In-Depth Valorant Killjoy Gameplay Guide

by in Valorant | Aug, 7th 2020

Valorant Act 2 is officially out, and with it, so is the newest agent – Killjoy! It’s not a big surprise since several major Valorant leaks suggested Killjoy and turret-based mechanics. Still, the new agent is finally here, and with all the latest gameplay and meta chances, it ought to shake things up both gameplay-wise and competitively. Our Killjoy guide is here just in time, too; plenty of gaming portals already had their say earlier today, and now is the time for us to do the same!

Valorant Killjoy Guide | Abilities 101

What sort of an arsenal does Killjoy have? Is it aggressive? Is she heavy on crowd-control abilities, or is she all-out agility exploiter like the likes of Jett and Raze? Well, she’s nothing like them! When comparing Killjoy to an existing agent, the closest one seems to be the cameraman himself, Cypher.

Yep, Cypher and Killjoy have plenty of similarities. They’re both pretty passive, rely on gadgets to do their bidding, and aren’t viable for overly aggressive plays. Their passive style requires patience, meaning they aren’t built for everyone.

For more information on this topic, make sure you check out our comprehensive Cypher tactical guide.


Nanoswarm is binded to C by default and costs 200 credits. You can buy up to two charges and set them up before the buy phase ends. What does Nanoswarm do, though? Think of Nanoswarm as an on-trigger Molotov. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

By pressing C, Killjoy will equip the nanotube; you can then throw it by either left or right mouse click, depending on the trajectory you’re looking to get. After it lands, you need to press F while hovering near its location to activate it. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be nearby to activate it, as long as you’re hovering your crosshair near its location.

Nanoswarm is great when combined with either Alarmbot or Killjoy’s Turret. Both Q and E abilities will notify you of nearby enemies. If you’ve placed your Nanoswarm in a good location, you’ll be rewarded with a couple of clean kills, especially when you’re on the defensive end, and the opponents execute a fast push towards your gadgets.


Alarmbot is Killjoy’s Q by default, and it costs 200 credits. Once activated, it gives Killjoy an invisible robot that acts sort of like a proximity mine. Once enemies enter their range, it jumps to them and explodes. It doesn’t deal any damage, though, but it does grant a superb debuff that causes enemies to receive double damage for a short time (roughly four seconds).

The best way to use Alarmbot is to combine it with other abilities and use it as an info-gatherer on crucial chokepoint areas on the map. This way, you won’t just be good on the defensive end but as a scout on the table’s attacking side. Alarmbot gives Killjoy a lot of aggressive opportunities, and can even be returned from anywhere on the map.


Continuing onward with our Killjoy guide, let’s focus on her signature ability – Turret (E). By pressing E, you’ll equip a turret that fires towards enemies and has a 180-degree vision. It can be recalled from anywhere on the map but, unfortunately, doesn’t deal as much damage as Nanoswarm.

  • 0-20 meters = 8 damage per bullet
  • 20-35 meters = 6 damage per bullet
  • 35+ meters = 4 damage per bullet

Even though it doesn’t deal plenty of damage, Killjoy’s turret is still respectable enough to cause chaos. Especially in pre-plant scenarios and fast-paced pushes. Pay attention to where you place it, though, not just because of the damage fall-off but because poor placement can result in quick turret destruction.


What a funny name this is. What do you guys think – which world event served as the basis behind the name Lockdown?

As for the ult itself, we’re looking at one of the best crowd-control ultimate abilities in the game. It costs seven orb points and, when triggered, emits a massive area of effect “bubble” which severely slows players down and renders their weapons and abilities unusable.

Lockdown can be used both offensive and defensively, in all sorts of scenarios. If I had to point out the most viable scenario for Lockdown clutches, I’d say it’s either offensive or defensive post-plant situations. If you use it in post-plant situations, as long as the location isn’t outright stupid, round win is almost guaranteed.

