America's Army: Proving Grounds

America's Army: Proving Grounds

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Weapon Mechanics in America's Army: Proving Grounds
By BCPull
Want to know how ballistics are handled in AAPG? How much damage do bullets do at long range? How much should you lead a target? Here are the answers you're looking for!
 
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Introduction
LAST UPDATED: 6-Sep-2016
Updated weapon stats


Welcome! This is a comprehensive look at most of the core weapon mechanics in America's Army: Proving Grounds. If you've ever wanted to get into the nitty-gritty details of how everything works, this is the place to look. We'll cover every aspect of weapon handling from the moment you spawn in to the moment your bullet lands.

Where you hit matters: Damage zones
Getting hit in the head hurts much more than getting shot in the leg. We'll break down just how much more.

Bleeding out: How bleed damage works
Everything deals a combination of "instant" damage and "bleed" damage. We'll cover the difference and why bandaging up is a good idea.

Long range 101: Bullet drop and leading targets
Which aspects of bullet ballistics are modeled in the game? How much do bullets drop? Where should you aim?

Long range 201: Damage falloff (or, why that guy isn't dead already)
Bullets lose energy over distance. How does the game handle this? What does it mean for gameplay and weapon balance?

Weapon Handling Basics: Accuracy, Sway, and Recoil
Low health penalties
Stamina: The out-of-breath penalties
Practically every action you take can tie in to how your weapon handles. Are you standing, crouching, or prone? Have you been running recently and need to catch your breath? How much damage have you taken? It all plays a role.

Bullet penetration and shots through walls
Only some walls are bulletproof and some guns put bullets through them better than others. Learn how the game handles this very important mechanic.

Suppression effects
Screen blur and you: what does it do?

The Shotgun
The shotgun behaves slightly differently. This covers how.

ADS Movement Speed
You move more slowly while scoped in. Find out how much.

Weapon Drop & Pick-up
Learn how the inventory system works.

Other topics
Think I'm missing an important mechanic? Let me know!
Where you hit matters: Damage zones
Getting shot in the head hurts... a LOT! But how much more does that shot hurt in the Proving Grounds?

Each source of damage in the game is a mixture of "instant damage" and "bleed damage". Depending on where you hit the enemy, you'll do a mix of these two types of damage. Instant damage is instantly removed from the enemy's health, while the bleed damage is applied over time.

Here are the damage zones used in Proving Grounds:

Damage Zone
Instant %
Bleed %
Head
400
20
Arms
65
30
Upper torso
65
30
Lower torso
55
60
Legs
45
45

Some parts of the body, like the lower torso, take a lot of bleed damage. This also shows that aiming at head level is very important: you're more likely to land a headshot and the upper body takes more damage than the lower body. With its 400% instant damage bonus, a shot to the head is almost always an instant kill -- go for it!


But how do these values get used by the game? They're just percentages. You guessed it -- each gun has its own damage value.

Weapon // OpFor Weapon
Base Damage
M4 // AK105
46 // 53
M9, CZ-2
38
M1911
52
M14 // Dragunov
91 // 91
M16 // AK107
46 // 53
M24 // SV98
160 // 160
M249 // RPK
46 // 53

So how much damage does an M249 shot do if you hit the enemy in the arm?
46 * 0.65 = 29 instant damage (all damage always gets rounded down)
46 * 0.30 = 13 bleed damage
Bleeding out: How bleed damage works
Most sources of the damage in the game will also cause you to bleed. It sounds bad, but it's not so awful -- you'll only lose 1 point of health per second, no matter how many times you've been hit. You're usually better off running away from where you got shot before you patch yourself up.

The first point of bleed damage is dealt after 2.5 seconds. One additional point of damage is taken every second until either:
  • all the bleed damage is dealt
  • you bandage yourself
  • you run out of HP

It takes 1.65 seconds to patch yourself. While patching up, the bleed countdown timer pauses (ie, you won't take more bleed damage while patching).


