How to Play IceBox

Jalen Lopez  | 

: Ice Box is the latest map in VALORANT and features and emphasis on vertical gameplay. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

Act III of VALORANT added a new map for players to enjoy called IceBox. This frozen map adds a unique environment for players to explore and learn as it is relatively different from other available maps.

Vertical gameplay is already present in VALORANT, but IceBox takes it to another level with bombsites featuring multiple levels and ziplines to navigate the area. Players can get creative with their tactics and the locations where they plant the bomb to confuse the defending team.

Defending players also have multiple locations that they can use to ambush attacking players and easily hold a bombsite.

Attackers Side Spawn

IceBox Attackers Side

The Attackers Side Spawn in IceBox is connected to B Hut, B Green, Mid Blue, and A Belt. Players have three options when pushing through the map, although the paths leading towards each site are the most popular.

The B side of the Attacker Spawn area has two separate entries leading to B Garage and
B Green. B Garage provides more cover than the entry to B Green as it is directly in the line of sight of B Yellow.

Mid Blue is a solid choice for teams that prefer pushing down the middle lane, but the defenders will have more opportunity to pinch players. A Belt leads to A Nest and A Site and has multiple options for players attempting to take the site.

The submarine that attackers spawn in can be useful for players covering the flank. This raised area features a deep line of site into the middle lane, and players can also stay near the right wall to cover A Belt.

A Belt

A Belt IceBox

The A site in IceBox features one of the most unique layouts in VALORANT. Most sites feature some vertical gameplay such as elevated positions and surfaces, but the A site on Ice Box takes it to another level. Both sides have access to elevated platforms that make taking and defending the site much more hectic and fun.

Attacking players have two entrances to A Belt, leading to a ramp or a hallway into the main area. The ramp leads to a second-story platform that can be used to gather information about the defending teams set up or for an early-round pick. However, the defenders also have a clear view of the platform from multiple locations, so it is best to use abilities to distract or prevent the enemy from securing an easy pick.

A Nest

A Nest IceBox

There is a large pillar directly in front of the platform that provides cover for attacking players. This pillar also features a second-story that can be accessed by a zipline at the structure’s base. This area also provides an elevated line of sight into the A site, and there is also a zipline connecting to another pillar within the site. This area is more exposed than the second-story area closer to the attacking spawn, so it is not recommended to peak here without abilities to cover certain lines of sight or areas.

Players can jump down from the second-story area onto a lower raised platform above the ground level. This area goes deeper towards the A site and has cover from the back-right corner of the site. Players can use this position to cover A Screemand to eliminate rotating enemies.

A Pipes

A Pipes

Between A nest and the A site in IceBox is an area known as A pipes. This narrow walkway connects to both sides of the site and is also connected to A nest. A large metal structure protects either team from the opposite side, but it hard to reach this area unnoticed. Attacking players can drop smoke to cover the right side while one or two players sneak around the left to surprise the enemy team.

Defenders should be mindful of this location and should always be aware of both entrances onto the bombsite.

A Site

A Site IceBox

The A site is between A rafters, A screen, and A nest. Multiple objects around the site can be used as cover by defenders or attackers protecting the spike. However, there are several elevated areas in and around the site, so make sure to cover these areas.

The spike can be planted on the ground level of A site and can be planted in the second story area in the middle of the site. This area is connected to the pillar in A nest and provides a solid view of the entire room. Planting here makes it more difficult for defenders to defuse the spike, but it is also difficult to cover if multiple enemies are pushing the position.

Agents with abilities that allow them to reach higher areas such as Jett and Raze can jump on top of various structures around the site. Other Agents can also reach these areas by jumping from the second-story area, but it is slightly more complicated.

A Screen

A Screen

A Screen in IceBox connects the middle area of the map, the defender’s spawn, and A site. Most players will use this entrance when rotating between bomb sites or first entering the site when spawning each round.

