battle rifle art

Battle Rifles

Battle Rifles are semi-auto precision weapons, available to all classes except Light Assault. They are the middle ground between “long range” automatic weapons, and slow-firing semi-automatic precision weapons, such as Semi Auto Sniper Rifles and Scout Rifles.

Compared to these weapons, Battle Rifles deal less damage, but remain more accurate while moving and during sustained fire, and have less damage degradation over range. From the mechanical standpoint, Battle Rifles are among the most consistent weapons in the game.

Battle Rifle Mechanics

Battle Rifles benefit from a lot of mechanics that make it easier to maintain accuracy, regardless if you’re going for accurate tap shots, or just spamming the weapon. No matter what you do with them, Battle Rifles just refuse to become inaccurate. 

Negative Recoil Recovery Delay allows to start recovering recoil before they can take another shot, and higher Recoil Recovery Rate increases the speed of that process.

Comparatively low Vertical Recoil makes it easier to keep the crosshair on target while spamming shots.

Increased Cone of Fire Recovery Rate allows to fully reset CoF between shots almost instantaneously. CoF Bloom effectively has no effect on Battle Rifles, unless you specifically try to achieve maximum RoF.

Cone of Fire Bloom itself is low, and Maximum ADS CoF is tiny. So even if you manage to fire the weapon at maximum RoF  it will still remain nearly as accurate.

VS Battle Rifles have no bullet drop, and for these weapons this trait is actually useful for a change, as it allows them to reliably snipe stationary targets even at extreme ranges. 

First Generation Battle Rifles

DAMAGE 250 @ 15m – 225 @ 75m
RATE OF FIRE 333 RPM
313 RPM when Tap Firing
VELOCITY 600 m/s
AMMO 20 / 120
RELOAD TIME 2.5 sec / 3.4 sec
UNLOCK COST 325Certification Pointsor 250 Daybreak Cash

First Generation Battle Rifles have the highest Rate of Fire among semi-auto precision weapons, and can fire up to 5.5 rounds per second. You would think that it makes them easier to use, but the relatively low damage per shot actually makes them more demanding; they need to shoot faster to have a competitive time to kill.

/u/ALN-Isolator gives a good run down on the current state of 1st Gen Battle Rifles in this reddit post.

Eidolon VE33 has 30 m/s lower velocity to compensate for its no-bullet-drop trait.

AMR-66

Warden

Eidolon VE33

-30 m/s velocity, no bullet drop

Pros:

  • Low unlock cost of 325 certs.
  • More or less usable at any range.
  • Good hip fire accuracy for a semi auto precision weapon.
  • Can be an effective counter-sniping weapon, as it kills non-NAC Infiltrators with 2 headshots at all ranges.
  • Has access to underbarrel Grenade Launcher and Smoke Launcher without much of an opportunity cost, as other rail attachments don’t do much for Battle Rifles.

Cons:

  • Ineffective in direct combat, especially against automatic weapons at close range.
  • Takes a lot of shots to kill.

Bullets-to-Kill

Battle Rifle Damage
Click to enlarge

Within maximum damage range (15m stock):

  • Consistent 2 headshot kill
  • 4 body shot kill, 5 shot vs nanoweave

Outside maximum damage range:

  • 3 headshot kill
  • 5 body shot kill, 6 shot vs full nanoweave

Attachments

Exact effects of each attachment can be found in this Weapon Attachment Guide.

1st Gen Battle Rifles have a diverse attachment selection. In addition to all barrel attachments, and standard choice of rail attachments Laser SightForward GripDarklight Flashlight, Battle Rifles can mount Underbarrel Smoke Launcher and Underbarrel Grenade Launcher, and choose from scopes of 1x through 6x, including HS/NV scope.

High Velocity Ammo is available, but it has nearly no effect on Battle Rifles due to their damage model. 

Example Attachment Combinations

Recommended

  • Flash Suppressor
  • Underbarrel Grenade Launcher
  • 2x Scope or up to preference
  • No HVA.

This setup is the most versatile, and remains effective at almost any range. It’s especially great on Infiltrators, who can take advantage of their cloaking ability, and easily chain multiple engagements at range. For non-HAs, UBGL provides some situational utility, especially against vehicles.

Long Range

  • High Velocity Ammunition
  • Compensator* or Flash Suppressor
  • Forward Grip – mostly taken to reduce recoil angle
  • 3.4x – 4x scope
    • 6x would limit your ability to defend yourself at close-medium range.

This setup improves Battle Rifle’s ability to maintain accuracy at long range, but makes it harder to effectively use them in CQC.

