Phantom vs Vandal (Pros, Cons, and Situations)

Valorant Guns: Phantom or Vandal?

One of the first things that players ask as they’re learning Valorant is, Phantom or Vandal?

The two guns share the same price and are the two bread-and-butter guns since they are the most well-round guns in the game.

The quick answer is that both are great and honestly, you can’t go wrong with either of them. It will come down to personal preference in most cases.

phantom vs vandal splash with logo final

That being said, there are definitely distinct areas and situations where they outshine each other.

In this guide, we’ll cover the different strengths and weaknesses as well as explanations for when and why you’d use them.

Stats and Attributes

Before we discuss the two guns, let’s objectively lay out their overall stats and attributes.

  • Cost
    • Both guns
      • 2900 credits
  • Firing Mode
    • Both guns
      • Full-automatic in primary (hip) and alternate (1.25x zoom) firing modes.
  • Rate of Fire
    • Phantom
      • 11 rounds/sec
    • Vandal
      • 9.25 rounds/sec
  • Clip Capacity
    • Phantom
      • 30 rounds
    • Vandal
      • 25 rounds
  • Wall Penetration
    • Both guns
      • Medium
  • Silencer
    • Phantom
      • Yes
    • Vandal
      • No

Phantom recoil patterns (10m):

phantom recoil patterns

Phantom: primary fire (left) and alternate fire (right).

Phantom primary fire:

Phantom alternate fire:

Vandal recoil patterns (10m):

vandal recoil patterns

Vandal: primary fire (left) and alternate fire (right).

Vandal primary fire:

Vandal alternate fire

Before we move on…let’s recap

So far,  we can see that the two guns are very similar in many ways.

They have identical credit costs, firing modes, and wall penetration.

However, in regards to other attributes, it appears that the Phantom has the edge with a faster rate of fire, a larger clip capacity, and even a silencer.

If you didn’t know, silencers not only make the sound of firing quieter but they also visually conceal where you’re firing from.

This can be particularly useful for sneaking up on enemies and firing through smoke.

Below, we can see the visual tracer from a Vandal being fired by Brimstone, so we count that as a downside.

brimstone vandal

Lastly, when looking at their recoil patterns, they are very similar but the Vandal does kick up slightly more when spraying.

So what gives? Why would anyone choose to use the Vandal over the Phantom?

The key difference? Damage ranges!

All Valorant guns deal different amounts of damage based on where you hit a target (head, body, or legs) and how far you are from the target.

When we take a look at the Phantom vs Vandal in this regard, you’ll start to see where the Vandal has its advantages.

Phantom damage ranges

phantom damage

  • 0-15M
    • Head = 156
    • Body = 39
    • Legs = 33
  • 15-30M
    • Head = 140
    • Body = 35
    • Legs = 30
  • 30-50M
    • Head = 124
    • Body = 31
    • Legs = 20

Vandal damage ranges

vandal damage

  • 0-50M
    • Head = 156
    • Body = 39
    • Legs = 33

From these stats, we can immediately detect the Phantom’s key weakness – damage drop off.

Outside of 15M, the Phantom will no longer kill an enemy that has heavy shields with one headshot.

In comparison, the Vandal maintains its damage output values from 0-50M.

When we combine this info with what we learned earlier, here’s the TLDR:

  • Overall, the two rifles are the most versatile guns in the game.
  • Due to a higher firing rate and slightly better spray recoil, the Phantom is more consistent in short-range engagements.
  • Meanwhile, the Vandal is more consistent in long-range fights since it maintains its damage output and can 1-headshot kill up to 50M.

So there you have it! This is the crucial difference between the Phantom vs Vandal.

How to decide when to use the Phantom or Vandal

In the following sections, we’ll cover different questions and situations that will help guide you in choosing between the two guns.

Right now, there are a lot of players that tend to favor one over the other.

As the game continues to evolve and the general playerbase gets better, expect players to adapt according to their circumstances and switch between them.

For now though, especially if you’re a beginner, we recommend using these guidelines.

Are you more comfortable with spraying or tap-firing?

Since mechanics are such a major part of first-person shooters, how a gun feels and whether or not you feel comfortable using it is a big deal.

As such, different players will naturally lean towards different guns due to their personal preferences.

Do you feel at home headshotting people with the likes of the Ghost, Sheriff, and Guardian? You may be more of a Vandal player.

reaper vandal

If you’d rather rip through your enemies with the Frenzy, SMG’s, and heavy machine guns, there’s a good chance you’ll thrive with the Phantom.

This being said, the two guns are solid in the opposite situations.

A Phantom can definitely be serviceable from longer ranges and the Vandal can do the job spraying at closer ranges when needed, so don’t feel like you’re obligated to only play one way when using the guns.

It’s more about recognizing what a gun’s strengths are and playing around that. You might as well align that with your personal strengths as a player.

Are you a streaky shooter?

After you understand your playstyle preferences, another good thing to keep in mind is how consistent you are in general and how you feel during a particular gaming session.

Since the body is a much bigger target than the head, the Phantom may be the better option if you aren’t feeling confident or you’re having an off-night.

sage headshot

Likewise, if you’ve been popping off and headshots are coming easily during pistol rounds with your Ghost, it may be a good time to use the Vandal.

Which map are you playing on?

Every Valorant map will include tight spaces and wide areas, however, the ratio will differ from map to map.

You can measure how far you are to any point on the map by pressing the Z-key (the default for pinging).

bind ping distance

We recommend jumping into a custom game and pinging around the different maps to get a feel for the general distances for their locations.

On average, Bind and Haven tend to encourage more short to mid-range engagements.

Meanwhile, Split has a lot of verticality and Ascent has a wide middle courtyard – as such, both maps encourage more longer-ranged engagements.

Use this map knowledge to your advantage when considering which gun to use, including the ones that aren’t the Phantom or Vandal!

Are you attacking or defending?

Once you understand a map’s general layout in terms of the distance of fights you’ll be engaging in, consider the differences between when you’re attacking or defending.


The Vandal can be slightly better when on the attacking side for two main reasons.

First off, when you’re attacking it’s hard to predict where defenders will be positioning from.

The Vandal will help you ready for angles of all ranges – short, mid, and far.

vandal split distance

Secondly, as an attacker, you’ll often have the advantage of having numbers on your side since the defenders have to spread out their team to cover multiple areas.

This allows you to swing wide angles with allies to make quick picks from afar with the Vandal to avoid risking getting messy in closer ranges.


On the flipside, the Phantom can be better on defense due to factors opposite to the above reasons.

For example, when you’re defending, you have the advantage of generally knowing the limited amount of entryways that the attackers will be coming from.

Because of this, you can be more likely to guarantee close-ranged fights by setting up your position in those areas.

phantom haven b angle

As we mentioned earlier, defenders should be prepared to face unequal numbers, with combinations of 1v2s, 1v3s, and even more.

In these situations, the additional firing rate and spraying ability that the Phantom provides can help you quickly kill multiple enemies in situations where the Vandal would be too slow to do so.

Thanks for reading! We hope you learned something new. Let us know in the comments below how YOU choose between the Phantom or Vandal.