Sova is an excellent agent in VALORANT who can win you many games if played effectively. This article will cover all the essential lineups for every map an aspiring Sova main needs.
VALORANT is a tactical shooter with each player properly fulfilling a specific role in the team, so while picking Sova, you must first know about his abilities, role in the team, playstyle, and how you can utilize him effectively to secure victory for your team.
Raised in the harsh climates of the Russian Tundra, Sova is an Archer and Hunter who joined VALORANT as an agent and their Scout. His class is the initiator, and his abilities focus on gathering intel.
His Recon arrow can be shot anywhere on the map and sends out sonic waves that detect enemies in its line of sight upon landing. You can learn new lineups but don’t get too carried away as you only need a few basic and convenient lineups for each map. A good rule of thumb is to remember 2 arrow lineups for each site, one for attacking and one for defending, with 4-6 lineups per map.
In VALORANT, Sova is classified as an Initiator agent. Sova’s kit gathers information on the enemy’s whereabouts and maintains map control. His role is to challenge angles with his reconnaissance abilities and help his team to enter secured areas of the map, pushing away the enemies.
In a tactical shooter like VALORANT, knowledge is one of the essential resources to achieving victory. Knowing the enemy team’s whereabouts with Sova will put your team at a massive advantage that you can utilize in order to win the match.
The defenders might hold certain angles, perch up in unusual spots and also stack up on one area of the map leaving the other side empty. On the other hand, the attackers might choose to rush a site all out, rotate to different parts of the map and hold down a site after securing it. In such a situation, Sova’s kit comes into play as he can reveal the enemy’s location, scout out and clear an area, damage enemies hiding or on the spike and control a large space alone.
How to Unlock
Sova is unlocked at the start for anyone jumping into the game.
- Recon Arrow (Signature): The Recon Arrow is Sova’s bread and butter. This ability is free and regenerates on a cooldown timer. Sova can carry only one charge of this ability. It fires an arrow that activates on landing, releasing 3 sonar waves in succession. These detect enemies in line of sight and can also be shot down. Remember that the Recon arrow cannot detect enemies through walls or enemies far below the arrow. Up to two bounces can be added with alternate fire.
> Cost: Free
> Duration: 3.2 seconds, 3 detection waves
> Cooldown: 40 seconds
- Owl Drone: The Owl drone is a sophisticated piece of tech that can be sent out to scout an area and tag enemies safely. Be careful because Sova will remain stationary while using this ability and vulnerable to flanks.
> Cost: 400 credits
> Duration: 7 seconds
> Dart Cooldown: 5 seconds
> Health: 100 HP
- Shock Dart: Shock dart deals damage on impact, so you can get clever with those as well. They can be used to damage enemies hiding in common spots, slow down enemy pushes, and prevent enemies from defusing the spike. Up to two bounces can be added with alternate fire.
> Cost: 150 credits
> Damage: 1-75 depending on the distance from the centre.
- Hunter’s Fury (Ultimate): This is his ultimate ability. With this, Sova can launch three energy beams that pass through walls. It can deliver high damage, disorient enemies and reveal them. Although you can shoot through walls, you must account for map elevation and enemy movement. Enemies get a split-second visual of where your ultimate is coming from, giving them time to dodge if your attack is too obvious.
> Cost: 8 ult points
> Duration: 6-second duration, Fire three beams
> Damage: 80 per beam hit
General Playstyle: Attacking side
When just starting out, learn basic and useful lineups sticking to only 2 for each map site for attack and defense. Your recon arrows will reveal the enemy’s position, which your team can utilize to pick them off while attacking a site. The Owl drone, followed by a teammate, can scout out an area and tag enemies when found. You can use your shock darts on strategic map locations to damage or deter defenders. An effective combo is to use your ultimate right after tagging an enemy.
General Playstyle: Defensive side
Use your recon arrow to learn enemy positions when they are attacking or rotating. Use your shock darts in choke points to damage and deter enemies from pushing in. Your owl drone can be used as an extra means of scouting and also comes especially handy during retakes. You can use your ultimate to dish out heavy damage and secure kills if a site is taken.
