Are you using the right weapons in Valorant to level up your gameplay and seize those wins?
Valorant consists of various weapons, ranging from 0 credits to 4700 credits in price. Weapons are classified into automatic rifles, sniper, machine guns, and shotguns. Having the correct weapon at the right location and time is critical.
Depending on the situation, the correct weapon can make a huge difference. You prefer Phantom, Vandal, or Operator for long-range fights, while for close-range fights, you might prefer Spectre, Ares, Stinger, etc. On agents like Raze, Jett, or Neon, you can also wield a Judge or Bucky to take advantage of the speed and movement of those agents. Thus, the selection of weapons becomes very critical to win a competitive match to rank up.
Weapon Selection Criteria
Weapon selection on Valorant depends on various reasons like economy, agents, team composition, etc. Each criterion further depends on the network quality you are connected to. Each criterion can change the shape of the game.
The most crucial criterion is the Economy of every round. It defines what you can buy for this round and sets you up for future rounds. Balancing a healthy economy will increase the chances of winning as you can have better weapons throughout the game than your enemy.
➡️ Agent Selection
Agent selection contributes heavily to weapon selection, as some agents have fast moments, whereas some agents have a critical utility that cannot be traded for a better gun. Weapons complement agents, like Odin on Sova, Operator on Jett, and more.
➡️ Team Composition
Team Composition contributes to the execution; hence, having a correct weapon is necessary to enter or anchor a site. For fast execution, weapons with higher fire rates are preferred, while for slow-paced games, you prefer something with more significant damage. Moreover, enemy composition also similarly impacts weapon selection.
Maps have one of the most influence on weapon selection. However, it is ignored by players most of the time. Few maps have close, tight corners (like Split) that complement weapons like Spectre, Judge, or Phantom. In contrast, long-range maps like Breeze and Icebox complement the selection of Vandal, Operator, or Guardian.
➡️ Individual Play Style and Skill Level
The choice of weapon depends on the nature of the player: aggressive players who like to go up close and personal or passive players who prefer long-range fights. Furthermore, it depends on the comfort of each weapon and how good you are with it.
Now, let’s check out every weapon and also understand when to use them correctly.
Vandal is one of the most used weapons in the game. It is a fully automatic assault rifle that can be bought with 2900 credits in the game. It is suitable for players who like to use firearms in single-tap mode and allows you to kill an opponent with one bullet while using it to spray on some occasions.
Vandal is more useful in mid-long-range fights as it deals crucial damage with little bullet drop compared to others. However, clearing corners can be occasionally hard as this weapon’s recoil is higher than others.
Vandal is a powerful weapon that deals the damage as 160 (headshot), 40 (bodyshot), and 34 (legshot). It comes with a magazine of 25 and reserve ammunition of 50. Vandal is similar to the real-life AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) but with a higher fire rate of 9.75 rounds per second. The reload time on Vandal is 2.5 seconds, with a movement speed of 5.4 meters per second. Players relying on accuracy and strafing can use this weapon in any situation to win rounds for the team.
Phantom is a direct competitor of Vandal in the game. It is also a fully automatic assault rifle that can be bought with 2900 credits. Phantom allows you to spray as the recoil pattern is more manageable than Vandal’s.
It is suitable for spraying on enemies or through smoke while still dealing critical damage, but less than compared to Vandal’s. It allows you to clear corners very quickly as the fire rate is fast with less spread of bullets.
Phantom deals different damage at different ranges. For 0-15m, it deals 156 (headshot), 39 (body shot), and 33 (legshot), while for 15-30m, it is 140 (headshot), 35 (body shot), 29 (legshot). Phantom is suitable for players who like stealth playstyle as the weapon comes with a silencer that damps the firing sound and contributes to controllability. Players relying on fast movement can use the gun effectively to win rounds.
Operator is the most expensive weapon in the game. It is a bolt-action sniper rifle that can be bought with 4700 credits. It allows you to hold corners and choke points to take your enemy with one shot. Operator comes with a magazine of 5 bullets and a reserve ammunition of 10 bullets. Moreover, it comes with high wall penetration capability.
Two major drawbacks of Operator are a slow fire rate and action that makes a player vulnerable against a fast push or trap play. Secondly, Operator is known to be an agent-based gun. You should prefer playing Operator on agents like Jett, Chamber, Neon, etc., and all deal the damage as 255 (headshot), 150 (body shot), and 120 (longshot). It is a weapon for players with super fast reflexes and patience to hold an angle.
Ghost is one of the most popular sidearms in the game. It is known for its first-shot accuracy and controllability. Ghost is available at 500 in-game credits. The silencer on the gun allows it to reduce the recoil and better headshot accuracy while increasing the bullet drop.
However, Ghost still has a great range and deals critical damage in pistols, half-buys, and eco rounds. It deals damage of 105 (headshot), 30 (body shot), and 25 (leg shot) at close range with a damaging fall of 87 (headshot), 25 (body shot), and 21 (leg shot) at 30-50 meters. Hence, this fall-off makes it hard to take down an enemy, even with a headshot at a long range. Overall, Ghost is a versatile and reliable sidearm that can be used in various situations.