AA:PG also includes a bleedout mechanic for downed players. After 45 seconds, they may no longer be revived.
Long range 101: Bullet drop and leading targets
In Proving Grounds, bullets don't travel instantly. Instead, guns have muzzle velocities that provide an approximation of real-world weapon handling. However, most of your firefights in the game are going to happen at fairly short distances where you can pretend these effects don't really matter.

But, for those times when it does, here's how it works.

Let's look at the M4, M16, and M249. All three of these guns share the same muzzle velocity and bullet drop in Proving Grounds. These weapons have in-game muzzle velocities of 600 m/s. This is a slightly lower number than their "real world" equivalents, creating a bit more room for players to see the effects of leading targets and bullet drop.

First, let's look at bullet drop over distance.


Even for a target 100 meters away (a long distance in this game!), you'll only have to aim 13 cm (about 5 inches) above the target. The effect exists, but you probably shouldn't worry about it most of the time!

The M24 and M14 have higher muzzle velocities in the game (about 850 m/s). At 100 meters, they'll only have about 7 cm of drop.


The bigger, more important effect over long distances is needing to lead your target.

An enemy even just 25 meters away should, if they're running perpendicularly to you, be led by about 22 cm / 9 inches!


Knowing the distances is different from understanding what they mean in-game. Here are some sample images and how far away the flag is to help give you an idea for in-game range.




6 meters









16 meters









35 meters









60 meters








F.A.Q.
Q. Are bullets affected by gravity?
A. Yes, bullets drop over long distances. You may have to aim slightly above where you want to hit for long-distance shots.

Q. Are bullets affected by wind?
A. No, there's no wind in the Proving Grounds. There's also no air resistance to slow the bullets down.

Q. Your trajectory is wrong!
A. First, that's not a question. Second, Proving Grounds uses a flat trajectory. This is what drop looks like in the game!

Q. What about the enemy/AK weapons? Don't they fire different rounds?
A. The enemy weapons use the same muzzle velocities and bullet trajectories as their 'friendly' counterparts.
Long range 201: Damage falloff (or, why that guy isn't dead already)
Bullets in Proving Grounds lose energy over distance. This is reflected in the game with lower damage per shot. As an example, let's look at the M4's damage falloff chart:


This shows the instant damage from a single bullet from the M4. Enemies closer than 20 meters take the full 29 damage. Enemies further than 60 meters take the minimum, 17 damage. That's the difference between killing an enemy with 4 hits and 6 hits.

Each weapon has its own properties for calculating damage at long range. Let's look at the numbers for each weapon, then look at how the actual damage gets calculated.

Weapon
Falloff Start Distance
Falloff Stop Distance
Distant Damage Scale (%)
M4 // AK105
20 // 16 meters
60 // 52 meters
57 // 44
M9 (or CZ-2) // M1911
10 // 12 meters
30 // 32 meters
61 // 61
M14 // Dragunov
45 // 45 meters
85 // 85 meters
58 // 58
M16 // AK107
30 // 26 meters
70 // 63 meters
57 // 44
M24 // SV98
infinite
infinite
n/a
M249 // RPK
20 // 16 meters
60 // 52 meters
57 // 44

So what do these numbers mean? Compare the M4 values to the graph above. The M4 starts to lose damage at the start distance and levels off at the stop distance. The damage drops from 100% at close range to (distant damage scale)% at long range.


Here's how these curves look for all the weapons. (Careful! This is before any hit zone modifier. For example, multiply the damage by 0.65 for a hit to the upper torso.)

Note: the shotgun data above is out of date. The 870MCS falloff now starts at 10m and ends at 24m.

F.A.Q.
Q. Will headshots still kill enemies at long range?
Every rifle (ie, not the pistol or shotgun) will always kill with a single unobstructed hit to the head at any range.

Q. How do the enemy weapons compare?
Generally, I'd recommend using the enemy weapons at short ranges and the friendly weapons at long ranges. While they have higher damage values, the enemy weapons drop off in damage earlier and fall more steeply.

