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Valorant characters guide: all agents and abilities explained

How to dominate as any of the Valorant characters

Valorant's cast of characters is the game's most pivotal departure from the venerable Counter-Strike formula. Each of the 11 Valorant agents differs from the rest in their four unique abilities, which must be used tactfully and precisely if you want to turn the tide of battle. Our Valorant characters guide will walk you through all 11 agents and all 44 abilities on offer, with practical tips on how to crush the competition with each agent.

Valorant characters overview

Aside from their abilities, Valorant characters are all functionally identical. They have the same hitboxes, the same movement stats, the same health pools. But every single ability in the game can be used to great effect to help sway the outcome of a round, or even a match.

Let's take a closer look at the abilities and strengths of each agent in turn, starting with the most recent addition to the Valorant characters roster.

Reyna - abilities & tips

  • Role: Duelist
  • Strengths: Denying trades, popping off, and being generally overpowered
  • Abilities:
    • Dismiss (Signature) - Instantly consume a nearby Soul Orb, becoming intangible for a short duration. If Empress is active, also become invisible.
    • Devour (Purchasable) - Instantly consume a nearby Soul Orb, rapidly healing for a short duration. Health gained through this skill exceeding 100 will decay over time. If Empress is active, this skill will automatically cast and not consume the Soul Orb.
    • Leer (Purchasable) - Equip an ethereal, destructible eye. Activate to cast the eye a short distance forward. The eye will Nearsight all enemies who look at it.
    • Empress (Ultimate) - Instantly enter a frenzy, increasing firing, equip and reload speed dramatically. Gain infinite charges of Soul Harvest abilities. Scoring a kill renews the duration.

At the time of writing, Reyna is by far the strongest agent in Valorant. It can take a while for her abilities to click, but once they do, you're as close to unstoppable as any agent can get. I'm fully expecting Riot to nerf her soon, but until that time there's unlikely to be a better time than right now to be a Reyna main.

Reyna is unique in that her Dismiss and Devour abilities share charges, and both require you to consume a Soul Orb - a shadowy orb that floats for 3 seconds above the corpse of anyone you kill. Because of this, Reyna is extremely momentum-based: her abilities encourage her to push from kill to kill until no enemies are left. And with the power of her Ultimate behind her, this is very much a possibility.

Not only does Empress give Reyna a startling increase to her fire rate and handling, but it lasts for ages, it's refreshed by kills, and each kill you earn automatically and instantly activates Devour, completely undoing any damage that her opponents happened to inflict before dying.

If you want to learn how to make the most of Reyna's complex but cutting-edge abilities, be sure to cast your eye through our Reyna guide.

Breach - abilities & tips

  • Role: Initiator
  • Strengths: Flushing out defenders, and zoning large areas
  • Abilities:
    • Fault Line (Signature) - Equip a seismic blast. Hold fire to increase the distance. Release to set off the quake, dazing all players in its zone and in a line up to the zone.
    • Aftershock (Purchasable) - Equip a fusion charge. Fire the charge to set a slow-acting burst through the wall. The burst does heavy damage to anyone caught in its area.
    • Flashpoint (Purchasable) - Equip a blinding charge. Fire the charge to set a fast-acting burst through the wall. The charge detonates to blind all players looking at it.
    • Rolling Thunder (Ultimate) - equip a seismic charge. Fire to send a cascading quake through all terrain in a large cone. The quake dazes and knocks up anyone caught in it.

Breach is a menace to play against. You'd be forgiven for taking one look at the very long windups to each of his abilities and discard him, thinking that any opponent would easily be able to step out of the way of that Aftershock or Rolling Thunder. But Breach's true power is not in ending fights, it's in starting them.

The sheer scale of Breach's area-of-effect abilities make him the best in class at flushing out players who are holding positions around corners. Much like Sova, his skillset allows him to threaten opponents without exposing himself in the process. Which makes him the perfect initiator for almost any fight.

For full details on Breach and how to use his abilities to great effect, check out our in-depth Breach guide.

