Phantom vs. Vandal: Which is the best rifle in VALORANT?

The Phantom and Vandal are bound to divide opinions.

Image via Riot Games

Picture this scenario in VALORANT: You load into the buy phase with just the right amount of creds for heavy armor, a couple of abilities, and, most importantly, a rifle. But which gun do you choose: Phantom or Vandal?

Here’s how the two guns stack up against each other.

Phantom

Image via Riot Games

Stats

  • Cost: 2,900
  • Fire mode: Fully automatic
  • Head damage: 156, 140, 124
  • Body damage: 39, 35, 31
  • Leg damage: 33, 29, 26
  • Range: 15/30/50 meters
  • Magazine size: 30
  • Fire rate: 11
  • Penetration: Medium

Pros of the Phantom

  • Fast fire rate
  • Silenced
  • Thrives in close to medium range encounters
  • Controllable spray
  • Large magazine
  • Suppressed fire
  • No bullet tracers
  • Better spray transfer

Cons of the Phantom

  • Damage falls off at 15 to 30m mark
  • Damage reduced again at 30 to 50m range

Vandal

Image via Riot Games

Stats

  • Cost: 2,900
  • Fire mode: Fully automatic
  • Head damage: 160
  • Body damage: 40
  • Leg damage: 34
  • Range: 50 meters
  • Magazine size: 25
  • Fire rate: 9.75
  • Penetration: Medium

Pros of the Vandal

  • The better of the two guns in terms of range
  • One-shot, one-kill at the 50m mark
  • Perfect for tapping

Cons of the Vandal

  • Slow fire rate
  • Erratic spray
  • Difficult to control
  • Small magazine
  • Unsuppressed
  • Worse spray transfer

The verdict

In terms of stats, the Vandal edges slightly over the Phantom. Its one-shot, one-kill potential means it’s a reliable gun when tapping. In a long corridor or on an open site, the Vandal will almost certainly be the better choice when it comes to rifles.

But due to the nature of VALORANT’s close-quarters maps, the Phantom shouldn’t be underestimated. In a long-range gun battle on a map like Breeze, the Vandal comes out on top. But up close and personal on somewhere like Icebox, the Phantom is king.

The Phantom’s fast fire rate and five extra bullets add up to a great deal of damage. It might not be the best gun for tapping but spraying is an entirely different story. It’s easy to control, and its spray is much more consistent than the Vandal.

The Phantom’s lack of bullet tracers also gives it a clear advantage. It easily wins out when spraying through smokes or when running and gunning.

The Vandal struggles with its erratic spray control and is inconsistent in close-range skirmishes. But a well-timed tap to the head will still average a kill.

In other words, the choice is yours. The Phantom and the Vandal have their strengths and weaknesses, benefiting different scenarios. The map, site, position, and playstyle should all be taken into account when choosing between the two guns.

Prefer getting up close and personal with your opponents? Choose the Phantom. Rather sit back in a site and bide your time? Considering picking the Vandal.