Tag Archives: mechanics


Claymore Guide by Bvllish

Originally posted on Reddit by /u/Bvllish

PS2 Claymore

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.

PS2 Claymore positioning

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 a baddie 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.

Toolbox stats page

Weapon Stats

PlanetSide 2 weapons have a lot of statistics that define how they function in-game. But only a portion of those statistics is shown in-game. This is how you can access the rest:


This should be your go-to resource. Lists all weapons in a convenient, sortable form. You can also select and compare several weapons. This source would be ideal, if not for a few issues:

  • Sometimes weapon stats take too long to load. 
  • Some numbers are rounded too roughly. For example, it will show 0.225 as 0.23.
  • Some stats, like Recoil Recovery Delay, are not shown, and Equip Time is incorrect for some weapons.

Daybreak Census API

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:


You will receive a JSON string. I highly recommend you use a JSON format browser plugin to make it more readable, or at least use a JSON formatting site.

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.

Full Query

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.

By Item ID 

By weapon name 

These queries pull a lot of info at once, and if you intend to make several queries in a short time frame, you may be required to register a Service ID.

Both queries above pull information in English. If you want to pull all languages, simply remove &c:lang=en from the query.

Or you can specify another language: de, en, es, fr, it, tr

There are other queries you can make to the Census, as explained here and here.

How to find out weapon’s Item ID?

You can make a query, using weapon’s name: 


Make sure to type the name exactly as it appears in game, including blank spaces, if there are any.

The Item ID will be listed in one of the first fields, e.g: “item_id“: “19”

Weapon Analysis Toolbox

This Excel Sheet can:

  • download weapon stats from Census API and display them in formatted form, including information about weapon’s projectile
  • make manual query to Census API about a weapon with a simple double click
  • analyze and calculate weapon mechanics, such as Bullets to Kill, Time to Kill, bullet damage at certain range, analyze weapon’s Cone of Fire and Recoil properties.


An alternative to PlanetStats. It displays more weapon stats, but can potentially be outdated, and you still have to know weapon’s Item ID. DasAnfall may be necessary to find out such weapon stats as:

  • Equip and Unequip Times
  • Projectile Lifespan
  • Projectile Gravity
  • Weapon’s Fire Modes

For example, you can use PlanetStats to find out that TRAC 5 has ID of 43.

Then link to the DasAnfall page of TRAC 5 will look like this: 


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.


An alternative to PlanetStats.

Iridar’s Weapon Analysis Toolbox

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.

Current version: v4e

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:

Toolbox pages

They contain cells of different color:

soft-orange  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-greyLight grey cells contain calculations and references to other cells, do not edit grey cells, or you will break the tool’s functionality.

pale-yellow Pale yellow cells store values for configuration, and you may need to edit them in specific situations.

Toolbox chosen cell Light green filling indicates that this cell’s value has been selected, likely by double clicking.

Toolbox tooltipSmall 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.

Stats Page

Toolbox stats page

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.

Other functions:

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.

Damage Page

damage toolbox page

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 Check Box, 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.

Target Settings


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.

BTK Thresholds

Toolbox BTK Thresholds

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.

Recoil Page

toolbox recoil page

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:

Serpent Recoil Pattern
Serpent’s recoil pattern – not included with the Toolbox

Cone of Fire Page

toolbox cof 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.

Here you can find an example analysis.

Attachments Page

attachments toolbox page

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.

Categories Page

categories toolbox page

This page contains a list of weapon categories. It is used when you Pull Attachments

Temp Page

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.

To Do

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

Horizontal Recoil Stability Calculator

The recent fiasco with AF-4 Cyclone guide has reminded me that a mere possibility of 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:

Statistic Cyclone
Armistice Eridani
Horizontal Recoil 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.

 Horizontal Recoil Stability Calculator

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.

How to use

Enter the weapon’s Horizontal Recoil stats into the three orange boxes at the top (where to get stats?). It’s fine to leave Burst Length and number of Simulations to their default values. 

