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Valorant: Best Guns

Here's our pick of the best guns in Valorant.

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There is a wide range of weapons in Valorant, each of which has unique characteristics, including magazine size, damage, and recoil pattern. In this guide we will outline the best guns in the game and what makes them so strong.

Best Guns to buy in Valorant

There are four categories of weapons in Valorant, each of which have their own tactical advantages and disadvantages. You’ve got Rifles which’ll work nicely in mid to long range fights, Snipers which’ll pick off targets from afar in one hit, SMGs that’ll shred enemies up close, Shotguns to blast opponents away with, and Sidearms for when you’ve run out primary ammo.

Below we’ve ranked all of the guns in Valorant so you can get a better idea of what’s the best, and what’s not quite as hot. Of course, the game is constantly evolving so expect this list to chop and change as time goes by. Keep it bookmarked for all the latest!

Navigation:

Tier 1 Guns

Phantom (Rifle)

Essentially the M4A1-S from CS:GO, the Phantom is a suppressed automatic rifle which keeps things simple, but mightily effective. Left clicking will deliver precise, powerful shots which aren’t too tricky to control and can down enemies fast. Right click and it’ll slow down the rate of fire, but grant you even greater accuracy. What makes this gun special is its simplicity. You cannot go wrong with this thing. It does the job incredibly well, and that job is effectively anything - short range, mid range, even long range engagements aren’t a problem for this thing.

Pardon the comparisons to CS:GO, but it’s clear the Phantom is the go-to assault rifle weapon, whereby a team or individual will buy and keep this weapon as soon as it has the money.

Oh, and let’s mention one final thing. If you land a headshot with this weapon, the enemy will experience what’s called ‘aim punch’. Their crosshair will be pushed upwards at the moment of impact, which’ll make it very difficult for them to trade shots with you.

Vandal (Rifle)

Here we go again, the Vandal’s closest counterpart is the AK-47 from CS:GO. When compared to the Phantom, it’s slower firing, has higher recoil, but makes up for this with greater stopping power. You won’t want to hold the trigger down for too long (unless you’ve learned its recoil pattern), but it’ll decimate an enemy at medium to short range if you land all your shots.

Not to mention it’s great for one or two-tapping enemies at long ranges, and you’ll get that satisfying clank which feels even better with the Vandal than the Phantom for some reason. You can right click to ADS, but your fire rate will be much slower, which only makes it useful for holding precise, long range angles.

We’re fans of the Phantom over the Vandal, but it largely comes down to personal preference and we sometimes mix it up if we’re not feeling one on a certain day.

Operator (Sniper)

Ah yes, this is the AWP. It’ll one tap someone to the body and the head at any range, which makes it the most powerful gun in the game. You need to aim in before firing and there’s no way to cancel the reload animation, so every shot must count. However, if it counts, then there’s no need to worry, they’ll be dead. This is a great weapon for someone who likes to hold angles or get those crucial picks for the team.

Spectre (SMG)

The Spectre’s like a mini version of the Phantom, meaning it’s suppressed, easy to control, and reliable. While its damage and accuracy fall off dramatically at long ranges, it’s high fire rate and relatively manageable recoil make it a fantastic choice for short to mid range engagements. Even if the enemy is well armoured it can still totally shred them, which makes it a great choice if you’re low on money but still need something that can get a crucial pick.

Ghost (Pistol)

This may not be the hardest hitting pistol in the game - we’re looking at you, Sheriff - but it’s quiet, accurate, and capable of dinking an enemy to the ground with one or two shots to the head from long range. It’s like the USP-S from CS:GO when it comes down to it, and it’s a favourite among players who want a dependable pistol which’ll reward strong aim at a cheap price.

Sheriff (Pistol)

The beefiest of the pistols, and the most expensive too, the Sheriff is capable of one-tapping enemies at most ranges. With this in mind, it’s like the Deagle from CS:GO, so don’t expect it to be at all forgiving at close ranges. It will reward those with good aim handsomely, but punish players who haven’t quite got their cursor placement on point yet. You can buy this weapon in practically any round, especially if your economy is behind, and it will grant you the capability of turning the tide. All you need is one headshot to bring down an enemy most of the time - this is what makes this weapon so powerful.

Tier 2 Guns

Bulldog (Rifle)

A bargain bucket rifle which has a slow fire rate, high recoil, and acts a little like a small AK-47. It’s capable of downing an enemy in two shots to the head and thrives at short to mid range, with long range being a little bit of a struggle. This is where you’ll want to switch to the alternate fire mode which’ll give you a scope and a more accurate three round burst. You won’t want to buy this if your economy is plush, as the Phantom and Spectre are much better investments, but if your banks isn’t looking too healthy it’s a solid choice.

Guardian (Rifle)

A one-tap machine, the Guardian is a semi-automatic rifle built for those who think their aim is godly. Hit someone in the head and you’ll eliminate them no matter what, but if you miss and panic, you could be in trouble. It’s built for calm, considered tapping and will struggle enormously if you start frantically mashing left click. This makes it a risky choice which can be very deadly against single targets, but also, if you’ve got the money why not buy the safer, strong options which’ll deal more easily with multiple targets?

