One of the key aspects of VALORANT's gameplay is its use of unique maps that serve as battlegrounds for players to compete on. Currently, there are seven maps available in the game, each with its distinct layout, features and strategic opportunities. These maps are Bind, Haven, Split, Ascent, Icebox, Breeze, Fracture and the recently added map Lotus. These maps, especially the ones present since the beta, have helped to define VALORANT as game. Uniqueness has been achieved through the use of zip lines or even teleporters to help in rotations on a map.
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One of the ways they accomplished this was through the creation of maps that challenged players' strategic thinking, requiring them to adapt to various situations and enemy tactics. As such currently we have seven maps that are in the current competition cycle. With Breeze and Bind being banned in the current season, let's take a look at VALORANT maps tier list.
S Tier – Ascent
It would be wrong to not put Ascent as the best map in the game. Known for having followed the classic FPS style of map structure, each spike plant site has two entry points as well as one from mid allowing attackers to take the site from multiple avenues. Ascent's use of verticality, with its numerous elevation levels that players can exploit to their advantage, is one of the map's distinguishing elements. Players must rely on their skills and their coordination to get through the obstacles on the map, which include a lot of barriers and tight spaces that make it simpler to ambush the opposing team.
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To increase the tactical complexity of the gameplay, Ascent's design also includes a variety of hiding places and chokepoints that players may employ to set up defensive positions or catch opponents off guard. Ascent is a popular map among many fans of VALORANT since it is generally well-designed and provides players with a distinctive and difficult experience. This is all achieved as well as ensuring that in one way or another, each character is quite viable to be used.
A Tier – Haven, Lotus, Split
On this list, we have Haven and Lotus, which both have three plant sites on the map, therefore making them the biggest maps in the game. Due to these three sites, one might have to decide what part to defend and how to. Either in the form of having players there or the massive amount of utility. As such, each map brings along its fair share of randomness. Haven, while being one of the oldest maps in the game, has seen its own fair of change with each meta. Lotus, however, being the new baby in the ecosystem, is still being learned. Currently, in the VCT Lock//In Tournament, nearly all teams have had a different team composition from one another.
Split, on the other hand, is another classic map that was lost in the shuffle. Due to there being so many maps last Act, it was banned from the map pool. Since its return, it has been one of the best maps to play on. This is either due to the chaos that one can create in mid or due to the map having so many narrow lanes which become chokepoints for one to take advantage of.
B Tier – Fracture
This tier features one of the most debated maps in the game – Fracture. Since the map launched, there has been constant discussion of its quality due to its unique layout. While the Defenders are placed on both plant sites, the Attackers can be placed in either place. There are two entries to each plant site and therefore, the Defenders can be sandwiched from either side.
With more of an emphasis on utilities, this could be to figure out from what side of the map they plan to attack. This could be done by either having the Cypher trip wires or even the Killjoy Alarmbot placed on either A main or B main. As such, one would allow the rest of the team to be able to hold angles to punish the Attackers.
C Tier – Pearl
These maps are the worst in the current pool and in all honesty, are the maps that fans wouldn't mind being removed from the map pool. This is because Icebox is one of the most boring matches to watch and play. The need for a character like Sage needed mainly to use the wall for the post plant isn’t that helpful. Pearl on the other hand since its release has been a part of many discussions on how to make it better.
On defense, it is essentially required to have an Operator in order to get the first pick toward the B-site. Each of these maps has its share of pros and cons. In the current meta, it seems that there are more cons than pros which leads to it frequently being banned during VCT Tournaments.