One of the staples in your games of Valorant is going to be Sage and while a lot of people think Sage is 'just a healer', thinking like that is doing her a big disservice. She can control areas of the map with the use of her Slow Orb and Barrier Orb, and if you are to get a little bit creative, you can very easily create advantages for yourself and your teammates utilising her Barrier Orb. In this article, we’ll go over some ways in which you can utilise Barrier Orb in a creative manner to get an upper hand on your opponents. Let's start with Split.
1. PEEK ONTO A-RAFTERS
Starting with the attacker side, this Barrier Orb boost is good if you are with one or more team members and planning on attacking A site. This boost as you can see, allows you to get intel on anyone that could be on A-Rafters. As you’re with teammates, you don’t have to be worried about an aggressive peek from A-Ramp or even A-Main.
Setting up this Barrier Orb is straightforward too! Just head outside of A-Sewers and climb on this “gravel” column. Aim down to your feet and when the gravel area is highlighted in blue, just activate the Barrier Orb! Due to the change in mechanics of Sage and her Barrier Orb, her Barrier Orb will not spawn the full length and you can’t walk forward as much as you could before. This boost still works as of update 1.07
2. ONE-WAY MID PEEK
The second way to utilise Barrier Orb in split comes in the way of a one way peek being utilised by the defenders. This Barrier Orb is placed from Top-Mid but it’s fully realised from Mid-Vents. The way this Barrier Orb is set up, you can peek from the gap created by the Barrier Orb and the stairs, allowing you to peek and shoot at attackers that may be at Bottom-Mid.
To set this one-way, is a bit tricky but once you have the placement down, it’s useful to use in your matches. As you can see, you need to make two triangles (highlighted in the image) with your Barrier Orb. Once you’ve got the placement down of these, just activate the Barrier Orb and you’ll have your one-way setup.
3. ONE-WAY A-MAIN PEEK
The next Barrier Orb is also a one-way, but in a different area of the map. This is primarily for the defenders (as they have a natural advantage to control A-Ramp). Due to the slope of A-Ramp, the, you can see a greater deal of A-Main, which will help you get better intel and if the shots line up, click some heads!
Just how we set up the last one way, we employ a similar structure here. Instead of setting up with two triangles, we just need the one (as shown with the red highlight). You can try to experiment with how big the triangle is, and depending on that, the area in which you can peek will be different. However, one thing to note would be to practise Barrier Orbs setups in a custom lobby, because there depending on how you set them up, you can destroy entire sections of the wall as they can’t hover too much over an empty space and that’s going to defeat the purpose of the one way!
1. ONE-WAY PEEK TO A-WINDOWS
Starting with A-Rafters, this wall gives you a one-way which is more useful in an intel-gathering capacity from A-Windows or even from Defender Spawn. While you can always shoot people too, you’ll be hitting them on their legs, which is the weakest form of gun damage in the game, hence why it’s better to use this for intel after you’ve locked down the site. A little tip here would be to crouch on the first box you jump on (near the edge of rafters), so you can utilise the one-way a lot more efficiently while also delaying the enemies from storming you from there.
To set this one-way, it’s easy once you have the placement of the Barrier Orb in the right place. The part that is going to take the longest is to form a triangle with the barrier (highlighted in red) and the scaffolding on rafters. The more you do this, the faster you can get this set up in subsequent matches and games!
2. B-MAIN BOOST
The next boost has a lot of potential in both getting unexpected kills and gathering a lot of intel quite safely.
As we can see and shoot through the windows at the top of B-Main, we only need to place down one barrier which gives you intel onto most of B-Site and Mid-Market.
To utilize this boost, you need to head to B-Main with a team member and jump onto the boxes directly in front of the entrance. Once you’re on, aim the Barrier Orb, so the outline is parallel to the wall and place it. If the defenders are going to play aggressively, you will have one team member to cover you, as doing this alone is exceptionally risky.
3. MID BOOST
The next boost we can utilise is going to be used between Mid-Courtyard and Mid-Bottom. Using this allows you to get an unexpected angle on defenders that may be camping in Mid-Pizza and Mid-Market. However, you do need to be wary of any defenders that are pushing from Mid-Cubby, as you’ll be on their screen in a very defenceless position.
Being one of the easier Barrier Orb placements on the map, you need to make your way to the edge of Mid-Courtyard and place the Barrier Orb as shown. Depending on the level of information you want, you can stay on the Barrier to stay at headshot level should the enemy team see you, or you can jump on the metal box to get more information but also be an easier target to hit.
4. ONE-WAY DEFENSE ON A-SITE
The final Barrier Orb placement of Ascent comes in the form of a one-way and with correct usage and the optimal may determine if you win the round or even the game! As you can see, this one way is huge for the team that is defending A-Site, and if you’re going to control a choke point from A-Garden, You can not only get a lot of damage done but also call out who is rotating from mid. The one way also acts as a block, so the enemy team has to push through the choke or waste bullets on the Barrier Orb.
This is arguably the hardest and the most finicky Barrier Orb to place down, but you need the outline of your Barrier Orb to be parallel to the walls with the gateway and it has to be sufficiently touching the adjacent wall. This is a Barrier Orb that you will need to practise in custom games.
1. BOOST ON A-SHORT
Starting with attackers, we have a quick boost on A-Cubby and doing so will allow you to shoot on headshot level to anyone camping near Pillar. This boost should be used sparingly because once this has been used, anyone holding U-Hall will check there on subsequent rounds and win that engagement if they pre-fire. You don't have to jump on the boxes, and doing so will make you a harder target to hit, but you can see Train and even some parts of A-Port, however, if there is a person on Tower, then they have a very easy shot on you.
