NSX Yumi is an assault rifle, available only to Combat Medic class. It fires in fast and accurate bursts of 5 rounds, but with a short delay before each burst.
Yumi is an excellent weapon for medium and long range combat, and it gives a huge advantage when firing first, more so than any other automatic weapon. But the burst delay makes the weapon a little bad in direct confrontation, especially if the enemy engages you first in close quarters.
Playing with Yumi is like playing with any slow and accurate ranged Assault Rifle – you will have to stick to cover, be ready to disengage if you get shot and avoid rushing head-first.
Using the Yumi is the hard way to teach a player to look for good engagements; the strict requirement on accuracy and firing delay will force the user to always aim down sights and aim properly before opening fire.
On the other hand, Yumi is a weapon that plays itself. Unlike other burst weapons, which are basically automatic weapons in disguise, Yumi doesn’t allow any Cone of Fire management, and barely requires recoil compensation.
Yumi is predominantly a medium+ range support weapon. If you ever wanted a designated marksman rifle for a medic – this is it.
Yumi was released in underpowered state, and was significantly buffed in Apr 27th, 2017 patch, and now that this weapon is actually viable, let’s take a deeper look.
Vertical Recoil: 0.28 -> 0.3 (?)
First Shot Recoil Multiplier: 0x
Recoil Angle: 5 / 5
Horizontal Recoil: 0.12 / 0.12
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance: 0.4 (up to 2 kicks)
Refire Time: 250 ms (for the purposes of recoil recovery delay) Recoil Recovery Delay: 50 ms
Recoil Recovery Rate: 16
After you press the trigger, there is a 0.25 second firing delay. Then it takes a 0.24 seconds to fire off a 5 round burst, with 60 ms refire time between shots. For comparison, AF-4 Cyclone has 92 ms refire time.
As with a semi-auto weapon, you can queue the next burst right after you start charging the current burst. Click-release-click-hold until the next burst starts charging. This technique is explained in detail here.
If you press the trigger without Aiming Down Sights, you will not be able to Aim Down Sights until the weapon finishes firing.
Similarly, if you press the trigger while ADSing, you will not be able to leave ADS, even if you jump. This can be inconvenient if you realize you need to break the engagement during a burst.
Rate of Fire during a burst: 1000 RPM
DPS during a burst: 2783 to 2083 depending on distance.
Overall DPS: 1516 to 1135
Overall Rate of Fire: ~545
Yumi fires off the burst at the highest rate of fire among all primary weapons, and therefore has the highest non-shotgun DPS. Burst delay significantly reduces overall rate of fire, reducing overall DPS to be on the level of a 167 @ 550 RPM weapon.
Bullets to Kill
0 – 10
11 – 55
0 – 29
30 – 63
With perfect accuracy and bodyshots, Yumi will require two bursts against a full health target. Heavy Assaults will require an extra burst at most. It is possible to one-burst a target if several shots hit the head.
Overall, assuming good, but not perfect accuracy, you should expect 2-3 burst kills against standard enemies, and 3-4 bursts against Heavy Assaults.
Finally, one burst + one quick knife swing will reliably kill standard infantry, though it’s not an easy combo to hit against an aware player.
Vertical Recoil during Burst, per sec
First Shot Multiplier (Recoil)
Average Horizontal Deviation
Maximum Horizontal Deviation
Recoil Recovery True Delay
Burst Recoil Recovery Time
Yumi is the only weapon to feature a zero First Shot Recoil Multiplier, meaning it has no vertical recoil for the first shot. The first shot is still subjected to Horizontal Recoil, though.
It is also possible that Yumi has a gradually increasing Vertical Recoil from 0.28 to 0.3 during the burst. It is hard to tell with certainty, because the API does not list any Recoil Increase values for the Yumi, only minimum and maximum Vertical Recoil.
In any case, the difference is not big, and Yumi has a comparatively low recoil per shot for its damage profile, though extremely high rate of fire still creates a noticeable vertical pull during the burst.
Vertical Recoil comes strong and sudden, and it takes a while to get used to; you have to be very precise with the timing of your mouse movements. You can’t start compensating recoil on reaction, because the burst will be over before you can react.
Yumi has very little horizontal recoil for its damage profile, and a negligible recoil angle to the right.
Recoil Recovery starts in 310 ms after the last shot, and finishes before the start of the next burst.
ADS CoFs: 0.03 / 0.15 / 0.03 / 0.15 / 0.05
Yumi has very small Cones of Fire in all stances, and reduced Cone of Fire Bloom. Most 167 damage weapons have CoF Bloom of 0.06.
It’s worth noting that Yumi doesn’t get any bonus accuracy for crouching.
Based purely on moving Cone of Fire and Bloom, Yumi should be able to land a whole burst on the head within 30m and on the body within 65m.
Standing still increases 100% headshot distance to 50m and bodyshot distance to about ~85m.
Of course, that is purely theoretical and ignores recoil and human factor.
Overall, it’s safe to say that Yumi features one of the longest effective ranges among Assault Rifles. And even ranged monsters like Reaper DMR cannot compete with Yumi’s moving accuracy and low Bloom.
Hip CoFs: 2 / 2.25 / 2.5 / 3 / 0.12
Yumi has standard hip fire accuracy for an assault rifle. It can be surprisingly effective in a pinch, but don’t expect any miracles, especially if you use Compensator.
Yumi has access to a variety of reflex scopes from 1x to 3.4x, and HS/NV scope. As always, the choice will depend only on your personal preference.
A low magnification scope makes it feel like the weapon has no recoil at all, and it allows a wider field of view, which can be crucial while you are busy tunnel visioning in one direction and firing off several bursts – Yumi has a long exposure time.
On the other hand, a higher magnification scope gives a clearer sight of the target, allowing for more deliberate accuracy. It can also help identify targets at longer ranges before you even open fire.
When in doubt – start with 2x Reflex, and see whether you need more or less magnification.
Yumi is a rare case of a ranged weapon where Forward Grip is not mandatory. Yumi already has very little horizontal recoil, and at ranges where you would benefit from the Forward Grip, Yumi already gets weaker due to Cone of Fire Bloom and damage degradation.
Yumi’s underbarrel attachments are similar to those of other weapons, but there a few differences:
Cost 200 certs instead of the usual 100.
Come with an extra spare grenade.
You cannot Aim Down Sights with them.
Yumi’s smoke launcher does not deal bonus headshot damage, therefore it cannot OHK infantry on a headshot.
We can expect other underbarrel attachments to be changed to this baseline in the future.
Underbarrel Grenade Launcher offers a great way to increase utility, versatility and firepower. It can damage vehicles, finish off players behind cover, and even OHK if you manage to get a direct hit. UBGL was never a bad attachment to have. It has just two problems: it is usually available on crappy weapons, or weapons that greatly benefit from Forward Grip.
Yumi doesn’t have any of those problems, so it is a prime candidate for using UBGL.
The goal behind this loadout is to give you the most versatility and combat options, without being overly specialized in any particular area.
NSX Yumi is way more versatile than it may seem on the first look. The burst mechanic spices things up a bit, but you quickly get used to it, and for most intents and purposes, you simply get the gun that shoots half the time, and charges up the other half.
Use the burst delay to your advantage, and take aim properly while the gun is charging up.
Yumi has surprisingly decent performance from the hip, but you should still invest in a powerful sidearm for close encounters, and get comfortable with it. If you get engaged while healing or reviving, the sidearm will be your go-to weapon, not the Yumi.
Being unable to fire single shots is definitely limiting, because you can’t tap-fire snipe engies behind turrets or deployables.
Yumi is excellent at range out of the box, without any performance-enhancing attachments, so it can be used with any attachment combination and still be viable.
The burst mechanic certainly gives advantage to firing first, but it’s not like you automatically lose if you get engaged on. Dodging enemy fire and hip firing, or ADSing and going for headshots are both viable ways of fighting back, depending on situation.
Don’t spend too much time firing at targets at super long range, you’re unlikely to kill them before they make it to cover, and every moment you spend outside cover increases the chances of getting sniped.
In extreme close quarters, consider switching to a sidearm, if you’re good with it. You can also “pre charge” a burst as you round the corner, though it requires good timing, and you have to already know where the enemy is.
Yumi is an interesting and worthy addition, both to NSX lineup and Assault Rifles in general. Not everyone will like it, but everyone can use it. Unlike most other NSX weapons, Yumi doesn’t have a steep skill requirement.
Give Yumi to a PS2 newbie with some FPS experience, and he will be able to participate in ranged combat, even though he knows nothing about CoF and recoil management.
Give Yumi to a hardened veteran with excellent accuracy, and most enemies will die before they realize they’re getting damaged.
Yumi is a welcome respite from super-niche weapons, though the delayed burst mechanic seems a little out of place on Medic, and would make more sense on Light Assault or Infiltrator, in my opinion.
If you’re thinking about purchasing the Yumi, it is strongly recommended you trial it, and use it in actual combat for the whole 30 minutes. There are a lot of people that seem to passionately hate it after using it less than for five minutes.
The whole premise of Yumi being a “garbage” weapon is based on a 0.25 second burst delay, which is not a big deal, unless you get shot as soon as the engagement starts. This just means Yumi user has to be a little more thoughtful about engagements he’s taking, nothing more.
Ignoring the burst delay, Yumi is basically an incredibly accurate 167 @ 550 AR with nearly no recoil and automatic CoF reset. I wouldn’t say that’s bad.
