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VALORANT Weapons Guide

Where would a VALORANT Agent be without their weapons? Likely face down on the concrete. Although some Agents have damage-dealing abilities, they’re hardly enough to secure a win by themselves. The bread-and-butter for every VALORANT player are the guns they bring to battle, and the right one (in the right hands) can mean the difference between victory and defeat. 

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive VALORANT weapons guide. While we won’t list every stat in this guide, we will be detailing the most important specs. We’ll also cover the circumstances where each weapon excels and provide a brief summary for each option. Sound good? Let’s begin.

Time to Go Shopping

VALORANT Weapons

At the beginning of each round, the buy menu is ready and waiting for you. Your funding is limited to the number of credits in your virtual wallet. Credits are earned for round wins, kills, and even a little pity money for losses. 

Pistols, rifles, shotguns, and more are all purchasable through the pre-round shop. If you buy something by mistake or have a teammate offer to pay for you after the fact, you can sell weapons purchased that same round by right-clicking. You can also buy armor, both light and heavy, as well as fill out your abilities. But once the round begins, the shop closes, kicking out any lingering patrons to face their fate on the battlefield. 

Now that we’ve covered how to buy weapons, let’s talk about the weapons themselves. In this next section, we go over specs like damagerange, and spread — the latter being the inherent inaccuracy of the weapon (despite your best efforts to control it). We may also touch on magazine size, bullet penetration through materials, and whether the gun changes fire-rate when you aim down the sights (ADS).

By the end of it, you should have a well-rounded understanding of VALORANT and its array of weaponry.

Sidearms

Classic

Classic
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Classic is precisely what it says on the tin. It boasts middling damage, short range, and high spread. Sure, the spread is manageable while standing still — but who stands still in a duel? You get a Classic for free at the beginning of every round, provided you don’t have another pistol in your holster. 

The Classic offers a three-round burst of bullets for its alternate-fire. At close range, you can dispatch enemies before they can put their rifles or SMGs to work. But if you’re still wielding the Classic on a rifle round, you’re probably doing something wrong.

Damage0-30m: Body 26 | Head 78 | Leg 22
30-50m: Body 22 | Head 66 | Leg 18
Ammo: 12 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeHow far can you spit? 
SpreadLike butter on toast.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 6.75 rounds per second.
Alt-fire3-round burst.
Fire Rate: 2.22 rounds per second.
Bullet PenetrationLow.

Shorty

Shorty
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Shorty is straight out of Terminator; a sawed-off shotgun for close encounters. While you aren’t likely to injure a target more than a meter away due to steep damage dropoff, anything closer will melt in the shower of hot lead. It’s the perfect one-two punch for playing angles that bring you close to the enemy. 

The incredible spread limits your tactical options here. You’d better hope two shells are all you need — because if they’re not, you’re a long reload animation away from helping yourself. 

Damage0-9m: Body 12 | Head 36 | Leg 10
915m: Body 8 | Head 24 | Leg 6
1530m: Body 3 | Head 9 | Leg 2
Ammo: 2 shells at a time, 10 shells in reserve.
RangeAnything you can’t reach out and touch is probably just going to be upset at you.
SpreadIt’s a shotgun.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 3.3 rounds per second.
Alt-fireNone.
Bullet PenetrationLow.

Frenzy

Frenzy
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The sidearm preferred by those who want to put a baker’s dozen bullets downrange in a hurry. The Frenzy is an excellent and cheap way to back up a sniper rifle or gain an edge on pistol round. Expect to stick to small bursts unless you’re panicked and backed into a corner. 

Damage0-20m: Body 26 | Head 78 | Leg 22
20-50m: Body 21 | Head 63 | Leg 17
Ammo: 13 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeUnless you’re using careful, controlled bursts, your effective range is as close as the Shorty — about a meter. 
SpreadIt’s an automatic pistol; you’ll be hard-pressed to hit a dinner plate unless you’re close enough to taste the entrée.
Automatic
Fire Rate: 10 rounds per second.
Alt-FireNone.
Bullet PenetrationLow.

Ghost

Ghost
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

An old, familiar standby. The Ghost is a silenced pistol made for operating. If you can time your shots well enough, it’s still potent even at medium ranges. And the whisper-quiet report means that your enemies won’t know what hit them.

