There are many weapons in VALORANT, the tactical first-person shooter made by Riot Games. In order to become a master of the game, it's pivotal that you learn to master the weapons in it. That's why we've made a series of weapon guides for VALORANT weapons discussing the weapon cost, the weapon damage, and controlling the weapon's recoil. In this guide, we'll be talking about the Ares light machine gun.
Costing 1700 credits, the Ares is the cheapest of the two light machine guns (LMGs) in VALORANT, costing almost half of what the Odin costs. The price of the Ares indicates its purpose well: it's a 'transition' weapon. You buy it in the early rounds when you've accumulated a bit of money and want to accelerate that lead. Alternatively, if the enemy is low on money and will probably only use pistols, you can purchase the Ares to punish them saving money. After all: you're not making a big investment yourself.
The bullets of the Ares do a reasonable amount of damage, but it's the fire rate of the weapon that gives it its power. It starts with a fire rate of 10 bullets per second, and gradually ramps up to shooting 13 bullets per second as you hold down the fire button. In total, you can fire 50 bullets before needing to reload. With the Ares, you can mow down multiple enemies after another without having to reload.
The table below shows the exact numbers for the damage the Ares does in VALORANT:
|Target:||0-30 meter range||30-50 meter range|
|Body||30 damage||28 damage|
|Head||72 damage||67 damage|
|Leg||25 damage||23 damage|
The Ares excels at medium-range combat. Opponents thirty meters away or further take reduced damage, as the bullets lose their impact. It's not a massive drop, but something to take into account when you're facing opponents that stand far away.
Almost all fully automatic firearms in VALORANT have two fire modes. A hipfire mode which fires rapidly but inaccurately, and an ADS (Aim Down Sight) mode which fires slightly slower, but also reduces the recoil a bit.
It's different for the LMGs in VALORANT. They do have the regular hipfire mode and ADS mode, and yes, the ADS mode reduces the recoil a bit. But there's another trick to make your Ares more accurate: crouching. While crouched, both the vertical and horizontal recoil of the weapon are reduced. If you're using both ADS mode and you crouch, the weapon is surprisingly accurate.
Here's the best part: the Ares doesn't lose fire rate when you're in ADS mode or crouched. It still starts at a 10 bullets per second fire rate, and ramps up to firing 13 bullets per second. The main downside is your field of view (FOV); when you're in ADS mode and zoom in 1.25 times, you cut off a bit of your vision at both sides of your screen.
You still need to learn how to control the recoil, however. It's best done by slowly dragging down your mouse as the Ares drags upward. The horizontal recoil, the back-and-forth from left to right, is difficult to predict and difficult to counter. At longer distances, where this sway becomes a problem, it's best to fire in short bursts and let the crosshair reset to its original position before you fire again.
Most of the time when you're looking for a cheaper, but effective alternative to assault rifles you'll be choosing between the Ares and the Spectre as they cost almost the same. The Spectre is silenced, making it difficult for enemies to trace the shots, and up to 20 meters its bullets do more damage when hitting the target's head or body. The Ares is unapologetically loud and suffers from more recoil, but deals more damage beyond 20 meters and can fire far more often before needing to reload.
VALORANT weapon guides:
For more VALORANT content including guides, patch notes, and news, check out our dedicated VALORANT section!
Images via Riot Games
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