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Valorant weapons guide: Stats, recoil patterns, and more

Between 17 weapons, two kinds of armor, and charges for three abilities, there are a lot of options during each buy phase of Valorant. As any Counter-Strike player knows, money is a precious resource in these types of games, so you don’t want to waste money on a weapon that simply doesn’t make the cut. We’ve gathered stats and recoil patterns for every weapon in the game, and in this Valorant weapons guide, we’re going to cover them all.

Before diving in, note that our recoil images were taken at 5 meters. As distance increases, the recoil becomes more exaggerated, so it’s best to use the practice range to brush up on your go-to weapons. Our images are merely a reference of how the recoil behaves overall, rather than a graph of where specific shots will land.

Further reading

  • What is Valorant?
  • Valorant beginner’s guide
  • Valorant character guide

Sidearms

Classic

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 6.75 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 3-round burst
  • Spread increase
  • Fire rate: 2.22 rounds/sec

Damage

  • 0m-30m: Body 26/Head 78/Leg 22
  • 30m-50m: Body 22/Head 66/Leg 18

Magazine Capacity
12
Wall Penetration
Low
Price
0

Your starting weapon isn’t a bad one. Although uninspiring, the Classic deals decent headshot damage, even at range. It has virtually no recoil, too, and it’s the only sidearm with an alternate fire mode. When using the other mode, the Classic shoots three bullets at once, similar to a shotgun. There’s an increased spread, of course, but it’s much less exaggerated than a shotgun. Plus, each bullet deals the same amount of damage.

Shorty

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 3.3 rounds/sec

Alt Fire
N/A
Damage (15 pellets, damage per pellet)

  • 0m-9m: Body 12/Head 36/Leg 10
  • 9m-15m: Body 22/Head 66/Leg 18
  • 15m-50m: Body 3/Head 9/Leg 2

Magazine Capacity
2
Wall Penetration
Low
Price
200

Outside of the Classic, the Shorty is the cheapest weapon in Valorant. Like the Frenzy, it’s better than it looks on paper. It excels in midrange encounters from 9m to 15m, dealing nearly twice as much headshot damage as the Bucky with the same number of pellets. For the early game, the Shorty is a fine weapon, though it quickly becomes outclassed. With only two rounds at your disposal, every pellet has to count.

Frenzy

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 10 rounds/sec

Alt Fire
N/A
Damage

  • 0m-20m: Body 26/Head 78/Leg 22
  • 20m-50m: Body 21/Head 63/Leg 17

Magazine Capacity
13
Wall Penetration
Low
Price
400

Like the Shorty, the Frenzy is better than it seems at first. It shouldn’t be your main weapon, but in a pinch, it serves as a stand-in SMG. For encounters short of 20m, the Frenzy deals the same amount of damage as the Spectre, only with a slightly decreased fire rate. The big difference comes from the magazine size, where the Frenzy holds less than half the rounds of the Spectre. Considering it’s only one fourth of the cost, the Frenzy is still very impressive. Keep in mind that it has much higher recoil, however.

Ghost

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 6.75 rounds/sec

Alt Fire
N/A
Damage

  • 0m-30m: Body 30/Head 105/Leg 25
  • 30m-50m: Body 25/Head 87/Leg 21

Magazine Capacity
15
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
500

The Ghost is basically an upgraded version of the Classic. It has the same rate of fire, a slightly increased magazine size, and increased damage numbers. The important number is the headshot damage below 30m. In the first round, assuming your opponents aren’t already purchasing armor, you can sneak in a few one-hit kills. Plus, you’ll stay silent on the mini-map thanks to the Ghost’s silencer. It’s not an extremely powerful weapon or anything, but in a pinch, the Ghost gets the job done.

Sheriff

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 4 rounds/sec

Alt Fire
N/A
Damage

  • 0m-30m: Body 55/Head 159/Leg 46
  • 30m-50m: Body 50/Head 145/Leg 42

Magazine Capacity
6
Wall Penetration
High
Price
800

The ultimate sidearm, the Sheriff has some high damage numbers for a handgun. Headshots at less than 30m can take out a fully armored opponent, while headshots farther than 30m can take out a lightly armored opponent. As is the case with a lot of sidearms, though, the Sheriff is overshadowed by more powerful primary weapons. It’s not the cheapest gun, either, making it hard to justify in the mid-game. Early in a match, though, the Sheriff does work, so keep it in mind.