Of course, if you spam the fire button like your old high school “acquaintance” sends out Facebook friend requests, your effective range is considerably shortened. 

Damage0-30m: Body 30 | Head 105 | Leg 25
30-50m: Body 25 | Head 87 | Leg 21
Ammo: 15 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeWith controlled shots, mid-range is possible. But close range is ideal.
SpreadTight spread if you stagger your shots. Even spamming fire, it’s still noticeably better than the other sidearms.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 6.75 rounds per second.
Alt-FireNone.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Sheriff

Sheriff
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The final sidearm is here to remind you that “this isn’t a democracy anymore.” With the Sheriff, you are judge, jury, and executioner. It deals considerable damage even at medium to long ranges, though the limited number of shots means you have to put each one on target. 

Headshots at medium range can be a one-hit kill. It’s a powerhouse, to be sure — and it’s also the most expensive sidearm. But if your aim is true, you won’t need any special tricks to put down the opposition. 

Damage0-30m: Body 55 | Head 159 | Leg 46
30-50m: Body 50 | Head 145 | Leg 42
Ammo: 6 rounds at a time, 24 rounds in reserve.
RangeIf you can see it, you can shoot it. Headshots are one-hit lethal even at medium range.
SpreadIf you fan the hammer, it gets a little crazy. Controlled shots are right on target.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 4 rounds per second.
Alt-FireNone.
Bullet PenetrationHigh.

SMGs

Stinger

Stinger
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Stinger is the first of VALORANT’s SMGs. And it’s often overlooked, perhaps due to its perceived position as the “cheap” SMG. Don’t be fooled — the Stinger is absolutely a double-kill just waiting to happen. 

The rate-of-fire is insane, but that means the spread is all over the place as well. You can use your alternate fire button to aim down the sights, but be advised that ADS with the Stinger places the gun in burst fire mode. Since the damage dropoff with SMGs renders them useless at longer ranges, it’s best to take fights up close and personal. 

Damage0-20m: Body 27 | Head 67 | Leg 23
20-50m: Body 25 | Head 62 | Leg 21
Ammo: 20 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeIdeally closer than “medium range” (15-30 meters), useless long range.
SpreadIn full-auto mode, the Stinger walks around like it’s playing Pokémon GO
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 18 rounds per second.
Alt-FireAim down sights; toggles to 4-round burst.
Bullet PenetrationLow.

Spectre

Spectre
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Spectre is an excellent choice for rounds where you don’t have enough funds for a full rifle buy. It combines solid range, solid damage, and solid weapon spread for a complete, compact package. But as a jack-of-all-trades, it must be a master-of-none, right?

For the most part. But even on rifle rounds, when you’re packing a Spectre, you’re still a potent and threatening obstacle for the opposing team. Alternate fire allows you to aim down sights without changing the fire rate, so you can make the most of medium range engagements. 

Damage0-20m: Body 26 | Head 78 | Leg 22
20-50m: Body 22 | Head 66 | Leg 18
Ammo: 30 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeYou can comfortably take medium range engagements with the Spectre, but may still struggle at extended ranges even with ADS due to damage dropoff.
SpreadA much tighter spread than the Stinger, but still demands controlled bursts at medium-long ranges.
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 13.33 rounds per second.
Alt-FireAim down sights; no rate-of-fire change.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Shotguns

Bucky

Bucky
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The good old Bucky — or the “Bucky Barnes” as I like to call it — is oft-misunderstood. Like the Stinger, perhaps it suffers from the stigma of being the “cheap” option in the shotgun category. But it’s no slouch, doing substantial damage up close.

The alternate fire for the Bucky fires a tightly packed slug that turns into buckshot a short distance away from the user. Hitting someone with the slug at close range will only mildly inconvenience them. But at medium ranges after fragmentation, it’s likely to put them down for the round. 

Damage0-8m: Body 22 | Head 44 | Leg 19
8-12m: Body 17 | Head 34 | Leg 14
12-50m: Body 9 | Head 18 | Leg 8
Ammo: 5 shells loaded at a time, 10 shells in reserve.
RangePrimary fire is about a meter, while secondary fire can hit targets at medium range.
SpreadSecondary fire doesn’t start to spread until it fragments. Then it’s a shotgun. 
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 1.1 rounds per second.
Alt-FireFires a slug that fragments a short distance from the player.
Bullet PenetrationLow.

