(T5 Feedback) Headhunter Autogun Suggestions & Changes

I wanted a dedicated thread to a very underused weapon by the community. It’s a fun gun to use and I like to take it out often on missions when I can. Like most variants available right now, I struggle to use the two other options over the Vraks Mk III. While this gun shines particularly well up to T4, it struggles to maintain its strengths going into T5.

As said by the title, all of this information is based on T5 gameplay only.
Feedback will be based only on stat ratings that average ~75% and overall greater than 370 stat rating.
Most weapons tested are based on results with minimal to no perks or blessings on my Psyker.
This accounts for the passive 10% increased damage to elites, but no other buffs have been applied.
I will suggest both buffs and debuffs in order to fit these weapons more appropriately to their roles.

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The Headhunter Autogun weapon type currently is:

  • A weakspot-oriented gun with a variety of blessings based on crits and stagger for weakspot hits
  • One of the few ranged options that do more than 100% damage against the flak armor type
  • One of the few ranged options that do less than 70% damage against the maniac enemy type
  • A surprisingly accurate and consistent weapon type during hipfire for reliable and rapid pinch kills
  • An overall medium-impact weapon that does not reliably stagger elites and specialists as often

The Headhunter Autogun is criminally underused by the community, and for a few good reasons. It has advantages as being a highly stable hipfire weapon that can lay down high amounts of accurate shots in bursts. It has some of the best DPS in the game due to its weakspot-oriented nature and blessings.

It is hands-down one of the best weapon types to sweep rooms full of flak enemies due to its high damage modifier against flak armor. It is consistently one of the best guns to kill all gunners, shotgunners, scab ragers, scab maulers, and scab bombers quickly and efficiently.

Despite that, it is extremely weak to maniacs, which accounts for almost every specialist in the game, and unfortunately makes this a very mediocre pick due to the game’s heavy reliance on specialists.

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The Vraks Mk III Head Hunter Autogun (3-Burst) currently has:

  • A reliable three-round burst and high rate of fire for the best top-end DPS of the three variants
  • The best stability out of the variants, with recoil primarily being vertical and easy to control
  • A use preference against large groups of enemies as a result, making it good at sweeping rooms

Suggested Changes:

  • A baseline ~11% damage increase to this variant to more reliably meet general breakpoints
  • A slight reduction in overall impact to make it feel like more of a low-caliber, fast-acting weapon

Due to a mixture of innate hitreg issues and overall poor performance in T5, being able to actually clear out rooms is a tedious chore I do not often like to do. As the Mk III variant is generally best at doing this, it should be able to more reliably meet breakpoints for most general enemies.

For breakpoints and builds, most should look to scoring 2 out of 3 shots in an average burst. At least 1 of those shots should be a weakspot hit. A reduction in impact will make enemies stagger less, which will result in overall better weakspot acquisition (as the enemy won’t be flailing around).

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The Agripinaa Mk IX Headhunter Autogun (2-Burst) currently has:

  • A less reliable two-round burst and low rate of fire, resulting in lagging top-end DPS to its variants
  • Unstable horizontal and vertical recoil that makes it hard to keep the bursts lined up on weakspots
  • Only slightly more damage than its three-burst variant, making it an overall weaker, limper variant

Suggested Changes:

  • A baseline ~21% damage increase to this variant for better opportunistic per-shot burst damage
  • A slight reduction in recoil to improve its overall stability but increase kick on subsequent bursts
  • A slight boost to overall impact to make it more reliably stagger all enemy types for punchier feel
  • Increase maniac damage modifier to ~120% and reduce its infested damage modifier to ~70%
  • A new sound effect to make each shot sound like a larger caliber (fluff/variation)

The current state of this variant makes it an overall worse choice over the 3-Burst Vraks. Not only is the damage increase per shot marginally ineffective, its significant recoil and kick makes it very difficult to keep sights lined up on heads and medium- to long-range targets in general.

The goal of these changes is to refit the Agripinaa variant into a punchier disabler oriented toward staggering and killing specialists and elites. With its damage transferred from infested to maniacs, it will be less reliable to gun down hordes of poxwalkers or poxhounds, but will be able to stagger them reliably with its higher base stagger.

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The Vraks Mk VII Headhunter Autogun (Semi-Auto) currently has:

  • An underwhelming single-shot action that exposes the weak per-shot damage of the weapon type
  • Unstable horizontal and vertical recoil that makes it difficult to keep shots lined up on weakpoints
  • Only a slight boost in damage to its two other variants, making it overall weaker and unsatisfying

Suggested Changes:

  • A baseline ~45% damage increase to this variant for better opportunistic per-shot burst damage
  • A reduction in recoil to improve its overall stability, and increase recoil recovery speed per shot
  • Reduce hipfire accuracy to differentiate its capabilities more as a high-damage sharpshooter gun
  • A significant boost in overall impact to make it fully stagger most enemies in 2 to 3 shots
  • Increase unyielding damage modifier to ~120% and its carapace damage modifier to ~20%
  • A new sound effect to make each shot sound like a much larger caliber (fluff/variation)

This variant is significantly different from the others due to the fact that it’s a semi-auto weapon. I am looking to the XII Infantry Lasgun for inspiration on how to better refit this weapon into more of a sharpshooter role for close- and medium-range engagements.

