Clarifying the aiming system

The current aiming system leaves absolutely baffled.

This is what I’m looking at for a current shot.

This instance is as simple as it can get with a slow moving enemy that has less HP (20) left than any one of my bullets (30)

  • The bar at the top of the screen seems to be indicating that I’m going to kill it.
  • The aiming reticule isn’t entirely filled and from how I understand things 50% of bullets will land anywhere within the red area, so I’ve got some chance to hit and some to miss, it looks like about a third filled so 33% chance to hit feels roughly right, so with 3 shots I’m estimating that I have a 72% (1-0.33 or 0.66 to the power of 6) of one of my red area bullets hitting and killing the target. (I’ve also got some blue area bullets working within a normal distribution, but if 50% of bullets fall within the red area, that to me means that the other 50% fall outside of it, and with very little of the creature in that section I’ll work with 72%.
  • I’ve then got a slowly blinking bar next to the creature which seems to vary between leaving a small number of HPs remaining or having no affect at all, I’m guessing the reason why it’s blinking is because I’ve got a chance to not hit at all, but it doesn’t seem to blink at a rate that indicates how likely I am to hit/miss, (I’d expect a lower hit chance to lead to a bar that spends more time faded to black rather than red) and I don’t at all understand why it’s leaving an area of the bar shaded no matter where I aim as one bullet should kill, I’d expect the whole bar to be flashing on or off, what seems to happen instead is that the area of the bar that remains shaded increases as you move away from the centre of the target. I find this really bizarre that what appears to be a potentially damage indicator doesn’t actually indicate potential damage, is giving the average amount of damage instead?

So three different indicators on screen, all feel like they’re giving me different information in contradiction to one another. If the tutorial has explained any of this then I’ve missed it, to which apologies, but I really find this system unnecessarily complex and obtuse.

1 Like

The bar at the top(Creature health) and the bar with the creature’s target location(targeted health) are based on best case scenarios. So if every bullet hits it is the maximum damage you can do either to the creature as a whole or the target area. It is common to see the target area be completely flashing because you can do more damage than the target area can take. I think the flashing should occur at the same rate no matter the damage done, it is the size of the blinking bar that changes, from target health(red) to max damage(black).

I have seen where either the top bar sometimes shows a skull and crossbones over the creature icon to indicate a “kill” shot, but it often goes away when just moving the reticle a small amount and even the length of the “white” arrows/chevrons in the bar can vary from one position to another. I also have seen the target bar give readings that are not full when I am capable of doing more damage than what is shown. I don’t know if those issues are related to slight differences in the LoS damage calculator or if they are bugs that need to be worked out.

1 Like

In XCOM one day I missed 5 consecutive 95+% shots. Lets say each shot has a 20% chance to hit in your case, that is still (100x(1-(1-0.2)^6)) 74% chance to hit it. Good odds but not that impressive.

I think I’ve eared that it follows a bell curve (so not that random) so lots of shots should be close to the red line. You can try aiming a bit above in your case to have the worm close to the red line (so not perfectly centered). It should increase your odds :wink:

1 Like

There is a 50% chance that it will be like that, but it is not granted. Sometimes all bullets go outside of red circle.

just watch this: to understand the circles :slight_smile:
I hope it’s still up to date @UnstableVoltage ?

1 Like

I seriously hope that that is not the way that the game works - having to aim off-centre in order to have a better chance to hit would imho be on par with a chocolate fireguard when it comes to design choices.

1 Like

How can that be when the bar with the creature’s target location doesn’t show the possibility of the creature being killed in this case?

I think the ‘best case scenario’ is an assumption that all shots land in red circle (?)

I’m fine with percentages and know that 74% is only a 74% chance to hit, not a guarantee, that isn’t my issue with the aiming system - It’s the fact that 3 different indicators appear to be displaying conflicting information.

I really appreciate the time and patience that people are having to explain how things work to me and other that are confused by this, but as feedback to Snapshot, I don’t feel that such a core game mechanic should require forum threads and YouTube videos to understand. Either the tutorial/game guide needs to explain it clearly to people, perhaps with examples, the visual indicators need to be change/swapped for a numerical system, or the mechanics themselves need to be simplified imho.


Tutorials - yes, you can always put a tutorial to explain stuff.
Numerical system? - NO! the entire sense of 100/50 circle is to avoid a numerical indicator. for me it’s a brilliant idea to avoid all ‘how could I miss 80% chance shot’ well… because you got ‘all on blue’.


The target location bar should never show when the creature is killed, only whether the target location has damage that completely disables the location. It is the UI specific to the target location and only for the worms (that I know of so far) is the target location HP equal to the enemy HP when both are “full”.

The current issue that your weapon causes X damage which is equal to the HP for the target location but the UI only shows a portion of the bar flashing is understandable. In your above image even if one bullet strikes the target location, the whole damage should be taken thus rendering the 20 HP gone. I don’t have an explanation for that but I do know that sometimes there are yellow bars next to the red bar (for both creature HP and location HP) that will negate some damage. It is possible, but unlikely, that the game thinks some damage negation should be occurring which seems like a bug to me.

I would hope that when the full game is released that the information is sufficient to explain what is going on with the UI. I don’t think BB5 was fully expected and so they never updated the BB4 game guide with any UI adjustments or further explanations.

That’ll happen regardless, it’ll just come as ‘How could I miss when ‘all’ of my target circle was full?’ except it won’t be, it’ll be 99% full and the shot will go to the 1% that’s empty, as can happen.

I had some sniper or pistol shots that missed even though the blue circle was full (and with some margin taken). And I wasn’t melee. Seems to be because the alien is moving before the shot actually takes place (particularly mindfraggers with the pistol - don’t aim for the head).

Also apparently Synedrion glass stops hellcanon and sniper shots. It does break the glass though, so your enemy can shoot you back.

1 Like

Just saw a video from Retcon Raider and he had the same problem where he shoots a crabman in the chest (so really no hole anywhere near), it doesn’t move, but in the end the shot goes through the crabman without it taking damage.

I believe that is the case. Manual aiming doesn’t lock on the target, but direction you indicated. So if target move before, or during prolonged bursts, bullets can miss.
I believe that auto-aim tracks target’s centre of mass.

Why is it if you destroy a head where I presume the brain or sense apparatus are the creature or even one of your own troopers keep going with perhaps no obvious change in it’s ability to attack or hit? Surely having a ‘disabled ‘ head should have far more effect? If not what is the point of the sniper class?

1 Like

It’s a game and so can deviate from reality for the sake of other game play features? If you combine a “realistic” projectile system with the ability to freely aim at targets people would only target the head of a creature when they could for an instant kill if the damage system was realistic as well. So they could choose to not have realistic projectiles or realistic aim (which removing either kinda kills destructable terrain as a tactical option) or adjust how damage affects entities. They chose to go with adjusting damage because that let them keep their other game play elements intact.

The sniper is useful not only for shooting at the head but shooting a specific spot on an enemy. I often shoot the torso on some creatures to remove an ability before going after other parts of the creature. Other enemies I focus on whichever arm has the weapon I’m most concerned about. The sniper allows me to put a very small accuracy cone to hit almost any body part which I find very useful.

You don’t need either realistic projectiles or realistic aim in order to have destructible terrain as a tactical option. Laser Squad allowed for that in 1988.

So neither realistic projectiles (i.e. traveling from source to destination to determine if the projectile hits instead of a random number meeting a “hit chance”) nor realistic aim (where shots can be directed where you choose instead of specifying an enemy to attack) was in Laser Squad? This appears to show both, even if the realism has increased since then: