The Ultimate Valorant

Aim Training Course

Learn More

Should You Use the Vandal or Phantom in VALORANT?

Should You Use the Vandal or Phantom in VALORANT?
Image Credit: Riot Games Valorant
Written by: carrico14

Since the inception of VALORANT, players have been fiercely debating about the two main rifles of the game: the Vandal and the Phantom. It’s a question that has divided the community for a while. Both sides have their fair share of defenders, eager to prove that their gun is the better gun.


In this article, we’ll try and settle this big debate once and for all. Should you use the Vandal or the Phantom in your ranked VALORANT games?



The Stats


Before we dive into what everyone is saying about the Vandal and the Phantom, let’s first look at the numbers. Here are the stats of the two guns.




Fire Rate (rounds per sec)


Headshot Damage

156 | 140 | 124

Body Shot Damage

39 | 35 | 31

Leg Shot Damage

33 | 29 | 26


30 / 90

Reload Speed

2.5 s

Run Speed

5.4 m/s




The Phantom is the first fully automatic rifle we’ll discuss in this article. It costs 2900 credits and has 30 bullets per magazine for a total of 90 bullets.


Out of all the rifles in VALORANT, the Phantom has the highest fire rate out of the fire, sporting 11 rounds per second fire rate. However, compared to the Vandal, the Phantom has a damage falloff, as seen above.




Fire Rate (rounds per sec)


Headshot Damage


Body Shot Damage


Leg Shot Damage



25 / 75

Reload Speed

2.5 s

Run Speed

5.4 m/s


The Vandal, on the other hand, functions slightly differently from the Phantom. Like its counterpart, it’s also a fully automatic rifle. It has 25 bullets per magazine for a total of 75 bullets. The Vandal’s fire rate is significantly slower than the Phantom, at 9.75 rounds per second. However, it makes up for it with raw damage.


The Vandal doesn’t have any damage falloff and has the second-highest damage output out of all the rifles in VALORANT.




The Argument for the Vandal: ONE-TAPS


If you’ve played any version of Counter-Strike, you might see some parallels to the age-old AK47 vs. M4A1 debate.


The argument is that pros prefer the AK because of its ability to kill instantly with a headshot despite having armor.


vandal champions 2021


And yes, that’s also the same reason Vandal supremacists argue for their gun in VALORANT. The ability to kill someone instantly is the most important thing in a first-person shooter game.


Guides always tell you to aim for the head for a reason: it deals the most damage. Dealing with an insta-kill headshot is the easiest way to win aim duels.



The Argument for the Phantom: Ease of use


Sticking to the Counter-Strike analogies, you’d think that the AK/Vandal argument would automatically make it superior to the Phantom. After all, you see CS pros trade-off their M4 for an AK as soon as they can, it would make sense for the same thing to happen in VALORANT.


glitchpop phantom valorant


However, the Phantom brings more to the table than the M4s. For starters, the Phantom has the same one-tap potential in close-range duels.


Also, superior fire rate and less messy spread on the spray make the Phantom an easier gun to use than the Vandal in VALORANT.




What do the pros have to say about this?


As with most things, VALORANT pros are divided about this topic. Most people came into the game thinking that the Vandal is superior to the Phantom: who can resist that juicy-ass one-taps? Most people up to this day still pick the Vandal in their VALORANT ranked games.




However, one of the best players in the world made a shocking statement that made people rethink their thoughts on the Vandal and Phantom debate. TenZ, the ace fragger of Sentinels, came out and said that the Phantom, not the Vandal, is the better gun.


"I'm actually not joking when I say that the Phantom is so much better than Vandal. The only thing the Vandal can do is one-tap, but the Phantom – bigger clip, easier spray pattern, one-hit at close range anyways, one-hits medium armor at all ranges. There are so many more reasons the Phantom's better."


When you stop and think about it, TenZ really does have a point. In terms of raw stats, the only advantage that the Vandal truly has is its damage. In nearly every other aspect, the Phantom edges out the Vandal in VALORANT.


If TenZ is right, though… why is it that the pros still use the Vandal just as much as the Phantom? u/Ominous___ posted on the VALORANT Competitive Subreddit a graph of some of the pro’s most preferred guns. If you notice, you’ll see that most of these guys, use both guns equally.




The logical explanation is that the usage of the Vandal and the Phantom depends on the situation at hand. Shroud’s explanation is very simplistic, but it shows the nuances that dictate the usage of these guns.


"If I know I can't afford armor, I'm probably gonna buy a Vandal. If I'm playing with a lot of smoke agents I'll buy a Phantom."


Smokes are an easy way to deal some free damage without getting seen by the enemy team. While the Vandal can get you a lucky headshot, you’re likely going to get traded instantly because they’ll see your tracers.


The Phantom allows you to spray through the smoke more, and without being detected as well. On the other hand, if you’re in a buy round and you can’t afford to have armor, buying a Vandal and trusting your aim with a one-tap is the best option.


As with most debates, the truth about the VALORANT Vandal vs. Phantom debates lies in between the two extremes. Both guns have their pros and cons: it’s up to you to decide what to use at the moment.


As a general rule of thumb, if you’re going to be taking long-range duels, use the Vandal. Otherwise, use the Phantom.


Good luck, and go destroy some fools with your newfound knowledge!

No comments yet
Please login to leave a comment.
Lethal Gaming Gear DesktopLethal Gaming Gear Mobile