Stamina and Fatigue

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Canteen

Partial screencap of some canteen testing. It's messy; DS doesn't state numbers (percents) for Stamina and Fatigue.

All notes are for a fully-maxxed Sam in a Hard PC game with a Level 2 Canteen. We know the level 1 Canteen restores less stamina, and the Delivery Time score bolsters stamina. Still, it's hairy data. This is all I got.

  • It takes 60 seconds to completely fill an empty canteen when standing in water.
    • Canteens also refill this fast when in a vehicle in a stream. Plus you don't get the Stamina hit for standing in a stream.
    • If you're under a Timefall Shelter when it's raining or snowing, it'll also fill in 60 seconds. With no Stamina hit.
  • Timefall refills your canteen, but it's really slow, ranging from 14 to 50 seconds per mL... it would take many hours to fill an empty canteen. Like the solar recharge of batteries, it's a nice touch, but pretty useless for practical purposes. See collapsible below for more details.
    • Timefall also slowly refills your canteen when in a vehicle. Even if you're in a knot lobby.
  • It takes ~7 mL of drink to restore each 1% of Stamina. Corollary: If Sam is at 0 Stamina and 0 Fatigue, it takes ~700 mL to fully restore Stamina. Based on modelling; you can't actually get to 0 Stam without having some Fatigue.
  • If you have full Stamina (and don't need any Monster), taking a swig always consumes 200 mL.

That last bullet can be confusing. In the game, if you only have a tiny bit of Stamina gone, the first gulp will use very little. But the next one will waste 200 mL if you haven't drained more Stamina in the meantime. Just make sure you actually have some Stamina gone before drinking again.

It works great for testing though... if you want to see, e.g., how fast a stream or timefall fills a canteen, you can quickly drain it even if you don't actually need any Monster.

More details on how long it takes timefall to fill a canteen

I mostly watched the canteen refill while I was doing other work like testing timefall degradation or standing around waiting for corpses to melt. I got quite variable results. I can't say I understand why your canteen refills much faster sometimes versus others. And I certainly didn't try to do targeted sampling across the Map. (How could I? I don't even know what variables affect it. What can you do, then? Hundreds of samples across the whole map and hope to see a pattern? Forget it, life is too short.) So here are my findings, such as they are.

There was wide variation in results. I've seen it take 14 to 50 seconds for each mL. That's about 4 to 14 hours for 1,000 mLs. It's entirely possible that it can be even faster or slower than this. Still, that's what I saw. At a particular place, it tended to be roughly the same. But that could simply be a function of how I was doing testing at a particular place at a particular time. Who knows if even that particular place would be quite different if I came back hours or days later.

So this isn't any kind of rigorous study. But it's still clear that timefall takes a really long time to fill a canteen.

It's more of a novelty that shows attention to detail than anything useful.

There is one interesting thought in relation to this, though:

The rate at which timefall refills canteens might be a pretty sensitive way to gauge how heavy timefall is, and thus perhaps how quickly it will erode your stuff. It's a really good measure inasmuch as it's right on your screen the whole time. (The mLs show in the lower left of your screen whenever it's filling.)

In particular, anybody who constantly makes videos of their play could see how much it filled over a given amount of time.

If you're doing this, note that the video time marks will not reflect game time well if you've been in menus a lot or afk. For best results, briefly look at some Order's elapsed time every now and then... this is the best measure of true game time.

It would be really interesting to record across several Chaser fights and to see how heavy it is during fights. I've never done this; the values I cite above don't reflect it.

If you do it, remember that time is 10x slower when you're in equipment menus. If you're in them a lot, try to adjust for it. And remember that bringing up the Map and briefly glancing at some Order's time stops the game and doesn't cost you anything. You can pause the video later to see what it said.

Stamina

I didn't test this much, because the game doesn't show numeric values, and clearly a lot of things can affect it (terrain, slope, load, skeleton, cold, Sam's porter grades, etc.). But I did observe a few things.

This is for a fully-maxxed Sam in a Hard PC game. We know the Delivery Time score bolsters stamina, among other things (my Delivery Time porter grade was 63; 60 gives the max increase).

Rest, Sleep, and Fast Stam Recovery (Do you even need the Canteen?)

