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Valorant Weapon Guide: Rifles

Valorant Weapon Guide: Rifles

Brandon "Mothman" Moore


The majority of weapon categories in Valorant all have two weapons found within. SMGs, shotguns, machine guns, and sniper rifles found in Valorant are a pair of each. The sidearms are the most abundant with a total of five. The second most weapons in a category belongs to the rifles.

The rifles are the main weapons seen in Valorant, with two of them being considered the meta. There are four, each vastly different than the next. The differences are much higher than those between other guns and their counterparts. The pool of guns in the rifle category leaves players with a choice of how they want to spend their credits and how they want to attack and counter their opponents.


Cost: 2100

The Bulldog is the cheapest of the rifles. It has a lower fire rate than the Phantom and the Vandal, as well as the lowest damage among all the rifles. That doesn’t take away from how easy it is to use, however. The fully-automatic setting is on when firing from the hip. It has an upward kick that can be tough to control, however.

That is where the alternative firing option comes into play. It allows a 1.25x zoom. The fire rate does reduce to 69%, but a three round burst accompanies it. With every zoomed in weapon, recoil and spread are reduced. The burst fire is enough to finish an enemy off with one pull of the trigger. Even if the first couple of hits land in the body and it ticks up towards the head, the elimination will be had.

This is the perfect economical rifle. If the economy is looking rough, or you simply want to stack more creds at the end of the round, the price tag can’t be beaten. Save the extra creds, get a couple of kills, and have enough to upgrade in the next round. Or keep the trusty Bulldog and show the enemy team it is a weapon not to sleep on.


Cost: 2500

The Guardian is a brutal rifle. Brutal in terms of capabilities and in terms of possible risk. It is a fantastic defensive option as a semi-automatic rifle. It can be considered the Operator of the rifles, but it certainly needs precision to work its magic.

The fire rate is very slow due to the semi-automatic nature, but one shot to the head can net a kill. The damage speaks for itself. It dishes out 195 damage to the head, 65 damage to the body, and 48 damage to the legs. That is from any range, mind you.

This weapon calls for a more methodical and slow paced play style, but is certainly worth mastering. Holding longer angles against opponents you know are aiming for the body is almost a sure thing with the Guardian. The kick back is easy to control. That makes lining up the head shot a piece of cake.


Cost: 2900

The Phantom versus Vandal argument may just last for the lifetime of Valorant. The Phantom is a heavily used rifle with a fantastic fire rate, spread, and magazine size. Ask one person and it is the best rifle in the game. Ask another and it takes second place.

The damage at shorter ranges is on par with its similarly priced counterpart. After 15m the damage reduces. Another reduction takes place after 30m. That makes the Phantom the optimal rifle to use on the defensive side of battle at closer ranges. The fire rate only reduces to 90% when zoomed in, so holding those angles makes it easier to get the first shot off and not worry about it being a hindrance.

The Phantom is also one of three silenced weapons in Valorant, along with the Ghost and the Spectre. This means the tracers are unseen by enemies and, with the exception of those in the firing direction, enemies 40m or further away can’t hear it. Imagine playing against a team that lacks communication. Sneaking around with the Phantom from site to site on defense will leave the enemy team clueless.


Cost: 2900

The other side of the superior Valorant rifle argument, the Vandal is an attacker’s dream. What it lacks in comparisons to the Phantom, it makes up for in general firepower. The spread is much worse, the fire rate is slower, but the damage cannot be topped by any of the other rifles.

From any range, a headshot will deal 156 damage. That’s 6 damage more than needed to take out an enemy with full shields and health. The Vandal is the one tap king of Valorant. It is not left worse off by the alternative firing option, much like the Phantom. The fire rate lowers to 90%, but that is it. If anything, aiming down sights and lining up the perfect head shot makes the alternative option even better.

While the Phantom is used to hold those defenses, the Vandal should be used to push, push, and push some more. The defending team can sit and wait all round long, staring at the same entryway. The attackers, however, need to be on the move. That’s why the Vandal is advantageous here. Running around a corner to take a site and getting that one tap on an opponent waiting for your arrival is the Vandal’s true calling.


Each rifle in Valorant is useful. They are the backbone of any team holding a site or trying to take one. The Bulldog is named after a canine because it can certainly be a man’s best friend. Its simplicity, coupled with its low cost, makes it a good choice even when the economy is doing well. The Guardian is the most dangerous weapon in the game if used properly. It is a defensive beast.

The Phantom and the Vandal are so similar, but their purposes should be very different. The Phantom is a magnificent defensive weapon when holding those close angles. The Vandal is an attacking juggernaut when rushing to get a site cleared. In the end, it is really about preference and situational necessity. Needless to say, Valorant’s rifles are a force to be reckoned with in the right hands.

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