CIU weapon balance program - Part 6: Riddler

Hi, I am galbatorix and this is my CIU weapon balance program in which I talk about current issues with weapon balance and I propose solutions for them. More info about what my deal is you can find in my original post: CIU weapon balance program by galbatorix I strongly suggest checking it out, if you haven’t seen it yet, so you will fully understand what my goal is. Because of the Heavy Bomber’s release, this blog series took a solid hit, but I decided to continue it anyways despite that inconvinience. So I am back, and today I want to talk about Riddler.

Since its release in CI5, Riddler is one of the most underperforming weapons in the roster. Many problems and weird design choices show up when using this gun. Some of them are unique and only apply to this particular weapon. As always, in my post i am going to present my thoughts on how it could be fixed. The issues with Riddler are:

  1. Its damage output is horribly low. Damage-wise, on higher power levels, Riddler is outperformed by almost every other weapon in the game.

  2. On low power levels Riddler has very bad accuracy that later improves. This feature seems to serve no purpose in the game and only makes already a bad weapon even worse and less reliable.

  3. Many of Riddler’s power upgrades do not give any damage increase, only slightly improve its accuracy. This is the flagship example of “useless power upgrades” in CIU.

  4. Despite being an automatic weapon, Riddler’s manual fire rate cap(20 shots/s) is almost twice as high as its automatic fire rate. Because of that, Riddler can be easily exploited by using autoclicking programs.

As you see, there is a lot wrong with Riddler. In my opinion it is the worst designed weapon in Chicken Invaders history. Horrible accuracy on low power levels, multiple useless power upgrades and exploitable mechanics. All that on top of the abysmal damage output. To put it into perspective: Max powered Riddler does 7344 DPS, when Utensil Poker does 18525. That’s more than 2,5 times the DPS of Riddler!

This means that even with autoclick exploit that doubles Riddler’s damage output, it is still inferior to Utensil Poker and Neutron Gun. Riddler is that bad at the moment. Aside from making Henterprise bossfight “easy mode”, this weapon has absolutelly no use in game right now and is outclassed by pretty much everything else.

That said, I belive Riddler can be fixed quite easily. Let’s start with problem nr 2.(bad accuracy on low power levels) In order to solve this problem I suggest to:

  • Change Riddler’s accuracy on power levels 0-9 to be exactly the same as its accuracy on lvls 10 and max.

This is a very simple change, but should greatly improve Riddler’s performance. Equalizing Riddler’s spread would make it more reliable weapon on lower power levels. On top of that, when “increasing accuracy” powerups are gone, there is more place for actual damage increase per power level. This brings us to the problems nr 1 & 3(insufficient damage and useless power upgrades). In order to solve those problems I suggest following steps:

  • Increase damage of Riddler’s projectiles from 80 to 100.

  • Change amount of projectiles in lvl 0 volley from 2 to 1.

  • Change scaling of Riddler’s volley to 1 additional projectile per power level on levels 0-9. 2 additional projectiles for 9->10 transition, 3 additional projectiles for 10->max transition.

After such changes useless power upgrades would be gone and Riddler would have 15300 DPS on max power, which is very similar to the damage output of my suggested Ion Blaster and Photon Swarm reworks. In such scenario, Riddler would be interesting alternative to those two weapons thanks to having focused fire instead of spread or swarm, but still maintaining very high projectile count. On top of that, with its 18 seconds of overheat time, Riddler would be perfect for any scenario in which player is required to fire in extended periods of time. For Egg Cannon, Henterprise and Nasty Surprise, Riddler would be one of the best choices.

15300 DPS is also higher than current Riddler’s DPS when using autoclick programs, so such change would still be a buff for players that use this exploit. This brings me to the problem nr 4, which is the autoclick exploit itself. To deal with it I suggest simple solution:

  • Change Riddler’s manual fire rate cap from 20 to standard 6,5 shots/s.

