Originals

Valorant: How To Play Neon

Neon is a great character in Valorant but can be difficult to master. This guide can help neon players better their craft.

July 30, 2022

Valorant is the last game anyone ever expected to have a super quick Sonic-like Call of Duty feeling character. Yet, that’s exactly what players get with Neon–the fast loveable character from the Philippines with a killer kit that makes her powerful if played correctly.

Neon serves the Duelist role allowing her to rack up kills. Using her Kit incorrectly can end up losing rounds and feeding the enemy team. This guide will have information that can help all players trying to pick up Neon.

Abilities

Relay Bolt – Neon’s Stun/Concussion

Relay Bolt is by far one of the most useful abilities in Neon’s kit. Here are the most important things players need to know about it:

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  1. Players are going to want to learn how the Relay Bolts bounce works.
    • Studying maps in customs and getting a feel of where the best spots to stun might be will make a huge difference in matches.
    • Neon players might want to change the Relay Bolt key binding in the game’s settings from Q to not accidentally hit it while trying to hit W. (Note: If a player’s mouse has a thumb mouse button this might work best.)
  2. Relay Bolt needs to be learned to be used on the fly aggressively when the situation calls for it as it creates an easy opportunity for a pick.
    • Players should use it every time they’re about to enter a fight.
    • Make Sure to use Relay Bolt before swinging corners.
  3. On defense, players will want to hold corners with Relay Bolt to slow down or prevent pushes.
    • Players will want to keep in mind that they should only really pre-fire one Relay Bolt when defending where they think a team might enter through. They’ll want to save the second one in case the team rotates or for when they are absolutely sure the enemy team is full pushing.

Sprint

Sprinting is key to every good Neon. Here’s how to go fast tactically:

  1. Neon players should always have their gun out before sprinting.
    • If Neon’s knife is out while sprinting and the sprint comes to an end she’ll end up pulling out her knife and have to do a pull-out animation for her gun leading to an unfortunate demise.
  2. Having a basic understanding of movement and hopping is essential in mastering the sprint.
    • The best way to master movement is by playing customs and learning how to bunny hop around maps fluidly.
    • Neon needs to create abnormal movement patterns to throw opponents off.
    • Players always want to be in a constant state of strafing and hopping.
    • Players shouldn’t worry about their sprint energy when rotating. Sprint energy replenishes with one kill.

Slide

Slide goes hand in hand with the sprint as it can only be activated while sprinting and is as useful as the sprint itself. There are many intricacies to the slide that Neon players must learn:

  1. Players must know how to slide in every direction possible.
    • To slide in any direction you need to be inputting some kind of forward movement: For example, hold down W, W + A, or W + D.
    • To do a backward slide what you want to do is hold W while sprinting, then right as you let go of W hit S + right-click to slide backward. This slide is not very useful unless used while jumping.
    • To do a jumping backward slide you sprint, hit W, hit the space bar to jump, and then as soon as you hit the ground you want to hit S + right-click. This slide will be useful for quickly peaking corners for information. (Note: When you practice this keeping an ear out for Neon’s thud sound when she hits the floor can help with timing.)
  2. The most practical slide is the walking slide which should be every Neon’s best friend.
    • It allows players to slide corners where they know enemies are aiming and catch them at an off angle.
    • An angled walking backslide away from a corner can do wonders. To do this hold shift + A while sprinting, then when approaching the position you want to do an angled back slide away from hit S + right-click.
    • Using a stun slide combo is the best direction to go to increase kill count. To do this throw Relay Bolt and as soon as it goes off walk slide in a direction that will make it so that your opponent has to flick. (Note: Players should have their sprint energy at least at 10 if they want to walk slide.)