Adding Yumi into Weapon Simulator
If you want to add NSX Yumi into my Weapon Simulator, add this string to the end of the Stats.csv file, which you can open with Windows Notepad:
Rocket Launchers in PlanetSide 2 can be used by Heavy Assault class, and count as their tool. They deal high damage to Infantry and MAXes, and moderate damage to vehicles. There is a large variety of launchers; some of them deal increased damage, others can lock on ground vehicles or aircraft, or use laser guided or even TV-guided systems.
However, one thing must be made clear: rocket launchers are generally not effective in direct combat against vehicles. Most vehicles can one-shot an infantry player, but require multiple rocket launcher hits to take down.
Launchers deal mediocre damage to vehicles in most situations. Pairing them with another player or damage type works best. Finding these opportunities or working in teams will greatly enhance your effectiveness with whatever launcher you use.
Normally, a single Heavy Assault with a Rocket Launcher is only a nuisance. In order for him to represent any real threat, the vehicle must be already damaged, distracted or otherwise vulnerable, and the Heavy Assault himself requires cover and freedom of movement.
In-game stats often do not represent how rocket launchers actually function.
Listed Direct Damage can be used to predict damage to infantry and MAXes, but when applied to vehicles, it goes through a swirl of unknown modifiers. For example, NC15 Phoenix has 750 Direct Damage, yet it deals roughly the same damage to vehicles as 1335 Direct Damage Decimator.
You can check some of the shots-to-kill-vehicles values on PS2 Wiki (w) – click on launcher names. However, treat those numbers with extreme prejudice, as they can be outdated.
Listed Indirect Damage is a bit crazy. Most launchers have a hidden scaling – their Indirect Damage depends on distance the rocket has traveled before detonating. More on that below.
Listed Muzzle Velocity is misleading. It doesn’t tell the whole story for dedicated Dumbfire Launchers, and completely useless for most other launchers. More on both below.
I have performed a lot of datamining and testing to ensure the quality of mechanical information in this guide, but some things still remain unknown: how exactly Gravity works and how lock-on rocket speed is determined.
Direct and Indirect Damage
Most launchers deal two types of damage: Direct and Indirect (splash or blast damage). You can think of it as “piercing effect” and “explosive effect”.
Direct damage is applied only to the target the rocket hits directly. Indirect damage is applied on direct hits to infantry and MAXes, as well as to infantry and MAXes near the explosion.
Infantry receives 100% of direct damage and 100% of indirect damage, both reduced by Infantry Flak Armor.
MAXes receive 75% of direct damage and 50% of indirect damage, MAX Flak Armor reduces onlyindirect damage.
Headshots with rockets do not deal increased damage, but legs receive only 90% of damage. This affects indirect damage as well.
Armored Vehicles receive modified direct damage and no indirect damage.
Unarmored Vehicles, like Flash and – possibly – ESFs – take some indirect damage as well.
Modifiers to direct damage are unknown and depend on a vehicle and – for some vehicles – the direction it was shot from.
When comparing different rocket launchers by their damage, it is important to realize that you can compare only launchers that share the same Damage Resist Type, and only against the same target.
Example of “why not”: starting launcher has 1135 direct damage and deals almost enough damage to one shot a full health ESF. Faction specific ground-to-air lock-on launchers deal 1000 direct damage, and require 3 rockets to destroy an ESF.
Indirect Damage Hidden Distance Scaling
Rocket Launcher Indirect Damage scales with distance to the explosion – the closer you are to the explosion, the more damage you take. You can judge this by Indirect Damage values listed in game.
However, most rocket launchers have an additional, hidden scaling with Rocket Flight Distance – the longer the rocket was flying, the higher its Indirect Damage.
Most rocket launchers deal:
50% Indirect Damage within 10m
50% to 100% within 10m to 30m, scaling with distance
100% at 30m+
There are two exceptions:
Decimatorscales from 10m to 20m
NSX Masamune has no distance scaling, it always deals full Indirect Damage.
In other words, Rocket Launchers deal less Indirect Damage up close, and more Indirect Damage at range. If you want to splash damage a group of infantry, you want to be 20-30m away from them, depending on the launcher you’re using.
Indirect Damage is applied on direct hits to MAXes and Infantry, so if you want to deal more damage to a MAX, you also want to be further away.
Dumbfired rockets start flying at relatively low Starting Velocity, and then rapidly Accelerate to Maximum Velocity, listed in-game as “Muzzle Velocity”.
Starting Velocity and Acceleration are hidden in-game, and can only be accessed via Census API, and without these values you cannot evaluate rocket’s speed.
Rockets dumbfired from Lock-on Launchers do not accelerate, they always fly at the Starting Velocity.
While flying, rockets are affected by Gravity.
The slower the rocket is flying, the more time Gravity has to affect its trajectory, so faster rockets with more Gravity can sometimes have less projectile drop than slower rockets with less Gravity.
If a rocket doesn’t hit anything during its Lifespan, it will self-detonate.
Rocket’s trajectory will be more flat if you’re shooting downwards.
Formulas for Dumbfires
Validity of these formulas has been confirmed by in-game testing. To calculate rocket’s velocity at any given time (remember to respect maximum velocity and lifespan):
Velocity = Starting Velocity + Acceleration * Time
It is harder to calculate the amount of time, necessary to cover a certain distance. First, we have to calculate how long will a rocket take to accelerate to maximum velocity:
Now we know that the rocket will cover 75m while accelerating, and it would take 1.25 seconds to fly. The rest of the Lifespan the rocket will fly at a constant velocity, equal to maximum velocity for this launcher.
TimeX = Lifespan - 1.25 = 6.75 sec
Now we just have to find out what distance the rocket will cover during that time.
DistanceX = TimeX * Maximum Velocity
DistanceX = 6.75 * 85 = 573.75m
DistanceAll = 573.75 + 75 = 648.75
The answer: a rocket from a starting rocket launcher can cover ~650m during 8 seconds of its lifespan.
Unfortunately, we still don’t know how projectile drop is calculated. I’ve done some extensive testing, but haven’t found anything conclusive.
Some of the launchers have scopes, which they can use to lock-on to enemy vehicles. Rockets fired with a lock will automatically track the vehicle. Some of these launchers can dumbfire without a lock, but then the rocket will not accelerate.
To gain a lock, user must hold the enemy vehicle inside Lock-on Angle of the sights for several seconds – Lock-on Time depends on distance – distant targets take longer to lock.
You can hold “fire” key to fire as soon as the lock is established.
Only targets within Lock Range can be locked-on. Usually, it is 300m for ground vehicles and 450m for aircraft.
If the target goes outside Lock-on Angle for far too long (Lock-on Loss Delay), the lock will be lost.
However, during that time the lock is still fully functional, and you can take advantage of this by angling your rockets to make sure they don’t hit anything on the way to the target. There is a more extreme example here.
Vehicle Stealth defense slot can increase the lock-on time from 0.25 to 2 seconds, depending on vehicle and Vehicle Stealth rank. You can find specific numbers in in-game descriptions of Vehicle Stealth for specific vehicles.
After the target has been successfully locked, the user can fire-and-forget – the rocket will automatically track the vehicle without the need to maintain the lock. Some launchers can fire several rockets without reloading, and you will need to maintain the lock while firing.
The rocket will only pursue the target for Lock-on Lifespan amount of time, so theoretically the rockets can be outrun, but it is usually impossible outside of edge cases, like an ESF at maximum lock range, afterburning away.
The “agility” of a locked on rocket is determined by Lock-on Turn Angle. If the vehicle performs evasive maneuvers, the rocket may not be able to adjust trajectory in time, and can miss the vehicle.
If the angle between rocket’s flight direction and direction to the target becomes greater than Lock-on Lose Angle, the rocket will lose the lock. This means that the mechanic of dodging lock-ons is built into the rockets themselves.
It is currently unclear if locked on rockets are affected by Gravity.
Velocity of Locked-on Rockets is Unknown
It seems that actual lock-on rocket travel time has no connection with Velocity and Lock-on Acceleration values in the Census API. We can speculate that higher values are probably better, but that’s about it. For example:
These distance and travel time values from Tomcats are from in-game testing. According to Census API, Tomcats have:
Starting Velocity: 100 m/s
Maximum Velocity: 125 m/s – listed in game as “Muzzle Velocity”
Lock-on Acceleration: 6.67 m/s
However, as you can see from the testing, Tomcat rocket covers 470m during ~3.2 seconds, which means average velocity of ~146 m/s, which is already higher than supposedly “Maximum Velocity”. It also seems to travel at a constant velocity, despite the fact there is an “acceleration” statistic.
There is naturally some inaccuracy, but not on the scale of 0.5 seconds. I have ran into similar walls with G2G and G2A lock on launchers. I have spent literal days banging my head against this problem, and at this point we probably will need divine intervention help from developers to figure out how it works.
Listed Muzzle Velocity can not be used to judge locked on rocket speed.
Vehicle pilots receive a warning when you try to lock-on to their vehicle, and they can see whether the source of that lock is someone on the ground or another air vehicle.
When a rocket is tracking the vehicle, they get continuous warning and they can see flying rockets on the minimap as pulsing red dots.
Locking and firing a rocket launcher does not put the shooter on the minimap of the vehicle pilot. All shots within standard minimap detection range of 100m (for RLs) will still put the shooter on the minimap, of course.
Decoy Flares and IR Smoke
Air vehicles can use Decoy Flares utility to remove the lock and prevent locking for several seconds. Any lock-on rockets already in flight will automatically miss – veer off skywards and self-destruct.
