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If you’re struggling in Valorant ranked, you might have ‘death grip’

Ranked is stressful for almost every Valorant player, but that doesn't mean you have to let that ruin your game, so here's how to avoid 'death gripping'.

Valorant aim tips death grip: an image of Sage with a skull

Playing Valorant Ranked is never going to be easy, but have you noticed that your aim is always that little bit worse when you’re trying to clutch in this competitive mode? Well, one player is confident that you’re suffering from something known as Valorant death grip; sounds serious, right? Thankfully, it isn’t fatal – and you can actually take action against it almost instantly with these simple Valorant aim tips.

Riot Games’ Valorant is, without a doubt, one of the best competitive FPS games out there. While that isn’t a bad thing in the slightest, it does mean that the pressure is almost always on – especially if you’re trying to climb the Valorant Ranks with one of the Agents topping our Valorant tier list. Sometimes, you can have fantastic warm-up games in Spike Rush or Deathmatch, and then absolutely fumble your first game in Ranked. Sure, it happens sometimes, and your opponents are probably going to be a little bit tougher than they were before. But, what if you’re the one whiffing your shots – consistently – and you can’t understand why?

Well, that’s where Valorant player ‘a-nswers‘ comes into things with a theory that actually makes a lot of sense.

While you can – of course – use the best Valorant crosshairs to improve your chances, and practice always helps, you may actually be ‘death gripping’ – or suffering from something called ‘death grip’. It might sound bad, but this is actually something of a subconcious reaction to the stress of situations like playing Ranked in Valorant. Essentially, even though you might not think you are, you’re going to be gripping your mouse or controller tighter during tense moments.

This tension is going to make you “less stable” in your sweeping motions and introduce more “jittering” when you’re trying to flick onto approaching enemies. In a lot of ways, this state of heightened tension can help you become more alert; however, it’s also going to make you more inconsistent and could be the real reason why you’re struggling in Ranked.

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How can you combat this, though? Well, quite simply, you have to force yourself to become aware of how tightly you’re holding your mouse (or controller) throughout your game of Ranked – that is, until you can effectively train yourself to hold your mouse (or controller) lightly under pressure. It isn’t going to be easy, but trying to bring this to your attention every so often should – over time – improve your aim in Ranked. It’s also worth making sure that you’re breathing correctly; a lot of people hold their breath when they’re focusing and this isn’t going to help anything either.

One player commenting on the aforementioned post has suggested letting your thumb and pinky finger rest on your mousemat – if you’re using a mouse – to force yourself to loosen your grip. Although, if this doesn’t work for you, keeping an eye on your grip generally will help.

Is this going to completely solve your Valorant aiming issues? Well, maybe – but, maybe not. You might just need a little more practice, is all. If you’re preparing yourself for the Valorant PS5 and Xbox release date, though, you can check out the best Xbox controllers here and use one of those while playing. It’s going to be worth getting used to playing with a controller if you’re planning on making the console version of this game the main way you play.