Fast Lane – Neon’s Double Sided Wall

Fast Lane can be used to cut up the map. It makes openings that can be beneficial to players and their teammates if used intelligently:

  1. Fast Lane can go over objects so players need to make sure they aim it accordingly. (Note: Not aiming accordingly might create some gaps in Fast Lane.)
  2. The best way to traverse Neon’s wall is to be sprinting while jumping and strafing in and out of it to collect information.
    • Never run straight through Fast Lane. Enemies can jump into Fast Lane easily and take players out as the wall does no damage.
  3. Players need to keep their teammates in mind when throwing Fast Lane.
    • Neon should never use it to block off vision from an entire site from their team.
    • Neon should never throw a Fast Lane that causes their teammates to be forced to walk through it.
  4. Use Fast Lane to split the site to where most of it is visible but a large portion is cut off to the enemy team. 
  5. Make unfair battles using Fast Lane.
    • Make it to where your team is always outnumbering the enemy going in. (Note: Always remember that Valorant is a numbers game and the team with more players alive usually wins.)

Overdrive – Neon’s Ultimate (Ult)

Overdrive can be deadly and make for truly remarkable plays when used correctly. Here’s how to use it correctly:

  1. Players must make sure that they learn to close distance quickly.
  2. It takes about 6 ticks to kill a player at close range and around 15 at far range.
  3. The best time for a player to Ult is when they’re at or near full HP–never use the ultimate at low HP.
  4. Have all of your utility before using it and remember that using Overdrive resets a player’s slide.
    • Always use a slide if it’s available before you hit Neon’s ultimate.
  5. Use the ability to double slide by using a slide before Neon’s ultimate then popping Neon’s ultimate and sliding again to push up on enemies quickly and catch them off guard.
    • This works best by running through mid and using Neon’s Fast Lane to create chaos as well as the Relay Bolts to make openings for picks.
  6. Pre-fire angles with Overdrive.
    • This makes sure that enemies don’t get a kill on you if they decide to swing the angle you’re watching.

Using Neon On Attack and Defense

Attack

Neon’s strongest traits come out when she’s attacking. Players must always keep in mind:

  1. Players can play Neon as fast as humanly possible while attacking, but only when have all of their abilities.
    • Neon should be using her abilities to try and stun enemies and throw up a wall to split up site so that she can make an opening for her team, cause unfair battles, and hopefully give the spike holder enough time for an easy plant.
  2. Neon players must communicate with initiators.
    • Initiators can get vision of the map which lets Neon know where to throw her Relay Bolts and Fast Lane.
  3. Make sure to never stray too far from the team.
    • Neon players need to ensure that their teammates can trade her and play off of the opening that she creates.
  4. Players should always try and work as best as they can with other players’ utility. If there is an agent with a flash communicate and use their flash to help create an opening and get a kill.
  5. If playing aggressively is not working players should slow down.
    • Players should try to make methodical slow pushes based on their utility.

Defense

Neon is still great at defense, but players need to play her differently as aggression might get players killed more than land kills. Here are the best ways to play defense:

  1. Neon’s fast and it’s fun to run up on people for those MLG plays, but more often than not this will get Neon killed and hurt her team.
  2. Play a position that allows for Neon to easily take control with her stuns.
  3. Learn how to jump peak because jump peaking with Neon is fast and useful for gaining enemy positioning.
  4. Relay Bolt can delay pushes. It should be used to try and hold a site while a player’s team rotates to them.
  5. Constantly use sprint when rotating and try to save a stun for retaking if possible.
  6. Neon’s wall is useful for retaking sites as it allows players to break a site up for their teammates and take control of the site in digestible chunks.
  7. Players should use Neon’s sprint to flank, but be mindful of using Neon’s wall to avoid traps that characters set.
    • Players need to make sure to flank only when there is a hard push on a site and they know their flank will be unpredictable.
Originals
Elias Rodriguez
@dokidarth

Elias Rodriguez graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in English and got his Master's Degree in Secondary English while serving two years in Teach for America--a program to help children in low-income communities get educational equity. He is an Evergreen Article Specialist with a love for video games spanning all of the genres. Elias began playing video games on the Nintendo 64 when he was four years old and has devoted much of his life to different gaming pursuits since then. From High School into his adult years, he's made skits and reviews on different games that he's loved. Once he finished his Teach for America Corps time and a third year of teaching, he decided to follow his dreams and make video games his work which is what led him to DualShockers.

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