The main purpose of this paper is to study various configurations of a Magnetorheological (MR) damper valve and to evaluate their performance indices - typically dynamic range, valve ratio, inductive time constant and pressure drop. It is known that these performance indices (PI) of the damper depend upon the magnetic circuit design of the valve. Hence, nine valve configurations are considered for which mathematical models are developed. A finite element model is built to analyze and investigate the PI of a 2-D axi-symmetric MR damper valve. All configurations of the damper valve are simulated within a given range of input current and number of turns of coil, and within this range, damping force, dynamic range, valve ratio, inductive time constant and achieved pressure drop have been evaluated. The simulation results show that the PI of the MR damper are highly dependent on the shapes of valves and hence the valve shape should be selected based on the intended application. The results obtained in this work provide an insight for designers to create application-specific MR dampers. © 2017, Materials and Energy Research Center. All rights reserved.