Consider the AK105 and the M4. The AK105 is a 3-shot kill to upper torso at close ranges versus the M4's 4-shot kill. At long ranges, however, the AK105 is a 7-shot kill to the M4's 6 shots. Factor in the AK105's slower rate of fire and it seems like an even poorer choice from far away.
Weapon Handling Basics, Part 1: Accuracy
Accuracy refers to where bullets land in relation to where you're aiming.

If you're aiming down the sights, this is a very short topic: bullets fly at exactly where you're aiming (before bullet drop).

If you're *not* aiming down sights, though....

Every weapon in hipfire (or "high ready" if you're feeling fancy ;) ) has an accuracy cone that grows and shrinks as you're penalized. Calculating this penalty is almost exactly the same as the recoil penalty scale calculation in a later section, so for now, we'll skip that part. More interesting is how bullets are distributed throughout the accuracy cone.



What this shape means (even though it might not look like it!) is that, if we looked at a bullseye like this one, every ring has the same chance of getting hit.



This is actually a really nice way to handle spread. In past patches, bullets were actually more likely to hit some of the outer rings than the inner ones!
Weapon Handling Basics, Part 2: Sway
Briefly, while you're aiming down sights, your point of aim will sway in a "figure 8" pattern. As you become tired, or injured, or try to aim from a worse stance, this pattern will become larger and you'll see the point of aim moving more rapidly.

To counter this, you can momentarily hold breath to pause the sway.

This mechanic is being slightly reworked for future releases. More details and explanation will come with that release.

(coming soon)
Weapon Handling Basics, Part 3: Recoil
Let's start by looking at how the Recoil Penalty Modifier is calculated.

First: which condition applies to you? Choose the first row that matches.
Condition
Value
Transitioning
0.8
Anchored
0.1
Standing
0.2
Crouching
0.15
Prone
0.1

Next: Let's add the motion penalty.
Condition
Value
Prone, moving and rotating
+200
Prone, moving
+100
Moving and turning
+0.6
Moving
+0.3

Next: are you firing your gun? Add the weapon firing penalty.
Weapon
Firing Penalty
M4 // AK105
1.9 // 2.0
M9 // CZ-2
5.0 // 5.0
M14 // Dragunov
2.0 // 2.0
M16 // AK107
1.8 // 1.9
M24 // SV98
2.4 // 2.4
M249 // RPK
0.85 // 0.85
870MCS // SuperNova
0.2 // 0.2

Next, add the suppression penalty if you're being shot at. This ranges from 0 to 0.3, depending on how suppressed you are.

Next, check the stamina penalty if you're out of breath. This ranges from 0 to 0.35, depending on how out of breath you are. IF the stamina penalty is higher than what you have so far, it replaces the recoil penalty.


Okay, almost done. Find the line that applies to you and multiply what you've got so far.
Condition
Value
Transitioning
1
Anchored
0.1
Standing
1
Crouching
0.65
Prone
0.2

Is your penalty higher than 1? If yes, set it to 1.

(Note: Penalties aren't actually applied instantly. Instead, your character is penalized and recovers from being penalized over time. So let's say, right now, you have a penalty value of 0.1, but then stuff happens and you get a new number: 0.8! After a quarter second, you'd be halfway to your new penalty. After half a second, you'd be up to a penalty of 0.62. This doesn't have a huge effect on how you'll play the game, though, so it's pretty safe to forget about it :) )

Okay, so that's everything that ties in to figuring out the penalty modifier... but we're only partway there. Now we have to figure out how this actually affects your gun.

Each gun has two recoil values, RecoilBase and RecoilPenalized. If your recoil modifier is 0, you get RecoilBase; if your recoil modifier is 0.5, you're halfway between; and if your recoil modifier is 1, you get RecoilPenalized. (RecoilPenalized actually gets changed a bit depending on your health, but we'll cover that later.)

