Your ultimate guide to Valorant shotguns

Valorant's shotguns play a big role in Riot's first-person shooter. But which of the shotguns are the best to use, and when do you want to use them?

To properly excel at Valorant, players must first understand the game's economy. There's a buy phase at the start of each round, allowing agents to purchase weapons and abilities with creds earned in previous rounds. 

Players earn creds through results. For example, winning teams get 3,000 creds while the losing team gets 1,900 that same round. Individuals can also earn creds by eliminating enemies and planting bombs. 

The purpose of a player's purchase each round should be using the weapon to support their strategy, ultimately helping them win the round, and one of the possible purchases is a shotgun. Valorant has two shotguns, each vastily different from each other. While each shotgun excels at close-quarters combat, they both shine in different scenarios. 

Bucky

Valorant Bucky gun guide

At just 900 creds, the Bucky is the lowest costing weapon not counting sidearms. This is a weapon that excels in aggressive up-close action. Despite its small magazine size, the Bucky does a lot of damage. It only has five rounds, but at close distances that's enough to eliminate the entire enemy team since headshots can immediately down an agent. Up close, this shotgun does 19/22/44 damage. The preferred range for its best damage is under seven meters. 

The ranged damage falls off at 14/17/34. But the Bucky can still find ways to be effective at long range despite the pellet spread. Use the Bucky's alternate fire by right-clicking. Called an Air Burst, the Bucky will fire a canister that detonates after 7.5 meters. This will make agents feel as thought they are firing a medium-range sniper. 

Judge

Judge Valorant gun guide

The Judge is fully automatic and has an impressive fire rate. At 1,500 creds, the Judge is the perfect choice for players that enjoy chaotic close-range combat. Judge-weilding agents will often rush sites or race around angles to catch opponents off guard and eliminate unsuspecting enemies. It deals less damage than the Bucky (14/17/24 at short range and 11/13/26 at long range), but its 3.5 fire rate and larger magazine size make it perfect for quick action. 

Some Judge users will sometimes camp, hiding in the back of a site and waiting for agents to approach. They will pop out of hiding and wreak havoc with the Judge, using its fire rate to their advantage. Players looking to utilize this technique should take note of the enemy team's positioning, since this strategy can be a bit risky. 

Since both shotguns are viable in various situations, it's important to choose the shotgun that best fits specific scenarios and playstyles. The Bucky is often used on defense while the Judge excels at more aggressive strategies. Both are inexpensive, and these weapons are great for taking out enemies that turn the wrong corner unaware.

And if you're playing an agent like Jett, you don't have to wait for enemies to approach at all.