Valorant has been accused of being a blatant Counterstrike clone, which is a fair assessment, but the game’s focus on unique Agents and team composition set it apart. We’ve broken down the game’s ten agents into four different tiers based on their ease of use, utility to a team, offensive and defensive potential, and impact on the game’s economy.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t play anyone ranked low on this tier list, just that you’ll have to put in some extra work for you and your team to actually get the most out of them. Valorant is a surprisingly balanced game for being so early in its Closed Beta phase and this tier list reflects that fact.
S Tier Agents
Sage (S Tier)
Sage’s healing is exceptional. Her ability to sustain both herself and her team makes her a vital asset on Offense and Defense. Offensive players can get a bit more ambitious with the promise of extra health, defensive firefights can last longer, allowing your team more time to rotate. This sustainability coupled with her exclusive ability to physically block off an area with her wall makes her one of the most unique and effective agents in the entire game.
She also stands out as one of the easiest to learn. While Viper and Brimstone can drop bad smokes without proper map knowledge, if a Sage is healing she’s being helpful. The same goes for smoke: where to put a wall often feels like a much easier decision, wherever you don’t want your enemies to push from. While her area slow can be a bit underwhelming, the delay it provides on a push can be an absolute lifesaver.
Her Ult, Resurrection, allows her to quickly rebalance a round. Going from a 1v4 to a 2v4 is an incredible boon, letting both players to push a position from different points to secure a clutch defusal, plant, or elimination. Sage can be an essential part of any team composition.
A Tier Agents
Brimstone (A Tier)
Of the Controllers, Brimstone is by far the easiest to learn and most versatile. Playing him effectively does require a good amount of map knowledge because his ability to smoke off sight lines is the cornerstone of his kit. However, unlike Viper and Omen, he’s able to place his smoke quickly and efficiently without long setup times and pixel perfect throws. Viper and Omen can smoke off some areas that Brimstone can’t, but the sheer volume of his smoke puts him ahead of his counterparts.
His second ability, Combat Stim, is a different story. In all honesty, it’s deeply underwhelming. While 10% boosts to fire rate, reload speed, weapon swap, and recoil recovery are nice, they aren’t strong enough to turn the tide of a bad fight. Brimstone’s Ult, Orbital Strike, and third ability, Incendiary, are phenomenal area denial abilities. Incendiary works well at slowing a push and forcing enemy agents out of position temporarily, while Orbital Strike is strong enough to both secure multiple kills and force a full rotate away from a point.
Brimstone is versatile, good at what he does, and my friend Morgan thinks he’s hot, which secures his place at the top of A-Tier.
Breach (A Tier)
Breach is one of the most creative agents in Valorant and because of that he’s also one of the most unwieldy. When used effectively, his aptitude at starting fights and supporting his teammates is unparalleled. There are only three abilities that stun enemy agents in the entire game, and two of them belong to Breach. Tremor is a phenomenal ability allowing him to concuss enemies from a safe position, and giving his allies a chance to push in and secure a point.
Breach’s Ult functions similarly to Tremor but, when positioned effectively, can concuss an entire point, giving complete control of multiple areas of the map at once. Aftershock is strong enough to immediately secure a kill on enemies who don’t avoid its blast radius, but the long charge up time means the ability is better at forcing enemy Agents out of position than it is securing kills.
Breach’s Flashpoint is the strongest blinding ability in the entire game due to its range and the particulars of how it functions. Unlike Phoenix’s Curveball, by firing through a wall, Breach can avoid accidentally flashing his teammates, allowing as many people as possible to take advantage of the flash. Overall, Breach is an incredible team player. While he lacks the capacity to solo push, his kit makes him the strongest team pusher in the entire game.
B Tier Agents
Sova (B Tier)
Sova and Cypher are in close competition with one another. Both are incredible scouts, but Sova’s utility while pushing and defending puts him above his camera-wielding counterpart. Recon Arrow, is an effective scouting tool as long as it can maintain line of sight on its targets.
The trick shots some players have found allow Sova to scout Points in their entirety from extreme range, letting him scout without giving up his position. Furthermore, his Camera Drone is a phenomenal ability, when coupled with a strong pusher like Raze or Phoenix, you can aggressively take a point and secure a spike plant. Shock Arrow is Sova’s most underwhelming ability, dealing solid direct damage in a sizable area, but sadly the draw time prevents him from using it effectively in most fights. It does thrive when prefiring though.
His ultimate allows him to mark enemies on the map, deal solid damage, and deny hallways, making it one of the most versatile in the entire game. It does have a strong downside: while using it Sova is very vulnerable. The time between shots gives enemy agents more than enough time to push on and kill him if he’s using his Ult out of position. Sova can scout both offensively and defensively, coupled with his Shock Arrows and strong Ult, he always has something to offer your team.