In the field,

  • Sam recovers 1 Stamina every 10 seconds when Resting (hold C on PC).
    • It takes almost 17 minutes to go from 0 to 100 Stamina (100 / 6 per minute).
  • Sam recovers 1 stamina every 5 seconds when Sleeping (hold F after Resting).
    • It takes a little over 8 minutes to go from 0 to 100 Stamina. It's twice as fast as Resting.

But.

I noticed in speed testing that it doesn't matter if Sam has zero Stamina left. He keeps on cruising at the same speed. I can only imagine he's less stable, especially with a heavy load... I deliberately tested on easy courses with no obstacles, so that results were uniform and, well, testing was easy.

Still, I say go for it! Keep running even with no Stamina left. (It ought to be real easy with a Power Skel.) Just be careful around obstacles. And beware: You have no guard against being swept away in a stream.

If you get below 50% Stamina and pause even for a couple of seconds:

  • Above 25% Stamina, Sam will put his hands on his knees and spontaneously stop to catch his breath.
    • In this "bent over" stance, he recovers up to 25% Stamina in ~25 seconds. In other words, 1 Stamina per second.
  • Below 25%, he spontaneously collapses to the ground the first chance he gets.
    • In the "collapsed" stance, he recovers up to 50% Stamina in ~25 seconds. That's 2 Stamina per second or twice as fast.
  • In both cases, when he recovers to 50%, he stands back up. You can only recover half your Stamina this way.

Note: To prevent Sam from spontaneously stopping when Stamina is low, he has to keep moving. Just looking around is not enough to prevent it.

Did you catch that? Sam recovers at twice the rate if you let him lose even more Stamina (i.e., go below 25%).

But now compare these recovery rates with the ones at the very beginning of this section.

If you make Sam Rest or Sleep, he will recover 10 or even 20 times slower. (But you can only get to 50% Stamina with "fast recovery".)


SUMMARY: If you can live with Sam's Stamina getting real low (he can!), get it as low as possible, then let him spontaneously recover to 50%. If you want still more Stamina, use Sleep (not Rest).


Said another way: if you're not otherwise suffering (stumbling badly, etc.) and don't anticipate a battle (where you can't afford to collapse to the ground), then don't worry about your canteen at all. Just let it stay full, and let Sam spontaneously catch his breath. You'll be back to 50% Stamina in no time.

It's even faster than it would take to fill your canteen in a stream, anyway. And you don't have to stand in a stream as it reduces your Stamina a little more.


Or even: Just go the whole damn way at 0% Stamina. Why stop at all if you don't need to.


Making a printed, scaled ruler to hold up to your screen to measure Stamina and Fatigue

If you want to gauge your Stamina and Fatigue with more precision ...

I got tired of trying to judge the width of the quarter marks in the Stamina/Fatigue bar, then using that to infer the percent. "Let's see, it's about a third of a quarter, so maybe 8%? Plus a little more? Plus it's in the third quarter, so ... 58.5%?" It's especially hard at the very high or low ends.

So I got this "15-cm by mm Ruler" from PrintableRulers.com and printed it out a few times, adjusting the scale of the printed page until I got it right.

A custom ruler for the Stamina/Fatigue bar from PrintableRulers. Measure on the Map/Info screen, which also pauses the game.

Now you can read Stamina and Fatigue "percents" right off the screen.

  • Notice how the little white divots above the bar indicate the farthest extent of the bar on the left and right. This differs from battery bars, where the fullness bar is inside the white divots.
  • The quarter marks have rounded edges in their upper right, so don't read Stamina along the upper edge of the blue bar.
  • Notice that 24, 49, and 74% don't actually show - there's a gap there. Before the ruler, I assumed the gap was right at 25, 50, and 75%, but No... the left edge of each quarter-box equals that point. If there isn't even a sliver of a quarter-box left, you're below, e.g., 25%.

In the inset image, the "0 to 10" cm that I marked is actually 64 mm IRL, after the printer scaled it. FWIW:

  • I have a 32-diagonal-inch 4K monitor (3,840 x 2,160 pixels). Specs say it's 698.4 x 392.85 mm, so that's 5.50 pixels/mm (3840/698.4).
  • Times 64 mm (ruler length) is 352 pixels/mm. So each percent on the Stamina bar is ~3.5 pixels.
  • You can see that the gap between quarter-boxes is a little less than the width of a percent (on the ruler). Thus it isn't a full percent "lost" to the gap... I'm guessing it's more like a couple of pixels. (But it looks like a cross-thatch arrangement, which complicates it.) If it's 2 pixels out of 3.5, then that's about 57% of that percent that's not visible.
  • If it's just barely cutting into the roundness of the top-right corner of a quarter-box, it's probably safe to say it's, e.g., 24.0%, instead of something a bit larger than that.

I can't actually infer decimal percents this way, but I might try to make a call as to whether it's, e.g., 24.0 or 24.5%. But in fact for the quarter gaps, we can say that, e.g., at the 25% one:

  • The left edge (rounded in upper right) goes out to ~24.3%.
  • The right edge is right at 25.0%. If there's not even a sliver, it's less than 25%.
  • You can't see which pixel it would be on if the bar's edge was in the gap. But if the gap is 24.3 to 25.0 percent, then the middle of that is ~24.6% or 24.7%. So you might use something like that. A value that's somewhere in that gap will be in its middle, on average.

K, there's all that. "I wonder if anybody's watching."

Signs versus Stamina and Fatigue

To get to the Sign menu on PC: G (Compass) then E.

Some (but not all) Signs improve your Stamina. Often when you're travelling on roads.

Despite the messages in the game, no signs reduce Fatigue.

Overview of Signs

  • They're only available when Online (except for your own).
    • Your own signs do not activate or trigger affects for you.
    • So in this section, we're only talking about the effects of Online signs (from other players).
  • They become visible at 30m when approaching them. Disappear at 40m when leaving them.
  • When you get within 3m, signs trigger.
    • A few spin and give a wand sound.
    • Some give a text message that they affected your Stamina (and maybe Fatigue too), or just say they affected you without saying how.
  • When signs affect your Stamina, it increases by slightly less than 10% (~9.75). I haven't seen any actual effects on Fatigue, despite the text messages some give.
  • I couldn't readily figure out how their cooldown works, but it's something like you have to go (away?) at least 100m and/or wait 1 minute.
    • If you are affected by a particular type (like the Cheerleader), other Cheerleaders will not work until the cooldown is passed. So if you want to help others and/or get Likes, don't put the same type of sign in a series.
    • If you are in range of a sign but aren't triggered it, it flickers. If you're testing, this confirms for you that the sign does see you... if you were expecting an activation, it must be in cooldown. Or else you or I misunderstand something, laugh.
  • The signs you see differ across every single reload, just like Lost Cargo and abandoned vehicles that you haven't touched.
    • It's easy to test: Look at what's near you. Save your game and reload. Now things are different.

Signs that increase Stamina

For the following signs, first I say what they look like, and then the word description seen on Map info or in Compass / Sign construction.

Signs with a green text message "You were affected by [name]'s sign" and a white text message "Stamina restored and fatigue level reduced" are:

  • Cheerleader (Keep on keeping on)
  • Fist (Don't Give Up!)
  • ♥ BB (Good work, BB!) – plus BB gleefully cries out then laughs, and you get "5 Like(s) received from Lou."
    • This is just like a double-jump, which also gives 10 Stamina, 5 Likes, and BB loves it. In fact, the double-jump "competes" with this sign; the sign won't activate if you recently double-jumped.
    • Once, I got quite a few BB Likes from a combination of double-jumping and the ♥ BB sign... at which point I could not trigger the ♥ BB sign again for a half hour of waiting and riding up to a klick away. Not, that is, until I opened my Compass and soothed Lou. Then: Bam, the ♥ BB sign finally worked again.
    • So at least in this type of situation (with BB), it seems that even different modes or approaches can block other ones, until they too are triggered. Sort of like how you have to read a Prepper's email and/or Rest a night before their knot will level up again. Sometimes.


As stated above, I did not see any effect on Fatigue for any of these signs, despite what the message says:

  • I wore Sam down to no Stamina and 6.5% Fatigue.
  • Then had him hit ten of these signs, maxxing his Stamina.
  • My Fatigue was still at 6.5%.

If it's too small to see even after 10 signs, it must also be too small to matter in any realistic sense. Maybe it works better at lower difficulty? (My testing was on a PC at Hard difficulty.)

A Broken Sign?

This sign activates and says the same as the above, but doesn't affect Stamina:

  • Thumbs up (Likers Get Liked!)

Broken??

I've also gotten messages that somebody else was affected by my sign, I got 1 Like, and "Stamina restored and fatigue level reduced" – but Stamina and Fatigue weren't affected. So I'm not sure it works the other way around, either. The game didn't say what type of sign it was, though. So I don't know if it was a Likers sign.

