The Phantom is VALORANT’s more subtle assault rifle, offering less recoil and no bullet tracers, making it ideal for controller players in spam situations as well as close-range fights. As controllers have become more popular in the pro meta in 2023, the Phantom is seeing more usage now compared to previous years. With a boatload of stellar cosmetics, players can tap heads and look good while doing it.
The Phantom is fortunate enough to have so many incredible skins with interesting animations. These cosmetics can do anything from sucking your enemy into a black hole to sending out a bull to launch your target into the air. But with plenty of options to choose from, there are definitely some skins that are better than the rest.
Here are the best Phantom skins in VALORANT.
Simple and sleek, the Recon Phantom offers the look and feel of a real-life rifle, as you would see in a game like Rainbow Six: Siege, CS:GO, or early Call of Duty.
The Recon line offers four color variant options, including a very popular black and red military camo variant that’s a perfect match for players that have acquired the elusive Riot gun buddy. It’s also a popular choice for pros on teams with red color schemes like 100 Thieves or Sentinels. A unique feature of Recon is its randomized weapon attachments, which rotate every in-match purchase between a flashlight, a laser sight, and foregrips.
VALORANT players were blessed with a cool theme, great animations, a badass finisher, and flawless variants in the Oni. The skin is as close to perfect as it gets, and Riot finally gave players a Vandal option in 2023.
Oni has roots in Japanese folklore, featuring the horned demon-like ogre directly in its design. Upgrading the skin’s animations gives you a cool spiritual aura emanating from the skin and a finisher that calls swords from the sky to trap your opponent while cherry blossoms fill the air. And let’s not forget the beautiful Arizona Green Tea variant, which combines a mint green with bright pink hues. As one of the Phantom’s oldest skins, Oni certainly sets the bar high.
Radiant Entertainment System
Launched in VALORANT’s Episode Six, Act Three, the Radiant Entertainment System bundle has been deemed one of the best bundles in the game so far. Besides skins for the Ghost, the Operator, and the Bulldog, the collection brings a radiant Phantom skin adorned with sleek audio and animation design: perfect for both accurate one-shot and spray-and-pray styles.
The Radiant Entertainment System bundle is the game’s latest ultra-type collection and is the costliest one to be released to date. Inspired by three evergreen arcade video games—Bazooka Badger, Dance Fever, and K.nock O.ut!!—the bundle offers three variants for each weapon, including the melee.
The most distinctive feature of the Radiant Entertainment System skins is the finisher animation, which envelopes the last enemy killed into a lively, video game-like animation, based on the variant used. The bundle, which was priced at a whopping 11,400 VP, is no longer available, but the skins can be purchased individually from the daily offers section.
Prime 2.0 brought back the ever-so-popular thematic with some minor adjustments, throwing a Phantom into the mix. And it doesn’t disappoint.
Taking inspiration from a hypercar, according to senior weapon artist Chris Stone, the Prime Phantom is sleek, clean, and modern. It maintains a similar reload animation to its predecessor while throwing in some exhaust ports on the side for light to shine through. And its finisher literally summons a bull to toss your enemy into the air for a neon explosion. A true classic.
The Spectrum Phantom is one of the most audibly pleasing Phantom skins available, soaring to popularity after the Zedd-collaborated collection was released back in September 2021.
The Spectrum Phantom features three different color variants, but the sleek default white-and-red design is easily the most popular. The most appealing feature of this skin is the soothing yet electrifying notes curated by Zedd that play when inspecting the weapon, in addition to the gorgeous, colorful VFX.
The finisher animation is quite lovely to witness as well, with the skies turning colorful and Zedd’s tune playing in the background.
According to Riot, Protocol 781-A was ideated by blending elements of Artificial Intelligence with a dark, dystopian universe: sort of like the Glitchpop, Singularity, and Ion collections, but quite distinct. The result? A Phantom that can talk in a robotic dialect.
The Protocol 781-A collection introduced intriguingly designed skins for the Sheriff, the Spectre, the Bulldog, and the Phantom, all of which support a fifth voiceover upgrade purchasable through Radianite Points. It’s exactly how an advanced battlefield would feel if you were guided by highly intelligent robots.
Besides the sleek SFX design, another profound feature of this collection is the finisher, which features a mighty robot firing down on the last enemy killed in a fascinating sci-fi backdrop.
Riot devs surprised fans with a second Glitchpop bundle, delivering the popular skin line to VALORANT’s most-used weapons. And it was a godsend to players who enjoy the cyberpunk thematic.
Riot’s intention with the bundle was to make “everything [look] uniform and “[follow] the same design” as the first Glitchpop bundle, producer of skins Preeti Khanolkar previously said in an interview with HITSCAN.
So, the Glitchpop Phantom boasts the familiar blend of neon colors and industrial frame seen in the previous iteration. You also get light-hearted and humorous stickers throughout and finishing an opponent leads to an explosion of colorful advertisements. The gun skin sounds amazing, with its silenced shots taking on a more futuristic tone. Riot hit it out of the park with this skin line, offering a fun cosmetic that isn’t distracting considering all its bright colors.
League of Legends players who are fans of the MOBA’s Pulsefire skins will love Ion.
Ion uses a futuristic palette of white and blue, with a core at its center fueling the charge. Every time you reload the weapon, you seemingly replace the core with a new one. It sounds great and pulses geometric shapes when you shoot or equip it. And its finisher predictably explodes the enemy in a spherical electro-pulse. Ion is a skin for everyone since it’s not too showy or distracting and still offers a clean look.
One of the most beloved Vandal skins finally made its way to the Phantom via the Reaver 2.0 bundle, much to the delight of Phantom fans.
The Reaver’s iconic dark and edgy look fits the Phantom just as well as it did the Phantom, and there’s not a single bad color variant available. Its satisfying bell chime headshot sound is one of the best in the game, and it’s got a reload animation that makes you feel powerful. Oh, and it also drags players down to hell with its finisher.
The Singularity Phantom is a polished skin with some of the best animations in the game.
Seemingly held together by a powerful force from space, the weapon deconstructs and comes back together whenever you reload. Its muzzle flash is like a small black hole that foreshadows its finisher animation, a larger black hole that sucks your opponents in to never be seen again (until the next round, of course). And the Singularity Phantom has some of the best variants in the game, with the most intriguing being the lightning-struck blue and yellow colorway. This cosmetic is versatile and an all-around crowd-pleaser, making it an easy pickup for all players.
About the author
Freelance Writer for Dot Esports. An enthusiastic gamer who bumped into the intricacies of video game journalism in 2021 and has been hustling ever since. Obsessed with first-person shooter titles, especially Valorant.