Valorant weapon tier list – ranking the best guns for the current patch

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Knowing the best guns to play and use, especially in dire situations, could mean the difference between winning and losing a round in Valorant. Our Valorant weapon tier list will cover the ins and outs of every gun in the game, letting you outwit your foes. 

✓ Quick Answer

Best guns

When it comes to firefights, the Operator, Vandal, and Phantom are our top picks in Valorant.

Valorant weapon tier list

TierWeapon
SOperator, Vandal, Phantom
ASpectre, Sheriff, Guardian, Marshal
BBulldog, Outlaw, Odin, Judge, Ghost
CClassic, Frenzy, Ares, Bucky
DShorty, Stinger

Best weapons in Valorant ranked

Here’s how we’ve picked out the best weapons in Valorant:

  • S-Tier: The optimal picks for a round that will devastate your opponents.
  • A-Tier: Solid options that are great in most circumstances.
  • B-Tier: Effective guns that are pretty good in general.
  • C-Tier: Situational guns that are outclassed by other weapons.
  • D-Tier: Avoid these guns unless you know what you’re doing.

When it comes to damage, here are some numbers to keep in mind. Players start with 100 health and can increase this by 25 or 50 by purchasing light or heavy armour. Weapons have different damage values based on which body part you strike and the distance between you and your opponent. If you deal equal or more damage than a player’s health, they will be knocked out for the round. Some abilities grant overheal and can revive players so be careful. And with that, let’s get into each weapon in Valorant and how they rank.

S-Tier: Operator

  • Cost: 4700 credits
  • Penetration: High
  • Damage: 255/150/120 (head/body/limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: NA
  • Fire rate: 0.6
  • Run speed: 5.13
  • Reload Speed: 3.7
  • Magazine: 5 (+10 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Operator in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Operator can one-shot most players. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Operator is a massive and intimidating weapon to equip, coming at a high cost in credits. You only have 5 bullets per magazine to get that opening kill so your team can play the number advantage. No other gun in the game promises this one-shot kill potential. Boasting 150 damage per body shot, this weapon is very effective when it comes to holding angles where an enemy is supposed to peek. Even a body shot with this gun can knock out an agent with full shields. Be careful though, as holding an Operator tends to make you vulnerable when it comes to short ranges. Playing agents like Jett or Chamber who can dash out and teleport after a shot is also recommended to give you that extra edge.

S-Tier: Vandal 

  • Cost: 2900 credits
  • Penetration: Medium
  • Damage: 160/40/34 (head/body/limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: NA
  • Fire rate: 8.775-9.75
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.5
  • Magazine: 25 (+50 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Vandal in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Vandal excels in close to mid-range fights. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Vandal is one of the most used weapons in-game. It’s favoured by players when it comes to one-tapping their enemies at long and mid ranges. Choosing between the Vandal or Phantom is mostly based on how you want to pick your fights. The Vandal has a smaller magazine of 25 bullets, compared to the Phantom’s 30-bullet magazine. It is also slower when it comes to fire rate as well but don’t let this stop you from choosing this deadly weapon. It offers a consistent damage output and can one-shot an enemy with a headshot at any range, rewarding disciplined fire.

S-Tier: Phantom

  • Cost: 2900 credits
  • Penetration: Medium
  • Damage: 156/140/124 or 39/35/31 or 33/29/26 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 15-30m
  • Fire rate: 9.9-11
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.5
  • Magazine: 30 (+60 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Phantom in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use the Phantom to slay in silence. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Phantom is best used when fighting multiple enemies at close to medium distances. It is easier to control than the aforementioned Vandal in terms of recoil. That’s why we often see players with clips of “spray transfer” using this weapon as it allows you to spray down multiple enemies at once. The Phantom is also our weapon of choice if you want a slightly larger magazine and a better fire rate. 

Another great feature of the Phantom is the silencer it is equipped with. The silencer ensures your bullets and positioning will be much harder to determine when firing inside vision blocker abilities such as smokes, Viper’s pit, and Cypher’s cages. One downside would be that its damage does fall off when used at long ranges, reducing your chance of one-shot kills.