Judge

Judge
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Who doesn’t love a good automatic shotgun? The Judge is a brutal, death-dealing machine capable of pumping out multiple rounds per second. Unlike the Bucky, the spread is a bit tighter than your average shotgun. But the spread source — the vector around which the pellets will spread — can walk all over if you fire fully-automatic. 

Once you get going with the Judge, you’ll be hard-pressed not to cackle maniacally as your enemies cower before your righteous fury. 

Damage0-10m: Body 17 | Head 34 | Leg 14
10-15m: Body 13 | Head 26 | Leg 11
15-50m: Body 10 | Head 20 | Leg 9
Ammo: 7 round drum magazines, 3 drum magazines in reserve.
RangePotent at close to medium range.
SpreadIt’s a shotgun. But not quite as bad as most shotguns.
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 3.5 rounds per second.
Alt-FireNone.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Rifles

Bulldog

Bulldog
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Bulldog is the cheap little rifle that could. It does everything adequately, but nothing exceptionally.

The damage is decent, though you won’t be one-tapping anyone with armor using this at medium or long ranges. It’s good up to medium range, with the option to use the burst at longer ranges for more control. Bullet penetration is better than non-rifles, though the damage drop off is still a factor to consider. All in all, this is a reliable B-grade rifle that you’re wise to upgrade as soon as possible. 

Damage0-50m: Body 35 | Head 116 | Leg 30
Ammo: 24 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeIdeally medium range, though long range is possible with ADS and burst.
SpreadThe Bulldog has the wild spread of the Vandal without the other perks to make up for it.
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 4 rounds per second.
Alt-FireAim down sights; toggles to 3-round burst.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Guardian

Guardian
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Guardian is the only semi-automatic rifle that isn’t a sniper. It fills the designated marksman rifle role, offering exceptional accuracy and handling in exchange for not being a bullet hose. If you’ve got the aim to make good on it, this weapon can be lethal at just about any range.

With the alternate fire offering aim-down-sights, it could be the best sniper rifle that isn’t in the sniper category. Just be wary of getting run down.  

Damage0-50m: Body 65 | Head 195 | Leg 49
Ammo: 12 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeGreat at all ranges.
SpreadMinimal spread, as the Guardian is semi-automatic.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 6.5 rounds per second.
Alt-FireAims down sights; no rate-of-fire change.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

 Phantom

Phantom
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The Phantom is the whisper-quiet big brother to the Ghost. It’s the rifle of choice for those who are confident in their aim and crave something fully automatic. Lethal at all ranges, it’s remarkably flexible to use — though starting at medium range you may need to “double-dink” (land two headshots) to put down an enemy. 

The spray is easy to control and tight, so spray away at medium range or ADS for the extra control. 

Damage0-15m: Body 29 | Head 156 | Leg 33
15-30m: Body 35 | Head 140 | Leg 30
30-50m: Body 31 | Head 124 | Leg 26
Ammo: 30 round magazines, 3 magazines in reserve.
RangeStrong at all ranges.
SpreadTight spread, though bursts are ideal.
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 11 rounds per second.
Alt-FireAims down sights; no rate-of-fire change.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Vandal 

Vandal
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

This is it. For most players, even those with a preference for the Phantom, the Vandal is still the king of rifles. Capable of one-click headshot kills at any range, a Vandal wielding Agent is not to be trifled with. Though its lethality is tempered somewhat by the wild spray, single-shots and small bursts can clear an entire site from one corner to another. 

Aiming down the sights can somewhat offset the recoil, but it’s better to train yourself to do without. This is a beast best fired from the hip if you can handle it. 

Damage0-50m: Body 39 | Head 156 | Leg 33
RangeThe entire map.
SpreadFull-auto will make your bullets dance like they’re at a rave. Short, controlled bursts are the key to keeping it under control. 
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 9.25 rounds per second.
Alt-FireAims down sights; no rate-of-fire change.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Snipers

Marshal

Marshal
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Crave that Wild West gunslingin’ vibe? Pair a Sheriff with a Marshal and ride into battle against the lawless opposition. While body shots with the Marshal are only likely to make your target miserable, a headshot will drop them in an instant — armor or no. 

