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Pistol arming anomaly

I've been playing the dos version of the game lately, and I've not really noticed the arming anomaly crop up. Come to think of it, I've never seen it occur in TFTD for dos either.

I do remember it happening a lot when I was using CE version of the game. I'm considering the possibility that this arming bug is a CE idiosyncrasy rather than a universal problem in UFO.

-NKF 02:21, 21 December 2008 (CST)

Weapon listing template

"The Standard XCom Pistol is high powered semi-automatic with a 12 round capacity."
Firing Aptitude
Accuracy Cost
Aimed Shot 78% 30%
Auto Shot - -
Snap Shot 60% 18%
Physical Attributes
Dimensions: 1w × 2h
Weight: 5
Grip: 1-handed
Price: $800
Selling Price: $600
Manufacturing Cost:
Build Cost: n/a
Materials: n/a
Engineer Hours: n/a
Workshop Space: n/a
Ammo 1

26 AP
Pistol Clip

Ammo 2


Ammo 3


Another draft of a proposed standard weapon template for listing all the "official" data. I was wondering if I should include a box under the ammo section for a general ammo description for the alien weapons, since their ammo is separate and have descriptions of their own.

Any ideas on how this template can be improved would be much appreciated. - NKF 06:45, 9 April 2009 (EDT)

Pistol Clip
"This ammunition type doesn't have an official description, but this is where the description would go if it had one."
Power: 26
Damage Type: Armour Piercing
Capacity: 12
Dimensions: 1w × 1h
Weight: 3
Grip: 1-handed
Price: $70
Selling Price: $52
Manufacturing Cost:
Build Cost: n/a
Materials: n/a
Engineer Hours: n/a
Workshop Space: n/a

Alternately, how about an ammo sheet of its own? -NKF 07:11, 9 April 2009 (EDT)

XComUtil Burst Mode Pistol

Suggestion to remove the 3 round burst mode option for the Pistol from XComUtil. This provides an auto burst option at 54% TUs (3x Snap TUs) with a 60% Accuracy (same as Snap). The burst mode option was originally included because of the historical perception that the Pistol was a weak weapon and useless, apart for training. Subsequent analysis has challenged this view of the Pistol; it is neither useless nor weak. In fact the Pistol is one of the most powerful and effective weapons, particularly against the lightly armoured opponents in the early phase of the game. Discussion moved from Talk:XcomUtil.

  • Remove 3rd burst for Pistol - it's already good enough, as NKF has shown
do you have a link to NKF's comments? --BladeFireLight 22:34, 7 February 2010 (EST)
Having trouble finding his comments, maybe he'll show up here! See Rifle_vs_Pistol, also Talk:Squad_Composition_and_Tactics#Starting_Sniper_Weapon. If anything there is a case for the Pistol to be nerfed slightly (eg Damage=20, Ammo=8), or for the Rifle to be buffed. Also worth looking through Weapon Analysis for general thoughts on weapon power and balance. The weapon set in EU is actually remarkably well balanced already.
Further to this - not a bug but it's really wrong for a projectile weapon, a firearm, to have the same accuracy on Auto as on Snap fire (60). Even plasma weapons have Auto accuracy somewhat lower than Snap. If you reduce the Pistol burst mode accuracy by anything less than 2/3rds, the burst function is still useful, but more balanced. Actually even with a reduction of greater than 2/3rds, it would be useful, because of the increased damage at point blank range. Which is perhaps realistic for a burst-mode pistol. 60 Accuracy is higher than any Auto weapon in the game, for what ought to be the least accurate auto weapon. The best auto firearm is the Rifle at 35. Anything over 20 is still a bonus for the Pistol. How about 25? This still gives burst mode a 25% edge over Snap mode at long ranges, and a big improvement at close/point blank. 30 would make it more accurate than a Laser Pistol is on Auto (28), which is hard to justify. Admittedly the Pistol burst mode uses 3x (?) the TUs, so maybe some latitude can be given. Maybe go to 30 Accuracy, then, but no higher. Spike 19:49, 11 February 2010 (EST)
An interesting idea. Scott felt that this was just to make the pistol useful by allowing three snaps to be treated as one action so you dont deal with Reaction fire. The end results is the massive time units and same accuracy. If I lowered the accuracy I would have to lower the time to. I believe there is a reason the pistol doesn't have full auto in the vanilla game. You have seen a military issue full auto pistol? --BladeFireLight 21:15, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Indent reset! I can't remember what my comments were either, but it's probably has to do with the weapon anaylsis and how useful snap shots already are. 'tis a jolly good weapon. I agree that you can't just make the auto mode identical to three snaps - you've got the added bonus of uninterrupted fire for the first two shots. You need to pay this off either with reduced accuracy or increase the usage cost.
For consideration, I was actually fiddling with the weapons a few months back and was testing a 10% accuracy burst mode at 15% TU costs. I think 10 or 15 AP damage. Turned out way-way too powerful a weapon (against soft enemies) - and this was on a rookie I just picked randomly. It was probably too fast, but it still worked fairly well at 10% accuracy. 60% accuracy does feel quite high. -NKF 00:14, 12 February 2010 (EST)
Exactly. The point is that a 3-rd burst makes the Pistol more useful, even if the per-shot accuracy is lower, because you get 3 attempts to kill the target before it Reaction Fires, rather than just one. As long as the net 3-rd accuracy isn't less than a single Snap shot, the weapon has been improved. The break-even point is about 26% accuracy on auto. At this level, 3 rounds have a ~60% chance of getting at least one hit. Even if the 3-rd accuracy was lower than a single Snap shot, you would still get the advantage of multiple hits at very close range. I would strongly suggest no more than 25% accuracy for Pistol auto burst, at the same level of TUs (3x Snap right?). This will definitely still be a significant improvement for the Pistol. Probably what was not fully understood at the time Scott did the original mod, is that the Pistol is arguably already the most effective starting weapon, certainly against the initial opponents. Spike 13:19, 12 February 2010 (EST)