The Speed Up

This one activates (spins and wand sound) and green text says you were affected, but there's no white text saying how:

  • Two White "Up" Chevrons (Speed Up)

It makes you speed up briefly in a vehicle (confirmed on a trike and a B Truck).

  • In other words, if you are going Standard speed, you briefly go to Boost. But after a moment it passes, and you go back to Standard.
    • If you were already at Boost speed, they still activate, but it has no effect. Yet they'll still need a cooldown before working again.
    • If you are coasting (you stopping hitting Forward just before the sign), your vehicle will hit the rubber just for an instant, then stop. It's kind of funny to watch.
  • If Sam is Jogging (not Sprinting), Speed Up has no effect. Apparently it only works on vehicles, not Sam.
    • If Sam passes this sign on foot, then gets in a vehicle and passes it at Standard speed, it will activate and Boost your vehicle. IOW, Sam alone doesn't even activate it (and thus it doesn't need a cooldown). Only vehicles count.

All in all, Speed Up seems pretty useless. Most people are Boosted already or are the speed they want to be. The only place it might matter is if you thought you're at Boost but realize you aren't, once you hit a Speed Up (but it's pretty clear what speed you're going). Who's going to need the reminder and take the hint?

Maybe it's good for pointing out the new jump ramps in the Director's Cut... but who needs a hint there, either?

Strictly FYI Signs

All these signs are strictly FYI. They don't activate, you don't get any message, and I didn't notice any affect:

  • Smiley (Happy) – Nope, no Stam increase
  • Smile outline (^_^) – Nope, no Stam increase
  • Fiery face (Samurai)
  • Free To Use - Use Freely
  • λ (Lambda) – from Half-Life tie-in
  • X'd Do not use (Do Not Use!)
  • X'd peeing (Pee Ban)
  • X'd trashcan (No Dumping)
  • direction arrows
  • Blue pin
  • Prayer for a structure, like a highway

I didn't test every sign ... only signs placed by others affect you, but you can't "tell" other players what to put down. So I sampled what I could in a couple dozen reloads of savegames at Mtn KC and the DC S LKC.

Summary of Sign Effects

Only the first three signs on the Other tab of the Sign menu have any affect worth mentioning. Namely, +10% Stamina.

No signs reduce Fatigue, despite what messages says.

If you want to affect others the most, put the three types of signs that work in a row. (One each; don't repeat any of them.) Then skip a long ways (maybe at least 100m) and do it again.

Hot Springs and Stamina

As frivolous_chicken pointed out in DM:

  • Hot springs completely restore stamina.
  • Three of them put you at 125% stamina (Photographer, Heartman, and the Roboticist). Just relax 5 or 10 seconds to get the extra 25%.

I guess this is like gulping down Monster or Timefall Beer in the Private Room. Honestly I personally haven't studied extra stamina much. It would be interesting to see how long it persists and whether it acts the same as regular stamina.

Can hot springs reduce fatigue? I don't know; I didn't test it.

Vehicles don't restore Stamina

I could swear I've gotten messages that being in a vehicle helped restore my Stamina. I put it to the test and had Sam sit in a B Truck (unmoving) for a half hour with very low Stamina (only 4%).

It didn't change one bit. It stayed at 4%.

Vehicles stop you from spontaneously collapsing and recovering Stamina and Fatigue. This can be helpful during testing, if you're waiting on something else.

Fatigue

I haven't tested this much... there are so many variables that affect Stamina and Fatigue.

When Sprinting in a Speed Skel 3 with a max load (280 kg in my maxxed Sam), starting with 100% Stamina and no Fatigue, on level, short-grass ground (running against a wall),

I ran out of Stamina at 3:30 (m:s) and maxxed Fatigue right at 1 hour of game time. (I didn't stop to rest or drink from the canteen at all.)

  • That's ~2 seconds for each percent of Stamina lost and ~36 seconds for each percent of Fatigue.
  • It predicts you'll have 5.8% Fatigue if you start with 100% Stamina and no Fatigue, and run until you're out of Stamina. I actually saw 6.5% looking at the screen with my printed ruler, but it's hard to read that little graph. I'm not sure if Fatigue kicks in easier at first, or if I should take on faith that it was actually 5.8%. Sure looks like 6.5% to me, shrug.
  • 2s vs 36s is the same as 1/18 or 5.56%. Fatigue builds a rate that's a little faster than 5% of the rate of Stamina loss.
  • I took measures at five timepoints across the hour. The Fatigue rate doesn't change as it builds. It's not a negative feedback loop or whatever.

