In VALORANT, the economy system plays a vital role in creating a balance between the Attackers and Defenders. It aims to prevent teams from suffering consecutive round losses due to a lack of credits, ensuring both sides remain competitive.
Why is the economy important in VALORANT?
The economy in VALORANT is based on a number of factors that influence the tactical play and decision making of teams as they compete to win 13 rounds, and ultimately the match.
Making informed decisions on the economy, especially in a competitive setting, is a major factor in whether or not a team is able to maximise their opportunities to win - especially in VALORANT, where the utilisation of abilities is an integral part of the game.
The basic structure of the VALORANT economy
In VALORANT, players use credits to purchase weapons, abilities, and shields. Credits are awarded to players on kills, Spike plants, Spike defuses, round wins and round losses.
At the start of the match, each player is given 800 credits to spend in the pistol round, with 200 credits earnt by individuals on each kill, 300 for a Spike plant or defuse, and 3,000 credits for a round win. The losing team is awarded 1,900 credits for the first round loss, 2,400 credits for the second round loss, and 2,900 credits for the third and any consecutive rounds lost.
Similar to CS:GO, the loss bonus in VALORANT is a crucial feature that allows for teams that fall behind to remain competitive in a match. The increasing amount aims to provide teams with a safety net of credits to ensure that they can purchase a rifle, shield, and a full set of abilities.
VALORANT economy: The importance of Round 1 and Round 3
There are clear periods in a match that can be considered more important than others.
Losing the pistol round could result in a team losing an additional two rounds before having enough credits to purchase a full set of equipment.
Round 1, or the pistol round, is the first chance a team has to establish their economy beyond the credits that players start with. A Round 1 win for Team A means the ability to buy an SMG or a rifle, a heavy shield, and abilities for Round 2.
On the opposite end, Team B with their 1,900 credit round loss bonus have very little purchasing power to match their opponents, with just enough credits to buy a pistol or shotgun, light shield, and abilities. Perhaps they may even forego any purchase altogether, making a consecutive round loss highly likely.
Assuming Team B have lost the first two rounds, Round 3 now becomes the point of contention, as both sides will have enough credits to make a full purchase of equipment. Given the equilibrium of the economy, Team B should now have ample opportunity to win a round - given there is no skill disparity - and the game should continue within this tit-for-tat state until Team A and Team B swap sides in Round 13.
The economic effectiveness of abilities in VALORANT
Unlike CS:GO, VALORANT has a lethal cast of agents that have a unique array of abilities that set it apart at a gameplay level. Generally, these abilities are low cost and are no more than a few hundred credits a round. All agents have access to one ability by default, and gain an ultimate ability over time.
Abilities play a crucial role within the game, making them a highly efficent use of credits.
In some situations, the effective use of abilities vastly outweighs the amount of credits spent on getting a rifle or armour, with ‘Raze’ exemplifying this, as all four of her abilities are able to inflict huge amounts of damage.
Subsequently, purchasing abilities over equipment becomes a viable strategy for teams that are in an economic deficit compared to their opponent, and can be an effective counter-measure that may even result in round wins.
Conversely, deciding to forego purchasing abilities can seriously impair the effectiveness of a team to either Attack or Defend a bombsite, in addition to being a suboptimal use of credits given how impactful some abilities can be.
Find out more about VALORANT
Want to find out more about VALORANT? Head over to our "What is VALORANT?" article where we break down the fundamentals of the game.