Valorant characters - Brimstone

Brimstone - abilities & tips

  • Role: Controller
  • Strengths: Global map control, and setting up group pushes
  • Abilities:
    • Sky Smoke (Signature) - Equip a tactical map. Fire to set locations where Brimstone's smoke clouds will land. Alternate Fire to confirm, launching long-lasting smoke clouds that block vision in the selected area.
    • Stim Beacon (Purchasable) - Equip a stim beacon. Fire to toss the stim beacon in front of Brimstone. Upon landing, the stim beacon will create a field that grants players RapidFire.
    • Incendiary (Purchasable) - Equip an incendiary grenade launcher. Fire to launch a grenade that detonates as it comes to a rest on the floor, creating a lingering fire zone that damages players within the zone.
    • Orbital Strike (Ultimate) - Equip a tactical map. Fire to launch a lingering orbital strike laser at the selected location, dealing high damage-over-time to players caught in the selected area.

Brimstone is known mainly for his signature, Sky Smoke - and rightfully so. This ability is what gives Brimstone the ability to control the map with ease, calling down very long-lasting smokes anywhere on the map. In many ways, Brimstone is the man in the van - he's the one responsible for making sure his team are well equipped for the coming battles, regardless of where on the map they may be.

But that's not all there is to Brimstone: he's also a remarkably well-rounded Valorant character. His Incendiary grenade is excellent for zoning small areas; his Stim Beacon can lend an edge in challenging fights; and his Orbital Strike is likely responsible for more kills than nearly any other ability in Valorant.

If you want some practical advice for becoming a top-tier Brimstone specialist, look no further than our Brimstone guide.

Cypher - abilities & tips

  • Role: Sentinel
  • Strengths: Enemy positional awareness
  • Abilities:
    • Spycam (Signature) - Equip a spycam. Fire to place the spycam at the targeted location. Reuse this ability to take control of the camera's view. While in control of the camera, fire to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.
    • Trapwire (Purchasable) - Equip a trapwire. Fire to place a destructible and covert tripwire at the targeted location, creating a line that spans between the placed location and the wall opposite. Enemy players who cross a tripwire will be tethered, revealed, and fazed after a short period if they do not destroy the device in time. This ability can be picked up to be redeployed.
    • Cyber Cage (Purchasable) - Instantly toss the cyber cage in front of Cypher. Activate to create a zone that blocks vision and slows enemies who pass through it.
    • Neural Theft (Ultimate) - Instantly use on a dead enemy player in your crosshairs to reveal the location of all living enemy players.

Don't be scared away by the lengthy ability descriptions: not only is Cypher easier to understand than you might expect, he's also absolutely unparalleled at gathering information. Specifically, knowing where the enemy is (or isn't). And in a game like Valorant, with its extremely low time-to-kill and focus on positioning and map knowledge, this makes Cypher a strong contender for best team player in Valorant.

Unlike Brimstone, Cypher is decidedly not a well-rounded character. Instead, he is a specialist in every sense, with each of his four abilities giving you a different method of gathering intelligence. His Spycams are amazingly useful for scouting around corners; his invisible Trapwires are very difficult to avoid; and his Ultimate ensures that no enemy can go anywhere without your knowledge.

If you want to become a true surveillance expert with this crafty Valorant agent, a good first step will be to read through our dedicated Cypher guide.

Valorant characters - Jett

Jett - abilities & tips

  • Role: Duelist
  • Strengths: Extreme mobility, and hit-and-run attacks
  • Abilities:
    • Tailwind (Signature) - Instantly propel Jett in the direction she is moving. If Jett is standing still, she will propel forward.
    • Cloudburst (Purchasable) - Instantly throw a projectile that expands into a brief vision-blocking cloud on impact with a surface. Hold the ability key to curve the smoke in the direction of your crosshair.
    • Updraft (Purchasable) - Instantly propel Jett high into the air.
    • Blade Storm (Ultimate) - Equip a set of highly accurate throwing knives that recharge on killing an opponent. Fire to throw a single knife at your target. Alternate Fire to throw all remaining daggers at your target.