A screen can be easily covered by attackers and defenders from multiple locations. The back area of A site beneath A Rafters has ample cover and effective lines of sight to quickly eliminate enemies pushing through the areas. Attacking players can use the elevated platform in A Nest to cover this entrance.

A Rafters

A Rafters

The defenders have access to their own raised walkway called A Rafters that can be reached from the defenders spawn. This walkway covers the entire back wall of A site and is an excellent position for players to pick off enemies from a distance.

A Rafters runs from the wall adjacent to A screen to the opposite end of A site. The majority of the walkway is exposed but does provide a solid view of A Nest and A Pipes. It is best to use this position when equipped with a rifle as SMG’s and smaller weapons will be less effective.

Players can access A Rafters from A site by jumping from the second-story area in the center of the area. Players can also jump on to storage containers and reach A Rafters, but both methods require practice to perfect.

Defender Side Spawn

Defender Side Spawn

The Defender Side Spawn is connected to A Rafters, A Screen, Mid Boiler and Pallet, and B Hut. This area is similar to the Attackers Side Spawn as it has access to the main areas of the map and can be used to watch for rotating players.

A Rafters can be reached from the Defender Side Spawn through a stairway outside of the A Site building. Defending players will not have to worry about attackers when using this stairway early in rounds as multiple walls cover it. However, flanking attackers can surprise defenders on A site if they manage to sneak through the middle or B-side lanes.

Most of the Defender Side Spawn is open, so players should use the surrounding areas to avoid being an easy kill.

Mid Boiler/ Mid Pallet

Mid Boiler IceBox

Mid Boiler in IceBox features a raised platform that faces B Tube, B Orange, and Mid Blue. Players can use this platform to cover the middle lane, but they will be relatively exposed to enemy players.

Mid Pallet is adjacent to Mid Boiler and wraps around the raised platform. This area provides more cover than Mid Boiler, but defending players will have to wait for attackers to push further into the middle lane before they can engage.

B Hut

B Hutt IceBox

B Hut is a two-story structure that connects to B Kitchen and B Back. This area mainly serves as a connector between B Site and the Defenders Spawn Area.

Players can use B Hut to reach B Back, which leads to B Site, or they can go through B Kitchen, which leads to B Hall and B Tube. Both pathways can be used to rotate between sites, but if the attackers have a hold on the middle lane, it is likely safer to go through B Back and the lower part of B Hut.

B Kitchen

B Kitchen IceBox

B Kitchen in IceBox is a small breakroom that connects B Tube, B Hall, and B Hut. Attackers can reach this area from B Tube, which connects to Mid Blue, or climb into the room from B Orange.

Defending players will often use this area when rotating between the middle lane and the B Site. It is an important area to hold as attacking players can potentially flank defending players on A Site or flank players watching B Site from B Snowman.

B Back

B Back

Behind B Hall and B Kitchen is an open area between B Snowman and b Hut called B Back. This back alley is mainly used by playing moving between the Defenders Spawn Area and the B Site, but it is also an effective flanking route.

Lurkers can move through B Site and B Back to surprise players while their teammates directly attack A Site. There is also an opening between B Back and B Orange that players can use to cover enemies from pushing or retaking the site.

B Snowman

B Snowman

B Snowman is a small area behind the B site. Defending players can sit in this area with long-ranged weapons to cover players pushing through B Green. There is not much cover in B Snowman, so make sure to plan accordingly.

B Tube

B Tube

B Tube in IceBox is a connector that runs from Mid Blue to B Kitchen. This is a quick and easy path to get closer to B Site, but it is difficult to enter if the defending team is covering it properly.

The entrance of B Tube is visible by both teams, which means players will have to lay down cover to enter the tube or eliminate the defending players covering the area. Players can also go beneath the tube into B Orange to surprise players sitting in B Kitchen.

Agents such as Jett and Omen can use their abilities to get on top of the tube, which provides a decent view of B Site. This will likely surprise players the first time you do it, but they will start to expect the strategy if you do it multiple rounds in a row.

