VALORANT Episode 4 Act 1 Weapon Tier List: All the Best Weapons Ranked

Check out how the VALORANT weapon meta stands after patch 4.02.

Riot Games’ VALORANT has arguably been the most talked-about gaming title within the gaming community in recent years. Since the title’s early beta testing, it has gone through a lot of changes.

VALORANT progression occurs in an “Episode” format. One episode contains three “Acts”. Each act is live for approximately 2 months. Thus, each episode lasts for an estimated six months.

Riot introduces new battle passes for every act, including various cosmetics that include graffiti, weapon skins, and player cards. And every episode, Riot adds more stories to their lore to keep the game exciting and intriguing for the players.

In the present day, VALORANT has reached patch 4.02. After three episodes with a total of 9 acts, a lot has changed since the beta testing days. June 2022 will mark the 2-year milestone of the title.

Read More: VALORANT Patch Notes v4.02: Performance Updates, AFK Detection Buff, Social Updates, Bug Fixes, Esports Features, and More.

During the almost two years of evolution of the game, many aspects have gone through various changes, including maps, agents, and most importantly, weapons.

Episode 4 Act 1 Weapon Tier List

The start of the latest act included some very substantial weapon buffs and nerfs. Kicking off with the huge Ares fire-rate buff, which eventually had to be balanced to the Spectre long-range accuracy nerf, here is our weapon tier list as of version 4.02.

S-tier weapons are superior weapons that are considered to be the best of the best. Whereas, A-tier weapons are a close second but not as powerful or effective. B-tier weapons are average, while C-tier weapons are just the bare minimum.

  • S-tier: Vandal, Phantom, Operator
  • A-tier: Spectre, Marshal, Ghost, Ares, Sheriff
  • B-tier: Bulldog, Guardian, Judge, Odin, Shorty
  • C-tier: Frenzy, Stinger, Classic, Bucky



Vandal features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Vandal has been a fan-favorite ever since the beginning of the game. With 160 damage on headshots attribute, the Vandal is one of the most popular buy-round weapons even with difficult recoil control.


Phantom features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Phantom is also a very popular pick on buy-rounds. As the Phantom has a higher magazine size paired with a better fire rate than the Vandal, this weapon’s damage gets reduced at further distances to make it more balanced. Also, many players prefer the Phantom over the Vandal because of the ease of control.


Operator features
Image Credit: Riot Games

Having the highest DPS in the game and being in the sniper category, the operator has made quite a name for itself. Instantly killing full-shield enemies with body shots along with dealing 120 damage on leg shots, this weapon is a good pick for economically stable rounds and might help to eliminate some enemies in further distances.



Spectre features
Image Credit: Riot Games

With one of the highest fire rates in the game, the Spectre is an optimal buy for eco-rounds and even buy-rounds if the plan is to rush in. But with the recent nerf in patch 4.0, long-range spray accuracy has been reduced to stop the weapon from over-performing.


Marshal features
Image Credit: Riot Games

Belonging in the sniper category, the Marshal is a very efficient buy with a low price and high damage output. Headshots create instant kills, whereas body shots can produce kills only if the opponent has no shields. Also, the Marshal is a great pick for eco-rounds with high no-scope accuracy.


Ghost features
Image Credits: Riot Games

Arguably the most frequently purchased pistol is the Ghost. Pistol rounds are mostly dominated by the use of this weapon since players don’t usually purchase shields. The Ghost is also a good pick in hard eco-rounds where saving credits is the primary goal.


Ares features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Ares has become a very popular weapon since its buff in patch 4.0. With an increased fire rate paired with a reduction in equip time, players started instantly buying the Ares in almost every round. This popularity was short-lived because, in patch 4.01, the price and recoil were increased to stop the abuse. But regardless, Ares is a great weapon while defending.


Sheriff features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Sheriff can output substantial damage compared to other pistols but is well compensated by the price. Its one-tap ability makes it a frequent buy in any round.



Bulldog features
Image Credit: Riot Games

Not really a popular pick, but the Bulldog is often bought in certain rounds when there aren’t enough credits for a Vandal/Phantom. And with the recent buff in patch 4.0 which increased hip fire rate and burst fire recovery, the bulldog is a more preferable purchase now.


Guardian features
Image Credit: Riot Games

Frequently used by the “headshot machine” ScreaM from Team Liquid VALORANT, the Guardian is exceptional for eliminating enemies with headshots from any distance. Having received a powerful buff in patch 4.0, which removed the firing rate penalty for ADS, the Guardian is a perfect purchase for players with good headshot accuracy.


Judge features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Judge is by far the most versatile shotgun in the game. High fire rate paired with high movement accuracy made this weapon an excellent choice for rushing in or defending tight corners.


Odin features
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The Odin is a very controversial weapon. But in terms of DPS, it is in a league of its own. It has incredible wall penetration abilities paired with a massive magazine capacity containing 100 bullets. On top of that, the fire rate increases over time.


Shorty features
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Belonging to the sidearm category, the Shorty can be used for sneaky plays in tight corners. It’s an excellent pick for lurkers and campers.



Frenzy features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Frenzy is a good pick for pistol rounds, and eco rushes because of its automatic feature. However, its small magazine tends to put players in grave situations.


Stinger features
Image Credit: Riot Games

In patch 4.02, Stinger has the highest fire rate of any weapon in the game. Although its comparatively small magazine paired with significant damage fall off on further distances made it very unpopular among the VALORANT player base. As such, it is rare for players to purchase a stinger in any round.


Classic features
Image Credits: Riot Games

For absolutely no cost, the Classic is a sidearm provided to every player by default in every round. Usually, the Classic is not used as a primary weapon. However, it does have an alternate burst firing mode that is effective in close-quarter scenarios.


Bucky features
Image Credit: Riot Games

The Bucky is technically the most powerful shotgun in the game. But unfortunately, the drawbacks exceed the advantages of the weapon. A slow fire rate makes the weapon less favorable for players.

Bonus Weapon

The Melee is the most prestigious weapon in the game. If you ever happen to sneak up on the enemy from behind, be sure to stab them in the back for extra style points. Also, this tier list is only applicable for patch 4.02.

Read More: What’s next for TSM VALORANT in 2022

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