Load Capacities of Sam and Vehicles

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Carrying capacity in DS depends on both weight and size. Weight is simpler to show, but they are both important.

The Small Cargo Equivalent (SCE)

It's easier to understand size capacity when stated in terms of the smallest unit, what I call the Small Cargo Equivalent (SCE):

Size SCEs
Small 1
Medium 2
Large 4
XL 6 or 8

Sam and all Bridges vehicles (including the carrier) consider the XL equal to six SCEs (the Rule of 6). Mule Trucks regard an XL as 8 SCEs.

Corpses are roughly 12 SCEs; it depends on what they're being carried by.

Sam's Capacity

Basic Capacity

Location SCEs
Top of Backpack 20
Backpack 8
Total on Back 28
Shoulders (2) 2 S
Hips (2) 2 S
Toolrack 1* (S to L)
Bootclip 2 Boots

* Things you can put on your Toolrack:

  • Everything on the Tools Fabricate menu except Blood and Decoy Cargo.
  • Everything on the Weapons Fabricate menu:
    • All grenades (EX, remote/stun, etc.). They're all Small.
    • All handguns are Small and all other guns are Medium except
    • Both Rocket Launchers are Large. These are the only Large things you can put on the Toolrack.
Things you can't put on your Toolrack:
  • Nothing on the Equipment Fabricate menu at all.
  • No Orders, Lost Cargo, or Materials.
  • No carriers or, of course, vehicles.

The Shoulders and Hips can carry any type of Smalls, including Orders, Lost Cargo, and Materials.

  • The Power Skeleton blocks hip attachment, but the other two don't.

Utility (blood) and grenade pouch(es) carry their respective items, all of which are Smalls.

High-Capacity Blood Bags are a double plus: 1) double the blood volume, 2) even though same weight as before (1.0 kg) and still fit in a Small. Even if they were twice the weight they would've still been a deal, packing twice as much blood into one Small. Sweet.

And of course Sam can wear up to four pieces of equipment:

  • O2 mask
  • Gloves
  • Skeleton
  • Boots

So basically Sam can carry 28 SCEs plus 4 more Smalls of any type, and other locations are limited to specific items for Toolrack, Bootclips, and worn equipment. Plus blood and grenades in pouches.

This is true whether Sam is fresh out of Fragile's cave, or is 60+ on all his Bridges star points.

Skeleton Stats

They follow a simple rule:

  • Each type has a base carrying capacity that the level 1 skeleton adds:
  +20 kg for the Speed Skel (actually 14, considering it weighs 6 kg)
  +60 for the All-Terrain Skel (actually 52; it weighs 8 kg)
+120 for the Power Skel (110 after subtracting 10)
  • Then levels 2 and 3 of all types add 32 more kg carrying capacity for each level
(They add 30 plus 2 for the lower weight of skeletons at higher levels)

Here's a complete table:

Skeleton Simplified Actual
Type Abb. Level Size Cap. kg vs.
PS at =
Cap. Δ Cap. kg vs.
PS at =
Speed SS 1 L +20 -100 6 +14 +14 -96
2 M +50 -100 4 +46 +32 -96
3 S +80 -100 2 +78 +32 -96
All-Terrain ATS 1 L +60 -60 8 +52 +52 -58
2 M +90 -60 6 +84 +32 -58
3 S +120 -60 4 +116 +32 -58
Power PS 1 L +120 - 10 +110 +110 -
2 M +150 - 8 +142 +32 -
3 S +180 - 6 +174 +32 -

The "kg vs. PS at = Level" shows how the current skeleton and level compares with a Power Skeleton of the same (equal) level. For example, an SS1 versus a PS1 carries 100 kg less (simplified), 96 kg less (actual). And in fact, these differences (-100 and -96) are true for all three levels (they also hold for SS2 versus PS2 and SS3 versus PS3).

I'm just showing that there are fairly simple relationships between the different types of skeletons and levels.

Higher levels of the Power Skeleton don't impact it's increased carrying capacity nearly as much as for the ATS and especially the Speed Skeleton.

Increased Capacity due to Delivery Volume

You start at 120 kg carrying capacity and get +5 at every 10 levels of the Delivery Volume point of your Bridges Star:

0   120
10   125
20   130
30   135
40   140
50   145
60+ 150
Once you get a Bridges Truck, punch out some big loads on Central's highway!