This setup is recommended for players that want to develop the skill of instantly ADSing for headshots in any situation. Also great for open field fights, basically turning Battle Rifle into poor man’s Sniper Rifle.

* – Compensator has next to no effect on your tap firing speed. Only take Compensator if you intend to spam shots while pushing through recoil, which has arguable effectiveness due to CoF Bloom. 

“Wrelsatility 2014”

  • High Velocity Ammunition
  • Flash Suppressor
  • Laser Sight
  • Scope of choice

This setup was Wrel’s personal favorite some time ago. Reasoning: while Battle Rifles benefit from Forward Grip and Compensator, they are far from necessary, especially at ranges where you can actually spam the weapon. 

Battle Rifles have a decent hip fire by default, and if you use it with Laser Sight, and avoid Compensator, you’ll have almost as good hip fire as a stock carbine, which is rather impressive for a 250 damage per shot weapon. 

Flash Suppressor provides concealment, especially at night. Granted, not as good as suppressor would, but Suppressor has a strong negative effect on velocity, which makes BR much harder to use at range.

This setup is recommended for players that tend to run a lot by themselves, and enjoy having an option to hip fire.

Smoke Launcher

The core idea behind this loadout is straightforward: cover enemies with smoke, and use HS/NV scope to kill them through smoke while concealing your muzzle flash and making yourself harder to notice.

The major problem with this loadout is that it completely relies on smoke, which is rather underpowered at this moment, you can read more about that here.

HS/NV scope only highlights enemies within ~80m, which essentially cuts Battle Rifle’s effective range in half. 

Gameplay Tips

With a Battle Rifle, you generally want to stay with your team and be right behind the front line. 500-450 headshots at 333 rpm are insane if you can manage the vertical recoil, but never try to fight the enemy when you’re under fire. 

Be very careful and maintain awareness of your surroundings. If the enemy gets the jump on you, more often than not, it will be a loss for you.

Be ready to ADS if you suspect enemies are near, because you need to fire first. Ideally, you want to always open with a headshot.

Flanking is generally a good idea if you can get behind enemy lines safely; 2-5 shots to kill means you’re more likely to die rather than run out of ammo.

You never want to force close quarters fights, but you can still win them with headshots. 

Due to Battle Rifle’s high damage / low rate of fire profile, shielded Heavy Assaults are your worst enemy.

Choose your engagements and positioning around the scope you have. 2x means you can stay near the frontline, whereas 3.4x-4x means you want to stay a bit behind it. It also makes it easier to pick off snipers, but sacrifices your CQC ability.

Battle Rifles are decent mid/long range anti-MAX weapons, as you can strip ~half their health in one mag. You won’t kill many full-strength MAXes, but you’ll certainly make them run for cover, even at rather long ranges (150-200m). If you see a MAX trying to run away from a fight, try your best to shoot him. Often they’re hurt enough that only 3-4 shots will kill them.

-Erendil

Second Generation Battle Rifles

These Battle Rifles have unique models created by the famous D0ku. All of them feature pinpoint accuracy while moving, and high damage per shot without any damage degradation whatsoever. That makes them deadly at any range, though low Rate of Fire and low Damage per Second mean that they require good accuracy from the user, especially in direct combat, and fairly mediocre projectile velocity makes them slightly harder to use at extreme ranges.

Second Gen Battle Rifles are overall similar between factions, but there are some meaningful differences and interesting empire-specific attachments.

MG-HBR1 Dragoon

DAMAGE 334
RATE OF FIRE 185 RPM
VELOCITY 550 m/s
AMMO 8 / 96
RELOAD TIME 2 sec / 3.1 sec
UNLOCK COST 1000Certification Pointsor 699 Daybreak Cash

Auto

Dragoon is the only automatic Battle Rifle, though it still has the same Rate of Fire as other Second Generation Battle Rifles. Considering that it fires ~3 shots per second, being fully automatic doesn’t really do anything for this weapon.

Due to high Hip CoF Bloom, Dragoon is not well suited for hip firing, even at close ranges and even with Laser Sight

In addition to classic Flash Suppressor, Dragoon has access to a unique Single-Fire Barrel attachment, which reduces Vertical Recoil by 20% to 0.64 and makes the weapon semi-automatic, putting it more or less on par with other 2nd gen Battle Rifles in terms of recoil management.

In automatic mode, Dragoon’s crosshair lingers in the air for a long time, which can potentially make it slightly easier to correct aim while engaging moving targets. However, the delay before Recoil Recovery starts isn’t that big, and the only thing it really does is make Dragoon worse at tap firing.

