Since Valorant’s release in June 2020, both professional players and newcomers have argued over one crucial question — which rifle is better, the Phantom or the Vandal? They’re both popular due to their well-balanced stats, and each has its own distinct strengths and playstyles. But is one truly better than the other?
In this guide, we’ll be looking closely at both of rifles to determine which one is the better choice in Valorant.
Related reading: VALORANT: Best Weapons Tier List
Phantom vs. Vandal: Which One is Better?
Which rifle is the best in Valorant? Both of these rifles cost the same, and at first glance look pretty similar. That said, a more in-depth look at their stats reveals which one you should choose at the start of your match.
The Phantom has a fast rate of fire, a silencer to hide you from your enemies, and a large magazine. It also has a manageable spray pattern, no bullet tracers, and solid spray transfer. All of these pros make it excel in close to mid-range fights. The Phantom is an excellent choice for many of Valorant’s tighter, closed-in maps. Players using it will be able to respond quickly in stressful close-quarter fights, deal lethal damage from close and mid-range, and get in and out of battles quietly.
The Phantom’s damage drop-off is its main weakness. The further away it is, the less damage it does. Multiple shots are often required to down an enemy, and deadly headshots are more difficult to land.
- Cost: 2,900
- Fire mode: Fully automatic
- Head damage: 156 at 0-15 meters, 140 at 15-30 meters, and 124 at 30-50 meters
- Body Damage: 39 at 0-15 meters, 35 at 15-30 meters, and 31 at 30-50 meters
- Leg Damage: 33 at 0-15 meters, 29 at 15-30 meters, and 26 at 30-50 meters
- Fire Rate: 11 rounds per second
- Magazine: 30 rounds
- Penetration: Medium
Long-range battles are the Vandal’s specialty. It’s great for one-shotting your opponents and it has no damage drop-off, meaning that distance won’t get in the way of your damage output. For those with the skill to consistently one-tap their enemies, this rifle is the perfect choice.
It does, however, have a smaller magazine, and is less forgiving. Unlike the Phantom, it’ll reveal your position and get you killed if you aren’t able to land your one-shots. Its unreliable spray transfer, high recoil, and slow fire rate make it more difficult to control. The Vandal requires much more precision and patience.
- Cost: 2,900
- Fire Mode: Fully Automatic
- Headshot Damage: 160 from all ranges (max range 50 meters)
- Body Damage: 39 from all ranges
- Leg Damage: 33 from all ranges
- Fire Rate: 9.75 rounds per second
- Magazine: 25 Rounds
- Penetration: Medium
Phantom vs. Vandal: Who’s the Winner?
Both rifles are extremely powerful and can dominate in different scenarios; however, the Phantom is the overall better choice. It’s much easier to handle and way more forgiving in battle, making it especially good for beginners.
Although it doesn’t do as well in long-distance engagements, the Phantom’s silencer, lower recoil, and manageable spray pattern make it much easier for players to quickly surprise their enemies, hide from their opponents, and land crucial shots. In addition, its faster fire rate and larger magazine helps players deal more damage. While it can’t quite one-tap like the Vandal, its ease of use makes up the difference.
TenZ, one of the best Valorant players in the world, strongly believes that the Phantom is superior to the Vandal in every way. Although he does admit that the Vandal’s one-tap kills are “way more satisfying” than the Phantom’s “easy burst kills”, he much rather prefers the Phantom even in maps that feature more long-range encounters because of its smoother handling.
The Vandal can one-shot the competition better, but requires much more skill to handle. It could easily come out on top in the right hands or on the right map, but the Phantom is simply more reliable in most scenarios.
For experienced players that can consistently land one-shots and get around the rougher handling, the Vandal is the more enjoyable option. For players who aren’t so sure about their one-shot capabilities and need more room for error, the Phantom is definitely the better option.
Join the High Ground
Although both the Phantom and the Vandal have their specific uses and skill sets, the Phantom’s solid consistency, versatility, and handling make it the better rifle in Valorant. Which rifle do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter.