Weapon rebalance proposition

Please read the whole post before commenting/voting.

@InterAction_studios @Orandza @Sophodot
Since the topic of weapon balance has popped up recently in the discussions, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the matter, some observations and perhaps a possible solution.

Look at this graph

This graph contains all weapons in RotY and compares their damage per second based on their automatic fire rate.

So as you can see the weapon with the highest DPS is Utensil Poker, and the weapon with the lowest DPS is Ion Blaster. The difference between them is 3890,5 DPS. Utensil Poker is the only weapon to exceed 9000 DPS.

Then we look at manual fire rate and OH MY GOD

Yeah. The difference between the strongest and the weakest weapon has more than tripled.
Utensil Poker reigns supreme with Neutron Gun trailing behind it closely. The two weapons are significantly more powerful than the rest. Laser Cannon’s in the middle, Vulcan Chaingun is now the weakest weapon being a whole 12150 DPS weaker than Utensil Poker. The other weapons are just sort of… there.

Ultimate Omelette and Cluck of the Dark Side introduced several new weapons which, stat-wise and apart from the Corn Shotgun, are pretty much just filler. Vulcan Chaingun was also nerfed in Ultimate Omelette so the DPS gap is now 12405.

Some of those weapons (Hypergun, Photon Swarm, Corn Shotgun) also break the balance with automatic fire, as they are significantly stronger than Utensil Poker.

Now, regarding IA’s plans about redesigning Vulcan Chaingun: I’m not going to comment on this until I try it for myself. But even if this does work well, it still doesn’t fix the issue. The only thing it changes is that we’ll have a new worst weapon: Positron Stream.

So in my opinion something should be done to reduce the DPS gap to/close to what it was in RotY (basically keeping it under 4000). There are multiple ways to achieve this, but I think this is the easiest (apart from just buffing all weak weapons):

The best way, in my opinion, would be to simply remove manual fire, rebalance all newer weapons which would be deemed too strong (Vulcan Chaingun should also be changed to what it was back in RotY imo) and then to reduce certain enemies’ health and number of enemies in certain waves as/if needed.

To complement this change, you could implement weapon pod upgrades (just like different engine/heat sink types that we have right now) which would increase automatic fire rate for each weapon (and lower the heat output, to keep weapon overheat at the same pace). A uniform multiplier across the entire arsenal wouldn’t work (stronger weapons would be more affected by it and the gap would continue growing), so each weapon would have to be regulated separately.

There is a major issue with this, and it’s that this goes completely against the mechanics in the original game and in The Next Wave, where automatic fire wasn’t even a thing. You could also argue that manual fire is more fun than automatic.

It does, however, seem like this would be the easiest way to fix weapon balance.
It would also make balancing new weapons easier since all you have to worry about is keeping them under 9000 DPS and keeping them at around the same level as Ion Blaster.

We would still have weaker and stronger weapons but the difference would be low enough that they would all be usable.

This is a (rather poorly thought out, I’ll admit) graph that shows all weapons sorted by automatic fire rate after I’ve done some tweaking. It’s just to maybe give you a slightly better idea of what i’m thinking about.

Most weapons are now much closer together, and since we don’t have to worry about two different firing modes now, shaping the hierarchy should be way easier now.

Here’s the list of changes I made that I think might not be complete rubbish:

  • Photon Swarm: lowered the damage values of the normal and supercharged photons to 85 and 110 respectively. On power levels 0-3 it now fires 3 photons instead of 4.
  • Hypergun: lowered the strong projectile’s damage to 120.
  • Riddler: lowered damage per hit to 70 (its low overheat rate makes up for this well enough imo).

Not sure about Corn Shotgun, all I did was I lowered damage per hit to 200 (so I basically halved it). I think it works well enough (slighlty weaker than Neutron Gun which is counterbalanced by it’s slow overheat) but i’m not 100% sure if I like that setup.

I rushed through Positron Stream because I just wanted to be done with this.

I’d also like to mention that yesterday I played through the whole weekly challenge using only automatic fire and, apart from a few missed clean sweeps (several of which I could blame on RNG, anyway) and the fact that it took longer, it actually went pretty smoothly.

Since the game is currently in early access, I see no problem with implementing something like this for testing (assuming the community’s reaction to this idea isn’t overwhelmingly negative).
Even if it’s decided that this is a terrible idea, I still think that having this much difference in weapon DPS is not a good thing.

Please vote on what you’d like to see be done about this.

