Mastering the Art of Instalocking in Valorant: Tips and Tricks

If you’re a Valorant player, you’ve likely heard the term “instalock” thrown around. But what exactly does it mean in the context of this popular tactical shooter game? Is it allowed, and how can you do it effectively?

We will explore what instalocking entails, how to achieve it in Valorant, the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy, and most importantly, how to avoid running into instalockers in your matches.

Let’s dive in and improve your gameplay experience!

What Does Instalock Mean in Valorant?

Instalock is a feature on Valorant‘s software system that helps organise matches, letting players rapidly take the agent they desire without the option of their choice being taken by their squad mates. Instalocking allows for rapid matchmaking and squad preparation. Casandra Ly shared in a PCGamer article that gamers install to ensure they get the agent they want and that a method to get the party leader to dodge by bargaining with an instalocker.

Is Instalocking Allowed in Valorant?

Instalocking is allowed in Valorant, but is frowned upon by the majority of the community. This term refers to picking a character as quickly as possible and regardless of the team’s composition. This is considered poor form because having a balanced team composition is vital to facing the opposition.

It is recommended to avoid instalocking. Not instapicking is generally the best strategy, and simply asking friendly questions in the chat to find the best role for all of your team members can help create an enjoyable cooperative environment. One of the ways to get around this without resorting to instalocking is to simply inform the team that you intend to play a specific character from the start. This gives sufficient time for the rest of the team to pick around your character, tailoring the composition to the characters chosen.

How to Instalock in Valorant?

To instalock in Valorant, wait for the agent’s model to render after the lock begins, move your mouse and/or aim at the agent’s head, and use typing instead of clicking your agent of choice to ensure when you click it is one of the first. Sometimes helped by a pre-set button configuration. If your monitor is slow, it becomes difficult in case of high internet latency. Raze is a good agent for Instalocking as most people do not use her because you would need to pick her while the map is loading.

Pick Your Agent Quickly

The first step to instalock in Valorant is to pick your agent quickly. After deciding which agent you want to play, be ready to quickly make your selection before other players take your agent. The instalocking process is similar to a personal shopping event where agents are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As soon as the character selection screen becomes available, instapick your chosen agent. This requires your mouse or keyboard to be already placed over the agent you wish to lock in. This practice helps people who are not mindful of their role in communication to assist in team selection.

If others as a matter of team balance transmit and implement their agent preference later with an unselected agent, it is because the instalocking has not worked. If someone is truly insistent on playing a particular agent, the best alternative is to defer and pick a different agent.

Use the Hover Method

The hover method for possible Instalocking in Valorant involves selecting the player you want to instalock during agent selection and hovering over or pre-selecting the agent. This involves just keeping your cursor over the agent or agents you want, and leaving it there, and not letting others pick their agents in the meantime for you to replace which is likely to happen.

This screenshot shows the hover method. Although the official play button cannot be seen, Corwin at least attempted to play because that only appears once every agent has been unlocked. His frame has locked in both the agent Jett and his opponent’s agent Omen. If an instalock was attempted, his opponent would not be able to pick Jet so he would instead pick one of his other agents.

Communicate with Your Teammates

If other members of your team want to instalock, you can flip a coin with them to decide who will get the better agent. In VALORANT, skill with an agent can outweigh its compatability with one’s own team members. Maintaining a healthy local chat with your team members ensures positive camaraderie, and can prevent an instalock player from becoming a thorn in your side. Always be careful about making such assumptions, as some instalocks follow some interesting strategies.

Be Prepared to Fill In

If you are playing with a 5-stack in Valorant, the chances are high that more than one of you will want to instalock. Be prepared to fill into a different role if one of your teammates is quicker to instalock. Ask if one of your teammates intends to instalock their preferred agent before the round starts. If they say yes, give up your preferred agent in anticipation of them securing the role. As Ryoma said in his game, an instalock ‘is provided’, so respect the etiquette of the instalock. If you don’t have a preferred agent, just wait for your chance to select a role.

What Are the Benefits of Instalocking in Valorant?

The benefits of instalocking in Valorant include the ability to consistently play a specific agent, singular control of team composition (no other Valorant agent duplications), the ability to quickly choose the agent you want without being slowed down too much by the picks of other players, and the ability to motivate teammates to choose the composition that complements your instalocked agent choice. Instalocking is advantageous if the agent pick mirrors the overall map strategy. For example, a commentary blog suggests that players want a healer once the first duelist or initiator (say Raze) is locked. Rather than ask Sri to go healer, simply lock Sage.

Instructional Valorant content creator MiniMini highlights that insta-locking agents is easy and reliable as nobody tries to reinforce instalockers to play another agent. Better to play what you are comfortable with instead of everyone starting to argue what agent players should pick. He continues by saying if you do not instalock, one of your teammates may do it in place of you — so it is better to make your choice clear from the start, especially if it will affect the choices of your teammates. Otherwise, people lock whatever they want; at least people can adjust themselves before the match starts. Rinnova, a casual gamer, says, insta-locking motivates the team to correctly choose the composition that complements the instalockers’ choice of agents as none of the teammates are in a position to argue with the instalocker regarding the pick (as the instalocker may not have all agents at his/her disposal). So the team does not suffer in case of wrong decisions and others can change their picks accordingly.

Allows You to Play Your Preferred Agent

Instalocking allows you to play your preferred agent. If you are an extremely strategic player and believe your team must have a specific agent, you can instapick to ensure you get who you want before other players take them. As each agent brings unique abilities to the match, knowing how to have your favorite agent on your team can make a big difference in the match’s outcome.