Some more imbalances and anomalies you get with the 3rd burst mode Pistol:

  • Pistol becomes more effective than the Rifle for a single opportunity shot in auto mode. 3 x 60% x 26 = 46.8 vs 3 x 35% x 30 = 31.5 means you take a critical shot with a Pistol burst over a Rifle burst every time, since it's 48.5% more effective against soft targets except at point blank.
  • Even when you factor in the TU costs (54% Pistol vs 35% Rifle), the weapons are then about equal in firepower over time, with the Pistol burst mode giving 96% of the firepower of Rifle burst mode against soft targets - with a much bigger first-time hit, as shown above
  • The Pistol burst also beats an AP AutoCannon burst at 3 x 32% x 42 = 40.32 vs soft targets: a 16% advantage over the most destructive AP weapon in the game.
  • In firepower terms, rather than comparing burst for burst, the Pistol is still 86% as effective as the AC-AP (40% TU per burst).
  • Comparing to weapons in Aimed mode, the Pistol burst mode exceeds all starting weapons in first-shot lethality vs soft targets. It easily outperforms the Aimed Rifle (1 x 110% x 26 = 28.6), and surprisingly even matches the best Sniper weapon, the Heavy Cannon AP (1 x 90% x 52 = 46.8). And it does this with only 54% TUs consumed instead of 80%.
  • Keep in mind the Pistol burst mode has these advantages at any range, including extreme long range, firing all the way across the map.
  • Do we really expect that long range Auto bursts with a Pistol would be as effective or more effective than a Rifle? Accuracy in this game means medium to long range accuracy, since at short range and point blank range, "misses" still often hit. We agree that real world full auto pistols are woefully inaccurate, and useless at any kind of extended range. The right way to reflect this within the XCom game mechanics is a low accuracy.
  • With these stats, the Burst Mode Pistol becomes the Sniper weapon of choice. If a soft target presents itself and needs to be taken down with one shot, regardless of range, no weapon beats the Pistol burst as the most effective weapon for the job.
  • Admittedly the Pistol can only fire one burst per turn, vs 2 for the Rifle and AutoCannon. And it has more limited ammunition. But these are small drawbacks compared to superior first shot lethality combined with rough parity in firepower. It does not perform as well versus the more heavily armoured opponents that begin to appear in the mid game. But in the early game, the burst mode Pistol dominates. There is almost no reason to carry any other weapon, apart from HE/IN support weapons. Spike 07:38, 14 March 2010 (EDT)


First of all, no improvement to the Pistol is needed, as it is already a highly effective weapon. The prompt text for the option should point out that the Pistol is already a well balanced, useful weapon and no improvement is necessary.

If an improvement is offered by way of a 3 round burst mode at 54%, in order to ensure it doesn't become the single most effective weapon in the game, the Auto mode option should

  • Carry a warning that it is not necessary to make the Pistol viable
  • Still be at 54% TUs to ensure it is the slowest Auto mode in the game
  • Be below 28% accuracy (Laser Pistol) to ensure it is the least accurate auto weapon
  • Be below the 26% accuracy "break point", to ensure that extreme range auto shots are less effective than extreme range snap shots

A good accuracy number would be 20%. This would restrict the burst mode to short or at most medium range. It would ensure it did not replace Aimed weapons as the best Sniper weapon and did not replace other proper Auto weapons as the best Shock weapon. Spike 08:04, 14 March 2010 (EDT)