Valorant VS CSGO: A Beginners Guide to the Games

by Staff & Contributors

For many years, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive dominated the first-person shooter genre. However, since bursting onto the scene in 2020, Riot Games’ Valorant has stolen some of CSGO’s thunder. If you’ve yet to sample either game, you’re probably weighing up your options. Let’s make something clear before we go any further. Both games are terrific first-person shooters. If you’re looking for fast-paced multiplayer action, CSGO and Valorant deliver the goods. However, these two games are far from carbon copies of each other. Below, we break down some of the key differences that set these two terrific titles apart.


Gameplay Mechanics

If you’ve played a team-based shooter before, Valorant and CSGO will be instantly accessible. Both games are tactical in nature, requiring plenty of planning and advanced strategy to come out on top. In both games, two teams of five take on each other. In Counter-Strike, matches see teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists play out a bomb defusal scenario. Valorant ditches this theme entirely, with each character boasting unique abilities. However, the overall 5v5 structure is fairly similar.


Weapon Choices

Both Valorant and CSGO offer a huge range of weapons to choose from. Currently, CSGO’s arsenal is double the size of what you’ll find on offer in Valorant. Both titles include a range of sniper rifles, shotguns, SMGs, and heavy machine guns. In CSGO, weapons are inspired by real-life counterparts. Valorant’s weaponry is slightly different. While in-game weapons are clearly based on real-world examples, they’re given wholly original names.


Ranking Systems

CSGO and Valorant ranks share some similarities, but they’re by no means identical. CSGO boasts no less than 22 individual ranking tiers, while Valorant currently offers 18. The highest rank in Valorant is Radiant. Less than 0.5% of Valorant’s 1.5 million active players have achieved this rank. In CSGO, the highest rank is Global Elite, with around 0.75% of players having secured a place in this exclusive group.


Map Layout

Both Valorant and CSGO involve teams doing battle on an assortment of maps. Valorant currently offers fewer maps than CSGO. Generally speaking, maps in Valorant are smaller than those offered by CSGO. There are also fewer open spaces, meaning players need to contend with significantly more choke points and close-quarter combat.


Character Options

This is where Valorant stands apart from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In CGSO, competing teams control largely identical characters. Admittedly, gamers can personalize their avatars with skin upgrades, but there’s little to differentiate players from one another. By contrast, Valorant features a dynamic cast of characters. New agents are being added all the time, with each one markedly different from the last. Around a third of Valorant players choose Jett, an incredibly mobile character with unique attack abilities.


Valorant’s characters are also more fantastical in nature. Many of them have special abilities. Some can summon companion characters to help them in the midst of battle. Others can render themselves invisible. Others can unleash devastating magical attacks that can quickly lay waste to the enemy.


Valorant has some way to go to supplant CSGO as the first-person shooter of choice. However, with its unique cast of characters and broader appeal, it’s certainly one to watch.


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