On the defensive end, by triggering Lockdown, you’ll be forcing your enemies to rush or to stay outside the circle. Either way, you’ll have the dueling advantage. On the offensive end, you can use Lockdown to force enemies to reposition and perhaps snatch half a defuse before dealing with the remaining opponents.

The possibilities are endless like they are with other Killjoy’s abilities.

Key Skills Killjoy Players Must Possess

Not everyone can play Killjoy! It takes good game sense and plenty of patience, basically the two main things you need to play Cypher and Sage. In terms of Killjoy, the patience part is doubled, to be quite frank. You need a ton of it, no matter which map you play nor what sort of gameplay style you’re pursuing.

If patience (plenty of it) is the first skill good Killjoy players must possess, here are the remaining two.

Proper Aim

Every Valorant agent needs a proper aim. As is the case with all other FPS titles, aim is the core mechanical element that drives forward pretty much everything else. And we’re not just talking about actual aim (as in shooting opposing players), but setting up the turrets/robots. Nanoswarm is the trickiest as far as aiming goes. It’s pretty bouncy, so flinging it behind cover is a great way of getting that competitive advantage.

Confidence and Focus

Patience leads the charge, that’s for sure! Aim is important with all agents, but I reckon the same can be said about confidence and focus. When playing Killjoy, you’ll notice that her abilities allow you to approach certain situations in several different ways. We’re not just talking about defensive setups here, but offensive pushes too.

The same goes for when you’re all alone in a clutch situation. If your abilities are full, you don’t necessarily have to be alone. Set up your E and Q, notify you of nearby enemies, serve as your on-site eyes, and lurk from behind.

But it takes plenty of confidence and focus on getting the most out of Killjoy’s abilities in these kinds of situations. Not all players will be able to master Killjoy; half of them will fall out of the equation simply because they can’t concentrate or don’t have enough confidence in their abilities. It might seem like a cliché, but these things do make a difference. Pro players will tell you the same thing. It’s a fact!

Tips for Playing Killjoy | Valorant Gameplay Tricks

In this section of our Valorant Killjoy guide, we’ll be focusing on gameplay tricks across all four maps. Not necessary tricks, though, more like general tips on choosing the best defensive positions, exploring interesting combos, and offensive/defensive executions.

If you love what you’ve seen about Killjoy thus far and you’d like to start maining here, here’s what you’ll need to kickstart with a few wins.

How to Play Killjoy on Split

Split is a mid-oriented map, sort of like Ascent. The team that takes control of mid, takes control of the round – it’s as simple as that! Unfortunately for Killjoy players, you won’t be able to hold mid off on your own. You’ll need a second player. Sage is still the best mid agent on Split since her C is a great way to stop pushes for both heaven and ropes A.

On the other hand, Killjoy can defend one or the other – not both areas at the same time. On the bright side, she’s great at controlling A heaven, which gives the rest of the team a bit of leeway, at least in terms of mid-control. Ropes A can be held passively, especially if you’re packing all your turrets. Killjoy does fairly well on the attacking end too, but that’s a story for some other time.

Playing Killjoy on Haven

Killjoy on Haven isn’t that good. I mean, it’s not bad, but I can see Bind and Ascent having much better win stats across all competitive skill levels. What’s up with Killjoy’s skill set on Haven? What prevents it from being viable?

Well, it’s not just the angles but also the fact that Haven has an extra site. That means two extra locations that need to be watched over. In other words, that means lower chances of enemies rushing in on Killjoy’s turrets.

As far as A site goes, short boxes it a nice area to play around with. Middle (AKA B site) isn’t good for long-reach operations, but you can always go all passive and wait till they commit to the site. The garage is the ideal solution for Killjoy on Haven, at least on the defensive end. Turret looking down second mid, coupled with Alarmbot on B long. A couple of Nanoswarms here and there, and you should be fine!

