VALORANT weapon tier list 2024: Phantom or Vandal?

VALORANT weapon tier list 2024: Phantom or Vandal?
Images via Riot Games

Written by 

Liam Ho & Tarran Stockton

Last updated 

5th Apr 2024 11:45

Contents

Picking the Phantom or the Vandal is the big question in VALORANT, and I'll help you answer that with our weapon tier list for 2024.

VALORANT's tactical FPS gameplay closely follows the model set by Counter-Strike back in the late 90s, meaning you need to purchase your weapons and kit at the start of a round.

With various guns to choose from - and your choices narrowing or opening depending on your money situation - it's vital to know which guns to choose the next time you fire up the game. Not all weapons are created equally, of course, so you'll need to pick the right tool for the job.

VALORANT weapon tier list

Tier Weapons
S Vandal, Phantom, & Operator
A Spectre, Odin, Sheriff, & Classic
B Outlaw, Bulldog, Marshal, Guardian, & Ghost
C Stinger, Frenzy, Judge, & Shorty
D Bucky & Ares

S-Tier

Kicking off our list is the S-tier, where the best of the best congregate. These are the weapons that I get the most use out of when playing as of patch 8.05, and the guns the community pretty much agrees are the best.

They’re good in almost every situation you can find yourself in and are incredibly versatile. These will be your bread-and-butter weapons, and for good reason.

Vandal

the Vandal in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Vandal is the go-to rifle for every player. With its classic one-headshot-to-kill gameplay, it's one of the most satisfying weapons to pick off other players with.

This gun is practically what the game is built upon, and it’s what most players will save for.

Phantom

an image of the Phantom in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Phantom is like the Vandal's little brother. It doesn’t pack quite as much of a punch as the Vandal does, as its damage can fall off at longer ranges. This is why a lot of players prefer the Vandal, as there’ll be times when you’ll lose a gunfight purely just to the fact that one headshot at range with Phantom isn’t a one-shot.

However, it’s got some nice benefits over the Vandal, that being a slightly tighter spray pattern, and the fact it has no tracers. This makes it perfect for players like me who go for spraying over tap shots, and will generally help you fair better in CQC situations.

Operator

an image of the Operator in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Operator is VALORANT's premier sniper. Similar to the AWP, the Operator will one-hit any Agent it hits in the body and above

Alongside its hefty price tag, the Operator is a risky purchase for anyone and is often best used on Agents with escapes like Chamber and Jett. It’s a fantastic weapon, that serves a very specific role that no other weapons can really approach, making it one of the very best.

A-Tier

The A-tier is for weapons that I find to be good in most situations, but they lack the versatility of the main rifles or the outright power and clutch potential of the Operator. 

Spectre

an image of the Spectre in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Spectre is quite a decent weapon. It’s a good gun for eco rounds as its price is pretty low at 1600 credits. It’s generally my go-to weapon when saving for one of the main rifles, and works well for any agents that can get up close quickly.

The Spectre still has a pretty decent time to kill and also is silenced which makes getting those sneaky flank or cheese kills that much easier.

Odin

the Odin in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Odin comes into this list by sheer firepower. It has a ridiculously high damage output which can easily mow down anyone it fires at. The only issue with it is that it’s an LMG, which makes it clunky to move around with.

Alongside that, its high rate of fire makes its recoil pattern pretty rough, so most players tend to crouch and ADS with it to land shots. This makes them a sitting duck from other angles, but if you know when and where to use it, it's a handy piece of kit.

Sheriff

an image of the Sheriff in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Sheriff as a pistol is an absolute powerhouse provided you can land shots. At closer ranges, it’s one hit to the head for a kill meaning that good players can outduel a Vandal/Phantom and grab it. It’s also cost-efficient pricing at 800 credits for a relatively strong weapon.

Its main downside is that its rate of fire for a pistol can be pretty slow and inaccurate. I wouldn't recommend it unless you know for sure you can hit your shots, as going against guns with a better fire rate will quickly get you killed.

Classic

an image of the Classic in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Classic is your stock standard weapon. It’s literally given to you for free and is a pretty firearm. The best part about the Classic is its right-click, which fires out three bullets in a shotgun-like cone.

This makes it particularly deadly in close ranges and makes it good for cheesing on save rounds and dealing with more than one enemy. It's free and it does the job, what can we say?

B-Tier

B-tier weapons are still pretty good. They're the middle of the pack in terms of viability and typically are pretty cheap econ weapons that can definitely turn the tide of things, ranking them solidly in the middle of our VALORANT weapon tier list.

Outlaw

the Outlaw in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The newest addition to the weapon list and a solid choice out of the gate during non-ful buy rounds, the Outlaw has quickly found comparisons to the Odin and Judge in terms of fulfilling a specialised role.

It can nullify a player during a round with a 140-damage body shot, or a one-shot to the head for those with silky smooth aim. With its fairly reasonable price of 2400, it can also force enemies to play around it, giving players in eco rounds an increased advantage not previously available to them.