At times, there can be no doubt that Jett is the most difficult Valorant character to kill. Her combination of Tailwind and Updraft give her a freedom of mobility that other agents can only dream of possessing. And it can be very hard to headshot a Jett that's dashing about like crazy, or floating through the air where you wouldn't normally expect to find an enemy.

But she's not just about mobility. Her Cloudburst smokes, while short-lived, can be curved around corners to reach all sorts of interesting areas. Which lends the perfect cover from which to burst through and use your Ultimate, Blade Storm, during which all your shots are 100% accurate, ignoring any movement or firing errors.

To become a true whirlwind of knife-throwing death, be sure to read through our Jett guide for tonnes of detailed info and tips.

Omen - abilities & tips

  • Role: Controller
  • Strengths: Sowing confusion and paranoia among opposing team
  • Abilities:
    • Dark Cover (Signature) - Equip a shadow orb and see its range indicator. Fire to throw the shadow orb to the marked location, creating a long-lasting shadow sphere that blocks vision. Hold Alternate Fire while targeting to move the marker further away. Hold the ability key while targeting to move the marker closer.
    • Shrouded Step (Purchasable) - Equip a shadow walk ability and see its range indicator. Fire to begin a brief channel, then teleport to the marked location.
    • Paranoia (Purchasable) - Instantly fire a shadow projectile forward, briefly reducing the vision range of all players it touches. This projectile can pass straight through walls.
    • From The Shadows (Ultimate) - Equip a tactical map. Fire to begin teleporting to the selected location. While teleporting, Omen will appear as a Shade that can be destroyed by an enemy to cancel his teleport.

Omen is the master of misdirection and mindgames. His two different kinds of teleports combine with his two vision-obscuring abilities to create an atmosphere of paranoia among his opponents. Opponents of a good Omen will be constantly asking themselves things like: did he teleport into that Dark Cover, or is it a ruse to pull me out from behind cover? Did he use his Ultimate to teleport into our spawn, or did he teleport somewhere else and I'm about to waste twenty seconds searching for him when I could have been helping my team?

Even without this wonderful double-whammy of misdirection, Omen would still be useful for similar reasons to Brimstone. He can smoke out areas, and initiate fights with his wall-piercing Paranoia projectile. But add in his teleport, which allow him to get to areas you'd never expect an enemy to be, and you've got yourself a truly terrifying agent.

Check out our Omen guide for an in-depth primer on winning rounds and matches as this mysterious and powerful Valorant agent.

Valorant characters - Phoenix

Phoenix - abilities & tips

  • Role: Duelist
  • Strengths: Self-sufficiency, and pushing into defended areas
  • Abilities:
    • Hot Hands (Signature) - Equip a fireball. Fire to throw a fireball that explodes after a set amount of time or upon hitting the ground, creating a lingering fire zone that damages enemies.
    • Blaze (Purchasable) - Equip a flame wall. Fire to create a line of flame that moves forward, creating a wall of fire that blocks vision and damages players passing through it. Hold fire to bend the wall in the direction of your crosshair.
    • Curveball (Purchasable) - Equip a flare orb that takes a curving path and detonates shortly after throwing. Fire to curve the flare orb to the left, detonating and blinding any player who sees the orb. Alternate Fire to curve the flare orb to the right.
    • Run It Back (Ultimate) - Instantly place a marker at Phoenix's location. While this ability is active, dying or allowing the time to expire will end this ability and bring Phoenix back to this location with full health.

A good enemy Phoenix is a nightmare - possibly more so than any other single Valorant agent. Why? Two reasons. First: his Curveball. While it can be a source of great annoyance for the Phoenix's own team if he accidentally flashes his own squadmates, when you know how to use the ability it is a dangerously powerful counter to enemies that are holding corners waiting for Phoenix to round the corner. Which is how about 50% of all Valorant fights begin.