  • Balance the weapons based on automatic fire rate.
  • Balance the weapons, but by simply buffing the weak ones.
  • Don’t change anything, it’s fine as it is.
  • All options you gave me are rubbish, so I’ll pick this one.

0 voters


Equalizing damage is a good start, although i would still pick utensil because 50% dps difference (ion -> utensil) is still a good bit in such games. I don’t know what could be done now, there are many possibilities

  • your idea
  • weapon synergy
  • weapon upgrades, weapon stats
  • damage upgrades in general
  • decreasing enemy health in SSH (yes, sounds weird, but harder enemies appear so you need more damage to kill them all)
  • creating own weapons and modifying them -> steady “getting stronger”

this is everything we’ve heard recently and what I made up. I would like @InterAction_studios’s opinion on this since I find this important. Right now, everything except Utensil and Neutron are trash and I would never pick them up. All weapons should be interesting, but right now they are not as, with bad weapons, you see even more enemies escaping because you have no chance of killing them all except if you spam over 10 missiles at once, but this is a huge waste of keys.


Well of course, Utensil Poker is still meant to be the best weapon.

Earlier on I also proposed a change to the weapon upgrade system, maybe this could work.

The weapon synergy idea is an interesting one, but it would take a lot of time and effort to add all possible combinations to the game, so i’m not sure if IA could go through with this one.


There’s a major issue with this. Looking at the graph,it seems as if the weapons don’t even hit 10000 DPS. Yeah,weapons would now be closer to each other when it comes to usefulness,but that means that there won’t be a single one that can clear chicken waves effectively.
And don’t you dare tell me that those upgrades you mentioned could increase the DPS,because all of this certainly doesn’t make it any less complicated than simply buffing the weaker weapons.

Which is why I mentioned potentially making changes to enemy health and numbers of enemies in certain waves if such changes are deemed necessary. Though I’ll admit, it does make the whole thing a bit more complicated to balance out.

Yeah. I find it easier to simply balance the weapons by buffing weaker ones. Don’t get me wrong,your idea would have been easier to implement if the weapons were automatic fire-only from the very beginning. But since that’s not how it was,they’d have to re-work every weapon completely to implement it,which is why it’s kinda complicated.

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Vulcan Chaingun isn’t that much better in CI3, though. The weak and medium bolts are weaker (50/75 damage in CI3 vs 70/90 in CI4), and strong bolts only slightly stronger (125 vs 120). It was actually buffed in CI4, except for the slight nerf in the last two power levels.

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Bad idea! Don’t juſt nerf manuäl fire becauſe it makes equalizing everything eaſiër! That’ll juſt make CI an infinite ſeries of overheats, reſulting in a game that is both immenſely fruſtrating and boring. I agree with the premiſe, the graphs are amazing, but I do not agree with your ſolution to the problem. My alternative ſolution is this: juſt increaſe the damage per ſhot of all the weakeſt weapons but one. I ſay to leave one immenſely underpowered weapon juſt to give a common ſubject of ridicule, i.e. a weapon that everyöne avoids and complains about. I would ſuggeſt the poſitron ſtream becauſe it’s already uſeleſs and operationally a much weaker verſion of the plaſma rifle. Anyway, this way moſt weapons have their pros and cons, but there’s alſo a weapon that everyöne avoids like the plague.

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But when automatic fire is the only one, overheat rate will be reworked i think.

Yeah, I know. But I think the damage values were better in RotY. Also for the most part you spend more time on high power, so I think even a small change would be at least slightly beneficial.
Either way, I’ll be satisfied as long as the damage gap is reduced to the point where all weapons can be used without being a significant handicap.

It might sound like a drastic change to remove manual fire and buff automatic fire rates to current maximum manual fire rates, but I find this better than risking pains from intense button mashing. As @Orandza already said, this should not be a clicker game.

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And as I also said,all those changes are a lot more complicated than simply buffing bad weapons.

And “buff the bad weapons” thou shall get.

First, allow me to be a conservative and say that manual fire should not be removed under any circumstance. I don’t know if it might be more balanced, but I know I’d hate shooting the Neutron Gun at less than half the rate it can be fired now.

Then, let’s take a good look at the charts and go over every weapon and try to see if it’s good enough, and if not, what can we do to improve it, while also giving them a distinctive “personality”. Damage won’t tell you everything, though; it is the most important factor, but you also need to consider overheat, fire rate, shots per volley, projectile speed and spread. The ones that are probably the easiest to modify and most influential to performance though, are damage and overheat, so those will be my focus. I will consider that the other factors are signatures of the weapons and need not be changed. While I will also consider low power levels, ↯10 and higher is where the real competition takes place, so that’s where I’ll pay most attention to.

