A Comprehensive Guide to Valorant’s Economy
Before every hype moment in Valorant, before every unlikely clutch, before every Ace, before every shot and every ability used, there was that round’s Buy Phase.
In every round, there is the Buy Phase.
What you bring to any given fight is not quite as important as how you play once the action starts, but this key element of Valorant’s pacing allows you to equip the only weapons, ammo, and abilities that you will be able to use for that round. It lasts for a generous 30 seconds, or even 45 seconds in the cases of the “pistol” rounds at the start of each half and the first round of Overtime. The importance of this phase of the game cannot be understated.
So, don’t go into the Buy Phase with your mind already on the shooting. You can practice your tracking before the barriers drop by trying to keep your crosshair trained on teammates’ heads, but still: stay here and now, even in those 30-45 seconds, by properly planning for your team’s near future. Today, I’ll be sharing with you a guide to Valorant’s economy system as of Patch 1.11’s changes to this crucial part of the game. We’ll discuss how you can properly plan for each round in the Buy Phase and how to properly prepare for the Buy Phase that follows each round. You can’t have one without the other. The Buy Phase empowers you to win (or can lead you to lose) the next round, and what happens in each round will give you and your teammates variable amounts of credits to use in the next Buy Phase. The interactions between gameplay and economy create dynamic, varied situations in both the Buy Phase and in the round itself.
The Basics – Some Numbers | Valorant Economy Guide
If you don’t know these stats or need a refresher on the economy in Valorant, here are the numbers at the foundation of Valorant’s economy:
- Players start the first rounds of each half with 800 credits.
- Each kill you get nets you alone 200 credits, regardless of weapon used.
- Winning a round nets the team 3000 credits each – the highest single payout in the game, and rightfully so.
- Losses “award” 1900 creds for the first loss, then 2400 for the second, and then 2900 for all subsequent losses. You never make more money from losing than you do from winning.
- Planting the Spike gives 300 credits to each member of the attacking team. Defenders have no such monetary bonus for defusing, though there are certainly other advantages to playing Defense.
- The maximum number of credits a player can accumulate is 9000.
- Overtime sets everyone’s credit total to 5000.
And here is the Buy Phase menu, though experienced players probably have all the prices memorized by now. Still, good to have a reference, especially for more obscure guns like the Guardian that I didn’t realize had been buffed down to 2400 creds for a little while after that particular patch went live, because I personally never buy the only semi-auto assault rifle in Valorant, even after this second discount, same as when it was 2700 or 2500 creds.
Anyway, let’s extrapolate a little from all the current prices, breaking down a key combination of gear. Generally, in mid- to late-game rounds, you want your next round minimum cash to sit at 3900 credits, at the very least. That number is critical because it’s the amount needed to buy a Phantom or Vandal along with Heavy Shields. That said, this 3900-credit figure won’t allow you to buy any abilities along with these purchases. And it can be very difficult to scrape together that money if you’re starting from zero. You would need to win the round with an Ace and an unplanted Spike (or an Ace on Defense), or three kills and your team planting the Spike, to get 3900 credits together all at once. So, storing up credits for a rainy round is crucial, even if it’s just in increments of a few hundred.
How to Save Credits and Influence Rounds
There are no pennies to pinch in a world with credits and no dollars or cents, but let’s talk about some areas where the frugal Valorant player can keep creds in their savings account. It’s easy to go on autopilot and just buy all of your abilities in every round, and this is often the best move. The keyword there is often, not always. There’s a tradeoff between value from abilities and value from creds. Say, for instance, that you’re one of the brave souls playing Brimstone in the current metagame. Are you consistently using both of your Combat Stim charges each round? Probably not. So, one way to save is to buy just one of that ability until you have a surplus of credits. This can be the difference between having 3800 and 3900 in a round. And it’s not just Brimstone’s Combat Stims that can call for not being bought. Saving Cyphers may skimp out on buying a second tripwire, especially if on Attack. Jett players have been known to buy an Operator at all costs, even after the rifle’s nerfs, and these costs certainly include charges of her abilities. As Reyna, especially if you’re having a bit of a drought, keeping your Soul Orb charges 100% topped off is not a necessity. Consider which abilities you use most often, and consider whether or not you should buy them in every round, especially early in the game.
