Besides having precise aim as you shoot and click orbs one by one, coming up with effective strategies can help you secure rounds and win games. One of these includes Lurking.
Lurking is a high-risk high-reward tactic, that’s for sure. Ideally, lurking should make the rounds easier for your team. Lurking is when a player chooses to play elsewhere, alone and without his team. A great lurker can catch a rotating defender off-guard and eliminate them, gain information, take more space and help the team make their next decision during the attacking. It may seem to be straightforward, however it’s not as easy as you may.
While a lurker can bring advantages to his teams, doing it wrong may cause you to lose the round as you are essentially baiting them. However, if you’re a beginner, fret not as this guide will help you.
Keep on reading to learn more on how to lurk in Valorant, agents that are good at it and some tips and tricks.
What is Lurking in Valorant
Josh Nissan, also known as "Steel," claims that “Lurking is not so much about getting flanks, it’s about the pressure applied in places to create an opportunity.”
Lurking in Valorant can be a high-stake venture, as the team will lack one member when attempting to take over a site. It is done by completely isolating yourself from your team to put pressure and seek opportunities from unexpected regions in the map. With this tactic, you are basically baiting your whole team; but when done right, it will surely net you valuable information, frags, and even round wins.
There is no set strategy or path you should follow when lurking because that would be the exact reverse of what you want to achieve, and everything will be situational. One key in becoming a successful lurker is to be unpredictable.
Play mind games with your opponents, create distractions, and mess with their plans. Make it in such a way that rotating, retaking and flanking will become an uncomfortable task to do for them because of your absence in the minimap, or possible presence on the side you’re not trying to attack.
You can practically be everywhere around the map, giving them a sense of paranoia.
Who are the best agents for Lurking in Valorant
It’s best to stay with your team if you’re an initiator such as Sova, Kay/o and Breach. This is because their entire kit is tailor-made for attacking and taking over sites. Speaking of taking over sites, duelists aren’t recommended as well. We all have probably seen it before. Duelists are meant to enter and take space with their kit, and that’s what they’re good at. That said, you wouldn’t want to give up this job as a duelist and bait your teammates just so you could lurk. However, there are instances where it is okay to lurk especially if you have another duelist. This is especially true with Yoru as he is the only lurk duelist in Valorant so far.
But ideally, the best options you have if you’re into lurking is by using Controllers and Sentinels.
Controllers are also essential in attacking sites due to their smoke, but once the smoke has been placed, they are then free to either stick with the team or push from elsewhere. This is effective for most controllers due to their ability to deploy smokes without having the need to be in that site. The case however is different for Brimstone because of the limited range in his Sky Smoke (E).
Sentinels’ abilities on the other hand aren’t not as essential in pushing sites; they excel more in anchoring sites and preventing flanks. Hence, they can have the option to push from the other sites of the map or cut off rotations as their traps will hold the flanks for them. Sage however is less efficient as a lurker. Sage can only heal herself for 30HP, hence her team will benefit more from her heal, she also has a wall and an orb to delay retakes.
Overall, one common thing they have is their global presence; being able to do their job without having the need to stay with their team.
How to Lurk Effectively in Valorant
Let your team apply pressure first
Start lurking once your team is able to show their presence and apply pressure on the opposite side. Then, you can position yourself to a spot where you can hear opponents rotating.
Communicate and relay everything you hear to your team such as the number of enemies rotating. From this, you can also catch early-flankers and eliminating them would put you at a number advantage.
Gather information and communicate with your team
One misconception that most players have about lurking is that it is all about getting kills. But in fact, lurking is all about getting information that you should relay to your team. This information will help your team determine your next decision as attackers.
Lurking without communication is straight-up throwing. Place yourself in a spot where they’ll least expect you, and where you’ll likely hear to get information such as opponents rotating. If you’re not gaining information and relaying it to your teammates, then you’re doing it wrong.
The information you can get from lurking can be a great factor in making your next plan. For instance, you can ask them to buy time for you or call for a rotate if you think the opposite is free. At the start of the round, you may also tell your teammates that you will be lurking on that round, so you can all adjust to each other’s playstyle.
A lurking player should also be observant of his surroundings. Checking your mini-map is vital as this will give you information on which opponents are missing.
Also, every sound and small piece of information is important especially when lurking. For instance, Killjoy and Chamber trap deactivates when they’re out of range, which could mean that they probably have rotated.
It is also worth taking note that every agent has distinct footsteps allowing you to tell who’s who just by their footsteps. It is hard to memorize it though but as you play the game, your brain will soon be able to distinguish them all by itself.
Moreover, no sound is also an information. If you hear no footsteps or sounds from the enemy, they might already have rotated, positioned somewhere else, or playing anti-lurk.
As mentioned, sitting on the part of the map where you’re less likely to gain information and not moving at all are basically just going AFK. You’re not only baiting your team but you’re also making your team lose the round by making it a 4v5 game.
So if you’re a lurker, try to make space and apply pressure on areas that the defenders do not have. You can hold mid and wait for rotations, or become an aggressive lurker by taking the opposite site and head straight to the spawn to catch unsuspecting defenders. Aggressive lurking though is risky as you have higher chances of running into a group of enemies.
Keep up with your team’s pace
Playing too fast and playing too slow isn’t great as a lurker. Timing is everything.
Playing too fast will somehow defeat the purpose of lurking. Playing too slow on the other hand might leave you as the last man standing against five.
Looking for the proper timing is crucial in lurking. One factor that you should consider is how fast your team moves. If they’re trying to enter the site quickly, maybe you’ll have to increase your pace.
How to deal with traps
Traps are lurkers’ nightmare. As a lurker, you must be undetected and unpredictable. Traps however reveal your position which can result in enemies pushing your location. However, there are roundabouts that you can use to counter traps depending on the agents.
Agents with teleport abilities such as Yoru, Chamber and Omen can simply get past the traps. Meanwhile, agents with smokes such as Viper, Omen, Cypher can cover the trap with smoke in order to prevent getting detected by it.
However, everything is situational. You can either dodge any of those traps, or break it. Breaking it gives information to the enemy team that there is someone else on the other side of the map. Thanks to this information, the attention of the enemy team will be diverted, which can make things easier for your team.
Knowing when and when not to lurk
Lurking is an effective way of distracting opponents and can actually grant free kills. While it is satisfying to actually click heads while doing it, you should never do it every round. This makes your move predictable, and they may use it against you.
As a lurker, confidence is everything. When lurking, you will be isolated from your team and there will be no one else to trade you. However, be confident in your aim and do not be afraid to take space for your team.
Last but one of the most important is, you must stay alive. The point of lurking is to distract and annoy opponents. Provided that you’re being unpredictable as a lurker, as long as you’re alive your opponents will have to focus both on retaking and worrying about your possible location all at the same time.
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