather information or punish people that are playing way too close.

Handling Lurkers

Now, the next type of player that could be really frustrating to deal with is the always lurking type of player. They’re always waiting, they’re always creeping behind, they’re always going to cut off rotation. How do you deal with this kind of player, and what are the ways to shut them down? The first thing you need to do is you need to be disciplined with your rotation. If you’re just running knife out, making all the noise in the world, if someone’s just lurking and waiting for you to rotate, they’re going to kill you.

Effective Strategies Against Lurkers

On hot zones or areas where you suspect an opponent may be lurking, such as mid or around corners during rotations to a site on defense, it’s crucial to proceed with discipline. Always have your gun ready, minimize noise, and remain aware of your surroundings. Sometimes, by staying under the radar, you might catch lurkers off-guard as they might assume you’ve already passed, exposing their position for a potential counterplay.

Remember to always consider the presence of a lurker. Acknowledge any gaps in your team’s coverage and adapt accordingly. If an area like mid has been unmonitored for a significant period, assume a lurker could be present. Visualize the map’s clear areas in green, turning to yellow and then red as they become less secure. This mental model prompts a thorough check of ‘red’ areas, reducing the likelihood of being ambushed by a lurker.

Countering Permanent Snipers

Perma snipers, players who consistently purchase long-range weapons like the Operator, present a unique challenge. They can feel oppressive, as it seems they’re constantly leveraging their economy to maintain an advantage. The first step in countering them is anticipation. If there’s a possibility for the enemy to afford a sniper, adjust your playstyle accordingly to mitigate their impact.

Emphasize the importance of jump and jiggle peeks to gather information safely. This technique not only reveals the sniper’s position but also forces them to reveal themselves, allowing your team to make informed decisions on rotations. Beware of re-peeking against snipers, especially agile ones like Jett, who can quickly secure a kill and reposition.

Strategic Rotation Against Snipers

More consistent than direct confrontation is rotating off the point to force an operator into a retake scenario. This strategy is particularly effective against snipers, who are less effective in retake situations. By gathering intelligence on the operator’s location, teams can decide to rotate, putting the sniper in a disadvantageous position. Additionally, certain sites that are less favorable for sniping can be targeted to exploit these weaknesses. Close range engagements can force snipers out of their preferred positions or facilitate easier trades, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and strategic planning in overcoming sniper challenges.

Countering Coordinated Executes

Coordinated executes pose a significant challenge on defense, often overwhelming defenders with a barrage of utilities and aggressive pushes. The key to countering this strategy lies in pre-emptive action and controlled aggression.

Instead of passively holding sites, defenders should consider applying pressure on common entry points or threatening close positions. This approach forces attackers to expend utility early, weakening their final execute onto the site. By strategically conceding space and utilizing utility, defenders can disrupt the attackers’ rhythm, making it more difficult for them to secure site control without significant resistance.

Creating Conditions for Successful Defense

By applying pressure and creating a sense of uncertainty for attackers, you essentially force them to invest more into taking a site, which is beneficial for the defending team. Simply being passive and doing nothing allows the opponent to take control of all the desired spaces and then decisively target you with overwhelming utility, leaving you with no recourse.

An effective strategy is to introduce elements of disruption or delay ahead of time, such as using your own utility for flashes, gathering information, or other delaying tactics. This creates a disruption in the attackers’ coordination, potentially breaking their momentum or countering their strategies directly.

Utilizing Stall Tactics and Retakes

Another viable approach is to set up a stall or create a disruption in advance. This could involve using utility to flash, gather information, or delay the attackers in some way, aiming to disrupt their coordinated assault. The idea is to prevent them from setting up or executing their strategy fully on you, possibly breaking apart their rush or countering with your own strategic utility use.

Lastly, playing for retakes can be a smart choice. While conceding space may seem counterintuitive, it’s often better to save your utility and force the attackers to use theirs in taking the site, then retake as a team with a utility advantage. Especially against teams that overcommit utility during their assault, a structured retake can yield significant benefits.

Breaking Down Hard Defense

Discussing hard defense strategies, typically characterized by teams that heavily rely on utility for defense, such as Cipher’s trips and various one-way smokes, these setups can be difficult to penetrate. The recommended approach is to methodically dismantle the opponent’s utility, even if you don’t plan to commit to a push immediately. Breaking down a Cipher’s tripwires, Sage’s walls, or other defensive utilities can create space and uncertainty for the defenders, forcing them to reconsider their security on that site. This strategy not only opens up opportunities for your team but also keeps the opponents guessing about your next move, effectively leveraging your utility to compromise their defensive stance.

Strategies Against Hard Defenses

You can’t have situations where everyone is stacking on another site, relying on the Cipher to solo hold. Don’t allow them to do that and spend the resources to actually break that stuff down.

