I am having trouble truly seeing the advantage of AP ammo over FMJ in practice. The only times it seems to actually help is shooting off armor plates that protect components. This technique only really applies to the Tank with its face plate and knee caps. A job that can be done in less than a magazine of AP ammo and a little over a mag in FMJ. I understand some people say it feels better with AP, but this does not match my testing and the reduced component damage is immediately recognizable as in increase in TTK.
Myth: AP ammo does more frame damage.
Fact: they are equivalent (within margin of error).
Procedure: 5c AG5 fired into the foot of a Prototype Tank in semi-auto (45 shots) damage assessed as the health delta in life via binoculars. Roughly 10%/45 shots (Survivor 1) over 3 repetitions.
Myth: AP ammo does more damage against components with amber sparks.
Fact: FMJ does better damage.
Procedure: Sniping Reaper weapons with 4C PVG-90. Shots counted via sparks. Damage assessed as the component life delta via binoculars. Only have notes of conclusions, but it was single digit percent per 5 shots with a difference of a few percent over a few repetitions.
Myth: armor component damage has no bleed through/passover to frame health.
Fact: more testing required.
I haven’t done any true testing, as my days of game testing are long over, but based on gameplay I tend to stick to FMJ as I use far less of it on nearly all machines. though I will use it for harvesters and firebirds to punch through to the backside of their armor to hit their components. i.e. the harvesters rocket packs and firebirds fuel cells when they are facing me. otherwise AP is just used in my LMG for crowd control ammo dumping.
AP rounds work best on all machines but the tank. That is the .50 cal. 7.62, and 9MM SMG rounds.
And that is to destroy the machines. Only time I use FMJ rounds is dealing with a tank or reaper.
My test, destroying over 110,000 machines.
experience knows best I would say
From what I can recall:
Full Metal Jackets (FMJ) do more damage against hardpoints, such as oil tanks, components, etc. Every ammo has a FMJ variant but I’ll just list em anyway
- .32 ACP FMJ
- 9mm FMJ
- .44 FMJ
- 7.62mm FMJ
- 5.56mm FMJ
- 9x39mm FMJ
- .243 FMJ
- .270 FMJ
- .50 BMG FMJ
Hollow Point (HP) does less damage against armour - it hits components like a truck due to the realistic expanding nature of hollow point bullets, but that expansion mechanic makes it really weak against armour.
- .32 ACP Hollow
- .44 Hollow
Armour Penetrating/Piercing (AP) does more damage against armoured components such as the Tank’s faceplate - One shot of .50 AP to a proto Tank normally takes off the faceplate on the middle difficulty (idr name).
- 9mm AP
- 7.62mm AP
- 5.56mm AP
- 9x39mm AP
- .50 BMG AP
Soft Point usually does higher impact damage to components but struggles a bit in taking off heavier armour. .270 hits harder than .243 so if you’re looking for something that can take out a runner at range with precision, grab an Alg rifle.
12 Gauge Slugs are more of a hardpoint component destroyer due to the single shot nature of them. They are pretty fun to use if you’ve got some aced accuracy.
12 Gauge Buckshot is the balanced shell, dealing a painful amount of damage to armour and still hitting components with some force.
12 Gauge Birdshot is surprisingly effective at armour removal and component spamming due to the ridiculous amount of pellets. Using it in the explosive shotgun can stun-lock enemies if you shoot, reload and fire.
Just use explosive arrows man.
The only viable rockets are EMP and HEDP rockets. Smokes are pretty useless - they’d be better if they had impact damage.
I may have to do more testing with the PVG level 6. Seems it has been nerfed somewhat the last few updates. Sometimes you can single shot a seeker, other times it takes 3 or 4 shots and it doesn’t matter the type round.
My experience is that FMJ is a better choise in general. AP is situationally better against tanks and reaper.