The "How to" series is aimed at players who enjoy competitive gaming and are looking to improve their experience, whether through gameplay tips or advice. The information is provided at the time of publishing, and does not account for changes to the game or meta over a longer period of time.
Even though VALORANT is a team game, there will be times where you will be thrown into a "clutch" situation, when you will need to fend off opponents in a 1vX situation to win the round.
We have seen many players win these ‘clutch’ rounds in spectacular fashion, but honestly, they rarely happen, as a well-coordinated group with the numbers advantage will always have the better odds at closing the round for the win.
If you are someone who always finds themselves to be the last one standing in many of the games that you play, believe it or not, there actually may be a few problems with your playstyle.
For it to happen once or twice in a game is fine, as you may have had other plans during those rounds.
But if your team constantly gets wiped with you being the last one standing in many rounds of the last 10 games, there are definitely a few things that you might want to look at in your own gameplay.
Sure, it may seem like you are doing good by staying alive as long as possible, but like what I mentioned earlier, the numbers game will always overwhelm you, unless you are the last one standing by design.
Just a disclaimer, these tips should not be confused for games where you encounter overzealous teammates that are so aggressive, they are the first to die for no reason. Those players are a whole different breed altogether that we will be writing about in the future.
However, if you find yourself always being the last one standing in most of the games that you play, that may be an indication that it is not on your teammates anymore.
I will break this down to attacking and defending. Do note that when we refer to "attacking", it can be applied to attacking a site for a spike plant or attacking/retaking a site for a spike defuse. Same goes for "defending". It can either refer to defending against a spike plant, or defending an already planted spike.
Being the last one alive when Attacking:
1. You are not pushing with your teammates
When entering a site, you want to enter with your teammates. Always be aware of where your teammates are, so you can cover them when they are fighting an enemy.
Granted, a push may be stalled when some sort of ability gets in the way, like Killjoy’s Nanoswarms or Brimstone’s Incendiary, but always try and push through as soon as possible after the abilities fade off.
Sometimes, you can even make the decision to push through these skills, especially when you have the advantage to kill off an enemy in your sights.
Follow your Duelist, play off your Initiator. If you are playing either one of these classes and remaining at the back lines, you may want to consider using another character.
Now, hanging back behind the push is not entirely a bad thing. You can watch out for flanks from the enemy, but you have to be aware enough to know when to push into site to help your teammates.
If you find yourself always being the last one alive during these pushes, it either means you are not pushing hard enough with your teammates, or you are not trading the kills for your teammates, which we will cover in the point below.
2. You are not lurking effectively enough
If you are someone that likes to lurk (someone who plays at a different location instead of being with your main team in order to catch rotating enemies, create a distraction or provide information), and find yourself always being the last one standing, you are probably doing things wrong.
If you are not catching any enemies on rotation, you are only giving the advantage to the enemy — your team is now one person down in a fight, as you are not with them.
If you have attempted to lurk for a few rounds and are still unable to figure out a pattern to your enemy’s rotation to catch them off guard, you may want to just stick with your team to give them the numbers advantage.
You are also highly likely not creating enough presence through your lurk for the enemies to care about you.
Sometimes, you need to know when to join your teammates after a lurk to bolster their attack. Joining your teammates too late may cause them to lose the fight if the enemy trades with them successfully, once again due to the numbers game.
3. You are not trading kills for your teammates
This is a point that I will harp on.
Trading kills is a common thing in VALORANT. When an enemy kills your teammate, if the enemy is in your sights, try your best to take them down.
Usually, only a very skilled and lucky enemy will be able to flick his sights to you to kill you off as well after taking down your teammate.
Trading kills is extremely common in a full team push/firefight, so do not be afraid of getting traded in return (unless the enemy is hiding at an extremely safe spot, which one can then argue that the spot shouldn’t have been pushed, or it should have been pushed with at least two players).
Knowing how and when to trade kills is also important.
If an enemy swings out of cover to take down your teammate, depending on your situation, you may also want to do the same to fire at the enemy and increase your chances of taking them down.
Unless you already have another plan in mind, like unleashing an Ultimate ability to help your chances, or remaining in a very hidden position where you can catch enemies by surprise, hiding behind cover to save yourself when you are the only person that could have traded for your downed teammate can be a round costing manoeuvre.
Being the last one alive when Defending:
1. You are not rotating effectively
Knowing when to rotate to help your teammates at a site that is being pushed by enemies is an extremely important skill to have.
If your teammates have informed you that there are at least four enemies trying to push in, I think that is a good indication to join them to either defend or retake the site.
If you are always the last one alive during these rotations, you are definitely not rotating fast enough.
You may say that your teammates tried to retake the site without you or died defending the site, but if you are always the only person alive at the end of it all, you are definitely not playing with your team to secure the kills.
Be adaptable. If you know that some of your teammates will die trying to defend a site, play with the other teammates that are on rotation.
If you realise that there is a lurker in your area, most of the time they are there to distract and confuse you.
When in doubt, just proceed to rotate, but keep on your toes till you join your teammates. Let them know that there is a lurker, and this may wind up in your favour as that lurker is now toying with the fact that there will be fewer people on the attacker’s side, if they do decide to push into site.
If you find the attackers rotating due to the information given by the lurker, just grab a teammate so that you are able to trade kills if you find the lurker while rotating back to the other site.
2. You are not flanking effectively
When players realise that the enemy isn’t attacking the site that they are defending, they will sometimes opt to flank the enemies from behind to catch them off guard by pushing out the main entrance of that site.
At times this can lead to a great outcome, with the player catching the enemies off guard as they rotate, but at others, this can also cost you the match if the enemies are extremely aggressive on the other site that they are attacking.
Just like knowing how to lurk effectively, if you are not providing any value by flanking, you may want to opt to stick with your teammates instead.
If you are constantly the last one alive while flanking, you are most likely not creating enough disruption while doing so.
You need to be swift and know when to cause disruption to give the advantage to your teammates defending the site, or attempting to retake it.
Just like rotating, if you are always the last one alive, you may also not be fast enough to join your teammates in retaking the site, though it is undoubtedly tougher to do so while flanking without giving off sound cues that your enemies can hear.
3. You are not trading kills for your teammates
This point becomes even more pivotal during defence.
Defenders have the advantage of having tight angles and some cover on site while the enemies push in. Always know where your teammates are hiding, so that if they are being pushed, you are able to cover them to at least trade kills with them.
If you realise that the enemies are extremely aggressive at the site you are defending, and if your teammates are refusing to budge, you have to make the call to either play for a retake or die trying to defend the site with your teammate.
If the both of you are the only ones alive, you might as well play along with your teammate, because attempting to save yourself for a solo retake will almost always never end in a good way, unless you are some "clutch" master.
There you have it. These are some of the points that you may want to take note of if you are constantly the last one alive on your team.
Playing with your team is highly important, and I can’t stress this enough. Because at the end of it all, VALORANT is a team game.
Always try your best to provide value for your team, and short of saving your abilities for a round changing play, saving yourself because you are doing these mistakes will only hinder your team from winning.
That being said, VALORANT is also a highly multifaceted game. There will be times when you don't have a say in being the last one alive due to a weird enemy attack pattern or having overzealous teammates.
But as long as you know it isn’t due to the reasons mentioned above, I’d say you’re okay.
Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting headshotted in VALORANT or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.