Ground vehicles can use IR Smoke to the same effect, though it is much less popular.
There is a myth that jumping or falling greatly increases hip fire accuracy of dumbfired rockets. Busted.
Misc. Rocket Launcher Mechanics
Sprint Override: after firing a rocket, the player cannot sprint for a certain period of time. Depending on the launcher, this delay ranges from 0.3 to 0.75 seconds.
Terminal Resupply to Instantly Reload: you can double-tap the “use” key (default [E]) on a terminal to instantly reload all your weapons and restock on ammo. This can be a great way of boosting your combat rate of fire while using a launcher.
However, resupplying at a terminal mid-reload will result in your character doing a non-skippable reload animation after the resupply, so before resupplying make sure to switch to something that doesn’t need reloading.
Fire Detect Range of 100m: when fired, all launchers put their user on the minimap of enemies within 100m.
Iron Sight Time: all launchers take 0.35 seconds to ADS, and 0.15 seconds to return from ADS to hip firing.
ADS Movement Speed Multiplier: most rocket launchers have 0.5x multiplier, the only exception is NSX Masamune, which has 0.33x.
Reloading continues in a vehicle: if you enter a vehicle while reloading, the reload will continue and complete successfully while you are inside. This works the same for all weapons, but only after they spend all ammo in the mag.
Munitions Pouch Suit Slot can be used to allow the player to carry extra spare ammunition. One extra rocket / magazine / battery per rank, up to 4 ranks.
These launchers do not have any sort of laser guidance or heat seeking, but they deal the most damage per rocket.
The ability to instantly fire a high damaging rocket make them great against MAXes, hovering aircraft and other vehicles at close range.
According to my Angular Size research and confirmed by /u/Renuse’s experiences, a rocket dumbfired from the hip while standing moving is guaranteed to hit an infantry-sized target within ~6.5m, as long as you aim exactly at its center mass.
Dumbfire launchers can be used as one-shot “sniper rifle” against camping Infiltrators and Light Assaults, as it’s a guaranteed OHK if the rocket touches the player.
All dumbfire launchers share the same Damage Resist Type, so they can be compared directly.
Despite looking different, these launchers function exactly the same between factions.
Starting rocket launchers are your basic RPGs, they have great velocity and damage, but hitting mobile or distant targets can be challenging. Iron sights can be especially inconvenient when trying to compensate for drop.
The damage difference between dumbfire launchers and lock-on launchers is especially noticeable against aircraft. While dumbfire hits are much more challenging, they deal ~2.5x extra damage, and amount to a solid chunk of health for Liberators and Galaxies.
One rocket is almost enough to instantly destroy a full health ESF – it will burn down and explode in just a few seconds, if the pilot doesn’t use Fire Suppression. If the ESF survived a rocket hit, there is a tactic to finish it off with another weapon, usually a sidearm, since it’s faster to equip than an LMG.
One rocket deals 47% to 61% of MAX’s health, depending on distance and if he has MAX Flak Armor.
NS Decimator is a heavy RPG. It deals more damage than starting launchers, but reloads longer, carries one fewer rocket, and the rocket itself has lower velocity, which makes it more susceptible to Gravity and harder to use against vehicles at range and aircraft.
Compared to starting launchers, Decimator deals:
~17% higher damage to vehicles.
Usually takes 1 rocket fewer to kill a vehcile.
~8% higher damage to MAXes without Flak Armor.
54% to 66% MAX’s health in 1 rocket, depending on distance and MAX Flak Armor
Decimator is noticeably harder to use, so often it is better to stick to starting launchers. After all, it’s better to hit with a weaker missile than miss with a stronger one.
The Kraken is a cosmetic variant of the Decimator, granted for completing the auraxium level of rocket launcher directives. It has an auraxium shader, and its rocket explosions have noticeable visual and sound effects.
All lock-on launchers share the same Damage Resist Type, so they can be compared directly.
Despite looking different, these launchers function exactly the same between factions.
These launchers can lock-on to enemy aircraft, but they can still be dumbfired against MAXes, infantry and ground vehicles, which makes them incredibly versatile. Even if they don’t deal as much damage as dedicated dumbfire launchers, they still can oneshot most infantry and deal chunking damage to MAXes. Against ground vehicles, they usually require just an extra rocket to kill.
A Heavy Assault armed with one of these launchers will have an option against every target type in the game.
They are also more convenient to use:
Scope doesn’t get in the way like Iron Sights, and it’s great for dumbfiring.
The rocket is slower, but it flies at a constant velocity, so it is more consistent and predictable within ~75m.
It is less affected by Gravity, and doesn’t require as much compensation for drop within 300m. It will have ~50% longer travel time, though.
Lower damage output against vehicles makes this type of launcher more of a deterrent than a killer.
For some reason, these launchers deal the same damage as Decimator to ANTs and Sunderers.
One lock-on rocket deals about 43% of ESF’s health.
Despite looking different, these launchers function exactly the same between factions.
These launchers can lock-on to enemy ground vehicles, but they can still be dumbfired. This version is much less popular than G2A launcher.
At close range, dedicated dumbfire launchers are better, and at long range, G2G lock-ons are somewhat useless, as the target can easily drop the lock or dodge the rocket by moving into cover. It takes a lot of rockets to destroy most vehicles, and the target will have plenty of time to hide or run away before being destroyed.
They have great accuracy and consistency at 200m+, but without sufficient firepower it just becomes a wasted effort.
For some reason, these launchers deal the same damage as Decimator to ANTs and Sunderers.
NS Annihilator cannot dumbfire, but it can lock to both ground and air vehicles. Annihilator can take slightly longer to establish a lock than faction-specific launchers, but it reloads slightly quicker while doing the same damage. It also should have increased agility against ground targets.
The inability to dumbfire makes Annihilator a strictly medium+ range anti-vehicle launcher, and this can hardly be called “versatile”.
But Annihilator can still be a good choice for a no-nonsense player. It simplifies decision-making. Vehicles? Pull out the launcher. Infantry or MAXes? Stay with a firearm. Removing the option to dumbfire against MAXes and infantry forces the player to rely on firearms, but it also removes the possibility to die pointlessly while equipping the launcher or miss the rocket.
Annihilator is probably the best launcher you could give to a complete FPS newbie.
NS-R3 Swarm is a sidegrade to Annihilator. It too cannot dumbfire, and can lock on to both ground and air vehicles. Swarm is magazine-fed and carries a ton of ammunition, equal to 11 x Annihilator rockets.
It has fast and consistent lock-on time at all ranges, and a quick reload, though it is well compensated by low rate of fire – only one shot per second.
Swarm still has about ~11% higher raw DPS than Annihilator, but it requires you to maintain the lock for 2 seconds while firing 3 rockets, while the Annihilator is strictly fire-and-forget.
Swarm has two firemodes:
In default firemode, it fires fast, but not very agile rockets. They are great at quickly reaching a large or slow-moving vehicle, but can miss a more maneuverable target.
In secondary firemode, Swarm fires slow, but agile rockets. They are nearly guaranteed to hit, but they can take a long time to reach the target, and can potentially run into terrain or even be outrun by ESFs.
Empire Specific Rocket Launchers
These rocket launchers embrace the traits of different factions: volume of fire for TR, precise and powerful punch for NC, adaptability and versatility for VS. These launchers are rather unique, and historically have been a hot topic for community, with constant calls for nerfs or buffs, and whole squads being organized to play around their strengths. Things have been calm and stable lately, though.
All of these launchers are weak on their own, but – just like everything else – become noticeably stronger when used in greater numbers in coordianated squads.
They all have unique Damage Resist Types, so none of them can be directly compared to any other launcher.
T2 Striker is a sustained-fire, magazine-fed rocket launcher. It dumbfires small, fast rockets both when hip firing and when looking through the scope. If a rocket passes within ~15m of an enemy aircraft, it will automatically snap lock-on to it.
Striker can be a great deterrence to aircraft when terrain and proximity interferes with traditional lock-ons, but it is surprisingly mediocre against armored ground vehicles.
Striker’s velocity does not seem to follow the parameters in the Census API. Here are some results from in-game testing:
Due to high velocity – more than twice as fast as default dumbfires – individual hits are easy to score, so the Striker can sustain fire on distant targets without any trouble.
Striker is a versatile launcher that can engage both air and ground targets, but noticeably lacks in alpha damage, and exposes the user while firing. Striker also requires skills of managing Cone of Fire and leading targets, so user error can reduce already low damage output.
When dealing with distant targets, Cone of Fire becomes a real issue, but it can be reduced by crouching and / or staying still.
Striker is one of the weapons that can do something about Galaxies, hovering at a flight ceiling about a base. It deals only minor damage, of course, but it’s something.
Striker deals 106% of listed direct damage to MAXes. It takes ~9 rockets to kill a full health MAX.
Phoenix fires a slow, but highly damaging TV-guided missile – damage is comparable to Decimator.
While the rocket is in flight, the player uses his first person camera to steer to rocket.
During that time, the player character is immobile, and vulnerable to enemy fire.
The rocket is slow, emits distinctive blue flames and a screeching sound effect, and can be shot down.
The reloading process only starts after the user stops steering the rocket.
The rocket can fly maximum 295m away from the user. Flying further will force a detonation. While steering the rocket, players can monitor the distance to their body in the upper right corner.
Phoenix cannot fire from the hip.