Ion Blaster – This is one of the weakest weapons, but for some reasons it gets a lot less mockery from people compared to other options. That said, its overheat is one of the best, its spread second to none, but what it lacks is a punch for those tough to kill enemies. I think a buff to 150% of its current damage is in order. It will still be spread over a large area, thus reducing overall power.

Neutron Gun – You love this and you know it. No other weapon delivers more firepower in such a concentrated package and that’s what everyone wants it to be.

Laser Cannon – This weapon is always just below the Neutron Gun in terms of damage, and can fulfill pretty much the same role, but it has one major problem: it overheats way faster. If its overheat rate was reduced to something below that of Neutrons by a significant margin, then it could serve as a decent alternative, with less damage, but allowing for longer bursts of fire.

Vulcan Chaingun – We need to wait and see how it will be changed in the next update. Simply doubling the damage might just do the trick, though.

Lightning Fryer – I have always called this weapon a jack-of-all-trades. It never overheats when fired manually, which also increases its damage output, and the auto-lock gives it excellent accuracy. If anything, its damage at lower power levels should be increased significantly, but having one weapon that’s only effective at max power is okay.

Plasma Rifle – This weapon also requires manual fire to perform adequately in terms of damage and heat, but simply said, it’s reliable at any power level, and most effective against small numbers of resilient enemies. Also functions great for softening targets in multiplayer, where it is my weapon of choice.

Utensil Poker – I think we can all agree that this needs to remain the best weapon available. Can it be slightly nerfed, so it’s no longer as overpowered? Oh, wait, that already happened, and I doubt it will be reverted to its former glory.

Boron Railgun – It’s really hard to make this weapon distinctive since it’s so similar to Vulcan Chaingun at the moment. The one feature it has is that it has different damage at ↯10 and ↯11, but that’s only known to very experienced players. (Note: this isn’t reflected in my graph, it just goes straight to ↯11 instead of ↯10). To make it stand a chance against other weapons without any other changes, its damage would probably need to be doubled, as well.

Photon Swarm – This weapon’s characteristic is its increasing fire rate without any change to its projectiles until ↯20 when the photons become supercharged. At ↯0 it’s one of the best, and at ↯20 its damage isn’t one of the worst, but it has poor accuracy and fast overheat. In the power levels in-between it stays near the bottom of the pack. I think it would be cool if we made these differences even more extreme, boosting its damage by 130% makes it top notch at ↯0, while putting it close to Neutron Gun at ↯20 for the short time before it overheats.

Positron Stream – This weapon’s special feature is its linear increase in power, and it should also be better than other weapons in the low power levels. At the moment it feels like an underpowered Plasma Rifle, though, so a power increase of 150% should be in order. Remember that this is also an automatic weapon, so the Plasma Rifle will be able to fire much longer than it, thus requiring Positron Stream’s damage to be significantly higher to balance the need for more downtime to let the weapon cool down.

Hypergun – This weapon combines two problems, the one from the Boron Railgun of it being a variation of the Vulcan Chaingun, and the one from the Photon Swarm, of it overheating too fast at max power. I’m thinking we can turn this into a much more powerful weapon but with a fast overheat by increasing damage to 150% of its current value.

Riddler – Fire it manually 20 times per second is all I can say. It really is that simple. It’s amazing how the fix for turning this weapon from bad to good was already in the game, waiting to be found. It’s not cheating, it’s not overpowered, it’s just right.

Corn Shotgun – This is a generally balanced weapon. Not to be used at low power because of very slow fire rate. Cannot be overheated, large spread, for me it’s a weapon for those who like to stay at the back and slowly clear their way through a wave from a safe distance. I’m also using a lower value for the purposes of damage calculation, regular chickens tend to take 500 damage per kernel, but using 400 makes more sense.

Moron Railgun – laughs in Chickenese

So, to summarize, here are the weapons at ↯20, in descending order, along with damage per second for Rookie, changes, and their roles.