A-Tier: Spectre

  • Cost: 1600 credits
  • Penetration: Medium
  • Damage: 78/66/60 or 26/22/20 or 22/18/17 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 20-50m
  • Fire rate: 12-13.33
  • Run speed: 5.73
  • Reload Speed: 2.25
  • Magazine: 30 (+90 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Spectre in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Spectre is a great silenced SMG pick. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Spectre is your go-to gun when it comes to the round after pistols. It gets the job done, especially since you can literally run and gun using Spectre and get away with bursting headshots at short-medium ranges. Buying this gun after a win on the pistol round is a great way to keep your team’s momentum going and secure rounds one after another. Although that’s not always the case, it’s still a gun advantage. Otherwise, the Spectre is great at stealthy short-tange tactics, like playing around smokes to surprise your opponents. At range, it falls short when compared to the high-cost automatic rifles such as the Phantom or Vandal.

A-Tier: Sheriff

  • Cost: 800 credits
  • Penetration: High
  • Damage: 159/145 or 55/50 or 46/42 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 30m
  • Fire rate: 4
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.25
  • Magazine: 6 (+24 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Sheriff in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Sheriff is the most powerful sidearm in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Sheriff is the priciest sidearm in Valorant for a reason. If you are a highly skilled player with good aim, this pistol is made for you. Its headshots deal a whopping 159 headshot damage at short-medium distances, making it deadly even for enemies with full armour. The Sheriff also has high wall penetration, so you can knock out enemies even before they peek. It’s similar to the Operator’s mode of one-shot combat so pair the Sheriff with a gun that has a high rate of fire. But its high cost means that you shouldn’t get it during pistol rounds as it holds you back from getting utilities – unless you’re absolutely confident in your aim.

A-Tier: Guardian

  • Cost: 2250 credits
  • Penetration: High
  • Damage: 195/65/49 (head/body/limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: NA
  • Fire rate: 5.25
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.5
  • Magazine: 12 (+36 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Guardian in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Guardian has lethal headshots despite not being a sniper rifle. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Guardian sits below the Phantom and Vandal in terms of combat prowess. It doesn’t have a powerful scope, but the semi-automatic rifle can still deal lethal headshots. It’s great for checking smokes thanks to how much damage it can deal. Its low fire rate can’t contest with most rifles so you have to make every shot count. With decent aim, it’s a great alternative pick over other rifles, especially when you can’t full-buy. With great damage across all ranges, the Guardian can knock out light-armoured enemies in just two body hits.

A-Tier: Marshal

  • Cost: 950 credits
  • Penetration: Medium
  • Damage: 202/101/85 (head/body/limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: NA
  • Fire rate: 1.2-1.5
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.5 (0.5 per bullet)
  • Magazine: 5 (+15 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Marshal in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Marshal is an entry-level sniper rifle. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Marshal is favoured by players right after winning a pistol round thanks to its low cost. A single body shot can kill an unarmored opponent, making it a solid pick early on. Its hip-fire accuracy is also decent for a sniper rifle, letting you peek at corners during the first couple of rounds. You’ll still be a sitting duck if a player with an automatic rifle catches you off-guard. The best aspect about the Marshal is its cost-efficiency. It will kill any opponent if you can land a headshot, able to take off a more powerful rifle for measly 950 credits. Pair it with the best crosshair codes in Valorant to gain an edge against most opponents.

B-Tier: Bulldog

  • Cost: 2050 credits
  • Penetration: Medium
  • Damage: 115/35/29 (head/body/limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: NA
  • Fire rate: 6.3-10
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.5
  • Magazine: 24 (+72 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Bulldog in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Bulldog is a decent choice at close to medium range. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Bulldog sits squarely below the Phantom and Vandal. With a decent fire rate and a neat three-bullet burst mode, you can potentially knock a player out if you land a headshot and a body shot. And thanks to its scope, you can take out foes who pick the Stinger or Spectre SMGs. It’s a decent pick, but the Bulldog often can’t compete with other rifles.

