Understanding Valorant's economy

Our Valorant economy guide aims to keep the cash flowing for you and your team, saving you from too many eco rounds.

If you’ve not made the jump from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant’s economy can be a daunting thing. Different amounts of money are earned from kills, round wins, losses, spike plants and defuses, meaning there’s a lot to keep track of, and it’s not always clear how much you should be spending. To help you out, we’ve put together a Valorant economy guide which will explain the basics of the game’s economy, and provide some basic suggestions for how to approach key rounds in the game, so you’ll rarely find yourself running low on cash.

Valorant’s economy: The basics

Valorant Economy guide eco full buy
 
© Riot Games

Valorant’s economy system is thankfully a lot simpler than CS:GO’s so we’ll start with the very basics; below we’ve listed all the ways to earn money in Valorant, from kills to Spike plants. Bear in mind that these may change as the closed beta is updated.

  • Starting money: 800
  • Kill bonus: 200
  • Spike plant: 300 (for the entire team)
  • Spike defuse: 300
  • Round win: 3,000
  • Round loss minimum (1 round): 1,900
  • Round loss streak bonus (up to 3): +500 for each additional loss in a row
  • Round loss maximum (3 rounds): 2,900

The Spike plant gives your entire team 300, and you can still get that reward after the round has ended through you killing the entire enemy team. If you have the chance, always plant the Spike at the end of a round to get that money.

The loss streak bonus aims to help teams which lose several rounds in a row. The first round you lose will give you 1,900. Each consecutive loss after that adds 500, up to a total of three losses. That means if you lose three rounds in a row, you’ll earn 1,900, 2,400, and 2,900. Continued losses thereafter will earn 2,900. Any wins you obtain will reset the round loss reward to the minimum of 1,900. It’s a little confusing, but Valorant helps out a lot by showing your minimum money next round in the top left of the buy menu.

Full buys and eco buys

Understanding Valorant economy
 
© Riot Games

You’ll hear players and commentators for Valorant refer to full buy and eco rounds a lot. So what do these mean? In general terms, a full buy refers to having enough money to purchase either a Phantom or Vandal (2,900), Heavy Armor (1,000) and Utility (varies between Agents, roughly 500). This means that to full buy, every member of your team will need around 4,400 money at the start of a round. Naturally, this number will change depending on whether you saved abilities, didn’t die, or plan to buy an alternate weapon in a round. If players don’t want to worry about abilities, they’ll need a minimum of 3,900 to buy just a rifle and armor.

An eco or economy round is when a team saves their money, usually buying just a pistol or nothing at all so that their entire team can afford a full buy in the next round. Taking an eco round can stop your team from finding itself on low money, unable to afford rifles for several rounds in a row. However, as you only need 13 rounds to win Valorant, you’ll want to manage your economy to take as few eco rounds as possible.

The pistol round

What you buy in the pistol round will depend on your Agent and playstyle. Duelists will typically want a gun and armor, while control characters may want an ability or two to help their side enter or defend the plant site.

If you win the pistol round, you’ll earn 3,000, plus any other bonuses. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to afford a full buy, but you can probably pick up heavy armor with an SMG, Marshal or budget rifle, and utility powers. Use the range you have over the other team to your advantage, so you don’t get caught out by surprise shotguns or site rushes.

Valorant when to eco
 
© Riot Games

If you lose the pistol round, you’ll only earn 1,900 for the next round, so you should usually eco this round and save all your money. If you do so, you’ll get another 2,400, for a total of 4,300. That’s just short of full buy money, which should mean your team can compete on an even footing. It’s always better to lose one round by saving your money than to lose several in a row because you can’t buy proper weapons, armor or abilities. That said, you can surprise opponents who expect you to eco by purchasing cheap but deadly weapons like the Bucky or Sheriff, but it’s a risk. 

Check your team’s money

From then on, start every round by looking at the money spread for your team. If two players can’t afford to buy at least rifle armor (3,900), your team should consider taking an eco round to get your economy back on track. This is subjective, as you may be able to have a player buy a cheap weapon like a shotgun/SMG if they’re defending a close-range position such as Bind’s window entrance to B-site.

It’s always good to spread money among the team. If you’re rolling in it but someone else on your side is hurting for cash, buy their weapons to spread the money evenly between players. This will stop your side from needing to take eco rounds as often.

How to get money Valorant
 
© Riot Games

Quick tips:

We’ll close with some quick bits of advice to help you save money or bear in mind when considering your team’s economy in Valorant.

  • The maximum money you can hold in Valorant is 12,000. If you are approaching this, offer to drop weapons for your teammates on lower money.
  • You keep abilities between rounds, even if you die. Save them if you don’t think you’ll win the round.
  • Some abilities (e.g. Cypher’s Spycam or Viper’s Gas Emitter) can be collected again. Doing this before the end of the round will stop you from needing to buy them again.
  • If you buy an expensive weapon after winning the pistol round, play it a safe. If you lose the gun, the enemy team can use it to win the round or take a lot of money from you.
  • Check your team’s money at the start of every round.
  • If losing multiple rounds, try to save 1,000 in each so you can afford at least rifle and armor next time.
  • If your team can all afford but you can’t, only spend money on support abilities and armor. Help your team get a kill and you can grab the weapon your enemy drops.

So there you have it, everything we have to share in our Valorant economy guide. It might seem daunting at first, but you’ll soon get into the flow of when to buy or save. The main principle is working to stop your team from repeatedly finding itself low on cash, unable to buy effectively. For more Valorant tips, head over to our game hub by clicking here.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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