Sova Lineups: Getting Started
With how Sova’s Abilities follow the physics of an arrow projectile, you can come up with unique ways to get them to land on tactical spots on the map. These are called lineups. It could be to reveal all enemies hiding in a site or kill enemies trying to defuse your planted spike. The aim of lineups is to give you a consistently repeatable way to always get the most value out of Sova’s kit. There are close to a thousand lineups, but you only need a basic few for each map to get started.
When Sova fires his Recon Arrow and Shock dart, you are met with a horizontal progress bar and two diamonds beneath. This bar is your charge bar and is divided into 3 sections. When you click and hold, the charge bar progresses till it maxes out, and you fire the arrow. You can release the fire button as the charge bar fills up to shoot the arrow at different charge levels. Here’s what they mean:
As for the diamonds/bounce boxes, they are pretty straightforward. When you add 1 bounce (RMB), one of the diamonds lights up. For 2 bounces, both light up. Pressing RMB again resets to No bounce.
Best Sova strategy for every map
Now that you have an idea about all of Sova’s abilities and general playstyle, let’s dive right into the nitty-gritty details about playing Sova for each map. We will discuss the mapwise playstyle along with Recon Arrow and Shock Darts lineups. This guide will cover every map, so there might be hundreds of lineups, but we will only be discussing the necessities to start playing Sova effectively. As for his ultimate, a general tip would be to use it after tagging enemies with the Owl Drone, keep attacking enemies from planting the spike, or keep defending enemies from defusing the spike.
Ascent is one of the most robust maps for Sova for its wide open spaces and unrestricted skybox. Sova is a must-pick for this map, and if you can utilize him correctly, you’ll end up securing the victory for your team.
Sova Ascent playstyle
The most important part of Ascent is mid, and the team that controls mid controls the round. Sova’s kit is perfect for maintaining control of mid. On the defending side, Recon arrow or drone in Mid, B Garage, and A long will locate rushing enemies.
These abilities can also be used late into the round to scope out enemy rotations. Ascent has aggressive sightlines on the defending side in A long, Garage, mid and Short, where enemy Reyna, Jett, and Operator players love to hold and run for an early pick-off. Attacking Sovas can use their Recon Arrow or Drone to contest these players.
Ascent Recon Arrow Lineups
So let’s get started on the Recon Arrow lineups for Ascent for both attack and defense.
Attack: B Site close Recon Arrow
This arrow will be useful when attacking the B site with your team. The entryway into B has many places for the defenders to hide. This could be Lane, Cubby, Market, Switch, and Stairs. This arrow will clear these annoying close corners so your team can focus more on the longer-range duels and contest B site. Use this Recon just before your allies are rushing Garage.
Attack: A Site Recon Arrow
Attacking A site without a plan can be treacherous as there are so many spots for enemies to hide, like close angles, generators, and Dice. This arrow can be lined up from spawn and fired just as the round starts. Tell your team to rush A site immediately as the barrier goes down because as this arrow lands, they’ll be just entering the site, and with your info, they can find and kill the enemies on site. Be wary of Garden and Heaven, though.
Defense: B Garage Recon Arrow
This fast and simple arrow will reveal enemies if they are rushing Garage. This can be used at the start of the round if you anticipate a rush.
Defense: A Long Recon Arrow
This arrow can also be used right after the round begins if you anticipate enemies rushing A long. It travels fast and lands just over the ult orb, revealing A lobby and A long. If your team is aggressive, 2 teammates can push out A long with this arrow to help.
Bonus: A Site Retake Recon Arrow
If you lose A site, then do not fret. Stay alive, ask your team to regroup, and use this retake arrow. This versatile arrow can be fired from several spots and will reveal enemies hiding in Lane, B site box, Triple, Greenbox, and Stairs. Be careful of Boathouse, though.
Ascent Double Shock Dart Lineups
Ascent’s A site’s open skyboxes make shock darts easier, so let’s go over two simple yet extremely effective double shock darts for both A and B site.