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:

copy as image

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

Statistic Cyclone
Armistice Eridani
Stability 0.264 0.305 0.294
Maximum Deviation 0.848 0.810 0.840


Cyclone vs Armistice vs Eridani

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 🙁

The “Discovery” of Recoil Recovery Delay

For someone who considers himself a weapon mechanics guru, I’ve been woefully negligent. For a long time we had access to a peculiar statistic: Recoil Recovery Delay.

It can be pulled from DBG API.

What is Recoil Recovery Delay? 

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 add listed Recoil Recovery Delay to weapon’s Refire Time.

True Delay = Recoil Recovery Delay + Refire Time


You fire a burst with T1 Cycler. It has:

Recoil Recovery Delay: 80ms
Refire Time: 80ms

True Delay = 80 + 80 = 160 ms = 0.16 seconds

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 Battle Rifles
Refire Time, ms 235 260 180
Recoil Recovery Delay, ms -118 -130 -30
True Delay, ms 117 130 150
Recoil Recovery Rate,
degrees / sec
8 10 15
Vertical Recoil, degrees  1 1.2  0.6
 Recoil Recovery Time per shot 0.125s   0.12s  0.04


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.

Tomoe‘s unique situation is described in another article.

Closing Thoughts

Recoil Recovery Delay is an important statistics for judging weapon’s capability to burst fire, and it should be considered on equal grounds to Recoil Recovery Rate and Vertical Recoil. 

NSX Tomoe

NSX Tomoe: Highly Technical Weapon Guide

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. 


NSX Tomoe stats

Damage output

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.

Bullets to Kill and Time to Kill

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.


Description Effective Health
Bullets to Kill
(Time to Kill, seconds)
Default 1000 (400) 4 (0.24)
Aux. Shield 1050 (420)

Heavy Assaults

NMG 1437 (575) 6 (0.4)
NMG + Aux.Shield 1487 (595)
Resist 1666 (667)
Resist + Aux.Shield 1750 (700) 7 (0.48)



Description Effective Health
Bullets to Kill
(Time to Kill, seconds)
Default 1000 9 (0.64)
Nanoweave Armor 1250 12 (0.88)

Heavy Assaults

NMG 1438 13 (0.96)
Resist 1666 15 (1.12)
NMG + Full Nanoweave 1798 17 (1.28)


Cone of Fire and Bloom


Hip Fire CoFs

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 minimum damage 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:

Statistic Stock w/ Attachments  Attachment
Vertical Recoil 0.25 0.21 Compensator (-15%)
Recoil Angle -3.0 / 3.0 -0.225 / 0.225 Forward Grip (-25%)
Horizontal Recoil 0.14 / 0.14 0.105 / 0.105 Forward Grip (-25%)
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance 0.4 0.3 Forward Grip (-25%)
First Shot Recoil Multiplier 2.0x
Refire Time 0.08s
Recoil Decrease 6
Recoil Recovery Delay 0.32s



Statistic Stock w/ Attachments  Attachment
Vertical Recoil per Second  3.125  2.625 Compensator (-15%)
Recoil Angle Negligible
Average Horizontal Deviation 0.115 0.087 Forward Grip (-25%)
Max. Horizontal Deviation 0.28 0.21 Forward Grip (-25%)
Max. Num. of horizontal kicks 2
Refire Time 0.08s
Recoil Recovery Delay 0.32s
True Recoil Recovery Delay 0.40s
Recoil Recovery Time per Shot 0.041 0.035 Compensator (-15%)


Tomoe's Recoil Pattern
Tomoe’s Recoil Pattern

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's Horizontal Recoil Pattern
Tomoe's Horizontal Recoil Pattern with FG
Forward Grip

Effective Range

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 stationary enemies 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.



Tomoe’s optimal range is within 10 to 30m bracket, and headshots are your primary goal. 

With that in mind, I recommend to use a 1x or 2x reflex scope.

Stronger magnification can make it inconvenient to aim at targets within 10-20m, and limit your field of vision too much.


You are faced with a choice between Forward Grip (-25% horizontal recoil) and Extended Mags (+2 rounds per mag).

Arguments can be made for both.

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.


Tomoe has access to Flash Suppressor, Suppressor and Compensator.

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.

Recommended Infiltrator Loadout

Cloak Type

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.