Each weapon has a vertical recoil component and a horizontal recoil component, written like [vertical horizontal]. Bigger numbers represent larger amounts of recoil.

Weapon
Recoil Base
Recoil Penalized
M4 // AK105
[41 41] [48 48]
[320 320] [375 375]
M9
[328 328]
[710 710]
M14 // Dragunov
[327 250] [294 225]
[1001 874] [900 787]
M16 // AK107
[41 41] [50 50]
[310 310] [381 381]
M24 // SV98
[1006 1006] [1006 1006]
[3090 3090] [3090 3090]
M249 // RPK
[52 23] [41 16]
[436 309] [333 239]
870 // SuperNova
[1274 900] [1274 900]
[4550 1820] [4550 1820]

Finally, we apply the recoil to the weapon after you fire. However, there's a bit of variability. The side to side recoil is randomly anywhere from 0% to 100% of the horizontal value. The vertical recoil is anywhere from MinRecoil% to 100%; this value varies from weapon to weapon.

Weapon
MinRecoil%
M4 // AK105
50 // 75
M9
80 // 80
M14 // Dragunov
99 // 99
M16 // AK107
50 // 75
M24 // SV98
80 // 80
M249 // RPK
96.5 // 96.5
870 // SuperNova
40 // 40

Finally, if you're ADS, you only get 75% of the recoil.
Low health penalties
Low health penalties are wrapped into how the game handles your accuracy, sway, and recoil penalties. Figuring out how low health affects your weapon handling is a multi-step process for the game.

First, we calculate your health penalty. For recoil, the health penalty graph looks like this:


This factor determines how much of the low health penalty recoil gets added to your weapon. When the game calculates your recoil value (see the previous section for more detail), it looks between a "Base" recoil number and a "Penalty" recoil number that are specific to each weapon. The low health penalty just increases the "Penalty" recoil number.

In other words, low HP progressively makes all of the other factors that influence your weapon handling more important.


The low health penalty ranges from [0 0] up to [+200 vertical, +200 horizontal] on your weapon's RecoilPenalized value. This value is the same for every gun. As a consequence, the low health penalty is more dramatic on a weapon like the M249 than a weapon like the shotgun: the M249's RecoilPenalized value is fairly low so +200 is a big difference, but the shotgun's values are already pretty high and +200 won't be as noticeable.

A similar calculation also happens for sway and hipfire accuracy.
Stamina: The out-of-breath penalties
Stamina represents how tired your character is and what capacity he has left to perform actions well. Your character starts with 100 stamina points. As you run or perform other exhausting actions, stamina drops towards 0, but resting replenishes it.

One way to lose stamina is through running. How much you lose per second is equal to 10 plus a weapon-dependent extra amount:
Weapon
Stamina Burn
M4
8
M9
12
M14
10
M16
9
M24
10
M249
12
Shotgun
9

Other actions, like jumping, also consume stamina.

Action
Stamina Burn
Jumping
25
Vaulting/Mantling
10
Sliding/Diving
10
Sprinting
10

Stamina is recovered at a rate of 25 points per second while you're standing still. Note: you actually need to wait for a second before you'll start recovering stamina points! This is the same regardless of player stance; crouching won't help you catch your breath more quickly.

Once your stamina drops low enough (below 25), you'll lose a small amount of sprint speed. At 0 stamina, you'll only be able to sprint at 90% of normal sprint speed. (If you're running and jumping around during warm-up, this can make it seem like other players are faster than you during the first few seconds of the round. It's really just that your character is already tired!)

Stamina also ties into actions like holding breath to reduce sway: when you're already tired, you can't hold your breath for as long (though you can always pull off at least 2.5 seconds).
Bullet penetration and shots through walls
Each weapon has its own penetrative ability, called its "Bullet Strength" in the game's code. Higher numbers represent higher penetration power.