In a similar test but 40 kg more (Sprinting in ATS3), I ran out of Stamina in ~3:00 (m:s), at which point I also had ~6.5% Fatigue. So a heavier load affects stamina and fatigue faster, but the Stamina : Fatigue ratio stayed the same.

Other situations might change the Stamina : Fatigue ratio. But it's certainly possible it's always the same, shrug. In theory it's a pretty simple concept.

I deliberately designed a fast torture test for Stamina and Fatigue. There are much better ways to deal with heavy loads in real play (Power Skel, Floating Carrier, vehicles, not Sprinting) so that it affects you much less. (Don't forget to use an ATS3 in snow! Turn it on when going uphill.)


What happens at 100% Fatigue?

Nothing. He'll just keep running full out.   (Testing was on level ground with little or no obstacles.)


If you stop for a couple of seconds, Sam falls to the ground, just like when you get below 25% Stamina.

Then it takes 2:10 (130s) for him to recover to 25% Stamina and 75% Fatigue ... at which point he will NOT recover any more of either, even though he stays collapsed on the ground. Further, if he then Rests or even Sleeps, he will also NOT recover any more from the 75% Fatigue... Sam stays stuck at 75% Fatigue until you go rest at a knot.

At 100% Fatigue, I also tried Resting (3:30 to get to 25% Stamina) and Sleeping (2:48 of Sleep to get to 25% Stamina).

Again, I could not get Sam past 25% Stamina and 75% Fatigue, no matter what I tried.

Just like with Stamina, then, your best bet it to let Sam spontaneously fall and recover to 25% Stamina and 75% Fatigue. It's quickest. If you want to recover it, shrug.

And past that, I guess nothing can help but a knot's rest. Compare the Tip for Exhaustion (in the Sam: Stamina section):

Push yourself too hard, and your maximum stamina level will drop. [This must mean how Fatigue encroaches on it.] Resting outdoors will restore a little [25%], but to make a full recovery, you'll need to take a rest in a private room.

Just like I saw.


Also: The following do not reduce Fatigue when Sam is at 100%: Canteen, Cryptobiote, D-Cryptobiote, and Headcrab.

Stamina and Fatigue

Sometimes they're hard to separate

Sometimes the Canteen also reduces Fatigue a tad

In addition to restoring Stamina, the canteen sometimes instantly reduces Fatigue by about 3%. I mostly saw this when I had a lot of Stamina to restore.

So of course I tried to see if I could exploit it, laugh. I got some Fatigue on Sam, then stood in a stream and kept drinking from my canteen, trying to see if it would reduce Fatigue a flat 3% (or whatever) each time any Stamina was restored. (The stream is slowly reducing Stamina and refilling the canteen.) I'd drink from the canteen, pause a few seconds, and drink again.

But after 20 swigs, all I had done was slightly increase my Fatigue, lol. Due to standing in the stream.

So it looks like the fact that swigging a drink sometimes helps Fatigue as well as Stamina is more of a curiosity. It's there and helps sometimes, but I can't think of a way to force it to help. So it's like solar recharge or timefall filling your canteen... a nice touch, but that's about all.

"Stamina restored and fatigue level reduced"

You often see the white-text message:

    Stamina restored and fatigue level reduced.

Most anything positive can cause it.

Despite what it says, I have not seen it reduce Fatigue, though I have clearly seen it restore Stamina. Maybe it was too small of a Fatigue reduction to be obvious.

  • Consider that, if Sam is fresh (100% Stamina and 0% Fatigue) and you run him against a wall with a heavy pack until his Stamina hits 0%, he will only have built up ~6% Fatigue. Fatigue moves much more slowly than Stamina.
  • If I get some Likes and they give me 10% more Stamina, a "matching" amount of Fatigue reduction might only be 0.6% (based on the little example above, that you only get 6% Fatigue when using 100% of Stamina).
  • But in my testing of Signs, I wore myself out (to 0 Stamina and 6.5% Fatigue), then hit 10 signs that restored Stamina as much as possible... and I still had 6.5% Fatigue.

So it may be too small to notice, given how hard it is to gauge the Fatigue percent ... But that also means it's probably pretty insignificant, anyway.


