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VALORANT Devs End Debate: Which Rifle Is Better, Phantom Or Vandal?

The ages long debate finally has the numbers needed to settle it. Riot has given us a look into VALORANT's Phantom versus the Vandal.

The VALORANT Data Drop is back and this time, developers have revealed some interesting insight into the two most popular weapons, the Phantom and Vandal.

These two rifles are some of the most powerful in the game, leaving casual VALORANT players wondering which they should pick up. Editor Kenny “KARNIFEXLOL” Cameron decided to dive deeper into the data and explain it to FPS fans to help us better understand which weapon works best for every in-game situation.

Phantom W’s

The Phantom is best-used when you are at close to medium range. This weapon will help you dominate close-range gunfights. They even provided a graph to show which weapon was more effective up close — and the Phantom has been utilized more in close-range situations.

VALORANT Kill distribution by range

Kill distribution by range - Phantom v Vandal

The Phantom also has a superior spray patterns, allowing for more accuracy even when “spraying and praying.” This has allowed this weapon to get more multi-kills than the Vandal in short bursts of time.

Then, developers compared what would happen in a 1v1 duel between a Phantom and a Vandal user. As you probably guessed, the Phantom dominated. This was a pattern that was noticeable in all ranks, although the Phantom advantage does decrease as the ranks increase.

Vandal W’s

So if the Phantom is bette for players who like to get up close and in your face, when should you use the Vandal? First, the Vandal was found to be the top choice in competitive overall when it came to primary loadout. This was also true for the VCT pros, who also favored the Vandal. But why?

The Vandal specializes in headshots. This means, if you have great aim and mechanical prowess, this weapon is going to make you unstoppable. A headshot with a Vandal does 160 damage at any range without penetration, meaning it’s an automatic elimination.

VALORANT Non-Lethal Headshots by range

VALORANT Non-Lethal Headshots by range

The Vandal gets a higher percentage of headshots in comparison to the Phantom’s bigger percentage of body and leg shots. This is because Vandal players are often aiming for the head instinctively since it’s an instant kill.

Vandal players are also at an advantage when it comes to heavy armor. The Phantom typically lands more body shots and non-lethal headshots, but that means they won’t eliminate an enemy with heavy armor.

Which Rifle Should You Use in VALORANT: Vandal vs. Phantom

VALORANT’s Insights Team Researcher Carson Dowhan said that the decision you make really comes down to your playstyle and preferences.

He said: “It really does boil down to your playstyle and confidence as a player. When in the heat of the moment using a Phantom, the average VALORANT player doesn't think to themselves, ‘As long as they're less than X meters away, I have a slight advantage statistically.’ If they do, then they've clearly watched their Woohoojin VOD reviews.”

Both weapons are viable in most situations, so it comes down to figuring out how you play. For example, if you often attack from afar and aim for the head, the Vandal is for you. But if you like to rush up and start spraying, the Phantom will serve a better purpose.