When you think of assault rifles in Valorant, the Bulldog is probably not the first one you reach for. Ever since the meta of Valorant has shifted in, the Bulldog’s interest has fallen in favor of more budget options like the Spectre or Ares. You’ve long been a fan of the Phantom or the Vandal, or even the Guardian, but you wouldn’t dare reach that Bulldog gun you find in the bargain bin. The Bulldog isn’t going to be your end-all be-all weapon of choice, but you’d be surprised at how much rifle is packed into it. This, is the Bulldog. In this weapon guide, I’ll be going over just how the Bulldog works, its damage profiles and statistics including recoil, interesting techniques on how to use the gun, and when you should get it over its alternatives.
If you want more videos and guides like this, I’d love it if you could drop a like, subscribe, and comment why or why you don’t use the Bulldog yourself. The bulldog fills the role of being the poor man’s rifle; most of the time, you’ll be finding yourself regrettably buying the gun when you find out your bank account is too low to afford any of the other three rifles. However, this does not mean that this thing isn’t capable. After all, a rifle is a rifle, and the Bulldog still does a decent job of it for the price. This is the lowest priced gun you can find that will be capable in all scenarios and will also be able to contest in essentially every relevant range in the game. This is a fully automatic standard assault rifle that makes some decent tradeoffs in exchange for its generally lower 2100 credit cost at checkout.
Its differentiating characteristic in addition to the price is its ability to do a burst-fire in ADS mode, which allows you to accurately take down targets from range. Riot doesn’t try to innovate too hard with the way the budget rifle has traditionally worked, but instead tries to refine the experience, which results in a surprisingly pleasant and lethal gun when put in the right hands. The Bulldog carries 24 bullets per mag, firing at 9.15 rounds per second, with medium wall pen. When in ADS mode, the 3-round burst fire greatly reduces the spread and recoil of the gun, but also greatly decreases the fire rate down to about 4 rounds per second at max speed. The gun also deals 35 to the body, 116 to the head, and 30 to the leg from 0-50m, which means that yes, the gun has no damage falloff at all ranges. This is an interesting implementation which means that you will have the same level of damage consistency that you will find on other ARs such as the Vandal and Guardian, which will also mean that you can play your ranges very well.
This is especially the case with the burst fire mode, as it the spread of the shots is actually so tight that if you happen to hit the head with the shots, it’s effectively a one-tap. It’s probably the most slept on feature on this gun and allows it to really tackle some of the big dogs even though it might not pack as much of a punch. The burst-fire also has a tiny bit of recoil so it’s good practice to pull down slightly when firing the 3 shots so you can ensure more consistency while using it. Also keep in mind that ADSing on rifles in the game will reduce your movement speed by 25%, so do not try to peek around corners with that in mind or you can get punished easily.
The main issue with the Bulldog is that although it has great potential as a rifle, it is plagued by its fairly wacky recoil pattern. Like, you can generally draw out the shape of it, as shown here, but you can clearly tell its not that reliable or its not as tight as something like the Phantom or Vandal. There’s just some really weird bullet inaccuracies that make it much harder to work with, and I assume that’s intentionally placed in order to gate the gun from having too much potential. This inaccuracy will essentially translate into that the Bulldog can only truly spray its rounds in short to medium range engages, and will have to rely on the burst fire for medium-long range trades. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as other rifles at longer ranges will also have to resort to either burst firing or even tapping to hit a similar level of accuracy. The Bulldog’s spray is also the one that I’ve noticed that has quite a lot of horizontal recoil in addition to its vertical.
It’s not that it goes way left or way right, but the spray definitely seems to swing side to side much earlier and much more often compared to the other rifles, which is especially the case when fully spraying it. Nonetheless, the spray is still manageable at these shorter ranges, just keep in mind of the learning curve. One other thing to note is that the Bulldog is the only assault rifle that does not have a true ability to one-tap opponents, as its headshot damage only deals 116. Every other AR can kill with a single bullet in some or all scenarios. This is probably the single biggest thing that also separates the other rifles from the Bulldog, putting themselves in another tier. The Bulldog still has the potential for one-taps in its burst fire but it’s really not the same thing.
This means that in a lot of shorter trades, you might find yourself losing because you dinked each other and you didn’t have the damage for it. Now onto when the Bulldog should be purchased. One thing to note is that the Bulldog fills an interesting gap between getting a legitimate rifle at around the 3000 credit range, versus having to rely on budget options in the 1500 credit range. The Bulldog is essentially creating its own price category because there is no other gun that can match it, and because of that, it doesn’t have a TRUE competitor in terms of both price and capability.
With that being said, if you happen to barely have enough for a buy and you need to round out a team (for example with around 3500 credits), or if you want to force buy and this is the only thing you can really afford, your Bulldog might be the best option. Stepping down to a cheaper gun may make your wallet feel nicer, but you will be trading off the range that the Bulldog can offer in ADS mode, which may be a dealbreaker depending on where you take your fights. The closest rival to the Bulldog would be the Ares, which although is quite a capable gun in its own right and can provide a lot of punch for the money, it adds a significant amount of clunk that you probably wouldn’t want to deal with in certain scenarios, and understandably so.
The Bulldog is also an excellent buy right after winning a pistol round as it allows you to access the power of the assault rifle section while also being able to transition into subsequent rounds without much worry of being outscaled. Remember that the Bulldog does not try to be the very best gun around, but instead provides a very modest experience and focuses on just being able to get the job done for as little as possible. Its ability to also perform well in all economic scenarios also means that it’ll be a very reliable gun to add to your arsenal.