Struggling to conquer Ascent in Valorant? You might just be missing a few key strategies. Don’t fear though, as we’ve got you covered with all the callouts and intel you need to push for a 13-0 next time you launch onto the Tuscan-themed map.
Ascent has two Reactor Sites, but it may as well have three, given how crucial Mid control is on this map. More than any other Valorant map, getting control of Mid on Ascent is the gateway to success as attackers and defenders.
Just by taking a look at the map below, you can see why. It’s also worth familiarizing yourself with all the callouts, as we will be referring to them in this guide.
Ascent is one of Valorant’s more balanced maps — it can truly come down to just gunplay. However, with the right strategies, you can make it as attacker or defender-sided as you want — whichever plays in your favor. Here’s how you can master the map.
How to play as an Attacker on Ascent
Reactor Site A
There are two routes to attack A Site on Ascent — straight from A Lobby to A Main, or down Mid Catwalk into A Link. However, you’ll typically use the first route, as it’s the safest even though it forces you through a choke.
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Because of this, you need to be prepped to charge on through. Agents like Breach, who can flash and stun the site, and Omen for smokes are a necessity. Having a Jett who can quickly dash onto site and start the pandemonium is good, as well as a Raze to flush out anyone playing Hell.
Then, once you got site, you should plant next to Generator — the big black box on the West-side of site, giving you an angle to defend from Short, Hell, Main, and Wine.
Reactor Site B
B Site is much the same as A Site: Two pathways, one through B Main, and one down Mid into B Market. Again, the B Main route is safest, as you won’t need to take Mid control, but it comes at the cost of having less map pressure.
Smokes and stuns are once again the key for breaking out onto B. Stunning or flashing the line from B Lobby to B Main where Defenders usually peek is a must, so bring your Breach and your Omen again. Then, smoking off Market and back towards Defender Spawn will allow you the cleanest possible hit.
Once on B, plant behind the default boxes in the middle of the site. You can then hold from Boat House in the back, and watch the pushes from both Stairs and Speedway. Having someone play the off-angle in B Main also helps too.
If there is any map where mid control is crucial, then it’s Ascent. It’s the gateway to every conceivable position on the map — up Catwalk into A Link, through B Market to B Site, and even wrapping around Defender and Attacker spawns.
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We’ve already spoken about how key they are to potentially attacking both sites. However, that doesn’t mean you have to dump all your utility into taking it. You can smoke under the Arch to push safely up Catwalk if you choose.
However, if you push up Mid, be sure to smoke out Cubby on the A side. This is the angle Defenders will pick you off from.
How to play as a Defender on Ascent
Reactor Site A
A lot of utility on A Site Ascent is going to be dedicated to stopping the attackers from pushing through that A Main choke. While Cypher’s tripwires were once the industry standard, most players are now resorting to just watching sightlines and smoking off the entrance.
If you give up control of A Site, it’s a lot easier to retake than B, so you might even see teams play a full retake strategy where they give up site easily. You can come at the site from three different angles as Defenders, so as long as you clear the main areas like Wine, Hell, and Tree Room, you can cleanly get control.
Throwing some flashes in as an Agent like Skye is the best way of playing like this, allowing your team to quickly burst onto site without much trouble. Breach is also a solid option, as he can clear out Hell with his Aftershock.
Reactor Site B
Much like A Site, B Site on Ascent is all about holding the B Main choke. Stopping the enemies from rushing onto site by throwing down tons of utility at the entrance is the play.
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Sova and Killjoy are the Kings (and Queens) of defending Ascent’s B Site. Sova’s Shock Arrows are incredibly potent at dealing damage at the start of a round, and he can also Recon Bolt to peer into B Main, then fire away with an Odin.
Killjoy, on the other hand, is great for a passive hold. Her turret and Nanoswarms make it an attacker’s nightmare to clear and push.
Defending Mid on Ascent is best done with an Operator. And who’s better than Jett when it comes down to Operator duties. You can hold Mid from two places — Cubby, out by A Site, or from B Market. These have two different sight lines, and it might be worth covering both.
As we mentioned on the attackers side, Mid is the key to Ascent. If you can maintain Mid control on defense, you’re well on your way to winning the round. Forcing players through the chokes is the number one objective, so you can dedicate a lot of resources into keeping Mid your own.
While these are a base set of strategies you can employ on Ascent, the number one thing is communication. Playing the map and calling out what you see is better than any stratbook for players just learning the game.
You’ll slowly be able to pick up on the things we mentioned here — and maybe come up with your own OP strategies — so you can really take Ascent by the reins every time it comes up in Ranked.