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Highly Technical Weapon Comparison: 143 @ 698 LMGs

At the moment there are four similar LMGs that share the 143 @ 698 damage model. Namely, those are:

T9 CARV-S – the TR’s “adaptable” LMG, which has a large selection of attachments. Never was popular.

SVA-88 – the faded star of the VS arsenal, which used to offer 75% ADS speed, same as Orion, but with better controllability. The weapon has been rebalanced since then, and fell behind the Pulsar LSW in terms of viability. 

Pulsar LSW – can be treated as a slightly more CQC-oriented version of SVA-88 with a different recoil pattern and attachment selection.

MGR-L1 Promise – a newly released NC LMG with an exquisite and unique model, artfully crafted by /u/d0ku. The general theme of the weapon is ease of use and controllability over time, with some stats and mechanics intended to make sustained fire less punishing.

Let’s take a closer look and figure out if any of these weapons are worth using, and what circumstances would benefit them the most.

Stats

Damage Output

All of these LMGs share the damage model of 143 @ 10m – 112 @ 65m, which puts them in a weird place.

At range, they deal carbine-tier damage, and cannot really compete with weapons that deal more damage per shot, even if they’re not specialized towards ranged combat. It feels that you cannot kill an enemy 50m away without filing a notice two weeks in advance.

On the other hand, strictly average DPS makes them inferior in close quarters combat. 

Historically, weapons like that are shunned by players, and for a good reason. You would think that being average would make them versatile, and give them passable performance in every situation, but in reality it rather makes them mediocre

SPA and HVA are available to some of these LMGs, and they’ll have an impact on their performance:

Click to enlarge
  CARV-S Pulsar LSW SVA-88 Promise
SPA YES NO NO NO
HVA YES NO YES NO

Notes:

  • At best, SPA provides a 2% DPS boost or a 0.086 second TTK reduction at 15m.
  • At best, HVA provides a 7% DPS boost at 65m, or a 0.086 second TTK reduction between 42m and 52m.
  • In terms of damage per bullet, HVA overtakes SPA at 30m.

Bullets-to-Kill and Time-to-Kill

Standard Infantry

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds Target
Stock SPA HVA
4 0 – 41 0 – 44 0 – 52 0.258 Headshots
5 42+ 45+ 53+ 0.344
7 0 – 10 0 – 15 0 – 8 0.516 Standard Infantry
8 11 – 41 16 – 44 9 – 52 0.602
9 42+ 45+  53+ 0.688
9 0 – 17 0 – 21 0 – 17 0.688 Nanoweave
10 18 – 41 22 – 44 18 – 52 0.774
11 42 – 61 45 – 61 53 – 80 0.860
12 62+ 62+ 81+ 0.946

 Heavy Assault

For the sake of brevity, BTK and TTK are listed only for the first threshold.

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds Target
Stock SPA HVA
6 0 – 50 0 – 52 0 – 65 0.430 NMG / Adrenaline + Headshots
6 0 – 34 0 – 37 0 – 42 0.430 Resist Shield + Headshots
11 0 – 15 0 – 19 0 – 15 0.860 Resist Shield
13 0 – 17 0 – 21 0 – 17 1.03 NMG / Adrenaline + Nanoweave

Notes:

  • The only time SPA really makes a difference is the 7 -> 8 BTK Threshold in the 10m -> 15m range bracket. Otherwise, it’s merely a nice little boost.
  • Same as with SPA, the only time when HVA is at a real disadvantage is in the 7 -> 8 BTK Threshold, and even then only when compared to SPA. This disadvantage can be sidestepped by landing at least one headshot.
  • When talking about 100% headshots, there will be no BTK Threshold all the way up to ~40m. This is because 143 damage weapons kill an enemy with headshots with a good amount of overkill, and this is where they will differ from 167 damage weapons. 143 damage will take slightly longer to kill at close range, and slightly shorter beyond that range.
  • Ammo choice doesn’t play a meaningful role against shielded Heavy Assaults, especially if you land some headshots.
  • 6 headshots within maximum damage range deal 1430 damage, and an NMG HA has up to 1438 damage, so the only way it’ll take actually 6 headshots to kill them, is if they activate the overshield right when they’re being shot. Otherwise, NMG energy drain over time will eat those 8 energy, and 5 headshots will be enough. Thanks to /u/madoka_magica for pointing that out.

Both ammo attachments don’t make a big impact, especially for a moderately competent player, who goes for headshots at close ranges most of the time.

When both ammo attachments are available, pick depending on whether you want better performance within 30m or outside of that range. I’ll note that among skilled players CQC performance is generally deemed more important.

If only one attachment is available, you should use it, though it’ll be fairly low priority compared to other attachments.