Force Execute Strategies

Another thing you can do is force execute past it. It’s similar to what we talked about, where you’re going to commit a lot of resources into taking a site. This involves a dash, double satchel, a flash, another piece of utility. You’re really committing a lot here, and you’re forced executing past it. The problem with this is, I wouldn’t try to force this unless you know your team’s going to do it. You need some form of communication because if everyone’s not on board, it’s going to fail miserably, and someone’s going to get trapped or tripped and killed. It’s going to be a nightmare.

Fighting for Space

The other thing you need to do to break up these hard defenses is take multiple angles. Fight for space. You see this all the time on Split, where everyone will just push B. They won’t fight for Mid, they won’t fight for A; they’ll just rush through B, and it often fails. One piece of utility can completely mess that up.

You need to fight for more than just one position. Often times, this means putting pressure at other places. It also means maybe fighting for Mid, challenging Heaven, taking Heaven control.

I’m not saying that you can’t sometimes five-man Rush a certain point, but often times, this is only working because the opponents are not responding properly with utility. There’s just too many ways to shut down challenging from one direction, from one area. Just a single Molly, a single trip, a single piece of utility, and you’re all done.

So, it’s super important to fight for multiple areas, make people at least respect multiple areas on the map before you commit to one.

Countering the Default Strategy

But let’s talk about the next type of team, and it’s the “default default.” This is the type of team that will just default. They won’t do anything on attack. You’re playing defense, you’re just chilling there, peeping, looking, trying to find enemies. Where are they going? What are they doing? And they’re just sitting default, all just spread out, waiting, trying to take duels.

Often times, they will get a pick here or there, maybe they have a sniper, whatever the case may be. If they get a pick somewhere, then they’ll push. The trick to beating a “default default,” as weird as it is, is just to be patient. There is a cost to defaulting, and the cost is time. It makes it so they haven’t worked through utility, it makes it so the clock is ticking.

Patience in Defense Against Defaults

The less you do against a defaulting team, the better it is for you. Eventually, the opponents can’t default anymore; they have to make a move. But now they have 30 seconds on the clock and haven’t baited out any utility. They didn’t disrupt any momentum with M or slow, so they rush a site and get completely slowed down, stalled, and killed because someone has to plant the bomb. The clock is ticking.

Being aggressive against a team that’s playing passive often plays into their hands. If you push out trying to make something happen on defense, you’re likely to be punished. However, if you’re passive and wait, this approach favors the defender, not the attacker.

Utilizing Information and Utility Wisely

Employ silent jump spotting, jiggle peeking, crouch jumping without making noise to gather information without challenging directly. This way, you’re not caught off guard. Be ready to use your utility effectively when they finally decide to make a move. If you gather any information in the last 40 seconds, it’s likely they will commit to a site soon. Using preemptive utility can stall them further, increasing the pressure on the attackers as the clock runs down.

Countering Wall Bangers

When facing players who spray through boxes, smokes, and nearly everything, it’s crucial not to push through smokes, as you’re likely to be eliminated. Play stronger positions that are not vulnerable to being wallbanged. Relying on solid cover rather than objects that bullets can penetrate offers a tactical advantage. Be cautious when moving through areas prone to spray-throughs and be vigilant about any utility that might reveal your position, such as darts. Opponents using weapons like the Aries can exploit this to their advantage, making it essential to adopt positions and movements that minimize your vulnerability to such tactics.

Countering Wall Penetration Strategies

Be extremely cautious around covers vulnerable to wall penetration when opponents are using weapons like the Odin. Quick response and adaptability are key, as conventional cover may not provide safety. Understand that certain materials offer little protection against such firepower, emphasizing the need for spatial awareness and positioning.

Dealing with Runners and Gunners

Runners and Gunners, akin to shotgun players but with a twist, require a strategic approach focusing on effective range and reaction time. They trade off lethality for survivability, making them challenging targets. The key is to aim for critical hits, taking the time to line up headshots despite the likelihood of taking damage. Predict their movement patterns, remain disciplined in your own movement, and aim for precision over evasiveness. Playing together can also mitigate their advantage, as they struggle against multiple opponents at once, provided you maintain distance.

Strategies Against Skilled Opponents

Facing highly skilled players can be daunting. Avoid constant direct engagements; instead, leverage utility and teamwork to create favorable situations. Recognizing an opponent’s skill doesn’t mean engaging in unfavorable duels. Utilize strategic positioning, utility, and collaborative tactics to outmaneuver them. Fundamental gameplay and a focus on team strategy can often neutralize an individual’s prowess. Even when opponents seem unbeatable due to their preparation or skill level, remember that tactical play and teamwork can prevail over raw skill in many scenarios.

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