Which kind of Shields to buy (if any) is another area where we can save or spend. Buying only a Light Shield in early rounds can be worthwhile. This would save you from getting one-tapped by a Ghost user, would prevent the Marshal from being an Operator that costs 1100 credits, and a Light Shield costs 600 credits less than Heavy Shields.
That said, if you can afford it, buying the extra 50 health from Heavy Shields is often worth it. Better safe than sorry, right? Especially in situations where both you and an opponent are out of ammo on your primary guns, that extra health can save your life. But consider as many variables as you can before you buy anything. You’ve got time to think during the Buy Phase, both about what you buy and how the rounds have been going, what you may need to adjust. One economic variable to consider is how many Vandals are in the hands of the enemy team. Three Vandal body shots will never kill you unless you bought no shields at all, while four body shots will always kill an agent with either kind of shield. It is generally rare for Heavy Shields to save you when a Light Shield wouldn’t, especially because Valorant doesn’t have helmets like Counter-Strike does.
Generally, buying a Light Shield with a less expensive gun is a better call than buying an assault rifle with no shield, since having any shield will save your life fairly often. Character choice can also influence this economic decision. Agents with self-heals like Phoenix and especially Reyna, who can get herself temporary Heavy Shields after a kill, can get away with buying a Light Shield more often than characters without abilities like that. If there’s a Sage or a Skye on your team, you may also choose to skimp out on your choice of Shield since they may be able to heal you if and when you get wounded. Having extra health is obviously generally worthwhile, but don’t let teammates flame you if you’re not buying Heavy Shields every round. It’s not always necessary to do so.
Another small note about saving on shields is that you don’t necessarily need to keep your HP topped off to the max every round. If you have the cash, feel free to do so, but you can save 1000 credits very easily if you accept that having around 40 health is just fine. If it’s rare to die just because you bought a Light Shield rather than Heavy Shields, it’s even more rare to die just because you didn’t top off your Heavy Shields between rounds. So long as your Heavy Shields have more than 35 health, I wouldn’t worry about keeping them fully charged. Whether you do so when they’re at 25-35 HP is a matter of personal preference, but seeing them fall any lower than a Light Shield probably warrants another purchase of HP. Also, if you’re rolling in dough, then it may be worth it to spend the cash on some new Heavy Shields, even if it’s just for a little HP. Again, there are lots of variables to consider. Just think it through before you buy anything. That advice applies both in Valorant and in any marketplace.
Now, the most obvious area to save in Valorant comes to us in the form of the last products for sale in the Buy Phase menu: the game’s arsenal of virtual firearms. Every (hundred) credit(s) counts. So, let’s talk about typical “half buy” or “save round” or “eco round” guns. When you’re hovering your cursor over a Spectre, consider if the 600 credits separating that gun and a Stinger are really worth it. There’s no doubt that, in a vacuum, you’d rather have the Spectre… in most situations. But at close range, a Stinger actually has a faster time to kill. And those 600 credits will be crucial far more often than the one or two hundred usually spent on abilities. Always weigh the pros and cons of the weapons you could buy. And certainly, one of the biggest cons during a save round is price.
Now, let’s look at three other common “half buy” options. A Sheriff sits 300 credits away from both a Ghost and a Marshal, above and below. Each of these three guns has distinct pros and cons, but all can be traded up massively in value if an opponent you kill with one drops an assault rifle, Odin, or Operator.
Now seems like a good time to mention that you should always pick up guns that are better than your current weapon, if you see a feasible opportunity to do so. Purchasing a sidearm rather than a Marshal or other cheap primary weapon gives you the chance to hold onto the gun you bought when you take a primary weapon from a dead body. Having a better backup weapon than the Classic is a small advantage, but an advantage nonetheless. The Marshal has its own advantages among these eco round options – this scoped lever-action rifle gives you the best chance of dropping a foe at long range and is without a doubt the best gun of the three if money is no object. Of course, the Stinger is also in that credit range, and is probably the most meta pick of all of them right now.