Killjoy Guide for Playing on Bind

Moving on with our Valorant Killjoy guide, let’s see what sort of things you can expect from her on Bind. First things first – can you ult inside the teleporter? Well, sure you can! However, I don’t see it being too OP, except in specific situations where the opposing team doesn’t have much time, and you know they’re preparing for a last-second push on either hookah or A long.

On the defensive end, I had the most success by guarding Hookah with a full arsenal. I set everything up before the round starts – my Turret, my Nanoswarm and my Alarmbot. If Hookah is where they’re going, and hookah seems to be the go-to rushing solution at low to mid-tier MMR, they’ll be met with an unpenetrable defense.

Don’t get me wrong – Killjoy can effectively guard other areas of the map too. I’ve seen people do all sorts of positions on A short, exploiting the F out of those boxes on A site. Killjoy’s passive arsenal is of great use on this map, but I guess the same can be said about all four currently available maps.

Is Killjoy Effective on Ascent?

Ascent is another map Killjoy is effective on. While I do believe she’s effective across the board, guarding A short and A long was right up my alley. My B site defensive record wasn’t the greatest, but I’m sure it’s because I’m not that good at defending that site in general.

So yeah, if we’re talking about the most effective positioning, site A is the place to be when playing Killjoy. I’m not going to give you any concrete positions. Still, if you’re familiar with site A’s layout, I reckon you can already see a couple of interesting on-site solutions for your Q and E. Hint – A long boxes are a must-explore area for defensive Killjoy plays!

Killjoy Gameplay Mechanics | Valorant FAQ

The last part of our Killjoy gameplay guide revolves around the FAQ section. Since we’re talking about a brand-new agent here, there aren’t that many questions we picked up. So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the most common ones:

How to Master Positioning with Killjoy?

There’s no one size fits all type of answer here. The answer depends on numerous factors, most important of which are your play style and your preferred on-site positions. If there’s one thing you could’ve learned from our Killjoy guide, you’re supposed to be concentrated, calculated, and confident in your ability. If you possess all of the above, you’ll master Killjoy’s turrets’ positioning in no time.

Is Killjoy an Aggressive Agent?

No, Killjoy is not an aggressive agent, although he can be willing to sacrifice a bit of his skill set for the sake of surprising aggression. You see, both Nanoswarm and Alarmbot can be used on the offensive, Lockdown too. I want to say Turret falls into the same category also, but the setup delay is too big of an issue.

Killjoy vs. Cypher – Who Is Better?

Let’s settle this one once and for all – who is better, Killjoy or Cypher?

Nope, I’m not going to point one of them out as the superior agent for good. It all depends on the meta. In my opinion, they’re both very viable in the current meta. Their ultimate abilities are of superb importance and can easily win rounds if executed correctly.

Even though we’ve been drawing a lot of comparisons between the two, they’re quite different. Yes, they’re both based around gadgets and getting information on the opposing team, but their approaches are worlds apart. If you own Cypher and don’t like playing with him, don’t write Killjoy off right away. Level up that contract and give her a chance. Who knows, perhaps you’ll like what she brings to the table.

Is Killjoy Good for Beginners?

Contrary to popular beliefs, I reckon Killjoy isn’t the best choice for beginners. If you’re a beginner, your best bet is to start with someone like Jett, Phoenix, or Raze. You can go wrong with them! Their skill sets aren’t complex, yet they can still be viable even at higher ranks.

Why isn’t Killjoy good for beginners, though? She’s passive. Shouldn’t that make her ideal for first-time players? Well, she is passive. That’s true, but that doesn’t make her easy to play.

On the contrary, passive agents are tricky. Take Cypher and Sage as the perfect examples – you need to know how to be passively dynamic. Yep, that’s a real thing. You need to be behind your teammates so you can support them with your healing/vision abilities while also affecting the opposing team and hindering their ability to rush. Playing passive agents in Valorant is pretty tricky, come to think of it!


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