Riot Games’ Valorant is still in its infancy compared with the likes of Overwatch and CS:GO, but there’s already a clear weapon meta forming. Here’s a full breakdown of the best weapons that you should be using to get that competitive edge.
There are currently 17 guns to choose from in Valorant and each one brings something different to the table. From the lightning-fast rounds of the Spectre to the slow but deadly shots from the Operator, there’s a gun for every skill level and situation. However, if you wish to beat the competition and secure those all-important wins, you’ll want to spend your hard-earned Creds on the best guns.
Of course, knowing which gun to choose can be a little tricky at times, especially when some are much better than others. Fortunately, we’ve put together a handy tier list that covers all the current weapons available in Valorant and ranks them on their overall damage and usability.
Costing a whopping 800 Creds, the Sheriff is the most expensive Sidearm in the game. While the initial cost for entry may put off a lot of players, its high damage more than makes up for this — in fact, this punchy pistol can even outclass Valorant’s primary weapons when targets are within 0-30 metres.
Only one carefully placed headshot is needed to drop a target, while three body shots will stop any enemies dead in their tracks. As long as you can handle the Sheriff’s high recoil, you’ll be able to pick up plenty of early-game kills in no time.
2. Ghost (500 Creds)
As the name suggests, the Ghost offers a more stealthy option for those looking to silently take down their foes. At face value, the Ghost may appear to be a lot weaker than the Sheriff, but it's incredibly forgiving 15-round magazine and decent fire rate (6.75 rounds/sec) allow players to quickly expend rounds when they need them the most.
This trusty pistol delivers high accuracy and consistent damage during early-game rounds, so be sure to add this spectral Sidearm to your arsenal if you're looking to hold back your Creds for some utility.
3. Frenzy (400 Creds)
If a run-and-gun approach is more your thing, then consider picking up the Frenzy. This lightning-fast Sidearm is the only fully automatic pistol in the game, making it a popular pick among those that prefer to overwhelm their foes with a haze of deadly bullets. The Frenzy can spew out 10 rounds/sec, often emptying its 13-round magazine before your enemy can even react.
But you’ll need to ensure you land the majority of the clip if you wish to do more than graze your opponent. As you’d expect, the Frenzy excels in close-quarters firefights, so try to avoid any medium to long-range engagements with this in your hands.
4. Shorty (200 Creds)
The Shorty is arguably one of the most satisfying and excruciatingly frustrating Sidearms to use in the game. Due to its incredibly short-range, two-round magazine, the Shorty is best used as an ambush-style weapon.
This weapon is ideal if you're looking to catch an enemy off-guard. Lurking in areas which promote close-quarters engagements will help you get the most out of this semi-automatic shotgun.
5. Classic (Free)
This free sidearm is Valorant’s most basic Sidearm, offering very little in terms of overall damage and accuracy — in fact, the Classic is outclassed statistically by every pistol listed above.
While its 12-round magazine and alternate three-round burst option may seem decent, you’ll often be left high and dry in most 1v1 fights. As a result, the Classic is only really useful if you're looking to max out on utility and/or Shields in a pistol round, or are really strapped for cash.
If the Vandal and Phantom are out of your price range, or you simply wish to get into the very thick of a fight, then consider purchasing the Spectre. In order to get the most out of this deadly SMG’s rapid rounds, try to always look for flanking opportunities where you can get behind your foes.
Equipped with a 30-round (silenced) magazine, the Spectre is an absolute bullet hose and can take down enemies with one quick spray. Just be sure to ease off the trigger and opt for shorter bursts when pinging enemies from afar.
2. Stinger (1,000 Creds)
The Stinger is arguably one of the worst weapons in the entire game due to its incredibly high bullet spread, lacklustre bullet damage, and low accuracy. Despite having an alternate fire mode that allows the Stinger to deliver controlled four-round bursts, it’s often best to forgo any ranged engagements altogether.
Even though the Stinger can find some success in close-quarters firefights, we suggest saving your hard-earned Creds for later rounds, or look to other alternatives (such as a Sidearm) to avoid being stung by this SMG's woeful stats.
While the Vandal versus Phantom debate has raged on since Valorant’s closed beta, we believe the Vandal offers much greater kill potential thanks to its ability to delete opponents with just one shot to the head (with no drop-off distance).
