Controlling Sound against your opponents
Did you know that controlling the noise you make can give you the upper hand over your opponents? Valorant is a very noisy game, for better of for worse, and it’s up to you to take advantage of this feature.
In addition to their motor functions and mechanical qualities, a player’s efficiency and talent also depend on their ability to accumulate information. Tactical Shooters like Valorant realy heavily on unknown factors (position of opponents, weaponry, location of the Spike), from which flow decisions and therefore strategies.
You could think that sight is the main vector of information in a game. However, the sound is very often much more important. You will hear your opponents much more often than you will see them. It’s therefore mandatory to learn how to control your sound environment to progress in Valorant.
What is meant by noise in Valorant?
In Valorant, all actions performed by a player make noise. And each noise is characteristic of an action. The noise you make when walking on an iron floor is different from the noise you make on a wooden floor. The sound you make when you walk is different from the sound you make when you jump. And the sound you make when you jump on an iron box is different from the sound you make when you jump on a wooden box. As you can see, there are many subtleties in sound that can be identified by a keen ear.
Not only your movements make noise, but also the use of your skills, the plant or the attempt to defuse the Spike, reloading your weapon and, of course, firing with your weapons.
I’m making noise, so what?
In Valorant, sound is spatialised. This means that depending on your position relative to the point of origin of the sound, you will hear it differently. It can be more or less loud as more or less muffled. As a result, if you make noise, an attentive player with good sound equipment will be able to pinpoint your exact location.
This is why taking information on enemy positions is more by ear than by eye. The sounds pass through walls, floors and cover each other according to their power and their distance.
In the same way that it is important to spot the sounds made by opponents, it’s just as important to reduce as much as possible the noises you make yourself. It’s impossible to win a Valorant game without making any noise, but teams that know how to reduce their noise emissions as much as possible will be more discreet and therefore more efficient.
Which sounds can help my opponents?
Pretty much anyone you can hear yourself, but there are exceptions. We’re going to see them one by one, but first of all, let’s talk about the range of the sounds. As you move around in Valorant, you can see a fairly large circle around your character on your minimap.
This circle corresponds to the area in which your footsteps can be heard by your opponents. Any player in the circle can hear you walking. You should always pay attention to this circle when playing Valorant. This area will gradually become instinctive through training.
For the rest of our explanations, we’ll use this circle as a reference. This is then the average range of the sounds, but all the actions you make in the game won’t have exactly the same volume, and therefore the same range. Some sounds can spread much further (such as gunshots), others have a lower range.
We’ll therefore admit 4 sound levels.
|Inaudible sound||Muffled sound||Normal sound||Very loud sound|
If we take the mini-map aforementioned, here is roughly what each sound level corresponds to.
Before listing most of the important sounds, note that some are tricky. It’s not because you or your allies can hear them that your opponents can hear them too. Here is the list of the sounds that your opponents can hear:
|Jumps and Falls|
|Jump (crouching)||Fall (low height)|
|Fall (medium height)|
|Fall (high height)|
|Fall (on an ally)|
|Hanging on/off a rope (running)|
|Hanging on/off a rope (walking)|
|Go up/down a rope (running)|
|Go up/down a rope (walking)|
|Throwing a weapon|
|Picking up a weapon|
|Equipping an ability|
|Using an ability|
|Using an ultimate|
|Picking up an orb (start)|
|Picking up an orb (completion)|
|Planting the Spike (start)|
|Planting the Spike (completion)|
|Defusing the Spike (start)|
|Defusing the Spike (completion)|
|Using a teleport on Bind|
|Crossing a smoke/screen|
|Crossing a Cypher trap|
|Getting spotted by Cypher/Sova|
|Crossing Sage’s Slow Orb (running)|
|Crossing Sage’s Slow Orb (walking)|
|Teleport with Omen (start)|
|Teleport with Omen (completion)|
|All noises during the buy phase|
By knowing the volume of the different Valorant sounds, you can establish small strategies. It hey will not serve you in every game, they will nevertheless allow you to potentially take advantage over your opponents.
Just as you should always be aware of the noise you’re making, you should also be aware of the importance of these noises. A footstep will give less information to your opponent than using a rope, for example. Indeed, you can virtually walk anywhere on a map, but if you’re heard using a rope, the opponent can know exactly where you are.
This is where strategy begins! Even if it sounds counter intuitive, sometimes it’s better to make a big common noise than a rare little noise. A shared noise says less about your intentions or your position.
A typical example is Sage resurrection sound. Sage res makes you vulnerable for a little while, and your opponents may take advantage of it to rush you and eliminate your ally while they’re still in their crystal. On the other hand, by shooting with your weapon when reviving an ally, the sound of the shot will cover the noise of the res. Your opponents may know where you are, but they’ll not know that you are brinig a teammate back to battle.
This logic applies to many cases. In the event of a fall: there are few places you can fall from (usually windows), allowing your enemies to spot you. By firing with your weapon when you land, you will of course make more noise than when you fall, but the sound of the fall will be covered. Imagine that your enemies are hidden and defending a bomb site, using this technique allows you to enter this site by jumping from a window without your opponents knowing which access you used.
Overall, strategies that take advantage of sound are much more effective as a team than solo. Throw Raze Paint Shells or teleport with Omen while your allies go bang around enemies, and you can surprise them.
In short, the noises you make can betray you as well as serve you. Learn how to control them, coordonate with your teammates and you’ll have another big advantage in your Valorant games.