Weapon
Bullet Strength
M4, AK105
2
M9, M1911, CZ2
1
M14, SVD Dragunov
3
M16, AK107
2
M24, SV98
3
M249, RPK
2
Shotguns
0

Each material in the game has a corresponding "Penetration Cost" value. The thin wooden beams seen on top of the Breach fences, for example, have cost 1. Normal wooden walls and shuttered windows have cost 2. I'm looking for good examples of cost 3 objects. Objects with a cost of 4 are impenetrable.

The shotgun, with power of 0, is never able to penetrate anything.

When a shot pierces an object, the bullet loses bullet strength according to the object's penetration cost. This means that a shot can pierce multiple surfaces (for example, shooting through a weak wood element and a wall with an M14 or shooting through two thin wood elements with a rifle).

Penetrating objects is accompanied by a reduction in the damage dealt. For each point of penetration power spent by the round, 10% of its damage-dealing power is lost.

Enemy players have penetration cost 1. This means, for example, that the M24 can never do better than a quad kill with a single shot. Occasionally you may even see a pistol get a double kill.

An additional technical nuance is that this calculation happens before any target damage zone is applied and the result is rounded down to the nearest integer. This can, in some circumstances, reduce the damage dealt to the target by an HP more than you might expect.
Suppression effects
Getting shot at ties in to a number of other game systems. Being suppressed affects your vision, your weapon handling, and more.

Different weapons suppress differently for each bullet that passes by you:

Weapon
Suppression Value
M4
0.1
M9
n/a
M14
0.45
M16
0.1
M24
0.7
M249
0.35
Shotgun
n/a

The highest your suppression score can reach is 1; at that point, vision is difficult and you are fully suppressed.

Shots that land particularly close to you or that fly near you will cause suppression.

Shots must travel at least 9.9 meters before they'll cause suppression. This means that, for extremely close-range battles, you won't get suppressed.

Suppression recovers at a rate of 0.15 points per second. However, if you're linked to a teammate, you'll recover from suppression twice as quickly. To be "linked", you must be less than 5.5 meters from a teammate.

(coming soon: additional details on mechanics)
The Shotgun
The shotgun bends the rules in a few ways. Let's break down how the shotgun behaves differently.

First, the shotgun's damage model works a bit differently: shotgun pellets don't get the same headshot damage bonus. While other bullets deal 400% instant damage, shotgun pellets deal only 100% instant damage.

Second, the shotgun accuracy cone behaves differently.



During hipfire, the cluster of shots is randomly distributed just like a single shot would be for any other weapon.

Third, the shotgun pellets are arranged to fire in pre-determined patterns. This means that, when you fire ADS, you'll always get about half going above and half going below your point of aim (and, similarly, half to the left and half to the right). This system makes the shotgun slightly more consistent.

What about the SuperNova?
The SuperNova does slightly less damage (42 instead of 46 for its base value) and falls off in damage over range sooner (6.9m-18m versus 10m-24m). However, it sights up 30ms faster, can be equipped 100ms faster (0.4 seconds instead of 0.5), and has very slightly better spread than the 870MCS when you're injured. Frankly, these aren't huge selling points. Damage dropoff is everything for the shotgun's effectiveness and the SuperNova falls short in that category. Prefer the 870MCS whenever given the choice.
ADS Movement Speed
Sighting in takes focus and effort. Some sights require more focus than others. Different weapon+scope combinations have different sighted movement speed penalties: the player with the M24, for example, moves half as fast while aiming down sights (ADS) as a player looking through his M4's red dot.

Weapon
Optic
Speed Factor
M4, M16 // AK107
Iron sights
Holo or Red Dot
ACOG
1.2x // 1.08x
1x // 0.9x
0.8x // 0.72x
M9 // M1911
Irons
1.2x // 1.1x
M14
ACOG
Mk4
0.64x
0.6x
M24
Mk4
0.495x
M249
Irons
Holo or Red Dot
Elcan
1x
1x
0.8x
Shotgun
Irons or Ghost
1x


For comparison, "normal" unsighted movement with the gun ready would be around 1.33x for all weapons.