With all that in mind, the cheapest gun is not always the best economic play, since each of these weapons can be used to great effect in different situations and winning the round is always the best move in terms of Valorant’s economy.
So, buy a gun that gives you a good chance to win the round, but credits saved one round are credits earned in the next round. Again, think carefully before each gun purchase, because what you carry into the fight influences everything you can do in that fight. So, if you survived a round with a Marshal and think it’s the coolest gun in the game (like I do), it might be worth buying a Shorty or other non-Sheriff sidearm cover its short-range weaknesses. This would give you a decent weapons platform using layaway purchases made between two rounds – setting you up to be rich in the future. Likewise, the Stinger, Bucky, and Judge are complemented well by the Sheriff, which experiences much less ranged falloff to its damage stats in return for its relatively steep price.
I won’t and, frankly, can’t tell you how to think in every round, since every round, every gun, every player, and every team is different. That said, I will strongly encourage you to be internally debating as many variables as you can. We’ll go round by round later in this piece as well. When it comes to buying or saving any ability or gun, consider personal preference, the situations you’ll likely find yourself in during the round, and your teammate’s bank accounts as well as your own.
Buy When Teammates Buy; Save When They Save
This advice is true in most situations, but again, not all. Keeping a balanced bank sheet between all teammates is often a fast track to success in online Valorant matchmaking, since most solo queue players don’t bother to check with their teammates before buying or saving. Everyone’s loadouts are on the left side of the screen while the Buy Phase menu is open for a reason. Checking your teammate’s bank accounts and loadouts before making your own purchases will generally give your team an economic advantage over your opponents. That’s just one result of this general lack of caring about fellow people among the general populace. But enough about capitalism, let’s talk about this advice which is often given when it comes to Valorant’s economy.
Is the general rule of buying or saving with your team generally a good idea? I’d say “most of the time,” especially after the fourth round or so. Maintaining a relatively evenly-distributed economy is great for any given Valorant team, because having five strong primary weapons is always going to give you a better shot at winning the round than having just a few players with those premium guns, and light buys or just pistols on everyone else. When everyone just full buys when they individually have the creds and saves when they don’t, the team’s economy is likely to be severely unbalanced for a majority of the game. That can be a difficult disadvantage to overcome.
But is this general rule always applicable? I think not. In pro play, the heuristic certainly does not always hold water. Plenty of professional teams, in early rounds, will buy very frugally (something like a Light Shield and a Ghost) on three or four of their players, and will direct one or two players to “force buy” whatever they can afford. Whether this is a Light Shield and a Bulldog or a full loadout of Phantom/Vandal with Heavy Shields, this strategy can lead to early round “snowballing,” carrying early round victories into midgame wins. It’s only an effective way to buy when the player with this premium weapon does well with it, or at least a teammate does when that player dies early.
Now that the Operator costs 5000 credits, this imbalanced early-game economic strategy doesn’t lead to as huge of a runaway snowball as often as it used to. That said, it is still worth considering that you don’t always have to buy when your teammates buy or save when they save. Having an assault rifle or two on your team will almost always increase your chances of winning that round. Just make sure the enemy doesn’t get their grubby hands on those valuable guns. If your teammate spends all their creds on a full buy and goes down while you have only a pistol or another cheap weapon, pick up that gun at the cost of any abilities needed. Smokes and flashes (coupled with a risk of dying) are worth using in the name of getting a much better gun. Don’t throw your life away willy-nilly, of course, and always try to play with at least one teammate on “force buy” rounds. Having even one strong primary weapon among you the five of you can turn the tide of an early round.
While we’re on the subject of not throwing your life away…
Try Not to Die Too Much
This sounds unbelievably and almost unmentionably obvious, I know. But I was personally shocked to find that most Valorant economy guides online do not mention this absolutely key aspect of this crucial facet of the game. If you die, you lose your gun and you have to buy another one. Don’t underestimate how economically devastating that can be. It’s something fundamental to keep in mind, an incentive to play safer and take less risks, especially unnecessary risks like “dry” peaks with no abilities, or peaking without a teammate, or running across mid with no cover. Even if you’ve only got a Marshal or a Spectre, and you want to buy an assault rifle in the next round, chances are that one of your teammates is going to want the free 1100 or 1600 credits you’re holding in your hands. And as the guns go up in price, the value of staying alive with them increases in tandem. Dying to the Spike explosion after the round is already over or throwing your life away in a 1v5 with a good gun in your hands can both be economically devastating, even now that it doesn’t count as a death in KDA stats on the leaderboard.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed someone go in solo against four or five opponents and get slaughtered. It’s one of the worst feelings possible in Valorant, comparable to the feeling you get when someone in a horror movie goes into the obvious murder dungeon and (shockingly) gets murdered.