Phoenix users have accumulated a lot of tactical and mechanical quirks to help them:
In prolonged hunkered-down fights, dug-in NC will pull out the Phoenixes. You don’t need to coordinate with them. Pull yours out, and wait for them to fire theirs. Fire yours right away. You should be able to follow where the first NC rocket is going, and most Phoenix users know to do this trick of following the first rocket. It leads to coordinated spikes of damage without actually coordinating.
The Phoenix packs a serious punch and has the incredibly useful trait of not needing line of sight to engage. The best time I’ve found to use this weapon is in support of a friendly armor push: position yourself closely behind, out of enemy line of sight, and fire your Phoenix over cover towards the fight. Focus on an enemy that is being engaged by your allies. This technique is just brutal when you combine it with friendly Vanguards. They cause enemy tanks to seek cover, and you follow the burning tank into cover with your Phoenix and blow it up. You’ll want a vehicle of some sort so you can keep up with the friendly push, and keep the enemy in your range of 295 meters.
Solo Phoenix is amazing against inexperienced and distracted tanks from a flanking position, and can quickly kill even an MBT. Engaging veteran tanks that are not distracted will result in them killing, evading or outrepairing you, so its best to avoid.
Against aircraft, Phoenix can sometimes get good surprise alpha damage, but you won’t be able to reliably hit evading aircraft. Hovering Galaxies and Liberators are fairly easy to hit, if they are in range, however. The Phoenix is quite capable of hitting an unalerted cruising Harrasser, and is a reliable two shot kill. However, you won’t easily hit an evading Harrasser, especially if it is evading you personally.
Pressing the “Change Camera” key (default “T”) after the shot switches the first person rocket view to third person, allowing for a much wider Field of View, which really helps with finding and tracking targets.
Alternatively, you can press the “Hide HUD” key (default Ctrl + F10) after the shot to remove the scope overlay.
Unfortunately, in both cases you lose the distance tracking.
You can prematurely end the steering process by pressing the “Exit vehicle” key (default “E”). The rocket will continue flying, but with a heavy drop downwards. It will still deal damage if it hits something. You can use this technique to shave off a few milliseconds between shots by “exiting” the rocket when it is about to hit something. You can also use this to pseudo dumbfire the Phoenix at close range targets.
If you have a fancy gaming mouse, it can be convenient to have a thumb button that would increase mouse’s sensitivity while steering the rocket, so you can easier make sharper turns.
You can use the keyboard to steer the rocket. The rocket will respond to Aircraft Controls for Pitching Up and Down, and Rolling Left and Right. Arrow keys by default.
Phoenix one-shots Engineers’ MANA Turrets, and kills the Engineer in the process, unless they bail before impact. This is the main reason I use the Phoenix, because a well placed MANA Turret can pin down a whole squad.
Lancer is not a traditional rocket launcher, it’s more of a charge up anti-materiel plasma rifle. Lancer’s battery holds 6 plasma cells. By default, Lancer fires weak bolts of plasma that deal minor damage and consume 1 plasma cell. But the user can hold down the trigger to fire more powerful bolts:
A fully charged shot deals damage comparable to a dumbfire launcher.
Deals ~same damage as the Decimator to ANTs and Sunderers.
Lancer has no projectile drop and pinpoint accurate while aiming down sights. It does have some damage drop off:
Charged shots have the same damage drop off.
Charged shots are more ammo-efficient, so normally Lancer is used in charged mode. Even then, Lancer has low ammo capacity for its damage output, so Munitions Pouch is almost a necessity, unless you are near a terminal.
It is a common tactic to charge the shot from the hip, and fire it in ADS mode. That way, you can move faster while charging.
There are several ways to cancel the charging process, should you need to:
Due to highest in class projectile velocity, Lancer is very easy to use at range. It can even be used to snipe ESFs. Low scope magnification can be a nuisance at extreme ranges, though.
More than any other ESRL, Lancer is known for being used en-masse in organized squads:
Lancers are amazing in groups of 2+ squads, you can delete anything in render distance immediately. It’s disgusting. The trick is to have a single person call out targets, have everyone begin charging, then fire on the target at the same time. Charge the first shot, but subsequent shots should be immediate. The goal is to not give the pilot any reaction time. You should have an AA max, AA sundie, or 2 heavies with AA lockons as a deterrent.
In a coordinated VS squad, there is absolutely no reason to ever pull a vehicle to fight enemy vehicles, it wastes nanites and takes more time.
With Lancer, VS heavies can engage any vehicle on the battlefield at basically any range. The charge feature lets you choose how to distribute the damage. Instead of always charging (which does yield the highest percentage of damage), use the appropriate charge for the situation:
Two fully charged shots take 3 * 2 = 6 seconds to empty a battery and will deal 10x damage. The enemy pilot will have 3 seconds between shots to react to incoming damage.
Alternatively, you can start with one fully charged shot, then follow up with a lvl 2 charged shot, and then finish with an uncharged shot. It will take 3 + 1.5 + 0.3 = 4.8 seconds, giving the enemy only 1.8 seconds to react and dealing 8.5x damage.
Or you could just magdump uncharged shots, dealing 6x damage over 1.5 seconds.
The key to the Lancer is to focus fire on targets that are already being engaged. Since you can choose how to distribute the damage, you often can easily steal the kill. For this, I like to use Flashes to get in flanking positions of big tank battles.
Don’t try to solo a veteran tank crew, unless they are already engaged or otherwise distracted. If they can’t kill you, they will just disengage or outrepair your damage.
The Lancer shines against light vehicles. Once you get enough practice, hitting a cruising harasser is pretty easy. Hitting an evading harasser is harder, but still doable. A single skilled lancer user can be a serious threat to any harasser crew. Two fully charged hits will only set a Harasser on fire, but usually they will have already sustained some damage, and will die to two charged shots.
Lancer is great for sniping MAXes – they take 9x damage to kill, and MAX Flak Armor doesn’t help against Lancer. However, Lancer is horrible against infantry and MAXes at close range. Its lack of burst damage makes it useless on the front lines.
NSX Masamune is a quad-barrel rocket launcher, and a part of the unique Nanite Systems Exports weapons lineup. It has some interesting mechanics.
In hip fire mode, it fires all barrels at the same time like a shotgun. Crouching and staying still will increase hip fire accuracy.
In ADS mode, it fires all rockets one by one over 0.75 seconds. The player can use the scope to steer the rockets, similarly to Engineer’s AV Mana Turret.
Rockets do not follow the crosshair exactly. They start flying noticeably below the crosshair, so usually you have to aim above the target for rockets to hit.
When leading a moving target, it is batter to overlead and then drag rockets backwards, rather than trying to drag rockets forwards. Overleading fast moving targets may require an extreme body turn, though.
Rockets accelerate much slower in ADS mode.
After a shot in either mode, there is a 0.75 second delay before you can start sprinting or reloading the Masamune, which can make it punishing in close range scenarios.
Masamune always fires and reloads all 4 barrels, so it can be treated as a pseudo single shot launcher.
Keep in mind that you are exposed and vulnerable while steering the rockets, and you are not reloading while doing so.
Masamune also has reduced ADS Movement Speed Multiplier – you can only move at 1/3rd of your normal movement speed while ADSing.
Masamune can be hard to use properly, but it’s a powerful and versatile launcher, capable of close range MAX takedowns, accurate long-range hits on ground vehicles, and effective air deterrence out to medium range.
It is especially great against Galaxies – one full salvo deals about ~31% of its health.
Masamune is also arguably the best launcher for anti-infantry purposes, both at close range and in general:
Only 2 out of 4 rockets need to hit to kill a standard infantry target.
Always deals full splash damage, regardless of rocket flight distance.
Huge and easy to hit alpha damage.
Beyond hip fire range, still works great by guiding rockets into infantry.
The biggest argument against Masamune as “rocket primary” is super long sprint override after firing. It doesn’t get much better at range, where a combination of low ADS movespeed modifier and user exposure during guiding can be too much.
Masamune can do a lot more than most launchers, but it can’t do everything. For example, it is not so great against ESFs – one salvo deals about 75% of its health, but they are much harder to hit.
It also takes a lot of skill to use at range, and can often deliver lower than optimal performance.
Tips and Tactics
When engaging enemy vehicles at “medium range” of 50-100m, it’s a common tactic to “quickscope” a rocket launcher. You use your hip fire crosshair to aim, then start Aiming Down Sights and fire the rocket during Aiming Down Sights animation, before you actually see Iron Sights align.
For rocket launchers, it takes 0.35 seconds to transition to Iron Sights, but only ~0.15 seconds for Cone of Fire to shrink to ADS state.
So as long as you fire ~0.15 seconds after you pressed the ADS key, your shot will have the same accuracy.
The point of this tactic is to be more efficient with your time, and spend less time being exposed while aiming. Staying still at the moment of the shot will increase accuracy as well.
Ballistic Crosshair Overlay
Hitting distant targets requires compensating for projectile drop, which can be tricky to do, since iron sights will be obscuring the target. While massive amounts of practice can help, there are a couple of completely legal tricks you can employ.
There are 4 red bars, each serves as a crosshair for 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m. These crosshairs are scaled based on 1920 x 1080 resolution and 74 degree Vertical FoV. If you play at a different resolution or FoV, you will have to scale the crosshairs accordingly.
At 100m+, rockets have so much drop that your target will be obscured by iron sights. You can avoid this by hiding your weapon model, default Ctrl + F11. Obviously, it helps to rebind it to something more convenient. You cannot shoot while the model is hidden, so you will need some quick finger work.