B-Tier: Outlaw

  • Cost: 2400 credits
  • Penetration: High
  • Damage: 238/140/119 (head/body/limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: NA
  • Fire rate: 2.75
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 2.3 one bullet, 3.8 two bullets
  • Magazine: 2 (+10 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Outlaw in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Be wary of the Outlaw’s twin shots. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Added during Episode 8, the Outlaw marks the first new weapon added to Valorant since the game’s launch. It is a double-barreled sniper rifle that presents a mid-point between the Marshall and the OP. During the time when light shield buys were the meta, Outlaw came out as a potent counter, able to one-shot light-armoured players. Nowadays, it’s the best anti-eco weapon in the game if your aim is on point. Otherwise, you’ll still need headshots to kill fully armoured enemies, which makes it less cost-effective than the Marshall.

B-Tier: Odin

  • Cost: 3200 credits
  • Penetration: High
  • Damage: 95/77 or 38/31 or 32/26 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 30m
  • Fire rate: 12-15.6
  • Run speed: 5.13
  • Reload Speed: 5
  • Magazine: 100 (+200 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Odin in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Odin packs a massive rate of fire. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Odin is a highly suppressive machine gun in Valorant and the second most expensive weapon in the game. It has a large magazine capacity and high wall penetration, which is catastrophic when paired with initiator agents such as Fade and Sova. This is mostly done on Ascent where we often see players fall victim to this wall-bang tactic. Odin is also great for holding sites after planting the spike. But it doesn’t hold a candle to a Vandal or Phantom player at medium ranges. You’re also vulnerable against sniper fire unless you’re taking precautions to flank your foes.

B-Tier: Judge

  • Cost: 1850 credits
  • Penetration: Low
  • Damage: 34/20/14 or 17/10/7 or 14/8/5 (per pellet, head or body or limbs)
  • Pellet number: 12
  • Dropoff distance: 10-15m, 15-50m
  • Fire rate: 3.5
  • Run speed: 5.06
  • Reload Speed: 2.2
  • Magazine: 7 (+15 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Judge in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Judge has a decent fire rate despite being a shotgun. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Explosively rapid firing at 3.5 rounds per second, the Judge is one of the most annoying weapons to come across in Valorant. Capable of decimating anyone that gets too close, this gun is favoured in situations where you want to play corners and wait for enemies to appear in your line of sight. Agents like Jett and Raze are notorious for utilizing this gun, as they can instantly cross the distance to get to an enemy and blast their heads off. It’s a highly situational weapon, however, and punishes you for missing a shot. At a relatively low cost, it can outmatch many premium guns in the right situation.

B-Tier: Ghost

  • Cost: 500 credits
  • Penetration: Medium
  • Damage: 105/87 or 30/25 or 25/21 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 30m
  • Fire rate: 6.75
  • Run speed: 5.73
  • Reload Speed: 1.5
  • Magazine: 15 (+45 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Bulldog in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use the Ghost to catch enemies by surprise. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Ghost is a good pistol pick because it can knock out an unarmored opponent with a single headshot. Its silencer also makes it harder for enemies to detect you, which is great during the earlier rounds of a match. It has a very decent range for a gun, with up to 30m being able to land one-shot kills to the head against unarmoured enemies. But outside of that, the Sheriff is a better option in most situations thanks to its higher damage output.

C-Tier: Classic

  • Cost: Free
  • Penetration: Low
  • Damage: 78/66 or 26/22 or 22/18 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 30m
  • Fire rate: 6.75
  • Run speed: 5.73
  • Reload Speed: 1.75
  • Magazine: 12 (+36 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Bulldog in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Classic is what you’ll get when a match starts. Image captured by VideoGamer.

All players start with the trusty Classic pistol at the beginning of a Valorant match. Pairing it with a half-shield lets you conserve your credits for the next round. A recent nerf weakened its alt-fire, meaning that you’re better off upgrading to another pistol once your economy allows it. We can’t complain too much because you’re getting this weapon for free. Just remember that it’ll take a good number of shots to knock an opponent out. During the gun rounds, you might find yourself looking to agent abilities to support your Classic shootouts.

