Much like other agents in VALORANT, Viper has two Basic, one Signature, and one Ultimate ability. However, she also has a set of unique passive abilities that enable her to reactivate her Poison Cloud and Toxic Screen during the match.
Viper is the only Agent at current to have two passive abilities: Fuel and Toxin.
- Two of Viper’s abilities, Poison Cloud and Toxic Screen, are toggleable; having any of them active drains her fuel bar at a constant rate, but having both active drains her fuel bar 50% faster.
The fuel bar from 0 to 100 is located in the bottom center of the screen. It indicates how much fuel Viper has left to use. It takes 10 to 15 seconds to completely drain it and 20 seconds to replenish it from 0 to 100. The fuel is used to power Poison Cloud and Toxin Screen.
- Abilities that apply Toxin cause affected enemies to have their maximum health instantly reduced, which get lower the longer they stay within the ability’s area of effect.
When enemies come into contact with abilities that apply Toxin, their maximum health is instantly reduced by 30 on initial contact, with an additional 10 health lost for every second spent inside the toxin.
C – Snake Bite: 200 Credits, 2 Charges
Video Credit: Riot Games
- EQUIP a chemical launcher. FIRE to launch a canister that shatters upon hitting the floor, creating a lingering chemical zone that damages and applies Vulnerable.
This ability is similar to Brimstone’s Molotov, but it is better; it creates a chemical zone that deals 12.5 damage per second to all enemies inside the zone. Affected enemies are also debuffed with Vulnerable, which makes them take double damage from all sources for two seconds since their last contact with the chemical zone. The duration of this ability is 5.5 seconds.
As an Attacker, Snake Bite can be used to gain map control, stop rotations, and clear corners. However, the best way to use it is in post-plant situations where you can stop retakes, and with good timing and proper lineup settings, you can even stop Defenders from defusing the Spike. Make sure to learn as many lineups as you can, because one Snake Bite can win you a round and change the course of the entire game. Keep in mind that Snake Bite can bounce once, and with proper lineups, you can throw it from mid to any site. Your sole job will be to stay safe on mid and wait for the enemy to start defusing. Just make sure to plant the Spike at the proper spot.
As a Defender, you can use it to delay attacks, as an enemy wouldn’t dare to step into it. If they do, they will be vulnerable and an easy target to deal with. You can also use the same lineups to stop Attackers from planting and deal a bit of damage in the process. In re-take situations, this ability is most crucial, as it can clear out corners and force enemies out of hiding to peek you in the open.
Q – Poison Cloud: 200 Credits, 2 Charges
Video Credit: Riot Games
- EQUIP a gas emitter. FIRE to throw the emitter that perpetually remains throughout the round. RE-USE the ability to create a toxic gas cloud at the cost of fuel. This ability can be RE-USED more than once and can be picked up to be REDEPLOYED.
Poison Cloud is Viper’s smoke ability. This ability is similar to regular smokes, but it also applies Toxin and causes a decay of 10 damage per second if enemies try to enter it. Once they leave the smoke, there is a 1.5 second delay before they start to regain that lost health and shield back.
With that in mind, you can be certain that enemies won’t camp and hide in your smoke no matter what. If they do, they are an easy target.
Due to the fact that this smoke can be reactivated as long as you have enough fuel, it has more uses than conventional smokes. It can be used as a one-way smoke that you can activate whenever you want, or you can place it on the Spike and activate it when you hear enemies start to defuse it. The smoke ball is indestructible, and it will stay there until you pick it up. If they decide to defuse the Spike, make sure to combine it with Snake Bite. Poison Cloud will decay their HP, and only a touch from Snake Bite is enough to kill them. Again, make sure to learn those Snake Bite lineups, as they are the key to successfully playing Viper in VALORANT.
E – Toxic Screen: Free
Video Credit: Riot Games
- EQUIP a gas emitter launcher. FIRE to deploy a long line of gas emitters. RE-USE the ability to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel. This ability can be RE-USED more than once.
