Valorant Viper Agent Guide | Abilities and How to play
Viper is one of the leading Controllers in Valorant and is always a welcome addition to any team.. She is one of the more complicated agents so here is a guide on how to play her!
Everything you need to know about Viper
Viper is significantly harder than a lot of other agents in Valorant, especially with part of her passive being her fuel, which her Poison Cloud (Q) and Toxic Screen (E) both drastically revolve around. This high skill difficulty agent reaps high rewards when Viper is mastered, becoming one of the best agents for map pressure and zoning in the game.
Is Viper right for you?
If your play style is very methodical and you are a very defensive player, then Viper is for you! You may be transitioning from other Controllers to Viper and if so, know that she is a lot more lineup focused than Omen, Astra and Brimstone, meaning you will have significantly more to learn.
Viper’s Fuel is the first half of her passive which controls her Poison Cloud (Q) and Toxic Screen (E). A bar (as seen in the picture above) starts full at 100 then decreases when her Poison Cloud (Q) and Toxic Screen (E) are toggled on and active.
The Fuel takes 15 seconds to go from 100 to 0 and then takes 20 seconds to replenish back up all the way back up to 100. You will get an audio cue telling you that Viper’s poison is low when the bar reaches 25 so you can prepare for the enemies’ push.
This is best watched after a few seconds of activating one of the abilities that use Fuel, keeping an eye on whether it will run out soon.
The second part of Viper’s passive is Toxin. Viper’s Poison Cloud (Q), Toxic Screen (E) and her Viper’s Pit (X) all apply Toxin to any enemies that come into contact with them. Enemies who come into contact with a Toxin based ability instantly lose 30hp for 1.5 seconds, with an additional 10 lost for every extra second they are in the ability.
This passive is very good for zoning off enemies as abilities that use Toxin also double as vision blockers/reducers. A lot of vision prohibiting abilities do not cause damage to their opponent, meaning enemies cannot push through Viper’s abilities and take a fair gunfight.
Snake Bite (C)
Snake Bite (C) is one of Viper’s basic abilities and the only one that doesn’t afflict enemies with her Toxin passive. It does however affect them with the Vulnerable debuff. Enemies with the Vulnerable debuff take double damage from all sources and in the case of Snake Bite (C), Vulnerable lasts 2 seconds on enemies.
How to use Snake Bite (C)
The ability shoots a chemical canister that explodes when striking the ground and makes an area of effect Vulnerable zone that lasts for 6.5 seconds. Using this ability, you can zone off areas of the map from a safe distance by learning the lineups.
Snake Bite (C) has two charges which can be bought per round, with each costing 200 credits each.
When and where to use Snake Bite (C)
Only costing 200 credits, buying Snake Bite (C) on pistol rounds at the beginning of each half is viable, we would recommend the following combination of pistol round purchases: a singular Snake Bite (C), a Ghost and 100 credits remaining. Alternatively she could also buy light shields and two Snake Bite (C) casts.
This ability is very good for zoning off enemies and as a Controller, this is exactly what you want to be able to do. Due to Snake Bite (C) having two casts, Viper can zone off multiple entryways and choke points at once.
You can also fire Snake Bite (C) canisters onto the spike to prevent enemies defusing, especially if you have planted and know the lineup to do this from a safe distance.
Poison Cloud (Q)
Poison Cloud (Q) is Viper’s smoke ability. Whilst other Controllers, such as Omen, Brimstone and Astra can all directly place their smoke abilities exactly where they want, Viper has to aim and throw her smoke. This is where Viper’s difficulty level increases, as a good Viper player will know a vast amount of lineups for each map.
How to use Poison Cloud (Q)
Our tip is to learn two lineups for each map, one for offence and one for defence!
Viper’s Poison Cloud (Q) can be used at unique angles to create one way smokes, so that Viper can kill the enemies before they even see her. Like all smokes, this ability is very good at blocking off entryways- even more so because it applies her Toxin debuff passive.
Poison Cloud (Q) can also be picked up by Viper and rethrown, so don’t worry if you mess up the lineup the first time, chances are you can always go and grab it and try again! This is also very useful for defending a site, as if you need to rotate, you haven’t wasted an ability and utility on nothing.
When and where to use Poison Cloud (Q)
Viper’s Poison Cloud (Q) is very effective when defending a site, as you can create one way smokes by launching the ability into strange areas of the map. Viper is a very hard agent to force a push against. Viper can throw her Poison Cloud (Q) onto a spike defusing enemy when she is playing attack to force them off.
