Valorant beginner's guide: 5 tips to improve strafing in the shooter

Strafing is an essential strategy that beginners should know in Valorant (Image via Riot Games)
Strafing is an essential strategy that beginners should know in Valorant (Image via Riot Games)

Valorant could seem like a tough-to-master first-person shooter from a beginner's perspective. However, certain strategies can help counter the difficulty in the game. One useful and commonly used strategy in high elo is strafing, letting players conquer the hardest seeming gunfights.

The term 'strafing' is common in video games and refers to sideways movement. It lets players aim precisely at an enemy and shoot while moving. Strafing effectively counters an enemy's strategy of holding an off-angle and lets players dodge bullets in head-on fights.

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The presence of utilities in Valorant creates confusion for someone who isn't used to shooter games. However, the game also requires precise aiming skills to win gun fights. The popular tactical first-person shooter is a lot about being one step ahead of the opponent, and strafing is one concept that helps with it.


Valorant players must finesse their skills daily

1) Short strafing for a precise aim

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Many pro-athletes and guides will advise beginners not to shoot while moving. However, short strafing can help players dodge bullets and hit headshots when mastered.

That said, long strafing can do more harm than good. It could help dodge more bullets, making aiming very difficult. Valorant may be a lot about utilities, but aim plays a very important role, especially in low elo. Strafing should also be avoided in close fights unless clearing out an off-angle.


2) Off-angle strafing

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Try strafing when peeking at an off-angle. Strafing alongside peeking allows players to avoid an unexpected enemy's spray and get an idea of their location. However, this strategy will require players to know all the off-angles on the map.

Remember all the unexpected locations an enemy may hold while entering or clearing an area. There are a lot of off-angles an enemy can have on maps like Bind and Haven. Hence, try being conscious of all possible enemy angles, especially when playing a Duelist Agent.


3) Figure out the fastest strafing distance

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Players who hold an off-angle in Valorant expect someone to peek at them. Hence, an enemy holding an off-angle will be ready to hit anyone peeking at that angle. The best way to counter this is to strafe and peek in the most unexpected and fastest way possible.

For example, if one is too close to the wall and trying to peek at an angle in front of them, the strafing will be slow and exactly what the enemy may expect.

Another thing that players try performing is strafing in a semi-circular dome. This may not be as effective as strafing in straight lines, which is faster and easier to aim through.


4) Counter-strafing

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This strafing is well-known among first-person shooter fans but may not be as useful in Valorant. While many may say that counter-strafing helps in landing accurate first shots, others have debated against the common belief.

Counter-strafing is simply pressing the opposite movement key while strafing to halt the movement entirely. This helps players accurately shoot the first bullet instead of introducing a slight movement error.

This strategy is also common in another massively popular tactical FPS game, CS:GO. However, it isn't clear whether counter-strafing in Valorant provides the same kind of benefit.

It is not a mandatory concept to learn, but one can master counter-strafing, as it helps dodge bullets, weave sniper peeking strategies, and take cover more efficiently.


5) Avoid controversial strafing movements like running and gunning

It's controversial for a reason. Running and gunning are common in low elo, involving players running and shooting at enemies. This massively affects the aim as it introduces a high movement error.

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While it may seem effective to dodge bullets and hit enemies at times, running and gunning aren't good practices in the long run. Higher skilled players can easily counter the 'RnG' strategy with one accurate headshot using good tracking skills.

Another controversial movement in Valorant is crouching, introduced initially as a strategy to dodge headshots and counter-recoil. However, squatting at all times may not be helpful as it takes a split second to crouch and get the aim placement right, which is enough time for the enemy to counter.

Crouching may be helpful to peek at an angle unexpectedly or to counter someone with high headshot accuracy.


Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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