Suit Slot

Nanoweave is recommended. 

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. 

Optimal engagement

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. 

Closing thoughts

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.

Mustarde’s thoughts

(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.

Mustarde’s  Loadout: Nano Armor Cloaking, Nanoweave Armor, Recon Darts, EMP grenades, Med Kits. 

And on the cloak choice:

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:

804252,NSX Tomoe,NS,Scout Rifle,112,10,112,20,1.5,80,1,0.55s / 0.64s / 0.64s,,-,22,286,2900,2100,0.5,0.4,0.05,3.25,2.75,3.75,5,2.75,0.1,0.03,0.3,0.06,-3,3,0.25,0.14,0.14,0.4,2,6,Auto,0

The guide is now concluded, feel free to comment or ask questions below.

NSX Naginata

NSX Naginata: Highly Technical Weapon Guide

Wrel’s video review.

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.



Damage output

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.

Bullets to Kill and Time to Kill

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.

Description Effective Health Bullets to Kill (Time to Kill, seconds)
7 (0.55) 8 (0.64) 9 (0.73) 10 (0.82) 11 (0.91)
Default 1000 0 – 25 26+      
Aux. Shield 1050 0 – 10 11 – 51 52+    
Full Nano 1250     0 – 34 35+  
Full Nano + Aux.Shield 1300      0 – 19  20 – 51 52+



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.

Heavy Assaults

Description Effective Health Bullets to Kill (Time to Kill, seconds)
10 (0.82) 11 (0.91) 12 (1.00) 13 (1.09) 14 (1.18) 15 (1.27)
NMG 1437 0 – 23 24 – 52 53+      
NMG + Aux.Shield 1487 0 – 12 13 – 42 43+      
Resist 1666     0 – 34 35 – 58 59+  
Resist + Aux.Shield 1750     0 – 19 20 – 43 44+  
NMG + Full Nano 1796     0 – 10 11 – 36 37 – 57 58+
NMG + Nano + Aux.Shield 1858       0 – 25 26 – 48 49+



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. 

Cone of Fire and Bloom


Hip Fire CoFs

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

(source: Wrel and in-game testing)

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. 


As pulled from DBG API by planetstats, here are Naginata’s recoil stats:

Vertical Recoil: 0.8
Recoil Angle: -1.5 / 1.5
Horizontal Recoil: 0.16 / 0.16
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance: 0.4 (max 2 bounces in one direction)
First Shot Recoil Multiplier: 1.8x
Recoil Decrease: 13

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.

Effective range

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.



Due to high vertical recoil and limited effective range, it is better to stick to 1x scopes.

2x should be usable, but unnecessary. If the target is too far away to be comfortably engaged with 1x scope, it is probably outside your effective range anyway.


The default choice here should be the Forward Grip. While Naginata already has great horizontal recoil by default, it is the only thing limiting your accuracy.

In theory, you can compensate for 100% of the vertical recoil, you have “locked” CoF while standing still, and there is no recoil angle variance. 

So using a Forward Grip will increase your maximum potential accuracy. 

Extended Mags only increase magazine size by 45 rounds (+50%), while most other LMGs get +100% bonus. 

With a very fast reload and risks associated with sustained fire, you are unlikely to need more than 90 rounds at a time, making Ex. Mags not valuable.

Naginata’s LMG-tier hip fire accuracy and increased hip fire bloom make Laser Sight and hip firing in general not very viable.


Naginata has access to Flash Suppressor and Compensator.

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.


Naginata has access to both SPA and HVA

Naginata Ammo Attachments
image is clickable

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

Optimal engagement

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. 

Recommended Heavy Assault Loadout

In order to live up to Naginata’s high uptime, you will need a loadout that leaves you with the least downtime, and makes you tanky at the same time.

