Counter-strafing in Valorant is an advanced technique that can really help you elevate the way that you play. It uses the first bullet accuracy in the game to your benefit. It can be tricky to master though. This is a technique that can help you improve your aim in Valorant just by playing to how the game’s accuracy mechanics actually work. It is worth your time learning how to counter-strafe in Valorant since the technique can really make a difference.
This guide covers everything you need to know to counter-strafe in Valorant. Counter-strafing is a vital technique in Counter-Strike. Valorant shares this mechanic, along with a few others. One of the biggest problems that players coming to Valorant from other games have is not utilizing this mechanic. It isn’t a thing that is particularly applicable to other games, but it’s important in Valorant. Counter-strafing allows you to make sure that you’re getting complete accuracy from your shots. This is what you need to know:
Counter-Strafing – What is it?
Counter-strafing in Valorant is an advanced technique that you can use to counter out your own movement. This allows your first shot fired to be completely accurate even if you’re moving. This has to do with the extra accuracy you get on your first shot. To understand counter-strafing in Valorant and why it is so useful, you need to look at that mechanic first.
First Bullet Accuracy
First bullets are nearly always accurate while you’re standing still. This means that your first shot counts for a lot more. When you couple this with the headshot multiplier, you’re getting a chance for a completely accurate and powerful shot when you first spot an opponent. Taking advantage of this mechanic can really pay off. However, it can be difficult to use great accuracy while moving.
This is simple to test out. Head to the practice range and fire a shot standing still. Then, move to the left and fire a shot while moving. Your shots spray a lot more than when standing. However, you’ll be moving for most of the game. So how do you take advantage of first shot accuracy without standing still at the first sight of an opponent and hoping they do the same? Counter-strafing in Valorant can do that, although it takes some practice.
What is Counter-Strafing in Valorant?
Countering-strafing in Valorant is tapping the opposite key to where you’re moving just before you fire off your first shot. This moves you slightly in the opposite direction. Doing this counters out the movement that you’re actually making. If you time everything right, you’ll be able to have an accurate shot while moving. It applies opposite momentum to even out the movement you were making right before firing. Essentially you can get that first shot accuracy without having to stand completely stationary.
It has a lot of applications when peeking. You strafe right to peek and take your shot, just before firing you tap the left key to bounce slightly back towards the center and take an accurate shot. With the first shot accuracy in effect, it can mean a lot more headshots and kills.
How to Counter-Strafe in Valorant
Explaining how to counter-strafe in Valorant is relatively simple, you hit the opposing key when moving before firing. However, doing it effectively is something else entirely.
Like a lot of things in-game, it comes down to muscle memory and habit. To counter-strafe in Valorant effectively, you need to be doing it automatically whenever you peak. It takes time to build up this kind of reflex. To get there, you’re going to need to do some practicing. These are the drills you should progress through to master counter-strafing in Valorant.
Simple Counter-Strafing in Valorant
The first step is to practice counter-strafing in Valorant probably the safest environment possible; the training ground. With a weapon, simply move to one direction and press the opposing key right when you fire. Stop to see the accuracy of how your shot went. Strafe right and do the same. This can be done by one of the pillars in the room to give you a good middle point for your strafe back and forth.
Once you’ve mastered this style of counter-strafing in Valorant, your bullet holes should be the same for each shot. You can tell that you’re missing the timing on hitting the opposing direction and shooting if you have a spread of bullets in the spot you’re training rather than the accurate bullet holes.
Once you’ve got the hang of this you need to start varying the distance. Tighten up the distance between the two shots. Mastering counter-strafing between two close points can really help your accuracy. There is a rhythm to the way you press the keys, something you’ll likely notice if you’re using a mechanical keyboard or one of the best gaming keyboards.
Counter-Strafing in Valorant While Moving Your Aim
Next comes counter-strafing while moving your aim. The goal is to continue to hit that same spot when you’re firing by counter-strafing perfectly. However, you’ll now be moving your mouse cursor as well. Move left and right, counter-strafing for balance. While doing this try to hit the same spot with your bullets by moving your aim to compensate for your movement. Doing this along with counter-strafing in Valorant can help you aim better and this is more applicable to live matches.
Again, this movement can be extended or shortened in each direction until you’ve mastered it. These drills can be pretty dull but they get good results. Counter-strafing needs to become a natural part of how you aim and move in Valorant, so repetition is important.
From here, moving on to the moving drones in the target range is the next step. Practice with these in the same way you’ve done the rest of the drills. Through these drills, you should build up a decent habit of counter-strafing to take into live games. It won’t come instantly though, learning how to counter-strafe in Valorant comes with practice.
Do You Need to Counter-Strafe in Valorant?
Counter-strafing in Valorant isn’t mandatory, but it can help you get a lot more kills. If you’re playing on a high-level then not being able to hit your target is going to put you at a serious disadvantage compared to other players. Counter-strafing in Valorant makes a big difference in hitting your shots and being more accurate.
Our other guides to Valorant can help you make the most of the game’s other mechanics:
- Best Beginner Valorant Agents
- Valorant Tips and Tricks
- How to Unlock all Valorant Agents
- Best Valorant Weapons Guide
- Best Valorant Team Compositions
- Valorant Ranked Mode Guide