In semi-auto mode, the crosshair fully recenters between shots, removing the requirement to compensate for recoil to keep the crosshair on target.

Heavy Magazine is a unique Ammo Slot attachment that increases magazine size by 2 rounds at the cost of increasing Hip Fire CoFs by 20%. This penalty can be compensated by using Laser Sight, not that you should do something like that. Dragoon already has fairly poor Hip Fire accuracy, so Heavy Magazine should be your go-to attachment.

Impact Ammunition

Explosive Ammunition is a unique Ammo attachment that reduces Dragoon’s Direct Damage from 334 to 250 (minus 84) and adds up to 75 Indirect Damage within 1.5m, so it will deal up to 325 damage per shot. 

Indirect Damage: 75 @ 1.5m – 25 @ ~3m, Damage Resist Type 6

Explosive Ammo Max Range

The difference appears to be small, but it’s actually enough to make full health enemies require an extra shot to kill, which is a big deal for such a slow-firing weapon.

A full health enemy will take 2-3 magazines worth of ammo to kill with just the splash damage, so its power isn’t exactly mindblowing, but there is some legitimate utility in being able to damage an enemy who’s out of your direct line of sight. 

Splash damage to allies is reduced by 75%.

Attachment Recommendations

  • The “killing” build uses Single Fire Barrel and Heavy Magazine to bring the Dragoon closer to other 2nd gen Battle Rifles.
  • The “support” build uses Flash Suppressor and Explosive Ammo to harass enemies behind cover, while still being able to deal heavy damage with direct hits.
  • You can, of course, use Flash Suppressor with Heavy Magazine, if you feel the recoil in automatic mode is not a hindrance.
  • Forward Grip is recommended for builds that use automatic firemode. It doesn’t do much, but it’s better than other rail attachments.
  • Single Fire build doesn’t care about recoil, so you may as well run a Laser Sight, though you shouldn’t be hip firing often with this weapon.

MGR-M1 Bishop

DAMAGE 334
RATE OF FIRE 185 RPM
VELOCITY 550 m/s
AMMO 10 / 100
RELOAD TIME 2.2 sec / 3.25 sec
UNLOCK COST 1000Certification Pointsor 699 Daybreak Cash

Semi-Auto

Bishop has less recoil than other 2nd gen Battle Rifles, and its bullets will pierce through one enemy, meaning it can damage up to 2 enemies with one shot. 

Weighted Receiver

In addition to classic Flash Suppressor, Bishop has access to a unique Tungsten Liner attachment, which slightly increases damage at close range at the cost of increasing Vertical Recoil by 200% and Horizontal Recoil by 0.05.

Damage: 350 @ 10m – 334 @ 20m.

Comfort Grip is a unique variant of the Forward Grip that reduces Equip Time by 30%, reduces Horizontal Recoil and its Tolerance by 20%, but reduces Hip Fire accuracy by 30%.

It’s hard to justify using the Comfort Grip. With it, it takes 0.95 seconds to switch to Bishop from another inventory item, which is still a respectable amount of time, and it’s not like you will be switching to a long range Battle Rifle in panic situations. Horizontal Recoil improvements don’t really do anything for the Bishop. Bishop’s Hip Fire Accuracy is already bad, and I guess you don’t care much about making it worse, but it seems like a hefty penalty for a highly contextual benefit. It’s not recommended to use the Comfort Grip if you have any intention of hip firing the Bishop ever.

Sabot Ammunition is the unique Ammo attachment that gives Bishop’s rounds the ability to pierce an unlimited number of targets instead of just 1, but reduces effective Rate of Fire by 10%. This is a rather concrete penalty for a situational benefit. In actual gameplay, it’s hard to find specific situations to benefit from piercing even one target. Consider situationally equipping Sabot Ammo in especially large fights, full of crowded choke points.

VE-LR Obelisk

DAMAGE 334
RATE OF FIRE 185 RPM
VELOCITY 550 m/s
AMMO* 6/ ∞
RELOAD* 3 sec*
UNLOCK COST 1000Certification Pointsor 699 Daybreak Cash

* – uses Heat Mechanic.

Semi-Auto

Obelisk is overall similar to other 2nd Gen Battle Rifles, but instead of traditional ammunition it uses a Heat Mechanic. It also benefits from lack of bullet drop at no cost to Projectile Velocity, as well as slightly better Hip Fire accuracy.

