As the roster of Valorant gets bigger, players should at least have general knowledge about the different roles in the competitive shooter.
Valorant shares several similarities with Counter Strike: Global Offensive, including the roles you can play in the game. As such, communicating at a high level is the key to winning victories in competitive shooters, and having roles within a match enables players how they should play. Moreover, the number of agents in Valorant continues to increase with every introduction of a new Act; each agent has unique skills, strengths, weaknesses, and playstyles. No two agents are the same—but they can all be categorized into four roles.
We’ll discuss the roles you can try in your Valorant account to determine which fits you best.
The Different Roles in Valorant
Valorant agents can be categorized into four roles: Controllers, Sentinels, Duelists, and Initiators. You can further break down these roles into more specialized positions like Support, Crowd Controller, Entry Fragger, Lurker, Recon, and In-game Leader. Each role is defined by the abilities that agents bring to the table, but for now, we’ll be focusing more on the four general roles you can use in your Valorant account.
A Controller’s job is to disrupt what their opponents can see by using smoke screens while providing cover for their teammates as they try to take hold of an area. Valorant agents specializing in this role include Viper, Astra, Brimstone, and Omen.
The primary responsibility of controlling sightlines on the map is crucial because it narrows down the opportunities of the opposing team’s options to engage a teammate from an advantageous position. Alternatively, Controllers can also act as Lurkers and guard against enemy flanks or do their own flanks. For example, suppose you’re using Omen. In that case, you can use his ultimate ability (From the Shadows) to teleport to any location on the map, making him highly deadly when infiltrating the backlines.
Sentinels are the team’s iron wall; their job is to buy some time for their team and lock down the sites. And for that reason, agents that belong in this role are chock full of utilities that specialize in delaying enemy pushes. Chamber and Sage, in particular, have abilities that slow overextended enemies to the point that they look like sitting ducks. Meanwhile, agents like Cypher and Killjoy have offensive abilities that can make chaotic gunfights tip in their favor.
Besides gathering information around the map, Sentinels can also control or lurk in one part of the map while their team applies pressure from all angles. Plus, because of the passive nature of their abilities, Sentinel-type players are usually responsible for being the In-Game Leader since the IGL must outline the overall team strategy. By coordinating their team’s movements around the map, they can ensure their squad communicates enemy locations effectively.
Because of this playstyle, Sentinels don’t typically perform well score-wise when compared to Duelists and Controllers. If you’re the type who would rather enable your mates to shine, then this could be the perfect role for you.
The Duelist is the most popular role in Valorant. They’re often described as “frag hunters” since they get most of the kills. With abilities that allow them to be independent from the team, they can create opportunities to engage with opponents – guns blazing and all.
Since they’re the stars within the team, Duelists are expected to be proactive and fulfill the role of Entry Fragger – at least, according to Riot’s official description of them. Agents that are part of this role create the most impact on the overall flow of the matches. By seeking out engagements and fragging, Duelists can find opening picks that can result in their team scoring a win.
If you prefer being in high-risk, high-reward scenarios that put you in the limelight and have excellent aim, then perhaps the Duelist role could be the perfect fit for you.
How the Initiators do their job can make or break the starting point of their team’s every match. As they control the movements of their enemies and gather intel on their whereabouts, Initiators have the task of setting up their team when they enter uncharted territory and pushing defenders away.
There are five Initiators in Valorant: Skye, Sova, Breach, Fade, and KAY/O. In particular, Skye, Breach, and KAY/o offer flashes that can stun opponents. Meanwhile, Sova has an ability called “Shock Dart” that provides vision to an area.
The Initiator role is more fluid in that while they belong in a category of their role, they can also take on a defensive role (like a Controller or Sentinel) or even take an active role (like a Duelist) if the situation calls for it.
Finding the Perfect Role for You
Hopefully, our guide has helped you understand the different roles you can try in your Valorant account and how to play them! If you’re still unsure which role is for you, you can simply pick agents you think you’ll enjoy and try them out. You don’t need to be stuck with just one role either—it’s normal for a player to specialize in two or possibly more roles.
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