Valorant arrives on the hero-shooter scene facing tough competition from the likes of Overwatch and Paladins. But Riot Games will be hoping its mix of hero play and competitive shooting mechanics offers something unique for new players to experience. That mashup of genres is felt in particular in Spike Rush, a faster-paced gameplay mode added in Patch 1.0 that puts a premium on hero abilities and power-ups.
How Spike Rush Works in Valorant
As alluded to above, Spike Rush mixes up Valorant’s standard gameplay mode by shortening the match length and introducing elements of randomness.
That means no Buying Phase. Instead, random weapons, buffs, and hexes bring a different challenge in each round, of which there are only four per side. All attacking players also spawn with the Spike, hence the name Spike Rush.
However, the actual objective remains exactly the same: two teams of five attack or defend bombsites, with the two swapping at half time.
- All attacking players spawn with a Spike
- All hero abilities are available immediately
- Everyone has the same weapon each round
- Orbs are scattered across the map with unique buffs
- First to four round wins
What Spike Rush Is Designed For
Our overall impression is that Spike Rush is a less competitive affair and quite well-suited to newcomers. It provides players with more opportunities to experiment with hero abilities and takes the focus away from raw shooting mechanics.
Further, since there’s no need to worry about the economy of the game, it takes away an otherwise complicated aspect of the experience.
The presence of buffing/ hexing orbs also adds a different layer to the gameplay, which not only makes for more fun and novel situations but also makes the whole experience more forgiving in general.
Depending on how you like to play, the less competitive, less team-work oriented style of Spike Rush may or may not suit you. On the one hand, it’s a more laid back experience, but on the other, it can be frustrating when other players prefer to take a more individualistic approach.
Now, this could just be that Valorant’s player-base is still finding its feet, but from what we’ve seen so far, having access to all hero abilities from the start, the fact that all attackers spawn with a spike, and the allure of orbs encourages people to run off in their own direction.
But again, this is a great starting point for new players. Competitive folk should stick to Valorant’s standard mode.
How to Win at Spike Rush
In case it wasn’t obvious based on the above: play the objective! Spike Rush is still standard Valorant in the sense that winning a round means either planting the Spike or defending the Spike sites, so make sure your team is doing that.
That being said, you’ll need to stay nimble given that you won’t know which weapons everyone will be using until the round begins. And once you do know, make sure you and your team are playing to that weapon’s strengths.
Sniper rifles obviously play very differently to shotguns, so your tactics should reflect that.
Orbs obviously randomize everything, and they can also swing the tide in battle. For attackers, you might find that rushing Spike sites yields one or two helpful orbs on the way, as will making sure to explore each site once your inside. For defenders, probing just that little bit further into the other side of the map might be a risk worth taking if it means finding a useful orb.
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