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Phantom vs. Vandal: Choosing the Best Rifle in VALORANT



If you’re an avid VALORANT player, you know the importance of having the right rifle in your hands during the buy phase. It’s the moment when you have the perfect amount of credits for heavy armor, a couple of abilities, and most importantly, a rifle. But the question arises: which gun should you choose? The Phantom or the Vandal? This decision has sparked passionate debates among players since the game’s release in 2020. In this article, we will dive into the stats, pros, and cons of both rifles to help you make an informed choice.

Phantom vs. Vandal: Stats, Pros, and Cons

Before we delve into the details, let’s take a look at the statistics provided by Riot. The Vandal, according to Riot’s data, is the more commonly used rifle, accounting for over 70 percent of full buy rounds in both competitive and pro play. However, the Phantom has shown to deliver more kills on average at shorter ranges (up to 20 meters), while the Vandal shines when it comes to long-range engagements (20 meters and beyond).


Let’s start by examining the Phantom’s attributes:

Phantom 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

Phantom Pros:

  • Faster fire rate
  • Thrives in close to medium-range encounters
  • Controllable spray
  • Larger magazine capacity
  • Suppressed fire
  • No bullet tracers
  • Better spray transfer

Phantom Cons:

  • Damage falls off between 15 and 30 meters
  • Further damage reduction beyond 30 meters
  • Headshots not instant kills beyond 15 meters


Now, let’s explore the Vandal’s characteristics:

Vandal 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

Vandal Pros:

  • Better damage range with no damage falloff at longer ranges
  • One-shot, one-kill headshots up to 50 meters
  • Perfect for tapping (single shots)

Vandal Cons:

  • Slow fire rate
  • Erratic spray pattern
  • More difficult to control
  • Smaller magazine capacity
  • Unsuppressed shots
  • Worse spray transfer

Is the Phantom or Vandal Better?

The ultimate question remains: which rifle is better? Well, it ultimately depends on the situation and personal preference. Let’s break it down:

For longer-range encounters and players with exceptional headshot accuracy, the Vandal proves to be the superior option. While the spray control and transfer capabilities of the Vandal may be inferior to the Phantom, these factors are less critical when it comes to landing precise headshots from a distance.

On the other hand, for close-quarters engagements and smoke sprays, the Phantom emerges as the more viable choice. Its faster fire rate and five additional bullets in the magazine translate to a significant amount of damage. Furthermore, the lack of bullet tracers gives the Phantom an advantage, especially when shooting through smokes or while on the move. It also excels in spray transfers. Even after landing frustrating 140 damage headshots, Phantom users still win those duels 78 percent of the time, according to Riot’s data.


In summary, if we set personal preference aside, neither the Phantom nor the Vandal can be definitively considered better than the other. Each rifle has its strengths and weaknesses, making them more suitable for specific scenarios.

To help you make an informed decision, consider the following situations:

  1. Long-Range Precision: If you have exceptional aim and can consistently land headshots from a distance, the Vandal is your best bet. Its one-shot, one-kill potential and better damage range without falloff make it a formidable weapon for tapping.
  2. Close-Range Encounters: For fast-paced close-quarter battles and aggressive playstyles, the Phantom shines. Its higher fire rate, larger magazine, and controllable spray make it deadly in these scenarios. Additionally, the lack of bullet tracers can catch opponents off guard, giving you an edge.
  3. Smoke Plays and Spray Transfers: When it comes to shooting through smokes or engaging in spray transfers, the Phantom’s qualities give it an advantage. Its fast fire rate, extra bullets, and better spray transfer capabilities make it a reliable choice.

Ultimately, choosing between the Phantom and the Vandal boils down to your playstyle, aim, and the specific situation you find yourself in. Experiment with both rifles, practice with them in different scenarios, and discover which one feels more comfortable and effective for you.


  1. Q: What is the cost of the Phantom and Vandal in VALORANT?
    • A: Both the Phantom and Vandal are priced at 2,900 credits in the game.
  2. Q: Which rifle is more commonly used in VALORANT?
    • A: According to Riot’s data, the Vandal is more commonly used, accounting for over 70 percent of full buy rounds.
  3. Q: Does the Phantom have bullet tracers?
    • A: No, the Phantom does not produce bullet tracers, making it more difficult for opponents to track your shots.
  4. Q: Can the Vandal kill with a single headshot at any range?
    • A: The Vandal can deliver one-shot, one-kill headshots up to a range of 50 meters.
  5. Q: Which rifle is better for spraying through smokes?
    • A: The Phantom’s attributes, such as its high fire rate, larger magazine, and lack of bullet tracers, make it a more suitable choice for spraying through smokes.