You can bind Toggle Weapon Visibility in-game and Toggle Crosshair Overlay in RTST to the same keybind, and then you will be able to toggle between aiming and firing with one button. You will need a secondary keybind for Toggle Weapon Visibility so you can synchronize these things when you first log in.
If you have a gaming mouse, you could create a macro for a thumb mouse button that would hide the weapon while you’re holding the button, and show it when you release the button. Effectively, you would have a “hold to hide weapon for aiming” key. You could also rig that macro to fire as soon as the weapon is shown.
It is a common tactic for a Heavy Assault to turn the corner with a Rocket Launcher ready and surprise the enemy with a point blank rocket shot. This tactic is especially effective due to Internet Delayadvantage.
There are a couple of ways you can improve this trick:
Firing the rocket while jumping will allow you to preserve sprint-level speed.
If you activate overshield after your feet leave the ground, you can also gain overshield’s protection from enemy fire and your own splash damage without receiving movement speed penalty until you land.
If you deactivate overshield before your feet touch the ground, you will not suffer overshield’s penalty at all.
Immediately after the rocket shot, you can switch to something else, like a sidearm, med kit or even C4, depending on what you want to do next. Switching to LMG is usually a bad idea, as it will take much longer.
Naturally, these improvements require some quick finger work, and require a lot of skill to pull off in combat scenarios. But it is deadly effective against infantry and MAXes, and allows to do a ton of damage while still being very mobile.
C4 makes a great combination with dumbfire-capable Rocket Launchers when it’s possible to sneak up on an enemy vehicle. It is a common tactic to deploy C4 on the enemy tank, and then detonate it with rocket’s splash damage to save time. Make sure to not hit the C4 directly, or the rocket will not deal damage to the vehicle.
Vehicles have lost Thermal Optics and can no longer easily detect infantry, so it can be a great tactic to hide in a bush and fire lock-ons from a concealed position, especially against damaged vehicles that have already spent their counter-measures.
This guide wouldn’t be possible without generous contributions of other community members that have answered my call for help with this guide. Every response in this thread is appreciated. Especially helpful people:
From my testing, the claymore appears to deal damage in the shape of an isosceles triangle. The damage is a constant 1300 throughout the triangle, so the in-game “1300 at 3m 350 at 6.5m” is bullshit; Claymore deals no damage outside 2-3m.
With the newly added 0.32 second detonation delay, the claymore can no longer cover the entirety of a doorway. From in game experience, it appears to cover less than half of a doorway now. This is because if an enemy is close enough to the claymore, he can just run straight through it taking no damage.
Depending on the exact amount of time it takes for a character to run through the detonation zone, it may be beneficial to place the claymore at an angle to enlarge the kill zone.
Knowing the detonation delay of 0.32 seconds and that sprinting player moves at 6.32m per second, we can calculate the distance a player can cover during the delay: 0.32 * 6.32 = ~2.02m, which means that a player can potentially spring right through the claymore without getting damaged, which is confirmed by in-game testing.
This online database is owned and controlled by Daybreak – PlanetSide 2 developers. It contains information about player characters and weapon statistics. This is where PS2 informational sites pull data from.
To pull information from the API, you have to put a query into browser’s address bar. Here is an example of the simplest request:
Normally, you can view JSON strings right in the browser, but some browsers prompt a download of the .json file instead. In that case, you can open it with any text editor, such as Notepad.
However, that simplest query does not give you any useful information about the weapon. This is because Census database is fairly complex, and weapon data is stored in several different tables, with different key fields. So if you want to pull all available information about a weapon, you have to pull information from several places at once, and the query becomes much bigger.
These versions of the query pull all information about the weapon, including what cannot be accessed in-game, such as Recoil, Equip Time, Projectile Lifespan and exact effects of attachments.
As you may notice, DasAnfall lists weapon stats several times. This is done because PS2 weapons have separate stats for each fire mode.
For example, TRAC 5 has 4 modes: single shot, full auto, single shot while ADS, full auto while ADS.
Most weapon stats are identical in different fire modes, but it’s important to understand that as far as game engine is concerned, those are all completely different weapons.
It is theoretically possible to make a weapon that will function like a full auto grenade launcher while firing from the hip, and like a sniper rifle while ADSing, and could also switch into a Flak Turret fire mode.
This video is outdated and doesn’t include many new features, but it explains the general purpose and spirit behind this tool.
This Excel Spreadsheet is a culmination of years of work on theorycrafting PlanetSide 2 weapon mechanics. It uses Visual Basic macros to pull weapon stats from DBG API, to calculate damage and recoil statistics and draw graphs to visualize them.
This toolbox arms you with all necessary tools for comprehensive weapon analysis.
Attention! When you first open the toolbox, you will see a yellow bar with a security warning about macros. You have to allow the use of macros, or the Toolbox will not function.
The Excel file has 7 pages:
They contain cells of different color:
Soft orange cells. When you double click or right click a weapon on the Stats page of the spreadsheet, weapon’s stats will be copied into soft orange cells on other pages. These cells also accept manual input. You can edit them without fear of breaking anything.
Light grey cells contain calculations and references to other cells, do not editgrey cells, or you will break the tool’s functionality.
Pale yellow cells store values for configuration, and you may need to edit them in specific situations.
Light green filling indicates that this cell’s value has been selected, likely by double clicking.
Small red triangles in the corner of a cell indicate a tooltip. Put your mouse over the cell to display the tooltip.
Note: Toolbox’s calculations always assume worst case scenario: weapon damage is rounded down and target health is rounded up.
This huge table has stats of all known infantry weapons.
Normally you don’t work with this table itself, and only use it to export stats into other pages:
Double click or right click on any weapon to copy its stats into soft orange cells on other pages.
Double click on Item ID of the weapon to open a JSON query for that weapon for your default browser.
The Toolbox is not perfect, and may sometimes pull wrong stats, or fail to pull stats at all. There is no substitute for looking at a query with your own eyes.
Select a weapon and click “Export 1” button. A window with exported weapon’s stats and attachment list will show.
Pulling stats and adding new weapons
The Pull Stats button will initiate a download of weapon stats from DBG API, using JSON queries for each Item ID in the first column. When a new weapon is released, simply insert its Item ID and Name to the end of the list, and its stats will be downloaded as well.
If you know weapon’s exact name, you can find out its Item ID this way, or you can simply copy-paste it from Attachments Page.
Keep in mind that “Name” column is not downloaded, and you will have to fill it manually for any new weapon releases.
The “Date” field near the “pull stats” button stores the date when stats were last downloaded. Normally, you should re-download stats only after a patch that changed something.
This page serves to analyze weapon damage at different ranges and/or with different attachments. You can compare two weapons at the same time.
On “Stats” page, double click on a weapon to export its stats for the first weapon, and right click for the second weapon.
You can add attachments to weapons by clicking corresponding buttons. If the weapon doesn’t have a certain attachment, you will be informed with a pop up window, but you can’t see whether weapon has access to an attachment on this page without clicking the Check Box.
The calculations for Minimum and Maximum damage ranges are self-explanatory.
To calculate weapon’s damage stats at certain range, enter it into soft orange Range cell.
Both weapons are simulated against the same target. You can specify target’s parameters on the middle left.
Below the Health block, there are reference tables for Health, Nanoweave Armor and Kinetic Armor.
Double click on Health or Damage Multiplier value to automatically apply it.
Both weapons have Headshot Damage Multiplier listed. You can double click on its value to apply it to the Damage Multiplier.
Since both weapons fire at the same target, and damage multiplier is tied to the target, it may be inconvenient to compare headshot properties of two weapons with different headshot multipliers.
The most common way to analyze a weapon is to look at its performance against the default target with 1000 HP and against a Full Nanoweave target with 1250 Effective HP, so these are the default parameters, and statistics for standard Full Nano target are calculated automatically.
The “Calculate Thresholds” button will calculate BTK Thresholds for both weapons.
For example, the results on the picture above read as:
Gauss Rifle kills in 6 shots at 0m to 10m, and in 7 shots at 11m+.
“Draw Graph” button will also recalculate Thresholds and then draw a comparative graph.
This page serves to analyze weapon’s recoil properties.
Both double click and right click on a weapon on the Stats page will import its stats into soft orange boxes of the Recoil page.
Click Calculate Stability to calculate Average and Maximum horizontal Deviations and to update Probability Distribution Graph.
The Visual Basic macro fires a virtual gun in bursts with listed “Burst Length” for the amount of times, listed in “Simulations” cell, and then averages out the results.
“Average Deviation” is the average distance of the crosshair from the burst’s starting crosshair position. The lower it is, the better is the weapon’s horizontal recoil.
“Graph Scale H” refers to the maximum Horizontal Recoil value, visible on the graph. The default value of 1 is fine for most cases, but for weapons with lower Horizontal Recoil, you may want to reduce Graph Scale H to 0.5 to increase chart’s accuracy / detail.
Vertical Recoil module is self explanatory, you’re mostly interested in Vertical Recoil per Second.
For the purposes of vertical recoil, it’s better to have high RoF and low vertical recoil per shot, to ensure nice and soft, consistent pull.
FSRM value is listed mostly for your reference, it doesn’t participate in any calculations.
The Average Deviations listed in Recoil Angle block show how much a weapon is affected by Recoil Angle Variance. They basically show you the size of the yellow area:
Cone of Fire Page
This page serves to analyze weapon’s Cone of Fire properties using my Angular Size research.
