Valorant tier list: The best agents to play in 2021

Our updated Valorant tier list for 2021 ranks every agent in the game against the latest meta

A mashup of several agents from Valorant

As Valorant has matured into a true competitive tactical shooter, so too has its meta. With 15 agents to now pick from, finding the right character for you – and your team – is harder than ever. Luckily for you, we’ve done the leg work to develop this handy Valorant tier list.

Our tier list, which is updated with every big Valorant patch, takes the current meta into consideration, along with the overall effectiveness of each and every agent. You’ll find that the meta changes ever so slightly as you progress through the Valorant ranks, so do your best to adapt to situations on the fly.

So if you’re trying to decide which agent you should main or who you should spend more time grinding, then let us help you. We’ve spent countless hours crunching the numbers and dying hundreds of time just so you don’t have to.

While we do list the Valorant agents in order of their effectiveness, it’s important to stress, however, that none of them are downright unplayable. Riot Games has done a great job in balancing the abilities of its characters and it helps that all guns are shared. As long as your economy is in a good place, you should be fine to play with any agent you choose.

vALORANT Tier list

Tier Agents
Tier 1 Jett, Astra, Sage
Tier 2  Sova, Viper, Killjoy, Phoenix, Omen
Tier 3  Cypher, Raze, Brimstone, Reyna,, Breach, Yoru,
Tier 4 Skye

Now we’ve laid out our Valorant tier list, we’re going to explain how we came by this ranking by going through each and every agent.

Valorant character Jett stands in front of a blurred background, nonchalantly juggling a kunai in her hand

Tier 1

JETT

Jett is the fastest agent in the roster. Although she doesn’t have the same surprise elements that Omen may have in teleportation, Jett can startle players by her quick movements and vertical abilities. The Korean duelist commands air, so she can launch herself upwards or forwards, and her passive means she can glide rather than fall to the ground (if you remember to hold space).

Players in the past liked to argue about how effective she actually is, but in this patch, that argument has been settled. Professional and high level players have proved Jett can be devastating as an entry fragger – providing your aim is on point, of course.

ASTRA

Astra is the most recent addition to Valorant and she’s fundamentally changing the way competitive Valorant is changed, mostly due to the her abilities.

Her Gravity Well pulls in enemies, herNova Pulse concusses them, and she has smokes too. Her Ultimate divides the entire map into two with a giant wall which dampens sound and blocks incoming fire. This can help Astra’s whole team to hide their actions and surprise opponents.

However, while she is probably one of the strongest agents in the game right now, she is quite reliant on comms, and therefore could be quite risky to play in solo queue.

SAGE

Sage is the closest thing Valorant has to a support character. She can heal herself or others during a round, effectively giving everyone a little bit more longevity in the playing field. Her ultimate ability also allows her to resurrect a teammate, traditionally making her an important agent in any Valorant composition.

Sage isn’t just a support though as she has some of the best environmental abilities. She can wall off areas and take her enemies by surprise or force them to give away their position by shooting it down. Her slow orbs can be great for defending points or for gathering information. Despite a recent nerf to her abilities (including her solo heals), Sage’s still remains a solid pick.

Tier 2

SOVA

Sova is a great agent for team plays. With recon abilities and the ability to do a little bit of damage, playing Sova is an art. So if you’re looking to play him, you’re going to need to know your angles. Sova’s recon arrows are great for gathering information but only if you know where to put them. Sova could be at the top of this list, but if you’re new to Valorant, knowing how to use him properly is a pain, and if you’re solo queueing, all that information you’re gathering may not be worth much if your teammates are going it alone.

The archer also has his drone, which again, is great for reconnaissance, but it’ll give away your position pretty quickly. Like Cypher’s camera, it has a dart to mark opponents, but it can be easily destroyed and it’s hard to hide.

He’s by far the game’s best intel gatherer, but learning how best to use those abilities takes time.

VIPER

Viper has risen up through the ranks after a fair amount of tweaks, resulting in more and more playtime online. While she’s still largely situational and can lock down a site by herself in a matter of seconds, learning to play Viper can be tricky.

Viper is currently a meta agent, but you need a good team around her to really see the benefits of her abilities. If you’re planning on solo queuing, Viper might not be for you – unless you know all the best line ups, of course.

killjoy

Killjoy has enjoyed a strong start to life in Valorant, debuting in Tier 1. However, Reyna had a similarly successful debut before the opposition figured out some fairly comprehensive strategies for stopping her.

That said, Killjoy does appear to bring more to the table than Reyna, and will likely remain in and around Tier 2 for a while, barring a sudden meta change or another big nerf.

Her ability to distract opponents with turrets while planting the bomb has been deadly so far. Her loadout is both unique and powerful, which makes her a great agent for any squad.

