Can anyone explain weapon sound, relation to stealth/perception?

I haven’t played since release and was thinking about starting a new campaign after festering skies releases. I was looking at the wiki and noticed many new things, including bionics. One thing in particular that I noticed in relation to my question was the echo head which grants +10 stealth and two perks, night vision and silent echo. The silent echo perk makes all weapon attacks silent. This is interesting to me. Very little is written about weapon sound in game, on the now fairly expansive wiki, reddit, or the forums. The default infiltrator weapons are crossbows (and the drone pistol) which I suppose we can assume are quieter than other types of weaponry, and there might be a short blurb of in game text to support this assumption (or not, I don’t remember). On my first and only campaign, I typically cross classed infiltrators with snipers and largely ditched the crossbows in favor or sniper rifles, while keeping the full Styx armor kit. Any difference in sound and its possible effects may have mitigated by keeping these guys at a safe distance from the enemy. Or not, i dunno, maybe this invites an artillery strike. I never reached a point that required me to understand weapon sound, there wasn’t any info available to me even if I had, and it may not even have been implemented in the initial Dec 2019 release. In any case, I finally arrive at my point: does anyone understand how weapon sound really works?

Somewhat related: if you had a heavy-infiltrator, could they use a grenade launcher while still taking advantage of the sneak attack perk?

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From what I know and I still don’t know anything that is involved when it comes to stealth and the rules to get revealed or detected after several campaigns with using a lot of Infiltrators:

  • There are only two categories of weapons, silent or non silent. The only silent weapons are the crossbows, any other is non silent and there is no differentiation in their loudness or sound.

  • Shooting a silent weapon will NOT reveal or detect an Infiltrator and also not alarm any enemy.

  • Shooting a non silent weapon will NOT reveal an Infiltrator but he gets detected by the enemies, what means they are alarmed and aware of his position (the same as when we get the red blibs when we hear but not see an enemy nearby). The Enemies can shoot at his position and/or will engaging to his position.

  • The Echo Head bionic augmentation makes any non silent weapon to a silent weapon so it works as shooting with a crossbow without any detection at all.

To the related question:
Any attack, with the exception of bash, that is done while not revealed takes advantage of sneak attack, so yes, grenade launcher get the damage bonus.

As little extra:
The level 6 skill Vanish provides guaranteed stealth that make it possible to take advantage of sneak attack with melee attacks (with melee weapons, again not with bashing :wink: ). Without vanish any Infiltrator would be revealed in 5 tiles distance, even with 100% stealth or more, so no damage bonus for melee.

And finally, Sneak Attack and Vanish will be balanced in the next patch that comes with Festering Skies. IMO a good thing, both in combination are just too powerful and an easy to achieve damage boost once a player understands the basics of the stealth system. For me it was always the way to go for almost any class to dual into Infiltrator because the alternatives were almost just not as good.

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soldier has two statuses related to being visible to the enemy:

  • detected/not detected - determines if enemy is aware of him even if haven’t directly seen him - if enemies are aware then they become ‘alerted’ (can be seen as status for a moment above enemy) and start to pursue probable soldier location

  • revealed/not revealed - means that enemy completely spotted him and knows his exact location and look/stats etc.

  • Second status is connected to Perception/Stealth and direct line of sight/ways of detecting with visuals. Stealthy infiltrator will most of the time stay not revealed even in direct line of sight. But if he will fire non-silent weapon he will be revealed. Silent weapons prevent that.

  • First status is related to sounds or non direct ways of detecting an enemy. Silent weapons prevent that detection, so enemy won’t detect you even being close behind wall.

Still there is minimum range at which enemy will reveal/detect your soldier, unless he is an Infiltrator under Vanish spell. :wink:


Not longer true, this was reverted with one patch after the stealth rework, I assume because of the overpowered Echo Head. Shooting will not reveal any Infiltrator regardless of the weapon he uses is silent or not. It only affects detection now.

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It is only for Infiltrator or for any soldier?

I’m not sure I understand that… Echo Head was overpowered and they made revealing even more hard? :smiley:

It should be for any soldier but it is hard to track because there is no indicator if a non Infiltrator is spotted or not :wink:

I assume they reverted the whole thing that one can be spotted over the whole map when shooting, but again, not sure.