Attack: A Site Post-plant Double Shock Dart
After planting, head back out to A lobby and lineup this shot. Keep an eye out to hold Mid flank if you don’t have allies to help you watch it. As soon as you hear the defuse sound, shoot both arrows. This will kill or deter enemies from defusing. You can also push in just after your shock darts land.
Defense: A Site Anti-plant Double Shock Dart
This Shock dart is perfect for killing or deterring enemies from taking A site and planting generator. This works in both situations if you’re holding A or B. Simply fall back/rotate to A heaven. Then as enemies are just about to plant, unleash this double shock dart lineup and keep your eyes on the kill feed.
Haven is also one of the strongest maps for Sova for its wide open spaces and unrestricted skybox. Sova is a must-pick for this map, and if you can utilize him correctly, you’ll end up securing the victory for your team.
Sova Haven playstyle
The most important part of Haven is mid, and the team that controls mid controls the round. Sova’s kit is perfect for maintaining control of mid. On the defending side, the Recon arrow or drone in Mid, B Garage, and A long will locate rushing enemies. These abilities can also be used late into the round to find out enemy rotations. Haven has aggressive sightlines on the defending side in A long, Garage, mid and Short, where enemy Reyna, Jett, and Operator players love to hold and run for an early pick-off. Attacking Sovas can use their Recon Arrow or Drone to contest these players.
Due to this map having 3 sites puts even more importance on gathering intel for your team. Attackers can come from any site; if they can get the better of you, there won’t be any time to detect them, so keeping tabs on enemy movement is a must. Use Recon Arrows and Owl drone to be alert of their whereabouts. Call for rotates when presence is detected. When you’re attacking, use your recon abilities just before your team enters a site to know where enemy defenders are situated. Use Shock Darts or Hunter’s Fury effectively by deterring spike plants and defuses.
Haven Recon Arrow Lineups
So let’s get started on the Recon Arrow lineups for Haven for both attack and defense.
Attack: A long Recon Arrow
This arrow will help against enemy defenders taking aggressive peeks in A long. It can be fired from the base and aid your team in pushing A long. This is especially effective against enemy Op and Reyna/Jett players. But be careful of enemies flanking you with this arrow and enemies pushing through sewers.
Attack: C Site Recon Arrow
C is a tricky site to take control of because there are so many hiding spots, including close angles, green box, Garage, Platform, backside, and logs. This arrow will land on the back wall of the site and will clear out the most positions in C. Make sure that your team is already walking up C long and about to pass C long cubby while casting this arrow.
Defense: A long Recon Arrow
This basic arrow can be fired just after the barriers drop and do not require any lineups. Just aim in the general directions of the enemies and fire. Be careful not to take too much time while firing, as rushing enemies might overwhelm you.
Defense: C Long and Attacker’s spawn
Credits for this Recon Arrow go to Red. This arrow lands at a very awkward spot in the trees which is harder to notice and kill. It not only reveals C long but also reveals a part of the enemy’s spawn.
Defense: Mid, Window, and Grass
This arrow will let you scout Window, Mid, and Grass from the safety of C link.
Bonus: A retake God arrow
This is probably one of the most useful arrows in Haven and the one you can get the most utility out of. Once A site is taken, it is very difficult to retake it, especially with all the hiding spaces; close angles, cubby, hell, A short, etc. This is where this arrow comes in handy, as it can reveal enemies hiding across the whole site and close angles. If your team pushes in with this arrow, you will substantially increase your odds of retaking the site. Just be careful of mid-flanks.
Haven Shock Dart Lineups
So let’s get started on the Shock Dart lineups for Haven for both attack and defense.
Attack: C Site default post plant Double Shock Dart
This cool double shock dart lineup can come in very handy when the spike is planted in the default corner position.
Defense: A Site default post plant Double Shock Dart
This double shock dart lineup can be handy when the spike is planted in A default.
Bind is also a very strong map for Sova because it offers an open skybox that you can utilize to the full extent. Learning the basic lineups will definitely make it easier for your team to win in Bind.
