When you use a perk that directly affects range (like Rifled Barrel or Hammer Forged) there are three things that change
- Damage Falloff Distance – Distance and rate at which the weapon longer does its maximum damage.
- Aim Assist Falloff Distance – Distance and rate at which the aim assist loses effectiveness.
- Accuracy Cone (error angle) – Physical size of the crosshairs when ADS. Determines the maximum angle a shot could deflect from center when leaving the barrel of the weapon. Increasing range narrows the crosshairs, thus decreasing the diameter of the accuracy cone.
Perks like Persistence, Eye of the Storm, and Hot Swap affect this.
- Accuracy Cone (error angle) – Exactly what we discussed before. The physical size of the accuracy cone grows as you maintain fire, which we refer to as bloom, and this means shots have a higher error angle, and thus are less accurate.
- Projectile Accuracy – Basically, the likelihood of shot going dead center or receiving maximum aim assist deflection. Weapons that have a higher initial projectile accuracy will decrease as you maintain fire or jump in the air, in conjunction with the accuracy cone (error angle) changes. So a weapon with high initial projectile accuracy and a wide initial accuracy cone, like a hand cannon, could have a fairly accurate first shot, but the likelihood of each following shot being accurate would decrease as bloom increases and projectile accuracy decreases.
Hidden Hand, and some scopes, sights, and barrels change aim assist.
- Reticle Stickiness – Once your aim is on a target, how much the reticle wants to stick to or follow the target when it moves.
- Bullet Magnetism – The amount that a bullet will alter its path out the end of the barrel to hit a target, even if the reticle or aim is slightly off target.
- The maximum deflection a bullet can take is given by the circular part of the reticle (not the crosshairs) that can be seen when ADS on Last Rites.
- The circle increases in diameter as the Aim Assist stat gets larger, due either to sights (SureShot), barrels (Smooth Ballistics), or perks that increase AA (Hidden Hand).
- Weapons with higher base AA will have larger circles than those with smaller base AA. As you fire the circle shrinks in size, so your maximum aim assist deflection degrades with sustained fire.
Increasing the stability stat speeds up the reset to maximum deflection and is a counter to bloom. Functionally, magnetism works the same way as a larger hitbox, in that it provides an area around a target that counts as a hit, even if technically the shot should miss. However, instead of the bullet passing through the empty space and registering as a hit, the bullet paths out of the barrel to the target, and can still be blocked by cover.
Perks like Perfect Balance and Braced Frame affect stability.
- Barrel Jump – How much the barrel and your aim moves with each shot fired. Recoil can be vertical and/or horizontal. Increasing stability decreases the physical distance moved.
- Aim Assist Degradation – How much and how fast the circular reticle which defines maximum aim assist deflection degrades is dependent on stability. The higher the stability, the longer the circle will last before it shrinks too much and disappears, and the faster it will reset during the time between shots.
A gun with high accuracy but low stability will still be inaccurate, because even with the bullets going straight out of the barrel, the barrel itself will move radically after each shot. Likewise, a gun with high stability and low accuracy will also be inaccurate because, even though the barrel doesn’t jump around much, the high error angle will continue to make the bullets spread out from the barrel.
Range affects damage drop off, aim assist fall off, and the accuracy cone/error angle.
Accuracy affects the crosshair size and how likely the shots are to go straight or receive aim assist deflection.
Aim Assist affects the reticle speed decrease when near a target (aka stickiness) and bullet magnetism.
Stability affects barrel and reticle movement while firing, and the degradation of the diameter around the reticle that bullet magnetism is effective in.