Both double click and right click on a weapon on the Stats page will import its stats into soft orange boxes of the Recoil page.
Target is set up identically to the Damage page, the only exception is that you also have to choose your Aiming Point, since they have different Angular Sizes. Enter “1” for Center Mass and “0” for Head.
The purpose of this page is to calculate the ideal burst length for a weapon at a certain range based on calculated target size on your screen. Calculations ignore recoil completely.
Double click on weapon’s CoF value to import it into analysis window.
This page stores a table with known effects of known attachments on all weapons. When you add attachments to weapons on other pages, this is where their effects are taken from.
To update the table, click “Pull Attachments“. A VBA Script will pull Names and Item IDs for all weapons from weapon categories on Categories Page, and then pull attachment data for them.
You can also double click on weapon’s name to open a JSON query for that weapon’s attachment list. This may be necessary if a weapon has access to atypical attachment, since the table is formatted only for known effects of known attachments.
This page contains a list of weapon categories. It is used when you Pull Attachments.
This is a temporary page for storing calculations results. You don’t need to interact with this page at all.
Changelog and To-Do
v1 – initial release.
v2 – added CoF import functionality and reworked Cone of Fire page. Special thanks to FISU. Weapon names also update when you add attachments.
v2a – added the ability to double click on weapon’s Item ID to open JSON queries.
v2b – Pull Stats will also pull Falling CoF (for flying / jumping with Carbines). Falling CoF will also be imported into Cone of Fire page. Also fixed a bug that any value of 1 character long was not pulled from the API.
v3 – The toolbox will now also pull ADS movespeed multiplier and other missing stats. Fixed several issues, minor improvements.
v3a – Fixed a Reload Time export.
v3b – Added the button to pull information about weapon’s projectiles.
v4a – Added functionality to download exact effects of weapon attachments and apply them to weapons.
v4c – Cleaned up unnecessary code in order for the Toolbox to work with 64 bit version of Excel. Also fixed a minor bug with HVA on Damage page.
v4d – Downloaded weapon and attachment stats for latest patch, including NSX Tanto.
v4c – Cleaned up unnecessary code in order for the Toolbox to work with 64 bit version of Excel. Again.
Determine if BASR time between shots = chamber time.
Overall weapon rating based on multigon square calculations.
CoF / RoF probability distribution to determine weapon consistency (done in alpha)
Reword the horizontal recoil probability distribution graph to be more accurate
The recent fiasco with AF-4 Cyclone guide has reminded me that a mere possibilityof a weapon’s recoil being less stable doesn’t necessarily mean it will be less stable on average.
Let me remind you the raw numbers:
0.212 / 0.4
0.347 / 0.376
0.3 / 0.392
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance
0.9 (2-3 kicks)
0.9 (2 kicks)
0.9 (2 kicks)
Compared to other 1st generation SMGs, the Cyclone has bigger difference between minimum and maximum recoils. It can also potentially have an extra recoil kick, increasing the total width of the recoil pattern.
That led me to conclude that Cyclone has less stable horizontal recoil.
It is true that potentially Cyclone can kick further from the start than other 1st gen SMGs.
However, statistically, it is very unlikely. The probability of several hits in the same direction and with the recoil magnitude being in specific bounds is simply too low to be worth considering.
Discouraged by my error, I have created a tool that will allow to judge the stability of horizontal recoil pattern in an objective manner.
Horizontal Recoil Stability Calculator
This excel spreadsheet will calculate stability of a weapon’s recoil pattern as average distance from the starting crosshair position.
Important! To be able to open this file, you will need a Microsoft Office with enabled Excel Macros. Supposedly there are security risks for doing this. Responsibility is yours, though I promise there’s nothing malicious in specifically my excel files.
Click “Calculate Stability” button, and the sheet will automatically update all results and the recoil distribution graph.
The Probability Distribution graph is your main instrument for assessing weapon’s horizontal recoil stability.
The horizontal axis of the graph represents the distance from the center of the recoil pattern, and the vertical axis represents the probability of that position being chosen.
“Graph Scale H” defines the horizontal scale of the graph. It is set to “1 degree” by default, and generally it should be high enough for all PS2 infantry weapons. For weapons with low horizontal recoil and low tolerance values, you can reduce Graph Scale H to 0.5 to make the graph more accurate.
Ideally, you want a weapon whose graph looks like this:
Basically, a weapon without horizontal recoil whatsoever.
The closer the spikes of the graph to the left side, the higher the probability of the crosshair staying near the center of the recoil pattern – near crosshair’s original position at the beginning of a burst.
“Stability” is simply the average distance of the crosshair from the burst’s starting point. The closer it is to zero, the more accurate the weapon is on average.
“Maximum Deviation” is the highest value taken by Horizontal Recoil during simulation.
You can copy paste the graph as image in order to compare different weapons:
This is a graph for Gauss SAW.
On the next picture, I’m manually holding it with my mouse over the graph for Cyclone, allowing us to easily compare them.
Returning to Cyclone
As you can see, both Armistice and Eridani have lower stability, and a higher chance for the crosshair to be kicked further from the start. While Cyclone will generally shake in wider bounds, half of these bounds is still closer to the center due to lower minimum recoil. Cyclone may be less predictable on small scale, but it will be more stable on average.
Why Excel Sheet?
I’d love to eventually add this functionality into Weapon Simulator, along with other few minor updates, but for the time being I’ve lost the ability to make any additions to it. My Visual Studio died, basically 🙁
Recoil Recovery Delay is the delay before your crosshair starts returning to its original position after you have stopped firing, measured in milliseconds.
The speed of the crosshair movement depends on another statistic – Recoil Decrease, also known as Recoil Recovery Rate, measured in degrees per second.
Knowing these two statistics and Vertical Recoil, you can judge weapon’s affinity for tap firing and short bursting.
Using the old weapon stats spreadsheet by /u/cheesecrackers as basis for my original research years ago, I’ve been led to believe that Recoil Recovery Delay is always equal to weapon’s Refire Time – time between shots, based on weapon’s Rate of Fire.
Turns out, it’s a little more complicated.
How it works
The Recoil Recovery Delay values listed in DBG API – could be more correctly called “added” Recoil Recovery Delay. A shift, or an offset.
To calculate the true delay before the crosshair movement starts, you need to addlisted Recoil Recovery Delay to weapon’s Refire Time.
After final shot in the burst, 0.16 seconds will pass before the crosshair starts moving back.
You’ll notice that Recoil Recovery Delay in this case is equal to Refire Time, and it’s also true for many other weapons. This is probably what led cheesecrackers to believe that True Delay is equal to Refire Time. I guess he never ran a slow-mo tests to confirm it, and neither did I – until recently.
However, there are a lot of weapons which have Recoil Recovery Delay equal to zero, and the recent patch even set negative Recoil Recovery Delay for some weapons.
And as an even crazier exception, Tomoe has increased Recoil Recovery Delay of 4 times the Refire Rate.
What the November patch changed
Currently, Battle Rifles, Semi Auto Scout Rifles and Semi Auto Sniper Rifles have negative Recoil Recovery Delay.
Semi Auto Scout Rifles
Semi Auto Sniper Rifles
Refire Time, ms
Recoil Recovery Delay, ms
True Delay, ms
Recoil Recovery Rate,
degrees / sec
Vertical Recoil, degrees
Recoil Recovery Time per shot
These Scout and Sniper rifles have True Delay of 0.5x the Refire Time, while most automatic weapons have True Delay of 2x Refire Time.
Unfortunately, at this time I lack the capacity to create a side by side video. But you can already guess that reduced Recoil Recovery Delay gives them unprecedented tap firing speed, as crosshair starts moving back almost instantly after the shot, without purpose-less-ly hanging in air.
This is less noticeable on Battle Rifles, however they have greater Recoil Recovery Rate, lesser Vertical Recoil and shorter Refire Time. They already excel at tap firing.
NSX Tomoe – named after Tomoe Gozen – is a fully automatic Scout Rifle, available to Infiltrators of all factions.
It focuses on quick kills with headshots at close to medium range, and has a unique combination of traits: no damage degradation and increased headshot damage multiplier, low recoil and high rate of fire.
Limited magazine size means you are likely to have only one engagement per reload.
Tomoe bridges the gap between standard Scout Rifles, that engage enemies with automatic fire at medium range, and close range bolt action rifles, that go all-or-nothing on headshots.
Damage per Second: 1400 Damage per Magazine: 2464
These are rather low values. However, since Tomoe has no damage degradation, it doesn’t lose any performance as range increases.
Headshot Damage Multiplier: 2.5x
This is one of Tomoe’s main selling points: it does 280 damage on a headshot, which means 4 headshot kill against a generic infantry target.
Average reload speed and a lot of spare ammunition.
While Tomoe is clearly built around getting as many headshots as possible, it should be possible to kill any enemy with bodyshots. However, it will take a disproportionately more time, and low Damage per Magazine will give you little margin for error.
You should go for bodyshots only:
Against weakened, distracted or unaware enemies. Being able to cloak should give you plenty of opportunities to pick your engagements.
When you’re massively out of range and can’t hit the tiny head. Tomoe’s low recoil and no damage degradation make it possible to reach out to quite distant targets
When you can’t hit the head, because the enemy is moving in an unpredictable and erratic manner. Though in cases like that it may be better to not engage at all.
Tables below contain the BTK and TTK values. Since Tomoe has no damage degradation, they are true for any distance.
