Need clarification on bullet speed

How does bullet speed affect the spread of a gun?

I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information about this, and I absolutely need to know if it’s based on time or distance for my sh0tgun Zer0 build to be 100% optimal.

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Time. Velocity will lengthen split distance and narrow short distance spread.


Number 14, at 10:30.


See that’s what i’m talking about @Jefe is saying it’s based on time like the split effects, @DemoniteBL is saying that it’s based on distance, who is right here? That’s the whole point of me making this thread.


There’s a big difference between projectile SPREAD and projectile SPLIT. Spread is what happens to pellets that leave the gun all at the same time (eg shotgun rounds etc.). Split is a special effect where a pellet will split into secondary pellets at some point (eg Sandhawk, Pimpernel, etc). Once they split, these pellets also spread. Demonite’s video linked by @khimerakiller is talking about the former (let’s call it generic spread affecting accuracy, or the number of pellets that can potentially hit a target from the same shot). For special effect weapons, it’s obviously more complicated.

Since you’re specifically talking about the effects of projectile speed as it relates to playing Zer0, this distinction is very important to remember - especially once you start farming gear.


To further that : what Demonite said about spread is completely accurate. A regular shotgun or Bandit SMG will be unaffected by Velocity.

What I refer to in my guide is split (which is not what the OP was asking about) : the Lyuda’s & Harold’s spread is tightened , the Interfacer’s converge distance is lengthened, etc.


And here’s why: I remember a similar discussion related to the damage output of shotguns. As I recall, the description of accuracy is a cone diverging from the barrel of the gun within which a given pellet can diverge from the central aim point (taking into account any special firing pattern eg Heartbreaker, Octo, Blockhead). The degree of divergance of each pellet is random within an angular range defined by the accuracy parameter.

The upshot of this (hah!) is that the spread of listed pellets for a shotgun burst will be the same whether the pellets travel fast or slow - it’s defined by geometry and the distance from the target.

Split, on the other hand, is time-based, so the faster the pellet the further it will travel before it splits. This means the split point will be closer to the target (unless the target is close enough that the pellet hits before it has time to split) and so the resulting spread of the split pellets will be tighter (since they have less distance to travel to the target from the split point.)


Peer review coming right up: I could have sworn that Vel0city tightened this cone. If the cone geometry is pre-determined, Vel0city shouldn’t affect it. If the geometry is a function of distance and time calculated per shot (like “every X seconds, increase the spread by Y amount” or something), Vel0city should cause a tighter cone. I’ll be back online in a few weeks for some research. In the meantime, a quick and easy test is to grab a Skullmasher and shoot a wall from some distance with and without Vel0city; it should be pretty obvious from the spray pattern.

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It may very well have that effect programmed in - I don’t know. I do remember previous tests of something that showed patterns being tighter under certain conditions (those Lascaux images in Sanctuary) but I forget at the moment exactly what was being tested at the time. Pretty sure you took those Lascaux screen shots in Sanctuary too? I remember them as the overall pattern (the horse/stag/whatever) being the same size overall, but the individual decals falling closer to the “lines” defining the pattern.

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So to answers OP’s question. A shotgun pellet spread is defined by an angle. The speed at which the distance is traveled have no effect.
But as already stated. There’s a lot more than shotguns spread to consider when speccing in Velocity.

Good idea. I happened to have one on Shadow. As predicted I didn’t saw any notable differences. So I don’t recall which picture is which.
Each set is Velocity at 0/5 - 10/5.
First where the shot is taken from

Close up on both patterns.

From farther away. Being on a partially curved surface. The right side show the pattern extended on x axis.

Curious fact. At long distance on different trial. Generic firing patterns seemed to emerge.
Art by RNG?

As the OP question was about shotguns I tested two.
A Jakobs Quad.

And a Torgue’s triple.

While I was at it checked something I wasn’t sure. Does Velocity affect Torgue’s gyro jet?
Yes. By how much? No idea.


That was accuracy testing: made the bullets adhere to the pre-defined pattern tighter (rather than “shrinking” the shot pattern, as some of us had hoped. Link!

Ha ha! I love how the first pic shows a shot pattern, then the next shows “out of ammo”. True story :laughing:

I’d be incredibly surprised if it didn’t.


There was some occasional patterns. Not as much as with the Trespasser. I made “at least couple shots (3-4 mags)” with both setup. Didn’t seem more frequent on one or the other. I looked for it.

But yes… Out of ammo! More than once and with the Trespasser too!


But but but, I want more thread to read.

I got an idea though…


And thus began season 23 of “Weapon Testing in Borderlands 2”! It really is amazing how deep you can go with the mechanics of this game, which turn out to be deceptively simple (“If you shoot things, they die…”)


We know you’re not a real moderator, VH. :stuck_out_tongue:

… Or you miss and they don’t!
I tested that one a lot. :smiley:
When you take 5 seconds to think about it. Trying to have a spread based on time is just complicating things for nothing. In addition to generating a random direction. (An angle when it’s "distance based.) You need to generate a random deviation speed. And calculate it for every pellets, every frames. That is a lot of work to make something less realistic!

Funnily enough, the game engine does do a lot of per-pellet calculation per game tick, in order to determine things like whether you’ve hit anything (yet) or not. That’s why on older consoles, frame rate could get a bit laggy with multiple multi-pellet weapons firing across four players (not to mention visual effects etc.) Throw B0re into that mix, and your game could actually freeze up at times…