Valorant lets you use any of the seventeen guns in the game, provided you have the cash to buy it. Because of that, you should save up your cash and use it only for guns that will be well worth the purchase. Check out our rundown on which ones are considered good and which ones are bad.
What Makes a Gun Good?
Do you want to know how we were able to tell which guns are good and which ones are not? Here are the key factors that affect a gun’s viability.
Damage – High damage guns allow you to kill an enemy before they can react to you. For that reason, guns that can kill in a single shot tend to rank high on the list.
Speed – The faster a gun can hit the same spot (through both rate of fire and low recoil), the more often you can deal damage to the enemy. Equipping a gun with a good mix of damage and speed is almost mandatory if you want to be more competitive.
Purpose – Some guns are more viable than others simply because they fit the situation. For example, some cheap guns are because they can be purchased early on, when enemies are not likely to be armored. Some guns (like shotguns) are more viable on areas that force you to fight at close ranges.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t bother with any other weapon aside from the those in tiers S and A? Not really; any gun has the potential to be effective in the right hands. Still, you should expect the meta to revolve around the better guns.
Tier S – The Must-haves
These weapons are the best options that you can have. Players will either save their economy for these guns, salvage one from a dead agent or even “save” the gun for the next round.
Vandal – 2900 Credits
This rifle deals heavy damage at all ranges, plus it will always kill on a headshot. Best full-auto weapon if your aim and recoil control is good.
Phantom – 2900 Credits
This one loses the 1-headshot kill beyond 30 meters, but it has a higher rate of fire and a bigger mag than the Vandal. Buy this if you’re not confident with your head-tracking skills.
Operator – 4500 Credits
This will kill anything unless you hit an arm/leg shot on a heavily armored target. Your team’s sniper needs this ASAP. It’s expensive, so save it in case you know the round is already lost.
Tier A – Good Guns
These guns aren’t as valuable as the S-tier weapons, but they’re still viable choices overall.
Ghost – 500 Credits
2-hit headshots (1-hit against unarmored targets), a silencer, and good mag. Buy this if you’re using an Operator or a Marshal.
Sheriff – 800 Credits
Good damage, plus headshots are always lethal within 30 meters, but it has high recoil. Buy this if you’re confident with your aim since it only has 6 shots per reload.
Spectre – 1600 Credits
Great damage and magazine size for the prize. A “Phantom lite”. Good pick for a forced buy round.
Stinger – 1000 Credits
Dirt-cheap for a full auto primary and the highest rate of fire in the game. However, you will almost always use up an entire clip to kill your target.
Tier B – Niche Picks
Guns in this tier are good for certain scenarios but tend to be overshadowed by higher-tier guns.
Frenzy – 400 credits
Good for pistol rounds because it’s a full-auto PLUS you can purchase armor (shields). It sucks against armored targets so it’s not that useful beyond the first round.
Bucky – 900 Credits
Alternate fire makes it viable even at medium range, but its slow rate of fire makes it a niche ambush weapon at best. This is cheap enough to buy on an eco round.
Judge – 1500 Credits
Decent spread and good damage, but it’s restricted to close ranges. For 100 more credits, you get access to the more versatile Specter. Also, the Bucky deals more damage per shot (and the alternate fire gives it more range).
Marshal – 1100 Credits
Headshots are always lethal, and it kills anything in 2 shots. Buy if you know you can land headshots or if you really want to snipe as early as round 2.
Classic – Free
Weak damage, but good magazine capacity. It doesn’t cost anything, so it will let you purchase shields and abilities during the pistol round. Ditch it for a Ghost or Sheriff next round.
Tier C – The Bad Ones
These guns may look cool but the higher-tier guns will almost always be more useful. There’s really no other reason to buy these than to flex on the enemy.
Ares – 1700 Credits
Hits slightly harder than the Spectre, with twice the magazine size. The initial rate of fire is slow so it loses out when it comes to burst DPS. Good for discouraging peekers, but that’s pretty much it.
Bulldog – 2100 Credits
Good stats on paper, but you’re spending too much on a watered-down assault rifle. Either save for a Vandal/Phantom or pick a Spectre/Stinger during a forced buy round.
Guardian – 2700 Credits
It’s a sheriff with ADS and twice the ammo. For just 200 more credits, you might as well pick a Vandal if you want a more reliable headshot machine.
Shorty – 200 Credits
It’s a shotgun sidearm with only 2 ammo. per reload. It can kill in 1-hit at near point-blank ranges, but it’s only really useful for ambushes. Better spend the 200 Credits on an agent ability instead.
Odin – 3200 Credits
More expensive than Vandal, but it can’t kill even unarmored targets with a headshot. Avoid this like the plague.