Raze (B Tier)
Raze is the best direct damage dealer in all of Valorant, but her lack of defensive options stops her from rising above this Tier. Paint Shell, is incredibly powerful, capable of wiping out half a team if they find themselves in an enclosed area. Even if the ability itself doesn’t kill enemies, it forces a change in position, letting Raze and her allies to push in and secure kills.
The Blast Pack is an effective direct damage tool and allows for creative repositioning. The first time a Raze used it to fire herself down a hallway like a railgun I nearly jumped out of my seat. However, the ability is held back by the short delay before auto detonation, otherwise it would make a fantastic trap, able to secure quick kills from relative safety.
Bomb Bot is an effective recon and fragging tool. By deploying and then following her Bomb Bot, Raze is able to know that the position she’s pushing onto is clear — or at least where the enemy agents are hiding. Finally, her ultimate is an unparalleled direct damage ability, usually securing multiple kills every time it’s deployed, but it lacks the ability to force a full rotation like Brimstone. Despite being a Harbinger of the Beyond, Raze’s lack of long term area denial stops her from defending effectively, relegating her to the top of B-Tier.
Phoenix (B Tier)
Phoenix is an incredibly cool character who I never play. His abilities make him excel at starting fights and his self-healing gives him a degree of sustainability absent from every hero in the game except for Sage. Curveball is a great flash and he shouldn’t start many fights without it. By bending it around walls and corners, Phoenix himself is usually protected from its effects though enemies and allies both are frequently caught in the blast. This is why good Phoenix play requires good communication. Flashing your teammates gets them killed so you have to let people know when you’re doing it.
Phoenix’s other two normal abilities are excellent versions of their respective archetypes. Hot Hands is a high damage area denial tool that also heals Phoenix, allowing him to force an enemy out of position, kill them, retake their previous position, and heal, all in one simple movement. Blaze is a strong curtain that, when used well, can quickly cut a point in half, giving your team a chance to push undeterred. Its damaging effect, with a sound and light show, makes it stronger than Viper’s but it doesn’t last nearly as long. Finally, his Ult is a free life, which makes it a great reconnaissance tool in addition to its ability to win fights. Phoenix should be the tip of your spear pushing onto a point, and he excels at this role. While he is a bit weak on defense, his offensive potential is unmatched.
Omen (B Tier)
Omen can be an absolute nightmare to fight against, or one of the easiest kills in a game. This is all because of his teleport abilities which, depending on how confident your Omen is, are some of the highest risk/reward powers in the game. When he uses Shrouded Step, everyone around him can hear it, signalling his teleport. If your Omen teleports anywhere within sight of an enemy they will be shot, terribly. However, if he manages to teleport into a protected location, he can provide an essential foothold on a difficult push point. This ability is especially useful for repositioning when pinned down. Stuck on a bad angle? Just teleport away. He can also fake a teleport, tricking the enemy team into pushing directly into his line of fire.
His ultimate, From the Shadows, is the grown up version of Shrouded Step. It allows him to teleport anywhere on the map from anywhere else on the map. Furthermore, it provides a good amount of vision/scouting information as Omen can see the area around him during the teleport process. Sadly, most players will just teleport into the enemy spawn or back of site, which people are getting very used to. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen an early Omen ult lead directly to a messy 4v5 fight.
Omen’s smokes and blind, Dark Cover and Paranoia, are great abilities that, like Breach’s, can be fired through walls, keeping allies out of their way. The range of Dark Cover is far enough to allow him to feint on a point, similarly to Viper (although I would argue that she is far more effective in this role). Overall, Omen is a strong but incredibly risky Agent. Like Jett, his movement leaves him vulnerable but smart positioning and clever use of his other abilities make him an effective Agent on any team.
Cypher (B Tier)
Cypher is a master of defense, his ability to surveil and shut down points is incredible. However, what he has in offense he lacks in defense. Of his four abilities, only two are usable at best when pushing a point. Spycam can be used to push a sight line, but it isn’t anywhere near as effective as Sova’s Recon Arrow or drone. Cyber Cage is a pretty alright smoke with a unique shape, and its ability to be activated on and off at will makes it an effective trap, however, since the removal of its slow effect there isn’t much utility to doing this. Cypher’s tripwires are a great defensive tool, providing a heads up for quiet pushes and rotates. Sadly, this ability is useless for pushing a point beyond providing some additional security in case of a hasty enemy rotation.