The goal is to make this weapon highly reliable per shot. It should be oriented toward being an ogryn killer. As the theme of the Headhunter Autoguns is anti-flak, this variant should have some damage going into carapace to allow for punchy critical hits against carapace-armored enemies.

The change to recoil should allow it to behave more like how semi-automatic weapons generally behave. They’re designed to be accurate, pinpoint weapons that allow you to make each shot count, and stable use of the weapon will reward each trigger pull, while rapid fire will still result in rapid loss of control.


Ha, I was considering making a similar topic; I guess you beat me to it. Most of my experience is with the Vraks VII however (I tend not to prefer burst shot guns in games), so my feedback will be orientated towards it.

I’m not sure I fully agree with you in this point. You do need a gun with very high stability to be useable, but once you have that it’s quite controllable. By rapidly clicking your mouse button, you can actually get more shots off down range than with the Vraks III, and the first 2-3 of these are almost perfectly accurate, allowing you to have fine control over how large you need your burst to be. By moderating your shots, you can keep them pinpointed on a single target quite accurately and still fire much faster than the Kantrael XII Lasgun. And, if necessary, you can click as fast as you can and go basically full auto if you need something big or close dead in a hurry.

Point being, the gun takes a level of self-control and familiarity to use well, but once you do it’s very strong and versatile.

I actually did some testing earlier today comparing the two guns. Advantages of the Vraks VII compared to the III are:

  • Very high stagger per shot.
  • Enough damage to kill most light units with one headshot.
  • The ability to 1 shot both Scab Shooters and Stalkers.
  • The ability to 2 shot Dreg Stalkers even without Volley Fire up.
  • Higher overall DPS when fired as quickly as possible.

As I mentioned in this thread here, the gun is a bit ruthless to roll because you need incredibly high base modifiers (~78+ in both stopping power and damage, not to mention high stability). You also need boosts to Unarmored or Flak to meet breakpoints, and probably Maniac to help off-set the main downside of the weapon. Then, specific blessings can really help the weapon too, so good luck getting all of those…

While the damage of the gun is quite low compared to its main competitor (the Kantrael XII), it’s much higher rate of fire and ability to just barely meet important breakpoints actually allows it to almost keep up to it’s Lasgun compatriot. Therefore, I don’t think such a large damage increase (~45%) is necessary for anything but Maniac. It definitely does need the boost to Maniac damage, however…

As stated in my other post I would recommend:

  • ~50% more damage to maniac, allowing it to deal up to 330 damage per shot with Volley Fire. This is enough to comfortably 5 shot both Dreg Ragers (or 4 shot with Opening Salvo) and Flamers, and would be close to (but still slightly lower than) the Agripinaa VIII Braced’s damage.

  • 15% more damage to Unarmoured, allowing it to reach the breakpoint for 2-shotting damnation Dreg Stalkers without investing in Unarmoured Damage and 2-shotting Dreg Bruisers if you do.

  • Maybe… 5% more damage to Flak to make reaching the requisite breakpoints slightly less RNG.

I think this would be enough to make the gun competitive in Hi Intensity Shock Troop Gauntlet T5. I’m partial to an increase in carapace damage (at least for headshots and crits), but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary. I have more to say on the weapon, but I’m not home at the moment. Maybe tomorrow.


Fully agree with the OP, but find there is something missing. It needs a bit more ammo. I would say a 20-25% boost for the ammo pool. It shouldn’t be as ammo hungry as it is right now. If you have a high ammo dependent weapon on the team then its slightly above average ammo consumption is a real issue.

The “in magazine” ammo is fine and shouldn’t be changed, but the total ammo pool should be a bit larger. I think 20-25% would be a good idea, to increase its use for Zealots and Psykers as well.


To clarify, what you quoted was for the Agripinaa IX which is meant to be the punchier, slower variant to the Vraks III, but fails to be that. I’ll probably agree that the Vraks VII is in overall a good enough position that it doesn’t need such a dramatic increase in damage, but based on numbers, even a ~45% damage increase still makes it less optimal than the XII Infantry Lasgun—even with its reverse damage falloff at close range.

So this is something I personally tried to avoid, which is why I did all my testing on Psyker without Peril damage and Warp Charges. It probably would have been even better to test on Zealot in retrospect given that they have no buffs for ranged (aside from +25% damage at close range, which is currently competing with much better feats right now).

Veteran is capable of meeting breakpoints with many ranged weapons, especially when it comes to weakspot hits, and massive built-in damage buffs to their kit.

I should have clarified especially that I purposefully only used minimally rolled guns with no damage buffs and high base stats in order to demarginalize non-damage blessings. Naturally something like No Respite will bring the gun to a much higher level, but someone like me who has actually never rolled a single Headhunter Autogun with that blessing will have to make do in other ways.

