VALORANT’s arsenal of weapons gives us access to a decent collection of sidearms to choose from. There are about 5 pistols in the game, but they feature different characteristics.
Sidearms in FPS titles are common as they are the go-to choice for players who are either out of ammo or playing the 1st round of the game. The 1st round is also known as the Pistol round, resembling the Pistol round from CSGO. Pistol round unlocks many potentials for a team. Upon winning the round, a team automatically gains an economical advantage for the next round.
If utilized correctly, this opportunity can multiply as your opponent’s economy will be in ruin if you win the bonus round as well. Such an advantage can’t be easily obtained since winning the Pistol round is quite difficult due to each sidearm’s short-range and unique traits. Knowing the traits ahead of the round will certainly give you and your team a nice kickstart.
Best Pistol Tier List in VALORANT
- Best (S-Tier): Ghost
- Good (A-Tier): Classic
- Average (B-Tier): Sheriff
- Situational (C-Tier): Frenzy
- Not Recommended (D-Tier): Shorty
Ghost is the de-facto gun in Pistol round for the majority of the players. Highly effective at short-medium range, the Ghost provides precision, damage & flexibility. With a 15 round magazine, 105 damage to the head at close range, the Ghost is in a class of its own. Even in long-range, multiple shots can confirm a kill, making Ghost the best Pistol in VALORANT.
Unlike the Classic, it has no secondary firing mode. However, a silencer attached to the Ghost makes it more stealthy by reducing the sound profile. Additionally, bullet tracers aren’t visible, making it harder for the enemy to detect you. Buying a Ghost will cost you 500 Creeds, making it a not-so-cheap option for Pistol rounds.
Even with its 500 Creeds price tag, its popularity & relevancy hasn’t dropped since the launch of VALORANT.
Also known as the default gun, the Classic is given to each player at the beginning of every round. The Classic has no price tag included, but it can’t be underestimated either. Professional players often use the Default Classic in Pistol rounds, primarily due to it; ‘s highly effective Right-click functionality.
Apart from its primary fire mode as a semi-automatic sidearm, the Classic can also deliver a 3-round Brust at close range and eliminate pretty much any player. Pros have been debating over this extremely powerful ability of the Classic for a long time, but the presence of this functionality makes Classic a great choice for Pistol Rounds.
As the most expensive sidearm available in VALORANT, the Sheriff is in a category of its own. Sheriff costs about 800 Creeds, and it’s able to score confirmed kills from medium to long distances with ease. However, headshot damage in long-range (30+ meters) is now 145, while short-range headshot damage is 159. So, Sheriff is undoubtedly deadlier in short range.
There are some drawbacks of this gun as well. For example, the slow fire rate & reload speed can be painful sometimes. Magazine size is also limited to six rounds only since the gun already has heavy damage rates. The Sheriff has the highest wall penetration capability among all the sidearms present in Valornat.
This gun is often considered a great alternative to regular high-damage assault rifles in Semi-buy or eco rounds. Since Sheriff is actually able to deliver precise high-damage shots, it’s an extremely useful gun to pick in uncertain rounds.
Sheriff’s application doesn’t end here because of the long-range capabilities. Jett players often use this gun as their primary sidearm to finish off heavily damaged enemies. The high-wall penetration feature also attracts a lot of Sova players to pick Sheriff in Semi-buy or eco rounds. Some even consider Sheriff as a better alternative to the Marshal.
On the contrary, it’s really tough to have a strong grip on the Sheriff. There are many drawbacks of the gun as well. Buying Sheriff on the wrong round can severely wound your economy for the next couple of rounds. Also, the high-recoil of the gun is actually hard to control or master. One-shot accuracy is decent, but hitting shots with Sheriff actually requires a lot of practice time in the range.
Frenzy is the only automatic sidearm available in VALORANT. Costing slightly lesser than the Ghost, Frenzy’s 450 Creed price tag is well justified. Frenzy’s damage rate is low & the range is not sufficient, but the gun can be devastating for your opponents if operated from short ranges.
Considering the gun is Fully-automatic, magazine capacity & reload speed seems decently balanced.
Initially, Frenzy’s capabilities were highly debated as many Pros often relied on it for the consequential rounds after the Pistol rounds as well. Buying Frenzy is often regarded as buying a miniature Spectre since its full-auto feature is actually dangerous. However, Frenzy is extremely weak and inaccurate at long-range encounters, so southing long-range fights with Frenzy is not recommended.
Nevertheless, in maps like Split & Icebox, Frenzy can look overpowered in some tight corners & angles.
Shorty is considered the weakest in the branch. It’s a semi-automatic shotgun with a 150 Creeds price tag. The Shorty’s strongest feature is its short-range effectiveness. On the contrary, taking long-range fights with the Shorty can mean instant death since it has a low damage rate for anything after the 15-meter mark.
With all these drawbacks, the Shorty suits just fine in the hands of VALORANT’s one of the most picked agents, Jett. Pros often keep a shorty for short-range encounters in full-buy rounds since the primary weapon is most likely an Operator.
Besides that, the Shorty is also good for entry-fragging in some particular maps & areas. For example, Jett players in high-elo frequently take control of the Lamps/U-hall area in Bind by using Jett’s Tailwind & Shorty. Similarly, taking control of Split’s A heaven or Vents with a Shorty is a great option for Jett or Raze players. So, Shorty has its own traits & applications.
Buying the right Pistol at the right moment is more important than mastering one Pistol. Since these pistols have different use cases and traits, it’s difficult to stick to one single preference. On the other hand, playing eco rounds with the relevant sidearm can actually deliver better results than hurriedly buying Stingers or Spectres.