Sova Bind playstyle
The most common entryways in Bind are A short and B short. But thanks to Sova’s Kit, as a defender, he can easily reveal enemies rushing in and deal heavy damage with shock darts thanks to the map’s congested geometry. As an attacker, he can reveal key areas on the map which will give away the enemy’s position or distract them long enough for your team to go in for the kill.
Bind Recon Arrow Lineups
Attack: A Site Recon Arrow
This Recon Arrow will find out enemies hiding in A site.
Attack: B Site Recon Arrow
This Recon Arrow will find out enemies hiding in B site.
Defense: B Short Recon Arrow
This Recon Arrow will find out enemies pushing B short.
Defense: A Short Recon Arrow
This Recon Arrow will find out enemies pushing A short.
Bind Shock Dart Lineups
Now let’s get started with the Shock darts for Bind.
Attack: A Default Post plant Double Shock Dart
When you planted A Default, run back to A short, and you can defend against a defuse with this double shock dart lineup.
Attack: B Default Post plant Double Shock Dart
When you planted B Default, run back to B Long, and you can defend against a defuse with this double shock dart lineup.
Icebox is Sova’s playground with wide open skyboxes for recon arrows and cramped sites perfect for shock darts. If played correctly, Sova can bring high value to this map.
Sova Icebox playstyle
This map has a lot of open sightlines like A belt and B long, and acquiring info with the Recon dart from these regions is of the utmost importance. Shocks can be thrown in the general direction of rushing enemies, and they will still bring high value.
Icebox Recon Arrow Lineups
Attack: A site Recon
This will reveal the enemies pushed ahead in A site.
Attack: B site God Recon Arrow
This insane Recon arrow will reveal most of B long and Yellow.
Defense: A site God Recon Arrow
This Recon arrow detects enemies pushing both A main and A belt.
Defense: Mid Control
This Recon Arrow Reveals enemies pushing mid.
Defense: B Site God Recon Arrow
This insane Recon Arrow reveals enemies pushing B.
Bonus: B Retake Recon Arrow
This clutch arrow can come in handy if enemies took over B and your team is ready for a retake.
Icebox Shock Dart Lineups
Attack: B site post plant double shock dart
This Double shock dart lineup will kill enemies trying to defuse the spike.
Defense: A site shock darts
This shock dart lineup will kill enemies trying to rush A site.
The long sightlines of Breeze can be exploited with calculated arrows from Sova. The map is huge, and rotation can be tough to counter if they are not detected beforehand. This is where Sova’s kit specializing in gathering intel comes in handy.
Sova Breeze playstyle
The most important part of Breeze is mid, and the team that controls mid controls the round. Sova’s kit is perfect for maintaining control of mid. On the defending side, the Recon arrow or drone in Mid, B Lobby, and A Cave will locate rushing enemies. These abilities can also be used late into the round to find out enemy rotations.
Breeze Recon Arrow Lineups
Attack: B Back site Recon Arrow
B site can be tough to break into mainly because of the close angles and strong positions on site and at the back of the site. This recon arrow will reveal enemies on the left of the site and the back of the site, wall, base, etc., and help your team while pushing in.
Attack: A site God Arrow
A site is riddled with good defensive positions where enemies might bunker down. This is why a Recon arrow is essential in revealing these strong positions to help your team break into A site. This lineup can be fired from spawn safely. It flies through an awkward angle and reveals enemies behind pyramids and back site.
Defense: B tunnel Recon Arrow
This excellent Recon arrow travels fast and reveals enemies pushing B tunnel/elbow.
Defense: A Basic Tunnel Recon Arrow
Just a basic recon to catch enemies pushing A Tunnel.
Breeze Shock Dart Lineups
Attack: B default Post-plant Shock Darts
After planting in B, a good strategy is to fall back and play post-plant. We’ve seen this strategy in the finals of VCT Masters Copenhagen, and it works wonders. So to effectively utilize this strat fall back after planting for long and make sure to keep an eye on Mid and elbow flank routes. When you anticipate a defense, then use this double shock arrow. You can also peek window afterward.