The cheapest, easiest to use and the most reliable combination would be Advanced Shield Capacitor with Resist Shield and Med Kits

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:

804249,NSX Naginata,NS,LMG,150,10,125,65,1,91,1,0.55s / 0.64s / 0.64s,,-,90,450,4000,2800,0.5,0.12,0.06,3,2.25,4.5,5,4,0.15,0.15,0.4,0.35,-1.5,1.5,0.8,0.16,0.16,0.4,1.8,13,Auto,0

Keep in mind that it won’t properly simulate Naginata’s CoF mechanics, but you can still use it to check out TTK at various ranges or compare attachments.

forward grip changes

How Forward Grips were fixed

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):

Pulsar C recoil comparison - side by side
Pulsar C recoil comparison – side by side
Pulsar C recoil comparison - overlay
Pulsar C recoil comparison – overlayed

The problem was occurring in this equation:

 formula 1  

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:

formula 2

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.

formula 3

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:

formula 1

Pulsar C recoil comparison - side by side
Pulsar C recoil comparison – side by side
Pulsar C recoil comparison - overlayed
Pulsar C recoil comparison – overlayed

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.

weapon calculator

PlanetSide 2 Weapon Simulator

This program is a standalone simulator of PlanetSide 2 Weapon Mechanics.

It can simulate Cone of Fire, bullet hits, recoil, analyze the effects of attachments on each weapon, and compare different weapons to each other.

This is a work in progress, so please inform me of any bugs or suggestions.

>> Download v1.7 PTS here <<

Known issue: since it’s program in an archive, this might get flagged as potentially harmful. Windows Smart Screen and Avast have particular issues with it.

I assure you, no harm will come to your PC. Ignore the warnings. Use any online virus scan if you don’t believe me.

v1.6 main window

New in the latest version:


Version 1.7 PTS includes changes from the 14/10/2016 PTS patch to damage and range. Recoil and CoF changes are not included.



Select Program Mode in the top right corner. Select a weapon from the list on the right. You can preview selected weapon’s stats in “Weapon Stats” module, and add attachments in “Attachments” module.

“Add to comparison” button copies currently selected weapons with all attachments. You can then select a different weapon or attachment combination.

“Weapon Stats” textbox only displays stats for currently selected weapon. To access stats of weapons copied for comparison, click “Get stats” button under weapon’s name and they will appear in a message box.

Attachment restrictions

I hate when programs try to be smarter than the user, so I let you decide which attachments can be put on which weapons. If you don’t know which weapons can accept which attachments, you can check that in-game (preferable) or on PS2 Wiki if you’re lazy.

Each weapon should be properly affected by attachments, but there are a few notable points:

For non-SMG weapons, Suppressor’s penalty to Minimum Damage Range varies from -20m to -25m depending on weapon. For simplicity’s sake, -20m penalty is assumed for all non-SMG weapons.

Extended Mags won’t do anything for weapons it’s not available for.

Some weapons come with attachments already installed. For example,  MKV Suppressed comes with a pre-installed suppressor, so there’s no need to put a second suppressor on it.

Directive Shotguns in-game have Smart Choke equipped by default, but in the simulator, you will have to equip it yourself.

Slug Ammunition speed is assumed as 300 m/s for all shotguns. It’s possible that Sweeper and Haymaker have 275 m/s slug velocity.

Simulation Mode

Simulation Mode allows you to test fire all selected weapons. Press Left Mouse Button or “Fire Fixed Burst” button to fire.

The program will simulate recoil and bullet hits in accordance with PlanetSide 2 Weapon Mechanics. Bullet drop and travel time are not accounted for. The recoil magnitude should be more or less up to scale with first person shooting in game.

Right Mouse Button toggles ADS. ADSing applies magnification from chosen optic, and lets the weapon use ADS CoFs.

Holding Middle Mouse Button will let you move the window around, and Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out. You can drag around recoil patterns using the blue circle in the bottom part as an anchor.

Bullets to Kill Module

Blackhand BTK

The simulator will automatically calculate the number of bullets required to kill a target
at different ranges. Number in the brackets is time to kill (TTK).

You can specify target’s health and damage resistance in text boxes above. The “Legend” button will display a table to remind you which targets have what amount of health and damage resistance.

You can also specify the number of “Bonus Headshots” the target receives before BTK calculations. This is useful if you want to calculate the amount of bullets to kill a target after you open with a headshot.

Draw Target toggle

v1.5 drag target

Makes an enemy dummy target visible. You can drag and drop the target using the blue anchor at the bottom.

