VALORANT is a tactical shooter with a twist. It carefully combines weapons and abilities, creating one of the most strategic and multi-layered games out there.
Though abilities are an important factor in VALORANT, offering utility like stuns, flashes, and smokes—and some extra firepower—weapons are at the game’s forefront. They dictate the economy, helping you decide whether you should full buy, force buy, or eco. But they also make up the brunt of your damage.
This tier list should help you get up to scratch with all 17 weapons in VALORANT.
S tier (The top dogs)
- Vandal (2,900 Creds)
- Phantom (2,900 Creds)
- Operator (4,700 Creds)
This tier brings together the strongest weapons in the game.
The Vandal and Phantom are the bread and butter of VALORANT. They’re the two best assault rifles in the game due to their consistent damage, long range, and high fire rate. They should almost always be your top priority in the shop.
But if you prefer aiming down your sights and inflicting ridiculous amounts of damage, pick up an Operator. It’s by far the hardest-hitting gun in the game. It’s expensive and can be a risky buy, but in the right hands, it’s well worth the investment.
A tier (Consistently strong)
- Guardian (2,250 Creds)
- Sheriff (800 Creds)
- Spectre (1,600 Creds)
After winning the initial pistol round, you’ll often find yourself a few Creds short of a Vandal or Phantom. If you want to pick up heavy armor and utility and you’re not keen on submachine guns, the Guardian is the solution. It’s affordable and it deals a ton of damage, especially when you hit heads.
The Sheriff is the most expensive pistol in the game for a reason. It deals 159 damage to the head and 55 to the body (with no armor). If you fancy yourself a keen marksman and you want to dig your team out of a hole in an eco round, buy a Sheriff.
The Spectre is the best SMG in VALORANT. Its cheap price, moderate range, and surprisingly high damage make it an all-around good weapon. It will lose out in long-ranged battles, but it excels in close quarters.
B tier (Reliable)
- Ghost (500 Creds)
- Marshal (950 Creds)
The Ghost is one of the most reliable guns in the game, despite being a sidearm. It costs 500 Creds, but in the right hands, it has the potential to deal deadly amounts of damage. If you know how to play patiently, bide your time, and aim for the head, the Ghost is the gun for you.
The Marshal is a much weaker version of the Operator, but it’s still an acceptable weapon. If you can’t afford your Vandal or Phantom and you want to force buy, it’s a solid pick-up.
- Judge (1,850 Creds)
- Frenzy (5450 Creds)
- Bulldog (2,050 Creds)
Shotguns are rarely top-tier weapons in tactical shooters. Their short range means they’re worthless in most circumstances. But the Judge is far from the worst weapon on this list. If you want to defend a spike site, hold a position, or lurk behind your enemies, buy a Judge. If you find yourself up close and personal with the shotgun in hand, it will almost always come out in your favor.
If you’re trailing behind or strapped for cash and you need to find a round or two, there’s nothing wrong with buying a Frenzy. If you can get into the right position, it can easily help find you a kill or two. It can also be surprisingly effective in the first round of a half.
Burst fire can be a nuisance in tactical shooters, especially if you’re on the receiving end of a rush. There’s almost nothing you can do but tap your gun and hope for the best. The same can be said for the Bulldog—but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad gun. In the right circumstances, it’s perfectly acceptable to buy a Bulldog. Point your crosshairs down a lane and it’ll shock your enemies.
- Stinger (950 Creds)
- Odin (3,200 Creds)
- Bucky (850 Creds)
In its current form, the Stinger is a far worse version of the Spectre. It’s a few Creds cheaper, but its low magazine size, quick fire rate, and awkward burst fire don’t add up to much.
The Odin is VALORANT’s ultimate spray-and-pray weapon. There are definitely better choices, but up against an eco or in a close-quarters spike site, it rains down hell. When combined with abilities like Sova’s Recon Bolt or Cypher’s Spycam, it can also be used to wall bang. At B on Ascent, for example, this is particularly strong.
Recent nerfs to the Bucky have left it in an awkward position. It’s neither here nor there anymore, bringing very little to the table. The Judge, its shotgun counterpart, is the stronger and more reliable option. For the Bucky’s cheap price, though, it still has some potential with agents like Jett or Raze.
- Ares (1,550 Creds)
- Classic (Free)
- Shorty (150 Creds)
The Ares would be higher on this list if it had a bigger magazine. For its quick fire rate, 50 bullets just aren’t enough.
The Classic is absolutely fine for a pistol round. But against heavy armor, it leaves much to be desired. Its low damage output and its fire rate just aren’t up to scratch. Its alternative fire mode, which shoots a burst of three bullets at the same time, can come in handy.
The Shorty is the cheapest weapon in the game for a reason. At 150 Creds, the miniature pistol/shotgun has a magazine of just two bullets. At point-blank range, it deals a fair amount of damage. But that’s about it.
This tier list is a starting point for VALORANT and it’s bound to change. We’ll make sure to update it as the meta shapes and forms in the months and patches to come.