Digging inside the .pak files

The other day I was curious about the stat of a weapon but that information was nowhere to be found on the internet. Neither on Smurfy, nor gamepedia. All I could find was only a few anectodal discussions on the forums. So I decided to open the GameData.pak file only to be surprised by how conveniently most of the mech/weapon stats are stored. Most of them are placed in either .xml or .mdf files in a very human readable format. No wonder why Smurfy can update his website just hours after an update goes live (probably by automatically parsing the files with a script). I spent some time browsing these files and there was indeed some interesting stuff! Here are some of them:

The Viridian Bog is indeed the most frequent map

The Bog has quickly become the most dreaded map after Terra Therma for our unit. I don't know if it's just because we dislike it and notice it every time, but this map seems to show up more frequently than the others. Inside the Libs/Config folder of GameData, I found a file named "maplist.xml". Inside this file are the names of the maps and a "map weight" parameter for each map. Take a look:

I don't know how relevant is this, since map weights are probably adjusted server side, but Viridian Bog (terraceswamp) indeed is the most frequent map according to this file.

Myth: Clan SRMs have a larger spread than IS SRMs

For me, it alwys felt like the Clan SRMs had a ridiculous spread without Artemis. So much that I almost feel compelled to upgrade to Artemis to maintain some kind of decent SRM spread. Luckily every single stat of the weapons are stored inside "Items\Weapons\weapons.xml" inside GameData. I compared the IS SRM6 with the Clan SRM6:

These stats confirm my suspicion, IS SRM6 has a spread value of 5.7 while the Clan SRM6 has a spread value of 5.9. I don't know how much that 0.2 difference affects the spread, but from my experiences the change in spread is quite noticeable. 

Other than this, SRM6 and C-SRM6 are equal(they're not, C-SRM does 2.0 damage while IS SRM does 2.15 damage). This serves as an interesting balancing aspect. I wish PGI pointed out this difference more explicitly when they introduced Clan weapons.

Apparently the Gauss round isn't affected by gravity

I was sifting through the ACs when I noticed the Gauss was missing out the "gravity" parameter. I always felt like the Gauss round didn't have a noticable bullet drop because it was so fast, but it turns out it isn't affected by gravity at all. All of the other ACs are affected by gravity.

It was interesting to see LBX pellets are affected by gravity as well. That's a lot of calculations!

Jam chance and volley delay increase with the UAC size

I think this info is floating around in the forums and in-game I certainly felt like UAC2s are jamming less than 20s, but this file confirmed my suspicion. Apparently the jam chances and volley delays are:
  • UAC2 jam chance 14%, volley delay 0.14s
  • UAC5 jam chance 15%, volley delay 0.15s
  • UAC10 jam chance 16%, volley delay 0.16s
  • UAC20 jam chance 17%, volley delay 0.17s

Machine Gun is listed as a beam weapon

We all knew this already. If you're still one of those people who look at the tracers and try to lead their machine guns, stop doing it! It's essentially a laser with zero bullet travel time.


According to the files, the AMS fires 30 rounds per second. It's the fastest firing weapon in this game after the MG (10 rof).

That's all for now. I'll report back if I find more interesting stuff!
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About Rak

I'm an engineer who likes to write extremely long articles about games that border simulation and mainstream.
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