Effective Range

Hip Fire Accuracy

  HIP CONES OF FIRE Bloom
T9 CARV-S 3.5 4 4 4.5 0.1
Pulsar LSW 3.25 3.75 3.75 4.25
SVA-88 3 3.5 3.5 4
Promise 3.25 3.75 3.75 4.25

All of these have a bad case LMG-tier Hip Fire accuracy, and won’t be able to hip fire effectively outside of few meters.

While the SVA has better Hip CoFs, it also has a nearly mandatory Compensator, which would bump up the Hip CoFs to be the largest of the four.

ADS Accuracy

  ADS CONES OF FIRE Bloom
T9 CARV-S 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.05
Pulsar LSW 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.04
SVA-88 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.04
Promise 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.35 0.05
Promise Max ADS CoF 1 3 1 1  

T9 CARV-S, Pulsar LSW and SVA-88 have standard ADS CoFs for LMGs, which are rather bad, though all four LMGs can get an accuracy advantage for being still for the first several shots.

Promise has slightly better starting ADS CoF, and this is almost as good as it gets for LMGs – TR’s MG-H1 Watchman is the only LMG to have a better ADS Standing Moving CoF. 

As a more unique feature, Promise has reduced Maximum ADS CoFs for most of the stances, meaning that its CoF will not Bloom past a certain point. The CoF of 1 degree more or less guarantees 100% accuracy on the center mass of an infantry-sized target ~25m away. 

This means that Promise is vastly more effective in magdumping at close ranges, or when you start engaging out of a jump or a fall, though you will still have to burst fire when going for headshots, which you’ll definitely need to do if you want to kill enemies in a reasonable amount of time.

ADS Cone of Fire Bloom

   T9 CARV and Promise Pulsar LSW and SVA-88
Bloom per Shot 0.05 0.04
Bloom per Point of Damage Done 3.5 * 10-4 2.8 * 10-4
Bloom per Second 0.582 0.465
Click to enlarge

Pulsar LSW and SVA-88 have reduced ADS CoF Bloom. However, Promise starts firing at lower CoF Bloom, so it’ll have better CoF for the first 5 shots, after which Pulsar LSW and SVA-88 will match and overtake it.

I’d consider this a point in favor of Promise, since at ranges where CoF matters you won’t be firing in overly long bursts anyway, and even with the CoF Bloom advantage, it’ll take 5 more shots for the lower bloom weapons to accumulate a 0.05 degrees of CoF advantage.

Recoil

  CARV-S Pulsar LSW SVA-88 Promise
Vertical Recoil 0.42 0.335 0.4 0.15 / 0.3
FSRM (FSR) 1.75x (0.735) 1.6x (0.536) 1.75x (0.7) 2x (0.3 / 0.6)
Recoil Angle 0 14 / 17 0 -5 / 5
Horizontal Recoil 0.2 / 0.212 0.2 0.2 0.1 / 0.3
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance 0.7 0.8 0.8 5
Recoil Recovery Delay 86 ms 86 ms 86 ms 0
Recoil Recovery Rate 12 13 12 18
Compensator Access YES NO YES NO

Promise has negative recoil scaling, meaning its maximum Vertical and Horizontal Recoil will reduce with each shot, until they become the same as minimum values. This happens at the following rates, per shot:

  • Vertical Recoil Increase: -0.05
  • Vertical Recoil Increase Crouched: -0.1
  • Horizontal Recoil Increase: -0.05

Recoil Analysis

  CARV-S Pulsar LSW SVA-88 Promise
Vertical Recoil per Second 5.25 4.13 5.00 2.18
-> With Compensator 4.45 N/A 4.26 N/A
Recoil Angle Average 0 15.5 0 0
Recoil Angle Variance 0 3 0 10
-> With Forward Grip 0 2.25 0 7.5
Average Horizontal Deviation 0.174 0.193 0.193 0.115
Maximum Horizontal Deviation 0.448 0.6 0.6 1.0
-> With Forward Grip 0.130
0.339
0.157
0.450
0.156
0.450
0.086
0.75
Tap Firing Speed, RPM 250 273 253 502
-> With FG and Comp. 262 276 265 517

Presented values are calculated for 10 round bursts, and account for FSRM and recoil scaling mechanics, assuming Standing stance and average recoil per shot.

Numbers in the table are pretty telling, so I’ll highlight only the biggest outliers.

Vertical Recoil

From the get-go, it’s obvious that Promise has by far the best Vertical Recoil per Second. In fact, it’s one of the lowest values for automatic weapons, and the lowest for all LMGs. The only ones that come even in close are NS-15M2 and T32 Bull, when they’re used with Compensator.

As mentioned, these numbers assume average values and take recoil scaling into account, but Promise will have excellent VRPS even if you get the worst possible values all the time. 

It’s worth noting that Promise requires only 2 shots to fully scale Vertical Recoil, if you fire them while crouching. It’s a neat feature to quickly stabilize the weapon from the get-go, though you shouldn’t go out of your way and crouch in every engagement. It’s mostly useful when you’re engaging a remote and exposed enemy from a safe position.