The recoil isn’t as significant as the Operator — making the Marshal ideal for run-and-gun sniping. And there’s only one zoom level with the scope, so medium range is best. 

Damage0-50m: Body 101 | Head 202 | Leg 85
RangeMedium to long range, though medium is best.
SpreadNo significant recoil, and it’s quick to cool off after a shot.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 1.5 rounds per second.
Alt-FireOne single scope zoom level.
Bullet PenetrationMedium.

Operator

Operator
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

When someone lets loose with the Operator, everyone in the match takes notice. It’s a beast — a cannon in sniper form. Most body shots at most ranges are a one-hit kill. When there’s an Operator on the field, the only safe place is cowering in spawn.

There are two zoom levels with the scope here, in case you need to get a little closer to the action. 

Damage0-50m: Body 150 | Head 255 | Leg 127
RangeThe best long range gun in the game. Anything closer just makes your job easier.
SpreadThe recoil is significant, requiring a little extra time to cool down after each shot.
Semi-automatic
Fire Rate: 0.75 rounds per second.
Alt-FireTwo scope zoom levels.
Bullet PenetrationHigh.

LMGs

Ares

Ares
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

When you absolutely, positively need to spray and pray, you can’t go wrong with the Ares. It takes a moment to wind up to full power, but once it does, anything downrange and beyond is getting mowed down in a hail of bullets. 

Don’t expect to be accurate with it. But with fifty rounds, a few are bound to find their target. 

Damage0-30m: Body 30 | Head 72 | Leg 25
30-50m: Body 28 | Head 67 | Leg 23
RangeIdeally medium range, anything beyond can be hard to hit.
SpreadIt’s an LMG. You’re lucky to hit anything beyond medium range.
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 10 -> 13 rounds per second (increasing as you hold down fire). 
Alt-FireAims down sight; eliminates wind-up time for full fire-rate.
Bullet PenetrationHigh.

Odin

Odin
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Send your foes to Valhalla with the Odin. Everything the Ares does, the Odin does better. That means better damage at all ranges, double the number of bullets, a faster fire rate, and even crazier spread. But when you need to call down the wrath of the gods on a site, look no further than the Odin

With a hundred rounds at your disposal, if you aren’t hitting the target, you may want to spend some time in the practice range. If you can avoid being flanked, you’re a one-man (or demigod) army. 

Damage0-30m: Body 38 | Head 95 | Leg 32
30-50m: Body 31 | Head 77 | Leg 26
RangeIdeally medium range, anything beyond can be hard to hit.
SpreadIt’s an LMG. The spread is even crazier than the Ares, though it may be more predictable.
Fully-automatic
Fire Rate: 12 -> 15.6 rounds per second (increasing as you hold down fire).
Alt-FireAims down sight; eliminates wind-up time for full fire-rate.
Bullet PenetrationHigh.

Knives

Knife

Knife
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

It’s a knife.

Alternate fire is a slow but powerful stab, and a one-hit kill from behind.

DamageVarying kill time depending on the armor of the target.
Can one-hit kill from behind.
RangeIt’s a knife.
SpreadIt’s a knife.
Semi-automatic (It’s a knife)
Fire Rate: ~2 per second.
Alt-FireSlow but powerful stab.
Bullet PenetrationIt’s a knife.

What’s the Best Boomstick? 

Valorant Weapons Ranked

It’s hard to rank VALORANT’s guns, as they’re so situational. But just in case you need to settle an argument, we’ll do our best. Be advised that this is simply one opinion based on the current meta and is likely to change over time. Each numbered group represents the order in which you should consider purchasing a weapon, starting with rifles. The weapons within each group are organized in descending order of efficacy. 

Rifles

  1. Vandal 
  2. Phantom
  3. Guardian
  4. Bulldog

Snipers

  1. Operator
  2. Marshal

SMGs

  1. Spectre
  2. Stinger

Shotguns

  1. Bucky
  2. Judge

Pistols

  1. Ghost
  2. Sheriff
  3. Frenzy
  4. Shorty
  5. Classic

LMGs

  1. Odin
  2. Ares

And there you have it! A complete list of all the current weapons in Riot Games’ VALORANT, as well as a rundown of how each one measures up. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and be sure to stick around! We’ve got lots more VALORANT content coming real soon.

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