Gunplay and Recoil

So, while this is a fairly expansive topic that touches basically every ranged weapon in the game, for the purposes of this post I’ll point out a couple reasons specifically why I feel the Infantry Autoguns in Darktide are so terrible.

The first topic is Recoil Return. With the way recoil is handled in Darktide, most of the recoil comes from the gun moving on the screen - however, there’s a problem with this. When you fire, you pull down to compensate for recoil, but when you stop firing, the gun will re-center itself on your screen, which is now well south of the target you were originally aiming at. Every time you stop firing after compensating for recoil, you have to pull back up on the gun to bring it on target again, and this feels absolutely terrible. Maybe I’m a spoiled after playing Battlefield games that haven’t had this issue for 9 years, but returning to it does not feel good. Not at all.

The second topic is Recoil Patterns. Now, I get that this may be a deliberate gameplay design, and there’s arguments for and against it with “real life” in mind, but it doesn’t feel good or satisfying as a player in a video game. The recoil in Darktide, at least for Infantry Autoguns, is highly erratic. Vertical recoil starts off almost nonexistent and increases gradually as the burst goes on. Horizontal recoil, on the other hand, starts off almost nonexistent and rapidly climbs to completely unmanageable levels as the gun jumps left and right seemingly at random. Vertical recoil can always be compensated for, but random horizontal recoil makes holding the weapon reliably on target impossible for even the most skilled player. There’s no pattern to learn, no way to increase the weapon’s effectiveness with player skill, just short bursts and… that’s it.

Here’s a video to help visualize both of the above. A dot has been drawn in the center of the screen to help give a better idea of what I’m talking about.

The first magazine is emptied without any recoil compensation. You can see the red dot moves slightly upwards in relation to the target, then returns as the burst stops. In the second burst, I fight the recoil (as best I can, anyway), and the red dot starts dropping immediately, and as I end the burst, the dot - and therefore my point of aim - ends well short of the target, and I have to pull back up on it to bring it level again. This affects every ranged weapon in the game, especially noticeable on those that can ADS. It’s also prevalent with hipfire and braced fire, though thematically it works nicely.

You can also witness how random the horizontal recoil is, at least on the Columnus MkV Infantry Autogun. While this is merely the most extreme example, the other models of Infantry Autogun also suffer from random horizontal recoil to varying degrees.

These are the core reasons why I feel the Infantry Autoguns are so terrible. Not that they have poor damage or ammo capacity, but with the way recoil is modeled in the game you have to fight it uphill, both ways, in the snow. And while this affects every weapon in the game, Infantry Autoguns are the ones that suffer the most - some ranged weapons can’t ADS, many aren’t fully-automatic, and the Accatran lasguns have basically no vertical recoil to fight. I pray to the Omnissiah that the way recoil is handled could get a looked at in the future, but I understand that’s a long shot.


Indeed, for some stupid reason, recoil is handled differently than in other popular FPS games. Feels pretty terrible trying to compensate for it, and you’re just better off using short bursts at all times.

Fatshark tried to reinvent the wheel again, and it ended up square instead of circular.

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Personally, I find the way recoil is done in Darktide to be reasonable. That said, I do agree that re-centering is not ideal, and that weapons should really have specific recoil patterns instead of just vertical VS horizontal kick.

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Yeah they definitely need to remove the feature of the gun returning to where the firing started from. Players are gonna fight the recoil so the gun shouldnt move after the fact.

Above everything, the recoil return is what makes using Infantry Autoguns feel terrible. While I understand it is probably a significant change under the hood, I don’t see an entire category of weapon getting used until it’s changed.