Tomoe’s starting hip fire CoFs are not that bad, but the huge Bloom of 0.4 means hip fire accuracy is only going to last for a few first shots, and then rapidly spiral out of control. Unless you’re in melee range, forget hip fire even exists for Tomoe.
Tomoe’s ADS CoFs are nothing special when compared to other precision weapons, but it sufficiently accurate in general terms.
Notice that you get an accuracy boost for both crouching and staying stationary, and as in Infiltrator, you should take advantage of it.
ADS Bloom of 0.05 is somewhat high for such small damage per shot, so it’s recommended to not straight up magdump, and instead fire in bursts of 4-6 rounds, unless the target is very close.
That said, it is comparable to many weapons that deal 112 minimumdamage per shot.
Advanced CoF Mechanics
Starting Still CoF: 0.1
Starting Moving CoF: 0.3
Bloom per Shot: 0.05
From these statistics, and using Rule 2 of Advanced CoF Mechanics, we can say that you only get an accuracy boost for staying stationary during your first 4 shots.
After 4 shots, you can start moving at no accuracy penalty.
This knowledge is extremely situational, because at closer ranges you’d want to engage while moving, always. And at longer ranges, you wouldn’t want to fire more than 4-5 round in a burst.
As pulled from DBG API by planetstats, here are Tomoe’s recoil stats:
-3.0 / 3.0
-0.225 / 0.225
Forward Grip (-25%)
0.14 / 0.14
0.105 / 0.105
Forward Grip (-25%)
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance
Forward Grip (-25%)
First Shot Recoil Multiplier
Recoil Recovery Delay
Vertical Recoil per Second
Average Horizontal Deviation
Forward Grip (-25%)
Max. Horizontal Deviation
Forward Grip (-25%)
Max. Num. of horizontal kicks
Recoil Recovery Delay
True Recoil Recovery Delay
Recoil Recovery Time per Shot
Tomoe has silky smooth and stable recoil pattern. It is not noticeable at close range. At long range, it gives you the ability to easily take out stationary enemies.
Tomoe has a very unusual quality: super long Recoil Recovery Delay.
After your last shot in a burst, whole 0.4 seconds will pass before crosshair starts returning into its original position.
And the low Recoil Decrease ensure it will take its sweet time while doing so.
Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing. Tomoe engages enemies in 2-3 short bursts per magazine, and the long Recoil Recovery Delay gives you time to readjust your aim between bursts without any forced crosshair movement.
Tomoe should be adequately effective up to 30m or so, but after that you are likely to have problems engaging moving targets.
Additionally, ADSing for headshots in close quarters can be very challenging, and with Tomoe’s hip fire being so terrible, you should make all effort to stay outdoors, and away from CQC in general.
However, extremely skilled players can find great success in taking Tomoe in aggressive close quarters, and enjoy quick headshot kills without using a bolt action rifle.
Going outside Effective Range
Super small magazine size and average projectile velocity of 520 m/s will make engaging moving and aware targets challenging, even when you can afford to sit still and fire in short bursts for a prolonged amount of time.
However, very low recoil and lack of damage degradation give you the ability to kill stationaryenemies with a few short bursts even at very long ranges.
In theory, Tomoe’s maximum range is limited only by user skill, since there is no damage degradation, and crouching CoFs are nearly equal to zero.
Damage per mag is one of Tomoe’s biggest issues, and horizontal recoil is pretty great by default. Having a couple of extra rounds makes going into Long Reload less likely, which can be important in aggressive CQC setting.
However, Ex. Mags’ benefit is very small, which makes Forward Grip a better choice for most players. Ideally, you want to engage enemies outdoors, at medium range, and you need all the accuracy you can get to hit those headshots more reliably.
All three are viable, as long as you keep their upsides and downsides in mind.
Suppressor may be of special interest, as it will not affect Tomoe’s damage in any way, only the velocity.
But, personally, I recommend the Compensator.
Tomoe’s hip fire is already beyond terrible.
As an infiltrator, you don’t care that much about increasing minimap detection range from 40m to 75m. While it can give away your position to enemies outside your effective range, you can use cloak to prevent them from engaging on you without closing in first.
Tomoe’s performance depends on accuracy very much, and you really want smoother recoil for more convenience.
Tomoe has limited effective range, but you will still be mainly participating in open field combat. So you will often need to move into position before engaging, and you will need the increased cloak time of Hunter cloaking.
This will work well with reserved, engage-in-ideal-conditions playstyle, but if you do have the skill to consistently hit ADS headshots at close range, you will find better success with Nano Armor Cloaking and more aggressive playstyle.
In case you mess up and fail to kill the enemy within one magazine – and it’s easy to mess up with Tomoe – you will need some defenses, to survive long enough to reload or whip out your sidearm.
You will not always have the opportunity to just hide into cover and vanish – too close for that.
Using the Tomoe may often leave you exposed for a prolonged amount of time, while you’re burst firing at an enemy. It’s not like a bolt action rifle, where you make one shot and immediately recloak. So Nanoweave will help you survive if someone’s shooting your way.
EMP is the recommended choice. The sheer versatility of this grenade cannot be overstated, even if there is no particular synergy with the Tomoe. You’ll be using it mainly to delete enemy Motion Spotters.
Tool and Utility
Motion Spotter and Anti-Personnel Mines make a great combination with Tomoe. You can deploy a Motion Spotter and throw a couple of mines around. The Motion Spotter will show up on enemy minimap, and attract them to destroy it, giving you opportunities to ambush them. Mines can ensure you won’t be flanked, and that Motion Spotter is going to last a while.
This is perfect for outdoors skirmishing.
The rest of the loadout is up to preference.
As you may have constructed by now, you want to engage enemies with Tomoe within 10 to 30m, from a cloaked stationary position, and fire in 4-6 round bursts at enemy’s head, making your best effort to keep the crosshair on target.
Tip: when engaging from behind, be aware that enemy will play a “being hit in the head from the back” animation, forcing enemy to bend forward, and actually hiding the head from you for a moment.
When engaging an enemy in the back, you already have an advantage, so it may be better to go for bodyshots.
“Optimal” is not everything
Tomoe is weak in head to head fights, unless you massively outskill the enemy. Stay away from closed spaces and always keep the enemy at an arm’s length.
If you do need to close in, whipping out a sidearm may be a good idea, as at least it can hip fire accurately.
It’s usually not a good idea to engage enemies at long range, unless you can do so safely, or the enemy is staying stationary, in which case Tomoe can be used almost like a sniper rifle.
Tomoe’s competition are other full auto scout rifles and NS-7, which can be used in the same capacity.
All of them already require very good accuracy and proper engagements, and they already kill one enemy per reload at most.
Tomoe just acknowledges and embraces these traits, and pushes them to the extreme. It kills in the same 4 headshots as other full auto scout rifles, but has better accuracy and recoil, and higher Rate of Fire.
Tomoe challenges you to go for headshots and rewards them immensely. However, as soon as you try to go for something suboptimal, like bodyshots against HA or – god forbid – hip firing, you’re gonna regret it instantly.
When paired up with sufficient skill, Tomoe can be very strong and versatile.
However, if you’re already good at clicking heads, you may as well use a CQC BASR and have 0 TTK and more kills per reload.
Tomoe very much requires both aiming and positioning skills, as well as awareness and judgement – when and how to engage.
Overall, it’s an interesting weapon, but a very steep skill requirements makes it something that 90% of infiltrator players would not enjoy using.
(no link to source because it’s a PM)
I auraxiumed Tomoe on all 3 factions. It’s a CQC monster, and has the DPM to be useful in mid range. You don’t need the highest skill level to use it, however it still requires headshots to be competitive, otherwise you will lose out in CQC.
Due to its no damage falloff and accurate high ROF, at mid-long range it probably is comparable or better than most LMG/AR/carbines out there, but automatics aren’t really supposed to be competitive beyond 70m or so.
I’d say it’s slightly better than SOAS / Stalker / Artemis at this point, but depends on the user having good aim and headshot accuracy. I burst it in 4-5 round taps beyond 15m.
Because it is such a CQC reliant weapon, I have found greater success with the nano-armor cloak, which gives me 100 shield back plus lets me escape and survive dicey encounters. That plus nanoweave let’s me get in people’s faces and splooge the Tomoe mag and escape for reloading.
The hunter cloak works too, obviously, with a different and more conservative style. But I still think the NAC is a powerful option. If you expect to be taking any fire, it’s really worth considering. It makes you on-par with other classes which is huge in 1v1’s, especially with a gun that often forces you to face off against others.
With a bolt action, you usually don’t get shot much for that single headshot, so I don’t rely on NAC at all, even when using a 4x BASR. But for scouts and now SMG’s, I’m fully on the NAC train, after years of using Hunter cloaking. I’ve seen a very noticeable improvement in performance with it.
Adding Tomoe into Weapon Simulator
If you want to add NSX Tomoe into my Weapon Simulator, add this string to the end of the Stats.csv file, which you can open with Windows Notepad:
NSX Naginata is a new cross-faction LMG, and the first weapon in upcoming Nanite System Exports lineup of weapons, that are intended to be hard, but rewarding to use, and they will all probably have some sort of a unique mechanical quirk.
In case of NSX Naginata, the quirk is the accuracy of sustained fire, as long as you stand still.
It’s worth noting that Naginata doesn’t share the NS weapon trait of 75% ADS speed. Same as most other LMGs, Naginata has 0.5x ADS Movement Speed multiplier.