C-Tier: Frenzy

  • Cost: 450 credits
  • Penetration: Low
  • Damage: 78/63 or 26/21 or 22/17 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 20m
  • Fire rate: 10
  • Run speed: 5.73
  • Reload Speed: 1.5
  • Magazine: 13 (+39 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Frenzy in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Frenzy has a solid fire rate despite being a sidearm. Image captured by VideoGamer.

While the Frenzy was once a good option, nerfs and a price increase have made it lose its spark. It can still dish out decent damage at very short ranges, thanks to its high fire rate. But you still have to land most of your shots to secure kills. Meanwhile, a Sheriff only needs one headshot to knock you into the next round. At best, Frenzy is decent at holding tight corners when you have no other options.

C-Tier: Ares

  • Cost: 1600 credits
  • Penetration: High
  • Damage: 72/67 or 30/28 or 25/23 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 30m
  • Fire rate: 13
  • Run speed: 5.13
  • Reload Speed: 3.25
  • Magazine: 50 (+100 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Bulldog in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Ares is an LMG with high wall penetration. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Ares is supposed to be an entry-level Odin with a lower price and weaker stats. But its poor accuracy and wide spread make it a highly unreliable weapon. Unless you expect the opponents to come rushing at you, you’re better off getting an SMG like the Spectre instead if you want a rapid-firing weapon.

C-Tier: Bucky

  • Cost: 850 credits
  • Penetration: Low
  • Damage: 40/26/18 or 20/13/9 or 17/11/7 (per pellet, head or body or limbs)
  • Pellet number: 15
  • Dropoff distance: 8-12m, 12-50m
  • Fire rate: 1.1
  • Run speed: 5.06
  • Reload Speed: 2.5
  • Magazine: 5 (+10 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Bucky in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Use the Bucky for close-quarters fights. Image captured by VideoGamer.

The Bucky might just have the worst alt fire in our Valorant weapon tier list. But that’s not why you’re getting it. Its regular gunshots are lethal at close range but its small magazine punishes poor aim. Pair it with playing around corners and smokes. Alternatively, use an agent with potent entry ability to quickly dispatch an enemy and trade up with their dropped gun. If credits allow, however, the Judge is a far better option in every conceivable way.

D-Tier: Shorty

  • Cost: 300 credits
  • Penetration: Low
  • Damage: 22/12/6 or 11/6/3 or 9/5/2 (per pellet, head or body or limbs)
  • Pellet number: 15
  • Dropoff distance: 7-15m, 15-50m
  • Fire rate: 3.33
  • Run speed: 5.4
  • Reload Speed: 1.75
  • Magazine: 2 (+6 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Shorty in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
Shorty is an affordable gun option with situational use. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Once the most popular sidearm, nerfs have dropped Shorty to the bottom end of our Valorant weapon tier list. While it does have solid damage, the snub-nosed shotgun is a situational item that can be countered easily. Its best uses are around tight corners at extremely close range, where its pellets can do the most damage. It’s hard to justify getting this, especially when you want to conserve credits. Stick to the basic pistol or consider the Ghost instead of this gun.

B-Tier: Stinger

  • Cost: 1100 credits
  • Penetration: Low
  • Damage: 67/57 or 27/23 or 22/19 (head or body or limbs)
  • Dropoff distance: 15m
  • Fire rate: 8.4-16
  • Run speed: 5.73
  • Reload Speed: 2.25
  • Magazine: 20 (+60 reserve)
Valorant best guns: A player with the Stinger in the training area. Image captured by VideoGamer.
The Stinger is a basic SMG in the game. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Stinger went through a rollercoaster over the last few Valorant patches. After getting a buff and enjoying the spotlight for a while, it was quickly nerfed again. Its cost increased, while its effective range got shorter. Couple that with its horrific spread and low damage, and it’s easy to see why the unfortunate SMG is at the bottom of our list. Any other weapon in its cost range will perform better than the Stinger.

About the Author

Antony Terence

Antony Terence is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. While he is particularly fond of city-builders, shooters, and strategy titles, he won’t turn down a good JRPG or a turn-based roguelike.

Valorant

  • Release Date: June 2, 2020
    • - 02 June 2020 (PC)
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Genre(s): Action, Shooter, Strategy