Scope recoil reduction is ridiculous

You might have noticed that certain weapons have very little recoil when using scopes, specifically ‘marksman’ rifles and sniper rifles.

Here’s a video quickly showcasing it:

The moment the scope is removed from the rifle and replaced with an unmagnified sight, Grizzly magically recovers its high recoil property.

This behavior is intentional and its been part of the game since the ballistics update (wow that was a long ago), made in order to ‘allow you to track bullet through the air to adjust for drop’, a good idea on paper.

This comes down to one particular line in the gun’s dat file:


For the longest time I thought that this is a simple multiplier on the recoil when equipped with a scope, which would be incredibly powerful on its own but the results, that you can even see on the video, show much more recoil reduction than just 75%. With some testing I believe the way the formula for the recoil reduction is Recoil_Aim Value / Scope Zoom Value, which means the Cross Scope in the clip would provide a recoil multiplier of about ~0.041 (0.25/6) or almost 96% recoil reduction, which looks about right when you compare the recoil with a Dot Sight.

Click to see detailed testing

In order to verify the calculation I have created a test gun with consistent recoil and tried out different Recoil_Aim values and tested it with a Chevron Scope (4x), here is the image showing it:


You will notice that with a value of 1 there’s about 75% reduction in recoil which hinted to me that 1/4 (4=zoom) sounds about right, surely enough with a Scope_Recoil of 4 and zoom of 4 the recoil pattern looked exactly the same as with a Dot Sight. Thanks to @NSTM who gave me a correct guess at the formula that I was able to verify.

There’s a chance I’m off with something, but it seems to make sense from my testing.

Recoil_Aim on vanilla guns and the reduction it provides

The Recoil_Aim value on Sabertooth, Snayperskya and Matamorez is 0.75 which means if you get your hands on even a Makeshift Scope you will get more than 80% recoil reduction, on Grizzly this value is 0.25 so the reduction with a Makeshift Scope is almost 94% recoil reduction. This reduction only becomes bigger with higher magnification scopes.

Single-shot weapons, bolt action rifles and bows also have this property, with various values, but due to obvious reasons it’s not an issue on those weapons.

My opinion and possible solutions

If I hadn’t made it clear already, I am not a fan of this feature, nor how it works. I don’t believe the scopes should be the attachment that reduces recoil, nor do I think that higher magnification scopes should provide bigger recoil reduction. For the time that the bullet drop did not exist there was no such reduction and I don’t believe that ballistics are enough of a factor to throw weapon recoil out of the window, especially if that recoil is the balancing factor of the semi-automatic sniper rifle like Grizzly.

I believe it is up to player to memorise where the bullet will land, the weapon should not have its recoil reduced by 80-90% just so you can see where the bullet will land, on a semi-automatic weapon this allows you to land hits extremely quickly/spam, something that was not possible before the ballistics update.

For the entirety of the time before the ballistics update, those weapons sported high recoil and took fair amount of practice to use effectively, or at least required attachments to reduce their high recoil, not Binoculars, Tape and Crafting 1 skill to reduce majority of the recoil.

I believe the ‘Scope Recoil Reduction’ could be removed entirely for semi-automatic and automatic rifles, putting scopes on any of these weapons makes them feel almost recoilless while the recoil is what made them take certain amount of skill to use effectively. If the recoil on those weapons is too high, it should simply be reduced, the scopes should not be the tool for it.

Instead of Recoil_Aim, aforementioned guns could use Aiming_Recoil_Multiplier which I believe is fairly new and does exactly what I have initially believed Recoil_Aim does, it reduces recoil when aiming. This would mean that the recoil of guns could be reduced when aiming but not in hipfire for example. I believe reduction of about 20% would be fair and not overpowered for these weapons.

Additionaly to make the marksman rifles (Snayperskya/Sabertooth) a bit more fitting to their role, I believe their bullet drop value could be halved (0.001 instead of the default 0.002), it would be a small tweak but would highlight their long range role from weapons such as assault rifles, which have the same bullet drop. If anyone would be unsatisfied with their recoil “coming back” this would serve as a nice buff.

For the sake of consistency the Recoil_Aim could also be removed from bolt-action rifles and various weapons that use it, recoil of those weapons could instead be simply lowered if that is the intention.

Closing thoughts

The time before bullet drop was added is also probably the period I was most actively playing the game so there is some personal bias influencing the opinions in this post but even since that time there hasn’t been too many weapon balance changes so I think most of my points hold up. I believe I have mentioned this particular issue on various outlets, through various comments, throughout a long time but I was never able to really understand it completely, nor was it properly explained beyond ‘being able to see your shots’. With all that being said, I think something should be done about this as I believe I have shown the entirety of the issue, the extremity of it and I have shown possible solution.

I tried to dig through steam forums to find comments around the time of the update but nobody seemed to acknowledge the vastly reduced recoil after the ballistics update. What I have found is plenty of comments of threads before the update, discussing the weapons and always pointing out to Timberwolf as the ‘low-recoil’ sniper rifle, nobody seemed to mind that Grizzly had more recoil, it was accepted as a different way to limit its semi-auto ability, but with the right skill it was still obviously better.


Is it weird to reconsider balancing that has been accepted for past 7 years? Maybe, but maybe it’s time for a change.


Renaxon asking the important questions out here.


Yeah I tottaly agree, some weapons really need a recoil overhaul

Just to showcase this feature in the shortest way possible, Sportshot vs Grizzly recoil comparison:



This does not make any sense from balancing standpoint, don’t even get me started on any ‘realism’.


Make the Sportshot have no recoil :slight_smile:


This actually lines up really well with something I was planning to work on soon :eyes:


been abusing this on the sabertooth and matamorez since 2018 lmfao, you can literally spam the gun without moving the mouse if you use a 16x scope, and the bullets will still fall on the person

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Now on preview branch, along with accurate range markings on scopes.

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For a moment, I thought this was a brand new topic that was upset with it being removed. :frowning:

Really glad that more attention is being brought to gun balance as it stands from unturned, especially from someone in the community with a little more voice and emphasis than say me or some of the other posts.
I’m also very glad that a change is occuring. As far as I’m concerned. Any gun changes at the moment (especially ones from years ago) are good as far as I’m aware (except for things making it easier :rage:)

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