Defense: A Default Anti-Plant Double Shock Darts
If the enemies push with a Viper wall, it’s almost always impossible to stop the plant. But luckily, once you’ve practiced this double shock lineup, you can easily get a kill or deal heavy damage to enemies trying to plant. Once the site is overrun, fall back to the containers and use this double shock dart lineup.
Split (Updated for Patch 6.0 January 2023)
Split had previously been unfavorable for Sova due to it being too closed off. However, after patch 6.0, Split has undergone multiple changes that an adept Sova main can exploit to secure victory for his team.
Sova Split playstyle
The most important part of Split is mid since it allows access to both sites and is also used for rotations and flanks. It is said that the team that controls mid controls the round. Sova’s kit is perfect for maintaining control of said mid. On the defending side, the Recon arrow or drone in Mid can scope out enemies pushing or lurking. These abilities can also be used late in the round to find out enemy rotations. On the attacking side, Sova can clear the way for mid-pushes with his drone, while ally attackers follow behind and can scope out sites with his recon arrow. He can also stop spike defuses with cheeky post-plant shock dart lineups, along with his ultimate.
Split Recon Arrow Lineups
So let’s get started on the Recon Arrow lineups for Split for both attack and defense.
Attack: A Site God Recon Arrow
Starting things off for Split is this God arrow for A site. It will land in heaven and scope out both heaven as well as the left half of the site. You can use this lineup and immediately push Ramp with your drone leading the way for an efficient A execution.
Attack: B Site God Recon Arrow
This is another God arrow for B site. Thanks to the skyboxes of Split opening up further after the patch, you can use this unique lineup that bounces off from BEHIND you and lands in B site. The arrow is fired in this way because of the high building geometry in Split. This Recon arrow will land high up in B site, scoping out all those pesky angles as well as rafters.
Attack: Mid Recon Arrow
This fast arrow is exactly what you need for those aggressive mid pushes. It will scope out close mailbox, Vents, and top mid. Use this arrow immediately at the start of the round from Market to take control of Mid.
Defense: A Lobby Recon Arrow
This arrow will help against enemy defenders taking aggressive peeks in A long. It can be fired from heaven and aid your team in defending A long. The recon arrow will scope out enemies positioned at A lobby and can immediately alert you if attackers are rushing A, allowing you to call in a rotation. This is especially effective against enemy Operator and Reyna/Jett players who take aggressive peeks.
Defense: B Garage+Lobby Recon Arrow
Since playing A is more favorable for sSova players defending Split, we have a special recon arrow for B garage which can be used from A ramp. This can be fired immediately at the start of the round and comes in from an awkward angle from behind the attackers and lands in the entrance of B garage.
Defense: Mid-Recon Arrow
So you’re defending A but also need to support Mid? Don’t worry because we got you covered with another cheeky Recon arrow lineup which can be used from A ramp to scope out Mid. Stand in the same corner of A ramp and use this lineup. It will fly in from behind the enemy and land in Mid. When vents are smoked and enemies are pushing mid, use this lineup to get some free smoke bangs. 900 iq play right there.
Split Shock Dart Lineups
So let’s get started on the Shock Dart lineups for Split for both attack and defense.
Defense: A Ramp double-shock dart
This double shock dart lineup can be handy when the enemy is ganging up through A lobby. Once you hear a callout or detect enemies with your Recon, immediately use this lineup from Heaven.
Defense: B Site default anti-plant Shock Dart
So you’re rotating from A to B and the enemy is about to plant at B default? Use this shock dart from Mailbox.
Attack: A Site default post-plant Shock Dart
This shock dart lineup can be used from A lobby after planting in A default.
Attack: B Site default post-plant Shock Dart
This is a quick and easy shock dart you can use after planting at B default from the garage without exposing yourself too much. Another variant is also shown if the spike is planted for B garage.
With so many entry points in Fracture, having an Agent focused on gathering intel is indispensable for any team. Sova fills that role quite well.
Sova Fracture playstyle
As a defender, you can use two of Sova’s intel gathering abilities (Recon Arrow and Owl Drone) to scout both entry paths of the site you’re defending. While attacking, you can reveal the site to find hidden enemies’ positions.
