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The larger the cone is, the bigger the deviation from the target.

Intuitively speaking, the word "accuracy" describes how far a player's shots will deviate from where the player (initially) puts the reticle. Unfortunately, in Borderlands, the term "accuracy" is used to describe any of several related game mechanics.


When a player fires a weapon, the shots will not go perfectly towards the reticle. Instead, they will fire at random angles into a cone. The angle of this cone depends on several internal game parameters, the most important of which are spread and accuracyPool, both measured in degrees.

The full angle of the firing cone (far side to far side) equals spread + accuracyPool when firing from the hip, and just spread when aiming down the sights.


Main article: Accuracy (weapon)
Note: The term "aperture" refers to the total angle of spread (e.g. far left to far right). To get the angle of deviation from center, halve the aperture.

Base spread is completely determined by the weapon type. The parts of the weapon may modify the weapon's spread; the resulting spread completely determines the "Accuracy" on the weapon card.

An Accuracy of 100 means the weapon has 0 spread; every 12 points of Accuracy lower than that equates to one degree of spread aperture. For example, 70 accuracy corresponds to 2.5° of spread aperture.

spread = (100 − weapon card accuracy)/12
weapon card accuracy = 100 − 12 × spread

Spread is affected by:

  • Skills that affect "accuracy", namely Focus, Enforcer, and Scattershot.
  • Loyalty COMs.
  • Weapon scopes when aiming down the sights. Unlike other modifiers, this multiplies the spread directly.


Main article: Accuracy (character)

AccuracyPool is a dynamic value and depends on several other statistics:

  • accuracyMinimum
  • accuracyMaximum
  • recoil
  • accuracyIdleRegenDelay
  • accuracyRegenRate

AccuracyPool starts at accuracyMinimum. Whenever the character fires a shot, it increases by recoil, up to a maximum of accuracyMaximum. If the character stops firing, after a delay of accuracyIdleRegenDelay, it begins to decrease at a rate of accuracyRegenRate until the character fires again or it reaches accuracyMinimum.

Like spread, the base value for all of these five statistics is completely determined by the weapon type. Of these five statistics, only recoil modifiers are visible in the in-game text, as "Recoil Reduction".

Screen effects[]

Scope sway[]

When aiming down the sights of a weapon, the player's scope will "sway" randomly. The amount appears to be approximately proportional to accuracyPool, though there is always some initial sway even if accuracyPool is zero. Over time the amount of sway will drop, eventually reaching an amount proportional to accuracyMin, which is zero when aiming down the sights for Sniper Rifles and SMGs. The rate at which this happens appears to be determined by accuracyRegenRate, which is listed as "stability" under the Sniper Rifle weapon proficiency. If the character fires, re-scopes, or is hit the sway resets. Note that accuracyPool is computed differently when aiming down the sights than when firing from the hip, and that moving does not cause the sway to reset.

Shake and muzzle climb[]

In addition to the above effects, firing a weapon may cause the player's screen to "shake" randomly (regardless of whether the player is firing from the hip or aiming down sights). Often this movement has an upwards bias, which simulates muzzle climb of the weapon. These effects seem to be proportional to recoil; weapon parts that reduce recoil also reduce these effects.

Base values[]

The base value of accuracyIdleRegenDelay is 0.2 seconds for all weapons. It is unknown whether recoil changes when aiming down the sights.

Many values are taken from the Gear Calculator.[1]

Weapon type Spread Hip AccuracyPool Sight AccuracyPool Recoil
Min Max RegenRate Min Max RegenRate
Assault Rifle Combat Rifle 1.30 1.50 12.00 -8.00 1.00 8.00[2] -6.00 3.50
Support Machine Gun 2.40 2.00 14.00 -8.00 1.00[2] 8.00[2] -6.00 2.20
Pistol Machine Pistol 2.00 2.00 12.00 -8.00 1.00 8.00 -6.00 1.50
Repeater Pistol 2.00 1.50 8.00 -12.00 1.00 4.00 -12.00 2.00
Revolver 1.00 1.50 12.00 -7.00 1.00[2] 8.00[2] -6.00 3.00
Rocket Launcher 1.00 2.00 12.00 -8.00 2.00[2] 8.00[2] -8.00 6.00
Shotgun Assault 7.00 2.00 12.00 -8.00 1.00 12.00 [2][3] -8.00 7.00
Combat 6.50 2.00 12.00 -8.00 1.00 12.00 [2][3] -8.00 8.00
SMG 2.00 2.00 10.00 -10.00 0.00 8.00 [2] -6.00 1.50
Sniper Rifle Pump-Action 0.40 5.00 12.00 -6.00 0.00 12.00[2] -6.00 15.00
Semi-Automatic 0.60 5.00 12.00 -6.00[4] 0.00 12.00[2] -2.00[4] 12.00
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 These have special stock modifiers.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shotguns appear to have a built in +400% bonus to AccuracyMax when aiming down the sights.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Semi-automatic Sniper Rifles appear to have a built-in +70% bonus to Regen Rate.

Special stock modifiers are listed below. These replace the standard AccuracyMin and AccuracyMax modifiers for those stocks.

Stock Special AccuracyPool modifier
stock_none -20%
stock1 -30%
stock2 -40%
stock3 -70%
stock4 -100%
stock5 -140%


This table gives a complete listing of what affects or is affected by each stat:

Effect type Spread AccuracyMinimum AccuracyMaximum Recoil Accuracy Regen Rate
Firing from the hip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Firing while aiming down the sights Yes Yes[1] Yes[1] Yes[1] Yes[1]
Recoil Reduction Yes
Skill Accuracy Yes Yes Yes
Loyalty Accuracy COMs [2] Yes ? ?
Non-Loyalty Accuracy COMs [2] Yes Yes
Weapon proficiency Accuracy Yes Yes
Weapon proficiency Stability Yes
Weapon card Accuracy Yes
Weapon body Yes
Weapon barrel Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weapon stock Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weapon scope Yes[3]
Weapon accessory Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weapon manufacturer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Only via screen effects (sway, shake, muzzle climb).
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Applies a multiplicative bonus only when aiming down the sights.