- Read more: How to use the Vandal: Valorant weapon guide
The Vandal is extremely lethal in both close quarters and long-range engagements, making it one of – if not the most – versatile gun in the current meta. If you're comfortable with tapping heads and can master this weapon's spray pattern, this should be your go-to on all buy rounds.
The Phantom may not deal as much damage as the Vandal, but it’s overall accuracy and high fire rate can snuff the life out of even the hardiest of foes. Equipped with a silencer and 30-round magazine, the Phantom is an absolute laser in short to medium range firefights.
Consider picking this Rifle when you wish to venture behind enemy lines, as the Phantom’s silencer will allow you to effortlessly pick-off targets before they know what hits them.
3. Guardian (2,500 Creds)
This semi-automatic Rifle packs a real punch, dealing a whopping 65 body shot damage and a skull-shattering 195 headshot damage. Unfortunately, it just missed out on joining the Phantom and Vandal at the top of the leaderboard due to its slower rate of fire, making it more of a defensive option for those wanting to hold specific angles and objectives.
If you prefer the slower, more methodical playstyle over the more gung-ho nature of the other Rifles, then the Guardian could quite easily become your best friend.
4. Bulldog (2,100 Creds)
While the Bulldog may have the lowest damage profile in the Rifle category, it more than makes up for this with its overall ease of use. The Bulldog’s upwards kick can be a little tricky to control when used fully auto, so if you’re struggling to land shots, consider switching to the gun’s alternate burst mode.
This trusty underdog will only set you back a mere 2,100 Creds — so if you find yourself strapped for cash or just want to save the dollars for abilities, then you really can’t go wrong with Bulldog.
1. Judge (1,500 Creds)
This fully-automatic shotgun is a great option for those that simply wish to rush onto the objective and plant the Spike as quickly as possible. While it’s damage may be lower than that of the Bucky, it’s high rate of fire allows you to consistently pepper targets without any real downtime.
The spread of each shot also makes landing lethal hits with the Judge incredibly easy, so make sure you add the Judge to your collection if you want to attack and defend aggressively.
2. Bucky (900 Creds)
Don’t be fooled by Bucky’s cheap price point (900 Creds), as this shotgun packs a mean punch. The Bucky’s five-round clip may be lower than that of the Judge, but its overall damage is much higher, giving you plenty of opportunities to quickly drop close-range enemies before reloading.
If that wasn’t enough, the Bucky’s alternate fire also allows players to hit targets at medium range, giving it another damage option should you wish to poke your target from afar.
1. Odin (3,200 Creds)
If you like the idea of mowing down and suppressing your enemies with a hail of bullets, then this beast will do just that. The Odin continues to wreak havoc on the battlefield, thanks to its incredibly high bullet penetration, decent damage, monstrous 100-round magazine, and blisteringly fast fire rate.
Being able to both clear out pesky campers and lockdown enemy positions is beneficial for any team, especially when you need to clutch out a close game. Although you should use with caution, as the Odin is the most clunky weapon available in Valorant... So if agility is your thing, this might not be the one for you.
Named after the Greek 'God of War,' this feisty Heavy is capable of bringing even the best Valorant players to their knees. The Ares may not have the speed or mag size of its big brother, but it’s still a great option for those that want to wallbang opponents without spending the extra Creds.
- Read more: How to use the Ares: Valorant weapon guide
Riot’s recent Valorant patch has also reduced the Ares’s cost to 1,600 — making it a decent entry point for those wanting to hose down foes in the early to mid-game rounds.
The Operator currently delivers the most single-shot damage in the entire game, allowing players to send their opposite number to the sidelines with one lethal round to the head or body. If that wasn’t enough, the Dual Zoom Mode (2.5x or 5x) enables you to effortlessly line up your shots, creating plenty of opportunities to secure those montage worthy clips.
Just make sure you land that first hit, as the Operator’s slow fire rate can leave you vulnerable if you miss. If often find yourself holding down key choke points around the map, then this is most definitely worth the investment.
The Marshall is Valorant’s more nimble Sniper. Equipped with a 2.5x scope and five-round magazine, this gun should only be picked if you know that you can land headshots the vast majority of the time, as both body and leg hits won’t outright kill an armoured Agent.
While the Marshall may require greater precision than the Operator, it still delivers devastating damage provided you have the aim to support it!
So there you have it. There's the best weapons in Valorant, filtered by each category. While there are pros and cons to each weapon, this tier list will better inform your choices as you venture through Future Earth.