By far, the most overpowered map control ability in VALORANT is Viper’s Toxin Screen. However, this ability must be used correctly; the wall will sometimes stop if there is an obstacle in the way. That’s why you should always aim upwards when throwing this wall. Luckily, lineups for the wall are pretty easy to learn. Before throwing it, the wall is shown on the map. Use it as a guide, and you will know exactly where the wall will land. Try to experiment with it, and you may discover some new lineups that will be unique to you.
The primary usage of this wall is to split a site in half and help your teammates get into a post-plant scenario. It can be used to seize site control for early rushes or even for fake attacks.
After activating the wall, you can go alone to the site and start shooting while your teammates are on the other side of the map. Enemies won’t be able to see how many of you actually entered, and it will cause a rotation that will leave the other site empty for your teammates to plant. On top of that, the wall lasts long enough so you can also escape, rotate, and help your teammates. Alternatively, you can stay lurking somewhere on the map and prepare your Snake Bite lineups.
As a Defender, you can use the wall to cut off some portions of the map and defend the site more easily. If you didn’t use it at the beginning of the round, it could also be used for re-takes. There are countless possibilities for every stage of the round.
X – Viper’s Pit: 7 Ultimate Points
Video Credit: Riot Games
- EQUIP a chemical sprayer. FIRE to spray a chemical cloud in all directions around Viper, creating a large cloud that reduces the vision range of players and maximum health of enemies inside of it. HOLD the ability key to disperse the cloud early.
Viper’s Pit is Viper’s ultimate ability. This ability is similar to Poison Cloud, only bigger. It covers a huge area of the map with smoke that decays all enemies that step inside of it. It also obscures the vision of and outlines your enemies in red. The duration of Viper’s Pit is infinite if you stay inside. If you leave or are forced out, you can be absent for 15 seconds before it falls. The best use for this ability is in post-plant situations, and it is undoubtedly the best post-plant ultimate in VALORANT.
Another way to use this ability is if you killed the Spike carrier and have the Spike somewhere on the map. You can use the pit to protect it and secure the round. You can also use it on defense, as it will help you to defend the site alone. Your teammates can freely stack the other site and have four players there. Just make sure not to waste it, as it is a game-changer in post-plant situations.
Playstyle for Viper in VALORANT
The primary job of Viper is as a more supporting character with a passive playstyle. You will want to set up your smokes and wall and stay alive as long as you can, as you can continuously reactivate them during the round. You should help your teammates and create more space for them with your utility. Make sure to save Fuel, and don’t overspend if not necessary. It is important to set up utility from a safe distance, especially when attacking. With just two abilities, Viper can single-handedly take control of the whole site. Of course, Duelists should be the ones to clean it up.
Here are a few tips for unlocking Viper’s potential:
- When the buy phase barrier drops, you can use a Snake Bite in conjunction with a strong lineup to completely negate enemy pushes. With good timing, the ability will connect with the ground as soon as enemies start to arrive, inflicting them with Vulnerable and making them much easier picks when they try to peek you. Viper’s icon on the minimap will indicate the range for Snake Bite, with the ability travelling about half of that distance if it is fired straight up in the air.
- While Viper’s Pit is an excellent tool for post-plant stalling and seizing valuable space, there can be a lot of value in canceling the ability early. Any enemies inside the pit will have their vision obscured, and ending the ability when they are not expecting it will leave them open to multiple angles.
- Fake presence by activating abilities during off-timings. An enemy that sees an active Poison Cloud may believe you’re in or behind it, creating an opportunity to attack from a different angle.
Even though Viper was nerfed in Patch 4.04, she is still a decent Agent to play. As a Controller, she is most effective when using her abilities to split the battlefield and create advantageous situations for her team. If you are an aggressive player or primarily prefer to use Duelists, Viper is not likely to suit your playstyle, as she focuses on taking space and debuffing enemies more than getting flashy kills herself. Utilizing tight angles and using your abilities creatively are the biggest keys to mastering Viper in VALORANT.