Vandal or Phantom — Which Weapon is Better?

Vandal or Phantom – this question will always be asked as long as Valorant exists. But what's the actual answer? And is there one?

Vandal vs phan
Vandal has better skins, that's for sure. | © Riot Games

This whole Vandal vs. Phantom is the same debate as Pepsi vs. Coke, Ronaldo vs. Messi, or Kanye vs. Drake; everyone has their answer to them with their respective reasons. Vandal vs. Phantom is a debate along the lines of Pepsi vs. Coke, Ronaldo vs. Messi, or Kanye vs. Drake; everyone has their answer to them with their respective reasons. Vandal enthusiasts defend their high damage, and Phantom players flaunt their incredible accuracy. Moreover, both groups are convinced that they are right! Let's analyze both weapons and find the answer to this dilemma.

Vandal vs. Phantom: Stats

On paper, Vandal and Phantom are not much different.

Initial StatisticsVandalPhantom


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Fire Rate9.75 bullets/sec (Automatic), 8.755 bullets/sec (Alt)

11 bullets/sec (Automatic), 9.9 bullets/sec (Alt)

Magazine Capacity2530
Wall PenetrationMediumMedium

Initial statistics suggest that Phantom is slightly better; it has higher magazine capacity and shoots faster. However, before you completely derail Vandal's usefulness, let's discuss two more important aspects – recoil patterns and damage.

Recoil Patterns

Vandal's recoil pattern is such a classic "inverted seven", and Phantom goes slightly up and then hits more or less the same spot.

Vandal is a bit more chaotic, especially when moving – then it's purely random. With Phantom, on the other hand, you can move around a little and catch a kill, although your recoil also becomes much more randomized.



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As you can see, distance doesn't really matter for Vandal players; you always deal the same amount of damage. Most importantly, you always kill with a headshot, which rewards good habits and some players think that this also makes the weapon slightly more skillful.


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Phantom is far inferior to the Vandal at longer distances, and you can spot that at a first glance. Despite all its advantages that we listed above, the way this weapon performs at long-range encounters is a bit of a let-down. Those "140 damage headshots" have become a meme at this point.

Vandal vs. Phantom: Esports

And what are the pro players' views on this? Looking at statistics from the recent VCT Challengers tournament, pro players are much more likely to choose Vandal, and there is no single region that favors Phantom.

Recent Phantom vs. Vandal Gun Choices from ValorantCompetitive

This is primarily due to two maps that are frequently played in competitive matches lately – Breeze and Fracture. On these maps, long-range encounters are super common, and that's where Vandal beats Phantom every day. However, these aren't the only maps where long-range situations are ordinary, especially with agents like Chamber being so popular in the metagame.


There is no single answer that implies the superiority of one weapon over another. However, in the current metagame, Vandal will usually be a better choice. But not always! It depends on factors such as:

  • Preference
  • Position on the map
  • Agent
  • Personal playstyle and habits

If you're a Duelist player, and you absolutely love rushing, then Phantom might be your go-to. As of now, Vandal gives you a better chance of winning a duel, but that doesn't have to be the case in the future metagame. We expect this trend to constantly change, so if you want to climb to the big boy ranks, consider training with both weapons.

We also recommend new players to go for Vandal instead of Phantom, even though it is a slightly more skilled weapon. Because Vandal rewards headshots so much, you learn good habits right from the start, which can help you in your future climb.