Don’t let yourself fall into this horror movie trope. As a general rule, save your gun when the odds of success are too slim. That said, there are some new changes to the economic system introduced in Patch 1.11 which will now affect this decision. As Riot put it in 1.11’s patch notes, “Attackers who lose but survive the entire round without planting the Spike receive a reduced number of credits (1,000)” and “Defenders who lose but survive the entire round after the Spike has detonated also receive reduced credits (1,000)”. The wording there makes me think that Attackers who lose a round but survive into the next Buy Phase and whose team planted the Spike (meaning, for example, that they retreated off-site or never were on-site and subsequently let the Defenders defuse) will still receive the normal loss bonus. This is a fringe situation that I haven’t yet encountered in my own gameplay or seen in high-level VODs since the patch went live. Still, we can assume that a 1v4 situation where the 1 is on Attack away from the site and the 4 are defusing already is one that almost certainly warrants a save, regardless of the money you get for losing.
Still, now that the patch is live for real after its initial disastrous launch, we have even more variables to consider at another critical point in key rounds. The question of to save or not to save can be aided by some arithmetic. Add the price of your gun (and shield, if you still have enough HP on it to warrant not re-buying a new shield) to that 1000 credit figure. If that number is greater than the 1000 credits you would receive, I’d say saving is an option worth strongly considering. So, basically, if you have only a pistol, let your inner Leroy Jenkins shine and charge in there. Otherwise, consider carefully whether the reward for attempting to take an uneven fight and potentially dying is worth the accompanying risk. Is your life that round worth 900, 1400, or 1900 credits, depending on the loss bonus? Hard to say, without knowing your loadout, the number of rounds you are into the game, and several other variables. Math and analysis can only get one so far. Sometimes you have to make a gut check, might try to test your courage, or should instead exercise restraint and patience, live to fight another round. Keep your mind sharp and alert for changing circumstances.
Generally, if you have an assault rifle or Operator, I think saving is probably still the best option after Patch 1.11, especially in cases with exceptionally slim odds like when one or two players are going up against four or five. The changes do encourage going for the clutch in more cases, which I think makes it a welcome patch for spectators and dead players who are not interested in staring blankly at a wall for 45 seconds while the only remaining member of a team cowers in a corner on the other side of the map.
Omen gets… I wouldn’t call it a “buff,” but certainly, the post-patch meta allows him to highlight the strength of his ult. Attacking Omens can use his ult to avoid the paltry 1000 credit “bonus” by planting on a site left open by the Defenders, no matter how slim the Omens’ odds are of winning the subsequent retake situations. We will all continue being cut by the pure edge dripping from his voice lines and animations for a while longer, it seems.
Anyway, the change making it so that the Spike detonation no longer counts as a death will be a little boost to the courage of those obsessed with their stats. The economic patch will certainly be more stressful for players, but will also undoubtedly create more hype moments. And it’s not as punishing as a round where a losing Terrorist saves their gun in a timeout situation in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which nets that T player a paycheck for a whopping $0.
All of that said about the simple topic of not dying, the main point I want to make in this section is to not overly rely on the “Minimum credits next round” part of the Buy Phase menu. Don’t let that number represent all or even most of what you spend every round, or you’ll fall into a Great Depression.
Plant the Spike
This is another obvious but sometimes easy-to-forget aspect of Valorant’s economy. I already mentioned it in the bulleted list above, but it bears repeating because it’s something left undone in too many rounds, even at higher ranks and levels of skill. When on Attack, even if your team already lost the round on time or already killed all of the Defenders, plant that Spike for a free 1500 credits (300 creds times five players, assuming no one has disconnected or left the game) to be injected into your team’s economy. With this simple technique of holding the 4 key (or whatever you bound it to) for four seconds, you can rake in cash that a lot of Attacking teams leave on the table for no reason. Planting the Spike also gives you one more charge on your Ultimate ability.
