Battlefield 5 dev explains advanced bullet penetration system

When you're not building snowmen in Battlefield 5 (d'aww), you'll spend most of your time firing weapons. Senior game designer Rickard Antroia explains there's more to the war shooter's Bullet Penetration system than you might think. 

Billed as a "binary experience" in previous games, Bullet Penetration is far more sophisticated this time round. 

"[In previous games] a bullet either passed through or it didn’t, and the same behavior existed for almost all calibers," explains Antroia in this blog post. "Looking at more distinction between weapons, we saw an opportunity to push players in and out of covers without removing everything in front of the soldier."

Antroia explains that he and his team have now reevaluated Battlefield 5's destruction classes, and how they go about building props and architecture in-game. Machine guns have the power to pass through cover, albeit with reduced damage, which in turn become "counter-sniper tools" that can force campers out of hiding.   

"Visually, bullets that penetrate will create a chunky, debris-themed effect for the player on the receiving end, and a smaller bullet hole with a more low-key visual effect facing the shooter," continues Antroia. "Non-penetrating bullets will dent hard materials or crack open and rip parts of the surface facing the shooter. Naturally, Bullet Penetration is an ongoing endeavor. We are shipping with a certain setup but are willing to tune and upgrade it in the future."

Antroia says weapons behave as you'd expect—that sidearms such as pistols and carbines will break cloth, vegetation and glass. Sub-machine guns and shotguns will penetrate structures and fixings; while fully-automatic rifles will power through walls in wooden buildings and "push through barricade covers."

Beyond that, vehicle bullets, heavy machine guns, and the airplane 20mm cannon will tear plaster and brickwork down—be that with reduced impact. 

Battlefield 5 is due on November 20. EA broke down the game's Companies and combat roles last month.