Horizontal Recoil

Promise Horizontal Recoil Demonstration

In terms of Horizontal Recoil, the classic trio is pretty close to each other, and not particularly good. CARV-S is slightly ahead of the VS LMGs, but Promise, once again, beats all three pretty soundly, and remains nearly twice as good.

Since Promise has unprecedented Tolerance size of 5 degrees, it can potentially have a huge amount of consecutive kicks in one direction, but this is unlikely to happen. The chance of 3 kicks in one direction is 12.5%, and 4 kicks is ~6%.

You’ll almost never see Promise slide along Horizontal plane for long. What’s more likely, Promise will shake around the middle, but every once in a while that middle will shift by one or two shots, and you will have to adjust your horizontal aim. 

Besides, just after 4 shots, Promise will have the lowest Horizontal Recoil per Shot among all automatic weapons, and you will barely notice Horizontal Recoil at all.

Picture to the left demonstrates a typical horizontal recoil pattern for Promise, though it doesn’t take recoil scaling into account, and values are not up to scale.

On the following two pictures, you can compare the Horizontal Deviation Probability Distributions for MGR-L1 Promise, T9 CARV-S and SVA-88. Pulsar LSW would have an identical pattern to SVA-88, so it’s not listed. All weapons are presented with a Forward Grip, and the results are averaged out between tenths of thousands of simulations.

On this graph you can see that Promise spends ~85% of the time within 0.1 degrees of the original crosshair position, and about 92% within 0.2 degrees, 95% within 0.3 degrees. This is basically showing how likely you are to have 4 kicks in the same direction in a row. Statistically, Promise can go further, but it’s highly unlikely. 

If you take a look at CARV-S and SVA-88 further below, you’ll that their recoil pattern is somewhat less consistent. 

For example, CARV-S spends about 52% of the time within 0.12 degrees, and about 82% within 0.3 degrees, which is already slightly worse than for Promise. 

You’ll notice that SVA-88 has about 10% chance of kicking all the way to 0.42 degrees. 

MGR-L1 Promise
T9 CARV-S and SVA-88

Recoil Angle

Pulsar LSW is the only LMG of the four to have a Recoil Angle. It has medium “strength” to the right, and overall doesn’t affect weapon handling in a meaningful way.

Promise is in a weird place. It has average Recoil Angle of zero, but 10 degrees of variance, so it’ll shake about a lot, but without bias to any particular direction. This will be especially noticeable and annoying during first few shots, while the recoil per shot is still comparatively large. Once recoil scaling fully kicks in, you won’t notice it much. 

Tap Firing Speed

Tap Firing Speed is measured in Rounds Per Minute, same as Rate of Fire, and it depends on weapon’s First Shot Recoil and Recoil Recovery statistics. 

Recoil Recovery Mechanics don’t really matter outside of tap firing or shortbursting, so Tap Firing Speed is the maximum RPM at which you can fire single shots, and still have the crosshair fully recenter between shots.

It’s a fairly useless statistic for normal gameplay, since usually you’ll fire more than 1-3 shots per burst, but it can be useful when dealing with tiny targets such as deployables, or when an exposed enemy is vastly outside of your effective range.

You’ll notice that Promise holds a huge advantage over other LMGs in terms of Tap Firing Speed, which is both due to lack of additional Recoil Recovery Delay, as well as best in class Recoil Recovery Rate.

Velocity

  Stock  SPA  HVA
T9 CARV-S 600 570 630
Pulsar LSW 620 589 N/A
SVA-88 630 N/A 661
Promise 550 N/A 687*

The classic trio is fairly close together, and has good projectile velocity, slightly above average for LMGs. SVA-88 is slightly ahead, especially with HVA, showing the weapon’s inclination towards ranged combat. 

Promise is noticeably behind, and its stock velocity is below average. There is a caveat – its SPRW Ammo attachment will increase velocity by 25%, making it best in class, at the cost of reducing magazine size from 100 rounds to 75.

Conclusion on Effective Range

All of these weapons don’t particularly shine outside of 50m, for various reasons.

  EXCUSES FOR BAD AIM
  Bad CoF Accuracy  Poor Recoil  Low Velocity Inferior Bullet Damage
T9 CARV-S BIG YES SMALL YES* NO SMALL YES*
Pulsar LSW YES NO NO BIG YES
SVA-88 YES NO* NO SMALL YES*
Promise SMALL YES LOL NO NO* BIG YES

* – requires attachment.

Due to just average DPS and LMG-tier hip fire accuracy, none of them particularly shine at closer ranges either. Their sweet spot seems to be the infamous “medium range” somewhere between 20m and 50m. 

