This blog is mainly directed at players who are below Diamond rank in matchmaking, but if you are ranked higher you will still find this information useful.
1. Play A Lot
When I get the chance to play a lot of VALORANT I can tell I am substantially better than if I randomly hop on my computer and play a ranked game. It takes me a few games to get warmed up before I start hitting my shots, making the right decisions, and my timing is good as I move around the map. The problem is I don't get to play games consecutively because of my schedule so my performances are inconsistent.
The common rule of thumb is if you want to master something, you need 10,000 hours of practice. Gaming is no different. It doesn't matter what rank you are right now, the number 1 way to get better at VALORANT is to play a ton of VALORANT. I've watched plenty of players go from Gold/Platinum rank in beta to getting signed to a professional organization recently. They grinded, they stayed focused, and they outworked their peers to get those spots.
There does come a point where playing becomes counter-intuitive though. You still need to make sure you're taking care of yourself. The things you do outside of the game will affect how you play in-game. Proper sleep and nutrition go a long way. That's why professional organizations are starting to spend on performance specialists, chiropractors, and even chef's that cook meals for the players (yes, this is a real thing).
2. Don't Worry About Your Rank
How many times have you heard or seen the phrases "I'm hard stuck. My teammates suck", "I can't rank up", or something along these lines? Well, I'm here to tell you that...
Rank means absolutely nothing until you're Radiant (top 100) and starting to look for a team, to play in tournaments. If you're ranked below that and have no plans to play in tournaments then your rank means nothing (aside from the flex to your friends).
If you can't win games in your current rank, why do you want to be in a higher rank? Personally, I would much rather be in my current rank and average 20+ kills a game and make the right plays than in a higher rank and bottom fragging every game.
This leads to my next point.
3. Play With Purpose
Don't just run around brainlessly when you're playing. Have goals in mind every single game you play. It can be something big or small, it doesn't matter. As long as you're working towards a goal then you are doing it right.
Your goals can be map-specific, agent-specific, or individual goals.
Example map specific goals.
I've never anchored B site on Bind. I've always played A, so for this game, I'm going to try and play B.
I've never played the U-Hall position. I'm going to do it this game.
Example of agent-specific goals.
I haven't been going in first as Jett in my previous games. In this game, I'm going to practice smoking and dashing into the site to create space for my team.
I have a bad habit of committing to fights even though I know I have lost and I have a dash to get away but never use it. In this game, I'm going to practice taking a few shots and then dashing away immediately whether I win or lose the fight.
Example of individual goals.
My crosshair placement sucks when I'm moving around the map. I'm going to make a conscious effort to keep it at head level.
I'm having difficulties holding angles. I'm going to practice standing on off-angles and landing those headshots.
My communication sucks but when I die I'm going to say the agent and how much damage I did.
4. Always Refine Your Mechanical Skill
Mechanical skill includes aim and movement. A sub-category to aim would be crosshair placement. I can't stress enough how important it is to understand how to move and where your crosshair should be placed, especially in tactical shooter games. That's the main reason why the first few blogs I posted were about this. If you missed them. Here are the links.
If you're not using all the tools available to you to get better, then you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. When you've reached higher ranks, there's still plenty of value to gain from using an aim trainer like Aim Lab. I use it to warm up almost every day.
5. Play 1 Agent
Whenever someone inquires about individual coaching I always ask what agents they play. Most of the time they'll respond with 3-5 agents, but my advice is always to play 1 agent. Pick 1 agent you really like, and only play that agent if possible. I say if possible because if you main Jett or Reyna someone might insta-lock it on you.
The reason I say to play 1 agent is that each class is played differently. It's hard for someone learning the game to swap between the styles. If you're playing a Duelist your purpose within a round is much different than if you were playing a Sentinel. These 2 classes should also play with different levels of aggression. 1 class should be upfront and going in first, the other one hangs back, watches the flank, and lurks.
If you have no idea what agent to play, have a look at my How To Choose Your VALORANT Class/Agent guide.
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