All Porter Grades stop giving increases at level 60. (Thanks, /u/MisterCrowbar!)

Thus, Sam can only go up by 30 kg in total, a 25% increase (150/120 = 5/4). Sounds realistic enough to me.

Increased Capacity due to Chiral Crystals

Bonus Chiral Capacity (BCC)

DC loadgame Tip about BCC. Courtesy /u/Bridge‑‑Four.

Each 1,000 cgs of Chiral Crystals (CXls) that Sam carries (shown at the bottom of your Map/Info screen) increases his carrying capacity by 1 kg. Call it Bonus Chiral Capacity.

  • At 50,000 cgs, you reach the limit of +50 kg BCC that the game allows.
  • You can hold up to 99,999 CXls (thanks, MisterCrowbar!) but the extra past 50k doesn't increase your load-bearing capacity.

Careful – BCC doesn't reduce Sam's load per se; it doesn't make it lighter. It only lets you carry more before you reach the max you can handle. As your load increases, you still have issues with stability, fatigue, boot wear, etc.

It's not a magic wand. It lets you carry more, but you still have to deal with the extra load.

One way to think of it is that Sam weighs 70+ kg (154+ pounds). (That's what corpses weigh.) If you take 50 kg off of Sam's weight, he's not going to float away. Plus the load stated on the Inventory screen doesn't have to (confusingly) bounce up and down depending on your CXls, or even go negative sometimes.

Be that as it may, Sam has 50 kg less to deal with (with 50k CXls). In this way, the devs kept it simple, in one sense (your stated load) ... but it also led to a "stealth" increased capacity. Many casual players probably never even knew it existed. You'd have to pay very close attention... or read about it here or somewhere else.

The stealth nature of Bonus Chiral Capacity

For MANY months, I had no idea that chiral crystals offset your load. It wasn't until I did boot testing ca. July 2021 that I knew something was up, and even then, all I knew was that Sam's baseline shifted when I was doing boot testing, as the game progressed. For months after that, I still didn't realize that the max stated capacity was not the actual max capacity ... It wasn't until November that I accidentally stumbled onto this, too. Plus it increases in step with your baseline.

I still had no idea what caused any of this. I went to great lengths to determine when it happened over the course of my second game, hoping it would clue me in – to no avail. All I could really tell is that it took off after I made it to Mountain KC. Only in hindsight do I see it was because I had finished making roads with CXls.

It wasn't until /u/MisterCrowbar tangentially touched on chiralium making you lighter on 12/3/21 that a light went off in my head. I took a hard look at the "mysterious" moving baselines and extra capacity of my second game and found that, in fact, it had a super-simple relationship to how many CXls I was carrying at each point... and that my cgs had been clearly stated right on the Inventory screen the whole time. Now many things fell into place.

But when, if ever, were we told about BCC?

I remembered that I'd vaguely heard about the concept of chiralium making things lighter when I first started playing. (Was it even more specific? I can't remember.) I searched through tons of Tips, Mail, and Interviews, but couldn't find anything re: BCC. So I made a reddit post about it that got lots of Upvotes.

/u/ZeBHyBrid suggested it might be a voicemail or text when doing Order 8, Sam's introduction to Chiralium. I even watched a game vidcap to see it all, but the closest it comes is only Heartman saying this (at ~10:25 on /u/frivolous_chicken's mind-blowing barefoot walkthrough):

Allow me to describe your quarry. Chiral crystals appear gold to the naked eye and are frequently found in formations resembling human handprints. Surrounding rocks and debris tend to float a few feet above the ground. And they are most commonly found in areas with high precipitation. Got all that, hmm? Rain, floating rocks, golden handprints. That's your trifecta. Look for these three things, and you'll find the crystals. If you've been especially observant, then perhaps you already know where to look?

That's only the vaguest of hints, though... it doesn't actually say anything specifically about chiralium affecting Sam's weight.

Still, some folks in that thread swore they'd just seen something specific about it.

Finally /u/Bridge--Four stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park with a screencap of a loadgame Tip from the DC exactly describing the BCC effect I had delineated (see inset).

