How to Warmup Before Playing Ranked in VALORANT
Having a warmup routine will help you enter ranked as the best version of yourself.
If you have been skipping the warmup process this may be a major reason why your performances are inconsistent.
In this post, I will share with you my personal routine and the benefits behind each task.
1. Literally, warm yourself up!
Get your blood flowing, get your body warm! You might not have noticed this to be an issue for yourself, but cold hands can lead to stiffness and less fluid mouse movement.
Shake out your hands, get some friction going and do some clenching exercises. You may think this is silly, but other sports warm up right?
It should be no different for this, if you want to maximize your performance make sure your hands are not cold before gaming.
If you are a fingertip or wrist-aimer this is especially relevant for you. There are various tips and tricks to warm up your hands, soaking them in warm water or having a hot-water bottle by your side might do the trick.
Then again, some of you might just have elite circulation or might be sweating profusely in summer weather. If so, you can skip this step and remember it for wintertime!
2. Click heads with aim trainers like Aimlabs
Now that we are physically warm, we can begin our aiming routine. I highly recommend downloading Aimlabs if you have not already.
It is free on Steam and has a large array of tasks that will benefit us in both warming up and aim practice in general.
Make sure that under Controls in Settings you have set the ‘game profile’ to VALORANT and have matched up your settings accordingly.
In the image here you can see the field of view I have used that is like that of VALORANT.
To begin, I start off with GRIDSHOT: MODE ULTIMATE.
This is a good general way to get us covering a wide range of space on our screen with our crosshair and making large movements on our mousepad.
One of the best aimers in competitive VALORANT at the moment, Sentinel’s member TenZ is renowned for grinding Aimlabs and achieving high scores.
You can rest assured that if it is working well for the absolute beast that TenZ is, it most likely will be helping you too.
After a few of these I recommend choosing tasks that require smaller more precise movements of the mouse. MICROSHOT: MODE PRECISION, and MICROFLEX: MODE PRECISION are your next best bets.
The practice balls that you are having to hit in these two tasks are much smaller and mimic the way you will have to focus on headshots in game. These tasks will get you prepared to make micro adjustments to your aim in game.
After these tasks we can finish off by going to ‘game specific’ tasks, choosing VALORANT and then choosing any of the options below.
My personal favorite is the VALORANT: ASCENT WALLPEEK. The reasoning behind why I choose to do the wall peek task is that it forces you to warmup your usage of the WASD keys.
Good movement is critical to good aim. By peeking the wall incrementally, you will isolate your targets and reduce your incoming damage from the bots.
This is how you should peek in game as well; never try to peek more than one opponent at a time.
In the images below I demonstrate how you should slowly strafe rightwards to make sure you are challenging one bot at a time, focusing on crosshair placement all the while.
This last image shows why you should avoid constantly just wide peeking.
By warming up this way, you can simultaneously warm up your mechanics and decision-making.
3. Don’t underestimate The Range in VALORANT
Let’s load up the VALORANT client and hop in the range. Depending on your skill level, if you are Gold or below, maybe set up the task in the range to medium bots and try to reach a score of around 20 or above.
If you feel like medium is too easy, set it up on hard and aim for a score of around 15-20. Focus on lining up your crosshair at head height and strictly making horizontal movements to click heads only.
After completing this a few times right behind the barrier, you can make it harder for yourself and walk all the way back to the south wall. Trying the task from this range adds another level to your warmup, your flicks must be more precise.
Don’t feel disheartened with low scores, it is quite a bit more difficult from the back wall. This will get you prepared for long range aim duels like Haven C long, Icebox A site and Breeze bomb sites.
Team Liquid pro ScreaM has been seen utilizing this idea of distancing yourself from the bots. It is important to recreate the feeling of longer-range duels in game.
There Is not one single way to go about this, be free with yourself and shoot the bots aiming for the head in certain patterns that you feel like.
Choose certain guns like Sheriff or Guardian and leave the bots in ‘practice mode’, hit them Left to right, and then right to left to warmup your horizontal adjustments.
You can also walk south of the bot area to the boat ramp where you can flick between the flying drones and signs to practice your vertical aim.
This may help you more than you think for maps with verticality such as Icebox.
4. Enter the chaos that is Deathmatch!
Deathmatches can feel a bit frantic, that is why it might be best to jump into them after having warmed up a little already. We should be feeling pretty warmed up by now, so we are ready to jump into a Deathmatch.
I recommend playing the Deathmatch with your sound on so you can hold angles and replicate the way you would hold lines-of-sight within ranked.
To get the most out of the deathmatch experience do not just hold down your W key and roam around the map.
Instead, hold down the areas where you spawn and focus on your crosshair placement. Once again, focus only on headshots and try not to spray. To help you focus on this maybe try using the Sheriff or Guardian only.
A few deathmatches will get you accustomed to opponent player movement whilst also synchronizing your own aim and movement. Deathmatches are also a good way to begin focusing on your decision making.
You will have to consider enemy locations via HUD, what duels you should and shouldn’t take as well as having your senses alert from sound.
5. Confidence is key, get your mind right!
Playing nervously without belief in yourself will definitely hinder your performance. Tell yourself that you are ready to win because you are.
You have completed a solid warmup and are now ready to be the best version of yourself. A big part of warming up is building up your confidence and self-belief.
By now you should be feeling ready for your competitive game, this routine typically takes around 30 minutes. Remember to be experimental and see what works for you, for me one of the most crucial steps is the first.
Some people just play deathmatch after deathmatch then get into competitive, other people play a lot of tasks for over 30 minutes on Aimlabs and Kovaaks.
Ultimately, I recommend trying to find some sort of warmup routine. I always warmup before ranked now and I have found that my aim is becoming increasingly consistent.
I hope this has helped you guys! Best of luck with your games and happy climbing!