Video Link if you’re lazy to read
Positioning is one of the most important skills in Valorant. Knowing which angles to play in certain situations can be the difference between winning and losing the round. Good positioning is what separates the lower and higher ranks, and will definitely get you far if you’re trying to climb. In this post, I’m teaching you how to position yourself better in Valorant.
First, let’s discuss the philosophy behind good positioning:
The goal is to maximize your value to the team, which means that you’ll try to not give anything up for free. On Defense, that means making it hard for your opponents to take control of a site or even certain areas on the map. On Offense, it means trading kills, supporting with utility, and getting site control.
To do that, you should play a position that gives you options.
You should have room to make different choices with your position like being able to play around cover, gather info on where the enemy team is, synergize with your team, and relocate or retreat if possible. Also, you want to only open yourself up to one area so that you don’t get shot from multiple angles, and you can isolate fights.
It may seem like a lot, but positioning is one of the hardest things to break down because there are so many factors on what makes a position “good” or “bad.” There are no inherently bad positions, only bad positions to play in certain scenarios. I’ll try to dissect it as simply as possible, so please bear with me if I forget to mention anything.
Factors to Good Positioning
1. Gathering Information
When you play a position, one of the most important things is being able to gather information. Having information in Valorant is key to making better decisions, and making better decisions leads to a higher rate of success. Playing the information game is crucial to not only positioning but also, improving game sense.
For example, if you’re playing in A Screens on Split, you might want to jiggle every now and then to get info on players crossing into A ramps. This will help your team gauge how many players need to rotate over to A site in order to support you. Compare this to playing site without trying to gather information. Not only do you leave your heaven player unprepared for a potential push, but the rest of your team will most likely be late on the rotate.
This is a very simplified example but a good rule of thumb is to try to get as much information as possible without being punished.
2. Being Able to Relocate
The option of retreating or relocating to peek from another angle is crucial on defense. This allows you to keep the enemy guessing on where you’ll pop out or even regroup with your team and play for a retake.
Remember, on defense, you want your enemies to have a hard time pinning down your location. You should make it hard for them to find you, so positions with a lot of relocating options are great. But also, because they allow you to stay alive, run down time, and delay pushes.
For example, let’s look at U-haul on Bind. There’s a lot of playability with this positions as you can do a couple of things: jiggle short for info, play inside or outside u-haul, relocate to truck, retreat to spawn, and many others with the use of utility.
Either way, you need to give yourself options on how to play a position.
Important Side Note:
This is why playing one-and-done angles on Defense that leave you exposed, even if they’re favorable sightlines, are bad for your team because the risk is too high compared to the reward. You have no other option but to frag out.
For example, let’s say you’re the only one playing in A site on Ascent. You decide to play close to the entrance of A-Main (waaaay in front of the door switch – this is better illustrated in the video). This is a bad position, but let’s think about the most favorable outcome.
The best outcome is that the enemy team rushes A and you kill 3 or 4 people, and then get traded out. Okay great, you’ve almost single-handedly won the round. However, this outcome becomes more and more unlikely the higher your rank is. In higher ranks, you’re probably going to be traded out after your first kill.
If that happens, you give the enemy team control of site, a bomb plant, favorable post-plant positions, and you put your team in retake situation, all because you died.
Whereas, if you stayed alive, peeked every now and then from different angles, enemies will still have to worry about you. Just being alive and asserting presence on a site (with and without utility) can deter enemies from pushing, especially if you’re a sentinel. But more importantly, it gives your teammates time to rotate and support you.
This is why you need to be able to relocate because it gives you options for multiple scenarios, whether you’re trying to delay, retake, or frag out.
3. The Importance of Teamplay
This is arguably the most vital part of positioning because it doesn’t matter how you position yourself if your team doesn’t agree with you. Where you position yourself should be in relation to how your team wants to play.
You should put yourself in situations where you can trade off a teammate. This applies to both offense and defense as, again, you don’t want to give anything up for free.
On defense, it’s important that you give your enemy as many angles to look out for so that they have a harder time isolating and picking you off one by one. You can do this by setting up a crossfire, where you and your teammate will see an enemy at the same time. This will make the enemy choose between focusing on you or your teammate, giving the other the opportunity to secure the kill. You can also ask them to peek off your contact, which does the same thing as a crossfire but needs a bit more coordination to execute.
If your teammate wants to push, then the best position is to push with him. There’s no use playing in site as he’s pushing because you’re not going to be able to trade off him in any way. Remember, it’s better to do something stupid together than to do the “right” thing alone.
The same applies on offense. Being in a position to trade means that you’re not too far behind your teammate, otherwise, the enemy will be able to relocate and your teammate would have died for free.
Positions become worse over time the more you play them as enemies will expect you to be there and pre-aim that spot. This also applies to strong angles that are commonly played so you should be mixing up your positioning to keep enemies guessing.
A lot of lower-ranked players will play the same spot over and over again, which makes them a lot easier to deal with. Also, this might be common sense but feel free to play the same position again if the enemy team has no knowledge that you played there before (like if they didn’t visit your site).
5. Utility Usage and Angle Advantage
Lastly, your positioning needs to factor in utility usage and angle advantage. Certain spots are a lot stronger when combined with utility and it makes it really hard for the enemy to play against.
For example, abusing One-Way smokes in A Short on Bind with Omen or on B Main/Garage on Split with Cypher. These are abilities that allow you to play powerful positions with almost no counter-play.
Not to mention lineups with projectiles that can aid in post-plant situations. Killjoy, Sova, Brim, and Viper all have lineups that can prevent a defuse, so playing positions that are advantageous to your lineups will go a long way.
Also, remember to use your abilities behind cover in most situations since you’re left vulnerable when casting.
Now, we’re going to into the technical side of things with angle advantage. With the way line of sight works in Valorant, if you’re farther from an angle, you’re going to see the enemy first. This means that there are some spots where you’re at a disadvantage because you’re peeking closer to a wall or object.
Keep this in mind when playing certain positions as they’ll definitely be abused the higher up you go.
When I think of positioning, these are generally the factors that come to mind. I know that this guide won’t be able to cover everything, but I hope that it does give you some sort of framework to think about when positioning in Valorant.
There are so many factors that will affect your positioning that it’s impossible to list them down, as different situations will call for different positions. Either way, I hope this has been helpful. If there’s one thing you should remember from this, it’s that you want to be maximizing your value to the team and playing off your teammates.
If you have any questions, feel free to message on discord (Eggwick#7855) or join my server where I help people out: https://discord.gg/H2VjZqyEJe
Good luck on the grind! 🙂