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Riot Games has recently released Act 2 Episode 2 for their FPS shooter, Valorant. The new act launched with a brand new Agent, Astra, who is a space-faring, star slinging controller. Her kit is more than capable of completely shutting out enemies, using a variety of tools under her belt. This guide will give you the best tips and tricks to teach you how to play Astra at the highest level.
Gravity Well: Activate a Star to form a Gravity Well. Players in the area are pulled toward the centre before it explodes. Enemies will want to be cautious of this, otherwise, they'll find themselves vulnerable.
Nova Pulse: Activate a Star to detonate a Nova Pulse. The Nova Pulse charges briefly then strikes, concussing all players in its area, creating room to assault the crowd controlled enemies, or suppress enemies rate of fire holding long angles.
Signature Ability – Nebula: Activate a Star to transform it into a spaced themed hollow smoke.
Dissipate: Astra can place Stars around the map. If she needs to move them at any point in a round, she can dissipate them, returning them to her inventory after several seconds. Dissipate briefly forms a fake Nebula (smoke) at the star’s former location.
Ultimate Ability – Astral Form/Cosmic Divide: Activate to enter Astral Form where Astra can place her Stars. Stars can be reactivated later, transforming them into a Nova Pulse, Nebula, or Gravity Well. Also, her actual ult, Gravity Well, creates a wall that denies enemy vision and bullets for 25 seconds.
Astra tips for using Gravity Well
Gravity Well is one of the most unique abilities in Valorant. Astra can drag anything, including herself into the centre of the Gravity Well. The ability works incredibly well for corners. The ability can potentially drag anyone placing close to the corner out of position, or perhaps even cause an ally to wide peak an angle an Operator user may not expect.
Alternatively, the ability has the potential to synergise with the abilities of other characters. Using Gravity Well on the other side of the smoke can drag a player into smoked vision, where their body may become exposed. Moreover, the Well can suck people into molotovs if timed incredibly well. While these require some communication, strategy and timing, the potential is limited with these Astra tips.
Tips on using Nova Pulse
Nova Pulse is an ability that concusses enemies within the vicinity of the Star. The concussion feature works similarly to Breach’s as enemies hit have blurred visions and slower rates of fire. The best trick for this ability is to place this at typical angles. Players holding B tower on Split can get concussed at the boxes, back of the stairs, or holding lift as the attackers come from mid. For Defenders, you can place them at mains to concuss any assaults.
The Nova Pulse is also with a blast at angles Operator users position at. It is incredibly dangerous for a sniper to peak an angle while they have dazed movements speed and blurry image. This is to essentially save the use of smokes, which can help create a smoke cover or block vision of more important angles in rounds.
How to best use Nebulas
Astra has two recharging smoke grenades as her signature ability, with each one taking about 15 seconds to refill. The smoke grenades are hollow and can be placed onto objects using her stars. Furthermore, her smokes can go off at a range since she places sats in her astral form. Smokes can be prepped as she can place Stars in the buy phase, meaning she can set up an entire play all by herself with useful smokes.
Furthermore, the ability to place smokes at pinpoint accuracy means she can create creative smokes more reliably. The A-Main boxes on Bind are one example, as placing smokes on the boxes create one-way angles overlooking the default plant and lanterns’ A Main side. Use this to your advantage on the defence side of maps.
Cosmic Divide Tricks
The best Astra tips available for Cosmic Divide is to use it reactively. The worst decision a player can make is actively using the ability, only to realise you need to adapt at the last second. The reason for this is Cosmic Divide creates a wall of space matter, denying vision of the other side and prevents bullets from penetrating through it. Making a mistake with the wall can come costly.
For this reason, it is better to first gather key information from your allies, and then place the ultimate. This works for both sides of the map. Defenders will want to use this once when they know an actual take is on the way. From there, roamers need to gather information to work out if the opponents rotate from the obscured vision. For the attackers, it is arguably better to create the wall for the planter or to cut off angles in the post-plant.
Astra naturally suites using the Vandal and Phantom in full buys or is a good choice for the Bucky. Astra’s control in short-range moments makes her one of the best shotgun users in the game, as she can get closer to the enemy with well placed Novas or dragging opponents out with the Gravity Well.
The standard 2900 rifle buy is also a good shout. As a controller, her job is to help make plays happen and control the opponent. There is no better gun for that than getting a clean spray pattern with a solid gun like the Vandal or Phantom.
Riot Games has defined Astra’s role as a controller incredibly well. Viper is a more committed controller to certain plays by placing her poison walls on specific sites while deploying relocatable smoke grenades with her deployable traps and pseudo mana bar.
Brimstone, on the other hand, is a controller that is best with the team. He deploys smokes in a radius while helping to control the site directly with mollys. Astra is way more technical, with her cross-map tool kit, relocatable items and mixed controlling effects. The best strategical Astra tip is to consider the map, team comp, and your own game knowledge to get the best out of her.
We hope you get the best out of these tips and tricks to make the most out of your time playing Astra. Images via Riot Games
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