You should rarely have your Poison Cloud (Q) and Toxic Screen (E) active at the same time due to the large amounts of fuel consumption they will require.
Poison Cloud (Q) is only active when Viper has fuel to spend, so be careful that you don’t get caught off guard when it disappears because you have run out of fuel!
Toxic Screen (E)
Much like Viper’s Poison Cloud (Q), Toxic Screen (E) is a vision prohibitor, except this time you can block vision of multiple entryways or choke points at once. This is a very powerful tool when defending a site or forcing a push onto a site.
How to use Toxic Screen (E)
Our Tip for Toxic Screen (E) is aim up into the sky and look on your minimap to see where the Toxic Screen (E) will block off then fire, as if you use the Toxic Screen (E) when looking at a wall, it will not go past it!
Toxic Screen (E) also applies the Toxin debuff that comes with Viper’s passive, but won’t last as long as enemies can walk straight through it.
When and where to use Toxic Screen (E)
The reason Viper’s Toxic Screen (E) is so effective is because with just this one piece of utility, Viper can force the enemy team to rotate before they have even properly made a push onto a site. The lineups are important with Toxic Screen (E), as you need to know where you can fire them to block off multiple areas of the map.
Use this ability at the beginning of a round, especially on defence. You can use it to usher enemies onto another site by yourself, where your team can be lying in wait to kill the enemy when they rotate.
Be careful though, as with Poison Cloud (Q), this ability uses Viper’s Fuel passive, so do not get caught unaware by standing out in the open when the wall goes down if they do not rotate!
Viper’s Pit (X)
Viper’s Viper’s Pit (X) (a mouthful I know) is quite possibly the best defensive zoning ability in Valorant as it can last all round long if Viper stays inside of it.
A cloud of toxic gas expands from Viper when she activates the ability, applying her Toxin passive to any enemy that gets hit by it.
How to use Viper’s Pit (X)
After being placed, Viper’s Pit lasts for 15 seconds, but whenever Viper enters the chemical cloud, the timer refreshes- meaning if she stays in the vicinity, the cloud will stay there indefinitely. Viper only needs 7 ultimate charges to activate Viper’s Pit (X) so try and use it whenever you can!
When and where to use Viper’s Pit (X)
If you can get an early spike plant on the attacking side, Viper’s Pit (X) is one of the best ways to secure the victory as not only do the enemies not have access, they also do not know where the bomb is planted. This is helped by the fact that enemies get nearsighted when entering Viper’s Pit (X).
Be warned though, this is not just limited to enemies, everyone (including Viper herself) gets nearsighted when in Viper’s Pit (X).
Good players will save some of their utility if they hear the audio cue of an enemy Viper using her ultimate ability, as utility is the best way to flush a Viper out of her pit. Area of effect damaging abilities, such as Phoenix’s Hot Hands (E) or Brimstone’s Incendiary (Q) are the best way to do this.
A good way to use this ability is in conjunction with Viper’s other abilities, such as Poison Cloud (Q) and Snake Bite (C), as she can force enemies off the spike and stop them defusing it with the area of effect nature of the two aforementioned abilities.
Our tip for using Viper’s Pit (X) is to save the ability for when you have planted and cleared out all angles on a spike site, as well as on offence asking your team to let you have all if not most of the ultimate orbs so you can help secure spike explosions and round wins easily!
Best and worst team compositions for Viper
As a Controller, Viper is always essential to any team composition, Valorant is designed to have close range fights and the smokes and other methods of prohibiting vision that Controllers provide is paramount to this.
Being the only Controller to have a singular smoke, Viper is often best paired with another Controller who can smoke off another site on defence, meaning the enemy will struggle to rotate.
The best team compositions for Viper
The reason this kind of team composition works so well with a Viper is because the double Duelist setup provides damage through their abilities, something Viper does not have. The extra Controller allows for more smokes for defending two sites at once and the initiator being very good for offence and defence- giving intel to where Viper should throw her Snake Bite (C) and Poison Cloud (Q).
The worst team compositions for Viper
A bad team composition for Viper would lack that extra Controller to smoke off other areas of the map. A team composition without real damage, such as a Jett or Raze is very bad with Viper when attacking as she is all about setup and needs damage dealers to distract.
Similarly, on attack, Viper needs an Initiator on her team to gather intel on her enemies and allow her to set up correctly. Viper is pointless if she uses her Toxic Screen (E) on the wrong entryway!
