Sova is one of the two primary recon specialists in Valorant’s roster of agents. But while his fellow scouter Cypher focuses entirely on gaining information, Sova also comes equipped with the power to eliminate those unfortunate enough to be scouted by his arrows. Our Valorant Sova guide will walk you through how to make the most of each of his abilities so you can become the bane of the enemy team’s (hopefully short) existence.
Valorant Sova guide
Sova abilities overview
We’re probably all familiar with Sova’s abilities here, but let’s go over them again one more time just in case:
|Recon Bolt | Signature | 1 charge | Replenish charge every 35 seconds|
|Equip a bow with recon bolt. Fire to send the bolt forward activating upon collision and revealing the location of nearby enemies caught in the line of sight of the bolt. Enemies can destroy this bolt. Hold Fire to extend the range of the projectile. Alternate Fire to add up to two bounces to this arrow.|
|Shock Bolt | Purchasable | 2 charges | Costs 100c each|
|Equip a bow with shock bolt. Fire to send the explosive bolt forward detonating upon collision and damaging players nearby. Hold Fire to extend the range of the projectile. Alternate Fire to add up to two bounces to this arrow.|
|Owl Drone | Purchasable | 1 charge | Costs 300c|
|Equip an owl drone. Fire to deploy and take control of movement of the drone. While in control of the drone, Fire to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.|
|Hunter’s Fury | Ultimate | 7 charges|
|Equip a bow with three long-range, wall-piercing energy blasts. Fire to release an blast in a line in front of Sova dealing damage and revealing the location of enemies caught in the line. This ability can be RE-USED up to two more times while the ability timer is active.|
Now that we have a firm grasp of what Sova can do, let’s take a look at how to use these abilities in interesting and unexpected ways to help gain an advantage over the enemy team.
Sova tips – Recon Bolt
- Once it attaches to a surface, Sova’s Recon Bolt will pulse three times, revealing any enemies in the vicinity that it can see with each pulse.
- There are four power levels to your Recon Bolt shot: three for each portion of the power gauge, and then a fourth for maxing out the gauge. This makes it easier to recreate shots without having to time your shot absolutely perfectly.
- Even if your Recon Bolt is shot before it can track an enemy, that still gives you valuable knowledge: there is at least one enemy in the vicinity. It is therefore a valid strategy to forget about trying to make a Recon Bolt as unnoticeable as possible, and instead just try to land it as close as possible to the enemy so they have no choice but to shoot it and reveal themselves.
- You can shoot a Recon Bolt out of the air; you don’t have to wait until it’s stuck to a surface.
- The Recon Bolt requires line-of-sight to pick up an enemy, but it also has a maximum range; and this range works vertically as well as horizontally. So if you land a Recon Bolt too high up, it may not reach enemies on the ground below it.
- A risky but often powerful tactic is to use the Recon Bolt purely as a distraction. Fire it close by, then immediately peek out of cover and shoot the enemy that is distracted trying to destroy your Recon Bolt.
- Recon Bolts can attach themselves to players. If you manage to stick a Recon to an enemy, they won’t be able to destroy it themselves, and the tracking pulses will follow them around wherever they go.
- Check out the below video from YouTuber Akshon Esports on some useful and popular Recon Bolt lineups that every Valorant player should know.
Sova tips – Shock Bolt
- Shock Bolt has exactly the same firing mechanics behind it as the Recon Bolt, so anywhere you can reach with a Recon Bolt, you can reach with a Shock Bolt. Which is the point. Punish enemies you reveal with impunity.
- Shock Bolt can hit for a maximum of 90 damage, but there is significant damage dropoff within its spherical reach, so unless you get lucky, an enemy will likely sustain far less damage.
- You have no way of knowing if you’ve hit someone with your Shock Bolt (unless of course you kill them with it). So the Shock Bolt can’t be used as a scouting tool. However, it can be used to flush an enemy out of hiding.
- A Shock Bolt doesn’t deal damage the moment it sticks: there’s a delay of around half a second after landing, after which it pulses once, dealing damage in its vicinity (ignoring line-of-sight).
- These arrows take a surprisingly long time to land if you shoot them straight upwards at max power. An interesting tactic for delaying a spike defusal is to plant, then fire a Shock Bolt directly upwards at max power with two bounces. This will prevent anyone from defusing the spike for a good 20 seconds. Stagger both Shock Bolts to increase the duration of this deterrent.
Sova tips – Owl Drone
- Your Owl Drone lasts a total of 10 seconds. The Drone’s dart has a cooldown of 5 seconds, so you can only fire a maximum of 2 darts with a single Owl Drone use.
- It’s pretty difficult to aim with your Owl Drone dart, but even if you don’t stick anyone with the tracker, it’s still a very useful scouting tool that you should use whenever you feel unsafe rounding a corner.
- Unlike Recon Bolts, the Owl Drone takes several shots to destroy, making it a useful distraction.
- In order to provide the best possible distraction with your Owl Drone, peek a corner with it half a second before a teammate peeks around the same corner. Anyone focused on destroying the Drone should be easily dealt with by the teammate.
- Your Owl Drone may be able to fly, but it cannot travel beyond the character height limit – which means you can’t fly it over rooftops. Sorry.
Sova ultimate tips – Hunter’s Fury
- Two hits with Hunter’s Fury will guarantee a kill on an enemy. There’s no damage dropoff with this ability, so it will always hit for the same amount of damage.
- The range of Sova’s ultimate is great, but not limitless. Use the minimap line marker to gauge exactly where you can reach and hit with Hunter’s Fury.
- After the time gauge has depleted by about a third, you will no longer have time to fire all three arrows. So don’t delay too long before firing your first shot.
- Unlike most other abilities in Valorant, Hunter’s Fury can’t be cancelled by switching to a weapon. If you want to cancel early, you must instead hit the ability button again.
- You have full turning speed while aiming, but the moment you start to charge up a shot your turning speed grinds to a halt. However, the instant the arrow is loosed your turning speed is reverted to normal, so you can make surprisingly quick movements with this ultimate as long as you’re not charging an arrow.
- Most Sova players I’ve encountered will fire off all three arrows of Hunter’s Fury as quickly as possible. But this is very predictable and gives your opponents the highest possible chance of avoiding subsequent shots. You have more time than you think, so use it. Throw in a second’s delay between two of the shots to throw off your opponent.
Some additional Sova tips
- Realistically, Sova’s information-gathering potential will never match that of Cypher, whose skillset is focused almost entirely on reconnaissance. So the only way Sova can prove his worth against a Cypher is by capitalising on the information you gather with your two damage abilities (Shock Bolt and Hunter’s Fury). Use these abilities aggressively, and you’ll see what sets Sova apart from Cypher.
With that, we’ll conclude this Valorant Sova guide. But we’ve got plenty more to offer for any Valorant player looking to increase their skill and knowledge! Click any of the links below to head over to a different Valorant guide.