The problem is that within that range bracket ANY LMG will serve perfectly fine, including those oriented towards CQC. In fact, this is why weapons like LA1 Anchor are so popular.

Sure, CQC LMGs will be clearly inferior in terms of effectiveness at range, but it’s not a big deal. The nature of ranged engagements is that you often can just walk away into cover from an unfavorable fight, especially thanks to Heavy Assault’s overshield.

And if you’re engaging in favorable conditions, having slightly longer TTK is not a big deal. Thanks to LMGs’ large mags, you can keep sending rounds down range until target is dead. At worst, you’ll miss out on a kill, but you won’t die to your weapon’s inaccuracy. 

Situations where you have to fight effectively or die, and don’t have an option to run, are much more common in CQC, hence why CQC performance is generally preferable. Additionally, as a HA you’re expected to aggressively push the frontline, and that’ll often mean engaging at close ranges.  If you want to be useful to your faction, you don’t really get an option to play around your effective range, and purposefully stay out of close quarters.

Open field battles usually aren’t required, but even if you get stuck in one, you’d probably want to equip a ranged LMG or a Battle Rifle. Or even switch to Infiltrator.

This is a general philosophical problem with any non-CQC LMGs, what I’d like to refer as “the LMG problem”. 

Utility Stats

Ammo Capacity

  Magazine Size With Ex. Mags Ammo Pool
T9 CARV-S 100 200 400
Pulsar LSW 75 150 300
SVA-88 75 N/A 300
Promise 100 150* 500

* – uses Smart Feeder ammo attachment, which increases Reload Time by 0.325 seconds.

Nothing especially noteworthy. VS LMGs lag behind in terms of capacity, while Promise has the largest Ammo Pool to make sustained fire less punishing, which is the general theme of the weapon.

Note that Promise has two Ammo Attachments that affect Magazine Size, but no effect on damage. 

Reload Speed

  Short Reload Long Reload
T9 CARV-S 4.64 sec 5.58 sec
Pulsar LSW 3.09 sec 3.90 sec
SVA-88 3.38 sec 4.70 sec
Promise 4.75 sec 5.78 sec
-> With Smart Feeder 5.08 sec 6.10 sec

Notes:

  • Pulsar LSW enjoys the fastest reload, which definitely makes it more convenient.
  • SVA-88 is not that far behind, but it has a much bigger Long Reload penalty.
  • Surprisingly, Promise has the longest Reload, especially with Smart Feeder attachment. Running SPRW Ammo and having to reload more often is likely to cause issues.
  • CARV-S has typically LMG-tier slow reload times.

Equip Time

  CARV-S Pulsar LSW SVA-88 Promise
Equip Time 1.1 sec 0.9 sec 0.9 sec 1.25 sec
-> With Forward Grip 1.2 sec 1.05 sec 1.05 sec 1.4 sec
Unequip Time 0.25 sec

CARV-S is about average for an LMG, while Pulsar LSW and SVA-88 are slightly below average. Having a short Equip Time is especially important for Heavy Assaults, who tend to switch to their Rocket Launchers and Med Kits a lot. And this is where Promise drops the ball. Even such a giant as Gauss SAW with a Forward Grip has Equip Time of 1.25 seconds. 

Long Equip Time of the Promise will definitely let you down in close quarters, and whenever you’re switching back and forth, you have to be ready to drop everything and equip your sidearm instead. 

Comparisons to Competition

Overall, none of these weapons look particularly appealing, and this is mostly the fault of their mediocre damage model; it lacks focus. Why would you ever use a 143 @ 698 weapon over 167+ damage LMGs, which are much more effective at the same medium range bracket and beyond? 

143 @ 698 LMGs do hold some advantages. For example, higher RoF makes a weapon more consistent, especially in close quarters. They’ll have slightly better recoil than CQC-oriented LMGs, and higher DPS than range-oriented LMGs, though that weapon class is another can of worms entirely.

None of this is really enough to compensate for inferior damage. Let’s go weapon-by-weapon and see what kind of competition they have to go against.

TR are left with TMG-50 as the only 167 damage option. I personally hate that it has 2 tiers of damage degradation and relatively poor recoil, especially the Tolerance. However, even TMG-50 will fare better than CARV-S at medium range and beyond, though there will be a significant reduction in effectiveness in close quarters, especially when comparing TMG-50 with HVA to CARV-S with SPA.

As another alternative, MSW-R has almost the same recoil as CARV-S. There are some noticeable disadvantages in ranged combat, such as smaller Magazine, lack of HVA and lower velocity. However, MSW-R comes with massively better performance at closer range, and makes a decent competitor overall. 

For VS, there is a similar situation for Pulsar LSW / SVA-88 and Orion VS54, which actually has slightly better Horizontal Recoil, though noticeably stronger Vertical Recoil and no Ammo attachment options, as well as smaller magazine battery.

Flare is generally frowned upon, but even it will be better at medium range than both of the 143 @ 698 LMGs.

For NC, you can take pretty much any 167+ damage LMG and it’ll be more effective at medium range, and depending on choice, better in CQC or at longer range. However, only the Promise has such low and smooth recoil, which is rather uncharacterestic for NC, and some people will certainly enjoy its controllability.

The recoil is non-existent. It’s almost a laser beam. It’s not a very strong laser beam, but a laser beam, which is good if you can aim.

– KosViik

If you’re looking for combat effectiveness, I’d say it’s better to learn to deal with recoil, though. Promise has a couple of other cool perks, such as limited Max ADS CoF and best in class Tap Firing speed, but those aren’t easily leveraged as advantages. 

Closing Thoughts

On overall spectrum of the effective range and effectiveness within that range, 143 @ 698 LMGs are between CQC LMGs and 167+ damage LMGs with ~matching DPS. The problem is that these waters are so muddy that there’s no reason to settle for this mediocre option.

Something like GD-22S will perform much better at range, and not particularly worse in CQC. And Anchor is basically a meme at this point, being one of the most versatile LMGs in the game. 

143 @ 698 LMGs seem to be in a bad place. They need to have their Minimum Damage Range extended at least to the levels of Assault Rifles, and their advantages over CQC LMGs in terms of recoil and controllability are not big enough. Hell, in some aspects they are even worse! 

Pretty much the only real advantage of 143 damage weapons at medium range is consistent BTK when engaging with headshots, and except for Promise, none of these guns are particularly good at it. 

As far as how 143 @ 698 LMGs relate to each other, I’d rank them as follows:

Promise > Pulsar LSW > SVA-88 > CARV-S

Overall, Promise is a unique case of a weapon. Its recoil pattern is one of a kind. Typically, LMGs have a ton of recoil, and while there are some exceptions, they usually come with below average DPS. I’d say Promise is a good weapon for newbies and casual players, and has even some role-play potential with its sustained fire feature.

There are some noticeable disadvantages, such as long Reload and Equip times. Promise also lacks attachments to boost the damage ranges, though as we’ve established, it’s not a big deal for this damage model. 

Promise also lacks an option to equip a Suppressor, not that it would be a good idea with this damage model.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Promise, and something I haven’t mentioned yet, is the inconsistency of its first few shots. First shots are often the most important, and can easily decide the outcome of a firefight, and between high Recoil Angle Variance and highly variable Recoil, there’s definitely some annoying shake.

It’s not so bad, though. Realistically, even if your get the worst possible Recoil values every time, Promise will still have less recoil than other 143 @ 698 LMGs. It’s just that it can be annoyingly inconsistent, albeit on a small scale, and it still goes against what a competitive player would look for in a weapon.

As a final thought, don’t be discouraged by my negative outlook on these weapons. In the end, they’re perfectly capable killers. It’s just the differences between PlanetSide 2 weapons are so minuscule, that every little detail gets blown out of proportion. Worse is worse, even if it’s just by a few percent. 

Highly Technical: NSX Tanto vs NS-11C

NSX Tanto is a recently released carbine in the Nanite Systems Exports weapon lineup. Its main feature is perfect accuracy of the first shot in any stance, and it also has a superfluous amount of spare ammo, but high Cone of Fire Bloom and strong Vertical Recoil create a high skill requirement, especially when considering its lowest in class damage output.

In some ways, NSX Tanto is similar to another NS carbine, NS-11C, which is more traditional and easier to use.

They both feature 75% ADS movement speed, good accuracy and low damage output. But there are noticeable differences between them as well. Let’s take a closer look at both weapons and figure out which one might suit you better.

Stats

NSX Tanto
NSX Tanto
NSX Tanto stats

NS-11C
NS-11C
NS-11C stats
NS-11C misc stats

Shared Stats
NSX Tanto and NS-11C shared stats

Damage

Damage over range
Click to enlarge

Maximum potential benefit of:

  • HVA: +7% damage at 60m
  • SPA: +3% damage at 15m

Both carbines deal exact same damage, and have access to both SPA and HVA. However, NS-11C fires 8.6% faster, and has more ammo per magazine by default.

NS-11C gets a small edge for potential raw damage output.

Bullets-to-Kill and Time-to-Kill

Headshots

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds
Stock SPA HVA NSX Tanto NS-11C
4 0 – 39 0 – 41 0 – 49 0.3 0.28
5 40+ 42+ 50+ 0.4 0.37

Standard Target

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds
Stock SPA HVA NSX Tanto NS-11C
7 0 – 10 0 – 15 0 – 8 0.6 0.55
8 11 – 39 1641 949 0.7 0.64
9 40+ 42+ 50+ 0.8 0.74

Nanoweave Armor 5

BTK Distance, meters Time to Kill, seconds
Stock SPA HVA NSX Tanto NS-11C
9 0 – 16 0 – 20 0 – 17 0.8 0.74
10 17 – 39 2141 1849 0.9 0.83
11 40 – 56 42 – 57 50 – 75 1.0 0.92
12 57+ 58+ 76+ 1.1 1.01

 

I don’t list BTK and TTK against Heavy Assaults for the sake of saving space. You can perform that analysis with the Toolbox yourself. 

