SPRAY and pray?
For actor Alden Richards, it was like that at the start, trying out Valorant when it first dropped last year. Like many late millennials, he grew up playing CounterStrike in net cafes, but the hero shooter from the League of Legends developer was a different beast entirely.
“It was such a huge adjustment for me,” he confessed to Spin.ph at a roundtable forum organized by sister site PEP.ph. “Nasubukan yung pasensya ko. There were times I was really destroying my keyboard, kasi feeling ko, I'm too dumb for this game.”
We’re sure he’s packing a sturdier keyboard now (if you remember, Richards bought a half-a-million peso gamer PC rig a year ago), as he began to get a feel for the 5v5 FPS, as well as the ins and outs of the different Agents you can play as.
Calling to mind journalist Malcom Gladwell’s famous admonition, Richards (currently shooting new teleserye The World Between Us when he’s not tapping heads in Valo) reminded gamers: “If you play a certain game for 10,000 hours, you will be very good at it.”
Alden Richards on Valorant
This also applies to Agents — especially his four mains: Raze, Reyna, Cypher, and Omen. “Omen is number one,” he said.
The new robot in the block (revealed only last June) has also gotten Richards’ attention. “KAY/O is good sa akin.”
One Agent he can’t get quite a bead on, though, is Jet.
“Jet is very malikot. Ngayon, na na-nerf siya uli, tinanggal yung right-click feature niya na hindi na siya unli, one-time na lang, at nagre-reset na lang yung dagger,” he mused.
Richards compared the slippery, knife-throwing assassin to his other mains. “I played Jet once, got a good amount of kills, pero malikot siyang agent e. Unlike Raze. You focus on the satchels, you focus on throwing bombs, your showstopper. Si Reyna naman, if you feel like, 'Ah, may tutok ako today, magre-Reyna ako,' [malaki] ang difference.”
The same could be applied for your choice of weapons. He had a lot of opinions, for example, on the great Vandal vs. Phantom divide, and gave a lengthy take on the differences between two of the shooter's most popular weapons.
“Using a Vandal, it's more of a precision shots — you can instantly one-tap a lot of opponents using a Vandal. But you have to be very accurate with your shots,” he said.
Compare that, he said, to the Phantom.
“Si Phantom kasi, medyo meron siyang precision, pero mas [malaki] yung fire rate niya, mas maraming bala na lumalabas. So Phantom is good with long range combat, if you can control the recoil. That's the thing with the Phantom lang kasi. Mas mataas yung recoil.”
The good thing about the gun, though? “But you can do a lot of running shots, kapag close fight, tatakbo ka lang, tapos babarilin mo yung kalaban, using a Phantom.”
Ultimately, it’s about choosing the gun, and the hero, who feels right for you, and then practicing with them over and over again. That’s good advice for all kinds of multiplayer games, even ones without gunplay.
“It's really about playing the game over and over, being patient about it,” he said.
But if your choice of poison is the FPS, Alden Richards has some tips.
“Set your mouse sensitivity to a sensitivity that suits you,” he said. He ticked off his settings for Spin.ph: “Parang for me, my DP is at 800, and my scope sens is 0.4. Pero ako yun. Iba-iba kasi e.”
He added, “In any FPS, a good mouse and monitor is the priority.”
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