Target should be up to scale as if it’s 5m away from you in game. You can press W and S to move closer / away from the target.

Target scaling is zeroed at 5m, the more you away from it, the less accurate the scaling will be. But I did use my Angular Size research to get the target scaling as close to in-game as possible.

The “TTK Simulation” window will tell you the damage your weapon would do at that range.

TTK Simulation Module

v1.7 TTK simulation

This module is only visible when “Draw Target” is enabled.

My program cannot detect bullet hits, but you can do it manually by pressing “Head”, “Leg” and “Body” buttons.

The program will calculate damage you have dealt, and the remaining target health,
as well as how long it took to fire that amount of shots.

“Reset CoF” button will reset weapon’s CoF, and adjust “time elapsed” for the time
it would take to reset CoF in game.

“Record Pattern” mode is there for demonstration purposes.

Normally, the direction of Horizontal Recoil is chosen randomly. Record Pattern mode allows the user to choose the recoil direction with A and D keys.

This mode is only useful if you want to draw a specific recoil pattern to take a screenshot.

Configuration Module

On the first launch, the program will create “settings.ini”. You can use “save” and “load” buttons to store your preferred configuration. To reset to factory defaults, just delete the “settings.ini”.


Ongoing development

The program is still very much in development, so there inevitably will be bugs. Please inform me if you have any trouble with the Simulator.

how i code


Already on my to-do list:

  • Let user manually add weapons
  • Add Recoil Simulation mode that will let the user control recoil with mouse
  • Let the “Save configuration” button save selected weapons as well.
  • add recoil pattern width and recoil per second calculations into weapon stats window, and calculated stat values (DPM, FSRM).
  • add TTK graph mode
  • add sorting by weapon class and faction to the weapon list
  • add a way to automatically update weapon stats through census API or accept export from Toolbox
  • add BTK thresholds to the left side of the bullet damage graph
  • add BTK thresholds graph

Changelog and archive

v1.0 – Initial Release

v1.1 – Bugfix

Fixed a bug with Decimal Symbol in different locales.

v1.2 – Function update

Users can now choose a firing stance.
Added weapon comparison.
Recoil patterns can be dragged around using the small blue circle at the bottom.
Also updated the weapon database to include velocity changes.

v1.3 – Bugfix

Fixed a bug that prevented weapon stats from updating properly with HVA, SPA and Suppressor attachments.

v1.4 – Function update

Added an option to draw weapon damage graphs.
Useful for comparing weapon damage at different ranges and with different attachments.

v1.5- Function update

Now the target from “Draw Target” option can be dragged and dropped using the blue anchor at the bottom of the target.

v1.5a – Function fix

Now the drawn target scales relative to center mass.

v1.6 – Function update

Added “BTK Thresholds” window. It will calculate the amount of bullets needed for a
weapon to kill a target with specified health and resistance at different ranges.

v1.6A – Function update

“BTK Thresholds” window will also display TTK.

v1.7 – Function update

Updated for the latest patch, and added “TTK Simulation” module.

v1.7 PTS – Database update

Updated for the latest PTS patch to highlight some weapon changes.

As a closing word, huge thanks to /u/L33-the-3rd for formatting the PS2 Weapon Database into CSV for me.

Horizontal Recoil Tolerance


Horizontal Recoil Tolerance is the most mysterious and elusive recoil characteristic. We all knew what it’s supposed to do: set a limit on just how far Horizontal Recoil can take you from initial aiming position.

Horizontal Recoil Tolerance

There were many hints, starting with the datamined name of this stat, and ending with this video by Vanu Labs. 

However, nobody was able to figure out how to translate the datamined HRT values into what can be seen in game.

How everybody thinks it works

Let’s take the infamous Gauss SAW as an example:

Horizontal Recoil: 0.175 / 0.175
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance: 0.525

Instantly it becomes obvious that 0.525 is divisible by 0.175 without residue:

0.525 / 0.175 = 3

So the logical conclusion would be that Gauss SAW can kick up to 3 times into one direction, after which Horizontal Recoil Tolerance forces it to bounce in the opposite direction.