SMGs

Stinger

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 18 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 4-round burst
  • 1.15x zoom
  • Spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 4 rounds/sec

Damage

  • 0m-20m: Body 27/Head 67/Leg 23
  • 20m-50m: Body 25/Head 62/Leg 21

Magazine Capacity
20
Wall Penetration
Low
Price
1,000

The Stinger doesn’t have that high of damage numbers, but it has a blistering fire rate. In primary fire, you can empty almost the entire magazine in a second, allowing you to send more bullets at your opponents than they can send at you. The recoil isn’t too bad, either, especially considering the fire rate. Like most SMGs, though, the Stinger operates on thin margins. It can empty a magazine in around a second, but that also means you’ll need to reload. The Stinger presents a high risk/high reward strategy that can pay off in some cases. Plus, it’s cheap.

Spectre

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 13.33 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 1.15x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 12 rounds/sec

Damage

  • 0m-20m: Body 26/Head 78/Leg 22
  • 20m-50m: Body 22/Head 66/Leg 18

Magazine Capacity
30
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
1,600

The Spectre might be the most balanced gun in Valorant, which is to say, it’s not all that exciting. It has a solid fire rate, still north of all of the assault rifles, and the headshot damage is good, even at range. The body and leg numbers are pretty bad, though. The Spectre is best used in short, controlled bursts at the head. As you can see from the recoil pattern above, however, that’s hard to do. The Spectre kicks a lot more than it looks like at first, so try limiting your bursts to only a few bullets.

Shotguns

Bucky

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 1.1 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • Semi-automatic air burst
  • Fire rate: 1.1 rounds/sec

Damage (15 pellets, damage per pellet)

  • 0m-8m: Body 22/Head 44/Leg 19
  • 8m-12m: Body 17/Head 34/Leg 14
  • 12m-50m: Body 9/Head 18/Leg 8

Magazine Capacity
5
Wall Penetration
Low
Price
900

It’s a little crazy how much more expensive the Bucky is compared to the Shorty, considering the two weapons have similar damage numbers and the same number of pellets (the Shorty even has a higher rate of fire). The Bucky, however, excels in very close quarters encounters, less than 8m. Aiming between the head and body, you can usually take down a fully armored opponent with one burst. Don’t count on all of the pellets hitting, though. Even at 5m (pictured above), we were never able to get all 15 pellets to hit.

Judge

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 3.5 rounds/sec

Alt Fire
N/A
Damage (12 pellets, damage per pellet)

  • 0m-10m: Body 17/Head 34/Leg 14
  • 10m-15m: Body 13/Head 26/Leg 11
  • 15m-50m: Body 10/Head 20/Leg 9

Magazine Capacity
7
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
1,500

It’s a little difficult to showcase what the recoil pattern for the Judge looks like. Above, you can see where we landed after the third shot, with the recoil moving upward and to the right. As for the gun itself, it’s fine, though not all that powerful. Anything beyond 15m is out of the Judge’s wheelhouse, especially with only 12 pellets. Although the damage numbers are passable at this range, the Judge already has a large spread, which is only exaggerated at distance. In cases where you want a shotgun, the Bucky or Shorty usually get the job done just as well, only cheaper.

Rifles

Bulldog

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 9.15 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 1.25x zoom
  • 3-round burst
  • Fire rate: 4 rounds/sec

Damage 

  • 0m-50m: Body 35/Head 116/Leg 30

Magazine Capacity
24
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
2,100

The Bulldog isn’t a bad gun overall, but the price is hard to justify given how superior the Vandal and Phantom are. There’s no damage drop-off, thankfully, and a single headshot can kill an unarmored opponent. However, by the time you can afford to buy a Bulldog, you can probably afford to buy a Vandal or Phantom, and those guns simply deal more damage. Furthermore, your opponents will likely have armor by that time.

Guardian

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 6.5 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 1.5x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 6.5 rounds/sec

Damage 

  • 0m-50m: Body 65/Head 195/Leg 49

Magazine Capacity
12
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
2,700

Out of all of the rifles, the Guardian deals the most damage. A headshot can kill a fully armored opponent, with some extra damage to spare. Body damage isn’t bad, either, considering the Guardian doesn’t have damage drop-off. The problem with this weapon stems from the fact that it’s semi-automatic and it’s about as much as the Phantom or Vandal. Like the Bulldog, it’s hard to justify a Guardian when the other two rifles are available, especially with the Guardian’s lower rate of fire and decreased magazine size.

