VALORANT weapon guide: The Guardian


There are many weapons in VALORANT, the tactical first-person shooter made by Riot Games. In order to become a master of the game, it's pivotal that you learn to master the weapons in it. That's why we've made a series of weapon guides for VALORANT weapons discussing the weapon cost, the weapon damage, and controlling the weapon's recoil. In this guide, we'll be talking about the Guardian rifle.




The Guardian is one of the costliest weapons in VALORANT, coming in at 2700 credits. Just four weapons are more expensive to buy: the Vandal, Phantom, Operator, and the Odin. If you buy the Guardian, it's a weapon you're committing to. You're banking on the rifle to carry you through the rounds. When you buy it, you generally have a sizeable amount of money in your bank to pair the purchase with abilities and a shield.




The damage done by the Guardian is massive. Almost any target will go down with two shots landing in their body. But the real damage is in the headshots. At 195 damage per headshot, the Guardian is a sniper disguised as a regular rifle. It's a guaranteed kill if hit directly, and even when you're hitting the target through a wall, the Guardian does a significant amount of damage.


The table below shows the exact numbers for the damage the Guardian does in VALORANT:


Target: 0-50 meter range
Body 65
Head 195
Leg 49


Without any damage falloff across any distance, the Guardian further asserts its spot as a hybrid between sniper rifles and assault rifles. It shoots bullets at a 6.5 rounds per second rate, so you'll be able to land a few more shots than you would with a sniper rifle. However, with only twelve bullets available before you need to reload, other assault rifles can fire more before needing a refill.




The Guardian is incredibly precise for its first few shots, but recoil kicks in quickly. Like all rifles in VALORANT, the Guardian's recoil makes the weapon drag upwards for a bit. Once it has reached its highest point, the recoil will switch from vertical to horizontal. It becomes incredibly hard to predict where the Guardian will fire then. Whereas other rifles somewhat gradually sway back and forth, the Guardian's lower fire rate make the horizontal recoil jumpy.



The Guardian's recoil pattern at various distances.


If you're set on spraying your opponent down, which is a legitimate strategy when your opponent is up close, you can counter the recoil of the Guardian by slowly dragging your mouse down. However, at medium to long distances, it's better to control that urge. Shoot two times or three times, let the crosshair reset, and fire again. This way you're way more likely to hit the target and deal a killing blow.


Recoil when aiming down sight


If your target is truly further away, it's better to just toggle the zoom function of the Guardian than to try and spray them down. It provides a 1.5x zoom, and has virtually no downsides. The recoil is slightly reduced, and the fire rate stays exactly the same. The only potential downside is that your field of view is reduced, making it easier for opponents to sneak up on you from the sides.



The Guardian's recoil pattern when zoomed in, at various distances.


When you're in ADS (Aiming Down Sight) mode, the Guardian's vertical recoil is slightly toned down. As can be seen, more bullets land at the target at 30 meters compared to when you're firing regularly. It's not much, but it's something. In the end, you'll still want to use the ADS function for its zoom primarily, though.


To summarize:


The Guardian is highly rewarding for players with pinpoint precise aim. Its headshot damage is devastatingly high, and the weapon is surprisingly accurate. Though it offers some flexibility with a fire rate higher than that of snipers, you shouldn't buy the Guardian if you're expecting a lot of close combat. Practice pays off with the Guardian, and once you're ready to take it on, it's a weapon well worth investing in.


VALORANT weapon guides:


Sidearm SMGs Shotguns Rifles Sniper Heavy
Classic Stinger Bucky Bulldog Marshal Ares
Shorty Spectre Judge Guardian Operator Odin
Frenzy     Phantom    
Ghost     Vandal    



For more VALORANT content including guides, patch notes, and news, check out our dedicated VALORANT section!


Images via Riot Games

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