Judge (Shotgun)

A semi-auto shotgun which, I think, has surprised every Valorant player at some point. While we wouldn’t recommend purchasing this too often, it can do some real damage if you’re holding close angles or lurking around tight corridors.

The Judge is particularly good if you’ve spotted multiple enemies at close range, as you can smash the left trigger and drop them in quick succession if you land your shots. There’s no need for spray control here, just click on them and they should go down.

Sure, it’s not a must-buy, but in certain situations this thing can get you a couple of valuable picks.

Marshal (Sniper)

A weaker version of the Operator, but one which fires much faster with the same accuracy. It’ll one-shot-headshot someone, but will take a number of body shots to eliminate an enemy. If you’ve got solid aim it’s worth picking up to hold down bomb sites or get picks, and strangely enough it’s hip-fire accuracy is outrageous.

Ares (LMG)

Probably the best LMG, this thing packs stopping power, plenty of bullets, and a tonne of recoil. Crouch and you’ll gain much better recoil control, but don't forget that it'll still kick upwards pretty rapidly.

We wouldn't recommend purchasing this weapon if you can afford a rifle like the Vandal or Phantom, but it's definitely not a bad second round pick if you've won the pistol.

Classic (Pistol)

Sure, it’s not the flashiest and it’s not particularly powerful, but it gets the job done - and it won’t cost you a penny. This thing isn’t that bad for a pistol round, and its secondary fire which emits a short range shotgun blast can seriously hurt enemies at close quarters, making it surprisingly versatile.

More essential Valorant guides:

Video by Shroud

Tier 3 Guns

Stinger (SMG)

An insanely fast fire rate makes this a strong choice in the early stages of a match when you’re looking to build an economic advantage of a pistol round win. However, its power falls off dramatically as a match progresses and will struggle to dent enemies with armour. It’s okay, but the Spectre trumps it in almost every regard.

Shorty (Sidearm/Pistol)

A sawed-off with very short range and high damage. Not much to say really, other than you’re better off choosing a more versatile pistol with your money.

Bucky (Shotgun)

A classic pump action number, this thing will serve you pretty well at close range - and that’s pretty much it. The alternative fire is quite novel in that it’ll condense the bullet spread, but you’re better off purchasing an SMG if you’ve got the cash, as they’re just far more versatile weapons overall.

Odin (LMG)

Bigger and beefier than the Ares, this has outrageous recoil and an insanely fast fire rate. You need to crouch when using it, which’ll make you immobile. This makes it an okay choice for locking down a site, but its uses are limited.

If we’re talking one usage, it’s quite amusing to buy if you’re ahead. In all seriousness, it’s strong for wallbanging enemies as you’ve got plenty of ammunition to expend, plus a tonne of wall penetration. Got an enemy who camps a particular corner? Whip this thing out and spray - you might catch them out.

Frenzy (Pistol)

The game’s only fully automatic pistol and one of the only guns which doesn’t have an alternate fire mode. It’s brilliant at short range, but it’ll struggle at all other distances. This makes it a great buy if you’re on an eco round and are on the hunt for a pick. You can prowl corridors for an opponent, spray them at short range, and grab your opponent’s gun immediately after. A bandit’s weapon, if you will.

All Guns Overview

Sidearms

  • Classic: Costs Free - Standard issue pistol.
  • Shorty: Costs 200 - Sawed-Off Shotgun.
  • Frenzy: Costs 400 - Fully automatic pistol.
  • Ghost: Costs 500 - Suppressed pistol.
  • Sheriff: Costs 800 - Revolver with a slow rate of fire but high lethality.

SMGs

  • Stinger: Costs 1,000 - Basic SMG.
  • Spectre: Costs 1,600 - Suppressed SMG.

Shotguns

  • Bucky: Costs 900 - Pump action shotgun.
  • Judge: Costs 1,500 - Semi-automatic shotgun with drum barrel.

Rifles

  • Bulldog: Costs 2,100 - SMG/Rifle hybrid.
  • Guardian: Costs 2,700 - A single shot rifle, with high damage and accuracy.
  • Phantom: Costs 2,900 - Suppressed assault rifle, like the M4A1-S.
  • Vandal: Costs 2,900 - Powerful automatic rifle, like the AK-47.

Snipers

  • Marshal: Costs 1,100 - Much more affordable than it’s elder sibling, but less powerful. Mightily accurate at long ranges, but more shots need to land to bring down targets.
  • Operator: Costs 4,500, Magazine Size 10 - Bolt action, one shot one kill. Valorant’s version of the AWP.

Heavy

  • Ares: Costs 1,700 - High damage, but high recoil.
  • Odin: Costs 3,200 - Enormous, massive magazine size, huge damage, but hard to control and unwieldy to boot.

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