Attack and Defense, two different playstyles

The parts of Valorant are divided into two distinct phases for each team : Attack and Defence. You won't be surprised to learn that Attacking and Defending are not played in the same way, but if you need to know more about the basics on either side, this guide is for you!

A quick reminder of the basics: in Valorant, your team will be randomly assigned one of two roles (Attackers and Defenders). The opposing team will, of course, assume the opposite role. The maps are not symmetrical and each role corresponds to one side of the map.

After 12 rounds, the roles are reversed. Since you need to win 13 rounds to win a game, it is essential to win at least one round in each role. No player should underestimate the importance of these two roles or specialise in just one of them. A Valorant player must perform well in both phases.

How to play in Attack

In Attack, your goal is to kill all Defenders, or to plant the Spike. Once the Spike is planted, the Attacker and Defender roles are somewhat reversed during the round.

The rounds of Valorant are very short (less than 2 minutes). If the Attackers have not been able to lay the Spike within this time, the Defenders win by default. This is why it is up to the Attackers to be the players who take the initiative and create the different game situations. The Attackers cannot can't afford to wait on site and do nothing.

The advantage that the Attackers have over the Defenders, however, is that they can decide on which bomb site the game will be played. The Defenders are forced to separate their forces to cover each bomb siteThey may not have the home advantage, but they will certainly have the numerical advantage. They may not have the home advantage, but they will certainly have the numerical advantage. It is not uncommon for the Attackers to stay with 4 players, while the 5th player tries to distract or slow down the Defenders on the other site.

It's mandatory to let the Spike to a player in the backline. In the event of a failed assault, it would be very difficult to recover the Spike from an overly defended bomb site, especially since the first fight will have pushed the Defenders from other bomb sites to back up their allies. At this point, you’ll have to decide whether you want to attack again with the little forces you have left, or try to speed up your opponents by going to another bomb site.

Warning: as an Attacker, you are very serious to lose control of the Spike. If your enemies kill the Spike carrier, they will all join together to defend the place where it fell, even if it's not a bomb site. The Spike generally represents your only chance of winning.

How to play in Defense

In Defense, your goal is to prevent the planting of the Spike during the allotted time. If your entire team dies, there’s nothing left to stop the Attackers from planting the Spike and they’ll prevail.

As seen earlier, it’s up to Attackers to take the initiative. The role of a Defender therefore requires more reactions than actions. Patience is essential, as is attention to the smallest detail and ambiant noises. The sooner you’re able to identify where an attack is going to take place, the more time you will have to prepare by warning your allies.

Since you won’t be able to know for sure where your opponents are going to attack, you will have to divide your forces around the different bomb sites. Generally, you opt for 2-3, 2-2-1, or 4-1 strategies. Agents as Cypher are rather competent to defend a bomb site alone, waiting for his allies’ backup.

In Defense, there are real notions of mind-game to apply. You must hide around the bomb sites in the most effective places, while being careful not to be in the most predictable places. To do so, it’s important to put yourself in the place of Attackers and identify in what order they’ll inspect the various corners in the area. A good defender can change position from one round to the next, to prevent attackers from developing automatisms.

However, as soon as the Spike is located, it’s mandatory for all the Defenders to gather around it. Without the Spike, Attackers have very little chance of winning.

In Attack as in Defense, there are different roles which must absolutely be assigned in your teams. They'll form the basis of your strategies. For more information, check our guide about teamplay and roles within a team.

Whether in Attack or in Defense, the initial compositions and the positions adopted are subject to change depending on how the game plays out. This is why communication is the key to success in Valorant. You should always make sure that your teammates know exactly what you’re doing, so that everyone is on the same wavelength. Take advantage of the buy phase to establish your strategies and update them constantly according to the evolution of the situation.

We strongly recommend that you base your strategies on the economy of the opposing team. In our guide on how to manage your economy, we list the different cases according to the credits of each team.