My proposal here was to make the Agripinaa IX the maniac killer, and retool the Vraks VII into more of an ogryn/monstrosity killer, as I’ve said. Its buffed base damage would make it an overall good pick for most occasions that call for having a sharpshooter, such as killing shooters, gunners, snipers, bombers, etc.

In a world where the XII actually gets nerfed and brought down from a level that’s considerably broken to something much more reasonable—same for the Gorganum Heavy Stubber—for other guns to compete with it, I think the semi-auto Headhunter should fill in as a medium-to-close range sharpshooter weapon with high base damage.

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I think there’s some fallacy to this argument. Darktide has so many ways to increase your damage (on every class) that it’s unlikely you’ll ever be shooting the gun with its base values for any amount of time. It is, of course, worth considering these, but also how breakpoints and average DPS across different damage types stack up with the more common and reliable to use of these buffs.

While I like your ideas, and I certainly believe each weapon should have its strengths and weaknesses, the general idea of what makes a weapon good seems to be shifting towards those that are capable of managing the highest difficulty content. Weapons like the Kantreal XIII Lasgun excel because they effectively have no weaknesses. They may struggle slightly against armour, but not enough to aversely affect the performance of the weapon.

The Headhunters already do pretty respectable damage, with very high crit and headshot multipliers on top of this, but in my opinion their lack of maniac damage is really what keep them from shining. So, this is what I think should be addressed first. Giving each gun a more specific role could be interesting, but I’m afraid that alone won’t significantly increase the usage of the weapon when it struggles at such an important role as Specialist sniping.

Regarding the XII, it is undoubtedly one of the strongest weapons in the game. However, nerfing it will just lead to a rise in guns that can currently match it (Bolter/Plasma Gun/Autopistol, etc…). It, at least, fills a niche (long range, accurate, fast firing shooter/specialist/elite killer) the others on that list don’t. I’d prefer there is at least one gun in the game that is effective at that role, so perhaps we should first move other guns closer to its baseline for Damnation+ difficulties before bringing it down.

It’s true. I had considered that point with perks and blessings being so readily available to begin with, but I want to focus especially on situations where Ghost and Terrifying Barrage are actually worth taking in the long-term. In my head, the ideal weapon generally has some form of utility via its blessing, and then there is the indirect or direct buff to its damage. So a good, well-rounded weapon that keeps you in the fight is a gun that has something like Ghost and No Respite. Unfortunately, for a lot of weapons that currently have a hard time meeting breakpoints in T5, this isn’t really a feasible choice. Instead you want to take blessings that both increase your damage output.

Right now the only hero that has no way of innately increasing their ranged damage beyond a single feat is Zealot Preacher, who has to choose between +25% Ranged Damage that scales based on how close you are and 6 Martyrdom stacks or 5 stacks of +5% Melee Damage. But this I digress; this is a different topic.

The Shredder Autopistol is a good example of this. It’s actually really good, but it needs Pinning Fire IV at least, and something like Raking Fire or Blaze Away to really pump its damage past any meaningful break. Of course, we shouldn’t discount the fact that it got such a massive buff (+50% Damage to Maniacs, on top of other things) to put it where it is to begin with.

The conclusion here is that there should be some meaningful level of competency with each weapon type where you don’t need perfect rolls to make them feel like good enough weapons. A transcendant weapon with perfect perks and perfect blessings already trivializes the game to a pretty significant degree.

It’s just a point of contention for me that not every weapon needs to be good at one type of thing. I agree on the fact that Maniacs are such a prevalent enemy type that this immediately pulls down the weapon as a whole from performing well in the game’s current meta. This approach simply doesn’t make me want to choose anything that isn’t already the highest DPS available for this particular role, however, with some other bonus that makes me want to take it. The Headhunter Autoguns don’t have either of those things right now.

And then there’s the question of where the Agripinaa IX stands. It’s currently wholistically just a weaker version of the Vraks III and to a great extent the Vraks VII. I almost dislike the current state of variants; that it’s mostly just a game of choosing which one has the highest DPS, and for the most part almost every option points to the low ROF, high DPS variants because all of the variants do the same thing as a baseline.

Ideally I think each variant should have one baseline enemy type it’s good at, for example Flak Armor in the case of the Headhunter Autoguns, and then each variant has its own benefit. The III does more damage to Infested enemies, the IX does more damage to Maniacs, and the VII does more damage to Unyielding enemies. Suddenly each variant is actually worth taking for reasons other than just how much DPS it can push down the lane in front of you at the same type of enemy.

These modifiers are always the same for each individual class and there is no guarantee they will remain the same, or that you have them available to you.

Saying “the Zealot can use a Talent to increase its Ranged damage in close range” suggests that your Zealot is actually using this… or has lost the right amount of health.