Second: Phoenix's passive ability to heal in his own flames makes him a remarkably self-sufficient and hard-to-kill adversary. Like Sage, if you're unable to finish off a Phoenix then you can expect them to return after a few seconds with full health, as though nothing had happened. And his Ultimate ability combines both these strengths, giving him an excellent power for safely pushing around corners, and also healing him up to full health when he zips back into his own body.

To kickstart your journey with this high-skill-ceiling Valorant agent, check out our in-depth Phoenix guide.

Raze - abilities & tips

  • Role: Duelist
  • Strengths: Damage-oriented toolkit, excellent for zoning
  • Abilities:
    • Paint Shells (Signature) - Equip a cluster grenade. Fire to throw the grenade, which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in their range.
    • Boom Bot (Purchasable) - Equip a Boom Bot. Fire will deploy the bot, causing it to travel in a straight line on the ground, bouncing off walls. The Boom Bot will lock on to any enemies in its frontal cone and chase them, exploding for heavy damage if it reaches them.
    • Blast Pack (Purchasable) - Instantly throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. Reuse the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.
    • Showstopper (Ultimate) - Equip a rocket launcher. Fire shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.

Raze is the direct damage-dealer of Valorant, a fact which has led many to believe she is overpowered - or at least, not a good fit for the direction of the game. I'm of the opinion that while she may need some slight balance tweaks, in truth she is just very good at punishing players who are out of position, a fact which makes her extremely powerful in lower MMR matches.

Raze is a zoning expert. Her Boom Bot, much like Breach's Aftershock, is far too slow to expect kills in most cases, but it reveals enemies nearby because they're forced to shoot the bot before it reaches them. After which you can decorate the area with your Paint Shells, forcing them to relocate or sustain heavy damage. Combine that with her Blast Packs, which are useful less for damaging enemies than for accessing hard-to-reach locations, and her Ultimate ability, which again excels at punishing players who are out of position; and you've got yourself a very powerful and useful agent.

Our Raze guide is packed with practical and powerful top tips for dealing death and destruction as this bombastic demo expert.

Valorant characters - Sage

Sage - abilities & tips

  • Role: Sentinel
  • Strengths: Holding positions, and revitalising the team
  • Abilities:
    • Healing Orb (Signature) - Equip a healing orb. Fire with your crosshairs over a damaged ally to activate a heal-over-time on them. Alt Fire while Sage is damaged to activate a self heal-over-time.
    • Barrier Orb (Purchasable) - Equip a barrier orb. Fire places a solid wall. Alt Fire rotates the targeter.
    • Slow Orb (Purchasable) - Equip a slowing orb. Fire to throw a slowing orb forward that detonates upon landing, creating a lingering field that slows players caught inside of it.
    • Resurrection (Ultimate) - Equip a resurrection ability. Fire with your crosshairs placed over a dead ally to begin resurrecting them. After a brief channel, the ally will be brought back to life with full health.

When all's said and done, Sage is probably the most powerful agent in Valorant. And funnily enough, despite being commonly thought of as the healer, the reason for her prowess is more about her two Purchasable abilities. Her Barrier is not only an excellent tool for slowing or halting an attack in its tracks, but it can also be used to elevate herself or her teammates to unusual positions. And her Slow Orb is a fantastic zoning ability which drastically reduces the mobility of any character who attempt to wade through the slow.

Armed with these abilities, it's not uncommon for a lone Sage to effectively hold off an entire enemy team long enough for her allies to rotate and join her in defence. Add to this her heal, which can be used multiple times per round (including on herself) and her Ultimate, which brings back a dead ally with full health, and you've got a tremendously powerful and well-rounded support character who can make or break entire matches.

To become a true master of Sage's skillset, be sure to read through the tips and tricks in our Sage guide.