These factors also make planting the Spike in situations that are pretty much unwinnable still worth going for. Keep those 1500 credits and that ult charge in mind. Take to voice chat if you’re not holding the bomb, but please stay relatively civil. The bonuses are nice, but not at the expense of being toxic. And there’s not much time post-round to get the Spike down, so don’t bother saying something in voice chat if there are already less than four seconds left and your teammate isn’t already planting.
Still, try to plant every round you can while on Attack. Don’t leave free credits on the table, as a general rule. That money can make a huge difference for your whole team.
The Pistol Round
We’ve arrived at my round-by-round Valorant economy guide. Round one is the starting point, the genesis, the opening statement, the tone setter of every Valorant game. Whoever wins or loses the first pistol round can send echoes throughout the entire game. That is why, though there is less stuff to buy, the Buy Phases in these rounds have an extra fifteen seconds attached to them. Well, that and it lets you introduce yourself to your team, discuss strategies, and otherwise get settled into the new game or half. But Round One’s economic importance is front and center. Some characters have relatively obvious buying strategies in the pistol round. Reyna, Omen, Viper, and Cypher (among others, probably) can purchase one of each buyable ability and a Ghost, which means they can instead choose to buy a Light Shield or Frenzy if they wish, and Omen can opt for one of these latter options while buying out his abilities entirely. I’d still strongly recommend the silenced pistol for its one-tap headshot potential in rounds before most people buy shields, especially the first round of each half.
Other agents may find that the extra fifteen seconds in these rounds are nice for making difficult pistol round decisions like choosing between a gun and a Light Shield, and choosing between abilities and a sidearm. All of these choices can be affected by agent, map, and whether you’re on Attack or Defense. Go with what you’re comfortable with, but I do recommend that you watch high level gameplay of your preferred agent(s) and take notes when it comes to what pros and beastly streamers buy, especially during the pistol round of each half. That information is something which you can easily transfer to your own games.
It’s also worth mentioning here that saving one or two hundred credits can be worthwhile in pistol rounds. Let’s crunch the numbers. No math required first, though – if you simply buy all of your abilities, you’re left with a solid pistol in the Classic and will always have some money left over, plus maximum utility. This is a worthwhile option to consider for some characters, like Breach and… uh… what was her name? You know, the one they deleted a few patches ago. Paige? Mage? Ah, whatever. Anyway, if you win with 100 creds in the bank, you go up to 3100. Not a huge difference between that and 3000; the larger number there represents a potential Bulldog and Heavy Shields in the second round, but this may not be the best idea anyway. If you lose the first round, though, having 2000 credits instead of 1900 is indeed a pretty big difference. That’s a possible Stinger with Heavy Shields if you force buy, or the potential for one more of your abilities, or just a little chunk of change in the bank that can open up more options down the line. That last part is true whether you win or lose, so having 100 credits in the bank during round one may be a good call regardless of the outcome of that round.
Whoever wins and loses this one sends huge ripples throughout the entire game. Make sure to leave your team in a good spot economically by making well-informed decisions right out of the gate.
This is where the dreaded “snowball” from the pistol round can either carry your team to victory or leave your economy in the Dust Bowl. So, one of the best pieces of economic advice I can give you for these rounds is to play your best in that first round. There are lots of guides to Valorant’s pistol rounds out there online, but here’s a little advice for each pistol. Click on heads with paced-out shots from the Ghost or Sheriff, hold an angle and then blast them with the Shorty, take fools out with the left-click right-click Classic combo at close range, and… uh… probably don’t buy the Frenzy, in most circumstances. The Sheriff is also generally not great in the pistol round since no one can buy full armor in round one. The revolver’s main advantage is being able to one-shot headshot anyone, even with Heavy Shields, from 0-30 meters and anyone without Heavy Shields beyond that distance. Plus, it costs all of your starting money. The Sheriff is therefore only your best bet in the pistol round if you have aimbot or can consistently nail headshots beyond thirty meters. At that range, the Ghost falls below 100 damage and the Sheriff stays lethal. But even for aim gods and cheaters, having no creds in the bank for next round and leaving yourself with just your agent’s signature ability as your only utility for the pistol round are huge disadvantages.