Heat Mechanic

Firing the Obelisk accumulates Heat, at a rate of 1000 per shot. If you don’t take another shot right away, then in 0.4 seconds since your last shot, the weapon will start cooling down, at Heat Recovery Rate

Reloading the Heat Core can be done manually at any time, and it will take 3 seconds. A reload is triggered automatically if you overheat the weapon by accumulating more than 5999 Heat. It’s always faster to let the weapon cool down naturally, and reloading manually is always a mistake and should be avoided.

If you swap to another inventory item, Obelisk will passively cool down in your inventory, unless it is overheated, in which case you will still have to reload the Heat Core.

Firing the weapon accumulates Heat. When you stop firing, after Heat Recovery Delay, the weapon will start cooling down, at Heat Recovery Rate. If you overheat the weapon, instead of Heat Recovery Delay, you will suffer the Overheat Penalty.

Attachments

Enhanced Plasma Containment is just a Flash Suppressor under a different name.

Vented Power Core

Safety Override is a unique rail attachment that improves Obelisks’s Hip Fire Accuracy by 25%, like a Laser Sight. When Hip Fired, it also makes the weapon fully automatic, doubles Rate of Fire, but halves the damage and Heat per Shot. 

Hip Fire Damage: 167 @ 368 RPM (still 1024 DPS)
Hip Fire CoFs: 1.88 / 2.25 / 2.25 / 2.63

Obelisk has better Hip Fire accuracy than other 2nd Gen Battle Rifles by default, and Safety Override improves it to almost usable levels. It’s still not a very good idea to hip fire it outside of very close ranges, since you can fire only 12 shots before overheating, and DPS is very low.

Manual Calibration is a unique rail attachment that’s supposed to increases the amount of consecutive shots you can take without overheating by 4, and reduce Heat Recovery Rate by 25%. However, the attachment appears to be bugged, and it actually gives you 5 more shots, and halves the Heat Recovery Rate. I wouldn’t recommend using it in its current form.

Directive Reward Battle Rifles

The only way to get one of these rifles is to complete the Scout Rifles Directive.

These prestige copies of First Generation Battle Rifles have a cosmetic auraxium shader and a predetermined set of attachments: Forward Grip, Compensator and HVA. These attachments have slightly different effects:

  • HVA has no penalty to Minimum Damage Range and its bonus to velocity varies between factions. 
  • Forward Grip has no effect on Recoil Angle

Directive rifles themselves have a bit of faction flavor as well:

  • TR rifle gets larger magazine.
  • VS rifle gets faster reload, but slightly more Vertical Recoil.
  • NC rifle gets higher velocity.

Despite all of that, directive Battle Rifles still play very similar to their base versions. 

DMR-99

DMR-99
DAMAGE 250 @ 15m – 225 @ 95m
RATE OF FIRE 333 RPM
324 RPM when Tap Firing
VELOCITY 650 m/s
AMMO 22 / 132
RELOAD TIME 2.5 sec / 3.4 sec

GD Guardian

GD_Guardian
DAMAGE 250 @ 15m – 225 @ 95m
RATE OF FIRE 333 RPM
324 RPM when Tap Firing
VELOCITY 680 m/s
AMMO 20 / 120
RELOAD TIME 2.5 sec / 3.4 sec

Revenant

Revenant
DAMAGE 250 @ 15m – 225 @ 95m
RATE OF FIRE 333 RPM
316 RPM when Tap Firing
VELOCITY 620 m/s
AMMO 20 / 120
RELOAD TIME 2 sec / 2.9 sec

Credit

Thanks to /u/Davregis for his original Battle Rifle Guide that was used as a basis for this article, however since then it received so many edits that nearly none of the original content remains.

3 thoughts on “Battle Rifles

  1. Contrary to your opinion, I believe the Sabot Ammunition is one of the best ammo attachments in the game, due to the unique nature of the Bishop-not only because of the ability to penetrate many enemies is very handy in crowded fights (such as NC arsenal), but because that 10% decrease in fire rate allows the gun to reliably chain headshots. This is similar to the commissioner or Blackhand where you can “chain headshots” reliably as long as you know where you are shooting. For example, on the 99SV one must have trigger discipline to chain headshots, due to the high ROF and how if you shoot one bullet, you must “wait” for the recoil to settle to ensure the 2nd one hits the same target. The Sabot ammunition eliminates this problem for the bishop- making the bishop a very good gun for even the most mediocre shooters. At the very least, the Sabot ammunition is a good learning tool to teach Bishop users patience, and if you do not find it necessary you can always remove it.

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