"A micro-submachine gun. Short range, low power, high rate of fire. Very quick to aim and fire."
The machine pistol is a slightly lighter, multi-shot firearm in RimWorld which fires 3-shot bursts of rounds which deal a low amount of damage each; a slightly shorter delay between each shot; a very short time between bursts; moderate accuracy and slightly shorter range.
It'll take 7 shots to the torso to kill an unarmored human with a machine pistol, or around 14-16 shots against a human with a normal armor vest. The machine pistol can also instantly effectively cripple digits, cripple eyeballs in two shots and cause debilitating brain damage if the victim's skull is unprotected. It takes 5 hits on an unprotected human limb to cripple it. Without factoring in any cover or shooter's accuracy, the machine pistol has an average time to down of 10.5 seconds against unarmored people or 14.6 seconds against a human with an armor vest.
As the machine pistol is a very efficient bullet spewing machine, it's a very skill-friendly weapon. A healthy level 4 traitless shooter, level 0 careful shooter or level 7 careful shooter can somewhat efficiently use the machine pistol up to 15 cells. However, a healthy level 10 traitless shooter, level 6 careful shooter or level 13 trigger-happy is advisable to efficiently use the machine pistol up to its maximum range of 22 cells.
On average, the machine pistol is best paired with a careful shooter until level 13, then with a trigger-happy shooter beyond that point.
A machine pistol has a weapon bulk of 50%, but weapon bulk doesn't seem to have any observable effect on actual gameplay.
All possible melee attacks with a machine pistol:
|Tool||Attack||Damage Type||Power||Cooldown||Likelihood||Base DPS||Armored DPS|
Machine pistols can be purchased from outlander and orbital combat suppliers, or obtained from the following raider kinds:
- Scavenger - 26.3% chance (poor quality on average, 20-90% health)
- Pirate - 8.2% chance (normal quality on average, 40-150% health)
- Villager - 1.3% chance (poor quality on average, 20-200% health)
- Town Guard - 9.5% chance (poor quality on average, 20-200% health)
- Mercenary Gunner - 7.7% chance (normal quality on average, 70-230% health)
- Space Soldier - 6.9% chance (good quality on average, 100% health)
Conclusion & Comparison
Although the machine pistol has the lowest damage per shot out of any ranged weapon in the game, it still remains a very viable ranged weapon since it is the third quickest weapon in the game (1.84 bullets per second), with second and first place going to the heavy charge blaster (2.27 BPS) and the minigun (4.55 BPS) respectively. The machine pistol is also very easy to acquire since it's very commonly equipped by scavengers, or alternatively can be had for a very modest amount of steel and components; a great weapon to produce when short on resources.
When it comes to head-on 1 vs. 1 fights between level 8 shooters at 14 cells behind granite chunks, the machine pistol takes a comfortable lead over the pump shotgun and even chain shotgun - the machine pistol also being the cheapest weapon to produce out of the three. Although the higher-end heavy SMG is only around 31.5% better in terms of DPS than the machine pistol on paper, it's actually around 56.4% better in the 1 vs. 1 testing environment when both opposing people are stark naked and extends to around 69.4% when both opposing people are wearing normal quality armor vests and simple helmets - further testing at 7 cells sees the heavy SMG's lead further strengthen to 77.8% and a staggering 216.7% respectively since the heavy SMG has vastly superior close-up accuracy.
Despite its shorter than average range, the machine pistol's actually a very capable weapon for field combat owing to its respectable damage output and quick fire rate, which allows for quick bob and weave maneuvers. Its damage output is more than adequate to readily dispatch of advancing thrashers or similar raider type, and getting the first hits into enemy arms hinders their manipulation which in turn impacts their shooting accuracy.
In conclusion, the machine pistol's an excellent weapon to use through the very early game since it offers vastly superior combat performance to the shotguns and single-shot pistols in the game, while remaining very cheap to produce and, as mentioned earlier, being very easy to acquire from raiders. However, the heavy SMG's going to be a better choice as you progress through the early game since despite its minor range deficit, it offers superior damage output.
The graphs assume a normal quality machine pistol against an adult human that's out in the open in clear weather. For DPS, projectile speed has also been factored into the equation, with the weighting based on the base amount of attacks that it'll take to put the aforementioned target into pain shock.