Phantom

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 11 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 1.25x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 9.9 rounds/sec

Damage 

  • 0m-15m: Body 39/Head 156/Leg 33
  • 15m-30m: Body 35/Head 140/Leg 30
  • 30m-50m: Body 31/Head 124/ Leg 26

Magazine Capacity
30
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
2,900

The current Valorant metagame revolves around the Phantom and Vandal, and looking at the stats, it’s clear why that’s the case. The Phantom has decently high recoil, but much less than it could have considering its high 11-round-per-second fire rate. The important numbers come from damage, though. At 15m or less, a single headshot is enough to kill, even with full armor. There’s a drop-off in damage as distance increases, but headshot damage is still north of 100. Headshots are critical when using the Phantom. The damage numbers from body and leg shots are pitiful in comparison, no matter the distance.

Vandal

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 9.25 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 1.25x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 8.32 rounds/sec

Damage 

  • 0m-50m: Body 39/Head 156/Leg 33

Magazine Capacity
25
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
2,900

The Vandal is very similar to the Phantom. In fact, the two weapons share damage numbers. The Vandal trades a little magazine capacity and some fire rate for high damage across distances. No matter if you’re 5m away or 50m away, a single headshot is enough to kill at full armor, turning the Vandal into a pseudo-sniper rifle that can fire nearly 10 reconds per second. It’s more powerful than the Phantom considering that, but only in the right hands. The Vandal suffers from much higher recoil than the Phantom, and as such, is best used in accurate, short bursts.

Snipers

Marshal

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 1.5 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • 2.5x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 1.2 rounds/sec

Damage 

  • 0m-50m: Body 101/Head 202/Leg 85

Magazine Capacity
5
Wall Penetration
Medium
Price
1,100

For a well-trained shot, the Marshal is a bargain. It has little sway, even when firing from the hip, and the headshot damage can take out enemy and armor in one shot. If you’re a sniper, this is the gun you should reach for when your team is doing a partial buy round. The only thing to keep in mind is the zoom. The 2.5x zoom doesn’t get you very far, so proper aim is critical when using the Marshal.

Operator

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Semi-automatic
  • Fire rate: 0.75 rounds/sec

Alt Fire

  • Dual zoom (2.5x, 5x)
  • Significant spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 0.75 rounds/sec

Damage 

  • 0m-50m: Body 150/Head 255/Leg 127

Magazine Capacity
5
Wall Penetration
High
Price
4,500

The most expensive weapon in the game, the Operator really doesn’t justify its price tag. In terms of damage, it’s a step up from the Marshal, but only by a bit. The change in headshot damage doesn’t make a difference — both guns kill at full armor — but the body and leg numbers set the Operator apart. Although neither can kill a fully armored opponent with a single shot, they get pretty close. Plus, the Operator has a dual-zoom scope, allowing you to properly line up your shots. The Operator is an upgrade over the Marshal, there’s no doubt about that. However, since it’s the most expensive gun in the game, you should be confident enough with the Operator that you’ll be able to use it for multiple rounds.

Heavies

Ares

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 10-13 rounds/sec ramp

Alt Fire

  • 1.25x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 10-13 rounds/sec ramp

Damage 

  • 0m-30m: Body 30/Head 72/Leg 25
  • 30m-50m: Body 28/Head 67/Leg 23

Magazine Capacity
50
Wall Penetration
High
Price
1,600

The Ares isn’t a bad gun considering its price, though there are better options in the rifle range if you have some extra coin. The damage numbers aren’t inspiring, but they get the job done as long as you’re going for headshots. With a ramp from 10-13 rounds/second, though, you’ll need to have your aim down. As you can see in the image above, the Ares kicks back hard with some nasty recoil. Aim shots so that they start around the stomach. That way, by the time you’ve reached the weapon’s full fire rate, you’ll be sending bullets toward the head.

Odin

Riot GamesPrimary Fire

  • Fully automatic
  • Fire rate: 12-15.6 rounds/sec ramp

Alt Fire

  • 1.25x zoom
  • Slight spread reduction
  • Fire rate: 15.6 rounds/sec ramp

Damage 

  • 0m-30m: Body 38/Head 95/Leg 32
  • 30m-50m: Body 31/Head 77/Leg 26

Magazine Capacity
100
Wall Penetration
High
Price
3,200

Twice the price of the Ares, the Odin doesn’t look like much at first. The gun has a slight damage boost, and you have 100 rounds at your disposal instead of 50. However, the gun’s alternative fire mode sets it apart. Like the Ares, the Odin has a fire rate that ramps up. With the gun’s alternative fire mode, though, you can skip that ramp, all while zooming in slightly and reducing your recoil.

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