That said, at least one person in the thread swore they never saw the BCC effect pre-DC. But I started playing May 2021 on PC only, and I saw the BCC effect all the way back then. (But as I said, even now, I can't find any Tips, Mail, or Interviews that explains it. Maybe it's a Tip that only shows up on the gameload screen but not anywhere else? Still, I scrolled through them for 20 minutes once, and couldn't find anything on it.) I bet it was on the original PS4, too... why would they introduce something so cool and fundamental, only for the PC?

To summarize, sort of: When I asked when/where the game explains BCC, \u\Mr_BaKe_JaKe said:

I don’t think it does ever. I don’t think it’s meant to be noticed either unless you're perceptive.

Which may very well be true, before the DC.

But perhaps they finally added a Tip for the DC, although the effect itself has always been there. Also, the DC's Tip may not be in the regular set of Tips that you can check later... it may only be the kind of tip that randomly shows when loading a game, or maybe flashes up once or twice when it first kicks in, early in the game.

The BCC concept has been a real trip for me. I had to rewrite a LOT of DS Data's text when I realized it's simply due to chiralium, and not some mysterious, unexplained effect. I would've released this site a month earlier if not for this delayed realization!

Load Info on the Inventory Screen

The Inventory screen shows you two important summaries of your load. One is obvious, the other isn't:

The color of your kg load is a very simple indicator of how close you are to your Max Stated Capacity, shown just below it.

  • If it's yellow, you are within 60.0 kg of the max stated capacity.
  • If it's red, you're at or above the stated max capacity.


The color of the mass centroid below Sam (look down at your skel or boots) reflects your Bonus Chiral Capacity:

  • Right when it turns yellow, you are 59.9 kg below your stated Max Cap plus your BCC. Example:
    • With no skel, your stated Max Cap is 150.0 kg and you get the yellow centroid at 130.1 kg.
    • You can carry 59.9 kg more than this (190.0 kg).
    • Thus, your Bonus Chiral Capacity is +40.0 kg (190.0 - stated 150.0).
      • A quick glance at your CXls should confirm it's at 40k.
    • Your baseline is always 80.0 kg plus your BCC. This number dictates where stability, fatigue, and boot wear effects kick in.
  • When the centroid turns red, you've been trudged. The Trudge Point (next section) is right where movement becomes very difficult.

Both of these centroid values are reflected by how Sam reacts to additional load in the Inventory screen:

  • If it will make the centroid yellow, he gives a small but notable reaction to the weight, and becomes a little hunched over.
  • If it will make the centroid red, he gives an exaggerated reaction to the load.

You don't have to actually Confirm the transfer... just see how Sam reacts to it.

The color of your stated kg load and the centroid only match if you have little or no chiral crystals (less than 100 cgs or 0.1k).

Precision of Weight Measurement and Pinpointing Fine Differences

Here's a list of lightweight or unusual-weight items to use, if you're trying to pin down a particular weight edge. The challenge is to get differences of 0.1 kg when many things have an even decimal digit (.2, .4) or are plain old .0:

  • 0.2 Chiral Boots
  • 0.4 Any Bridges Boots
  • 0.5 Mule or Terrorist Boots
  • 0.6 Armor Plate Lv.4.
    • 0.6 EX grenades are not recommended. When full (4 charges) they say 0.6, but they lose weight and have "decimal fractions" if less than full. For example, two EX grenades with one charge say they're 0.5. But if you drop one of them, your weight drops 0.6 so obviously there is some rounding going on here. You don't want rounding issues that might confuse results. See this for more info on rounding, and empty anchor and grenade containers.
  • 1.0 Blood Bags and other things. Blood is still 1.0 if some is used; no confounding rounding here.
  • 1.1 Custom Chiral Ladder, full Chiral Climbing Anchor, Handgun Lv.1, Floating Carrier Lv.2
    • Careful, Climbing Anchors (like grenades) use fractional values if not full. All anchors and grenade containers scale linearly down to 0.5 kg when empty of contents.
  • 1.3 Handgun Lv.2
  • 1.5 Stun Bomb
  • 1.7 Remote Stun Bomb
  • 2.7 Hematic Grenade Lv.2
  • 2.9 Bola Gun Lv.2
  • 3.1 Sticky Gun
  • 3.9 (Riot) Shotgun Lv.2
  • 5.1 PCC2 or (Non-Lethal) Assault Rifle Lv.3

When I test for a particular weight, I:

  • Dump most everything off of Sam into Inventory, to start with a clean slate
  • Get the big guys first, Special Alloy XL4s (120 kg) or Metal XL4 (100 kg)
  • Then smaller Material Containers until I'm within about 10 kg of target point. Sometimes I pop out particular weights from Claim Materials, especially the nice, round Metals weights.
  • Finally I mix in smaller stuff to get an exact point.