That’s a a really simple change, but it would elliminate the exploit completely. With massive buff to Riddler’s damage output, removal of this exploit is mandatory.

Here you can see results of the proposed changes:

To summarize, I think that Riddler could be improved by:

  • Increasing its accuracy on power levels 0-9 to match the accuracy on levels 10 & max.

  • Increasing damage of its projectiles from 80 to 100.

  • Decreasing amount of projectiles in lvl 0 volley from 2 to 1.

  • Changing scaling of Riddler’s volley to 1 additional projectile per power level on levels 0-9.
    2 additional projectiles for 9->10 transition, 3 additional projectiles for 10->max transition.

  • Decreasing its manual fire rate cap from 20 to standard 6,5 shots/s.

Such changes would:

  • Increase Riddler’s DPS to the viable level. (Problem nr 1 solved)

  • Make Riddler more reliable weapon on lower power levels. (Problem nr 2 solved)

  • Remove its several useless power upgrades. (Problem nr 3 solved)

  • Remove the possibility to exploit Riddler’s manual fire rate by using multiclick programs. (Problem nr 4 solved)

So yea, that’s it for now. Remember to share your thoughts in the comments below. If you think, that I forgot about something, or you have a different idea, feel free to tell me. I am interested in all kinds of feedback. I will make a post about next weapon, so stay tuned.

You can also check out my previous posts:


I suggest you fix your spelling of “acuraccy”. It’s spelled accuracy. Not that it’s a big deal, but good spelling makes your work seem more professional.

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Done. Thanks for letting me know. English aint my native language and such mistakes happen from time to time. (I used to spell Utensil as “Untesil” in my first post XD)


It’s good idea, which you make. Because everyone use only 1-3 types of weapon, i think your program can change this usless weapons in best side


I think you should add :

  • You can use bullet spread expander if you like wider target area and bullet spread condenser if you like focused damage.

I can’t wait my idea “Corn shotgun shoots popcorns as the heat increases” being implemented :smile: (Wider hitbox, less damage)


I meam,yeah,that’s why those items exist


keep up the good work


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Hoi everyone,

So I came up with a really simple idea that would remove the problem with autoclicker exploitation while keeping Riddler’s current manual fire rate (or you could set it to 6.5 s/s if you want).

Since it’s supposed to be an automatic weapon, a good way to prevent this would be to make it more accurate as you hold to shoot. Something like Plasmer’s lock-on, except with Riddler, and except it makes it accurate.

Like Galbatorix said, keep the same (MAX) accuracy on all power levels, increase its projectiles’ damage, set level 0’s volley to 1, add 1 new projectile per power level (with 10 being an exception, since it would get 2, and 20 - 3).

In my opinion, it would be more beneficial if Riddler had a greater max DPS. From what I experienced with the v.1 Reworked Ion Blaster (soon we’ll be getting v.2), ~15k DPS is just not enough for Elite missions, and let’s not forget the game’s gonna have even higher difficulties at some point. I suggest buffing the projectile damage from 100 to 120.

If the weapon’s automatic fire rate is 11s/s, then we’d get a pretty decent max DPS of 19800. That might seem pretty high, but let’s not forget how strong these projectiles’ knockback is - and that would be its major disadvantage, along with the automatic fire rate accuracy change.

How could the low accuracy be BENEFICIAL, though?
Well, if handled with skill, Riddler could become an even better weapon to use against Henterprise’s feathers if you can manipulate its accuracy such that it gets rid of them more easily.

Is the idea good or is it bad?


+1 for the dmg buff. I agree that Ion Blaster has proven, that 15k DPS is just not enough. This would be especially true, when we are talking about pretty hard-to-use weapon, such as Riddler. Idk about 20k dps tho. Seems a bit too much, considering the fact that old utensil had roughly 18k. But I can definitelly see Riddler having 18k DPS.

