Valorant, Riot Games’ first-person tactical shooter, has 10 characters for players to choose from. Every character has 2 regular abilities you can buy using creds (which you earn throughout a game), a signature ability that comes with at least one free use, and an ultimate ability that is unlocked after gaining enough points. You earn points by getting kills, being killed, finding orbs scattered around the map, and by planting/defusing the bomb. Here is a list of every Valorant character, along with a guide to their abilities and a brief description of what they do.
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Viper (Role: Controller)
- Ability 1 - Snake Bite (100 Creds): 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.
- Ability 2 - Poison Cloud (200 Creds): 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.
- Signature Ability -Toxic Screen (1 free): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Viper’s Pit (7 Points): 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.
Starting off the list we have Viper. She uses poison to manipulate the movement of opposing players. Viper’s unique feature is that she is the only character in Valorant who has perks that rely on ‘fuel’. Both her ability 2, Poison Cloud, and signature ability, Toxin Screen, drain fuel as you use them, but your fuel replenishes on its own when not using them. Your fuel level is one more thing you must pay attention to while playing as her.
The best thing about Viper is her ultimate which creates a cloud of poison gas around a point making it extremely useful for planting the spike as well as defusing. It’s important to remember that your teammates will take damage from the gas as well, so it’s expected for Viper to defend inside the gas solo most of the time while using it.
Jett (Role: Duelist)
- Ability 1 - Cloudburst (Cost: 100 Creds): 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.
- Ability 2 - Updraft (Cost: 100 Creds): Instantly propel Jett high into the air.
- Signature Ability - Tailwind (Cost: 1 free): Instantly propel Jett in the direction she is moving. If Jett is standing still, she will propel forward.
- Ultimate Ability - Blade Storm (Cost: 7 Points): 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.
Jett is all about movement. Her Updraft ability allows her to soar up to normally unreachable areas, giving her the high ground in fights. While her signature ability Tailwind lets her dash horizontally, allowing the player to catch the enemy off guard or hide behind cover faster than anyone.
Her ultimate ability gives her throwing knives to sling at enemies. While using it she can move and jump without worrying about decreased accuracy. That being said, the knives aren’t that deadly, I often see the Jett’s lose one on ones to enemies who aren’t using abilities.
Brimstone (Role: Controller)
- Ability 1 - Stim Beacon (Cost: 100 Creds): 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 rapid fire.
- Ability 2 - Incendiary (Cost: 300 Creds): 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.
- Signature Ability - Sky Smoke (Cost: 1 free, 100 Creds for extra): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Orbital Strike (Cost: 6 Points): 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 controls the map with his signature ability — Sky Smoke — which he can use to place up to three smoke screens anywhere on the map. Worried about a sniper on a ledge? Brimstone can smoke the area rendering the sniper useless. He also has an incendiary grenade that he can launch at opponents, leaving a pool of fire that deals damage for a brief time.
His Stim Beacon ability is a unique buffer that allows anyone inside the radius to have rapid fire. If you can get yourself and teammates inside while defending a point you will have an advantage, but it’s good to remember that enemies can take advantage of the buff, too. Brimstone’s ultimate allows him to mark anywhere on the map where he wants a laser beam to strike. The issue is enemies are alerted if they are within the blast radius and there is plenty of time to run to safety. But it can be great for clearing out a room.
Phoenix (Role: Duelist)
- Ability 1 - Blaze (Cost: 200 Creds): 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.
- Ability 2 - Curveball (Cost: 100 Creds): 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.
- Signature Ability - Hot Hands (Cost: 1 free): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Run it Back (Cost: 6 Points): Instantly place a marker at Phoenix’s location. While this ability is active, dying or allowing the timer to expire will end this ability and bring Phoenix back to this location with full health.
Phoenix can be one of the most frustrating players to go against. His signature ability allows him to flash opponents around corners, blinding them and making for easy targets. But in the wrong hands, Phoenix is the most annoying teammate to play within Valorant. I for one have been blinded by my own teammates more than my enemies. His Blaze ability is excellent for providing cover for the team and his Hot Hands move has the added effect of healing himself as well as dealing damage to others.
Other than Curveball, the thing that most stands out for Phoenix is his ultimate. After he activates it, he can continue playing, but if he gets killed, he spawns back to the location where he initiated his ultimate with full health. Basically giving him a second life. There is a time limit to how long he can be in his second life though, after which he spawns back to the original location.
Omen (Role: Controller)
- Ability 1 - Shrouded Step (Cost: 100 Creds): Equip a shadow walk ability and see its range indicator. Fire to begin a brief channel, then teleport to the marked location.
- Ability 2 - Paranoia (Cost: 200 Creds): Instantly fire a shadow projectile forward, briefly reducing the vision range of all players it touches. This projectile can pass straight through walls.
