Bullet trajectory

I don't know if I'm the only one, but after a while the so called bullet drop and time to reach target feels kind of weird to me.
For example in close to medium range the bullets feel like they instantly arrive on target. Only at long range do the bullets feel like they lose momentum.
A good way to test this would be to see, with tracer rounds enabled, wether bullets actually arrive at the same time as the bullets we can physically see on the screen.
For example in the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and even Battlefield you can see those bullets that they actually leave the gun.
I'm not familiar with Battlefield bullet trajectory but thanks to mods for stalker, I know bullets actually have a starter muzzle velocity which then decreases by distance and you can actually see the rounds starting to lose momentum and slowly drop on the ground.
As of now in Sandstorm the bullet trajectory feels like it's instant hit for close to medium range and it's almost like they simply added a delayed hit for long ranges. Even with tracer rounds enabled, not once could I actually see my bullets fly. And when I saw bullets coming from other guns all I see is a long yellow glowing line, instead of a small glowing line that moves fast.

Youtube Video – [01:34..]

Comparison video with the 5.56x45

Sandstorm uses a "hybrid" ballistic model, which is hitscan at close range, making bullet impact instant, and then uses some kind of ballistic calculating system at longer ranges.

In theory, it's a rather weird idea, but I think it was made to simplify fast paced gun fighting over the internet. In practice, I don't really notice anything wrong with it other than I don't have to hold high at close range - not that hardly any game does that anyway.

But what about shotguns and .45 acp pistols? They are much slower compared to the 5.56 and there's no way to realistically represent bullet ballistics this way.
There's another game that used such method back in 2008. Grand Theft Auto IV. Yes indeed you guys heard that right. The sniper rifle was equipped with a projectile called "delayed_hit" and it worked quite similarly, except it even worked at close range (where it was obviously faster).
I mean come on what is this arcade crap, Insurgency used to be a realistic shooter, I was hoping for proper bullet ballistics in this new version of it. I mean even Battlefield has pretty realistic bullet trajectory and that's as far from realism as Half Life.

I think the ballistic model kicks in after a set amount of bullet flight time, not a distance. So slower travelling projectiles will hit this limit at shorter range.

So you mean like that time is different for every weapon? Or do they all have the same bullet flight timer?
I just don't understand why they wouldn't just make it work like a normal projectile from the get go.
I mean I believe this in Sandstorm would be an instant hit and yet:
Youtube Video – [07:31..]

Do not just listen to the plate hitting, but more like see when it hits. That's how much time it takes for the bullet to travel. Also if you look closely you can actually see distortion the bullet creates in the air. That should be possible too. I always have tracer rounds enabled and yet I can never see my bullets.

You sir are spot on. The war owl made a video about it. It’s a pretty smart system that does avoid unnecessary calculations on short distance while maintaining a need for some skills at longer distance. Hitscan short distance and bullet time long distance was also Warowls conclusion when testing (at the time of making video).

It's not unnecessary calculation if it changes the bullet characteristics. What it makes is an inpredictable bullet.
Imagine the bullet is a car, which is moving at top speed of 200 km/h and then all of a sudden it drops to 100 km/h and starts slowly decelerating.
This does not decrease the game's performance in any way since it's a very simple calculation. Old games like stalker managed to make it and it should be in a game that calls itself realistic.
I mean how would we justify that we have a 5.56 round travelling at 890 m/s and a .45 acp round travelling at 250 m/s? Or let alone the shotgun's pellets.
In the old Insurgency it was okay since it was using the Source engine and I'm not very sure if that even allows to make such thing. But here's it's perfectly doable.
Also "seeing" the bullet you're firing does make a very nice effect and can also help you in adjust your aim.


If the performance is not affected, then hitscan would be useless as far as I understand, but it seems odd that NWI would keep both systems if hitscan did not have any advantages right?

For the player it does not matter much in either case as on short distance the delay would be difficult to notice or impact gameplay.

Yeah but that's the thing. You see that even I can put my hands on this problem. I don't know anything about how the game's bullet characteristics was made and yet I do feel the difference.
I have no idea why NWI would use hitscan technique. One idea that comes to my mind (after seeing what direction NWI took with this game, moving more towards arcade shooters) is that if bullets didn't hit where players aimed, some of these people might complain about laggy shots, or in MP a bad netcode. But it could be something entirely different.


Well the first Insurgency was hitscan only from what I have read, but I can only run Sandstorm between 30 - 40 fps so I don’t have any means to compare without stuttering, though it seems ppl who are able to get high fps are mostly ok with that part of the game, what fps are you getting and would you be able to describe the difference? (Day of infamy or ins2014)

I think you misunderstood. I don't have a malfunctioning bullet trajectory, I'm just saying that could have been why NWI decide to use both systems. Hitscan imo is a really old system that shouldn't be used anymore. Well not for tactical shooters anyway.
And yes indeed the old Insurgency used hitscan, which bothered me a bit, since when I got the M14 EBR all I had to was aim at the targets, and didn't have to count for bullet drop and bullet travel, but like I said it was an older game, it was a game that was developed from a mod and came a very long way, so it was completely understandable.

I think I have around the same 30-40 fps btw.

last edited by Sgt.Kanyo

I believe hitscan was chosen for short range engagements because it's faster, simpler, and easier to optimize for net code. I don't really know how all that works behind the scenes, other than it makes sense that hitscan is a lot less resource intensive than calculating bullet physics. Either way, I'd hate to see GR: Wildlands style super slow-mo bullets with dumb physics.

As for needing to compensate for bullet drop and travel time: realistically, you'd hardly notice. At the ranges we tend to engage at in Sandstorm bullet flight time will be a few milliseconds, and more often than not bullet impact would be above point of aim. Depending on the rifle and how it's zeroed you wouldn't start to see the bullet fall below point of aim until 100 to 300 yards.

Yes exactly. It’s been explained 3 times in this thread now. NWI has made a smart system by this combination of hitscan + trajectory and if a gaming experience feels wrong it could be a lot of reasons like pc too weak <-> game badly optimized, high ping due to internet or server connection, outdated software, etc.

It is not due to hitscan short range, that is for sure unless we are on the level of discussing audio cables made of gold vs not and similar utopic cases.

last edited by Pacalis

Well at this point both sides are just guessing why NWI chose this method, so I'm just going to leave this thread at:
I hope NWI switches to a fully projectile based system, where there are actual chances of seeing tracer rounds.