But that assumption is wrong. Gauss SAW can only kick up to 2 times in the same direction.

This comes from multiple in-game tests, where I record a high resolution video of firing a weapon, and then watch it frame by frame and document how crosshair moves after each shot. 

Here’s an example of such recording:

And here’s the recorded recoil path from that video example:

Gauss SAW recoil path

You can clearly see that Gauss SAW recoils only up to 2 times in the same direction. More recorded recoil paths:

SAW HRT no grip

It’s not just Gauss SAW, this is confirmed by testing other weapons as well; they all bounce less than this theory suggests. I have a notebook full of these scribbles:

manual testing

It’s obvious that the first theory about Horizontal Recoil Tolerance is wrong.

For years nobody was able to offer a correct theory, mostly from lack of interest or necessary knowledge. 

In the meantime, the solution is painfully simple, and if not for misleading HRT values, we’d crack that nut much earlier.

How it actually works

If you imagine HRT as an angle, the center of that angle is the position of your first shot. If the gun recoils left several times and exceeds the left half of tolerance, it will be forced to to recoil right at least once. 

HRT explanation

HRT is split in halves by crosshair position of a first shot in a burst, so that’s what we care about – half of tolerance, not the whole value.

If we return to our example with Gauss SAW:

Gauss Saw Horizontal Recoil Tolerance

full path - HRT

Accumulated horizontal recoil from 2 shots of Gauss SAW is equal to 0.35, which is greater than half of tolerance: 0.2625. That is why Gauss SAW can only recoil twice in the same direction. 

So the fact that 0.525 can be divided by horizontal recoil without residue has no meaning at all. It’s a nasty coincidence, nothing more.

I have tested and retested this theory many times with at least 12 different weapons, and it remains consistent and predictable. 

The possibility that it works somehow differently behind the scenes still exists, but it is small. 

The funny part is that HRT could take different values without affecting anything. Gauss SAW could have Tolerance anywhere between 0.36 and 0.69, and the result would be exactly the same – still kick only up to 2 times in the same direction.

HRT deviation

This leads to funny and unexpected things. For example:

T32 Bull: 0.18 / 0.18 Recoil, 0.5 Tolerance
T16 Rhino: 0.2 / 0.2 Recoil, 0.7 Tolerance
TMG-50: 0.175 / 0.175, 0.7 Tolerance

T32 Bull has much lower Tolerance than T16 Rhino, yet they both kick up to 2 times in one direction.

TMG-50 has same tolerance as T16 Rhino, but lower Horizontal Recoil, so it kicks up to 3 times in one direction, giving it a wider recoil pattern.

How HRT can be used

Horizontal Recoil is the most unpredictable and uncontrollable part of the whole recoil system. You can’t compensate for random.

Horizontal Recoil Tolerance brings a piece of order into this chaos. Horizontal Recoil can bounce wildly all it wants, but only within the bounds of HRT. 

Knowing how HRT works, you can calculate the width of the recoil pattern: the distance between the extremities of Horizontal Recoil:

recoil pattern width

Notice that Width is always larger than HRT, because Horizontal Recoil can exceed half of HRT once.


First you will have to calculate the maximum amount of horizontal recoil kicks in the same direction:

N_Kicks = Round_Down ((HRT / 2) / Horizontal Recoil Minimum) + 1

In other words, to calculate the number of kicks, you have to divide HRT by 2, then divide the result by Minimum Horizontal Recoil, then round the result down, and then increase it by one.

For example:

Horizontal Recoil: 0.2 / 0.2
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance: 0.45

HRT / 2 = 0.225
0.225 / 0.2 = 1.125
Round it down to 1, then increase by 1

N_Kicks = 2

Confirmed by in-game testing.

When you know the maximum amount of kicks, you can calculate the total width of the recoil pattern:

Width = N_Kicks * Horizontal Recoil Maximum * 2

For T5 AMC:

Recoil Pattern Width = 0.2 * 2 * 2 = 0.8 degrees

This means that as long as target’s Angular Size is less or equal to 0.8 degrees, you are guaranteed to hit it, from the standpoint of Horizontal Recoil. 