B Orange

B Orange

B Orange in IceBox serves as the connector between the middle lane and B Site. This area has large containers in the middle, which breaks it into two paths leading into the site or directly under B Tubes. B Kitchen also opens into this area, which means players can sneak through mid to flank defenders on B site.

Both sides of B Orange provide a solid line of sight into B Site, and players can sit in this area to watch for enemies crossing into the site. Players can also retreat to this area of attackers manage to push in B Yellow. It is important to remember that B Orange is connected to the middle lane, and attackers can use this as an alternative route to B. It is also possible for defenders to push towards the Attackers Side Spawn to flank enemies or retake the A site.

B Hall

B Hall IceBox

B Hall is a slim connector between B Kitchen and B Site. The Hall connects to B Site’s second story, or players can drop down to the ground level.

It is essential o be quiet when moving through B Hall as players on B site can hear the footsteps of players moving through the area. The entrance to B Hall on either side can easily be covered, so make sure to flash out or drop smoke before exiting the Hall.

B site

B Site IceBox

The B Site in IceBox is between B Orange, B Hall, B Snowman, and B Yellow. A two-story structure sits in the middle of the site, and players can plant the spike on either level or in the surrounding area.

Attacking players can push through B Orange through the middle lane if they can cover their advancement or eliminate the players watching mid. Attackers can also move through B Yellow into the site, but this is an open area, and defending players have several ways to cover this entrance.

Defenders can fall back to the site if they are overwhelmed at B Green or Yellow and hide until their teammates rotate from A or try to get easy picks on the attackers. Defenders with long-ranged weapons can sit in B Snowman to cover the area from a distance or sit in B Yellow to eliminate enemies before they reach the site.

Players can also sit in B Orange and wait for enemies to cross into the site, but this will leave them vulnerable to enemies pushing through the middle lane. It is easy for attackers to overwhelm a single defender on the B site, so do not be afraid to retreat and retake the area with your team.

Attackers can plant the spike inside the B site structure, which provides some protection while vulnerable. However, the walls are penetrable by most weapons, so be wary of enemies attempting to wall bang you for an easy kill. Attackers should also use this to their advantage to eliminate defenders who have retreated during a push.

B Yellow

B Yellow

B Yellow features two large storage containers that sit between the B Site and B Green. The containers do provide decent protection from either side, but players will need to cross an open area to escape or rotate.

Defending players can use the yellow crate’s right side to cover one of the paths leading from B Green. Attackers will often flash out or use other abilities to protect their push, so players will either have to react accordingly or retreat to stay alive.

The opposite side of the yellow crate can also be used for cover but provides less of a sightline into B Green. Once Attackers control B Yellow, they can peak out from the other side to engage defenders. This is also an excellent area to cover the spike once it is planted as long as one person covers the flank.

B Green

B Green

B Green in IceBox is one of the first areas players attackers will typically encounter defenders. The area features two paths separated by a structure in the middle, so teams will have to commit to one path or go down both to overwhelm the defenders in the area.

All Agents can access the structure between the paths, but Jett and Omen players can quickly reach this area by dashing or teleporting. This area provides a decent view of B Yellow, but it is also an open space and does not provide much cover.

B Garage

B Garage

B Garage connects to the Attackers Spawn Area and B Green. This small building provides an alternative route into B Green as the other option from the Attackers Spawn Area is immediately in the line of fire. Players will still have to cross an open path when pushing into B Green, so remember to use abilities to cover your advancements.

IceBox is a fun and unique map that adds much-needed variety to the VALORANT map pool. Vertical gameplay is more present in IceBox than most other maps, but learning how to counter or use the areas to your advantage is easy after a few matches.

Jalen has been destroying noobs for almost as long as he could read. When not working full time in marketing, Jalen is combining his passions of gaming and writing as an esports writer.