Ranged weapons should function without the buffs, with the buffs making it easier to reach the breakpoints or achieve additional break points later on. But there is nothing wrong with having a fixed metric of “this weapon, without any buffs, should meet these requirements”. Requirements likely being “kill a poxwalker” or “kill a sniper at 20meters” or whatever you want the weapon to excell at.

You can’t just test a weapon under the most ideal circumstance of everyone being fully buffed, in coherency and whatnot. 6 warp charge stacks… because that means the weapon might not perform satisfactory in all the situations where you do not have the best of all worlds. Like say after you just had to purged the Warpcharges with your special and suddenly a situation goes from bad to worse, because your weapon no longer reaches the breakpoints you need it to meet.

In my opinion its the ammo count. They need to many bullets to achieve what other weapons can achieve without going through an entire magazine to do so.

The high Crit chance is nice and makes them very interesting. And if you are like my buddy and are “lucky”, then you will be throwing crits on the regular… but if you are like me, who is a historically “unlucky” person… then you are likely not getting the crits when you need them and get them in situations where you don’t need them.

Having a high crit weapon where one is unlucky to have it crit after you whittled the enemy down to 1 HP and then it crits with 500 damage… makes no real difference. Of course, if you are a lucky person and the crit triggers on the first hit, it will feel good… but that is the difference between a lucky and an unlucky person and why a weapon shouldn’t be judged based on its crit chance. Crits are gambling. You rely on a gamble to go in your favor, even if everyone will have 1 in 10 shots be a crit… it makes a major difference when that 1 in 10 shots happens.

Focusing on getting the weapon to a point where it is reliable enough without the crits and then let its crit chance carry the weapon from good to great on an individual basis is the better approach. Because “unlucky” people will then also get utility out of a good weapon, compared to “lucky” people that simply have the luck of the draw of getting the Crits when they need them as opposed on using their statistically guaranteed crits in situations where it makes hardly a difference.

Not sure i agree on that. I’ve been playing Veteran enough to say that the only reason i go back to the Infantry Lasgun XII is the ammo economy. It is the only weapon in the entire game where i do not feel ammo starved, especially when i have some Ogryn glued to their noise markers and someone with a Autopistol or Bolter on the team, which seem to create a void sucking in all the ammo everywhere.

If i want to go for a “strong” weapon, the MG XII is not the top of my list. That spot belongs to the Helbore ever since Mods let me fix the sights issue. If you were to give us and non-mod way to fix the sights issue on ranged guns, i think a lot of people would gravitate away from the MG XII.

And if you upped the general ammo pool for most weapons, by 20-40% across the board, you would also negate some of the reputations of many of the autoguns. Needing half a mag to down an Elite with say a Headhunter MKIII (to stay on topic), wouldn’t be such a detriment on the weapon performance perception chart.

Actually, I’d made the false assumption that power earned from blessings on your melee weapons would retain their benefits until their timer ran out when switching to a ranged weapon. It certainly felt that way in game, when I was consistently 1-shotting enemies I had no right to be with the slug from the Agripinna shotgun. I tested it in Psykanium however, and despite still showing the blessing as active on the HUD, I don’t see any discernable damage difference. So, please disregard what I inferred about Zealot.

As for your first point, I entirely agree. Being able to take at least one support blessing without compromising your weapon’s effectiveness is the ideal state.

A good example of a gun with meaningful variants is the Helbore, with each variant not only feeling quite different, but serving a distinct role from the next while still being similar in usage. The Headhunters aren’t the worst in this regard either, as each variant having a different number of shots in their burst make them feel distinctly different already. You are right, however, when you say they all effectively serve the same role.

I don’t particularly have an issue with the two Vraks guns having the same strengths, as the difference between single shot and 3 round burst can appease different preferences in playstyle, but the Agripinna certainly has room to stand out in some regard compared to the other two, especially since it’s currently the worst pick of the lot and sits somewhere between them in terms of function.

I usually don’t have an issue running out of ammo when using the Vraks VII on Veteran at least, as I do with some of the more ammo hungry guns in the game, but you’re not far off the mark. From my own experience, with the right perks, blessings, and abilities you CAN kill maniacs moderately quickly but you still expend half your clip to do so, making it impossible to deal with large numbers of Maniacs as you must reload between killing every few enemies.

I do like that autoguns in general are more limited by magazine capacity, as it’s what differentiates them from lasguns along with having proper recoil. These downsides make the gun more difficult to use than a lasgun, so you might assume they’d gain more benefits elsewhere. In some ways they do (fire rate, hip fire accurate & stagger), but the raw damage of the Kantrael XII is so high compared to any Autogun that it kind of makes them irrelevant.

You disagree that the Kantrael XII Lasgun is one of the best ranged weapons in the game, but its not just the ammo economy that makes it strong. Not only is it’s base damage acceptably high against all armour types, but you hardly ever have to reload it in a firefight. This makes it the ultimate anti-shooter gun, a pretty important role to fill, while also being quite effective against elite and specialist targets. I’d personally like to see the Headhunters be able to fill the same role just as effectively.