Sova - abilities & tips

  • Role: Initiator
  • Strengths: Enemy positional awareness, and attacking from unexpected angles
  • Abilities:
    • Recon Bolt (Signature) - Equip a bow with recon bolt. Fire to send the recon bolt forward, activating upon collision and revealing the location of nearby enemies caught in the line of sight of the bolt. Enemies can destroy this bolt. Hold fire to extend the range of the projectile. Alternate Fire to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
    • Owl Drone (Purchasable) - Equip an owl drone. Fire to deploy and take control of movement of the drone. While in control of the drone, fire to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.
    • Shock Bolt (Purchasable) - Equip a bow with a shock bolt. Fire to send the explosive bolt forward, detonating upon collision and damaging players nearby. Hold fire to extend the range of the projectile. Alternate Fire to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
    • Hunter's Fury (Ultimate) - Equip a bow with three long-range, wall-piercing energy blasts. Fire to release an energy blast in a line in front of Sova, dealing damage and revealing the location of enemies caught in the line. This ability can be reused up to two more times while the ability timer is active.

Sova will grow with Valorant itself, and I fully expect to see him alongside Sage at the very top of the meta after some time. The reason for this is quite simple: his Recon Bolts and Shock Bolts have the highest skill ceiling of any abilities in Valorant, and there is no end to the mischief Sova can cause and the intelligence he can gain with these two abilities.

Like Cypher, Sova excels at scouting out enemies - but unlike Cypher, Sova has the toolset to punish those he finds, either with one of his bouncing "holy-shit-that-came-outta-nowhere" Shock Bolts, or with his lethal map-piercing Hunter's Fury Ultimate. And with players discovering new, absolutely crazy lineups for Recon Bolts that cross the entire map to land at fantastic positions for revealing the entire enemy team, Sova's utility as a team player is near-peerless.

Sova takes a great deal of practice to master, but our Sova guide will quickly help you get to grips with this powerful agent.

Valorant characters - Viper

Viper - abilities & tips

  • Role: Controller
  • Strengths: Holding positions, zoning large areas, and misdirecting the opposing team.
  • Abilities:
    • Toxic Screen (Signature) - Equip a gas emitter launcher. Fire to deploy a long line of gas emitters. Reuse the ability to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel. This ability can be reused more than once.
    • Snake Bite (Purchasable) - Equip a chemical launcher. Fire to launch a canister that shatters upon hitting the floor, creating a lingering chemical zone that damages and slows enemies.
    • Poison Cloud (Purchasable) - Equip a gas emitter. Fire to throw the emitter that perpetually remains throughout the round. Reuse the ability to create a toxic gas cloud at the cost of fuel. This ability can be reused more than once and can be picked up to be redeployed.
    • Viper's Pit (Ultimate) - Equip a chemical sprayer. Fire to spray a chemical cloud in all directions around Viper, creating a large cloud that reduces the vision range and maximum health of players inside of it.

Finally, we have Viper - another fairly self-sufficient Valorant agent with a unique aspect to her toolkit. Two of her abilities rely on fuel, a resource unique to Viper which depletes in order to maintain those abilities, and refills when the abilities aren't active. This helps balance out the fact that Viper's abilities are extremely long-lasting, often remaining in place for entire rounds.

Like Raze, Viper's abilities are centred around dealing damage - but here it's all about damage over time and blocking line of sight. Her Ultimate is probably the very best tool in the game for a team who has just planted the spike and awaits the inevitable push from the opposing team. And while her abilities can make life slightly difficult for her teammates as well, a good Viper can more than make up for it by engineering situations where she can wipe out an entire team by herself.

For all the latest and most practical tips and tricks on this poisonous Valorant agent, look no further than our dedicated Viper guide.

Valorant characters guide

With that, we'll conclude this Valorant characters guide. But we've got plenty more to offer for any Valorant player looking to increase their skill and knowledge! Click any of the links below to head over to a different Valorant guide.

Valorant basics (start here if you're new!)
Valorant weaponsValorant crosshair
Valorant characters
Valorant charactersValorant team comps
Valorant maps & callouts
Valorant Ascent mapValorant Bind map
Valorant Haven mapValorant Split map
Miscellanious Valorant guides
Valorant Store & Valorant PointsValorant ranks
Valorant error codesHow to report in Valorant

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.