Guide: How to manage your Economy in Valorant
Knowing how to play Valorant is also to know how to manage your economy. It may not be the most interesting point, but it’s nonetheless very important! Fortunately, this is the most theoretical part of the game. Once the lesson is learned, all you have to do is integrate it into your playing routine. If you want to progress on Valorant, you will have to study a little.
What’s the economy in Valorant?
Of course, we’re not talking about Valorant Points or Radianite Points, but about the credits you earn during the game. It’s these same credits that you will have to spend to buy weapons, abilities or armors.
Managing your economy well is knowing what to buy, but especially when NOT to buy. This is fairly counterintuitive for players who’ve never played a tactical FPS, but which we will come back to in more details later.
The economy is above all a collective effort. The whole point of economy-based strategies shatters when one or two players don’t follow them. Take advantage of the buy phase to agree on a strategy before buying anything and everything. Don't forget, communication is the key to success.
What earns credits?
You earn credits as soon as you do something that impacts the scoreboard and the game. There’s no specific credits gain to the use of an ability, like Sage’s Resurrection.
Here are the exact credits earned during a game:
- Credits at the beginning of a round: 800
- Credits in case of a won round: €3,000
- Credits in case of a lost round: 1900
- Credits for the second consecutive lost round: 2400
- Credits in case of lost round (above 2 consecutive): 2900
- Credits in case of kill: +200
- Credits for a Spike plant: +300
- Credits for a Spike defuse: +0
All credits gain are global and apply to your entire team. When you win a round, all your allies win 3,000 credits (even if they died) and if you plant the Spike, your entire team wins 300 credits. The only exception to this rule is the kill, which only earns 200 additional credits to the killer. Of course, the kills credits accumulate as well with each other as with the end-of-round credits.
Even if these are not direct credits at the end of a game, be aware that if you finish the round alive, weapons, armour and unused abilities are retained, which means that you will have less purchases to make in the next round.
And because there’s no small profits, consider putting the Spike, even if you have already beaten the entire opposing team, to earn your team 1,500 credits overall.
How to spend your credits?
Let’s start with the start: the 1st round. It’s a special round with its own logic. It’s one of the two rounds where you will inevitably be even with your opponents and your options will be limited. In the first round, you must consider which Agent you’re playing and in which part of the map you’re going to Attack.
If you play an Agent with good abilities: buy a light shield and your abilities. The basic pistol is necessarily less interesting than the other weapons, but you’ll compensate by your skills. When we talk about Agent with good abilities, we first think of Raze or Phoenix. An Agent like Cypher, on the other hand, doesn’t really need his abilities during the first round.
If the abilities of your Agent are not excellent, you’ll have to rely on your attack plan. If you plan to fight mainly in small corridors and narrow places, buy a Frenzy and a light shield. If you plan to fight in long corridors or open places, take a Ghost and your abilities instead.
Note that this strategy is also to apply to the 13th round, since your economy is reset to zero at the switch.
Eco, Force, Full Buy, the predominant strategies
There are three strategies that you’ve probably heard of when playing or watching Valorant or Counter-Strike competitions. Eco, Force Buy and Full Buy are three strategies linked to the economy of a team that are to be adapted according to the overall situation.
An Eco round is a round where the members of your team buy as little material as possible. The idea is to keep the money for the next round, even if you take the risk of losing it. By accepting a loss, you maximise your chances of winning the next round with your savings and can potentially reverse the trend.
– Force Buy
A Force Buy round is a round where your team members spend all the money they have, even if it's not enough to have a complete and optimised equipment. The focus is usually on skills and armour, then weapons depending on what is left. This is the strategy one adopts when one can no longer afford to lose a round, for example in a round that would offer victory to the opponents, or before a side change.
– Full Buy
A Full Buy Round consists in buying the best possible equipment. In a Full Buy round, you’re at the peak of your power. It’s generally the initial investment to take control of the situation and keep the economy advantage.
Other economy strategies
There are a few other, rarer strategies, that depend entirely on your team’s judgment and your strategy. Unlike the previous ones, you don’t have to apply them systematically, they generally require the consent of your team.
– Full Eco
A round in Full Eco is a round where the strategy of the economy is pushed to its maximum. No member of your team should spend money. In these conditions, it’s almost certain that you will lose the round, so you don’t have to aim for victory, but take as many kills as possible to get a few bonus credits. If you can kill with your small pistol a player who was equipped with a 2,000 credits weapon, it’s a great victory which reduces the difference in economy between your teams.
– Half Buy
A Half Buy round is when you buy a lot of equipment, but not as much as you need for a full buy. This is a strategy usually adopted by teams where some players do not yet have enough money for a full buy. The players save some money for the next round, without sacrificing their chances of winning the current round.
Anti-Eco rounds, as the name suggests, aim to counter players in Eco. If you think that your opponents are in Eco, you can dominate them with less expensive equipment. It’s a risky strategy, especially when you’re not sure that the opponents are saving, but it allows you to win without spending too much money during a round, and therefore to go on a full buy on the next one.
Knowing how to read the opposite economy
Always keep an eye on the economy of your opponents. In the same way your strategies adapt to your income, those of your opponents will also depends on theirs. From there, you can predict how they will try to play the round.
For example, if your opponents are on an eco round, chances are they will try to rush, especially if they’re in attack. The rush consists in rushing into an area, grouped as 5, to take control and surprise the opponent. Be extremely careful and reactive in these situations.
However, teams that can afford to full buy will play more slowly. They have an advantage in terms of power and range that they will necessarily try to take advantage of. They’ll also play in a way that minimises the chances of dying and losing their precious weapons, which forces them to be much more careful in their maneuvers.
End of round
At the end of each round, there are ways to maximise your earnings (or rather limit your losses). First, there is simply survival. We remind you that from the moment you’re alive at the end of a round, you keep your weapons, your abilities and the armor points you have left.
This means that it’s in your best interest to become a scavenger! At the end of a round, go around enemies’ corpses and pick up a weapon that is better than yours. If you’re wealthy, you can also pick up a great weapon and give it to an ally who fell early in the fight and couldn’t afford to make a full buy.
Of course, it’s essential to survive in Valorant, but it’s all the more true when the outcome of the round is already known. If you’re alone against five players in attack, don’t take the risk to try to plant the Spike. Stay alive and keep your equipment. Same goes when the Spike is about to explode, flee as far as possible without worrying about your opponents.
Special case: the Overtime
The Overtime is the 25th round. It will determine the winner between two teams being in 12-12 during the game. In Overtime, the economy of the players is reset to zero, then all players get 5,000 credits and the abilities are free during Overtime. It’s therefore the last fight, with each player at the maximum of their capacities.