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Valorant beta guide: Best Agents for new players

If you’re new to the game, here’s who you should play

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Brimstone uses his smokes on A site on Valorant’s Bind map Image: Riot Games via Polygon
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Valorant isn’t an easy game to learn. At its core it’s a tactical shooter and while abilities are an important part of winning matches and if you can’t shoot, you’re not going to have a great time. But there are a few Agents that are better for beginners who are still learning the ropes. While no Agent in Valorant is easy, these characters let you focus more on aiming and shooting than on making the most of your abilities in the middle of a fight.

Here are the three Agents that new players should start out with and how best to use their abilities.


Sage is most recognizable for her healing and her resurrection abilities. While those are useful, they aren’t the most important parts of her kit. She also has a wall ability called Barrier Orb and a slow ability called Slow Orb which are some of the best abilities in the game. The key to using Sage’s abilities is throwing them out early. If you’re on Defense, throw up a wall or a slow field as soon as you think enemies are nearby and block off their entrance. Once the abilities are used up, all you have to do is focus on shooting.

On Attack, Sage is a little more difficult, but the same idea applies. When you and your team are pushing a site, put the wall up anywhere that cuts off the sightlines of enemy players. Be careful not to wall off a potential entrance or exit for your team and don’t use a slow field where your allies are about to walk — since they’ll be slowed as well.

On both Attack and Defense, you should focus more on using Sage’s healing and resurrection abilities often, than using them correctly. If an ally takes damage and falls back, toss them a heal, even if the amount of damage they took is small. As you keep playing, you’ll learn more about which heals matter and which don’t. The same is true of your Resurrection. Revive as often as you can, but make sure that the round you’re using it on seems winnable. Your wall is also a critical tool when you’re trying to revive an ally. When your teammate first comes back to life, they won’t be able to move, so it’s usually a good idea to wall off some cover to give them a chance to escape.

More than the other Agents on this list, Sage requires a lot of trial and error. Sometimes your walls will be bad, sometimes you’ll slow teammates, or revive them into a storm of bullets. But that’s okay, just keep using your abilities as often as you can.


Sova’s speciality is gathering information. His signature ability is the Recon Bolt which can alert you to the location of any enemies that are within its line of sight. You can shoot this ability all the way across the map and can even bounce it off of walls by right clicking before you fire. The key to this ability is using it constantly. Every time it’s off cooldown, you should try shooting it somewhere new. Even if it doesn’t spot an enemy, that still tells you which corners you won’t need to peak in and what attack angles are safe. As you get more comfortable with the Recon Bolt you’ll learn how to bounce it off of walls or shoot it over buildings to spot those hard to reach places that players love to peek from.

Sova also has a Shock Bolt which functions similarly to the Recon Bolt but does damage instead of pinging enemy locations. This ability is best used for shooting into corners or down hallways to flush enemies out. Sova’s final recon tool is his Owl Drone which he can fly around the map remotely. Before you use this, you’ll need to make sure you’re standing in a safe location, since you’ll be vulnerable while you fly. Otherwise, you can use the owl to fly into sites, or you can have a teammate follow right behind it and use it as a distraction for over-eager opponents.

Sova’s Ultimate is an energy arrow that can penetrate walls. It has a long range and can cover about half of most maps. Wait to use this until you know where an enemy is, then take them out while they think they’re safe behind cover. You can fire this ability three times once you activate it. Hitting an enemy that has full health and armor once won’t kill them, but they’ll be marked and slowed, so you should be able to finish them off.


Brimstone is the most complicated character on this list because he requires a little bit of map knowledge to make use of his abilities. But he’s also one of the best Agents to help you learn the maps. Brimstone’s Signature Ability uses smoke bombs, which he can call down anywhere on the map (but still within a certain radius around him). When you’re attacking, you should try to put smoke bombs in areas that Defenders typically peek from. For example, if you were attacking this bomb site — which is A site on the map Bind — your smokes might look like this

Offensive smokes at A site on Valorant’s Bind map Image: Riot Games via Polygon

This smokes off almost all of the most common areas that defenders like to watch from. With smokes there, those players will have to either move to a position where they can’t see your team walking in, or to a place where they’re less protected and easier for you and your teammates to shoot.

If you’re defending, you want to put the smoke bombs where the enemy team might be trying to attack from.

Brimstone lays down defensive smokes in Valorant’s Bind map on A site Image: Riot Games via Polygon

Blocking vision from these locations will mean that the attacking team has to push blindly through smoke to attack the site. But you’ll need to be careful using smoke bombs like this because your team won’t be able to shoot at the opposing players as they rush in either. So if your team often wins those initial fights, you should hold your smokes for retaking sites.

Brimstone’s other abilities are much easier to use. His Incendiary Grenade is great for bouncing around corners and blocking off paths. He also has a Stim Beacon which gives anyone inside a small firing-speed increase.

Brimstone’s Ultimate is his Orbital Cannon, which is best used on Defense when you know exactly where the enemy is. If you’re attacking, you should wait to use this ability until your team plants the Spike, then use it directly on top of the Spike to stop the enemy team from defusing.

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