Valorant is finally out. After what feels like an eternity on Twitch and only on Twitch, you can finally try out the Valorant characters for yourself. Each of them plays a little differently, and while you can simply jump in and go “pew pew” at the other team, you’ll need a little more if you want to succeed. Given the mix of tactical and hero shooter gameplay in Valorant, you’ll need to know what each of the heroes does before diving in fully.
Hero roles aren’t quite as defined in Valorant, but there are definitely still heroes better suited to playing defence than attacking. Knowing a couple of these is sure to help you out in the long run, but even mastering one will put you head and shoulders above the competition. It’s never enough to just beat the other team; you want to do so in a way that leaves no doubt whatsoever that you’re the best. That’s really the whole point, right?
To help you out, we’ve got this little Valorant hero guide to help set you up. It’s worth noting that while the Signature ability and Ultimate ability are always available, albeit without charge initially, you’ll actually have to buy the other skills to use them.
So, here are the Valorant characters and what they do:
- Signature Ability: Fault Line – Fires a seismic blast that dazes players in the blast zone and everything leading up to it. You can charge for extra distance.
- Ultimate Ability: Rolling Thunder – Send a cascading quake through large cone that dazes and knocks up (not like that) anyone caught in it.
- Extra Ability 1: Aftershock – Allows you to place a fusion charge that releases a slow-acting burst through a wall that deals heavy damage.
- Extra Ability 2: Flashpoint – Let’s you place a charge that releases a blinding light through a wall.
Breach excels at zoning and area control. He’s a good character to use to support more aggressive players as he can start an assault before anyone else even realises they’re under attack. His abilities do a lot to weaken foes too, which makes him a good choice if you’re worried about accuracy.
- Signature Ability: Spy Smoke – Opens up a map so you can choose where to put smoke clouds.
- Ultimate Ability: Orbital Strike – Open a map and choose where to fire an orbital laser strike that does heavy damage over time.
- Extra Ability 1: Stim Beacon – Create a healing field and grants RapidFire to all players that pass through it.
- Extra Ability 2: Incendiary – Lets you fire an incendiary grenade launcher.
Brimstone is great if you like to take a more eagle-eyed view of things. His attacks let him strike from anywhere on the map, and it makes him especially good when paired with a character who can reveal locations or track enemies.
- Signature Ability: Spycam – Lets you place a spycam and then use it to spire on people as well as fire tracking darts.
- Ultimate Ability: Neural Theft – Use on a dead enemy to reveal the location of all living enemies.
- Extra Ability 1: Trapwire – Fires a tripwire that can tether, reveal, and daze enemies if they don’t destroy it.
- Extra Ability 2: Cyber Cage – Create a Cyber Cage that blocks vision and plays a noise when enemies go through it.
This is your spy character. Cypher is especially good at finding enemies and keeping track of them. He plays an essential role in a team, but only if communication is good enough to take advantage of all the information he’s providing.
- Signature Ability: Tailwind – Propel Jett in the direction she’s moving.
- Ultimate Ability: Blade Storm – Equips a set of daggers that recharge if you kill an opponent with them. You can throw them one at a time or yeet all of them.
- Extra Ability 1: Cloudburst – Throws a projectile that expands into a vision-blocking cloud. Can also be curved.
- Extra Ability 2: Updraft – Big old jump.
Jett is your super-fast character. She can run around faster than most and can jump high to evade danger too. On top of that, her ability to block vision is great, and her ultimate is a surprisingly good finisher in a pinch.
- Signature Ability: Dark Cover – Throw a shadow orb that blocks vision.
- Ultimate Ability: From the Shadows – Teleport to wherever you choose on the map.
- Extra Ability 1: Shrouded Step – Teleport a short way
- Extra Ability 2: Paranoia – Fires a projectile that can go through walls and reduces the vision and defence those it touches.
If you like the idea of never being where you’re meant to be then Omen is a great pick. His ability to teleport over both short and long ranges allows for a playstyle that can make it seem like there are multiple copies of you.
- Signature Ability: Hot Hands – Throw a fireball that leaves a firey zone.
- Ultimate Ability: Run it Back – Places a beacon that revives you if you die while it is active, or returns you there with full health when it runs out.
- Extra Ability 1: Blaze – Create a wall of flame.
- Extra Ability 2: Curveball – Throw a flare orb that detonates shortly after throwing it and can curve left or right.
Phoenix is an incredibly aggressive character that forces enemies to stand still with zone control abilities before just killing them with fire of both the elemental and gun variety. He’s an excellent choice if you prefer aggressive play above all else, but also like to play with your food.
- Signature Ability: Paint Shells – Throws a cluster grenade.
- Ultimate Ability: Showstopper – Fire a rocket launcher.
- Extra Ability 1: Boom Bot – Releases a bot that will travel forwards, bounce off of walls, and chase enemies it sees and explodes if it catches them.
- Extra Ability 2: Blast Pack – Throws a remote sticky mine.
Explosions, basically. While Raze can do absurd damage, she also draws a lot of enemy attention as her attacks are so loud. Choose her if you think stealth is for cowards and had no intention of playing quietly anyway.
- Signature Ability: Dismiss – Instantly consumes a nearby Soul Orb, and you become intangible for a short while. If Empress is active, you also become invisible.
- Ultimate Ability: Empress – Enter a frenzy that increases fire rate, equip speed, and reload speed. Gain infinite charges of Soul Harvest abilities. Killing while in this state renews the duration.
- Extra Ability 1: Leer – Weakens enemy defence. No wait, that’s Pokemon. Inflicts Nearsight on all enemies who look at an eye you throw forwards.
- Extra Ability 2: Devour – Consumes a nearby Soul Orb to heal you, if Empress is active it’ll automatically cast and no consume the Soul Orb.
Reyna can consume Soul Orbs that drop whenever an enemy dies. She can use these in a variety of ways, but she’s basically at her best as one of the more aggressive Valorant heroes.
- Signature Ability: Healing Orb – Fires a healing orb, or you can heal yourself.
- Ultimate Ability: Resurrection – Brings a dead ally back to full health.
- Extra Ability 1: Barrier Orb – Creates a wall.
- Extra Ability 2: Slow Orb – Fires a slowing orb that detonates and creates a slowing field.
Sage is very much a support character. Her abilities all revolve around healing friends and obstructing enemies. Pick her if you like to be a team player and enjoy playing characters like Mercy in Overwatch.
- Signature Ability: Recon Bolt – Fires an arrow that reveals enemy players near it.
- Ultimate Ability: Hunters Fury – Use a bow to fire long-range wall-piercing energy blast which both damages and reveals enemies hit by it.
- Extra Ability 1: Owl Drone – Launches a drone that you can control and can fire tracking darts.
- Extra Ability 2: Shock Bolt – Use a bow to fire a shock bolt that explodes upon contact or can bounce.
Sova is excellent for players who want to track enemy movements but also be able to deal with them. His ultimate can go through walls and take out a group of enemies if they’re silly enough to stay in a group.
- Signature Ability: Toxic Screen – Lets you fire a long line of gas emitters that you can then use a wall of toxic gas with.
- Ultimate Ability: Viper’s Pit – Fire a chemical spray that causes a cloud that reduces vision and maximum health of players inside it.
- Extra Ability 1: Snake Bite – Fire a toxic grenade from a chemical launcher.
- Extra Ability 2: Poison Cloud – Throw a gas emitter that you can activate whenever you want throughout the round.
Viper uses poison to kill off her enemies or weaken them. She doesn’t take any damage from her own poison, but your teammates will. You also have to manage fuel while playing as her, which is fun, but might be too much if you’re not willing to pay attention.