Ever since I was a kid I have enjoyed the sport of shooting. When I was a young boy my father would take me hunting and teach me the ways of the land and the thrill of the hunt. When I got older I took on my passion and started competing in the IDPA and kept hunting various game. Shooting and guns have a special place in my heart and has taught me a great deal about nature and the human experience. Games while not giving me the same rush of the hunt is still my second love. FPS style games especially. Now when I first started playing FPS games back in the early 90's all the laws of shooting didn't apply. Sometimes it was confusing for me because I was so use to adhering to the strict laws of shooting and games like Doom used dead accurate guns that never jammed and never missed if dead on sight. Over the years this didn't change. Graphics advanced and games themselves became bigger productions than some movies but for all their advancements they still lacked even 1% of ballistic realism. Basically its just stayed a "point and bang" style which isn't realistic at all. Recently games have been advancing more and more and the most recent advancement in game ballistics is Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Not only did it bring "drop and delay" to FPS ballistics but it also brought destructible environments. Before that all we had was the ability to shoot through walls like in Call of Duty which was nice but a far cry from realistic. Now from these new realisms come new problems. Some of these problems are also real world issues. This is where I would like to add my experience to help those who are not familiar with this new world that games are venturing into. Semi accurate ballistics. Some members on TPU shoot or have military training. I can just imagine what their faces look like reading this. All I have to say to them is keep reading. I have a method to my madness. You see the world of firearms and ballistics is VERY complicated. No one person could ever know all there is to know in shooting. There is also no way I could cover everything in one little thread. However the very raw basics never change and that is what I want to teach you in this thread. Basic aiming and timing. Judging distance and compensation as they apply to games and the real world. Before we continue I want to say I love the TPU community and this is just my way of trying to show my affection for it. This thread is to help people become better gamers. I would love to hear feedback, advice and any other bits of knowledge people can contribute. Now if you have political view on gun control that are pro or con please keep them to yourselves. If you need to vent about it go to www.generalnonsense.net and cry your heart out as this thread is meant to help gamers. Nothing more. Now lets get started! When you shoot in video games or in real life your mind processes formulas. Yeah that’s right your mind calculates complex mathematical equations so that you may place an accurate shot. Scary isn't it? I bet you didn’t even know you were doing that! Well its true. However the formulas you process in real life and in games are vastly different. You see in the real world there are written and established formulas that never change like wind compensation and gravity. However in games they differ from game to game as the environment and ballistics do also. With that in mind I want to show you some new formulas that apply in Bad Company 2 and any other game with semi accurate ballistics. 1. Distance = Time 2. Lag = Wind 3. Practice = Accuracy Take note as this will be the corner stones to this tutorial. In older games you never had to worry about "drop". That is where over distance and time the bullet drops from its originated point of aim. In most games bullets act more like lasers and stay on one path until they hit a target or an obstacle. As I already explained this is not true in real life. Not only does a bullet drop it also loses energy in the real world. Even something as large as a cannon ball will hit you no harder then your baby sister after enough time and distance. This isn't true with FPS. In games bullets never lose energy or accuracy over distance. Sadly this did not change much with BC2 but what they did add is drop! Lets look at the first chart.... Do you see how tank "A" has more of a chance of hitting tank "B" at 50 yards rather than at 1000? This isn't because tank "B" is a smaller target at 1000 yards. Its because BC2 added drop to their ballistics. So if tank "A" is to hit tank "B" its going to have to aim higher according to the distance and compensate for the drop. This is using the first part of the first formula I posted (Distance = Time) Make sense? Ill get to the time part soon. Lets say you have a nice and open shot on an enemy tank. He's just sitting their all smug taking out your buddies. Well its obvious you have to take him out but how do you aim at him due to his distance? You already know if you shoot at him directly your shot will fall short. So you need to aim above him right? Do you just point and shoot? Nope. You use what is called the reticule in optical scopes. Now some reticule are more advanced than others and most of the time shooters have their own preference. Like me for instance I am a big fan of the "German Tri-Post" or the "German Reticule" as its also known. However in BC2 they use the "Mil-Dot" and "Modern Rangefinder" reticule so in this tutorial I will also. Ok now back to that pesky enemy tank "B". We need to take a shot and take one fast. Lucky for us he's stationary and we are well hidden. All we need to do is drop one round and we will have one dead tank "B" on our hands. So how far is he? How far do we need to aim above him? Well this is where my third formula comes into play. Practice equals accuracy. You need to practice using the reticule to judge distance. For example if a tank is only about 50 yards away you need only to aim directly at him or maybe a tad higher to be safe. See graph below. But if he's much farther than 50 yards and he's more like 250 yards distance we better raise the reticule more before we take the shot. Now if he's almost a 1000 yards away we are really going to have to lob that round at him! In real life a round this size would be at full energy 1000 yards in but for argument sake lets say it was only at 50%. So if one round at 50 yards is at 100% energy and that would kill a tank then its safe to say it would take two rounds at 1000 yards. Its good practice to try and make clean close shots in the games today because as games advance so will their ballistics. Good practice today makes for a better gamer tomorrow. Don't get used to forever having "pure energy" bullets that never lose power. One day games may advance enough and you will have to get closer to the target for it to count. See what I'm getting at? Start now! Well tank "B" is now on the move. He's pushing to the right of us and closing our flank. Now what do we do? Before all we had to do is line up our reticule and judge his distance. Now he's on the move and that no longer applies to the situation. Why? Because Distance = Time. Tank "B" is so far away by the time we shoot at him compensating for drop he will no longer be in sight. In other words it takes time for a bullet to travel its distance to target. Within that time the target is also moving and its moving out of the line of fire. Aim directly at a far target and you'll be sure to hit dust. That is of course if you don't learn to "lead". When you lead a target you shoot in front of it guessing its projected path and allowing the target to run into your bullet. Yeah that’s right I said guessing! This is what separates the men from the boys in the world of shooting. You need to make educated guesses on which way the target is heading. The better you are at leading the better of a shot you will become. Now the big question. How do I properly lead a target? Well this is where things can get complicated. In the real world you have to compensate for drop, energy and an annoying little thing called wind. A windy day will make even the best snipers cry for their mommas. However in the gaming world wind doesn’t apply to ballistics. Lag does. In games Lag = Wind. The more lag the more you have to lead a target as it adds to the time it takes for the bullet to reach its target as does distance. So the way I deal with this is in my mind lag is the same as wind. The more lag I have the windier the day is thus the more lead I apply. Now lets get back to our tank battle. Tank "B" is still moving to the right of us. We need to take aim. So we need to lead him. The closer he is the less we lead. The farther he is the more we lead. Lets say he's about 50 yards away. Your reticule may look something like this if you properly lead. See chart below. Now lets say he's about 250 yards away. You reticule might look something like this. See chart below. Whoa now he's 750 yards away! Not only do we have to drop this round on him we have to lead by a huge amount. Your reticule should look something like this. See chart below. Boom! Direct hit! We have finally taken out the darn enemy tank "B" and I hope you learned something new doing so. The world of shooting, wild game hunting has never really applied to gaming up until now. In the future I hope they close the gap even farther by bringing more realism to the mechanics of shooting and games. Everything from jamming to a nasty ricochets have been covered but never all in one game. Its refreshing to me that DICE the developers of BC2 took the time to bring something new to the table and I really hope in the future more games adopt its model. I also hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Good luck and good shooting!