Sheriff is the most expensive pistol in its category. It is known for its critical damage that allows you to take down enemies with a headshot. Sheriff is available for 800 in-game credits with a magazine of 8 bullets and a reserve of 24 rounds (4 magazines).
It is a semi-automatic revolver with high accuracy and low bullet fall-off at mid-long range. Sheriff deals a damage of 159 (headshot), 55 (body shot), 46 (leg shot) at close range with a damaging fall of 145 (headshot), 50 (body shot), and 42 (leg shot) between 30-50 meters.
However, the high recoil on the Sheriff makes it a hard-to-control weapon, and clearing angles with this gun is challenging. It is suitable for players with high accuracy and patience who love to save on eco rounds while having the ability to deal critical damage.
Bulldog is the cheapest fully automatic rifle out of the 3 ARs available, priced at 2050 in-game credits. Unlike the other two ARs, the bulldog has a burst fire mode on the alternate fire (scoped-in mode).
The burst fire mode can be helpful to take down enemies in a concentrated fire at a medium range, like holding a corner or angle scoped in. It has a reasonable fire rate on the normal mode and a faster burst mode with a gap between two bursts, allowing the use of it in different scenarios.
Moreover, the weapon’s price allows you to save some credits on a buy round or convert an eco round to a buy round. It deals a damage of 116 (headshot), 35 (body shot), and 20 (leg shot) at 0-50 meter range. However, it is not as powerful as Phantom or Vandal but deals good damage on medium range. The best part is that it is easy to control. It is suitable for players with little experience in the game wielding AR or trying to balance out the economy during the game.
Guardian is a semi-automatic rifle available at 2250 in-game credits. It has one of the highest damage, only falling second to the Operator. It deals a damage of 195 (headshot), 65 (body shot), and 49 (leg shot) at 0-50 meter range, which is the highest per bullet damage on any rifle available in the game. The gun allows you to scope it at 1.5x, thus making it a viable option for long-range fights.
However, the slow rate of fire makes you vulnerable in fast-paced situations. The wall penetration capability of Guardian is on par with that of the Operator. Hence, it is a great weapon to target your enemies through the vulnerable walls on the map, especially on the map of Ascent. It suits players with better accuracy, fast reflexes, and patience. Moreover, it allows you to save a few credits or buy a full shield on a half-buy round.
Ares is classified as a heavy machine gun priced at 1600 in-game credits. It is known for its fire rate and magazine capacity. It can fire 13 rounds per second, 50 rounds per magazine, and comes with a reserve of 100 rounds.
Moreover, the bullets have high penetration capability through walls, allowing players to aim through walls for Sova and Cipher reveals. It deals damage of 72 (headshot), 30 (body shot), and 25 (leg shot) at close range with a damaging fall of 67 (headshot), 28 (body shot), and 23 (leg shot) at 30-50 meters.
It is suitable for site anchors as they can fire 50 rounds through smoke, dealing significant damage, or if you want to flush out an enemy from a location. However, it slows down the movement and has a lot of recoil. It is an excellent buy for the anti-eco rounds or half-buys, where you want to take advantage of heavy firing and utility-based gameplay.
Spectre is the most straightforward sub-machine gun priced at 1600 credits in the game. It has a large capacity of 30 rounds with 90 rounds in reserve to compensate for its low damage compared to Vandal or Phantom.
The gun is also equipped with a silencer, which helps dampen the fire noise and compensates for the recoil effect to help for a lurking and stealth play. It deals damage of 78 (headshot), 26 (body shot), and 22 (leg shot). Hence, it is not a choice of weapon for long-range fights.
The fire rate of 13.33 per second and 30 rounds per magazine allows faster movement around the map. So, this gun significantly contributes to run-and-gun experiences. It is suitable for anti-eco, half-buy, or pseudo-buy rounds and allows you to play close-range corners to fight better against Phantoms and Vandals.
Classic is the most rudimentary gun, yet a great one for the pistol or eco round. It is a default sidearm equipped by the agent. This weapon can take down enemies if combined with a half shield and close-range fight. Moreover, this is a free weapon in the game and easy to control.
It also has an alternate fire that fires three bullets simultaneously, as a semi-automatic shotgun. It deals damage of 78 (headshot), 26 (body shot), and 22 (leg shot) at close range, with a damaging fall of 66 (headshot), 22 (body shot), and 18 (leg shot) at 30-50 meters. This gun is suitable in a close-range fight while holding corners or using it on eco rounds, while the alternate fire can be used as a mini shotgun.
Weapon selection is critical in Valorant as the game is dynamic, with different styles of agents, weapons, and abilities. While selecting a weapon for the round, you must consider the map being played, team composition, enemy team composition, counter plays, economy, etc.
To make the selection accessible, consider these questions: Does the map have close corners, or is ability dependent? Will the weapon complement your game style and team composition? Is it going to help you counter enemy play? Will you have enough credits to take the game deep and win? These questions will help you choose your best weapon and win competitive matches.
Valorant also has a bunch of skins that can change the in-game aesthetics of your Agent or the weapon. To know more, check out our coverage of the best Valorant skins!
Dhruv is an enthusiastic content writer and passionate gamer developing content around latest games, tricks, and techniques to rule the gaming world. Other than gaming, he likes to talk about Freelancing, Personal Branding, and LinkedIn… read more