To set up this boost is one of the easiest on the map. Just pull out Barrier Orb and place it parallel to the wall just beside the boxes and make sure you're standing on it. Bonus points if you get a teammate with you as people tend to not expect two people on the boost.
2. VANTAGE POINT FROM B-GARDEN
This Barrier Orb does a couple of things. Firstly, it blocks Elbow and if there was a defender there, you not only have a clear view of them, but they can see what's happening in the overall site. Then, you can see anyone making rotations or passing through B-Hall.
To set up this Barrier Orb, you need to for starters, make sure than you are not having anyone shoot at you from Window or Cubby as you will be exposed while setting this wall up initially. Then you need to be on the Barrier Orb before you place it, otherwise, it will only just block Elbow and you would be on the ground with everyone else, not gathering information.
3. COUNTER BOOST IN A-TRAIN
This boost is good if you need to retake the site after the spike has been planted on the opposite of Train. You can also use this earlier in the round if you have guaranteed information that the attackers want to push and plant on A-Site, but that's for you to decide. This gives you a view of anyone making their way through A-Short and if you're crouched, it makes it harder for them to hit you as a result.
Ideally, this boost works best with multiple people on the Barrier Orb when you place it down, to overwhelm the enemy team and get the surprise factor. As you can see from the image, you need to place it parallel to the train and if placed right, very little of the orb goes further than the train, giving your entire team cover and surprise to retake the site and defuse the spike.
4. SNEAKY HOOKAH BRIDGE
This is one boost that no-one will expect the first time you use it. As you can see, this gives you an edge when you use this and this not only puts you in a position where you can get a lot of damage and even kills, for anyone coming through B-Long, but it will also not allow the attackers to push from Window onto the B-Site.
This is one of the harder Barrier Orbs, but still easy to set up once you get the timing of your jump nailed down. All you need to do is stand in the exact middle of Window (where the curve on the top is at its largest) and look down so there is no outline of Barrier Orb. Then you need to jump and once you do, you will see the outline show up and it's at that point you place it down.
1. BLOCK A-HEAVEN
Starting off rather simple in Haven, as you can see, this completely blocks the entire birds-eye view from Heaven for the defenders and they have to play from the same level as you (which you will already be covering). In tactical shooters such as Valorant, elevation gives you a huge advantage, and if we can take that away from the enemy team, we do so at every given chance
To setup this block, you will need to make your way toward the boxes near where you plant the spike, clearing A-Short and not having anyone in Heaven, to counter you. You will need to work fast and with your teammates to make this block efficient.
2. VANTAGE POINT FROM A-TOWERS
Sticking to the same plant site, this is however for the defenders of A-Site. This block does multiple things (just like Elbow Block in Bind). This will firstly block anyone trying to make their way from A-Short onto the site. Secondly, it gives you a view of anyone making their way into A-Short in the first place and also A-Ramp. You can go to the boxes at the end/beginning of A-Short to have a different angle and catch the enemies by surprise if you do use the same Barrier Orb.
While I'm already on top of the boxes, it's to merely highlight where the Barrier Orb will go. You could eve place the Barrier Orb on a slight slant, so the attackers making their way from A-Short will see it later, and will have to adapt later, rather than faster.
3. DELAY ENTRY TO GARAGE
This is not a traditional Barrier Orb, in the sense that it's not going to be boosting or a Barrier Orb you would place to execute on a site. Much rather, its sole purpose is to delay the enemy team from getting to and from Garage. The way it's placed, you will either have to wait out the duration of Barrier Orb, or the enemies would need to destroy two sets of columns to make their way through. In a post-plant scenario where every second matter, this wastes not only time but also bullets from the already depleted weapons.
Even though it's very useful and not used enough, it's surprisingly easy to place down this Barrier Orb. All you need to do is make your way to the end of Garage and place the Barrier Orb as such.
4. EXTENDED BOOST ON C-PLATFORM
This is one of the boosts that should be used sparingly and at random intervals, to make the enemy team anxious. As you can see, this angle will expose you and there isn't a way to protect you if the enemy prefire you, but the first time you use it, you will have the element of surprise in your favour. To set this up is also very easy. All you have to do is jump on C-Platform and along the edge of the platform, place your barrier down. As long as you get your shots off before the enemy team does on you, this is a viable and useful barrier, but do keep in mind that if you don't, you will be playing at a disadvantage for the rest of the round.
5. ONE WAY PEEK IN A-HEAVEN STAIRS
Similar to the one-way peeks we explored in Split (which has a few), this is one the places where you can effectively use one-way peeks in Haven, and in A-Heaven at that! This one way is good to call out any movements that the enemy team may be doing after calling a rotation to A-Site.
To set up this one-way, similar to the other one-ways, you need to make a triangle between the Barrier Orb and the wall (which you can see from the left-hand side) in order to take advantage of this one-way. The bigger the triangle, the more you can see, but if it's too long, then the wall won't spawn that column, so you need to practise this firsthand to get a hang of the angles.
And there we have it. Here are some of the most creative and useful Barrier Orb placements to not only remember, but also use in your future games. Not only can you use them, but knowing how they work, you can also counterplay around these as you know what these barriers can achieve! If you liked this article, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or just join our #Digscord in order to meet the people behind Dignitas that make this thing so great, including the players themselves!