As arrows are projectiles, they must use the (large unrotating unintuitive) physics hitbox instead of the bullet hitboxes. So how does the game know where the head is? Is it the same for all classes? How large is the headshot area?

  • that is exponentially dependent on the archers latency ...
    – ordag
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


This has been a topic that cropped up a lot in the past its very hard to discribe best to show:

here is the jist of the way it works:

projectile and hit-scan hitboxes are boxes around your character. if a shot hits it, it's a hit. Same with headshots from arrows. It's just the hitbox for huntsman headshots is quite large, otherwise it'd be near impossible to get headshots with it.

in broad terms the radius to hit a headshot with the huntsman is larger than the standard sniper rifle due to the weapon being projectile based rather than hitscan.

Related look up hitboxes in tf2 / wireframes of models and you will be able to see what they look like. Hope this helps. link to video about hitboxes (each class)

  • Your answer didn't really explain anything I didn't already know. The first video is somewhat useful but doesn't contain any technical details and only has Scouts, and the second video only looks at the bullet hitboxes which the Huntsman doesn't apply to.
    – Toomai
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 18:03
  • 1
    It's worth noting that the video appears to intentionally overestimate the hitbox by preferring aim to the left of and above the targets. The huntsman arrow at short ranges travels below and to the right of the reticle before reaching its normal flight path. Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 20:22

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