Recently I released a Burst Length Calculator that can calculate the range where target can be reliably killed in one burst. I plan to release an updated version of the calculator, that will take Horizontal Recoil into account.

Unexpected implications

Attention! The following issue was fixed in 7/7/2016 patch. It no longer works this way!

As you know, Forward Grip / Advanced Forward Grip reduce both Horizontal Recoil and Tolerance. 

But the reduction in recoil is percentage-based, while reduction in Tolerance is a flat amount. So in certain conditions equipping a Forward Grip may increase the number of kicks, and sometimes even increase the width of the recoil pattern. 

Essentially making it a downgrade, making the weapon worse at what it’s supposed to make it better.  

Pulsar C is the most prominent example of that:

Pulsar C HRT no GripPulsar C HRT Grip

This is confirmed by in-game testing.

Advanced Forward Grip still reduces horizontal recoil per shot, so in that sense, it will make recoil a bit smoother. But it will be able to bounce in wider bounds, making it less consistent and predictable. 

So basically Pulsar C is likely to perform better at ranged shooting without Forward Grip. How crazy is that, huh?

This is mostly because of how accurate is Pulsar C by default – it’s one of two weapons that can only kick once in the same direction, with the other gun being Gauss Compact Burst. 

There are other weapons affected negatively by Forward Grip, but it’s not as black and white with them.

Let’s use Gauss SAW again:

Horizontal Recoil: 0.175 / 0.175
Horizontal Recoil Tolerance: 0.525
Half of tolerance: 0.2625

With Advanced Forward Grip:

Horizontal Recoil: 0.175 * 0.67 = 0,11725
Tolerance: 0.525 - 0.05 = 0.475
Half of tolerance: 0.2375

Round_Down(0.2625 / 0.175) + 1 = 2

Without AFG, SAW kicks up to 2 times in the same direction.

Round_Down(0.2375 / 0.11725) + 1 = 3

With AFG, it takes 3 horizontal recoil bounces to exceed half of tolerance:

SAW HRT grip ++   Gauss Saw Horizontal Recoil Tolerance

This is confirmed by in-game testing.

But is it actually a bad thing? If we calculate the width of the recoil pattern in both cases:

No grip, width = 0.175 * 2 * 2 = 0.7
AFG, width = 0.11725 * 3 * 2 = 0.7035

So the difference in recoil pattern width is negligible, while the reduction in Horizontal Recoil per shot is substantial, which is important for firing in short bursts, which is done a lot with Gauss SAW.

So despite the fact that AFG increases the number of kicks for Gauss SAW, it remains a noticeable upgrade. 



This Excel Spreadsheet contains recoil statistics of 76 automatic and burst weapons, along with calculations for number of kicks, and how they are affected by Forward Grip.

These recoil stats were pulled from DBG API, which contains their exact values – in DBG database weapon stats often have values like “0,174999999999999”, while in online spreadsheets they are rounded to “0,175”.

This kind of imprecision can be crucial in calculating the number of bounces.

According to my calculations, Forward Grip / Advanced Forward Grip increases the number of kicks and width of the recoil pattern by a noticeable amount for these weapons:

  • Orion VS54
  • VX29 Polaris
  • T9 CARV S
  • TAR
  • Equinox VE2
  • Pulsar C

Forward Grip should not be used with these weapons. Outside of short bursting of 2-3 rounds, it will only make things worse.

There is also a category of weapons where Forward Grip increases the amount of kicks, but the increase to width of the recoil pattern is negligible, and Forward Grip largely remains an upgrade for them:

  • NC6 Gauss SAW
  • Carnage AR
  • Corvus VA55

Finally, we have AF-4 Cyclone. Its horizontal recoil varies by a great amount, so Forward Grip will sometimes increase the number of kicks, and sometimes it won’t. 

Overall, I don’t recommend using Forward Grips on SMGs, but for other reasons


Horizontal Recoil Tolerance remained a blind spot of PS2 weapon community for a long time, and I’m happy to finally shed some light on it.

There is still much to do in theorycrafting of PlanetSide 2, but now we finally can predict a weapon’s recoil pattern just from its stats.

Please feel free to comment me with any questions regarding PS2 weapon mechanics.