As far as I understand, the Headhunters don’t get any natural boost to crit chance? While Crucian Roulette was nerfed, they certainly still get access to some blessings that can turn them into crit machines, which with their huge crit damage modifier can overcome a lot of their shortcomings, but as you said it’s a bit of an unreliable way to build the weapon.

I fully agree with you that most weapons should be adequately strong before taking into account class specific damage modifiers and blessings. In fact, the only strength I listed in my post about the Vraks III that was reliant on these was reaching the 1 shot breakpoint with Volley Fire against Scab Stalkers. My point is simply that balancing a weapon should ALSO take into consideration the damage modifiers that it will most likely be played with.

In the case of the Headhunter autoguns, I would argue this is the Veteran Sharpshooter using Volley Fire.

This is the ideal state I’d like to see for every weapon type and its variants. Although I haven’t tested the Mk II Helbore enough to see how much differently it performs to the Mk I Helbore, the Mk III Helbore is distinct in its low base damage but extreme damage scaling while charged, its much slower charge rate, I believe a longer delay between shots, and being very ammo-inefficient. This makes it a veritable anti-material rifle, but not really good at anything else. Overuse will drain ammo quickly as well.

I haven’t tested this and don’t know if it’s true, but I believe the one thing Autoguns also have over Lasguns is projectile cleave.

If I’m correct, a 300 damage shot from the XII Lasgun will kill an enemy in only 200 damage, but that 100 damage goes with the enemy as overkill. A 300 damage shot from any Autogun (that is at least capable of doing so) that kills an enemy in 200 damage will cleave to the next target, and will take the 100 damage leftover. Any leftover damage may theoretically infinitely cleave, which is why Autoguns are generally so good at clearing hordes. I believe this also applies to any kinetic weapon such as Ripper Guns, Stubbers, Bolters(?), etc.

I don’t know if there’s a special case with shotguns. There’s a unique circumstance I discovered months ago with the Lawbringer shotgun where ADS does not have cleave properties, but hipfire does. I don’t know if the new variants have this or if they ever fixed it.

Now that I think about this, it might be worth considering in terms of the Autoguns’ overall damage. I think what I suggested was fair for the most part, but I’m no game designer and right now I honestly think some tweaks to the stability and enemy type damage modifiers would be a good start. I still think the Agripinaa IX and Vraks VII still need a boost in damage, but maybe the VII doesn’t need one that’s as drastic as I suggested.

The only weapon that currently gets any crit chance modifier is the shotgun, believe it or not, and only while ADS! It gets +5% crit chance in this very specific circumstance.

This is/was the case with the Lawbringer. I have no idea if the new shotgun variants have this or if they ever fixed it on the Lawbringer, either.

The headhunter Autoguns are available on Psyker and Zealot as well. Again a situation where one needs to look at a weapon without additional modifiers and not judge it under the best of circumstances. Like in the case of the Veterans bonus to ammunition.

Having to reload between this isn’t the issue in my opinion. That is what you have teammates and ultimately a melee weapon for. I concur with an earlier position of “weapons should have Blindspots to give other weapons room to fill”, but if we take the single shot version of the headhunter, then i would expect it to hit breakpoints on Shooters with a headshot without the need for class modifiers or specific blessings. While at the same time have enough ammo not to be an undue drain on the teams resources.

The burst fire version ideally should also reach these same benchmarks on a “per click” basis. With blessings then making it easier to fight Elites, Specials and Monstrosities.

At least I do take them with me, when nobody else on the Team brings “long range” weaponry… which includes my Zealot, on which i still feel like i need a weapon type that can deal with long range, by virtue of my teammates not always bringing long range weaponry. And as such i am judging the Headhunters performance not from the point of a Veteran that runs Volley Fire and has an inflated Crit chance and Ammo pool, but from the point of someone that is looking for a ranged option to fill a gap in the team composition when they do not play Veteran.

If the weapon can meet the requirements for non-Veterans then it makes the weapon more attractive for Veteran players as well. This is the same reason why Ranged weapons should not be balanced around specific blessings or classes. You want to balance it for the lowest common denominator. The least available options, because you cannot guarantee that people have the best possible things.

The Helbore, the Bolter, the Plasma Gun, all share the trait of being “acceptably high against all armor types”. Sure, you could half the Magazine Ammo capacity, while leaving the general ammo pool alone, and it would still make it a good workhorse. But it is only the ammo economy that grants the MG XII its workhorse status. There isn’t anything special about the MG XII other than that it produces consistent and reliable results. This is a trait it shares with the Combat Axes. It is never the best choice, but it works acceptably well against everything. There is nothing wrong with such a weapon existing, i’d even argue that it should exist… as its the boring choice from which people will branch out from and have the option to fall back to.

The baseline, if you want to call it that, and then you align the other weapons along this. It has to perform better as things compared to the MG XII, while trade in another trait to be better than the MG XII. I think that is a good way to balance everything. You have a baseline of a workhorse and then make other weapons situationally more appealing.

The Helbore, for example, with its poor sights, is more appealing as an Elite and Special sniper, not as appealing as a means to fight Shooters. Bolter, again more appealing to combat Elites and Specials, going even harder into the direction of fighting the many types of Ogryns… but trading even more ability to fight Shooters for this feat. And the Autoguns should go in the other direction. Infantry Autogun trading range for being better at dealing with Flak armor and Maniacs… Headhunter Autoguns trading Maniacs for the ability to be better/quicker at dealing with shooters.

The Headhunter Autogun should be able to deal with ranged enemies more easily… which are largely Flak Armored and only showing their head weakspots. And then within the family you should provide options between precision and DPS.

Ultimately the last thing you would want is lower the damage of something like the MG XII, which turns enemies even more into a Piniata that needs to be hit over and over again. It is fine to give a weapon certain abilities, and in my book a (long range) ranged weapon needs to be able to easily meet break points for shooters and snipers. Ideally a bodyshot for shooters and a headshot for snipers. And then you have blessings and such come in to take care of Elites and other specials.

I think i phrased that in a confusing manner, as you said:

So since you used crit multipliers as an argument in its favor, i mentioned its crit chance, and the reliance on crits as a positive attribute and why it’s a bad metric to make it a baseline to measure the gun against, because ultimately you rely on getting the crits in order to get the positive trait.

I know for certain the Laspistol gets a 15% additional crit chance, and the Stub Revolver gets something like +20% or 25%. The regular lasguns also have an additional 5% if I’m not mistaken. There could be more, but this information is so obscured in the game itself it makes it hard to fact-check when I’m not home. For example, I had no idea about the shotgun! Regardless, the Headhunters benefit from no additional chance.

The ability to kill a number of Maniac type enemies in a short period of time by yourself, to be fair, is largely only a problem on Shock Troop Gauntlet games. I think what I find odd is that I’d expect a “Headhunter” style to be able to kill Specialist type enemies well, and most of these happen to be Maniacs. It goes against my expectation of what the gun should be able to do.

I think you’re spot on with your expectations of what a Headhunter should be able to do. As it stands, an unmodified, max damage Vraks VIII cannot:

  • 1 shot a Dreg Stalker with a headshot
  • 1 shot a Sniper even with a crit headshot
  • 1 shot a Sniper with a headshot even with +25% Unarmoured damage
  • 1 shot body shot a Dreg Bruiser with a crit, even with +25% Unarmoured damage
  • 1 shot a Scab Bruiser with a headshot (Unarmoured)

I assume this is intentional design, but it does lead to the gun being very limited, almost requiring. Increasing unarmoured damage by 7% across the board would allow these breakpoints to be possible and lead to more build diversity. Something to note is that this would not change many crit breakpoints, only headshot breakpoints, so specializing into a crit build would still require you to get additional damage from any source to hit 1 shot potential on most enemies.

I would suggest increasing unarmoured damage by ~9% on the Vraks VII, to allow for slightly suboptimal weapon damage rolls to be able to meet these as well. This is on top of my suggestion of about +50% more Maniac damage (which in retrospect may also perhaps be too much).

I also think you’re spot on here as well. In 40k lore, the Lasgun is also the most standard, baseline weapon in the entire universe. For me, one of the most impressive things Darktide did in terms of weapon design is making the Lasgun fit this role perfectly while still being effective and fun to use (at least with the Kantrael XII).

So then, what role should the Headhunters fill? Versus the Kantrael XII, they lack not only Maniac damage, but also a good amount of Unarmoured damage. Hence why I suggested the buff above. Currently, this leaves them as VERY effective anti-flak guns, possibly the best in the game, but sub-par against everything else. There is a noticeable difference in my effectiveness when fighting Scabs vs Dregs for this weapon, which is not something I notice with any other gun.

I personally believe they should be strong anti-infantry and anti-elite guns, while being decent but not amazing against Specialists, weak for horde clear, and useless against Carapace. These weaknesses should be able to be off-set by getting crits and headshots, allowing for skill and/or build specialization to bring it’s performance above that of a basic Lasgun.

As am I, I just consider what it can do being used by a veteran as well. And while I’ve run the Headhunters less on the other classes than I have veteran, in my experience it still excels in ammo efficiency versus many other commonly used guns regardless of who you play as. Comparing it only to the Kantrael XII is a bit of a fallacy considering just how much more ammo efficient that gun is versus anything else in the game.

A bit of an aside, but I’d actually argue for the ammo consumption per shot to be increased slightly on the XII to bring it slightly more in line with other weapons in this respect, especially if we’re balancing them around it. As you said, lowering it’s damage is NOT what we should do.

As it stands, I think the clip size and overall ammo pool of the Headhunters is appropriate for what they are and the role they fill. I do, however, think the effectiveness of Crucian Roulette should be slightly increased following the change to the blessing to accommodate this.


I would say that would depend on the Mark.

Personally i want the single shot version to be a slug sniper for shooters. High precision, low recoil on single shots. Allowing you to go pop pop pop on Scab Shooter & Stalker as well as Dreg shooters heads. It should be the gun you bring instead of the Lasgun when your role on the team is solely to deal with the shooting galleries. It should be good against Shooters, Gunners, Grenadiers and the Sniper. With a hard hitting Crit to deal with Reapers, where you would need to aim for their heads and hit them 3-4 times until you get that crit to kill them.

So that would mean its strength should be Flak Armor and Unarmored armor. It should be middling against Unyielding, be able to damage Carapace (i could see a 1/4ish damage to carapace), and Infested and Maniacs being its weakspots as trade off.

This does leave the gun a little less suited to deal with Flamers, unfortunately, but it would be a price to pay.

That is how i see the ideal position for the Vraks MK VII.

The Vraks MK III, i would leave where it is right now. I feel like it needs a slight damage boost, and a bit more ammo. I do value it on my Zealot as a compromise between the braced Autogun and the MG XII. It gives me the option to put lead downrange when i need it, but at the same time provides enough accuracy at range to pick off a sniper or some shooters, when nobody else on the team can do it. To me this is very valuable as a weapon. I would love it to have a slightly larger ammo pool, because i feel like sometimes i get paired with an Ogryn that is constantly shooting and a Bolter or Plasma Gun Veteran… and it usually leads to the group being ammo starved and suddenly its no longer an option to make use of the Ranged weapon and you are forced to “reserve” it for when you really need it… other than using it to suppress and pick off shooters as you advance on them.

Where i would love the Agripinaa to be? I would like it to be better against carapace. We don’t really have a gun, other than the bolter, that gives you this spray and pray feeling but still provides good use against carapace. So i would like it to fall between the two above. You have the single shot that does damage carapace, the MK III that does only on a crit… and i think the Agripinaa MK VIII could fall in between.

I also would give it a strong stagger. You wouldn’t necessarily kill a shooter on a hit at a distance, but even if you just clip them, they would be knocked out of cover. Stronger stagger also would mean that you can open Bulwark shields if you lay down enough lead into the shield. Maybe stagger or stop Crushers and provide a lead shield against Ragers. You wouldn’t need to increase the damage all that much. Just a bit to reach thresholds on shooters. The stronger stagger itself would then provide the reason why you would want to bring this over the Vraks MK III. A stronger “crowd control” option with which you can stop crushers and ragers, murder Maulers and dislodge shooters and gunners from cover.

It wouldn’t necessarily make the Agripinaa more popular, but it would give it a destinctive feel and niche.

The other two Lasguns have the issue that they are not autofire. The MG XII works click shot… the other two would need fall into automatic fire if you hold the click down. Its such a simple change and if you have a macro capable mouse you can actually do this yourself and it makes the MG IV so much more enjoyable to use.

Good post. I like your ideas and largely agree with you.

I do still believe Maniacs (and to a lesser extent) should be a defining weakness of the weapons as a whole, but I did the math and still propose all the Headhunters see a small buff of 33-35% more Maniac damage to allow them to better reach important breakpoints if you choose to specialize in this damage type (150 and 187.5 damage per shot on the Vraks III and VII respectively).

Besides this, to summarize:

Vraks VII Single Shot: High Damage per Shot, Moderate Damage per Second, Moderate Stagger.
The ultimate anti-infantry and anti-shooter.

Suggestion: Increase Unarmoured damage by 7%-9%, and boost crit/headshot damage to Carapace.

Vraks III 3 Round Burst: Moderate Damage per Shot, High Damage per Second, Low Stagger.
The comfortable to use generalist.

Suggestion: Slightly increase total ammo pool to improve reliability and make up for it being more ammo hungry than its cousins.

Agripinna IX 2 Round Burst: High Damage per Shot, Moderate Damage per Second, High Stagger.
The elite/specialist hunter.

Suggestion: Give the weapon more of an identity by drastically increasing stagger values and further increase it’s damage against Maniac, Carapace, or both.

How does this look to you guys? Ultimately, Fatshark is unlikely to incorporate any of our ideas verbatim, if at all, so we can argue semantics all we like but it won’t make any meaningful impact on the game. So, you don’t have to agree with these changes exactly; I’m just hoping this roughly meets the general idea we all have for these guns.

So I did some testing tonight before responding, because I wanted to be sure. Each gun’s penetration is based on it’s hitmass multiplier, and deals full damage to each target hit regardless of if the first target hit dies or not (no bleedthrough). Comparing the slowest firing, highest damage gun of each category, I can report:

  • Infantry Lasgun: Penetrates 2 Infested and 2 Poxwalkers
  • Headhunter Autogun: Penetrates 2 Infested and 1 Poxwalkers
  • Infantry Autogun: Penetrates 2 Infested and 2 Poxwalkers
  • Braced Autogun: Penetrates 3 Infested and 2 Poxwalkers

No gun penetrated the regular infantry units. So, the Headhunters actually have the lowest penetration of any of these guns, and Infantry Lasguns are roughly comparable to Infantry Autoguns. Another (not so important) point against the Headhunters. Perhaps this is another way they could be improved, or the Agripinna IX could get more of an identity.


