Breakdown of Secret Round & Headseeker

Secret Round: Missing a shot in a burst grants a 4th round.

Rumors: The fourth shot that is fired will count as a hit if any previous shot was a hit. If all three shots hit (crit or body) only two will be subtracted from the mag. This is confirmed false.

What it actually does: If you miss any shot in a burst, or all of the shots, a fourth shot will be fired at the end of the burst. The shot is not subtracted from the magazine, but it does add on to the time it takes to fire the burst. In practice, this perk is not only useless, but harmful to the user. The only time I hit a shot that was added in by Secret Round was when I missed the first shot in a burst, and then hit the following three.

If you miss any shot after that, you will probably miss the fourth shot as well, since it’s very difficult to realign mid-burst. If you are already off the target for the second or third shot, you probably won’t be on target again for the fourth. This means that you have to take the extra time to fire the fourth shot that won’t hit anything, which then delays the next burst, and slows down the overall time-to-kill for the weapon.

Conclusion: Do not use this perk.

Headseeker: Body shots with this weapon increase precision damage for a short time.

Rumors: Not a useful perk because it doesn’t decrease time-to-kill. Partially true.

What it actually does: Increases headshot damage by 2 (on all weapons tested), for all shots in a burst following a body shot. If the first shot is a body shot, then both the following shots (or all three, if it’s a Hakke Pulse Rifle) will do the extra damage if they hit the head. If the second shot is a body shot the last shot (or last two, if it’s a Hakke PR) will do the extra damage if they hit the head. Ultimately, it makes certain archetypes more forgiving of body shots.

By the Numbers

The shot damage comparison shows how much damage would be done in each scenario with the same number of shots fired, which is the number of shots needed to get the Normal Optimal kill (minimum number of shots is primary focus, minimum number of headshots is secondary). Both the Normal and Headseeker 1 Body 2 Crit damages assume a burst pattern of 1 Body followed by the remainder Crits.

Shots Damage Comparison – (Normal Optimal), (Normal 1 Body 2 Crit), (Headseeker 1 Body 2 Crit)

Spare Change.25

  • Normal Crit – 34, Normal Body – 23
  • Normal Optimal Burst – 102, Bursts-to-Kill – 2 (6 Crit)
  • Normal 1 Body 2 Crit Burst – 91, Bursts-to-Kill – 2.33 (4 Crit, 3 Body)
  • Headseeker Crit – 36, Headseeker Body – 23
  • Headseeker 1 Body 2 Crit Burst – 95, Bursts-to-Kill – 2.33 (4 Crit, 3 Body)
  • 6 Shot Damage Comparison – 204 (6 Crit), 182 (4 Crit, 2 Body), 190 (4 Crit, 2 Body)

Lyudmila-D

  • Normal Crit – 26, Normal Body – 18
  • Normal Optimal Burst – 104, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill – 2 (7 Crit, 1 Body)
  • Normal 1 Body 3 Crit Burst – 96, Bursts-toKill – 2.25 (6 Crit, 3 Body)
  • Headseeker Crit – 28, Headseeker Body – 18
  • Headseeker 1 Body 3 Crit Burst – 102, Bursts-to-Kill – 2 (6 Crit, 2 Body)
  • 8 Shot Damage Comparison – 208 (7 Crit, 1 Body), 192 (6 Crit, 2 Body), 204 (6 Crit, 2 Body)

The Villainy

  • Normal Crit – 29, Normal Body – 19
  • Normal Optimal Burst – 87, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill – 2.33 (7 Crit)
  • Normal 1 Body 2 Crit Burst – 77, Bursts-to-Kill – 2.66 (5 Crit, 3 Body)
  • Headseeker Crit – 31, Headseeker Body – 19
  • Headseeker 1 Body 2 Burst – 81, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill – 2.66 (5 Crit, 3 Body)
  • 7 Shot Damage Comparison – 203 (7 Crit), 173 (4 Crit, 3 Body), 181 (4 Crit, 3 Body)

Hawksaw

  • Normal Crit – 25, Normal Body – 17
  • Normal Optimal Burst – 75, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill – 2.66 (8 Crit)
  • Normal 1 Body 2 Crit Burst – 67, Bursts-to-Kill – 3 (6 Crit, 3 Body)
  • Headseeker Crit – 27, Headseeker Body – 17
  • Headseeker 1 Body 2 Burst – 71, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill – 3 (5 Crit, 4 Body)
  • 8 Shot Damage Comparison – 200 (8 Crit), 176 (5 Crit, 3 Body), 186 (5 Crit, 3 Body)

Grasp of Malok

  • Normal Crit – 23, Normal Body – 16
  • Normal Optimal Burst – 69, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill – 3 (8 Crit, 1 Body)
  • Normal 1 Body 2 Crit Burst – 62, Bursts-to-Kill – 3.33 (6 Crit, 4 Body)
  • Headseeker Crit – 25, Headseeker Body – 16
  • Headseeker 1 Body 2 Crit Burst – 66, Optimal Bursts-to-Kill 3.33 (6 Crit, 4 Body)
  • 9 Shot Damage Comparison – 200 (8 Crit, 1 Body), 186 (6 Crit, 3 Body), 198 (6 Crit, 3 Body)

Conclusion: Headseeker won’t improve your time-to-kill drastically, but it will make any Pulse Rifle more forgiving of body shots.

For example, Spare Change.25 normally kills Guardians at 200hp and lower in 2 bursts, but it requires all headshots. Hitting 1 body shot per burst drops the damage down to 182, which won’t even kill a low armor Guardian. Using Headseeker will actually boost the 2-burst damage up to 190 (if you the first bullet of each burst hits the body, and the others hit the head), which will allow it to 2-burst low armor Guardians even if you don’t hit all headshots.

Lyudmila-D with Headseeker can swap a crit shot for a body shot and still kill in 2 bursts, which makes it significantly easier to achieve this weapon’s optimal TtK. The Grasp of Malok also benefits significantly, as hitting a body shot initially in each burst actually makes it possible to kill most enemies (it does 198 damage), without needing to hit 8 out of 9 shots to the head.

The Villainy/Nirwen’s Mercy archetype gets the least help from this perk, because in order to kill low armor Guardians in the optimal number of bullets, you’ll still have to hit a headshot after the first two bursts.

The Hawksaw/PDX-45 archetype benefits from Headseeker in that you only need to hit 5 Crits and 4 Body shots to kill in 3 bursts, and opposed to 6 Crits and 3 Body shots.

If you can deal with not having Counterbalance on your Pulse Rifle, and you don’t always hit all headshots, Headseeker is a great perk to have. In my opinion, it offers significantly more utility than Rangefinder, Outlaw, or Life Support. It makes every weapon more forgiving of hitting a body shots, and the importance of perks that increase damage cannot be understated.

The Crucible does not take place in a vacuum, and not all opponents always have full health, or full armor, and any perk that increases the damage you do to an opponent, even if it’s only by one or two points, can be valuable.

Mercules904
Author of Massive Breakdowns, Crucible enthusiast, recovering re-roll addict.