As a shooting game that is firmly rooted in the hitscan mold, similar to Counter-Strike, Valorant’s gunplay is old school, making it some of the toughest to master. Habits and good practices that have come from other popular shooting games such as Call of Duty simply do not work here. As recoil works much closer to what you’d expect in real life, playing in a similar vein to Call of Duty’s more arcade-style will simply result in death far more often than not.
It takes a lot of practice and discipline to train yourself to fire the right way in Valorant, but there is assistance. While it’s not a typical Counter-Strike option beyond sniper rifles, you do have the ability to aim down the sights with almost any gun in Valorant, and it’s one of the best tools to learn the gunplay with.
The aim down sight (ADS) option is useful in the learning process because it will help you to feel how the guns react to your shots. All of the automatic weapons have a control function called Tap Efficiency, where the gun will be accurate to exactly where you are aiming for a certain number of bullets before the gun will start to lose control following a spray pattern. It then takes time for the gun to recover to a state where it can gain the benefit from Tap Efficiency again. Rifles have longer Tap Efficiency due to their longer barrel design.
Using ADS to learn how this works is a great first step to improving your aim, especially when trying to focus on headshots, or at longer-range when hip firing while your opponent is not so easy to see. The shooting range dummy is a great resource to test this too as it won’t move, and you can adjust the distance to judge the recoil of weapons. This can also help you to work out your preferred weapon.
It’s important to be aware that the ADS mechanic does not increase the accuracy of a weapon, and your field of view will be heavily restricted while in ADS, meaning that it’s far more difficult to be aware of your surroundings. There’s enough range in all of the maps that this can be detrimental to your gameplay. Moving while using it will also cause your accuracy to go down drastically, with the guns all performing much worse when being used while moving.
With this in mind, once you have begun to improve your accuracy with the ADS, it’s recommended to use the hip fire and rely on your standard crosshair to give you information on exactly where you are aiming. From here, restrict the use of ADS to very long-range fights if you’re not comfortable at range with hip fire, and when using the scopes on the sniper rifles. This should then result in improved accuracy without adversely affecting your game sense abilities and peripheral vision.