Is Insta-Locking Really That Bad?

It's common to get mad after your desired agent gets instalocked. This article will serve as an explanation about this rarely-answered question of whether insta-locking is really that bad.

Shahzam instalock
Would you mind if SEN.ShahZaM instalocked in your game? | Twitch@shahzam

Valorant is a team-based shooter game and teamwork is expected if you want to WIN your matches. There are tons of issues concerning teamwork but one that really bats the eye of every Valorant player is when their random teammate insta-locks their desired Agent.

What Does Instalocking Mean

Instapick or instalock is a gaming term not exclusive to Valorant. It's a term used when a player locks/picks an agent at the start of the game. This isn't necessarily bad or rule-breaking but is considered quite rude towards the other mates in the squad.

Example: You've queued into a competitive game and your initial idea is to pick Jett and solo carry the game and feel proud of your accomplishment. Jett is a very popular Agent since her release and this pre-game thinking process is in the mind of others as well. Once you found a game and got into the agent picking stage, one of your teammates instantly locked Jett for himself, leaving you empty-handed and forced to think of another agent to play.

This action is called instalocking, and you are yet to find out the good and bad stuff about it.

Talking about Jett, did you know that You Can Now Play As Jett In Super Smash Bros ?

The Good Things About Instalocking

Before going over and doing the rant about this action, let's see the good sides of it. When entering the picking phase you will always have people that pick their desired agent/role and others that will just fill with whatever the team composition needs.

The latter is awesome and will help in making a good mixture of Agents that will provide you a win condition in the match. The other positive thing is that you can't have all of your teammates just fill in, as they will have to see some agent's picks to know what's good on the map. If you aren't familiar with some of the Valorant slang words, visit our Valorant Slang Explained where every slang word is listed and its meaning explained.

K Jinstalock
Imagine getting a Killjoy instalock and she carries the game | © Riot Games

Instalockers have a good idea of what they want to do in the game, and what they want to play. The agent they usually pick is probably one of their top three most played agents and they are super comfortable playing it. This means that you can expect a good performance from that player as he doesn't just randomly enter the game and be like "whatever ill just randomly pick", but picks his best Agent and will try his hardest in the game.

To make it clearer for you, let's sum up the positives:

  • It's easier to fill in when you see a couple of agents from the Get-Go
  • The insta-pick is most probably his most played and best-played agent
  • He might not know any other agent as he/she is a one-trick-pony and this is the best that you can get from that teammate
  • Insta-lockers usually have their whole game planned ahead so they will be well-prepared for the map
Chamber IL
Chamber was one of the most contested instalocks during Valorant Champions | © Riot Games

The Bad Things About Instalocking

You've probably eased up after reading the previous part, and won't be so so mad about that next Jett instalock. But don't form your opinion yet, as we will cover the bad things that are obviously here as well. The first thing that's obviously super negative about this action is that the team chemistry and mood will worsen once they see a player insta pick without asking or marking his desired agent. It's not uncommon to have people that are sensitive about this topic and doing so will result in a griefing or toxic environment.

The other essential problem is that instalocking issues usually occur about agents that are popular, and it's normal to see multiple players contest that agent. By instalocking, you might just miss on a very good Chamber player (example), and that reason alone might just lose you the match.

Is Insta-Locking Really That Bad?

There is no easy way of answering this question, and the most suitable answer would be that instalocking is simply rude. People wouldn't mind you taking that certain agent but only if you asked in chat if it's okay if you take it. By doing so the atmosphere will ease and your teammates will like you and respect you for that action. Being nice in games won't hurt you, and will most certainly do good for you in the games. So as a conclusion for this article we will say that instalocking IS really that bad but is not a huge issue and can be easily avoided.

While dealing with this issue it's super important to know which agents are most picked in Valorant. The gallery below has them all.

That would be all for this non-toxic super PMA article, and we hope you got your question answered as you wished. If you are curious about the latest Esport news make sure to check our Valorfeed Esport Section where we have tons of articles waiting on you!