A suggestion for small arms.

Daniel Edmonsond shared this feedback 2 years ago

Not many hand weapons to choose from in game. Maybe a modular system for hand-held weapons would add some variety.

Start with a basic receiver, firing some sort of intermediate universal round (think .30 carbine: big for a revolver, small for a rifle, adequate for protection at 200m). Lore-wise, a portable railgun makes the most sense, as punch, range, accuracy, and rate of fire would be controlled electronically and limited by the construction of the barrel. Add separate barrel, stock, scope, and magazine parts to turn the heavy pistol core into a rifle or MG. Not practical for fighting wars, but the universal and modular nature of the system is plausible for frontiersmen who primarily need to kill charging animals at close to close-medium range. If everyone's gonna be using the same weapons components, this would make the most sense in terms of story. Sort of a 22nd-century Kalashnikov, but much more versatile.

Balance is easy. Depending on the stock and barrel length, a shorter configuration can be made easier to aim and a longer configuration more controllable in sustained fire. Shorter barrels give more rapid fire, longer barrels more punch (and recoil) at a lower rate. The stock enables auto-fire but reduces maneuverability and increases recoil control. The scope forces single shots in aim mode.

Ammunition weight would be negligible and magazines wouldn't need reloading (tiny pellets), but the battery packs would be the primary constraint, with shots of higher power draining them at a higher rate. And of course, bigger weapons (and more ammo) would take up more space in the player's inventory.

A similar system wouldn't be hard to adapt for explosives (grenade launcher, rocket launcher, missile launcher).

So that's my suggestion for small arms. It would add a little more variety to the shooting mechanics.

Replies (2)


One part of the issue with this suggestion is that modular items get complicated, fast. Most items are just the items, with separate hotbar selections that perform actions upon the player's inventory. At most, they have one number attached to them, like bottle fullness or stack size. Either you go with separate items, in which case we go exponential and it gets messy if you want much variety, or you'd need to build a full data structure for storing modular guns. Adding and removing the various modifications to the gun would also be wonderfully fun, if most Minecraft gun mods are to be believed. I don't even want to think about how to implement them in the hotbar menu. Depending on the coding behind items and inventories, that could mean a full overhaul of basic features for this, complete with a whole new set of bugs.

The other half is that this is Space Engineers. It's named that way because it's about engineering and ship design. If it was about having a bunch of guns, it would be called Space Marines or something. While there does need to be a way to deal damage at a distance with only a suit, the current assault rifle does a satisfactory job at it, and the variants provided low-effort variety. I could get behind, for example, a handheld rocket launcher or a cheap starter pistol (or reloading mechanics, for that matter), but this isn't core gameplay. If it's possible to have major balance issues with handheld weapons, we're putting too much effort and detail into something that's too far removed from the purpose of the game.


This is a fair point. I just thought it would be cool from a lore perspective to have a universal weapon with three or four configurations, but you're probably right about it not being practical. If we start getting more animal/human NPCs, though, it would suddenly be very important to be able to defend yourself. Combat would indeed be part of the core gameplay if spiders were a part of the vanilla game.

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