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Viper in VALORANT, wearing a blueish suit and mask, with short cropped dark hair
Image via Riot Games

What does the Vulnerable effect do in VALORANT?

Take it seriously.

VALORANT’s book of mechanics flaunts over 15 powerful ability-induced status effects, including one that can leave you vulnerable against enemies. While the meaning of being Vulnerable in the tactical shooter isn’t that apparent, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with all the information you need. 

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What is the Vulnerable effect in VALORANT and how does it work?

Status effects in VALORANT can either buff or debuff you. As its name suggests, the Vulnerable effect debuffs an affected player, but unlike effects like Slow, Concuss, Flash, or others, its consequence isn’t obvious.

It’s natural for beginners and even intermediate players to wonder how the Vulnerable effect works in VALORANT. Here’s what it means. 

A vulnerable player takes twice the normal bullet or ability damage as someone who isn’t vulnerable. If you’re vulnerable, the sides of your screen will feature a spider web-like design and a timer with text indication on top of your health point will appear. 

How it looks like to be Vulnerable in VALORANT.
Hide when you look like this. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Similarly, here’s what a vulnerable enemy looks like:

How it looks like to be Vulnerable in VALORANT, enemy version.
Shoot when they look like this. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Damage taken by a Vulnerable player versus normal

If a bullet from a Vandal hits a vulnerable you on your body, you’ll take 80 damage, instead of the normal 40 you’d take if you weren’t vulnerable. If Raze’s Paint Shells were supposed to deal 50 damage to you, you’d take 100 damage if you were vulnerable at the point of explosion.

The number of players I’ve come across running around in the open or peeking at a bunch of enemies with the white cracked layer of Vulnerable all over them when they could easily take cover and wait for the effect to pass is alarming. I’d definitely avoid engaging in unnecessary fights when I’m Vulnerable and so should you. 

It’s likely that the enemies will push you when you are laced with the effect, so you might have to take fights when Vulnerable sometimes. In that case, try dodging their bullets as much as possible and taking the first shot at them.

Which VALORANT abilities apply the Vulnerable effect?

As of now, Episode Seven, Act Three, there are four abilities that come with the Vulnerable effect. Here are all the abilities in question and an explanation of how the Vulnerable effect applies to each:

Viper’s Snake Bite

The Vulnerable effect with Snake Bite applies immediately when a player touches its area of effect (4.5 meters radius). Besides the Vulnerable effect, Snake Bite also deals damage (up to 67 HP on its own) to anyone loitering in its radius. 

If the player continues to be within the Snake Bite’s radius for its duration (5.5 seconds), the effect will continue to linger and the timer of the Vulnerable effect won’t start. Once the player is out of the Snake Bite’s radius, the timer begins and lasts for two seconds.

Video by Dot Esports

Snake Bite is used alongside Viper’s Poison Cloud to successfully deny site entry on defense and Spike defusal on offense. The Vulnerable effect coupled with the Poison Cloud’s Decay effect is incredibly potent, known to burn and melt players alive.

Snake Bite’s Vulnerable is also paired up with other damage-dealing abilities like Killjoy’s Nanoswarms or Sova’s Shock Bolts to deal lethal damage. It’s definitely the most powerful Vulnerable-applying ability in VALORANT.

Astra’s Gravity Well

Another incredibly useful post-plant ability, Astra’s Gravity Well starts with pulling enemies into a well of gravity and applying a Slowed effect on them, but ends with applying a Vulnerable effect on those who fail to escape its area of effect before its explosion.

Video by Dot Esports

Unlike Snake Bite, Gravity Well doesn’t apply the Vulnerable effect immediately after it’s activated, but it can be combined with other abilities like Killjoy’s Nanoswarms for a potent ability pairing.

Killjoy’s Alarmbot

Killjoy’s Alarmbot isn’t just a trap to care for flanks, but it’s also a very effective killing machine. After an enemy triggers and fails to break it, the bot explodes, applying a Vulnerable effect on the enemy.

Video by Dot Esports

The Alarmbot makes a great pair with Killjoy’s Nanoswarms for a solid post-plant plan and it’s also perfect to watch for an enemy’s moves and alert your team about it. 

Iso’s Undercut

Undercut allows Iso to fire a molecular bolt that applies the Vulnerable effect on anyone in its path. It’s a great tool to facilitate aggression and is also perfect for post-plant strategies. You can also combine Undercut with damage-dealing abilities to have enemies begging for mercy.

Video by Dot Esports

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Image of Sharmila Ganguly
Sharmila Ganguly
Freelance Writer at Dot Esports. An enthusiastic gamer who bumped into the intricacies of video game journalism in 2021 and has been hustling ever since. Obsessed with first-person shooter titles, especially VALORANT. Contact: