Durability is the measure of an item's integrity and plays a very important role in gameplay. Durability is the ability for a weapon or suit of armor to maintain its effectiveness in the field and lower durability means lower effectiveness.
An item's durability can only be seen by viewing it in the inventory; however, a HUD icon will alert the player if their weapon and/or armor has incurred a noticeable amount of damage.
In weapons, durability affects a weapon's accuracy and reliability. Weapons lose durability as they are fired and firing them at a rapid pace will only degrade them faster. Having explosives detonate near dropped weapons also greatly reduces their durability. For example: an RGD-5 grenade exploding near a gun is guaranteed to reduce it to a near-broken state immediately while having it outright explode on it will instantly deplete it's durability. Dropping weapon into most anomalies will also either seriously or completely deplete it's durability bar.
With lower durability, weapons tend to fire with lesser accuracy and if damaged enough, they will start to jam. A weapon with completely depleted durability will greatly increase its scatter when firing and misfiring becomes a common event.
Weapon durability deterioration can be greatly lessened by firing a weapon in a semi-automatic fashion or in short 3-round bursts rather than constantly shooting in rapid fire.
"Misfiring" or "weapon jam" is an event where a weapon fails to fire a round due to mechanical failure, mostly the bullet not feeding into the chamber properly, preventing it from firing further until it is cleared.
In games, jamming is when a weapon fails to fire and will not fire any further until the player reloads the weapon to clear the jam (even if the player has no spare ammunition, they must still reload to clear the jam). This randomly starts to occur after the weapon takes a certain degree of damage and its frequency increases as the weapon's durability parameter decreases.
The actual frequency of misfiring is dependent on the weapon in use; some weapons jam less and have a higher degree of reliability than others. The player is notified with an on-screen warning whenever their weapon experiences a jam and prompts them to reload to clear it.
Jamming can range from being an inconvenience to an outright killing blow to the player as having a weapon jam in the middle of a firefight or mutant dogfight can prove deadly. Thus, it is advised to always have a well-maintained gun on hand.
Combat shotguns (Chaser 13, SPSA14, and Eliminator) are immune (Clear Sky, Call of Pripyat) to misfiring due to durability damage, but still suffer from the accuracy penalty. Grenade launchers (Bulldog 6 and RPG-7u), however, are completely immune to both, misfiring and the accuracy penalty.
Weapon durability in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. gamesEdit
Each game simulates durability of weapons in different way.
In Shadow of Chernobyl there are 3 values in w_[weapon_name].ltx file, which define weapon's durability:
- misfire_probability - defines probability out of 100% that a weapon will jam,
- misfire_condition_k, which, compounded by the probability, defines chance for a weapon to misfire,
- condition_shot_dec - defines how much each shot damages weapon (i.e. value 0.0001 means that it will take 10000 shots to totally damage weapon in mint condition).
In Clear Sky the system works identically as it did in Shadow of Chernobyl.
In Call of Pripyat the whole system was changed and now there are six values defining in which circumstances a weapon can jam and how often it can misfire:
- misfire_start_condition - defines at which level of condition weapon will start to jam with probability set in misfire_start_prob string (for all weapons it's set to 0.6 because when player's weapon will drop to 60% condition, there will be a green HUD icon displayed showing it)
- misfire_end_condition - defines at which level of condition weapon will start to jam with probability set in misfire_end_prob string
- misfire_start_prob - defines chance for misfiring weapon when its condition will drop to value set in misfire_start_condition string (0.01 means 1% chance to misfire)
- misfire_end_prob - defines chance for misfiring weapon when its condition will drop to value set in misfire_end_condition string
- condition_shot_dec - defines how much each bullet shot in semi-auto mode damages weapon (0.01 means condition drop by 1% for each shot)
- condition_queue_shot_dec - defines how much each bullet shot in burst or auto mode damages weapon
For armor suits, durability affects the armor's ability to protect the wearer from status damage such as electricity and fire damage. Armors lose durability by taking damage from anything, be it from environmental anomaly damage or hits from bullets. Having artifacts that reduce the damage-type inflicted on them can also help in reducing the durability damage on the armor.
The durability damage inflicted on armors is dependent on the armor in question and the degree of damage inflicted on it. Generally, high-tier armors are capable of effectively resisting higher forms of damage, compared to lower-tier armors.
For example: if a leather jacket was hit by an SVDm2 sniper rifle with AP rounds or a high-level electro anomaly, the jacket's durability would instantaneously be reduced to half or lower, while an Exoskeleton taking the same hit would also suffer damage, but the durability damage suffered will be much lower compared to the jacket.
A piece of armor with a completely depleted durability bar will not be able to protect the player from any kind of damage at all (except of Clear Sky, in which armored suits do not lose their bulletproof cap no matter how they are damaged).
With the exception of Shadow of Chernobyl where the only option is to replace broken firearms, repairing equipment via a technician is the only way to restore lost durability.
A technician's price on repairs depends on the player's standing with the faction the former affiliated to, the amount of damage the piece of item has sustained, and the quality of the item itself (For example, it is cheaper to repair a half-broken AKm-74/2 than an half-broken GP 37 and it is cheaper to repair a Sunrise suit than an Exoskeleton).
Again, with the exception of Shadow of Chernobyl, upgrading a weapon's durability and damage protection (for armored suits) stats will also greatly remedy durability issues.
In addition to suit replacement, Shadow of Chernobyl players also have the ability to anomaly repair their suits under certain conditions. For more detail on the subject, consult the relevant artifact pages: Pellicle, Battery and Spring.