Way of the Hunter – Bullet Energy Table for Rangers

Bullet Energy Table for Rangers

As has been proven, weapon tiers don’t mean anything for hunt rating, it’s just a hint for players who don’t understand energy.

Bullet energy is what taken into account, it must fall into recommended range on hit. You can find this information in the encyclopedia:

  • Badger & Red Fox: 612 – 1836
  • Whitetail Deer: 1543 – 3705
  • Mule Deer: 1570 – 3763
  • Elk: 2912 – 4951

Now, on max difficulty there’s no way to check bullet energy except buying the gun and killing animal from the desired distance. Since devs are unlikely to sort this out soon, I decided to enable hunter nonsense and measure energy levels myself.

Please note that this is not super precise and is very dependent on the wind. So the results may vary for you. But this table gives an idea of what can be used at what distances. I don’t own all the guns yet, will add .22 and .338 later.

It seems that energy falls almost linearly with distance. I don’t know if this is the case IRL or it’s just simplified in the game.

Energy / Distance

Click to enlarge…

Range / Animal

Click to enlarge…

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3011 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.


  1. This is a neat piece of work. I’ve used your document to go a bit further, and see how what we get in game compares to the real world of ballistics. I have used Wikipedia to look for typical hunting loads, and where possible match the game’s stats to real ammunition. I have also considered hot commercial loads which is why you may see two values below for a given calibre.

    1 – Half the rifles do not have anything like the correct muzzle energy for a typical load
    2 – .22LR, .223, .308 and 7mm-08 have correct muzzle energies
    3 – .243 is overpowered by 114-117%
    4 – 30/30 is underpowered to about 68%
    5 – .300 magnum underpowered to 85-88%
    6 – .338 LM underpowered to about 88-90%

    Secondly, energy fall off at range; the graphs I see here are good, but they are almost straight. I have mapped two of the rifles out to 1,000 metres using a ballistics app, with corrcet ballistic coefficients for the bullets, and as expected, energy falls off exponenetially, and the graph has a downwards curve to it. (7mm-08 and .338 LM modelled.)

    Thirdly, the energy levels for the bullets stay far too high; using the same modelling app, and using the correct ballistic coefficients, I again modelled 7mm-08 and .338 LM.

    7mm-08 at 1,000 metres game: 1218 joules
    7mm-08 at 1,000 metres real: 321 joules

    .338 LM at 1,000 metres game: 4555 joules
    .338 LM at 1,000 metres real: 2057 joules

    If I had time, I would also take the data from the bullet drop charts for each ammo given in the game and see if they match the real world. I have a feeling they might not.

    onclusions: unless I have got my data and modelling badly wrong, there are serious differences between some of the rifles and their real world counterparts. When five rifles get it spot on for muzzle energy, but five really don’t, I am interested to know why. The differences can’t really be accounted for by things like barrel length for instance.

    Secondly the attenuation over distance is scarily different – that must have been intentional for it to be so vastly different.

    • I have checked the bullet drops shown on the ammo section of the in game encyclopedia, and referenced them to the typical ballistic loads used in the real world.

      .300 Win Mag – spot on, -125 cm drop at 450m
      .338 LM – at 450m drops 120cm instead of a typical 109cm real, pretty close to real
      7mm-08 – at 450m drops 160cm instead of a typical 210cm real, 76% of real value
      .243 – at 450m drops 80cm instead of a typical 164cm real, 50% of real value

      So my observation is that if some rifles can be spot on, or pretty close to spot on, why does the .243 get a trajectory like a laser, and the 7mm-08 quite a big buff?

      I haven’t done the other rifles yet for bullet drop, nor have I looked at energy attentuation. It could also be possible to try and gauge real bullet drop as modelled in the game, and also time of flight to see if these reflect real ballistics or game ballistics. I also suspect that windage effects are very much undermodelled as well, and are much less than they would be in the real world.

      Overall, I have serious reservations about the modelling of external ballistics in this game, and I consider that the mis-modelling has been deliberately done. Here’s why I think it has been done:

      – Unrealistically high bullet energy at long ranges will please players who want to keep dropping animals at distances most real hunters wouldn’t even think about.

      – The .243 as the starter rifle is intentionally made very straight shooting and overpowered to please players when they start the game.

      – They don’t want you to use the 30/30 lever action for some odd reason.

      All in all, I would finish by saying they could have easily got this right if they wanted, but they didn’t, and that’s quite sad.

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