Phantom or Vandal: Which Valorant Rifle is best?

Phantom verus Vandal in Valorant.Riot Games / Dexerto

There’s a raging debate between Valorant players about what Rifle is better ⁠— the Phantom or the Vandal. Both cost 2,900 Creds, and seemingly serve the same purpose, but there’s distinct differences that make one better than the other.

The Phantom and the Vandal stand out as the two Rifles every Valorant player will end up buying. Both of them cost 2,900 Creds and you’ll see your teams pick them up in almost every buy round.

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The debate about which one is better is yet to be decided. Vandal enthusiasts will tell you about the gun’s oneshot potential at all ranges, while Phantom fans will talk about its high fire rate. So, what should you be using? Let’s break it down.

Phantom vs Vandal: Weapon stats

Player shooting on Ascent with the Vandal.Riot Games
The Vandal is the most lethal weapon in its class… But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Breaking down the stats of the Phantom or Vandal individually, they are both pretty similar. Although, there are two key differences that distinctly separate these weapons apart.

The first is their firing rate. The Phantom fires at 11 rounds per second, while the Vandal fires at a considerably slower 9.75 rounds per second. That means for every six bullets you fire with the Vandal, you’ll get nearly an extra shot out of the Phantom.

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The second different is their one-shot capabilities. The Vandal is capable of killing anyone with a headshot, no matter the distance. The Phantom, however, can only do that in close distances ⁠— less than 15m. This means the Vandal is better for long-range fights.

Phantom Vandal
Cost 2,900 Creds 2,900 Creds
Fire Rate 11 rounds/sec 9.9 rounds/sec while zoomed 9.75 rounds/sec 8.32 rounds/sec while zoomed
Magazine Capacity 30 25
Damage 39 body, 156 head, 33 leg at 0-15m 35 body, 140 head, 30 leg at 15-30m 31 body, 124 head, 20 leg at 30m+ 40 body, 160 head, 36 leg 0-50m
Wall Penetration Medium Medium

Phantom vs Vandal: Spray pattern


The Phantom not only presents a silenced variant to the Rifles on offer, but it also sports a spray pattern that is considerably more predicable than its Vandal counterpart.

Despite having a kickback that requires a bit of recoil control, it is much easier. Combine this with its increased rate of fire and you’ll be able to spray down enemies with comparative ease.

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What the Vandal brings to the table in terms of its lethality across all ranges, it loses with its erratic spray pattern. After the first few bullets, the Vandal’s bullet spread springs up aggressively, making it extremely difficult to control.

Combine this with it’s reduced magazine size and it’s evident that this Rifle isn’t tailored to ‘spray and pray.’

Phantom vs Vandal: What’s the verdict?

The decision to use the Phantom or the Vandal really comes down to two factors. One, what are you more comfortable with? Secondly, where will you be positioned in the round, and what’s your goal?

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If you are holding close angles, or are going to be taking short ranged fights, the Phantom outshines the Vandal in almost every way. It’s got a faster fire rate, while doing the same damage in close range. Its spray is also a lot easier to learn , as generally speaking you’ll just need to pull down with your mouse.

Conversely, if you are going to be holding longer angles, the Vandal will give you more bang for your buck. If you are a sharp shooter, you can take down anyone that runs through your line-of-sight with a single bullet. At range, you simply can’t do that with the Phantom.

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If you are following the pros currently, you’ll notice a lot of them are using the Phantom over the Vandal. Team Liquid’s Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom and Cloud9’s Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo have both elected to stick with the Phantom. The higher fire rate is more valued than the one-shot capabilities of the Vandal, and the spray is super intuitive compared to the slightly jagged Vandal spray.

Valorant player at Reactor Site A on Bind.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what you are comfortable with for the most part. It’s not like you are choosing between the Marshal and the Operator

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For the most part, players will benefit most from the Phantom. Given it’s higher fire rate, increased magazine size and capability to tame the recoil, this Rifle just about has the edge. With that said, this is an extremely close head-to-head. The Vandal does bring plenty of power to the table, but is let down by its erratic spray pattern.

Learning how both guns work is important though, so be sure to visit The Range and get used to using the Rifle duo, as they’ll be the guns you see most often laying around on your enemies’ dead bodies.

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