The Gnasher is a weapon full of legacy with a deeply rooted history – it is what makes it iconic, especially in Versus. It’s behavior quirks and nuances are as much of its DNA as its look and visceral feel.
Unfortunately, the weapon can be misunderstood in how it functions – an issue which has existed since the first Gears. I would love to be able to say that it is a simple as it seems, but that is not the case. The aforementioned legacy has had 15+ years to grow and compound.
We have described the Gnasher’s behavior in detail before, but I believe it is time to be a bit more explicit about it here. So let’s dive in!
First, lets look at the damage graph of the current Gnasher – most of you should be familiar with these graphs by now:
Some details about the elements in the graph:
- The green line is the damage falloff curve (damage over distance)
- The red line represents player health – any thing over 600 will kill the player (forcing DBNO or outright death depending on a number of factors)
- The green box represents the gib range. Any player within this range when shot by the weapon gets special consideration
Next, lets talk numbers:
- The Gnasher has a base damage of 525 damage in Gears 5 right now (it was 500 in Gears 3 and 4, for reference)
- This damage is represented by the green line in the graph – you can see that it starts to fall off immediately
- This means that a full hit of the weapon does 87% of a players full health, but since the damage falls off right away, players will see 80-86% most frequently when just outside of gib range
- There are 12 pellets to the spread and the damage done is divided by the total pellets:
- Each pellet does 44.75 damage (just about 8% of the players total health)
- If you hit 8 of the 12, then you would do 358 damage
Fairly simple so far – but let’s get into the nuances that this weapon has had since Gears 2 and 3: Gib range and pellet round-up
We have talked about this a lot, but the gist of it is that any victim who is within gib range takes bonus damage from the Gnasher
- Hits within gib range have a 20% bonus to the total weapon damage – that 525 goes right up to 630 damage
- This means that each pellet does 52.5 damage, or 9% of a players total health
- Hitting 8 of 12 means you would do 420 damage
This calculation is what usually throws off the user in my experience. In the video, when Livo tested the pellet damage, he was within gib range, so he got the extra 20% bonus. But when the shot in questions was taken, he was outside of gib range which means the maximum damage potential would have been 87% of the players health – more likely 82-83% from the distance.
This is another system nuance built in the legacy weapon. Specifically, when a player hits ‘most’ of their pellets, the damage done is rounded up to the maximum potential damage it can do.
- This is tuned to 70% : Hitting at least 9 of the 12 total pellets means you will do the weapon maximum potential damage at that range
- In effect, hitting 9, 10 or 11 pellets at any range is the same as hitting all 12
- Landing 8 or less means that your damage is calculated per-pellet based on the ranged modifier
This was added back in Gear 3 to provide a more consistent damage result when attacking enemies at the shorter-ranges usually seen with the Gnasher. It is easy to have a pellet or two miss at these ranges and that would mean that a victim would survive what looked like a perfect point-blank.
So, so summarize, there is more than you would expect going into the Gnasher and how it calculates damage. The best advice is to remember that the gib distance is vital (the red circle below):
Crossing this line means that a victim goes from taking a non-lethal hit (87% or less) to a very lethal (and messy) one.
The Gnasher has behaved this way since Gears 2 and we have not changed it.
I hope this helps!