Numbers above show the general trend: both weapons take a lot of time to kill, but before factoring accuracy and recoil, NS-11C takes slightly less time due to higher Rate of Fire.

Hip Fire Performance

Tanto vs NS-11C hip fire accuracy

NS-11C

NS-11C has the usual carbine-tier starting Hip Fire accuracy, and very low Cone of Fire Bloom, which means it can sustain hip fire without losing much accuracy. This can be especially noticeable while flying or jumping. 

NS-11C’s hip fire isn’t anything special, but still better than for most ARs and LMGs, and more than passable in a pinch, though low RoF and DPS limit your firepower versus hardened targets, especially if you’re not close enough to hip fire for headshots.

NS-11C takes the edge for ease of use when hip firing.

NSX Tanto

NSX Tanto offers perfect starting accuracy in any stance. It has high Hip CoF Bloom, but even then, it takes 7+ shots to exceed Hip CoF of NS-11C with Laser Sight, which isn’t even a standard attachment.

Tanto is potentially the most accurate hip fire weapon in the game. You can even countersnipe with it! But that potential isn’t easy to reach. You still have to contend with recoil and CoF Bloom.

NSX Tanto requires finesse. You can’t point it in general direction of the enemy and hope for RNG hits. You have to engage in bursts of 4-8 rounds, depending on distance and aiming point.

And because of the weapon’s low DPS, that aiming point better be the head, or you might find yourself outgunned.

Unlike with NS-11C, Tanto can realistically go for hip fire headshots at any distance, but naturally it will be challenging at 20m+.

In that regard, NSX Tanto can be interesting for people who played a lot of Counter-Strike, and used to hip firing and short bursting.

Additionally, you can tap hip fire the Tanto, and let Cone of Fire fully reset between shots. It would mean firing at 536 RPM or ~9 rounds per second. 

Tanto’s hip fire is best suited for a high-aim player with low mouse sensitivity, large monitor, excellent PC performance and Vertical Field of View below maximum. All of it would increase the relative size of the target on your screen, and make it easier to get good hip fire hits from greater ranges, at the cost of reduced awareness and twitch aim effectiveness.

NSX Tanto gets the ultimate edge for high potential accuracy of hip fire.

Both

It’s worth noting that both weapons have low DPS and are not suited for CQC domination. Unless you can reliably hit headshots or engage with a complete surprise advantage, it is better to avoid hip firing, and keep your distance, especially with NSX Tanto’s super low DPS.

Ranged Performance

NSX Tanto and NS-11C have different Recoil and Cone of Fire characteristics, and can be easier or harder to use depending on player and situation.

However, both carbines are likely to be inferior at range to 167 damage carbines, such as Razor, Pulsar C and Cougar, and don’t stand a chance against the magnificent cannon of destruction – AC-X11.

ADS Accuracy

NSX Tanto vs NS-11C ADS accuracy
Click to enlarge

Again, NSX Tanto’s big selling point is that its first shot is perfectly accurate, even on the move. While its ADS CoF Bloom is higher than average (0.06 vs 0.05), it still takes 10 (!) shots before NS-11C becomes more accurate, even when fired from a completely still position.

On that note – it is beneficial to start the engagement with NS-11C while stationary, if you’re engaging an unaware enemy at range from a safe position. But you don’t have to be still throughout whole engagement, you can start moving after you fire 5 shots and receive no accuracy penalty – that’s just how CoF Mechanics work.

In that case, NS-11C will be almost as accurate as NSX Tanto, the worse starting CoF isn’t likely to play any role, unless we’re talking about extreme ranges of 150m+.

NSX Tanto gets the edge for ADS Accuracy.

Recoil

NSX Tanto vs NS-11C recoil pattern - 15 shots fired
Click to enlarge

NS-11C

  Stock With Attachment  
Vertical Recoil, per sec 2.39 2.03 Compensator
First Shot Multiplier (Recoil) 3x (0.66) 0.56
Average Horizontal Deviation 0.165 0.123 Forward Grip
Maximum Horizontal Deviation 0.4 0.3
Average Recoil Angle -18.5 -13.9
Recoil Angle Variance 3 2.25
Recoil Recovery True Delay 0.184
Recoil Recovery Time per shot 0.0165 0.0133 Both
Recoil settle after first shot 0.233 0.224

 

As far as conventional 143 damage carbines go, NS-11C’s accuracy and velocity are above average. The only carbine that has it better is T5 AMC, mostly thanks to access to Advanced Forward Grip.