Enemy weapons have the same movement speeds, except the AK107. Its sighted movement is 10% slower than the M16's.
Weapon Drop & Pick-up
Each player spawns with a primary weapon of their choice and a sidearm. Players may drop their primary weapon by holding down "1". Players may pick up a dropped weapon by interacting with it ("F").

Players can carry two primary weapons at once and swap between them with the scroll wheel or by pressing the "1" key.


Since players spawn with outfits that reflect their roles, coordinated teammates can try to deceive their enemies by swapping weapons at the start of a round.

Do you like the shotgun for close range but a rifle for those distance shots? Look for a dead player's weapon to supplement your first choice.

Your team's snipers are in trouble if they get in a CQB firefight. You can do them a favor by bringing them back an M4 early in the round. (It's also a nice, subtle hint if you think they're staying a bit too far back from the action.)

Enemy weapons
Enemies drop their primary weapon when you begin to secure them. The weapon they drop corresponds to the weapon they were using while alive. An enemy carrying an M4 will drop an AK105, for example.

Carried weapon
Dropped weapon
M4
AK105
M16
AK107
M249
RPK LMG
M14
Dragunov
M24
SV98
870 MCS
SuperNova
Other stats: Reload time, Rate of Fire, and more
Weapon
Reload (partial / full)
(seconds)
Rate of fire
(RPM)
ADS time
(seconds)
M4 // AK105
2.1 / 2.6 // ? / ?
700 // 600
0.28 // 0.25
M9, CZ-2
?
500
0.22
M14 // Dragunov
3 / 3.5 // ? / ?
400 // 300
0.35 // 0.4
M16 // AK107
2.1 / 2.6 // ? / ?
700 // 850
0.3 // 0.35
M24 // SV98
1.7 / 2.6 // ? / ?
35.2 //
0.4 //
M249 // RPK
4.47 / 5.8 // ? / ?
800 // 650
0.40 // 0.30
870 // SuperNova
0.3 / 1.6 // ? / ?
450 // 450
0.25 // 0.22
The M67 Fragmentation Grenade
< >
30 Comments
Darmaniac May 1, 2017 @ 10:11am 
thats a lot of info my god !!!
BCPull  [author] Sep 6, 2016 @ 6:49am 
We do have those stats and, you're right, they're not the same as the US weapons! I'll update for some of the missing stats like fire rate and recoil. I generally put those numbers next to the companion US weapon throughout the doc.


Check out this thread (http://forum.americasarmy.com/discussion/comment/21915/) for a discussion of AK105 vs M4 in particular and where each weapon excels.
I3eardedI3lue Sep 2, 2016 @ 11:34pm 
Do we have any stats for the Enemy Weapons? or are they the same, cuz it feels the fire rate on some are more, and recoil is less.
tejingdui Sep 2, 2016 @ 5:55am 
good
HalkonGT Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:38pm 
ok!
BCPull  [author] Aug 8, 2016 @ 12:12pm 
Bunniez --
Starting from the beginning of that section are a series of instructions for finding the recoil penalty modifier. After all the calculations discussed in the tables, it gets capped at a max value of 1.

From there it gets used to determine how much recoil the gun has.
Snail Aug 5, 2016 @ 11:32pm 
Wondering, we set what to 1 for the recoil if its over 1?
100gr. Apr 4, 2016 @ 8:13am 
Thank you for this thread. It clear out a lot of now.
LückÿMänïä Apr 1, 2016 @ 5:52am 
Then write it down in your guide for AAPG;-)
BCPull  [author] Mar 31, 2016 @ 12:55pm 
SI units version:

Damage in the inner zone scales from 500 holding grenade to 50 at 5.5m.
Damage in the outer zone scales from 50 at 5.5m down to 10 at 12.8m.

For the given damage number, your player receives 70% instantly and 30% as bleeding.