For a full sortable list of things you can carry, including their weight, see my Items worksheet.

A different approach that has very fine gradation but is also a real hassle to work with (laugh), is to switch up the amount of chiral crystals on Sam:

  • If it takes 1,000 cgs to change Sam's trudge point by 1 kg, then it takes 100 cgs to change it by 0.1 kg, just like you'd expect.
    • Compare how Sam does not see any effect from chiralium early in the game until he has 100 cgs on him (and thus gets 0.1 kg BCC). 99 cgs is not good enough; it needs 100.
  • You can probably use this as an exact way to match, e.g., the fractional weight of partially-full anchor or grenade containers.
    • For example, a half-full (2 grenades) EX grenade container weighs 0.55 kg, but the second decimal is below what's displayed in Inventory, and it gets rounded. But it's easy to show that it still affects your weight.
    • You could precisely offset this by playing with the chiralium on Sam at the x.xY level. In fact, you can control it all the way down to three digits (x.xxY) since it takes 1,000 CXl cgs to offset 1 kg.
    • IOW, 1 cg of chiralium offsets 1 gram of Sam's load. That's pretty fine!
  • If you have way over 50k CXls, you'll have to lose a TON (because of the BCC effect cut-off at 50k CXls). Dumping a lot of CXls for testing purposes is much harder than it sounds, laugh.
    • Most knots only hold 1,288 to 1,698, although the Chiral Artist can hold 2,662. See the KnotMatsL5 or AllKnotMatLs worksheets in my DS Data spreadsheet at the top of my DS homepage.
    • You could make dozens or hundreds of PCC2s at 30 cgs each. Here's a list of everything that needs CXls (but recycling values are half of what it takes to make them). You can also sort my Items spreadsheet on the CXls column.

BCC over the Course of a DS Game

Collapsed because this is a deeper dive into strategy than many players might care about

How fast will your BCC increase? It depends. Many new or casual players probably:

  • Construct or contribute to a lot of Autopavers. This keeps Sam's CXls pretty low until roads are finished.
  • Only fight about as many Chasers as they have to.
  • Only casually pick up random CXls on the landscape, when it's easy to do.

Their total CXls will probably stay below a few thousand until they make it to Mountain KC. Then it will slowly start rising. That's how my first game played out (PC, Normal difficulty). I was in Chapter 15 with 264 Total Play Time (TPT) hours and had 49k CXls in the bank when I quit.

For my second (Hard) game, I made most of the highway segments but also did many more Chaser fights. I had 41k CXls by the time I was ready to leave Central and go west to Edge KC. At the time I finished regular play and started testing, long after the final boss, I had about 322 TPT hours and 83k CXls.

Players may not see much increased capacity until late in the game unless they focus on killing Chasers, collecting CXls on the landscape, and perhaps not making as many Autopaver segments (or let others do it).

Many may not even realize CXls increase capacity... I didn't realize it until testing and writing this, long after normal play.

Over Maximum Capacity, Sam Gets Trudged

When you are over your actual capacity (stated capacity plus BCC), Sam:

  • Can only move at 2.25 kph.
  • Can't Sprint or Crouch.
  • Can't use PCCs, tools, or weapons.
  • Turning is a real problem.   Re-orient by double-tapping G (Compass).
  • He can't even pee.

All you can do is trudge.

Still, you CAN carry as much as possible, way way over the Trudge Point. It doesn't slow you down more; you still go 2.25 kph (I've tested up to a 865 kg hyperload).

AFAIK, you are never so overloaded you can't move at all.

Sam goes for broke!

