Valorant Game Modes: A Beginner's Guide

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Game Modes are a staple part of the FPS genre. Often used to bring a wider variety of ways to play the game, game modes are found in all the biggest FPS titles; Riot Games' tactical hero shooter Valorant being one of them

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For new players, it can be tricky to pick which one of Valorant's several different game modes to start with as all provide their unique take on the gameplay. Here is a beginner's guide to every game mode to help you decide.

Every Game Mode In Valorant

Valorant Agent KAY/O aiming an assault weapon.
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The following is a comprehensive list of Valorant's ten game modes. We have broken down this list into three different categories. "Plant/Defuse", "Deathmatch" and "Practice"

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Practice Game Modes

The ideal starting place for many newcomers to Valorant, practice modes allow players to grips with the three main mechanics of Valorant's competitive game mode along with its various agents.

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A screenshot of the Practice Range game mode in Valorant
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Shooting Test

This practice mode has different shooting challenges for players to hone their skills with the variety of weapons available.

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Spike Planting

In this game mode, players will take control of a site, plant the Spike and defend the area until it detonates.

Spike Defuse

This practice session has a time limit. A spike is planted and you need to take out all the enemies and defuse the spike before the timer runs out.

Plant/Defuse Game Mode

The primary game mode in Valorant is Plant/Defuse. This mode is played with two teams. An attacking team and a defending team. The attacking team's objective is to plant the spike or kill all living defenders. Defenders, meanwhile, have the goal of preventing the spike from being planted by killing all attackers or, if the spike is planted, defuse it before it detonates.

Valorant's Plant/Defuse game mode with a spike being planted.
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Plant/Defuse is played in rounds with each player getting one life per round. There is also a shop players can access to purchase weapons, shields and abilities.

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Unrated Plant/Defuse

The unranked version of the Plant/Defuse, This version is played in two sets of 12 rounds with players getting to play as both attackers and defenders. First to 13 rounds win.

Competitive Plant/Defused

Valorant's Ranked game mode, Competitive Plant/Defused is the same as the unrated variant of the game but instead of a final round if the game goes to a 12-12 draw, overtime is initiated and a team must win by two rounds unless voted as a draw for players.

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Replication Plant/Defused

Much like the name suggests, Replication is a version of plant/defused where all members on a team play as the same agent, chosen randomly from each player's pick. This is a 5v5 Best-of-nine game mode instead of the best of 25 versions of Plant/Defused.

A screenshot from Valorant's Replication game mode
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Spike Rush Plant/Defused

A best of seven 5v5 version of Plant/Defused where all players start each round with the same random weapon. Random buffs are also scattered across the map.

Deathmatch Game Modes

If you've played any FPS title in the past, you are more than likely familiar with the concept of a deathmatch. A series of game modes where the main objective is related to killing enemies.

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Valorant Agent KAY/0 Firing a weapon.
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Deathmatch

Exactly what it says on the tin. Deathmatch is your standard 12 player free-for-all mode for players to get used to the gunplay of Valorant by taking out their enemies. Many competitive players use this as a warm-up mode. The first player to reach 40 kills or whoever has the most after nine minutes wins.

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Escalation

Escalation combines the popular game modes of team deathmatch and gun game, by pitting two teams of five up against each other with kills advancing them through a set of 12 levels, each one granting new guns and abilities. The first team to beat level 12 or be further along when the timer expires wins the game.

Snowball Fight

The final mode is another 5v5 team deathmatch but with the more standard ruleset of first to 50 kills wins. The twist on this game mode is that all players only have access to the snowball launcher weapon that only fires snowballs. Gifts with various power-ups can be found across the map to make the snowball launcher more useful.