Fracture Recon Arrow Lineups
Attack: A Site Recon Arrow
This Recon arrow should be used when your team is rushing and is already passed dish or halfway into A halls. This arrow will detect the entire A site and its cheeky corners.
Attack: B Site God Recon Arrow
This arrow will reveal the entire B site as well as close corners. After the barrier drops, let your team clear any defenders pushing up the aggressive angle. Then with your team in place in either one or both entryways into B, tell them to push just after your arrow.
Defense: A Main Halls Recon Arrow
This Recon arrow can be fired fast and detect enemies pushing A halls.
Defense: B Lobby God Arrow
This recon arrow will detect enemies in B lobby.
Bonus: A Retake Recon Arrow
If the A site is overrun, enemies can take very strong post plant positions on the site, around the site, and on the 2nd floor. This insane recon arrow and your team pushing will help you retake the site.
Defense: B Retake Arrow
If the B site is overrun, enemies can take very strong post plant positions on the site, around the site, and Tower. This insane recon arrow and your team pushing will help you retake the site.
Fracture Shock Dart Lineups
Attack: B Box Post-Plant Double Shock Darts
This is a good shock dart after planting for Long in B site. Once you get to the plant, fall back to the B lobby. If you expect or hear the enemy trying to defuse, use this double shock dart lineup to get an easy kill on the defuser.
Attack: A Site Default Post-Plant Shock Dart
This is a great post-plant shock dart lineup to keep enemies from defusing the spike. You need to plant default and take cover in halls. Once you hear the defuse, use this single shock lineup consecutively to deter enemies from defusing. You can also peek afterward.
Defense: B Tree/Ult Orb
If you’re expecting the enemy team to be at B lobby or hear them taking the ult orb, you can use this double shock lineup to deal huge damage or maybe even get a kill.
Defense: A Halls Shock Dart
This simple shock dart lineup will deal huge damage if the enemy team is rushing A halls. If you’re expecting the enemy team to rush A or hear the ult orb being taken, immediately after the barriers drop, use this lineup and fall back. Although if you’re feeling confident, you or an ally Reyna or Jett can peek at this angle right after your shock to duel half-health enemies.
Pearl is still new, and the most we know about it is that gathering intel is one of the most important aspects of the map.
Sova Pearl playstyle
Pearl might not be the ideal map for Sova, but as it is new, knowing the lineups for this map will put you at a huge advantage against other new players. You can use your recon in cheeky positions in sites to alert you of enemy defender positions. As a defender, yourself, your Recon arrow and Owl drone will be key to gathering intel from all the various passages and flanks on the map.
Pearl Recon Arrow Lineups
Attack: A site God Recon Arrow
This is an excellent arrow for A site revealing the close angles and all of the site.
Attack: B Site Recon Arrow
This basic arrow will reveal anyone hiding in cubby, pillar, and B site.
Defense: A Lobby Recon Arrow
This arrow can be slightly tricky, so practice in custom first. This cheeky arrow flies fast and reveals enemies in A lobby.
Defense: B Ramp Recon Arrow
This defensive arrow will mark enemies pushing in B long.
Bonus: B Retake God Recon Arrow
This is an excellent arrow to retake B from enemies hiding in the site.
Bonus: A Retake God Recon Arrow
This is an excellent arrow to retake A from enemies hiding in the site and A lobby.
Pearl Shock Dart Lineups
Attack: A Default Post-Plant/Anti-plant Double shock dart
This multipurpose double shock dart lineup can work both ways as defenders and attackers. Make sure to control A link first and stay wary of flanks.
On the attacker’s side, you can plant and take cover in link and use this lineup to kill anyone trying to defuse. While defending, if A site is being rushed, you can fall back to link and use this lineup just before the enemy is about to plant. Anyone trying to plant will get killed.
Defense: B Site Default Anti-Plant Double Shock Dart
This double shock lineup will kill anyone trying to plant B default. If the enemy is rushing the site, either fall back/rotate to spawn and use this lineup.
So now that you’re equipped with all the knowledge regarding Sova’s lineups for all maps, make sure to try them all out and practice them in Custom matches before heading out into a competitive match.