Sam can theoretically carry a max of 82 SCEs and 1,033.5 kg if he puts the heaviest things he can, everywhere he can:

Where Item Size kg each # Total kg SCEs
Back High-Density Special Alloys M 48.0 14 672.0 28
Shoulders Climbing Anchor Lv. 2 S 7.1 2 14.2 2
Hips Climbing Anchor Lv. 2 S 7.1 2 14.2 2
Toolrack Quad Rocket Launcher L 19.2 1 19.2 4
Bootclip Mule or Terrorist Boots S 0.5 2 1.0 2
Built-in Utility Pouch Blood Bags S 1.0 4 4.0 4
Grenade Pouches Heme or Smoke Grenade Lv. 2 S 2.7 21 56.7 21
O2 Mask O2 Mask S 1.0 1 1.0 1
Skeleton ATS1 L 8.0 1 10.0 4
Gloves Silver Hand S 2.7 1 2.7 1
Boots Mule or Terrorist Boots S 0.5 1 0.5 1
Hands Special Alloy XL4s XL4 120.0 2 240.0 12
Totals 1,033.5 82

Let's call this a hyperload, and a hyperloaded Sam. (Not a max load because "max" simply means somebody at or near max capacity, to most players. A hyperload is consciously way past that; deliberately the highest load possible.)

It's a pretty wonky loadout for lots of reasons, not the least being that you can barely move (lol). Anyway, that's the heaviest theoretical load I could come up with. Did I miss anything?

More details on the hyperload

Some notes:

  • I don't have a quality detailed dataset of Order info, so I couldn't check to see if some Order cargo is heavier than the HD Special Alloys or the Climbing Anchor 2s (for Smalls). But in the crowd-sourced Order info, none of them come close to HD SAs.
  • I had to use an ATS1 skeleton (8 kgs); you can't put things on your hips with the heavier PS1 skel (10 kg). By losing 2 kg for the skel, I could add 5.4 kg with 2 Climbing Anchor Lv.2s. (The goal is not to have your skel carry more weight; it's to have as much weight as possible, period. Which means the heaviest skel possible, with hips free.) At Delivery volume 71, my base carrying capacity is 150, plus the level 1 ATS gives me 60 kg more load capacity... but we're blowing way past capacity in this theoretical exercise.
  • High-Density Special Alloys (XL1 480 hg in a Medium form factor) has higher density than even the XL4 Special Alloy:
Parameter HD M
(= XL1)
/ XL4
hgs Special Alloys 480 1200 0.40
SCEs 2 6 0.33
hgs/SCE (density) 240 200 1.20
A hectogram (hg) is 100 g or 0.1 kg. Apparently DS used them for the convenience of seeing amounts without always using decimal kgs.
Note that going from XL1 to M is otherwise a 4x weight reduction (480 to 120 if it hadn't been HD), but going from XL4 to XL1 is only a 2.5x reduction (1200 to 480). The HD Mediums let you pack 20% more mass into an SCE.
Also, with 4 XLs (24 SCEs), you'd have 4 SCEs left (28 - 24) that you'd have to fill with less-dense, sub-XL4 material containers, leading to a little more loss. Compare my trial with an XL4 loadout, below.
  • For the backpack-cover loadout I looked at several possible choices (all Smalls):
    • 3 Utility Pouches (12 Small blood) and 3 Large Grenade Pouches (9 Small grenades) OR
    • 6 Large Grenade Pouches (18 Small grenades) and 3 regular Grenade Pouches (3 Small grenades) OR
    • 5 Utility Pouches (turn two sideways), but that would only be 20 Small bloods.
    • Conclusion: 21 Grenades lets you bulk up on these, which are heavier than blood. They range from 1.5 kg (Stun Bomb) to 2.7 kg (HG2 and Smoke Bomb 2).
    • Also: Neither batteries nor stabilizer add SCEs nor do they weigh anything, so they don't help in this "contest".
  • Sam has a Special Alloy XL4 in each hand, lol. Poor bastidge.

I haven't fully tried this loadout... I didn't have a bunch of HD SAs close at hand, so I just used regular SAs (4 XL4s and 2 Mediums on my back; the rest as shown). My weight was 865.5 kg. (That's with a weight limit of 210 in an ATS1, lol.) I could still move by shuffling just a little bit. Couldn't turn ... had to pop in and out of the Compass to re-point myself. Didn't fall over! Trudge speed be slow as hell ya'll.

Let's call this lighter but more readily achievable load, the hyperload lite.

