VALORANT weapon guide: The Vandal


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 Vandal rifle.




The Vandal is the most expensive rifle in VALORANT, together with the Phantom. Both cost 2900 credits, making them a real investment. You don't buy the Vandal hoping that "maybe it'll go well." You buy it expecting the weapon to carry you through multiple rounds, returning the investment. Make sure you have a backup plan when you buy the Vandal—don't buy it if it leaves you with virtually no money to spend next round.




The Vandal packs a mighty punch. A single headshot is enough to secure a kill on any target, at any distance. Bodyshots deal less damage, "just" 39, but that still means that only four body shots are already enough to take down an enemy. A downside to the Vandal is its fire rate, which is lower than that of the Phantom: the Vandal fires 9.25 bullets per second when firing in hipfire mode, and 8.32 bullets per second when zoomed in.


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


Target: 0-50 meter range
Body 39 damage
Head 156 damage
Leg 33 damage


The fact that the Vandal doesn't lose its damage at any distance is a massive upside. If you're trained well with the weapon, you can deal the necessary damage, guaranteed, to any target. You don't need to get unnecessarily close to the enemy to guarantee your bullets deal enough damage: just hit the target, right?




Unfortunately, the powerful punch of the Vandal comes with a decent amount of recoil too. It's very similar to that of the Phantom, but slightly worse. The Vandal starts dragging upwards after the first few bullets, until it reaches its highest point. There, the back-and-forth sway from left to right kicks in, making the weapon very inaccurate and difficult to control. There's no set pacing to the sway, so sometimes the Vandal will jump back after one bullet, whereas other times it'll fire multiple bullets before swinging back in the opposite direction.



The Vandal's recoil pattern at various distances.


At close range, this isn't a big issue. The Vandal is precise enough, the recoil not high enough for it to win or lose you a duel—as long as your aim is good and your reaction time short, you'll probably win. But at medium to long-range combat, you either need to shoot in short bursts or control the recoil. You can best control the recoil by first dragging your mouse down slowly, countering the upward trend. When the Vandal starts swinging back and forth, try to adjust your aim as soon as it hits the outermost point so you can counter it quickly when the Vandal goes in the opposite direction again.


Recoil when aiming down sight


Thankfully for medium to long ranges, the Vandal offers a zoomed function. When in ADS (Aiming Down Sight) mode, the visor provides a 1.25 zoom, and reduces the recoil. It's not much, but the two factors combined do help a lot when you're fighting against an enemy far away.



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


Again, it's not recommended to try fight enemies at long range by holding down the fire button. Instead, use the Vandal for a few fast bullets, let the crosshair reset, and tap again. That way you're far more likely to land a deadly headshot.


To summarize:


The Vandal and the Phantom are very similar, but they have distinct playstyles. Many players in VALORANT will lean to either one. The Vandal packs a high punch, but is very loud and shoots slower. The Phantom, on the other hand, loses its damage across long distances, but has the upsides of reduced fire noise and a higher fire rate. In the end, it's best to just try them both out, and see which one feels more natural.


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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