For example, humans are easy they are just capsules. But for cavalry, an arrow could hit the horse or the rider. Right now cavalry are also capsule colliders for unit-unit collision, but for projectiles I would need to detect hits on the rider too.

Would a compound collides be the solution? In the Total War series, it looks like arrows have full mesh collision with units. Here is a video showing arrows hitting different parts of the models accurately-- It shows how arrows can hit limbs and the head idk how that is done in such a scale.)

How is this done?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be surprised if an RTS used collision detection for adjudicating hits at that scale at all. I'd expect more often they'd determine in advance by PRNG whether a shot will hit or miss (or hit the horse or rider, if applicable), then animate the projectile to visualize that pre-determined outcome. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ So they would pick a collision sport on the mesh? What if the unit changes direction mid arrow flight? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tree3708
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 20:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That sounds like a question you can edit your post to ask instead, if you prefer. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


Like DMGregory said: it's very unlikely Total War is actually simulating physics for all those arrows. There's probably a big separation from the battle simulation and the actual animations in game.

Here's a GDC talk about "predictable projectiles" which could be used for the animation side of things.


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