Valorant‘s recent Episode 4 update not only introduces a new agent (Neon) but gives anyone who may have stepped away from this game since its 2020 debut the perfect excuse to dive back into what has proven to be one of the most compelling competitive multiplayer experiences on PC.
Valorant’s tactical shooter gameplay will remind many of Counter-Strike, but the game’s Agent system really sets it apart from Valve’s multiplayer shooter masterpiece. While it will probably take you quite a while to really learn the ropes in Valorant, the good news is that it’s certainly possible to learn to excel with any of the game’s Agents. Indeed, your choice of Agent is typically more dependent on the current map, the rest of your team’s composition, and what you ultimately feel most comfortable with rather than their “objective” power level.
However, if you’re looking for a little insight on what the best Agents in Valorant are at the moment based on player reports, pick rates, win rates, and general viability, then here are our picks for the best Agents in the game at the start of the Episode 4 update meta.
I think this will be a controversial recommendation simply because recent pick and win rates don’t necessarily support the idea that Phoenix is one of the best Agents in Valorant at the moment, but there is something to be said for Phoenix’s consistency and versatility. He’s an easy recommendation for anyone whose other choices have already been picked or anyone looking for a great “introductory” Agent.
Phoenix’s kit makes it easier for him to play around corners (which is something that Counter-Strike players are going to love), and his “resurrection” Ultimate is an almost always useful way to play aggressively and get a read on the map. He’s not dominant, but he’s almost always useful.
Chamber is a weird and fascinating character whose best abilities really require you to be pretty confident you’re going to hit the shots that matter most. I don’t mean for that to be a dig at anyone who thinks the reason they don’t like Chamber is that they’re not good shots, but Chamber really is as much of a “marksman” agent as you’ll find in this game.
However, if you’re able to make the most out of Chamber’s Headhunter and Tour De Force abilities (both of which summon powerful weapons), then you’ll quickly learn to appreciate this Agent’s “economic” playstyle and ability to really hold an area and win a lot of gunfights.
Despite her “I am both Shield and Sword” audio line, Sage really is more of a defensive character. Her Barrier Orb ability is still one of the most versatile defensive skills in the game, and her Slow Orb is reliable (and annoying) enough to make it so much more than a gimmick.
Of course, Sage’s calling cards are still her healing and resurrection abilities. Few things can disrupt the flow of a fight as drastically as reviving one of your allies, and Sage’s ability to heal either herself or a teammate grants her Healing Orb skill a necessary degree of versatility that almost always makes her a popular pick.
Viper has been the target of a lot of buffs and reworks since she debuted in Valorant’s beta, but the efforts to keep her in the conversation have certainly paid off. This toxic terror boasted a very high win rate in Episode 3, and she’s finally in a place where her basic abilities allow her to impact the game while she’s working towards her Ultimate.
Learning to love Viper means learning to love the value of holding a position and generally trolling the enemies with your toxic cloud abilities. Once you get a feel for her resource management mechanics, you’ll be able to turn Viper into the kind of Agent that enemies have to “play around,” which is honestly a big part of the reason why she’s so valuable.
A series of fairly recent buffs have been very good to Skye and have helped turn them into an Agent that may look like a scout/utility pick but has grown to be very during pushes and more aggressive styles of play. If you’re comfortable working remotely, you can really take over a game with Skye in some unusual ways.
Of course, it’s Skye’s AOE healing ability that really puts her over the top. While it’s obviously noteworthy that Skye’s healing skill doesn’t allow her to heal herself, the fact Skye tends to hang back more than other Agents means that it’s easy enough to avoid certain situations where you absolutely need to refill your heal pool as quickly as possible.
One of the biggest hurdles to learning Astra is that there really aren’t many other Agents like her. While she’s ultimately looking to help control and hold a certain area, her abilities are so complex and unique that I wouldn’t recommend committing to her unless you’re really willing to learn her full kit and endure some of the bruises that come from playing her “the wrong way” in the process.
All of that being said, Astra is absolutely a top-tier Agent. Her Gravity Well ability can quickly derail an enemy push, and her smoke and concussion skills really let you turn a particular part of the map into a living nightmare. Oh, and her Ultimate is arguably the best overall barrier in the game.
While an Agent’s performance in a solo queue situation isn’t the biggest determining factor to their overall rankings, there’s almost always something to be said for an Agent whose playstyle allows you to help dictate the pace of a match regardless of what else is happening or how good your team is.
That’s about what you get with Raze: an agent who was clearly designed to annoy and frustrate the enemy. Her abilities and the various ways they deal additional damage essentially allow you to treat them as the capable teammates you may or may not have queued into a match with. I’d knock her slightly down the rankings if you’re queuing into a match with a full team of friends, but she’s still quite good in most situations.
Killjoy is kind of a “jack of all trades, master of none” style of Agent, which can sometimes be a detriment in these kinds of games if there is a particular playstyle that you excel at or something specific that your team needs based on the current squad comp.
However, I think Killjoy’s surprisingly high pick and win rate in recent updates can be attributed to the fact that she not is not only equipped with defensive and offensive abilities but can use some of her abilities effectively in both offensive and defensive scenarios. She can fit into pretty much any comp and works well for solo players looking to support their team.
Every Valorant update seems to have made Sova just a little bit better than they were before (whether directly or indirectly), and the Agent is now at a point where they fit neatly into just about any composition. At the very least, you’re not going to argue against having a Sova on your team in most scenarios.
Sova’s recon abilities are arguably the absolute best in the game. Information tends to be king in Valorant, and Sova is able to consistently reveal the layout of a map while building towards their game-changing Ultimate. Sova is generally useful regardless of how much time you’ve put into them, but anyone who takes the time to master them can absolutely dominate a match.
If you’re confident in your solo play abilities and really want to learn an agent who can take over a match pretty much on their own, then you’ll probably want to take the time to learn Jett at some point.
Jett’s verticality and mobility allow her to execute maneuvers that will help you survive dangerous encounters and put yourself in the optimal position for that perfect shot. She’s fast, she’s frustrating, and while you can’t really fake being good with her, Jett is easy enough to learn that she allows you to focus on core Valorant abilities like aiming and positioning while weaving her skills into a fight.