Red Algorithm

Red Algorithm

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Range Penalty
By Eugene
In this guide you will learn everything about Range Penalty mechanic in Red Algorithm
What is Range Penalty?
As the projectile (bullet, in most cases) travels, it loses its velocity, energy, and power. This is simulated with the so-called "Range Penalty" mechanic in Red Algorithm.

Most weapons in the game (except those that have splash-type damage, like plasma and launchers) have such a velocity loss after their bullets reach 50% of the maximum range.

Let's look at the screenshot below to see how it works:

A typical game as John with Veteran. Level 1, 1st min., no runes, no nothing.

As you can see in the Dev Stats, the damage that Veteran rifle should do is 25.

And, you can see that the damage was 25 because the target was closer than 50% of the maximum range. If the target was further, then the Range Penalty will apply, like here:

The same game, the same level, the same weapon

The damage here is only 19 because the target was far and the bullet lost its velocity.

19 damage instead of 25 doesn't seem like a big problem, but in many cases, it actually is a big deal, especially for weak and fast-shooting weapons with a low range like SMGs, but it's very important for machine guns, shotguns, pistols, and ARs too. The range penalty can be from 0.25 (25%) up to 0.5 (50%), which will reduce the total damage by half!

Essentially what Range Penalty does is that it forces you to be even closer to monsters in order to do the maximum damage, rather than staying far away and shooting from a safe far distance, which you can do effectively with only some kinds of weapons (Rifles, Assault Rifles, and Gauss).
Where and how can I see it?
You can see the Range Penalty a weapon has by expanding its stats:

It has a super weird name there: "2nd 1/2 distance damage"

For Walloon here is 50%, which is very typical for many SMGs.

Also, you can check weapon stats on the official website[]:

I am trying to keep the stats on the website up to date with the current stats in the game

In addition to that, from Version 1.4, there is a special Weapon Warning about it:

A warning: "This weapon is weak at a long range"

So, even if you don't expand the weapon's stats, you should get a hint on this.
Weapon Class & Range Penalty
Actually, you don't even need to know the exact Range Penalty a weapon has, because in most cases it depends on the weapon class and is kind of intuitive.

  • Pistols: ~50%
  • Shotguns: ~50%
  • SMGs: ~50%
  • ARs: ~25%
  • Rifles: ~25%
  • Plasma: 0%
  • Gauss: ~25%
  • MGs: ~50%
  • Launchers: 0%
  • Primitive: ~50%

As you can see, only 3 classes have a low range penalty (ARs, Rifles, and Gauss), 2 classes don't have that at all (Plasma, and Launchers), and all other weapons have a significant penalty.

There are many exceptions and some weapons have quite different Range Penalty from their class (usually those are mixed-class weapons). For example, unlike many other shotguns with a 50% Range Penalty, Dunali[] has only 35%, because it's also classified as a rifle. Another example is .50[], a pistol with a particularly high power, which makes its penalty only 25%, while many other pistols have it at 50%.
How to reduce it?
There is only one way to directly reduce the Range Penalty.

It's the Long Distance Shooter[] perk.

This perk will not only increase your range but also divide the range penalty by 2. So, if the penalty was 50%, it will be 25%, and if it was 25%, it will go down to only 12.5%.

Another indirect, yet much more common way to deal with the range penalty is to just increase your range. There are quite a few perks that do that, and a hero[] that starts with a native range boost. If you extend the total range, half of it will also be extended, therefore you will do maximum damage at a shorter distance.
Playing smart while keeping Range Penalty in mind
Ok, now that you learned about this mechanic, what can you do about it?

The advice will be simple: "whenever possible, stay closer to the target". There is a huge difference in damage for many pistols, SMGs, and shotguns. For example, when you start as Lucy[] and with her Counsellor[] pistol which has a 50% range penalty, you might actually feel that she is even weaker than other free heroes like John or Sarah. But as soon as you realize that you should stay closer to the enemy to do the full damage, the game becomes far easier.

Counsellor is a good weapon, it's DPS is actually high, 75 per second (15 / 0.2). But if you miss a lot and if you are far from the target (>100 pixels of distance, which is 50% of the max range of this pistol), you will get the range penalty and your DPS will be reduced by 50%, to 37.5. The same goes for most of the SMGs (including Genesis[], the one Sarah[] starts with), and most shotguns.

Another thing you can do is to use duck (crouch) by pressing "Shift" whenever possible. This gives a decent accuracy and range boost, which means that half of the maximum range will shift further, so you can deal more damage.

Lastly, when you need to do a lot of damage fast, for example when you just approached an annoying spawner, surely it's a great idea to stay as close to it as possible to make sure that you are dealing the maximum damage without the penalty (but, obviously, don't stay too close, or a spanned monster will come up and hit you).

If we go even deeper, the Range Penalty makes even more difference for weapons with good penetration, like rifles, ARs, and machine guns, because after each penetration the bullet velocity also drops by 10% (perk Penetrator[] can help to deal with that), which means that if you hit the first target with reduced damage, all further damage will be reduced even more. We are not going to calculate everything here, but just one burst of 3 bullets from an AR against 5 - 10 monsters will be far more or far less effective depending on the fact whether you hit the first target with a Range Penalty, or not.