Oh, and you can finally pick up her nanoswarms now, winner winner.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Valorant maps

PHOENIX

Phoenix is one of the most self-sufficient agents on the roster. He’s a fiery (literally) Londoner who controls various flame abilities.

Like Viper, he can put up a wall which prevents enemies’ sight lines, and like Brimstone he’s got a Molotov. Although these abilities hurt other players, they also heal Phoenix. His ultimate Run It Back means the agent can run in, hopefully, take down an agent or two, before being teleported back to the start of the ultimate with all his health restored. This makes it a great ability for aggressive players with little risk involved.

Mix these together and Phoenix is a good team player, providing he’s used right of course.

With his forgiving dueling potential, Phoenix has cemented his place in Tier 2, sitting only behind the super mobile Jett.

OMEN

If you like your Overwatch, then you probably already know Omen’s abilities quite well. The agent, which is suspiciously like Blizzard’s Reaper, has teleportation abilities. He can be everywhere and anywhere and if played right, can be a deadly agent against a well organised team.

Omen has powerful abilities, but being unpredictable is key. Well versed players will know standard Omen plays, so if you want to get the edge on enemy teams you’re going to want to get creative. His smokes are helpful and his paranoia ability is great for blinding enemies  hiding just around the corner. If you’re new to the game, Omen is a really fun agent to try out.

Omen is a defensive powerhouse, but he’s not quite as good as Astra. In attack, he’s great at forcing the enemy into positions, but he needs a good squad around him.

Cypher Valorant

Tier 3

CYPHER

Cypher’s suffered nerfs to his cameras and his tripwires in recent patches and since then, his pick rate has tanked. While he used to be one of the best agents in the game for information gathering, his nerfs and recent changes the meta, have seriously impacted his effectiveness.

Expect to see some buffs some his way soon.

RAZE

Valorant fans have complained about Raze’s abilities being too focused on damage in the past, which is a step away from the game’s philosophy that abilities are second to guns. Riot Games has since balanced her a little since launch, so she’s not as powerful as she used to be.

As such, her pick rate declined quite rapidly and since she’s not as mobile as Jett or Phoenix, she’s not quite the favoured duelist on this patch. Still, she’s not a bad pick – so if you like playing her, you do you.

BRIMSTONE

Brimstone is deceivingly useful on the battlefield. If you know Valorant, you know that many agents will have smokes – orbs of obstructing smoke or effects which prevent enemies from seeing your position. Brimstone’s, in particular, are useful because they drop directly from the sky. This might not sound important, but it means enemies have no way of knowing where Brimstone is placing them from, so you can continue to hold your position and wait for them to push.

Read more: All the Valorant skins you could ever ask for

His ultimate, Orbital Strike, has more than one use too. Although it can be used to attempt to kill enemies, it’s also really useful for denying plants and defuses. It’s also pretty useful to prevent rushes too.

However, with competition from controllers like Astra and Omen, Brimstone has his work cut out to define the meta right now.

REYNA

Reyna was, at first, a little bit of a surprise to players. The playerbase was just starting to settle into a routine, knowing what agents did what, and where they were best placed, when all of a sudden this new agent arrived with new abilities. Players initially figured out that she’s quite a selfish agent, with not much to offer when it comes to team play.

However, when devs soon realised that she was a terrifying agent in solo and professional play, she was nerfed into the ground. Now Reyna players have to decide when and where to use her charges in order to survive – and these life or death moments aren’t good to have in ranked play.

BREACH

Breach is possibly one of the most complex agents in the game, so bear that in mind when playing as him. His abilities can often take their toll on teammates and prompt arguments if used incorrectly. Without proper coordination, there’s a whole host of things that can happen as a direct result of Breach’s abilities.

As such, Breach isn’t a recommended pick for ladder climbs.

YORU

Yoru is a relatively new agent to Valorant, but despite that, his kit is really lacking. As a duelist, Yoru doesn’t offer much in comparison to someone like Phoenix, and as such, has a relatively low pick rate.

Yes, while he can be incredibly effective when his abilities are used right, his kit can be confusing and cause more problems than solutions. Plus, since he’s still quite new, people are still figuring out where best to use his abilities on different maps – and it’s not good to experiment with that kind of thing in ranked.

Tier 4

SKYE

Skye’s build is good for information gathering, but only when you have a team who will act on that information. While her heal and flashes might be attractive to some players, she doesn’t have much else going for her. She’s also entirely dependent on team play. While she’s a great pick for five stacks and competitive games, she’s less viable in solo queues.

As such, Skye is like Marmite, you either love her or hate her.

And that’s that. If you’re planning on making your way all the way to Radiant in Valorant ranked, then you’re definitely going to need to get to grips with different agents. Obviously the meta will change with each and every update, so make sure you check back here to see where the game’s agents place in the future.

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