Vandal or Phantom: which weapon to choose?

Among all the weapons available in Valorant, the Vandal and the Phantom are the ones that players like the most. Despite the higher damage of the former, some still prefer the latter. If you're new to Riot Games' FPS, you're probably wondering why they make this choice. In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about these two weapons.

Major characteristics of both weapons

The following data focuses on shots fired at trial, not with the sight activated.

The Vandal

Vandal - Valorant
Type of weaponAutomatic
Bullet penetrationMiddle
Traceable bulletsYes
Shots still audibleYes
Charger capacity25 Ammunition
Rate of fire9.75 Bales/s
Dispersion of the first shot0.25 degree
Variable damage at a distanceNope

The Phantom

Phantom - Valorant
Type of weaponAutomatic
Bullet penetrationMiddle
Traceable bulletsNope
Shots still audibleNope
Charger capacity30 Ammunition
Rate of fire11 Balls/s
Dispersion of the first shot0.2 degree
Variable damage at a distanceYes

For more information on bullet penetration, please refer to our dedicated guide.

Which one is the best?

This question is probably the one that made you decide to search the web. When you look at the data from the Valorant Champions 2022, you can see that the Vandal is widely favoured by professional players. The weapon was used 8070 times, compared to 3255 times for the Phantom.

This choice in favour of the Vandal can be explained by the difference in damage between the two weapons. The Vandal inflicts 160 damage to the head, regardless of the distance. It will therefore always allow you to eliminate an opponent, if you manage to put a headshot. On the other hand, Phantom damage varies with distance. While you will always kill an enemy at less than 15m, with a headshot, the story is different beyond that. Between 15 and 30m, the damage increases to 140 and drops to 124 from 30m. So you'll need more than one shot to knock your opponent down. For the One-Tap, the Vandal appears to be a better weapon.

The Vandal is effective for headshots

However, when it comes to choosing one weapon or another, this is not the only characteristic that should be taken into account. One-taps depend on the first bullet fired. With the Vandal, however, you have to take into account an error of 0.25° on this shot, compared to 0.2° on the other. with the Phantom. So you're more likely to miss the target with the former than with the latter.

If the first bullet does not hit, you may find yourself in a close duel soon. In this situation, Phantom and Vandal are largely equal in terms of damage. However, the Phantom could put your opponent at a disadvantage. The weapon hasa recoil that is much easier to control than that of the Vandal. Moreover, if several enemies are rushing at you, it will be easier to eliminate them all, or at least to injure them, with this weapon, since the transfer of shots is easier with the Phantom. Thanks to its higher rate of fire, the Phantom has an advantage over its sibling and inflicts more damage per second.

The comparison between these two iconic weapons cannot be completed before discussing their ammunition. To compensate for its high damage, the Vandal has fewer bullets in the magazine than the Phantom25 against 30 to be exact. Furthermore, the Vandal's bullets are clearly visible in game. This means that shooting through a smoke canister, for example, is likely to give away your position, whereas with the Phantom you would remain hidden in the shadows. His bullets are not visible at all.

Shooting with the Vandal through a smoke
Shooting a Phantom through a smoke

The Phantom hasanother important asset, namely the sound. Unless you are within 40m of your opponent and looking in the right direction, you will not hear his shots. In this situation, and if he is well hidden, it's like fighting... a ghost!

What is the verdict?

If you're a one-tap genius, there's no need for debate: go for the Vandal. In general, though, it is best to be comfortable with both weapons. If you are as comfortable with the Vandal as you are with the Phantom, you will be able to adapt better to each game and evolve your playing style as needed.

Overall, remember that for long/medium range confrontations, the Vandal is more effective, but at shorter ranges, the Phantom dominates. Let's take Pearl as an example. If you want to attack site B through the long corridor, you will need a Vandal instead. This line is ideal for headshots. On the contrary, if you want to enter B from the middle of the map, you should use the Phantom. You will be much more efficient with this one, if an opponent is waiting for you in one of the many corners.

Use the Vandal to hold long lines.
Hold the long corridor to site B with a Vandal
Use the Phantom to hold lines at short range.
From the middle of the map, attack with a Phantom

Now let's put ourselves in the defender's shoes. Assigned to the B site on Pearl, you could choose the Vandal to hold the corridor, but the Phantom can be just as effective, if not more interesting. We'll explain. It is quite possible that your enemies will get to the site by blocking your view with smoke. As we saw earlier, shooting through these visual obstacles with a Vandal will give away your position. With the Phantom, however, you can shoot into the crowd to prevent them from planting the Spike, without being detected.

To shoot through a smoke, the Phantom is very practical

On the other hand, if a defender wants to flank you from behind, he will have to be discreet. On this map, the question does not arise: to flank well, he will have to equip himself with a Phantom. These are just examples, but you get the idea: it's all about the situation.

Ideally, if you are new to Valorant, you should try out both guns for a few games to find out which one suits you best. This way, you will enjoy your games even more. Later, when you're a bit more comfortable, you can alternate between the two to be prepared for all eventualities!