His Ult is an incredible recon tool, one which facilitates good defense and strong pushes. The setup can be difficult, it does require a fresh corpse after all, but the information it provides can quickly turn the tides of a round. Knowing what angles your opponents are covering is essential on offense and defense, and there’s no better tool for figuring that out than Cypher’s Ult.
Overall, Cypher is a good defensive agent who, when paired with another defender, can effectively shut down a point, forcing the opposing team to rotate early in the game. Sadly, his lack of offensive utility and mediocre smokes hold him back from becoming a true must-have on every team.
Viper (B Tier)
While I would argue Viper is heavily underutilized in the current state of play, I also recognize how weird and messy of a character she is. She excels at blocking swaths of sight lines with her Toxin Screens. Unlike Phoenix’s curtain, Viper is able to fire over walls, letting her cut a point in half before pushing on in the first place. Poison Orb, allows her to smoke positions far outside of her vision range. Through clever positioning, she can establish One-Way smokes (positions where you can see enemy Agents but they can’t see you). However, her best smokes and screens can have a long startup time which gives enemy agents a chance to rotate and push your team while she prepares to lock down a point. Viper’s screen and smoke being both long range and remote controlled gives her an incredible toolkit for faking a push. These feints will frequently trick your opponents into a bad rotate, letting your team quickly secure a point.
Snake Bite is an effective area denial tool, one that is best utilized on choke points and on the spike itself. Planting area denial directly on the spike lets you prevent a full defuse and Snake Bite’s high damage makes it a perfect tool for canceling a defuse after your untimely demise. Viper’s Pit, is one of the strongest ultimates in the game when pushing or locking down a point. The pit provides a massive smoke which degrades the health and armor of everyone except Viper. This is not only disorienting, but also allows her to push onto enemies and secure kills undetected. Her signature weapon is the Shorty for a reason, she thrives in close range engagements especially when they’re on her terms. Sadly, her Ult also affects her allies, meaning that they become incredibly vulnerable once Viper takes control of a point. Overall, despite the utility of her abilities to push, defend, and feint, Viper’s long setup times and the necessity of good map knowledge prevent her from rising above B tier.
Reyna (B Tier)
Reyna is Valorant’s newest and most murderous agent. Good Reyna play relies on a player’s ability to inflict incredible amounts of violence on the enemy team through good gunplay and strong map knowledge. Unlike all other heroes Reyna has two primary abilities, Dismiss and Devour. Each requires both charges and a soul orb, which spawn whenever Reyna secures a kill and last for a few seconds. With Dismiss Reyna becomes invisible and invincible, letting her reposition without risking her life. Devour is a powerful self heal that has the potential over Overheal, giving Reyna an extra boost to her survivability in a tough fight. Her Ult, Empress, enhances both Dismiss and Devour, allowing them to be used without purchasing charges, increases her rate of fire and reload speed, decreases her rate of fire, and highlights all enemies within view.
Her final ability, Leer, is a strong blinding ability that she can project through walls. Leer creates a destroyable orb that nearsights any enemies unfortunate enough to have it in their view when it appears. With this blind, Reyna can push in and secure early kills, facilitating the use of her other two abilities. Overall, she’s arguably the strongest pusher in the game. She has survivability, vision control, and the power to reposition on the fly. However, she lacks almost any defensive utility. If she can kill she’ll thrive, but defensive play may be too slow for her true colors to shine through.
C Tier Agents
Jett (C Tier)
Jett is a mess, and I think she’s supposed to be a mess. She’s a born and bred shit talker, and her kit is designed to reflect that. She has the most advanced movement options in the entire game. Between her three primary abilities, her passive, and her ult, Jett has two movement powers and one of them gets her killed more often than not.
Tailwind is a unique ability by Valorant’s standards, unless you use Raze’s satchel for movement, and that’s probably for the best. Tailwind can be used to either start a fight or get out of one, sadly, most players don’t use it to its full effect. Using her movement abilities leaves her incredibly vulnerable as there’s about a half second delay between finishing a jump or dash, and being able to shoot again. This leads to inexperienced players dashing directly onto a point, at which point they are thoroughly perforated from every possible angle. As such, her abilities should be used to flee a fight, or take an unlikely position before they even begin.
Jett’s smoke is… fine. It’s fine. The curving smoke is interesting, but the smoke doesn’t last long enough to facilitate a push for long. You could throw down all three smokes and then dash into one, quickly and, relatively safely, pushing onto a point, but, the ability and economic efficiency on this particular play is terrible. Finally, her Ult is only as good as your aim, which could be great! But traditionally, single target damage is what guns are for. This ult is deeply underwhelming and, despite how powerful the lack of an aim penalty could be, it is easily the worst Ult in the entire game. Jett is not a team player in a game all about teamwork. She may be great for gifs and clips, but she’s bad for your team.