The Best and worst maps for Viper
Viper excels on maps where she can block off multiple areas at once. When defending, a Viper will always aim to fire her Toxic Screen (E) so it covers more than one entryway at once. Viper struggles with very open maps where her wall doesn’t cover a large area.
The best map for Viper
Hands down the best map for Viper is Bind. Her Toxic Screen (E) is so crucial on Bind as it can block off two or three separate areas that the enemy can push through.
She can safely block off both B mid and A mid at once as well as splitting spike sites in half with her wall. One of the most effective is blocking off Lamps and Cubby, forcing the enemies to either rotate to Showers or towards B.
The worst map for Viper
The worst map for Viper is Ascent. Considering Viper likes to block off multiple entryways at once and Ascent is very open in the middle of the map, Viper players will struggle to get the full effectiveness out of her Toxic Screen (E). There are only a couple of real lineups for Viper’s Toxic Screen (E) to block off multiple areas and even then, enemies can still rotate through mid to flank her.
Best and worst guns for Viper
Although Viper likes to control the map and force enemies to rotate, she is very effective with close range guns. This is because she can surprise enemies who push through her Toxic Screen (E) and Poison Cloud (Q).
The best guns to use when playing Viper
The best guns for Viper focus on her ability to kill enemies when they are at a deficit, such as when they have taken damage pushing one of her vision prohibiting abilities. Viper’s best guns go as follows:
The Vandal/Phantom is down to personal preference, but the Phantom is harder to locate shots if you are firing through one of your vision prohibiting abilities.
The Spectre and Judge do very similar things, as Viper can hide in an angle close to her Toxic Screen (E) or Poison Cloud (Q) and surprise enemies with lower health than her due to her Toxin passive. These are both also very good when she is in her Viper’s Pit (X) as everyone is nearsighted and in close quarters.
The Ghost is very good for pairing with the Judge as you won’t want to reload constantly in fights and it provides a little bit more sustain for longer range fights than the Classic pistol.
Lastly the Shorty is a very underrated pick on Viper, but only when her ultimate Viper’s Pit (X) is available. It does the same job that a Spectre/Judge does in this situation, but is a lot less costly and you lose very little if you don’t use Viper’s Pit (X) that round.
The worst guns to use when playing Viper
Viper doesn’t really have any bad guns, it all depends on your playstyle. Some guns suit the Viper playstyle of surprising the enemy less than others however. These are the worst guns to use when playing Viper:
Now, as I said, there are no guns that are bad on Viper, but some you just should never be buying. Viper struggles with the Marshal as she blocks off her own line of sight. A tactic that Viper players use when sniping is to drop and raise their wall to peek and get a shot off. This works with the Operator because she more than often will 1 shot kill an enemy if she hits- unlike the Marshal.
The Stinger should never be bought, if you don’t have enough for a Spectre just save your credits. The same goes for the Bucky, especially as the Shorty will do the same job for a lot cheaper.
The Bulldog can be bought sometimes, but only if you really want to sit back, the Spectre is cheaper and suits Viper’s playstyle much better.
Defending Tips for Viper
- Learn your lineups! If you can successfully hit a lineup with your Toxic Screen (E) and Poison Cloud (Q) every time, you will force an enemy to rotate and they will struggle to play the site you are defending.
- Play patiently. Viper is a Controller and works well when forcing enemies to make mistakes out of their comfort zones. When enemies are forced to another site and rotating means you can help your team massacre an unprepared enemy team.
- Beware of enemies waiting out your Toxic Screen (E) and Poison Cloud (Q). Just because someone hasn’t shown on your site straight away, does not mean they are not there!
Attacking Tips for Viper
- Learn aggressive lineups too. Viper is very good defensively but attacking, newer players can struggle on her. Sometimes she can block off her own team with her Toxic Screen (E) and Snake Bite (C) as it damages your allies too. You will want to learn lineups that prohibit enemy vision and help you push.
- Know your limits. With Viper, she revolves around her Fuel mechanic, do not start a push when your Toxic Screen (E) and Poison Cloud (Q) are just about to go down due to no fuel. Instead save your fuel for when the enemies have used a lot of utility already and you have a free push.
- The best tip for attacking with Viper is to save some of your utility for after the spike is planted if you can. If not, use it to force out an entrenched enemy, especially as you can do this from a distance.
There you have it, the last Viper guide you will ever read, are you planning on picking up Viper after this? Let us know if this helped, and remember- learn your lineups!