Hey everyone. I haven't been able to find much good information on what exactly the "range" statistic means in game, so I spent this afternoon gathering some data and trying to figure out how to convert it to real world units.
TL;DR it looks like 1 unit of "Range" in game is (theoretically) 1.58 feet, or (experimentally) ~1.62-1.66 feet.
I'd like to thank my assistant
Bernard, the 1 million health Super Mutant, who volunteered to get repeatedly shot in the face in the name of science.
I used the
I use the Realistic Guns and Bullets overhaul mod which makes barrels the only mod that affect range, and does slightly change the range modifiers, so the numbers I have are not going to reflect what you'd see in a vanilla game.
Explaining min/max Range values
In every case I've seen so far, barrels modify range by using the MUL + ADD operation against the minRange & maxRange stats possessed by the gun's WEAP record. I haven't seen any that affect the "Reach" value, but I'm only looking at typical firearms, not flamers or grenade launchers here. For every standard firearm (ballistic, plasma, laser, etc) I've seen, minRange and maxRange are always 256 on the WEAP record itself.
The math works out as follows: WEAP minRange * (Barrel minRange modifier + 1). The hunting rifle has a barrel minRange mod of 10, so (256 * 10) + 256, or (256 * 11) = 2816 units.
1) Chose a gun and take note of its listed damage and range, as well as coming up with the theoretical maximum optimal range (MOR, or the maximum range before damage falloff begins) by checking their properties in FO4Edit.
In the plugin files, the "maximum optimal range" is referred to as "minRange", which I take to mean "the range at which the out of range damage penalty begins taking effect". On the flipside, "maxRange" should mean "the range at which the out of range damage penalty reaches its maximum value." Just for those who are curious, most weapons lose half their damage at their "max range".
2) Establish a control value by shooting at point blank at the behemoth's head.
3) Back up and fire several times at the Behemoth's head. If I could get several shots with no change in damage dealt compared to the control value, I took that to mean I was still within the weapon's optimal range (I believe the in game Range value refers to this maximum optimal range).
4) At the distance where I started to see damage falloff begin, I inched forward, firing several shots at every stop until I found the distance at which I could deal maximum damage on every hit.
5) Once I found this "maximum range", I used the "GetDistance" command to check my distance in units from the behemoth and recorded that.
Comments on experimental values:
My experimental values differed from the predicted values by an average of -5%, so the ranges I arrived at in my tests were SHORTER than those given by the math. I haven't bothered doing the trig to prove it, but my hypothesis is that this range deficit is due to the angle I have to fire at to hit Bernard's head while keeping the bullet within its optimal range.
pythagorean theorem for the intuition. I have to shoot up to hit Bernard's head, so the bullet travels along line C. The distance between myself and Bernard is given by line B, and this is the value returned by GetDistance. Because the damage falloff is based on the distance the bullet travels (C), not the horizontal distance between actors (B), setting B = minRange would make C > minRange, resulting in damage falloff. Rather, I need to set C = minRange, thus resulting in B < minRange. I think this plus experimental error probably accounts for the -5% variance. I may also not be correcting for a perk or something that is affecting the damage falloff calculation.
I repeated the same process for several kinds of weapons. I tried a mix of stock and modified weapons (noted in the table) for diversity's sake.
I used the unit conversions stated on this page to get a conversion factor between Creation Kit units and feet. The page shows six feet to be 128 units – and I validated that the "GetDistance" command returns the same measurement via ingame test.
I laid a dead raider on the ground between my PC and a settler, then measured the distance between my PC and that settler. With each of us standing on either end of the raider's body, I got a "GetDistance" value just under 128, so that seems to bear out with the 128 = 6 feet figure.
Considering there are 0.046875 feet per unit, if we then take the Experimental values for Units and multiply them by the Unit -> Foot conversion factor, we can get each weapon's maximum optimal range (MOR) in feet. A 44 Revolver with an ingame range statistic of 107 seems to have a MOR of ~70 feet, and loses half of its damage over the next 40 feet. Somewhat pathetically, a sniper rifle with a range stat of 227 has a MOR of about 130 ft, and does only 50% damage at 228 feet. A quick Google shows a Remington 700 in .308 as having a maximum effective range of 3000 feet – what the energy dissipation is like at those kinds of ranges, I don't know.
1 unit of "range" in game is about 1.6 feet, and the range stat itself denotes the distance at which damage falloff begins for that weapon. The range at which damage falloff ends is not listed in game, but can be found in the game files under the associated Barrel mods for a given weapon. As far as I know, all weapons in default Fallout 4 lose 50% of their damage by the end of the falloff range, and it falls off in a linear manner.
In general, if one wanted to try and make a weapon overhaul that pursued realism, it seems a major overhaul of the range behavior of weapons would be a good place to start. Both Min and Max ranges should be increased significantly, in many cases 5 to 10 times higher than their present values. I don't have any data, but I feel very skeptical that a 44 magnum will have lost half of its stopping power after travelling 130 ft.
Weapons that fire spitzer bullets, like rifles, should have extremely gentle falloff slopes, and still retain most of their damage potential at extreme ranges. I see Armor penetration ability as being the most compromised by extreme ranges when it comes to rifle bullets – I would suspect soft targets would be just as bothered by a .308 hitting them in the chest from 1000 yards as it would from 100 yards. Handgun caliber weapons that fire round nose or hollow point ammunition, such as handguns, should have massive damage increases, probably doing more damage than any rifles at point blank, but have slow projectile speed, dispersion, armor penetration, and damage falloff at range to compensate.
Anyways, hope this is informative for some of you and if anyone has any interest in a "Ballistic Accuracy" type mod let me know – I just might work on one.
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© Post "Experiment: Clarifying the “Range” statistic" for game Fallout.
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