But, okay, whether you win or lose that first round, now we’re in these early post-pistol rounds.
If your team lost the first round of the half, don’t worry. A second-round force buy is a high-risk option that has slowly become very popular, especially when losing. Intuitively, after a round one win, some people instinctively save money so they can buy rifles next round, especially when their next-round minimum cred count would be in the 3900-4400 range after buying, say, a Ghost and Light Shield. You can counter these saving players by whipping out a Stinger, Spectre, or (if you insist) Ares. Remember, balance affordability and firepower.
This is the point in Valorant games where saving credits and the imbalanced team buy strategy discussed earlier are most relevant. Weigh the pros and cons of having a good primary weapon in your hands. They give you better chances of winning the round, but can be devastating to lose. Imagine, if you will, having the audacity to buy an Odin in the second round, then losing it to someone wielding a Shorty, and then watching that person gun down all of your teammates with your machine gun. That’d be a pretty awful feeling, I’m sure, and it’s a result of a pretty awful economic decision. And it’s happened before, in one of my Unrated games and probably elsewhere.
If you do choose to force buy in one of these early rounds, play very carefully. That rifle or machine gun is no good to your team if you die and hand it to the enemy for free. Consider opting instead for one of the aforementioned save round guns, like the Stinger, Ghost, Sheriff, and Marshal, or for shotguns like the Shorty or Bucky (though the Stinger is generally more consistent as a close-range option than either of these). Every one of these firearms still represents great bang for your buck. And each kill on the wielder of a gun with a higher price tag than yours represents a big economic swing for your whole team. In these early rounds, especially when you or a teammate nabs the more expensive gun, that swing can be absolutely massive, either for flattening the enemy team’s snowball or for increasing the size of yours.
Not a whole lot to be discussed here that hasn’t already been covered in the general guidelines above. And to address some possible pedantry, the previous two sections are indeed again relevant in rounds 13—16, since those are rounds 1-4 of the second half. But the point is this: once we’re this deep into a half, getting cute and breaking the heuristic of buying or saving with your teammates is generally inadvisable. Instead, try to buy your preferred assault rifle, Heavy Shields, and all of your abilities when your team can afford it. Buy your preferred eco round gun when you personally can’t afford most weapons; these usually range from a sidearm to the Marshal in price. And pick up either a cheap gun or something in the 1600-2100 middle range when you’re richer than most teammates in a round where they’re saving. If you have way more creds than your team, you may want to buy a Phantom or Vandal when they can’t and you’re feeling on-point with your aim, but buying a Spectre for yourself and a Stinger for someone else, along with Heavy Shields for yourself, still comes out to a total price of 3600. Notice that, even while buying two guns, this total comes out to 300 credits less than buying no abilities and an assault rifle. Once we arrive at this point in a half, buying and saving with your team is, more often than not, the right economic move.
So, be generous when it comes to buying for teammates, especially when it balances your budgets. And, in turn, don’t be afraid of asking for a gun if you need to do so. But be polite – don’t ask for a Phantom or Vandal when no one on your team has the money for one, and don’t spam that Buy Phase right click if it becomes clear that no one is going to buy for you. Side note, but everyone always says stuff like “let me buy you, bro,” omitting the for, which to my mind always sounds despicably Confederate, if you catch my drift. This English major begs you to remember your prepositions.
Now I’ll guide myself away from grammar and back to Valorant’s economy. If, as the game goes on, you find yourself with a next-round minimum of 9000 credits, you might as well buy a sidearm. Oftentimes, a pistol purchase won’t even put you below hitting that maximum cred count in the next round, so that’s effectively a free secondary weapon. Even if you’ll have a non-maximum but still huge bank account, buying a sidearm to compliment your rifle can be a good idea. Of course, buy a gun for a teammate before putting a Sheriff in your pocket. Generally, though, replacing your Classic is a good call if you’re rich. This advice also applies if you came out of the last round alive with an Operator equipped. The Op is the primary weapon that benefits most from having a good secondary firearm.
