VALORANT's newest map, Fracture, is finally here!
The game's seventh map notably deviates from the map design principles used in older maps, which can make trying it out it an intimidating prospect for newer players.
But fret not, we've broken down what you need to know about Fracture and how you can effectively play the new map from both the Attacker and Defender Side. Erase all thoughts about dodging Fracture in the queue by reading our survival guide on the new map below:
What you need to know
The division between Fracture's A and B Sites can be distinguished visually, with A Site on the right side of the map appearing as an arid desert, while B Site on the left can be seen teeming with foliage.
The new map is also a bit on the smaller side, with older maps like Haven and Breeze being significantly larger.
Aside from the contrasting visuals of its two sides, Fracture's other defining feature is its unique layout that is shaped much like the letter 'H', with parallel avenues leading to the A and B Sites connected by a central pathway.
Fracture's unique layout adds an interesting twist to the map's gameplay: instead of both the Attacker and Defender sides each having one zone where they spawn in, the Attackers can spawn in two zones in the north and south while the Defenders spawn in the middle of the map with easy access to both Sites.
Connecting the two Attacker Spawn zones are a pair of one-way ziplines, which allows the Attacker side to easily manoeuvre between their two Spawn zones and launch attacks on either Site from any direction of their choosing.
Take note that once you take the zipline, the enemy team will hear you and that you cannot stop or jump off early. However, you can still slow down your movement in the zipline in order to mask the sounds of your movements.
With the need-to-knows on Fracture out of the way, let's get into how to effectively play the map from both the Attacker and Defender Side.
How to play as the Attacker Side
At the start of the round, coordinate with your team and choose which Site to attack and from where. The paths to B Site from either Attacker Spawn zones are shorter but will leave you more open to attack. Meanwhile, the paths to A Site feature more turns and cover where Defenders can set up ambushes should your team enter without clearing them out first.
If you or your team think it's better to attack from the other Spawn zone, use the zipline to get to the other side. While standard use of it will get you there faster, slowing down your movement while taking it will mask your approach, and should leave the Defenders unaware of where you'll be coming from.
If you're confident in your team's coordination, the most effective way to take a Site is to pincer it from both sides. With the right timing, you and your team can then surround the site and pick off any Defenders there while providing each other with cover.
If you were also able to keep the other side in the dark regarding your team's movements, then you should expect fewer Defenders than usual and have an easier time taking over the Site.
While rushing isn't exactly a recommended strategy due to how easily the Defenders can access either Site from their spawn zone, getting your entire team to a Site of your choice fast enough while the Defenders are still trying to figure out what you're doing should give you the upper hand.
How to play as the Defender Side
Figuring out where and from what direction the Attackers will be coming from is the name of the game for the Defenders. Considering how smaller Fracture is compared to most maps, the sounds of the enemy team's footsteps or usage of the ziplines will be heard in a much wider area.
With that said, you have to assume that the enemy team will at least try to mask the sounds of their movements and attack from multiple directions. Therefore, maintaining control of vital choke points will be your key to victory.
If you're expecting an assault on A Site, make sure to keep A Dish to the north and A Hall to the south under control. Meanwhile, defending B Site means that you should cover B Arcade to the north and B Tree to the south.
In addition, protecting your Spawn zone is also of great importance to the Defenders as it gives them easy access to either Site in both normal rotations or retakes. While the Attacker Side has no conventional way of getting into the Defender Spawn zone without crossing one of the Sites, they can still sneak into the area if they have an Omen or Yoru player use their 'From the Shadows' or 'Dimensional Drift' abilities.
It is not optimal to rotate from both the north and south of the map during retakes, as it will take far too long.
Maintaining control of your Spawn zone will make doing so much easier, though you will still have to watch out for enemy ambushes upon entry.
Fracture has a lot of spots where you can sneak in and ambush enemies that don't check their corners, make full use of these areas as the Defenders to help further your cause.
Good luck in the new map!