- Signature Ability - Dark Cover (Cost: 2 free): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - From the Shadows (Cost: 7 Points): 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 can be an absolute game wrecker for the opposing team. Think of him as the man who goes behind enemy lines for the purpose of causing confusion and chaos. He has two abilities that allow him to teleport. His ultimate lets him pick any place on the map to teleport to. There was a recent update that added a noise that lets opposing players know when he is spawning within proximity though which can ruin the element of surprise.
His Dark Cover move throws a smokescreen that can be used in tandem with his second teleport ability Shrouded Step to increase the likelihood of success. While Paranoia allows him to stun enemies through walls.
Cypher (Role: Initiator)
- Ability 1 - Trapwire (Cost: 200 Creds): 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, and dazed after a short period if they do not destroy the device in time. This ability can be picked up to be Redeployed.
- Ability 2 - Cyber Cage (Cost: 100 Creds): Equip a cyber cage. Fire to toss the cyber cage in front of Cypher. Activate to create a zone that blocks vision and slows enemies who pass through it.
- Signature Ability - Spycam (Cost: 1 free): Equip a spycam. Fire to place the spycam at the targeted location. Re-use 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Neural Theft (Cost: 7 Points): Instantly use on a dead enemy player in your crosshairs to reveal the location of all living enemy players.
Cypher is perfect for combating Omen or anyone who tries to flank your team. His signature ability allows the player to place a Spycam that can shoot marking darts at opponents. You have to be careful not to be killed while using the camera, however. One way to do this is by using Trapwire, which places an invisible laser trap on a wall. If an opponent crosses it and fails to destroy it in time, they are stunned and their location is revealed.
His Cyber Cage ability is, in essence, a smokescreen with the added effect of making players who try to walk through it move slower. What really stands out for Cypher is his ultimate. It’s easily one of the best in the game. In order to use it you must find the body of a killed opponent, you place your hat over their body and it reveals the location of all of his teammates to you and your squad for a brief time. Once this is revealed you can see any possible weak spots in their defense or know which site they are targeting.
Sova (Role: Initiator)
- Ability 1 - Owl Drone (Cost: 300 Creds): Equip an owl drone. Fire to deploy and take control of the 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.
- Ability 2 - Shock Bolt (Cost: 100 Creds): 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.
- Signature Ability - Recon Bolt (Cost: Free with 35s cooldown): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Hunter’s Fury (Cost: 7 Points): 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 has a perfect balance of intel and damage. His signature ability fires off an arrow that will scan the area for enemies, and if that wasn’t good enough, the arrow can bounce up to two times off of walls. This allows you to recon an area without exposing yourself. His Owl Drone lets you fly a small remote-controlled drone which can fire darts at enemies revealing their location to teammates, once again keeping you at a safe distance.
Sova’s capability of doing damage needs to be respected as well. His Shock Bolt ability lets him fire off an electric arrow that detonates on impact, and just like with his signature ability it can be bounced off of walls. Sova’s ultimate ability packs an even bigger punch, giving him up to three bolts of electricity that can shoot through walls. If you are going up against a Sova using his ultimate, the game will warn you if you are in his crossfires, which means pull out your knife and sprint like there’s no tomorrow.
Breach (Role: Initiator)
- Ability 1 - Aftershock (Cost: 100 Creds): 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.
- Ability 2 - Flashpoint (Cost: 200 Creds): Equip a blind charge. Fire the charge to set a fast-acting burst through the wall. The charge detonates to blind all players looking at it.
- Signature Ability - Fault Line (Cost: Free with 35s cooldown): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Rolling Thunder (Cost: 7 Points): 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.
His name says it all. Breach is best used for penetrating enemy defenses. All four of his moves work through walls, meaning you can start making your moves from a safe distance. To best utilize him, you need to pay attention to where enemies tend to be positioned. Does an enemy Cypher like to hide in the same corner each round? Stun them with Fault Line, then finish them off. Maybe there is a room that has multiple people inside. Use Flashpoint to blind them all, then rush in with a teammate.
For an even bigger advantage, use Aftershock with one of the two abilities above. They’ll be stunned, making it harder to avoid the attack which does damage. Rolling thunder, his ultimate, covers an even larger area, using the right angle will allow you to clear out entire rooms.
Raze (Role: Duelist)
- Ability 1 - Boom Bot (Cost: 200 Creds): 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.
- Ability 2 - Blast Pack (Cost: 200 Creds): Instantly throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. reuse the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.
- Signature Ability - Paint Shells (Cost: 1 free): Equip a cluster grenade. Fire to throw the grenade, which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in their range.
- Ultimate Ability - Showstopper (Cost: 6 Points): Equip a rocket launcher. Fire shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.
