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How to be a Smart Shopper – VALORANT Economy Guide for New Players cover image

How to be a Smart Shopper – VALORANT Economy Guide for New Players


A complete and updated guide of the economy and buying system for VALORANT. Make sure you know how it all works before jumping into a ranked game!

VALORANT not only requires precise gun-play and ability usage, but additionally includes an in-depth economy system. In order to assist your team in winning it is key to learn about this economy system to aid in your purchasing of weapons and abilities. With 17 guns to choose from, shields, and abilities to purchase, jumping straight into a match can be intimidating without understanding how the eco system breaks down. Fear not, here is our VALORANT Economy Guide.

What Can You Buy? VALORANT Economy Guide

At the beginning of each round, players have the option to buy any of the 17 guns, abilities or shields they desire. Depending on the situation of the game and your role, you choose the suitable gun for it. Understandably, the most popular guns are the Vandal, Phantom, and the Operator. The latter is a sniper rifle for the more experienced players.
However, we have even seen high profile players strafe away from the traditional guns and use the Odin, the heavy LMG weapon with a 100 clip magazine. This was Jay “Sinatraa” Won's trademark for a while early in his VALORANT career. Whatever you choose depends on the individual players credits and what you can afford to buy. All players start with the same number of credits and gain credits based on their round performance and results.
This is why you get to see teams giving so much emphasis and focus on winning pistol rounds. The ability to snowball an economic lead while starving your opponents out is an incredibly important aspect high skill VALORANT players understand. That's why this VALORANT Economy guide will (hopefully) help you better understand the system.
Make sure to keep an eye on your enemy team's economy and their buys every round, and to get yours through before it starts. The standard is to buy all your ability slots every round beyond pistol rounds. It is when you only prioritize the essential ability based on the remaining credits after your pistol purchase.
It's common to max out ability slots every round beyond the pistol round
It's common to max out ability slots every round beyond the pistol round

Credit Breakdown - How do I get credits in VALORANT?

  • First round of each half --- 800 credits per player
  • Round win --- 3,000 credits
  • Round loss --- 1,900 credits
  • Round loss bonus streak  --- 500 credits for 2 round loss streak, 1,000 for loss streak >2 rounds
  • Kills --- 200 credits per kill
  • Spike plant (offensive only) --- 300 credits to entire team
  • Max credits a player can have --- 9,000
  • Overtime Credits --- All players are awarded 5,000 credits per round if the match goes to overtime


There are six types of gun classes from you to pick from. The categories available are Sidearms, SMGs, Shotguns, Rifles, Machine Guns, and Sniper Rifles. Each of which are deadly in their own playstyle. Every player is capable of welding one sidearm and one main gun purchased from any of the categories mentioned.
Each gun has a price tag attached to it. From a one-dimensional observation, higher priced guns perform better. However, this is not always the case since consistency is key as well. The Vandal, Phantom, and the Operator sniper rifle has proved to be the most reliable since VALORANT's launch.
You will need to work together as a team to compliment each other's weaponry. We have seen multiple times in professional play where one of the players saves up with back-to-back pistol rounds to get the funds necessary to purchase the Operator for the team's star play. We will get to that later on in the piece on how to purchase weapons for friends and how to call for purchases. For now, check out all the guns available in VALORANT below.
The selection of weapons in VALORANT
The selection of weapons in VALORANT


You need to protect yourself in VALORANT as much as you can. Of course, there is the other option of killing them before they kill you, but this doesn't always go to plan as we all know. Well, you need to be prepared in this case. Armor allows you to have an additional layer of protection when you go into combat.
There are only 2 options Light and Heavy Shields. Light Shields cost 400 credits and provide 25 shield protections while the Heavy Shields cost 1,000 credits and provide 50 shield protections . Shields carry over after each round and if damaged have to be re-bought at the full price. This allows you to strategically spend on shields only if necessary, because you might come out of combat untouched after all.


Every agent in VALORANT has a unique set of abilities to purchase during the buy phase. Abilities costs vary on the agent and each agent gets one basic ability for free each round. There is three abilities attached to each agent, alongside a powerful ultimate. You can't purchase any points to allocate towards the latter, but we will explain to you how to get each agent's ultimate in the next section.
Depending on the agent, each ability serves a defined purpose. The available abilities in VALORANT range from basic smoke screens and teleports to trip wires and explosive grenades. With every patch, Riot Games tries to make sure their pricing is as balanced as possible with continuous tweaking till they are not too cheap or too expensive.


Ultimates are powerful abilities that agents must charge up to use though the collection of ultimate points. Agents gain one ultimate charge by:
Jett's Ulti requires 7 orbs
Jett's Ulti requires 7 orbs
  • Getting a kill
  • Getting killed
  • Planting the spike
  • Defusing the spike
  • Collecting the Ult orb located on the map

Save Rounds vs Buy Rounds vs Half-Buys

During your game, you have to learn how to manage your available credits and how much to spend each round. “Save rounds” occur when your team is low on credits, and you have to buy the less expensive guns. Such as pistols and low-cost SMGs or Shotguns. These rounds are harder to win due to your weaker guns, but as a team to for a plant or going for exit frags (killing the attacking team when they are leaving after planting) can make the best of these rounds.
“Half-buys” are your in-between rounds when you have enough to buy a decent gun and maybe some light shields and one extra ability, or a powerful rifle and no shields or abilities. These rounds can be played normally and if done successfully, you can upgrade your guns by killing your opponents and taking theirs.
“Buy rounds” are straight forward rounds where you buy out and purchase full abilities, heavy shields, and a rifle.
To determine how you are going to buy as a team, communication is key and discussion of buying strategies ahead of the buy phases is important in determining your team’s success. Players can request other players to buy them guns by left clicking on a gun on the buy menu.
We hope this VALORANT Economy Guide helped you! For more guides and news on VALORANT, stay tuned to
Joshua Barri
Joshua Barri
Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber, SEO Manager, SEO Editor | Twitter @barriboyj
Joshua "Barriboyj" Barri is a recent college graduate from the University of Oregon where he co-founded Duck TV Esports to provide broadcasting and journalistic opportunities to students. He has a passion for gaming and esports, and wants to help develop the industry.