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This feedback is based on my 100 hours gameplay, no mods, single player and "HoboHaven PVPVE vanilla server (" with no weapon mods. Benchmarked with a character with 6 aiming stat.




  • Damage       1.2-1.9 => 1.6-2.3
  • Maximum range 11 => 12
  • Knockback         0.3 => 0.4
  • Knockdown          2 => 4


D-E Pistol

  • Damage       1.0-1.9 => 1.2-2.2
  • Noise radius      100 => 90
  • Maximum range 10 => 11
  • Knockback         0.3 => 0.4
  • Knockdown          2 => 3


M9 Pistol

  • Damage       0.6-1.0 => 0.5-0.85


M36 Revolver

  • Damage       0.7-1.2 => 0.6-1.0


M625 Revolver

  • Noise radius      70 => 60


.44 Ammo box

  • Amount of ammo 12 => 20


User experience

.44 handguns are one of the most disappointing things in the game in my opinion. The ammo is insanely scarce, the guns are loud and attract a lot of zombies, the skill requirement is high. In most cases, when you find ammo in the game, it will come in the form of ammo boxes. And .44 ammo boxes provide 12 ammo VS 30 ammo for all other pistol types. So when you grab a .44 pistol with the rarest ammo in the game, high skill requirement and loud yet cool sound - you expect that it will be POWERFUL. And the disappointing thing is that it is not. In fact it is slightly more powerful than other pistols... but not even significantly.

M9 pistol has 2.5x the ammo capacity of Magnum, 3x more ammo from boxes, 3x higher "accuracy". A commonsense suggests that with these stats M9 must spend 3 bullets to put down something that Magnum can oneshot. This is just to have EQUAL total damage output on M9 and Magnum... not to mention that Magnum has higher skill requirement so you might expect it to have HIGHER damage output in total. In reality M9 does 0.8dmg on average VS 1.55 Magnum. And the most important thing here is that DAMAGE DOES NOT DIRECTLY DETERMINE THE CHANCES TO KILL THE TARGET i.e. a weapon with 3x higher damage will not necessarily kill targets 3x more often because of hit RNG. You can still oneshot a zed with M9 in 50% cases at 6-level aim so there is no point in picking other weapons with higher damage as this "higher damage" is sometimes an overkill and sometimes still not enough to ALWAYS kill a target with one shot.

So, it looks like I spend an average of 1.7 bullets per kill with M9 and an average of 1.3 bullet per kill with Magnum while aggroing more zeds and total availability of .44 bullets is 3x less.

At the other hand, starter pistols M9 and M36 seem to perform too well when compared with their "advanced" counterparts. I found that M9 is the best weapon in the game outperforming even shotguns / auto rifles in some cases thanks to its high firing rate and very high magazine capacity. And M36 is just a silent killer - not that powerful but reliable enough.

I have developed a google spreadsheet where I wrote the stats of all handguns taken from https://pzwiki.net/ (hope it is relevant). I did some "score calculations" by multiplying the
average_damage * ammo capacity(magazine size) * ammo_per_box and divided it by noise_radius as these are the most essential stats for a handgun. The results correlated with my in-game experience to a significant degree so I'd like to share it here:






This rifle is the most disappointing thing in the entire game. One of the worst damage outputs in the game. It almost never kills stuff. It's hard to aim and unusable at close range while it occupies the "back" slot of a large weapon. Feels more like an air-pumped rifle rather than a gun.

I did some research on Remington 700 that fires .223 rounds and its energy is ~1700 Joules. This is at least 2x higher than 600-800 Joules of .45 ACP. The point of having a rifle is that you should carefully aim... and if you do - it should deliver a powerful punch.


  • Damage 0.6-1.3 =>1.2 => 2.0
  • Aiming time 30 => 90
  • Default max range without scope 10 => 15
  • Noise radius 70 => 90 (why the hell a .44 pistol is more loud than a long-range rifle? from balancing point of view)



Well, this one is better. But still barely usable if you are dealing with high number of zombies or if you have running zombies on your server and how fast you can kill them determines whether you will survive or not. And it's still too quiet for a RIFLE that fires .308 cartridges.


It would be reasonable for such a rifle to have the highest damage per shot outputs in the game. Even if it will almost always one-shot its target - it will be still quite hard to use efficiently. With 2.0-2.8 damage double-barrel shotgun does not always one-shot its target.


  • Damage 1.2-2.0 =>1.7-2.7
  • Aiming time 40 => 100
  • Default max range without scope 10 => 15
  • Noise radius 70 => 100



The point of a scope is that you can see EXACTLY what you are looking at and you don't see anything around. So, it would be reasonable to make "scope" narrow down the vision cone of the rifle owner dramatically while he is "aiming" (he can still look normally while not aiming through the scope of a rifle). The scope should also increase the aiming time as it takes time to aim carefully if you want to deliver a perfect shot. At the other hand, the well-aimed shot with a scope must be almost a guaranteed kill.


  • Damage multiplier 1.5x with a scope
  • Aiming time multiplier 1.5 for 2x scope / 2.0 for 4x scope / 2.5 for 8x scope
  • The higher the magnitude of a scope - the narrower the vision cone while aiming through it
  • It would be nice to allow players to shoot further than 35 tiles. 50 still looks reasonable. 35 tiles is not that far for zombies to travel especially runners can cover this distance faster than you will kill 3 of them.


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I disagree with most of this thread but I applaud your effort in going far enough to research the muzzle energy of .223 and create a spreadsheet. Here's my criticisms and suggestions; 

Particularity in balancing weapon stats is silly to me, I think weapon damage should always be a function of caliber energy and weapon velocity. Aim time should be based off weapon weight and length. Max range (not tied to accuracy) for guns should be virtually unlimited, including shotguns. Accuracy should be based off the weapon's velocity (barrel length) and the cartridge's accuracy. Players should be able to figure out in game how their weapon performs just by understanding these intrinsic mechanics and stats through intuition. 


Your understanding of how scopes work is skewed, they do not increase aim time, they make it significantly easier to aim at targets provided they do not have too much zoom that ends up making it hard to pick out your target. If you practice shooting with both eyes open you can effectively use a 12x scope at shorter distances, because your reticle gets projected onto your target if you focus with your inactive eye (the one not looking through the scope) In zomboid scopes should not increase aim time, but reduce it. If your character has low aim level, sure they increase aim time; at ranges too short. They need to get rid of minimum range stats on scopes too. I can use a 40x at close range, not as well as a collimator such as an eotech, but I could hit a target that way. 





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