NS-11C has the lowest vertical recoil among carbines, which makes it very easy to hold on target. High First Shot Recoil is a bit obnoxious when you’re trying to engage a small target in short bursts. 

Overall, NS-11C isn’t something you would want for extreme range shooting or “sniping”, but it’s more than capable at range, and respectable for a carbine.

NS-11C gets a slight edge for ease of use at range.

NSX Tanto

  Stock With Attachment  
Vertical Recoil, per sec 4
First Shot Multiplier (Recoil) 1.4x (0.56)
Average Horizontal Deviation 0.115 0.086 Forward Grip
Maximum Horizontal Deviation 0.28 0.21
Average Recoil Angle 6 4.5
Recoil Angle Variance 2 1.5
Recoil Recovery True Delay 0.180
Recoil Recovery Time per shot 0.0235 0.023 Forward Grip
Recoil settle after first shot 0.213 0.212

 

The first obvious thing is high Vertical Recoil, and lack of Compensator to tone it down. Unlike NS-11C, you will have to consciously compensate for Vertical Recoil every time you engage with Tanto, and getting good hits at range may be challenging. The combination of low RoF and High Vertical Recoil is the opposite of convenient.

Lower FSRM makes short bursting a bit more convenient. Even though actual first shot recoil is the same as for NS-11C with Compensator, at least recoil is more consistent from shot to shot.

NSX Tanto has lower Horizontal Recoil, with 30% lower Average and Maximum Horizontal Deviations. It also has less pronounced Recoil Angle, and with less Variance.

All of this goes a long way of making Tanto’s recoil pattern more consistent and predictable, even if takes more effort to compensate for.

If you tap fire and let the crosshair fully settle between shots, you can take up to ~5 shots in 1 second, and each shot will have perfect accuracy. Potentially, you can kill a stationary player with 5 headshots within 0.85 seconds. Most players will not stand and get shot for that long, but you can potentially “snipe” an oblivious sniper or an engineer behind a turret. 

You can also snipe deployables with it.

NSX Tanto gets the edge for potential accuracy at range. You can see where this is going.

Other Traits

Equip Time

Carbines in general have the shortest Equip Time among primary weapons, and NSX Tanto has the shortest Equip Time among carbines. Returning to NSX Tanto from most sidearms or tools is going to take only 0.75 seconds. 

Combine that with perfect hip fire accuracy and you get the best quickdraw primary weapon. This can be especially important for Engineers, when they get caught with a Repair Tool out, or if you’re playing with Med Kit Primary.

That said, NS-11C is only a 0.05 seconds behind.

Ammo Pool

For some reason, NSX Tanto has a huge amount of reserve ammunition. A lot of the time that doesn’t matter, but it can occasionally make a crucial difference for a perching Light Assault, and NSX Tanto certainly benefits a rooftop camping playstyle.

NSX Tanto gets the edge for ammo pool.

Reload Speed

While NSX Tanto has pretty decent reload speed, it’s still 0,45 second slower than for NS-11C, which reloads faster than average.

NS-11C gets a slight edge for reload speed.

0.75x ADS Movement Speed Multiplier

Both carbines allow you to move 50% faster while Aiming Down Sights than with most other primary weapons. It’s a great trait for dancing in and out of cover, slicing corners and dodging enemy fire in a faceoff. 

It can allow you to survive just enough time to get your aim where it needs to be and get those hits.

This trait is especially obnoxious in case of NSX Tanto, which is still pinpoint accurate on the move.

Cross-faction tracers and sound

Both carbines share this quality, and it can add precious milliseconds before enemies identify you as a threat. This is especially important considering how many shots you need just to down one target, and how long it takes to fire them all.

For psychological reasons, this trait is most useful for VS players, as most of their weapons go “pew-pew”.

Which one to use?

As you probably have picked up along this article, NSX Tanto has higher potential than NS-11C, but is harder to use. It can be treated as a more extremely tuned version of NS-11C, the next logical evolutionary step. 

  • If you already enjoy the playstyle of NS-11C, but wish you had more control – you’ll like what NSX Tanto has to offer.
  • If you are just thinking about entering the realm of accurate, mobile carbines that reward good aim – it’s better to start with NS-11C and transition to NSX Tanto once you feel comfortable with the playstyle.
  • If you value versatility and no-nonsense ease of use, and enjoy airborne combat – you’ll have better success with NS-11C.
  • If you prefer a run & gun and in-your-face aggressive playstyle – you won’t like either of these weapons. 

Gameplay Tips

Both carbines specialize at “medium range” of about 20m to 50m. They can engage outside these bounds, but it’s not really their forte. Keep your distance when you can, and don’t try to snipe with them, and you should be fine.

Light Assaults really benefit from their sustained accuracy, which makes them great weapons for perching and general rooftop shenanigans. Just do your best to resist the temptation of jumping down in the midst of enemies.

If you are assaulting a building, either try to stay away the furthest from enemies, engage them in their backs, or stay behind your allies. 

When engaging an enemy in a 1v1 shootout, make full use of 75% ADS speed multiplier, and strafe erratically. If there is a piece of cover around – even better. Try to play the cover and catch the enemy sprinting or distracted. If you get under fire the moment you show your nose – just go back and wait for a more opportune moment. 

Both carbines require a lot of hits to down a target, and sure take their sweet time firing them. This means that after 1-2 engagement attempts, enemies around will likely know your exact position. Try not to stay in one place for too long, and engage from different angles when possible. 

Go for headshots when you can, but for both carbines there is a certain distance where they just can’t get them easily and reliably.

While theoretically NSX Tanto can shortburst or tapfire for headshots at any distance, it’s likely to take a disproportionate amount of time, giving an aware target an opportunity to hide in cover, and for other enemies to shoot you. 

In those cases, it’s perfectly fine to for bodyshots. Both carbines have great sustained ADS accuracy, and you’re very likely to eventually kill the enemy, unless he hides into cover or you get sniped first.

Attachments

NS Carbines' Attachments

Both carbines have access to mostly same attachments.

Barrel

Lack of Compensator for NSX Tanto is hurtful, but high Vertical Recoil seems to be the intended downside. And if Tanto had access to Compensator, it would be considered mandatory, pushing out other Barrel Attachments as viable options, and Compensator’s penalties would affect the intended feature – perfect starting hip fire accuracy.

While NS-11C has access to Compensator, and a lot of successful players enjoy using it with one, it’s far from being mandatory. NS-11C has the lowest Vertical Recoil and Vertical Recoil per Second among all carbines, and its performance at range is mostly limited by Horizontal Recoil and low damage. 

Both weapons can be used with Suppressor. HVA can even compensate for some of its penalties. However, with a Suppressor, you risk turning your pea shooters into even weaker pea shooters that are harder to get hits with. It would also limit your maximum effective range. It’s not really optimal, but passable if you’re going for ultra stealthy black ops setup. 

My personal recommendation is to use Flash Suppressor on both weapons. It will make your position harder to pinpoint, and make even harder for enemies to identify you as a threat while you’re shooting them. 

Rail

Forward Grip is recommended for NS-11C. The random nature of Horizontal Recoil limits your effective range in annoying and unpredictable way. 

While you could go the direction of “compensating weapon’s weaknesses” and equipping a Laser Sight, you wouldn’t get much use of it. When possible, you should simply stay away from close quarters altogether. When not – you still get the benefit of 75% ADS, and still the drawback of low DPS. 

With same reasoning, I recommend Forward Grip for NSX Tanto. It already has predictable and consistent recoil pattern, with one of the lowest Horizontal Recoils out there. 

You could say “if my Horizontal Recoil is already so great, I’ll just use Extended Mags” – and it would be more or less fine for medium range.  But in my experience, usually you cannot afford to stay exposed for so long to fire a whole magazine. 

You already take a long time killing one enemy, you’re likely to get noticed and shot, and you’ll need to go to cover and change position. Might as well reload along the way. 

And if 30 rounds isn’t enough for the user to kill even one target, they should work on their aim or engagement choices, not on attachment picks.

NSX Tanto is already very accurate based on Cone of Fire mechanics. It makes sense to tune the recoil up to par. Unlike NS-11C, NSX Tanto can really reach out. 

Ammo

While both High Velocity Ammo and Soft Point Ammo offer small, barely noticeable bonuses, they always seem to cause the most amount of argument. It comes down to what you value more, performance within 10-27m or after 27m. 

My personal recommendation is to go with HVA for both, as it can potentially offer higher damage increase, and increasing the velocity can’t hurt. 

Optics

As always, optics are up to personal preference. You can use any optic and do good with it.

But since both weapons require good accuracy, going with higher magnification is common and advised. 

For NS-11C, I recommend 2x Reflex. 

3.4x or 4x scopes are viable, but you may find them unnecessary, as less consistent Horizontal Recoil makes your crosshair shake too much.

Weirdly enough, optics choices for NSX Tanto are much more limited, it has access to only one 3.4x Reflex Scope, and no 4x Scopes.

If you are using NSX Tanto with HVA and Forward Grip, I would recommend the 3.4x Reflex. Since Tanto has much lower Horizontal Recoil, your effective range isn’t as limited as for NS-11C. You can also tap fire or “snipe” at greater ranges. And in close quarters, where high magnification would be a burden, you still get the excellent hip fire accuracy. Win-win!

Be prepared to deal with annoying Vertical Recoil, though. If you find it too much, it’s fine to use 2x Reflex or even 1x Reflex.

Additional Material