Looks fine to me. I would have increased ammo pool across the board by 20% tho.

Yeah, increasing penetration might be a good additional idea for the Agripinaa Headhunter.

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I tried the headhunters out a bit, and found their lack of maniac damage an enormous limiting factor in their usefulness. Even with headshots you can’t take out specials as effectively as pretty much any other choice. It’s just laughably bad. It’s “I’d rather meme with a revolver” bad.

I think that ultimately has to do with the fact that every single specialist—besides Bombers (100% Flak), Snipers (100% Unarmored), and Pox-types (100% Infested)—are all Maniacs. This is probably another good topic to go to on its own, given the discrepancy of model design and their enemy/armor type (especially since the scab flamer is 100% Maniac despite wearing Flak armor, visually).

That’s not surprising at all. I knew I wasn’t entirely correct given how steeped each system is in its own spaghetti design, but I suppose my assumption was more idealistic since it would give Autoguns an entirely new design approach for spreading damage over Lasguns.

I think all of this looks good. I didn’t really want to address the ammo issue because I personally feel like I haven’t struggled enough with ammo in this game. In fact, for a while I was on the side of wanting ammo to be even more scarce, since this game adjusts the rate at which the AI spawns ammo based on how little or how much the team has overall.

It’s also just a lot of stuff to respond to in posts as dense as ours.

I’m looking at past gun buffs and I’d be okay with an overall boost to Maniac damage on all variants to be at or close to 100% damage multiplier. I think at least the Agripinaa IX should have a much higher multiplier over the other two to set it apart, so at least it’s not still a game of deciding which one has the better DPS out of the variants.

Vraks III is already basically a Brauto that also snipes, and my preferred Zealot gun (one of my favourite Vet guns too). It does NOT need buffs my word it’s already a body shot machine.

The Agrip one really does suck the main thing it needs is a non random recoil pattern but yeah no issues with buffing that one it’s easily the worst.

Vraks VII is solid but was probably hurt the most by the completely needles crucian nerf. I’d probably just slap some innate crit chance on it to differentiate it more honestly. It already hits solidly hard.

Huh??? So much of this thread confuses me. I find the Vraks III extremely ammo efficient. I never come close to running out of ammo on that thing, and I’m talking about using it on Zealot here, even without a Vet on the team. Are you shooting hordes with it?

That’s the one that annoyed me the most. Its time-to-kill for a trapper is just downright dangerous. I would give it a 0% nevertake award. There are just better options out there, like a kantrael. I personally tend to use the agri brace myself.

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It trades worse maniac damage for vastly better hipfire accuracy, and way better body shot damage on every other target type, as well as much much better fire rate. I’ll give it to you that on Vet sure, Kantrael is clearly better, but on Zealot I would highly question your Zealot playstyle if you prefer Kantrael. Sounds like the talk of one of those awful backline peeking Zealots that don’t know what the class they’re playing is supposed to be doing.

I will admit the crucian nerf hurt, since crits do a lot to entirely circumvent the maniac weakness. If anything is to be done to them I’d prefer they just undo the crucian nerf.

It seems like most of us agree the Headhunters don’t have too much of an ammo issue. As I’ve pointed out before, it’s unfair to compare it to the Kantrael XII Lasgun, as it’s the outlier across all guns, not the norm. Perhaps we and @IshanDeston will have to agree to disagree on this point. I have less experience using a Vraks III with a decent ammo modifier so I declined to add my opinion on this gun, but I can see it being more ammo hungry than it’s cousins despite it’s large magazine capacity.

This is true, considering it has the smallest magazine size of the lot. Personally, I think the way Crucian works is okay now, but the % critical chance it gives should be higher across the board. This would still keep crit farming more viable on the burst variants, but still acceptable on the Vraks VII. Oddly, I think everyone in the community agrees with this opinion for once. It wasn’t exactly a broken blessing before.

To highlight how the Headhunters stack up compared to their peers, I made this totally not subjective or biased chart based on damage numbers and my own experience playing with the weapons:

*Factors such as magazine capacity, range, and stagger have not been taken into account, so this should not be taken as an indication of which weapons perform better than others during gameplay.

*Carapace Damage was excluded as all weapons perform comparably poorly against it.
*Infested Damage accounts for penetration and rate of fire.

Hopefully this helps highlight just how many weaknesses the Headhunter has compared to similar weapons. Headshot/Crit modifiers are comparable across the different weapons, so it doesn’t make up for it through skilled play, either. Feel free to disagree with this assessment, though.

The Vraks Headhunters are both very useable and fun weapons with a lot of unique advantages over their peers. However, I believe this lack of consistent damage across different armour types is what can, at times, make them feel underwhelming and is the primary reason why they are underutilized by the community.

Especially this. This is the primary reason I’d never take it on Hi-Intensity Shock Troop Gauntlet Damnation.

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