If you like blowing things up, Raze is the character for you. All of her abilities pack an explosive punch, making her arguably the best character for getting kills out of every character in Valorant. Her signature ability Paint Shells is a grenade that explodes and then scatters more mini explosives. Her boom bot is a small robot that will roll and bounce off surfaces, but once it gets close enough to an enemy will speed forward before detonating. An item perfect for clearing out a room or an opponent hiding behind a corner.
Her Blast Pack ability doesn’t do as much damage as the previously mentioned abilities, but it can be used to launch Raze on top of boxes and platforms without taking any damage. Which should put her in prime position to use her ultimate, which is, in short, a bazooka. A bazooka that is a one-hit kill for anyone near the blast radius. Whenever you hear the opposing team’s Raze call out her ultimate, you need to hide or back up because there isn’t much you can do to stop it.
Sage (Role: Sentinel)
- Ability 1 - Barrier Orb (Cost: 400 Creds): Equip a barrier orb. Fire places a solid wall. Alt fire rotates the targeter.
- Ability 2 - Slow Orb (Cost: 100 Creds): 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.
- Signature Ability - Healing Orb (Cost: Free with 35s cooldown): 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.
- Ultimate Ability - Resurrection (Cost: 7 Points): 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.
Sage is the one character that needs to be on every team in Valorant. This is because she’s the only character who can heal other players. Healing Orb will restore herself or any teammate she can see to full health, which is why she should never be the first person to rush into a gunfight. Her number one goal should be to stay alive so she can heal her teammates. And even if her teammates die, she can use her ultimate to bring one back with full health.
Her ability Barrier Orb is one of the most useful in the game. It can be used to seal off entryways, preventing flanking, and can be used to lift her and teammates to previously unreachable spots. Meanwhile, her slow orb can be used to prevent opponents from rushing into an area.
- Ability 1 - Leer (Cost: 200 Creds): Equip an ethereal eye. Activate to cast the eye a short distance forward, passing through obstructions. The eye will Nearsight all enemies who can see it. The eye will disappear after a few seconds, and can also be destroyed by enemies.
- Ability 2 - Devour (Cost: 100 Creds): Instantly consume a nearby Soul Orb, rapidly healing for 100 health over a short duration. Healing will stop if line of sight with the Soul Orb is broken or if Reyna takes damage. This ability can Overheal, though health exceeding 100 will decay after a duration and you cannot exceed 150 health (including shields). If Empress is active, this skill will automatically cast, not consume the Soul Orb, and not require line of sight with the Soul Orb.
- Signature Ability - Dismiss (Cost: 100 Credits):
Instantly consume a nearby Soul Orb, becoming intangible and gaining movement speed for a short duration. If Empress is active, also become invisible.
Ultimate Ability - Resurrection (Cost: 6 Points): Enter a frenzy for a moderate duration, increasing firing, equip and reload speed. Grants infinite charges of Soul Harvest abilities. Scoring a kill renews the duration.
Reyna is all about getting kills and engaging the enemy. If you are not an aggressive player, she isn’t the best character for you. She may be the only character who you can expect to win a 1v3 matchup regularly (at least in the lower ranks of competitive). By using Leer to gain the upper hand for her first kill she can then compound that with Devour to keep being aggressive.
Using Reyna’s ultimate increases her firing rate by 35% and will automatically activate the Devour ability for free if she gets a kill. If the situation still gets out of hand while using her ultimate you can go invisible and attempt to find some cover.
Killjoy (Role: Sentinel)
- Ability 1 - Alarmbot (Cost: 200 Creds): Equip a covert Alarmbot. FIRE to deploy a bot that hunts down enemies that get in range. After reaching its target, the bot explodes, applying Vulnerable. HOLD EQUIP to recall a deployed bot.
- Ability 2 - Nanoswarm (Cost: 200 Creds): Equip a Nanoswarm grenade. FIRE to throw the grenade. Upon landing, the Nanoswarm goes covert. ACTIVATE the Nanoswarm to deploy a damaging swarm of nanobots.
- Signature Ability - Turret (Cost: Free): Equip a Turret. FIRE to deploy a turret that fires at enemies in a 180 degree cone that deals 11 damage per burst. HOLD EQUIP to recall the deployed turret.
Ultimate Ability - Lockdown (Cost: 7 Points): Equip the Lockdown device. FIRE to deploy the device. After a long windup, the device Detains all enemies caught in the radius. The device can be destroyed by enemies.
Killjoy is best used for defense and gaining map control. She is able to guard a site by herself similar to Cypher. Both her Alarmbot and Turret can be used to let you know when enemies are close. Meanwhile, her Nanoswarm will let you flush out enemies you think are around corners.
Finally, we have with Killjoy’s ultimate, Lockdown, she can clear out an area or at the very least debilitate anyone caught standing around in its radius. It can be used to hold a point or take it.
Hopefully, this guide gives you a better understanding of how the characters’ abilities in Valorant operate. Even if you play as one character every time you play its important to remember in order to beat the enemy you have to know the enemy.