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How To Choose Your VALORANT Class/Agent

Updated: Aug 4, 2021


What agent should I play? A question that every VALORANT player has asked themselves at some point. If you're new to the game, or in the lower matchmaking ranks. It's important to main an agent that will help you learn and progress as a player. A common mistake I noticed is people try to play too many agents right away. Having a deep agent pool won't help you until you've reached Immortal/Radiant or playing on a team that participates in tournaments frequently.


You might not think it's an issue to change agents every game but if you're trying to get better, you might notice you're not performing consistently. That's because every agent class has a different play style. If you play 1 game as a Duelist and the next game as a Sentinel but play with the same aggression and style, then you're playing 1 of those games incorrectly.


Let's break down each agent class, how they should be played, and then move into selecting one.


Duelist

Duelists are self-sufficient fraggers who their team expects, through abilities and skills, to get high frags and seek out engagements first.

Duelists include Jett, Reyna, Phoenix, Yoru, and Raze. All of these agents allow you to be aggressive because of their abilities. The similarities between the agents are either:

  1. They can flash for themselves (Curveball, Blindside, Leer)

  2. Cover space quickly (Tailwind, Blastpack)

If you're playing a duelist, you should as the description says "seek out engagements first". This means if there were a line of 5 people and only 1 duelist on the team, you're first to go in. You are leading the pack.


If you have great aim and will take initiative to go in first to create space or get that opening frag for your team, you would do well as a duelist. Your raw mechanical skill needs to be higher on a duelist than other agent classes because when you run in first, you need to be able to scan areas and hit shots that aren't already lined up.


Initiator

Initiators challenge angles by setting up their team to enter contested ground and push defenders away.

Initiators include Breach, Skye, and Sova. The similarities between these 3 agents are:

  1. They have abilities to seek information for their teammates (TrailBlazer, Owl Drone)

  2. They have flashes, but these flashes are best used to set their teammates up

Initiators are support agents. Their primary focus is to gather information and set their teammates up for success. If you're more methodical in your approach and aware of your surroundings and where your teammates are at all times then you would make a great initiator.


Controller

Controllers are experts in slicing up dangerous territory to set their teams up for success.

Controllers include Omen, Brimstone, Astra, and Viper. Their abilities are used for covering chokepoints to make it easier to attack and defend sites. A good controller is someone who is assertive. Who can take control and communicate when areas of the map will be smoked.


Sentinel

Sentinels are defensive experts who can lock down areas and watch flanks, both an attacker and defender rounds.

Sentinels (not the organization) include Cypher, Killjoy, and Sage. All 3 of these agents have the ability to lock down a site on their own. They are self-sufficient but as defenders. On attack, they are mainly used to control areas of the map using utility and lurk.


If you have good timing and can make plays while your team and enemies are moving around the map, playing a Sentinel might be for you. Don't confuse lurking with baiting. If you're last alive every single round and getting the majority of your kills after your team is dead, you're not doing a good job.


Now that we've covered all the classes, how do you pick one?


I've created different profiles for the classes. Read them to see which one best fits you as a player right now.


Duelist

  • You have great mechanical skill (for your rank)

  • You're not scared to go in first

  • You take initiative to create space and make plays that benefit your team

  • You make decisions quickly

  • You're not the most vocal or best communicator

Initiator

  • You have good map awareness

  • You're a selfless teammate

  • You're good at using abilities

  • You don't mind being in those 1vX clutch situations late-round

  • You're a good communicator

Controller

  • You are a leader

  • You're a great communicator and don't mind providing audibles to your team

  • You have good timing

  • Your priority is to set your teammates up for success

  • You have an idea of where everyone is on the map

Sentinel

  • You like to be off on your own

  • You will take the time to come up with defensive setups in a custom server

  • You think a few steps ahead of your opponent

  • You understand rotations and have good timing

  • You don't mind being in those 1vX clutch situations late-round

It's extremely hard to advise on exactly which agent you should play without having seen your gameplay before but here's the list of most used agents in matchmaking.

My suggestion would be to try the top 2 agents in the agent class you best fit into. See which agent feels the best, or most comfortable, and then stick with that agent as you work your way through the matchmaking ranks. If you're playing a highly desired agent (Jett, Reyna, Raze), it may be a good idea to have a secondary agent in case you can't lock your primary first.


I mentioned above that it's not ideal to have a deep agent pool if you're below Immortal rank. Sometimes even in Immortal/Radiant rank, people are trying to play too many agents and not being effective. Your focus, especially if you're a beginner should be to get really good with 1 agent. It takes hours and hours of practice to be able to play an agent to a certain competency level and to build those instinctual habits of what to do in certain situations. If you're changing agents every game, you're actually not going to get better at a fast rate. Your aim might get better because of time played, but overall you might be at a standstill.


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