18525 – Utensil Poker – no change – undisputed best weapon

16250 – Neutron Gun – no change – high damage, medium overheat, no spread, slow projectiles

16025 – Hypergun – +150% damage – high damage, fast overheat, slight spread, fast projectiles

15600 – Photon Swarm – +130% damage – high damage, fast overheat, low accuracy, high projectile count and spread

15300 – Boron Railgun – +200% damage – medium-high damage, medium-high overheat, no spread, fast projectiles

14400 – Riddler – no change, 20/s manual fire rate – medium damage, slow overheat, slight spread, instant hits, small projectiles reduce accuracy

13650 – Ion Cannon – +150% damage – medium damage, slow overheat, large spread, low accuracy

13000 – Laser Cannon – no change in damage, but overheat reduced by 200% – medium damage, medium-slow overheat, slight spread, instant hits

12320 – Corn Shotgun – no change – no overheat, low fire rate, significant spread and medium accuracy

12240 – Vulcan Chaingun – +200% damage – same roles as Boron Railgun, but better than it at lower power levels, even dangerously close to Utensil Poker at ↯3

10400 – Plasma Rifle – no change – low but very concentrated per hit damage, high accuracy, slow overheat

9945 – Positron Stream – +150% damage – same as Plasma Rifle but better than it at low power levels, higher rate of fire with lower damage per hit, faster overheat

9750 – Lightning Fryer – no change – also low damage but high accuracy, no overheat, 3 tracked targets instead of one

3876 – Moron Railgun – no change – bwak bwak bwak

This significantly reduces the power gap between Utensil Poker and the weakest weapon, as well as leaving the auto-lock most accurate weapons at the bottom of the pack and pushing some of those with faster overheats near the top.

Here are the tables and graph before and after the changes:


I really agree with most of the changes that you are proposing, however, there are a few things that I’d modify. After I compared the 2 graphs, I can totally see that the weapons are much more balanced than before and they’d still need some differences in their usability because the Utensil Poker and Neutron Gun need to stay on the top, but still I find that the gap could still be improved a bit more in some places.

Can’t tell if you are sarcastic or not, but nobody is physically able to press the mouse 20 times per second and I don’t think IA would be happy if someone would cheat using a clicker program for this. Riddler should have its damage doubled.

Now I will talk about something I haven’t seen somebody ever taking into account when trying to balance the weapons, not sure how to call it, but for now, I will call it visibility. Let me explain, obviously every weapon is visible enough and that’s not the problem, but some weapons are too visible… You’d ask… why it’s this a problem? Well, when you are in an intense wave, trying to get rid of those chickens or especially when you are in an epic wave, due to the big number of projectiles and their appearance it makes harder to actually see the enemies’s projectiles… The best example I can give is the Photon Swarm. This weapon has at max power a firerate of 20/s and that’s why it basically ‘‘spams’’ the screen with projectiles… and from my experience, it’s a nightmare playing with it because hardly I can see the projectiles that are coming from the enemies and therefore I can hardly avoid them. I tested this on the updated SSH skill with faster projectiles and welp, on crowded waves this was hardcore, even though it was designed to be used for crowded waves because of its low focus. Therefore, to compensate with the low focus and low visibility of the projectiles, Photon Swarm’s damage should be 160% (meaning 19200) (Yes, I know what you are thinking, now Photon Swarm has more total damage than Utensil Poker, but don’t forget that it overheats fast).

Laser Cannon also has a ‘‘low visibility’’ so I’d buff its damage a bit to 125% (meaning 16250).

In my opinion, despite the qualities Lightning Fryer has, I really like the weapon (and I’ve noticed others like it too) and I’d make it to be a bit more closer to the top weapons by buffing its damage by 120% (11700). Plus, there are cases in which 3 tracked targets isn’t the best option since you’d want to concentrate that whole damage into one point without being ‘‘distracted’’ by other enemies.

So first of all,IA literally said it themselves in a post that auto clickers are counted as exploits,and not cheats,and that there’s nothing wrong with them. So reverting the Riddler’s manual firing rate is a good option. Second of all,if you want a weapon that locks onto one enemy…well,there’s plasma rifle. Besides,lightning also never overheats,so its damage is fine.

Oops, just now I saw that post. Well anyway, that would mean players who do want to play with Riddler need to install an autoclicker, but for new players who have no idea about the maximum firerate of Riddler will consider it as being the worst weapon.

Edit: Well I guess that could be considered an easter egg of the game.


It should, so it might. I guess we’ll see.

I think the best way to balance weapon damage is this one:

The more precise/accurate a weapon is, the less damage it deals. That means that plasma rifle and lightning fryer are rather weak, the ion, utensil and vulcan at high spread are very strong.
Keep in mind: If the best weapon has 10000dps, the worst weapon should have at least 7500 dps


Too much weapon ideas…Any ideas about satellites and missiles…

Satellites upgrades won’t be a bad idea. In fact, everything in the game could have upgrades since it needs to keep the player motivated to keep playing by evolving the spaceship and making it more powerful than ever.