Bulldog

the Bulldog in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Bulldog is a criminally underrated rifle. It’s not quite as strong as the Vandal, but it can fight at range and can duel Vandals/Phantoms regardless. It’s strong on anti-eco rounds, as it's got a fantastic TTK against low/unarmoured targets.

On top of that, it can be used to duel in the round afterward if you win. That and it has a pretty nice fire sound effect going for it too.

Marshal

the Marshal in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Marshal is a great sniper for certain situations. It’s a bolt action sniper that can one-hit unarmoured targets in the body. That means it's a great weapon for anti-eco rounds as you don’t even need to land headshots to get meaningful picks.

The Marshal is just an overall really great feeling weapon that when you land shots on it feels fantastic, and as a bonus, no-scope shots are laser-accurate. Unfortunately, it is outclassed by the Operator and therefore placed a bit lower.

Guardian

the Guardian in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Guardian is a weapon that requires a lot to master. Being a DMR its single-shot rate of fire means it can punish players if they whiff their first shots. But its high damage and penetration mean that a good player can track and one-hit a player to the head.

It definitely feels more ideal to hold an angle with as you can flick towards the Agent’s head and get a one-tap. Otherwise, pushing with the Guardian can require some very precise aiming to land the first shot, and in that time you can get a headshot or sprayed by a Vandal.

Ghost

the Ghost in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Ghost is right in the middle of the pack for weapons. It’s only really used on pistol rounds, as the Spectre and Sheriff are better on save rounds.

That being said, in Round 1 a Ghost can one-tap an unarmoured Agent, which makes it particularly deadly on duelists. Being only 500 credits, it means Duelists can purchase other utilities while also grabbing a weapon more powerful than the classic. 

C-Tier

C-tier weapons aren't the greatest. Their usage is a bit more limited than the weapons in the higher tiers, and they do their jobs worse as well. These weapons just aren't very good at the current moment, and you're better off going for the higher-tier weapons instead.

Stinger

the Stinger in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Stinger isn’t the ideal weapon for many situations. It’s got a ridiculously high fire rate and absurd recoil, basically removing it from being viable in any long-range encounter. That being said, its high rate of fire and recoil also means that in close ranges it can absolutely demolish someone.

You can practically run and gun at close ranges and there’s a good chance a couple of bullets will land on the other Agent's head. Alongside its cheap price tag, the Stinger is good, situationally.

Frenzy

the Frenzy in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

Frenzy is a weapon that can be used pretty well on a pistol round and that’s it. Due to it being able to fire full auto, it's great for fast pushes as you can simply outduel a lot of pistols provided you land shots. Apart from that, it has almost no use in any other rounds and is simply outshone by other secondaries.

Judge

the Judge in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Judge suffers a similar syndrome to all shotguns, it has a lack of range and is also RNG-reliant. Alongside this, the Judge used to be absurdly overpowered and was basically cheesing every player in existence.

So Riot took it upon themselves to nerf it to what it is today, and what it is today just isn’t that great. It’s expensive and doesn’t always guarantee a kill, it requires you to play in a very certain way. There are better guns to use with the creds you have.

Shorty

an image of the Shorty in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Shorty is the weapon for cheese enjoyers. Like all shotguns, it's powerful up close and can let you destroy opponents if you catch them off-guard. The difference between the Shorty and the other shotguns is their price and effectiveness.

The shorty is ridiculously effective at close range, and can easily one-hit an Agent to the body. Pair that with its cheap 150 credit price tag, and you’ve got a decent save-round weapon for getting extra money.

D-Tier

D-tier is for the guns you don't really want... ever, putting them firmly at the bottom of our weapon tier list. They just aren't anywhere near as good as the other weapons on this tier list. They've just been nerfed too hard to be viable bar very specific situations.

Bucky

the Bucky in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Bucky, like the Judge, suffers from the same syndrome. That being said, the Bucky is just bad. It’s just a straight-up bad weapon. It’s been nerfed so many times that it’s just no longer worth using.

It’s got an incredibly low rate of fire, so if you don’t one-hit them on the first shot you’re likely dead after they have time to react. It’s just a weapon not worth using anymore, you’re far better off using the Sheriff or Marshall on save rounds.

Ares

the Ares in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

The Ares is basically Odin’s intern. It’s Odin Junior. It’s cheaper and has fewer bullets, it’s basically just the Odin but a bit worse. The main issue with the Ares is it’s in a weird spot, as an LMG, it’s hard to push with as you need to crouch and ADS in order to be accurate.

But it has a big windup for it to reach maximum RPM. This most likely means you’ll be outdueled by other weapons. Honestly, if you have 1600 credits, just buy the Spectre.

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Check out our VALORANT homepage for more guides, where you'll find breakdowns of the best crosshair codes, our Agent tier list, and the full skins list.

Liam is a freelance writer from Sydney, Australia. He currently writes for GGRecon, Blitz UNSW and works as a team leader at Summoner’s Society OCE. He is addicted to MMOs, mainly Final Fantasy XIV.

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