Also FWIW: If you're trying to test max loads on a bike, it too can only accommodate the exact weight of the lite hyperload (unless you have HD SAs). Why? Because you can't hold two SA XL4s in your hands, on a bike - but you can put exactly two in the cargo racks. That's just what I did for my bike load versus speed testing, 865.5 kg. Still, if you have six HD SAs, you could put those in the racks, instead. Then your total load could be more than Sam's max of 1,033.5 kg. Namely, 1,081.5 kg or 48 kg more (6 × 48 = 288; 288 – 240 = +48).

For a more realistic estimate of max SCEs during actual play, players might:

  • Carry a rifle (-1 SCE compared to above),
  • Have a level 3 skel (-2 SCEs, Large to Small),
  • No O2 mask (I rarely wear one; -1),
  • Not have 2 XLs in hand (-12 SCEs, laugh), and
  • Might only have, eh, 2 Large Grenade Pouches on their backpack (6 - 21 = -15 SCEs).

So a more realistic max SCE value during actual play is going to be ~49 SCEs (80-31). Maybe just call it 50 Small Cargo Equivalents.

Or 44 SCEs if you don't want two Large Grenade Pouches.

And of course, you'd keep your weight below your max.

For an interesting example of deliberately light (low density) equipment usage, see Frivolous_Chicken Hotfoots It.

Vehicle & Floating Carrier Capacity

It's pretty straightforward:

Vehicle SCEs
kg* +8
Bridges Truck 168 84 42 28 6 Unlimited Yes
Mule Truck 48 24 12 6 8 Unlimited Yes
Carrier Lv.1 32 16 8 6 6 299.9 n/a
Carrier Lv.2 599.9
Trike** 12 6 3 2 6 Unlimited n/a
* The only real limit on trucks and bikes is SCEs (size), not weight. Still, there's a limit to how much weight you'll ever see, when you carry the heaviest things (XL4 or HD Special Alloys). Nevertheless, heavy loads reduce battery run times for trucks and bikes, and also reduce the speed of bikes (but not trucks).
** The Long-Range and Defensive Trikes do not have cargo racks and can't carry anything.
For +8 SCEs?, see Sam's Shotgun Space below. n/a = not applicable (No).

If you load these amounts into vehicles, you can't load even a single Small cargo past that. For example, a Bridges Truck can hold 168 Smalls OR 84 Mediums OR 42 Large OR 28 XLs. And not one bit more. (You can mix and match sizes, but they can't total more than 168 SCEs.)

For the Mule Truck (only), an XL counts as 8 Small Cargo Equivalents (Rule of 8). For all other (Bridges) vehicles and Sam, it counts as 6 SCEs (Rule of 6). Notice that a Bridges Truck can hold 28 XLs; 28 x 6 (Rule of 6) = 168 SCEs. A Mule Truck can hold 6 XLs; 6 x 8 (Rule of 8) = 48 SCEs.

With the big amount you can pack into the largest XL, plus the Rule of 6, Materials XLs not only have five times as much material as their respective Large, they also fit it into only 50% more space. Some numbers for Special Alloys:

Parameter L Rule of 6 Rule of 8
Special Alloys kgs 240 1200 5.00 1200 5.00
SCEs 4 6 1.50 8 2.00
kg/SCE (density) 60 200 3.33 150 2.50

The Rule of 6 lets 33% more materials fit into an XL4 (8/6 SCEs or, above, 3.33/2.50).

A few notes:

  • In general play (not counting the Rule of 6), you can fit 2.5 times as much material into an XL4 compared to lesser XL sizes. So if you're out of space but not out of weight, use XL4s. (Hint hint: Trucks have no maximum weight.)
  • The Trike only has two cargo racks. Dividing its numbers (above) shows how much fits into each rack.
  • The Long-Range Trike has no cargo racks; it has batteries instead. It can't hold any cargo.
  • You can tether two Floating Carriers together. With two Lv. 2s, you can haul up to 64 SCEs and 1200 kg. That's roughly three times as much as a heavily burdened Sam!

Floating Carrier Chiral Crystal Use

This is as good a place as any to have this:

  • Floating Carriers use CXls at a constant rate, whether full or empty. The load doesn't matter.
  • Whether you're moving or not doesn't matter. They use CXls at the same rate whether you're Sprinting in a Speed Skel 3 or standing stock still.
  • The Floating Carrier v.1 (FC1) uses 1 CXl every 3 minutes of game time. That's 20 CXls/hour.
  • The Floating Carrier v.2 (FC2) uses 1 CXl every 2 minutes of game time. That's 30 CXls/hour.
  • As expected, using two carriers doubles the rate.