Can Help You Climb the Ranks

Instalocking an agent can help you climb the ranks in Valorant because it allows you to specialize with that character. More consistency on one agent means you will understand that agent much better. You will understand your chosen agent’s limitations, best ability usage, and strategies to overcome the strengths and weaknesses of every other agent.

According to Blitz, by specializing in a single agent, you will be a more valuable member of your team. You can dedicate yourself fully to mastering the agent’s abilities and focus less on strategies to counter other agents. This shift of focus from offense to defense can help raise your survivability rate which is important as the goal of the game is to stay alive with your teammates. You can also understand your agent’s latency and other shortcomings to work around them to perform better in matches.

What Are the Drawbacks of Instalocking in Valorant?

The main drawbacks of instalocking in Valorant are that your team will be at a disadvantage shortly after the beginning of the match, as not all agent selections are truly flexible. When some higher-skilled agent’s main jobs are not fulfilled, the organizing tactics and rotations of the team can quickly break down. If multiple players instalock the same duelist agents, the team might not survive long enough to find out if its agent composition can carry victories.

Can Cause Conflict with Teammates

Instalocking creates conflict when multiple players on a team instalock the same agent, arguing over using the agent, leading to in-match arguments, and a decline in team performance. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology student and competitive CS:GO player William Blitzchung Lee explains that agent picks can be more situational than in CS:GO because of the different abilities Riot Games bring to the default. The expressions for different abilities are some of the main players contributing to the strong performance of a round. So when we have a player and a luxury pick like Phoenix or Jett but they pick Sage we run into agent composition issue and fundraiser difficulties where we can’t run a simple composition. This sends your entire team’s strategy and communication out the window.

Team members may be restricting themselves in response to high-level competition or class assignments where they have the right to restrict themselves, but always conducting yourself in this situation will have a positive impact on your team’s morale and performance.

Limits Your Flexibility in Team Composition

Flexibility in team composition is important for the best strategies for winning. Valorant is a game where team coordination is very important and fulltime insta-locked players can seriously damage the balance. They may compromise the best chance of victory by selecting their agent carelessly or by creating an incohesive team environment. There is a time and place for every agent and staying flexible in your composition can give your team the best chance of success.

How to Avoid Instalockers in Valorant?

Using some strategies involves building enough of a dedicated player base to avoid instalocks and joining a pro Valorant Esports team as well as creating a team. Insta-locks are easier to avoid when you can surround yourself with reliable friends. Alternatively, it is suggested to take short breaks away from the game, be communicative and clear about what you want before the match starts, select a less popular Agent, or discuss with your team how to best proceed and select.

Communicate with Your Teammates Early

In the 40 odd seconds that you have before the Buy Phase runs out, quickly assess your team composition. Listen in on how much cash they have at the moment and strategize on which weapons to buy. Indicate that you are planning for them in the opening seconds of the pre-round break. They need to understand that you are planning their money, otherwise, they may get frustrated, especially if they were expecting to buy an operators themselves. At this point, there isn’t enough time to argue about what to buy, so it’s important to convey your plans immediately and ensure they are on board.

Be Flexible with Your Agent Selection

If someone else picks your main agent, do not be a troll or whine over voice chat, and do not stubbornly lock your main agent anyway. The quickest possible insta-lock in Valorant is to prevent the captain’s strategy from imposing negative impact on the team. One of the main principles of the game is to be a Team Player. The game has 1 designated Team Captain known as initiator or entry fragger. Players have to follow the captain’s calls no matter what if they want to win more games. Select an agent that works well with the mix of agents already selected by the team, and provide knowledge and information support to the team captain, helping the team follow the captain’s strategy.

Here are some recommendations for selecting an insta-lock alternative if your main agent is picked by another person When Duelist is taken, a supportive controller (Brimstone, Omen) or perhaps a flame agent (Viper, Phoenix) can be selected. Although the sage agent serves a good supporting role, he is not a good substitute for a duelist. When Sentinel is Taken, another safer agent such as Sage, another Sentinel max, or a supportive controller (Brimstone, Omen) can cope. Flex and Onmens are good alternatives. When Controller is Taken, Omen and Viper are good tactical alternatives. Raze and Reyna are strong aggressive choices.

Report Toxic and Instalocking Players

The final method on how to instalock in Valorant is simply reporting toxic and instalocking players. If you are the victim of an instalocker who goes on to not use their pick in a meaningful way, report them. We cannot expect community values to change if we do not take part in the battle against toxic behavior online. Help improve the user experience for the newer and more casual players by being involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I instalock in Valorant?

To instalock in Valorant, you need to select your desired character as soon as the character selection screen appears. This means quickly navigating to the character and locking it in before anyone else can select it.

Why is instalocking frowned upon in Valorant?

Instalocking is frowned upon in Valorant because it goes against the teamwork and communication aspect of the game. It can also create tension and conflict among teammates who may all want to play the same character.

Is instalocking considered cheating in Valorant?

No, instalocking is not considered cheating in Valorant. It is a legitimate strategy that some players use to secure their preferred character. However, it is important to communicate with your team and be willing to switch characters if needed.

What can I do if someone else instalocks my desired character?

If someone else instalocks your desired character, try to communicate with them and see if they are willing to switch. If not, be flexible and choose another character that compliments the team composition.

Can I instalock in competitive matches?

Yes, you can instalock in competitive matches in Valorant. However, it is important to consider your team’s needs and communicate effectively to create a balanced team composition.

What other strategies can I use instead of instalocking?

Instead of instalocking, you can communicate with your team before the match and agree on character selections. You can also practice and become proficient with a few different characters to have a wider range of options during character selection.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *