Not as mechanically challenging as CS:GO, nor as arcadey as Overwatch, Valorant is a balancing act of a shooter game that leans heavily into both aspects. This is the crux of Valorant’s core design. And the way that this game channels that is through its unique map design.
A great Valorant map gives you the thrills of traditional a FPS along with tactical play potential that is balanced for all. With that in mind, we are ranking the top 5 maps of Valorant based on factors like map design, balance, and overall playability.
Icebox is a rather unique-looking map compared to others and offers a bit of everything to make for an exciting time. You have long rotations for both sides, open spaces for sniping, and tight corners for flashes and precise gunplay.
You can expect frequent gunfights at mid as well since it is well-connected to sites A and B, where a single mishap can cost an entire round for either team. Not to mention that Icebox arguably has the most flanking opportunities for defenders.
Icebox’s balanced design stands attackers and defenders on equal footing, and demands emphasis on wise use of abilities along with pure skill.
Naturally, no map is perfect. In the case of Icebox, agents such as Jett, Omen, and Raze can abuse the high-reaching containers and freely empty out unsuspecting enemies. This mainly happens at low levels, though.
Haven, the only map to feature three bomb sites instead of the usual two, manages to offer enough options for both sides even though the map may seem to favor attackers. While defenders do need to watch a couple of sites on their own, they also can rotate to other sites quicker than attackers.
Additionally, getting control of Garage, located between sites B and C, is quite a pickle for attackers. Sentinels, especially Killjoy, have an easier time keeping watch over C and Garage.
When it comes to A and C, attackers get enough long corridors and chokepoints for their duelists, flashers, and info gatherers to shine. As for site B, it’s a relatively tiny space with a huge container in the middle and two branching pathways, guaranteeing chaos whenever you attack it.
The unorthodox design of Haven definitely pays off!
Ascent will definitely catch the eyes of classic FPS fans due to its design and looks. In fact, it is one of those maps that even plays that way except for a few key twists. Ascent’s “unique” feature is that it has a couple of mechanical doors at each bomb site that connect them to pivotal control points.
The door at A blocks off a direct path to mid whereas the door at B does the same from mid to B. Sure, you can shoot down the doors with a few bullets but it comes at the cost of alerting enemies, especially during retakes.
The mid is mostly an open space that gives the defenders the peeking advantage at the start of the round except for two pathways that allow attackers into mid. While mid is common for operators, smokes, and flashes, sites A and B are all about clearing corners and quick entries. The more time you take to enter either of the sites, the more difficult it’ll be to capture them. Ascent is one the most unforgiving Valorant maps for sure.
Split features a highly crucial mid similar to Icebox. Whether you are attacking or defending, you can expect skirmishes frequently. The fact that mid connects to sites A and B seamlessly doesn’t help either. Only Sage can stave off a potential fight by walling off mid. Apart from that, sites A and B offer a long corridor and choke point both contained in a small space.
Attackers need to be aware of both while simultaneously aggressing or peeking. However, getting an early pick on the defenders is almost a guaranteed plant, dialing the exhilaration up to 11 each round. A well-connected mid means super quick rotations for defenders but it also leads to easy lurks from A to mid or B for attackers, so you better pay attention.
With so many choke points, vantage points, and corridors, you will make great use of all kinds of abilities. Think traps, flashes, smokes, info and grenades.
In a nutshell, Bind not only executes the balancing act of Icebox, but also adds the intensity of traditional shooters on top of it. It also has a teleportation feature located at each bomb site.
The teleporter at B takes players to A while the teleporter at A takes players to B Hookah. Projectiles can also pass through the teleporter and that makes a huge difference. Since the teleporter makes a huge sound, players can trick enemies with fake or even real teleports and open up chances for clutch rotations.
That’s not all though. B Hookah is riddled with choke points while B Long just screams, “Operator”. The A site has two entry points for attackers, both narrow and inviting of skilled shooting. Both entry points are also visible from the vantage point at A Heaven, where you’d have your defending sniper. You either outmaneuver defenders by smoking A or outplay them using the teleporter.
All in all, Bind is Valorant’s design executed magnificently.
While Fracture and Breeze may not be fan-favorite maps, Riot is planning to add a new map pretty soon. In the meantime, you can find a video version of the article down below. For more Valorant maps, agents, tips, and news, stick to Boss Level Gamer.