Yes, sort of, with the reveal by shooting they introduce a basic rule (that is not bad at all IMO), but the Echo Head makes this rule completely obsolete. An augmentation that is only available with a DLC …

Edit: Still my personal assumption, there was no statement about this that I’m aware of.

The other thing to be said is that when you move &/or fire a non-silent weapon within the Perception range of any enemy, they can ‘Hear’ you even if you are not Revealed.

Once Heard, all enemies can Hear you and you become a Locator-blob on the enemy’s radar, much like they are to us.

Chirons and other indirect-fire enemies can and will fire on your Locator, regardless of whether they can see you or not. This is why Chirons seem to have the uncanny knack of firing upon your unrevealed soldier from the other side of the map. Annoying, but actually quite a realistic simulation of artillery barrage fire.

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Thank you to everyone for the detailed and helpful responses.

So an infiltrator-sniper can shoot his sniper rifle and an infiltrator-heavy can shoot his grenade launcher and neither will be revealed but will both will be detected without the use of an echo head. Detection will invite pandorans to head in that direction or fire artillery.

Yes, this :slight_smile:
Be aware, they can also shoot blindly with direct fire weapons on detected but not revealed operatives, happens to me from time to time. It is a bit surprising but IMO fair, we can do the same with them.

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And maybe I would find it less infuriation, if it was communicated better. As such, I am still completely confused as to when Chirons can target my soldeirs and when they can’t. It’s is suspensful, but not particularly enjoyable.

Simple rule of thumb: if your soldier is moving within hearing range of any Panda, the Chiron can target you.

Think of Pandas as artillery spotters and that’s basically the way it works.

Is this always true? Can alerted status propagate from one panda to the others?

Once one Panda is alerted to your echo-location, all Pandas are alerted to your echo-location.

Think about it for a minute. They operate exactly the same way as we do. So when one of our guys ‘hears’ a Panda and puts its echo locator on the map, we all know where that locator is.

What I don’t know, is whether echo-location alerts non-alerted Pandas. I don’t think it does.

This actually raises another interesting question. It is possible to stack stealth to a non-infiltrator class character. It may or may not be a waste of time, but it is possible. But you don’t get the eyeball slash reveal indicator that you would with a infiltrator. But presumably if a character’s stealth overpowers any pandorans perception then such a character is effectively invisible, even if there is wide open LOS between your character and the pandoran. Am I wrong? Is this true? Has anyone ever played around with this?

I guess one open question is there a sound range for non-silent weapons.

Yes, but I don’t know what it is. However, you can shoot a Panda on your side of the map and it won’t necessarily alert the Pandas on the opposite side of the map.

This should be true, but as you wrote, there is no indication if spotted or not, so only an assumption.
Still many things around stealth are hidden in the darkness … :wink:

Fair enough, though I suppose I just don’t like the echo location in general - I think I would prefer to have more “fog of war” not less. I found it always odd how the game still points you to where to shoot, even if you don’t have a sight of enemy. I think I would gladly forgo my radar blips, in favour of having simpler enemy engagement rules - aka. if no one sees you, then they won’t shoot at you from the other side of the map. Or maybe I just don’t take enough of an advantage with artillery myself.

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If Chiron was alerted at least once during combat he will attack any of your soldiers that have been detected by any Pandoran. So generally speaking I would assume most of the time that the bloody Chiron will attack. :slight_smile: Of course there is BUT THIS:

Every Pandoran will be alerted if in his perception or hearing range (can’t remember which one) was at least one alerted Pandoran. So yes it can propagate really quickly over the map, so this:

is mostly true. BUT… Chirons have small perception and overall hearing is small range like 5 to 8 tiles, so it is possible that Chiron will stay not alerted for some part of the combat. Sometimes they stay not alerted until the very end - when they are the only target left.

Above range of 5 to 8 tiles are for quiet sounds like normal movement. Breaking window or shooting has some modifier that makes enemies hear you over bigger distances. I don’t know exact values.


Yeah, those chain reactions is what annoys me. Assuming that Chiron will attack me is generally what I do, but I find it frustrating in tactics game to fight against things I am not quite able to predict. That, in my case, means rushing Chirons as soon as possible, which means abusing abilities at my disposal, which leads to repetitive gameplay, etc. etc. Unless those are worm Chirons. Those can do whatever they like.