I've also gotten this message numerous times from Other people being affected by my signs (1 Like received) or Porters using my structures while I was watching Stamina and Fatigue closely, and it didn't help one bit.

In summary: It's my impression that this system is broken and/or doesn't measurably affect you at Hard difficulty. The only ways I can think of to be sure you got a Stamina increase (but not Fatigue reduction!) is to hit one of the three signs above, or to cheer up BB (5 Likes).

Watch for the Stamina bar to flicker briefly as it increases, as confirmation that Stamina was restored.

Thermal Pads

  • Each Thermal Pad adds 100 SBUs to battery capacity.
  • When worn in the cold (i.e., snow), T Pads use 90 SBUs per minute, regardless of whether you're wearing 1 or 4. (It's not 90 per TP, it's simply 90 if you have one or more.)
  • They are on when you're in snow, and are off if you're not.
    • You can see this easily on the hill right behind Mountain KC. Step into the snow, they come on. Step out of it, they turn off.
    • When on, they "radiate heat" and steam slightly.
    • Also, the battery icon (to the left of the battery bar) has a little colored cloud around it, when this or anything else is using energy (e.g., Sprinting is a skeleton). The battery cloud can be hard to see in the snow... swing your POV so the icon has a darker background. Looking up at Sam from low down will do the trick, if your POV is over his right shoulder.

Strange as it may seem, T Pads do not reduce stamina loss in the cold for me when testing by standing in several places (the mountain top above First Prepper and Geologist, and the windy snowy area near Mountaineer and south of Geologist, where BTs spawn).

Their description in the Fabricator says:

Wearing thermal pads will reduce the degree to which snowy conditions drain Stamina, and will increase the amount of Stamina restored by drinking from the canteen. They will also enable the wearer to rest in snow without freezing. The more units used, the greater the effect.

I asked about them on reddit, and got some clear answers that they make a real difference warding off exhaustion, especially at Very Hard difficulty level. And they can also prevent frostbite, another real hazard in Very Hard.

Fair enough. I haven't played a Very Hard game (yet). Sounds like players should wear at least one at Very Hard. And anybody is welcome to wear them at lesser difficulties.


The Fabricator description says T Pads help the canteen restore stamina. This is easy to test.

I ran against a wall, got Sam to 0% Stamina and 6.5% Fatigue, and saved the game. Then he drank with 0 to 4 T pads on. Here are the mLs to restore 93.5% Stamina:

#
TPs
Total
mLs
Δ
mLs
% Total
mLs
Σ
Δ mLs
Σ Δ mLs /
TP# Total
0 627
1 597 30 5.03% 30 5.03%
2 570 27 4.74% 57 10.00%
3 545 25 4.59% 82 15.05%
4 523 22 4.21% 104 19.89%
% Total mLs is Δ mLs / 627 mLs.
Σ Δ mLs / TP# Total divides the summated delta mLs by the Total mLs for that row. For example, the 10.00% for 2 TPs is 57 / 570.
FWIW, these numbers are the same whether in snow or not. T Pad(s) slightly increase Stamina recovery from the canteen in temperate climes, too.

A funny thing happens here. Each Thermal Pad effectively reduces Stamina by 5% as each individual TP "sees" remaining Stamina, when it kicks in. In other words, it's not simply 5% × 4 (i.e., 20%). Overall, 4 TPs reduce Stamina more like approx. 0.954 (actually 1 minus that value). The actual closest fit is about -4.5% each of the four parts contributing to 104 / 627, which equals 16.6% or 83.4% of the total. (Notice that 4.5% is 5.0% less another 10%.) That's why the summated row shows 5% per row, only for that row, but not compared to the actual total without any Thermal Pads. (Look at how 1 TP obviates 30 mLs, but the fourth one only removes 22.)

I guess it's not a real big deal. But it is curious.

It also means that Thermal Pads don't aid Stamina recovery much, if each one only increases Stamina recovery by less than 5%. And: For the most bang for the buck relative to Stamina, less pads are more.

Unlike most other equipment, Thermal Pads aren't degraded by timefall when you're wearing them. You can only(?) damage them kinetically (falls and fights). In very limited testing while wearing four TPs, I found that falls damaged one side more than the other. For example, both left Pads were at 70% and both the right ones 53%, after a fall.

Maybe wear two, so you have a backup. One on each side.