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CS:GO SDK Terminal Ballistics or How to Test if You Can Shoot Through Walls (Bullet Penetration)

Category: Source: CS:GO SDK
May 19, 2016
Full Text Tutorial and Notes:

Ballistics is a study of the effects of firing a bullet from a gun.

Terminal ballistics is a sub-field of ballistics. It is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive terminal ballistics is known as bullet penetration.

Bullet Penetration is a gameplay mechanic that allows every weapon to penetrate variety of surfaces and do damage to a player behind it.

The act of shooting through penetrable surfaces in Counter-Strike is known as wall banging.

3 Common Types of Wall Banging


Props (crates, doors, windows etc):

Object corners:

3 Terminal Ballistic/Bullet Penetration Considerations

3 things allow terminal ballistics in CS:GO to happen:

  • Weapon Used: some weapons do more damage than others. For example, AK-47 will do more damage and penetrate thicker surfaces than MP9.
  • Wall Thickness: how thick or thin your geometry is - measured in Hammer units. Thicker walls will stop a bullet from certain guns. Certain wall thickness will stop all weapons.
  • Material Surface: wood, concrete, plaster, glass or metal will act differently depending on the geometry thickness and weapon used to shoot through them. Wood is more easily penetrable than concrete or metal.

Testing Bullet Penetration and Impact

Test walls and props in your map to see what you can shoot through and what you cannot.

Use the following console commands to check variety of weapons and geometry for bullet penetration and to show impact:

  • sv_cheats 1
  • sv_showimpacts_penetration 1

Creating Map Geometry

As you create your map, take into consideration which walls should the player be able to shoot through and which they shouldn't. Control the geometry and bullet penetration; don't leave it up to chance.

Enabling Console

Launch CS:GO and go to Options > Game Settings:

Enable Developer Console: Yes

While in-game press ~ (tilde key) to open console. It is the key left of key 1.

  • ~ = Open/Close Console

Read Next: CS:GO SDK How to Spawn Any Weapon on the Ground (for fy/aim maps)

Updated & Revised - Preproduction Blueprint: How to Plan Your Game Environments and Level Designs

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