If you’ve got the cash and you’re one of the people who uses it, like a lot of Sova mains, especially on Ascent, feel free to buy the Odin at this point, I guess. Can’t tell you much about it, myself, since I prefer the assault rifles in almost every circumstance.
If, as the game goes on, your team finds itself significantly down in rounds, especially if the enemy needs just one more round to win the entire game, it’s time to force buy. Buy everything you can except for a pistol to give yourself the best possible chance of contributing to a round win that will stop the bleeding. Saving credits is nice, but not at the expense of risking the whole game.
Other than that dire situation, general Valorant economy advice applies to these rounds more than anywhere else. Try to maintain a 4000ish minimum credit count for next round. Buy and save with your teammates. Plant the Spike during every Attack round in which you can feasibly do so. Don’t throw your life away. Balance saving money where you can with giving yourself the best chance to secure kills and your team the best chance to win rounds.
If you were wondering why the last section went up to this particular round, it’s because the score going into round 24 is always 12-11 in one direction or the other. Since either a win or Overtime is coming next, spend every last credit that you can. Don’t buy an SMG or shotgun or Marshal unless that’s all you can afford (or if you’re going for some kind of weird flex, I guess). Pay attention. There’s no prompt from the game (such as the “Spend everything; we keep nothing” voice lines given by a random character in the last round of the first half) to remind you that it’s time to throw down all the credits that you can. Just keep in mind that Overtime sets everyone’s credit total to 5000, so round 24 is your last chance to spend the cash you’ve been earning throughout the game.
The advice remains simple, here, but it includes something that players sometimes forget or don’t consider in the first place. Buy the best gun you can, all of your abilities, and Heavy Shields. Then, if you have money left over, buy a sidearm as well. Again, an upgraded pistol is not a huge advantage, but can be a lifesaver if your primary weapon’s magazine runs dry in a heated gunfight. And you might as well, since you can’t save your credits after this round
Though this following piece of advice will heavily and negatively impact your eco rating in the post-match screens, if you have oodles of cash and are carrying an Operator, it may be worthwhile to buy an assault rifle as a backup weapon for this final round. Drop that Phantom or Vandal on the ground, take your Op shots, and then pick up the rifle when you move in closer for a retake situation or whatever else the later parts of the round throw at you. Your eco rating going down, even by this much, is not really a price to pay compared to giving yourself and your team the best possible chance of winning a game-deciding round. Just keep that backup weapon in a safe place until you need it. We don’t want the enemy getting their dirty hands on it, especially if they were too poor to afford an assault rifle.
Overtime and a Conclusion
The last part of the game and this Valorant economy guide, we’ve now arrived at this indefinite stretch of win-by-two gameplay. The 5000 credits deposited into each player’s bank account for these rounds works out very nicely; I think it’s the ideal number. With the relatively recent Op nerfs, players wishing to use that gun in OT will need to head into battle with no form of shield and no non-signature abilities. A full buy of an assault rifle, Heavy Shields, and all abilities is what most players will opt for instead of the Op. Not much to think about here in Overtime, but for one last time, I’ll give you the advice to buy a sidearm. Remember when I said not to buy the Frenzy “in most circumstances”? Here’s the exception to that statement. Lots of characters will end up with 400 credits left over once they’ve bought everything else in Overtime, making it the circumstances where a Frenzy can shine (though it’s still going to be a pretty dim shine most of the time). It’s up to you whether you want the Shorty or this little auto-pistol, but I urge you to not roll up to Overtime gunfights with a Classic in your hip holster if you don’t have to, though none of this game’s weapons should be underestimated.
Hopefully, this guide to Valorant’s robust economy system has been helpful. There are lots of factors and variables to mentally juggle, but try to keep your mind trained on as many as you can. Save credits where you can. Stay alive when you can. Plant the Spike when you can. Try to keep your team’s bank accounts relatively balanced. And buy the gun that balances giving you the best chance to win the round and not breaking the bank.