Valorant is a tactical, team-based shooter created by Riot Games. The title has an array of colourful characters in the Agent pool for players to choose from. KAY/O was a later addition to the game, and to capture his essence in a word, it would be “punishing”. KAY/O players will punish you for wrong positioning, over-peeking, corner camping and relying entirely on abilities over gun play.
Here's our comprehensive guide on how to play as KAY/O in Valorant.
Read More: Valorant: How Agent Contracts Work
Is KAY/O Good in Valorant?
Riot Games have created a War Machine for Valorant players, but he is not completely void of emotions. According to Valorant's background story, KAY/O is from the future, and he cares a lot about his human friends, but not so much for the Radiants.
That property alone makes him an efficient killing machine against powerful, self-sufficient Duelists like Reyna or Raze. However, it's not just the abilities that KAY/O has, but how players respond to suppression in the game; opponents can easily be rendered helpless when an opposing team is pushing a Spike Site with KAY/O.
Is KAY/O Good for Beginners?
Unlike Sova's dart or Breach's flash, KAY/O can stop enemies from using their abilities with Zero/Point. This allows teams to instantly take site control and set up for a post-plant situation while attacking. While defending, KAY/O can “lockdown” cross-sections and entry points when the attackers rush in.
KAY/O is one of the strongest Agents in Valorant because of how he can impact enemies abilities, but beginners might have a hard time playing this character. Most beginners in Valorant do not have a consistent aim, and that is something players need to have while playing KAY/O.
How To Play As KAY/O — Abilities & Skills
Frag/ment - KAY/O equips an explosive fragment. FIRE to throw. The fragment sticks to the floor and explodes multiple times, dealing near-lethal damage at the centre with each explosion (Damage is highest at the centre of the radius).
Flash/Drive - KAY/O equips a flash grenade. FIRE to throw. The flash grenade explodes after a short fuse, blinding anyone in the line of sight. Right-clicking the flash bang, throws a charged flash, causing it to only have to cook for 1 second, as opposed to left-click throwing a flash that cooks in 1.6 seconds.
Zero/Point - KAY/O equips a suppression blade. FIRE to throw. The blade sticks to the first surface it hits, winds up, and suppresses anyone in the radius of the explosion.
Ultimate: Null/CMD - Instantly overload with polarized radianite energy that empowers KAY/O and causes large energy pulses to emit from his location. Enemies hit with these pulses will be suppressed for a short duration.
- While overloaded, KAY/O gains Combat Stim.
- If KAY/O is killed while overloaded, he is downed and enters a destabilized state, allowing allies to stabilize his core and revive him.
KAY/O Best Weapons
The best weapons to select for any Agent in Valorant will depend on their role and the player's play style.
So if you're aggressively pushing sites for entry, then these weapons will be the best choice.
In case you are hanging back and adopting a passive play style with KAY/O, then work your way around with the following weapons:
Tips for Playing KAY/O in Valorant
KAY/O players certainly need to make good use of their abilities from the beginning of every round. Getting enemies trapped in the suppression radius can be deadly if players are not crisp with their aim and crosshair placement, as it prevents them from using their abilities for a period of time.
For instance, I was playing Yoru in the team and I left my Gatecrash near a teleporter on Bind. After entering the site, I moved in, and this is when the opponent KAY/O used Zero/Point near the intersection of his spawn point. All of Yoru's abilities instantly froze up and went into suppression mode. Essentially, I couldn't teleport out of the spot while suppressed, leaving myself vulnerable to enemies. This is not just for Yoru, and KAY/O affects every Agent in Valorant uniquely.
KAY/O's set of abilities are ultimately based heavily on suppression of enemies, which encourages pure FPS gun play. So, the most important aspect to counter KAY/O mains is by improving your aim, which every player will do over time and with practice.
CS:GO fans will love KAY/O flash ability, as it allows players to create pop-flashes easily. In the right hands, KAY/O can flash enemies up close without flashing teammates or himself, and blinded enemies in close range are an easy kill.
The Frag/Ment (a grenade) is another versatile ability that allows players to get some free kills. Learning all the line-ups for KAY/O's Frag/Ment ability will help players particularly in post-plant situations as they try to protect or defuse the Spike.
KAY/O's Ultimate Interaction With Other Agent Ultimate Abilities
KAY/O can ruin the game for certain Agents, especially Duelists. With the recent changes in the economy and ultimate points, KAY/O's ultimate can counter several Agents in Valorant.
The following list focuses on how KAY/O's ultimate affects each Agent in Valorant:
- Disables Raze's ultimate.
- Disables Sova's ultimate.
- Deactivates Skye's Guiding Light.
- Disables Jett's ultimate: knives are removed, but Jett can still glide.
- KAY/O Fragment destroys Killjoy's ultimate.
- Doesn't disable Viper's ult, but the Agent cannot activate her other utility once struck by KAY/O's pulses.
- Doesn't disable Yoru's ultimate.
- Doesn't disable Reyna's ultimate.
- Doesn't disable Phoenix's ultimate.
KAY/O is ultimately a very strong Duelist and as of right now, we are yet to find many weaknesses when it comes to playing him, besides the fact that a KAY/O may encourage more aggressive rushes. With KAY/O, opponent teams can try to double-down on site control by closing off essential choke points, and they'll be certain to use their abilities when they can.
Additionally, players with strong aim who can challenge KAY/O in a gunfight without depending on their abilities will prevail against him, but it's not just improving one's aim that players need to focus on. Thus, one has to master the mental state of remaining calm and precise even without their abilities. Players who have natural one-tap skills can easily hold their ground, even if they are suppressed. Theoretically, baiting out KAY/O's utility would be ideal, but countering his ultimate will require rigorous practice.
Valorant's war machine turns into a tank in his ultimate. Combat Stim combined with suppression pulses forces players to engage in gunfights, and weaker players will be taken down quite easily. The added advantage of having KAY/O on your team is that if the opponents kill him in his ultimate state, then any teammate can restabilize him. In his downed state, KAY/O has 850 HP, and opponents can choose to gun him down or use him as bait to get easy kills. KAY/O's ability to recover from 'death' is a strength for him, but can be a weakness for his team if the opponents decide to use this ability as bait.
That's all you need to know about playing as and countering KAY/O in Valorant. To find who is best for you to play as in Valorant, check out our tier list of all agents here.
This article was updated on 18th November 2021 by Kelsey Raynor.