However, to be honest, I am not really convinced about the acuraccy thing. It was one of my initial ideas, but after thinking about it, I couldn’t find a single reason to not simply give it constant high acuraccy and call it a day. Do we really need that?


19.8k DPS is a bit overkill imo. Leaving the firerate at 10.2/s would give us 18360, which seems sufficient.

The spread could work, but I’d rather not have it be at 50 degrees, like now on :zap:0. I’d suggest doing 30 degrees instead, like on current :zap:4.

And of course, none of that should be an excuse to keep autoclickers viable. Manual firerate should still be set to 6.5/s.


Mathematically, yes, but let’s remember that Riddler is an extremely concentrated weapon (currently at PL12, but if your changes are added, it would be at all power levels). It could target 2-4 enemies at most, and some of them would jump away so far it would be harder to kill them. I think having 19800 DPS is pretty decent, considering the weapon’s design.


Sorry, it appears I calculated it using the wrong fire rate! If it’s 10.2, then it would indeed become 18360. Sorry about that again.

It was just a random idea that I got, but I thought about it more and it could definitely have some pros and cons in-game. Still, I’d like to hear the others’ thoughts too.


Yep, that’s a fair point. Riddler feels pretty shitty to use, even when its damage is sufficient. So yea, you may be onto something, but this would definitelly mean some shenanigans with dmg of other WBP weapons. Mainly Boron, which is supposed to be high skill, high reward weapon.

(And btw, I don’t see this being a thing as long, as Ion Blaster’s weak projectile isn’t 200 dmg or more.)


I think Boron is pretty fine (and one of my favorite reworks), but I was concerned about Photon Swarm which should be the next weapon IA is gonna target (he’s been rebalancing them in the same order as your posts). With a DPS of 16000, I don’t think it’d perform very well on Elite missions either.

Although it has (seemingly) a much higher automatic fire rate, so maybe that would even it out?

Photon Swarm aside, glad we reached an agreement on that.


Ah, yes, Photon Swarm. I think its WBP version will need a solid buff too. It was originally supposed to be somewhat similar to Ion, but with slightly higher damage output. So yea, 16k is not enough. I will think about it tomorrow and see what can we do about it.


If you allow me, I’d also like to think of ways to improve Photon Swarm, and then we’ll decide what to keep from both ideas. Unless you’re not up to that?

Or even better, we can communicate these ideas before publishing them. Do you have a Discord? PM me if you’d like to contact me there.

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If riddler is going to be even more focused than level 10’s accuracy, I guess it will be even harder to use because you have to very precisely aim to get a hit, consider like bouncy metal suited chickens, it’s disaster.

Simple damage buff is a way to go, if IA decides that way, it’s not really a problem. But, I might have another alternative to make it SHOOTS FASTER AS IT HEATS UP up to +50% firing rate (15.3/s). It will accelerate DPS the longer you use, but as it also make the overheat rate faster, total damage before overheating stay relatively same, DPS would be whopping up to 22.950 if you heat it enough, it also means it would take less than 18 sec to overheat, but could vary depending on how fast it accelerates and reaches the max speed.

I thought about this, but the problem is it would become too similar to other weapons that use your heat level this way, like Vulcan, or the proposed Boron rework. Let’s restrain from making all weapons behave like that.

With that being said, we must also have some basic weapons, I.e. no overheat perks, no accuracy changes, no damage boosting, no holding perks (Lightning Fryer’s chaining) - just plain old weapons. Currently such weapons (excluding weapons that would or could get a change in that direction) are Ions, Neutrons, Utensil, Hypergun, Moron Railgun, Photons. Not sure if Positron belongs here since splitting works with manual fire too, but I guess if we squint we can add it.

The roster needs some simplicity too. Oftentimes there can be beauty in it.


It sounds a great rework to me (not because I suggested this even before this topic was published), if balanced completly Riddler may become a viable (and coolest) weapon to use

Visually it may work like Terraria’s Last Prism weapon (even colors are maching)