Naginata’s maximum bullet damage of 150 and Rate of Fire of 659 are slightly unorthodox, but still very similar to some other LMGs that do 143 damage at 652 RoF.
Naginata deals 1647 DPS within maximum damage range, and 1372 DPS at minimum damage range and further.
This is slightly below average, but comparable to other weapons that rely on accurate shooting.
With 90 rounds per magazine and fast reload, Naginata can just keep firing without much downtime.
As you would expect, an LMG with just one tier of damage degradation and a relatively high RoF will experience a smooth performance decline as range and enemy defenses increase.
Due to the fact that Naginata’s damage degradation starts at 150, and the closest bullet damage threshold is 143, Naginata’s bullet-to-kill values remain more consistent within 0 – 25m bracket.
Tables below are mostly just for reference.
Bullets to Kill (Time to Kill, seconds)
0 – 25
0 – 10
11 – 51
0 – 34
Full Nano + Aux.Shield
0 – 19
20 – 51
Naginata has standard Headshot Damage Multiplier of 2x and requires 4 headshots to kill within 51m. Aux. Shield adds an extra headshot at 52m+, but at that kind of range it’s irrelevant.
Bullets to Kill (Time to Kill, seconds)
0 – 23
24 – 52
NMG + Aux.Shield
0 – 12
13 – 42
0 – 34
35 – 58
Resist + Aux.Shield
0 – 19
20 – 43
NMG + Full Nano
0 – 10
11 – 36
37 – 57
NMG + Nano + Aux.Shield
0 – 25
26 – 48
Naginata requires 5 – 7 headshots to kill a Heavy Assault, depending on distance and shield type.
Given the limited-CoF-bloom-while-stationary feature, Naginata can have an interesting application against other Heavy Assaults, as you can tank their fire with your Overshield, and use superior accuracy and reduced enemy movement speed to score multiple headshots.
Naginata has unremarkable hip fire accuracy. Relatively high RoF adds a bit of consistency, and Naginata will not perform absolutely horribly in a pinch, but you still should try to stay away from hip firing distances, and be careful when storming buildings in first lines.
Naginata’s starting ADS CoFs leave a lot to be desired.
Standing moving accuracy of 0.4 is more or less normal for LMGs, especially on those that rely on volume of fire.
But 0.15 stationary starting CoF is comparably bad.
Just a 0.05 degree difference from the common standard of 0.1 is not a big deal, but overall it means Naginata will have trouble reliably hitting far away or small targets even with the first few shots of the burst.
Advanced CoF Mechanics
This is where it gets interesting.
When standing still and aiming down sights, Naginata’s maximum CoF will be much smaller than usual.
Normally, maximum CoF is 3 degrees for ADS and 7 degrees for hip firing.
But Naginata is different:
Maximum ADS CoF while standing still: 0.6 Maximum ADS CoF while crouching still: 0.4
Maximum Hip Fire CoF while standing still: 4.25
In other words, Naginata will only bloom for the first 5 shots while staying still.
As a result, Naginata can provide relatively accurate sustained fire.
But there is another effect.
As you may know from Rule 1 of Advanced CoF Mechanics, if you change stances and your Current CoF is larger than Maximum CoF for your new stance, your Current CoF will reduce to match the Maximum CoF.
So if you fire on the move and bloom your CoF too much, instead of stopping your burst you can stop moving for a moment to “reset” your CoF.
So with Naginata you could use stutter stepping instead of burst firing to boost accuracy on the move. Or even crouch.
Naginata has very high vertical recoil, even larger than notorious Gauss SAW, which has Vertical Recoil of 0.55 and fires much slower.
Recoil angle is largely irrelevant and horizontal recoil pattern is very tight.
Recoil Decrease is slightly above average for LMGs, but coupled with very high Vertical Recoil Per Second, burst-firing Naginata can prove challenging.
Battling the vertical recoil is pretty much the main thing you will be doing while using this weapon.
Naginata has a carbine-tier Projectile Velocity. 490 m/s is very low for an LMG.
Coupled with below average ADS accuracy, relatively low bullet damage and very high vertical recoil, Naginata will have limited effective range, despite very tight horizontal recoil, and even if you stand still.
Going outside effective range
As long as you can stand still and fire from safe cover, Naginata will remain relatively effective in engaging exposed enemies, even if they are too far for comfort.
Since Naginata can unleash and sustain a large volume of fire, you are bound to kill the enemy, eventually. You will have to compensate for bullet drop and bullet travel time, though.
Both are viable, but in this case Compensator is much more useful.
While one could make an argument that removing muzzle flash would conceal your position and let you stand still and go full auto with more safety, it’s still dangerous and bound to attract attention of enemy snipers.
To avoid being killed too fast, you would want to activate overshield in advance, turning yourself into a big glowing target, and then removing the muzzle flash doesn’t do much.
Compensator will reduce the harsh vertical recoil, which is probably the most valuable effect you could get from an attachment for Naginata.
Due to unusual maximum damage of 150, Naginata doesn’t suffer an immediate penalty to bullets-to-kill when going outside maximum damage range.
As opposed to some other weapons, where increasing maximum damage range from 10m to 15m is a big deal, it is not for Naginata.
As you can see on the graph, SPA will improve performance in 10m – 30m bracket, while HVA will improve performance in 30m – 85m bracket.
Both offer very small bonuses of up to 1.5% (SPA) and 5.2% (HVA) damage increase in best case scenario. Both are viable, but with Naginata being a relatively close range weapon, SPA will probably be more useful.
The ideal engagement for NSX Naginata is somewhat reminiscent of MCG Mini-Chaingun, where you would want to spin it up, and then abuse the static ADS CoF to take out multiple enemies.
The main difference is that NSX Naginata has to be stationary, but actually has accuracy to feasibly kill people at range.
So with NSX Naginata you would want to find a position with good cover and minimal exposure, open only in a small arc in front of you, so you can sit still and fire with relative safety, and mow down exposed enemies as they come by.
Naginata makes a great defensive LMG, or when moving from cover to cover. But you absolutely don’t want to stand still and fire out in the open. Even with overshields, it’s just suicide.
Don’t get stuck on “optimal”!
Don’t get dragged into line of thinking that you need to be always stationary while using Naginata. It is slightly not as good on the move as other LMGs, that’s it. And you can compensate for it with burst firing or stutter stepping.
Most of the time, especially when you’re under fire, you will still want to move while firing.
Only stand still to engage when you have full health and overshield energy, and only behind cover, and preferably when you engage first.
With a combo like that, you spend the minimal amount of time recovering in cover, and the most effectively engaging enemy from cover, which is where both the Naginata and Resist Shield thrive the most.
Battle Hardened seems like a good implant to combine with all of that, to give you more potential to outshoot the enemy while tanking their fire.
The rest of the loadout is up to situation and preference.
A minute of sad realism
Naginata is pretty much a heavily nerfed LMG with a ton of vertical recoil and a gimmick that you won’t be able to use in the majority of normal engagements.
Like Phaseshift, it’s a cute little weapon, but alternatives are more reliable and much simpler to use.
If you’re looking for effective, simple, tried and true, you should stay away from Naginata.
If you’re looking for high skill cap / high reward weapon, a weapon that could take months to master, but if mastered would slay legions before you…
… you should still stay away from Naginata.
If you’re a tired and bored veteran and a weapon mechanics nut, if just “killing” enemies heats your blood no longer, and now it’s more about “how” you kill enemies – then Naginata can add color to a few evenings.
Nonetheless, it is a good attempt, and it is very inspiring to see developers bend the borders of conventional weapon mechanics like that, and I look forward to using the Naginata and other upcoming NSX weapons.
The guide is now concluded, feel free to comment or ask questions below.
Adding Naginata into Weapon Simulator
If you want to add NSX Naginata into my Weapon Simulator, add this string to the end of the Stats.csv file, which you can open with Windows Notepad:
In the patch that came live on 7/7/2016, Forward Grips were fixed:
“Fixed an error where some Forward Grips would incorrectly increase the number of horizontal “kicks” in one direction”
I’d like to take a moment to explain what exactly has changed.
How it worked before
Previously, Forward Grips reduced Horizontal Recoil by a percent, and Horizontal Recoil Tolerance by a flat amount.
For example, standard Forward Grip would reduce Horizontal Recoil by 25% and Tolerance by 0.05 degrees.
In case of some weapons, it could result in increasing the maximum number of horizontal recoil kicks in one direction, and increase the width of the recoil pattern (all pictures are clickable):
The problem was occurring in this equation:
Number of kicks, “N_Kicks” is important for calculating the width of the recoil pattern:
Width = Nkicks * Horizontal Recoil Maximum * 2
So the problem was that HRT and Horizontal Recoil Minimum got affected in a different way. HRT was reduced by a flat amount, and Horizontal Recoil by a percentage multiplier:
In certain combination of variables, that would cause recoil to have an extra kick, which increased the width of the recoil pattern.
How it works now
Now Forward Grips reduce both Horizontal Recoil and Tolerance by the same percent.
Since HRT and Horizontal Recoil Minimum are separated from each other by the fraction sign, the X multipliers from the Forward Grip cancel each other out, and Forward Grip cannot possibly have any effect on the number of kicks:
For vast majority of weapons, Forward Grip did no cause any issues, but there were 5-6 weapons where Forward Grip could actually reduce their horizontal stability – basically doing the opposite of what it’s supposed to.
With these changes, Forward Grip will always correctly reduce the total width of the recoil pattern.
You can expect updated version of the Weapon Simulator to release soon, reflecting these changes.