Riot games released Valorant in June 2020, and it quickly became one of the most popular first-person shooters on the market. It’s now safely nestled alongside other competitive giants such as Counter-Strike and Overwatch. There are two things you’re going to have to get acquainted with if you want to climb the ranks in Valorant, though. The first thing you’ll have to do is choose an Agent and get familiar with all of their abilities. The second is take a look at the list of weapons on offer and pick a few to master. But which are the best Valorant weapons to choose?
Weapons cost in-game money in Valorant. It can take a while to try them all and even longer to really figure out which of them are the best. That’s why we decided to put together this tier list of all the weapons in the game! We even added a top 10 list where we let you know exactly why these weapons are the best.
Valorant Weapons Tier List
Shields full? Abilities charged? It’s time to choose your weapon! We’re going to start by taking a look at all the weapons in Valorant broken up into tiers.
- 1. Operator
- 2. Phantom
- 3. Vandal
First on our Valorant gun tier list? The S-tier, AKA the best guns in Valorant. In the right hands, they completely decimate the competition.
The Operator is the most expensive gun in the game, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that it’s the highest ranked, but the Phantom and Vandal are here for their price-to-performance ratio. Both are popular choices by pro gamers. They make for versatile weapons at many ranges and on most maps.
Master either the Phantom or the Vandal, then get the Operator when you can afford it. You’ll be planting your Spike in enemy territory in no time.
- 4. Judge
- 5. Odin
- 6. Spectre
- 7. Sheriff
These are good alternatives, especially when you don’t have a lot of money or when you want to do something very specific. Most of our S-tier choices are more expensive and better suited to long-range combat. There are plenty of great weapons in Valorant that work better on small maps. After all, shotguns tend to work better in narrow corridors than sniper rifles. Some of these are also better suited to certain agents, (like going Jett-Judge or Sova-Odin.)
There are no bad choices here, but you have to know when to use them. There are also a few that might be a little easier to handle for beginners.
- 8. Guardian
- 9. Bulldog
- 10. Frenzy
- 11. Ghost
These are weapons that are more situational. There are specific instances where you might want to use them depending on which round you’re in, how much money you have, what map your on, and which Agent you’re playing as. The Bulldog, for instance, is a popular alternative to the Specter for second round since it can be bought cheaply and packs a mean punch for an early-game weapon. That doesn’t mean you’ll want to use it for the entire game, but there are times when it might give you a competitive edge. The Guardian is also a solid option on larger maps due to its superior accuracy.
- 12. Marshal
- 13. Bucky
- 14. Classic
- 15. Ares
The Classic gets an honorary placement here since it’s a free weapon and you’ll more than likely end up using it for the first round of every match. You probably don’t want to buy the rest of these, but they can still work in skilled hands. These are the guns that are either outclassed by similarly priced weapons or are otherwise just not that good. Of course, just like a skilled chef can make a meal out of anything, a skilled enough Valorant player can get kills no matter what weapon they’re pointing at their enemies.
- 16. Stinger
- 17. Shorty
Don’t buy these. There are much better options in the Stinger’s price category, and while the Shorty used to be a viable first round weapon for defending, it was nerfed in a patch and hasn’t been useful since. You’re better off sticking with the Classic and saving your money for the next round when you can afford a better weapon.
That said, there are always exception and innovative gamers finding specific use-cases for guns that others disregard as trash.
The 10 Best Valorant Weapons Ranked
Now you’ve seen how we’ve ranked all of the weapons in Valorant, it’s time to take a closer look at the top 10. Without further ado, here are the best Valorant guns and our thoughts on why they trump the competition!
Starting off our list is the Frenzy. Admittedly, there aren’t a lot of situations where you’re going to want to buy this sidearm, though it is probably the best weapon available during pistol rounds and the only fully automatic option. Buying the Frenzy could be a good strategy for securing an early win and saving more money for later rounds. It also ensures you have a better weapon than the Classic in your pistol slot.
The first rifle on our list is the Bulldog. This is a pretty good weapon that’s often overshadowed by other rifles in the game. One of the Bulldog’s biggest advantages is that it is the cheapest rifle option. This makes it a popular choice for the second round and half-buy rounds because players can afford to buy both the Bulldog and half-shields.
