Communication is hands down the greatest key to success in Valorant. While it is suggested to use your microphone to communicate to your teammates, there may be circumstances where some players aren’t aware of the many distinct ways of communication without a microphone. A lot of players complain about how their teammates in ranked don’t use their mic or communicate to the team at all, but it’s certain that there are reasons for this. Players are given various ways in which they can communicate to their teammates in-game.
Reasons Why a Player May Not Communicate
When playing in a game, whether it be with higher or lower skilled players, lack of consistent verbal communication can be detrimental when making plays and playing the game overall. We can understand that verbal communication will always be the best way to provide communication for your team compared to pings and radio commands, but there are some situations where players just aren’t verbally communicating, and why is that?
There can be many complications such as:
- No microphone
- Language barrier
- Inability to hear
- Inability to speak due to it being late at night or background noise(s)
- Fear of toxicity and negative feedback
- Low confidence
There’s not much you can do about these complications, considering every player has their own reasons as to why they may or may not choose to do something. At the end of the day, we all have had something interfere with communicating to our team.
Ways to Communicate Effectively Without a Microphone
Riot Games has blessed us with a variety of communication commands, as well as ways in which we are able to communicate these commands. Whether it be through tapping or holding the ping bind, or using any sort of Radio Commands, any way of putting these commands to use will definitely be beneficial to your team when providing in-game comms.
The Radio Commands system allows for a wider range of commands that you can use to express communication relating to many different in-game scenarios. The default bind for Radio Commands is the period ‘.’ key, in which these commands are separated by four categories: combat, tactics, social, and strategy.
With all the different commands you can communicate, it’s quite simple to express yourself, your needs, and your ideas to your team. Although using Radio Commands is better than not speaking vocally, it can be a hassle to try and memorize the keybinds for certain commands, so it’s best not to struggle with them in-game and interfere with your focus.
Radio Commands Wheel
The Radio Commands Wheel provides the same commands as the general Radio Commands but differs as it’s selected by the direction of your mouse rather than numbers on the keyboard. The default bind is the comma ‘,’ key, with every “wheel” being organized together in its given category. The wheel may be easier to navigate through and is more user friendly, but at the cost of taking up the center of your screen.
The pinging system is quite limited compared to Radio Commands, given that you can only mark and the default bind to ping is by pressing the ‘Z’ key, where you can tap the keybind to mark or hold to pull up the following options:
- Caution: the top icon that means DANGER at the pinged location
- Watching Area: the right icon that means you are WATCHING the pinged location
- Need Support: the bottom icon that means you NEED HELP at the pinged location
- On My Mark: the left icon that means you want to PUSH the pinged location
The usage of text chat is most often suggested when you are eliminated and want to provide information without disrupting the focus and verbal communication between your teammates who are alive. Any information on last seen location and damage done to an enemy should be more than enough, ex. “120 Jett.” This way, your teammates may be able to briefly see it and use the information if needed. You may also notice that there are text chats for different groups of players:
- All: press ‘Shift’ and ‘Enter’ to message all players in the current match
- Team: press ‘Enter’ to message your team in the current match
- Party: type in ‘/p’ or ‘/party’ to message members in your party
- Player: press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘Enter’ an enter their name
Ways to Communicate Effectively With a Microphone
If you have a microphone, it’s important to communicate concise information rather than detrimental information to your teammates. For example, it’s pointless to communicate that you died to someone because your frames are dropping. Given this, there will be those certain players you get on your team that will corrupt team communication with flaming, trash talking, complaining, yelling, and many more.
While calling out, you should try to be as brief as possible without saying many words that you could stumble around. Being quick and precise with your comms will help get your point across and allow your teammates to react and make decisions faster. If you are unsure of what to properly communicate to your team, you can communicate some helpful callouts such as:
- If alive, who you hit and about how much/how many times (ex. “Phoenix hit twice”)
- If dead, who you hit and exactly how much you hit them for (ex. “140 on Sage”)
- Utility usage (ex. “Omen blinded,” “Viper ult B,” “Sova drone B long,” etc.)
- Noises (ex. “Jett dashed A short,” “I hear them rotating out,” etc.)
- Expectations, always communicate with your team on what you’re doing and what you want (ex. “I’m flashing hookah,” “I will entry garage, trade me if I die,” “Omen, can you smoke heaven?” etc.)
- Angles you can/can’t cover (ex. “I’m smoked off short, watching U-Haul”)
As long as you are able to communicate what reasonably makes sense to you, it will likely make sense to others as long as you are descriptive and clear. Remember to give out information that you are strongly confident in communicating, as it is better to say nothing than to give wrong information and deceive your teammates.
We’ve learned that having any form of communication is better than having no communication at all. It’s given that as a player, you should keep your awareness up and be mindful when teammates ping and/or communicate to you, but to also consider your focus and not let it interfere with your gameplay on the round. Being able to make sure that you are clear and concise about the information you are giving will always be a benefit to team cooperation and securing the win.