How to Retake in Valorant
Welcome to the fourth episode of your favorite Valorant tips & tricks series “How to Valorant”!
Within this series, you can learn all about the different existing kinds of mechanical and tactical gameplay mechanics that are crucial to the game.
As always, our primary goal is to help out everyone interested in becoming a better player and thus the focus of this particular series is on explaining the respective gameplay topics in great detail but still in an understandable and easy-to-learn way.
This specific article will be all about retakes!
What Are Retakes?
The concept of “retaking” generally refers to regaining map control you previously lost.
This term is applicable for various situations, independently of the side or site you’re on. (side = attackers/defenders, site = Spike site)
On the other hand, the noun “retake” always means the act of retaking a site as defenders after the attackers planted the Spike.
Today we’ll focus on the latter in particular.
When it comes down to a retake, it’s incredibly important to have a plan going in. Even more so if your team is at a numbers disadvantage.
There are four main steps that can be viewed as precautionary measures or just as a guideline to ensure a successful retake. These steps are the base of this article and are explained in detail in the following sections.
Retakes are always the most successful when performed in a coordinated sequence of events which we’ll now dive in further:
- Weigh up your chances
- Gather up
- Arrange utility
- Timed execution
For each one of these steps, this article contains all important things to keep in mind in-game and also how to properly play together with your team in retake situations.
If you find yourself enjoying this article, be sure to also check out our prior episodes of “How to Valorant”. For example, HTV #3 dealing with the topic of trading kills in Valorant.
The importance of retakes in Valorant was even highlighted by Riot themselves when publishing the announcement trailer for Episode 2 named “Retake”.
Before we get into the four main steps of retaking, we’ll provide you with a short explanation what exactly retakes actually are and in which situations players most commonly refer to the term.
1. Weigh Up Your Chances
You always have to weigh up your chances to win the round against various factors when you find yourself in a retake situation.
Sometimes it’s just not worth the risk to try the retake and most likely fail, if the odds are drastically low.
Han Solo’s legendary quote “Never tell me the odds!” is a courageous one for sure but in Valorant, a cool, quick-thinking head is more important than heroics.
Here, the quote “You may lose the battle but win the war” should be more of a mindset for you in the future.
There are many potential factors that play a role in the decision to approach or not approach a retake:
- Economy (especially yours but also the enemy’s)
- Orb points (secondary economy in Valorant)
- Available utility at this point in the round
- Health on the surviving players (yours and the enemy’s)
- Remaining time until Spike explosion
To give you a rule of thumb, you generally want to tackle the retake if your team has the numbers advantage.
However, if the enemy team had a numbers advantage, you should consider to save based on the factors listed above.
2. Gather Up
In case you decided to actually try your luck and go for retake, you should definitely wait for all remaining teammates to be ready to go in simultaneously or in a specific timing you agreed on.
The most important thing in a retake is that every player knows what the others are doing and that all players have a common idea in mind about how to go over the retake seen as a whole.
Whether a team really mastered their teamplay shows in the way they play out retake situations.
In this sense: “Avengers (or…agents?), assemble!”.
3. Arrange Utility
Which utility is still available is also a key factor to consider if you have to choose whether you want to try retaking the site or rather save your weapons and efforts.
Flashes, smokes, stuns and incendiaries of any kind are essential for eliminating certain angles and positions that are able to endanger the success of your retake.
Also, the use of the utility dictates the routes in which the defenders can safely enter the site without running into a crossfire.
Here is a specific retake situation to further exemplify what we mean by good utility management in retakes:
Here you can see the starting position of the retake scenario:
- Haven, A site, 3v3 situation
- Attackers are positioned at the close right of A Tunnel, Default and Towers (red)
- Defenders are all coming from A Tunnel (green)
- A Tunnel and Heaven are smoked off (purple)
In the second picture is one possible way of many to go about the retake for the defenders:
- Wait for the A Tunnel smoke to fade away
- Omen smokes off Hell and Towers, flashes close right and Default simultaneously (purple)
- One additional flash coming from an entering Phoenix (orange)
- Killing the blind players and finishing the round → *success*
Of course, this is just an example for a specific situation on a specific map with specific agents. You will have to adapt and make decisions anew for every retake you encounter in your own games.
But, taking all the various factors into account and keeping the necessity of smart utility usage in mind will help you immensely in those situations.
4. Timed Execution
When you decided on the utility you want to use for the retake, you necessarily have to adapt your timing and route to go into the site to the chosen utility.
This is something that is hard to teach since the learning curve for taking the right peeks at the right time is the very opposite of steep.
You have to go through these kinds of scenarios hundreds of times until you finally see improvement. But this process is essential and no one is able to take care of this for you.
Hitting the right timing with popping flashes and focusing on the right angles at the right time is not a particularly easy task but it enables you to even win the most unlikely rounds if done right.
In the following section, you may take notes on how pros go about these kinds of things.
Retake Example From a Professional Matchup
This is an exemplary clip out of a professional matchup between the North American teams XSET and 100Thieves.
In this clip, XSET demonstrates us a flawless retake of the B site after 100Thieves’ plant.
By pulling defenders rotations with a quick fake towards the C site, 100Thieves created a gap in the defense which enabled them to plant the Spike on B.
However, XSET did many things right regarding this retake:
- They gathered up with 3 players in C Link to be ready to trade
- Smart ability usage (BcJ’s Sova Ultimate especially) secured kills before even entering the site
- AYRIN still payed attention to the possible flank of Asuna
- The resulting numbers advantage was well utilized to lock up the round win with the defuse
XSET’s use of two Ultimates was equalized by the round win and the fact that no player on their side died.
In summary, it was an extraordinarily played retake by XSET in which 100Thieves didn’t really stand a chance to turn around the round at any point after the plant.
Retakes are a combination of timing, utility usage and a lot of experience.
To really master retaking a site or a specific area of the map, you need to have a rough plan going in but also have to be ready for potential trouble to adapt to.
With that being said, we know how much of a mess Ranked or even team orientated Valorant can be in certain scenarios. That’s why we hope we could help you to better your understanding of those situations to some extent.
Who knows? In the future you may actually notice that some of the tips you read in “some article online” helped you in a specific retake situation ingame.
As always, thank you for your time and if we managed to invoke your interest, be sure to also check out our previous episodes.
Coordinate retake situations with your 5-stack by using our Valorant maps tool.