It fires full auto from the hip, but down sights it fires a three-round burst which is capable of bringing down an enemy in a single burst. Firing down sights also increases accuracy and bullet grouping.
Next up we have the Guardian. This is the most accurate weapon in the entire game, so this could be a good option if you’re looking for a mid-priced gun to scope enemies from across the courtyard. It’s also the only rifle in the game with high-penetration for shooting through walls and can take out enemies with a single shot to the head.
It’s semi-automatic, but it’s a bit cheaper than the Phantom or Vandal. It’s a solid choice for the last round if you don’t have the funds to get one of the batter rifles.
Coming in at number seven is the Sheriff. This is the only sidearm in the game that can one-shot somebody with full armor at any sort of distance. It also has pretty high bullet penetration. It costs 800, which makes it the most expensive sidearm, but it’s still relatively cheap compared to most of the weapons in the game.
People like to combine it with the Operator so that they have a close-range alternative or use it during “save rounds” when they’re trying to save up for better weapon, but still maintain a usable degree of lethal force.
You’d better watch out when the Sheriff comes to town.
You want the best SMG in the game? You’re going to want to buy the Spectre. This gun is especially useful after your team wins the first round, since it all but guarantees a win on the second. Like all SMGs, it has a fast rate of fire, but it also has a tight bullet grouping, no bullet-tracers, and it can’t be heard at distances over forty meters. It has much better first-bullet accuracy than you would expect as well.
It also doesn’t hurt that it looks like the kind of gun James Bond would use.
You know Thor’s daddy? This gun is sufficiently powerful to live up to the All-Father’s name. This giant machine gun may have a slow reload speed, but that hardly matters since it has a 100-bullet magazine that lets you spray an entire section of the map with red-hot death. Sova players are particularly fond of the Odin since they can use his dart to reveal enemies through walls and then use this oversized gatling gun to mow them all down.
It’s the second most expensive gun in the game, but watching the entire opposing team turn tail and flee when you unleash your torrent of lead is worth every penny.
Time for the big shotty-boi! If you like camping corners and not having to aim, this is the gun for you! The Judge is probably the best weapon for when you’re defending on a close-range map, (basically all of them except Icebox and Breeze.) It’s the Thanos-snap of shotguns.
It doesn’t even have sights. To be fair, it doesn’t need them. Just point the big circle at the enemy’s body at close range and watch them disappear. A lot of pro gamers have actually been calling to get in nerfed, since it isn’t just powerful, but also incredibly cheap. This automatic shot gun won’t make you many friends, but it’ll help rake in the kills.
Of all the rifles in Valorant, two stand out above the rest — the Phantom and the Vandal. They both cost the exact same, but a few things set them apart. Players love the Vandal because it can one-shot enemies from any distance so long as you hit them in the head. This makes it very appealing to those with the accuracy to pull off such a feat.
There are few things in the world more satisfying than that old adage, “one bullet, one kill.” The Vandal is a badge of honor for those mechanically skilled enough to use it. There’s one rifle that’s even better though.
There are going to be those among you who are furious that we’ve ranked the Phantom above the Vandal, but there’s a good reason. The Phantom has the better first-shot accuracy, the faster rate of fire, a tighter grouping, and it doesn’t have tracers when you shoot through smoke.
Not convincing enough? The Phantom also has a suppressor on it, meaning enemies can’t hear it so long as they’re more than forty meters away. It can also still take out an enemy with full shields if you headshot them within fifteen meters.
At #1 on our list, we have the best gun in Valorant overall — the Op.
Everyone who plays Valorant knows the Operator. If you’ve ever felt the pain of being one-shot in the chest from all the way down a long hallway, this gun was probably the culprit. It’s the most expensive gun in the game (running 5K, but due for a price decrease), but there’s nothing better if you’ve got the money to burn.
The Operator has the longest scope, the highest accuracy, and deals the most damage per shot. You can even one-shot enemies through walls if you hit them in the head! This is the gun you buy before the switch any time you’ve got the scratch.
Become a High Grounder
Thank you for reading our list of the best Valorant weapons. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for news, reviews and more lists like this one.