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

Sidearms

Classic

Riot Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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 Games
Primary 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

Given the price, the Ares isn’t a bad choice of heavy fully automatic machine gun, though there are better rifle options if you have some extra coin to spend. The damage numbers aren’t inspiring, but if you go for headshots, you can take out an opponent in two shots. 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. Try to aim your 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 Games
Primary 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

At first glance, The Odin doesn’t look like much, and you may be tempted to pass it by for the Ares that costs half as much. Though the Odin doesn’t come with a significant damage boost, it does cause 95 damage with a headshot. No, you won’t take an opponent out with one shot, but the Ares won’t do that for you either.

However, the Odin’s one saving grace is its ammo capacity which stands out from the pack. You can store twice as many rounds (100 rounds instead of 50). The Odin also allows you to reduce recoil by using the zoom feature.

Another perk of using the Odin is the alternative fire mode, which truly sets it apart from others in its class. As noted above, the fire rate ramping up is one of the major drawbacks of the Ares. The Odin would have the same issue, except that you have the ability to bypass the feature by switching to the alternate fire mode.

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