So it's pretty simple. The FC1 is more economical for lighter loads, but the FC2 can hold twice as much (and only uses 50% more CXls).

A few more less-relevant details on Floating Carriers' Chiral use

Disclaimer: I only tested on flat level ground (running circles around a DC building), but I really doubt slopes matter if the empty rate is the same as full. I could be wrong, but I can't think of a really long slope (that you could run up for 2 or 3 minutes) that's also pretty smooth (so you are able to have a relatively constant slope with no jumping, tripping, going laterally and not up, etc.). And I'm not sure how much anyone cares anyway.

Testing: It's a little hard to test for the exact rate because you have to switch in and out of the Map to see whether your CXl total has gone down, but each act of checking the Map leads to a little interface lag (adds to game time a tiny bit). Ideally you want to predict when it's going to happen, so you only have to check once just before your CXls decrement, and once right after (as quickly as you can), to zero in on the exact number of seconds needed. It's not as easy as it sounds; try it yourself if you don't believe me.

The best I can tell, my actual measures were ~2:58 for the FC1 and ~1:58 for the FC2. But I figure these values are ± 1 or 2s. Meanwhile, the devs used round numbers in many other places in the game, so I figure they probably did here, too. Besides, a nice round minute is easier to remember. Anyway, as long as I disclose the fine print (here), it's close enough.

But wait, theres' more:

FC Pair "gap timing": If you have two paired FCs, they have an odd behavior where the CXls take alternating times to be used:

  • Two FC1s alternate between using up a CXl in 57 and then 122 seconds (total 179 seconds or 2:59 for two CXls).
  • Two FC2s alternate between using up a CXl in 29 and then 90 seconds (total 119 seconds or 1:59 for two CXls).

So they keep alternating... an FC1 will use 1 CXl after 57, then 122, then 57, then 122 seconds, etc.

This really threw me for a loop when trying to test, because of how I wanted to catch each CXl disappearing right as it's used (as described in Testing, above). Indeed it's practically designed to melt the brain of somebody trying to test it based on what they found for lone Carriers, lol.

It's a very real phenomenon but since the net result is simply the same rate (overall) as two times the rate for individual ones, well... who cares.

Just be aware, if you're testing it.

FWIW, I didn't try pairing an FC1 and an FC2. I'll leave that to somebody else.

Bridges Truck LEDs

The Bridges Truck has 14 red LEDs on its back. Compare that it can hold 168 SCEs a.k.a. 28 XLs:

  • Each LED represents ~7% of capacity (1/14) and corresponds to 12 SCEs (e.g., 2 XLs using the Rule of 6). 14 x 12 = 168 SCEs.
  • When you're in inventory and start to put something in the truck, it shows you what the LEDs will look like if you put your selection into the truck. (It's showing you the "after", not the "before".)
  • A Small package placed in an empty truck will make the entire first LED light. Two XLs put in an empty truck will, too. The LEDs show whether "their" share has anything at all (including if it's full). Try it: put 2 XLs and 1 Small in it, and nothing else. Two LEDs will light, and both LEDs look exactly the same.
  • If the LEDs go deep red, the truck will be full. This can happen if your transfer will actually just barely fit... it will still be full when executed.

I think it's pretty nice that the game gives you feedback. And the devs clearly used 14 LEDs for a reason.

Sam's Shotgun Space

Sam can get into a truck that's a completely full with a little more cargo on his back. Specifically, he can get into it with only his backpack (proper) full, and nothing on top of it. That's what "+8 SCEs?" means above: Sam can get in with only 8 more SCEs (that's what his backpack proper holds). You can call this Sam's shotgun space. (In the U.S., rednecks call "riding shotgun" sitting in the passenger seat next to the driver.)

To see what's in your backpack proper, look for the little blue backpack symbols to the left of cargo on your inventory screen.

Also, anything in Sam's suit slots, pockets (including custom ones made on the backpack), tool rack, and worn gear does NOT apply to the weight of trucks. Basically, nothing of Sam's counts toward trucks' loads, except if you go past 8 SCEs on Sam's back.

If you watch, you will see that Sam puts his backpack cargo in the passenger space. Kind of cool, huh? It's easiest to see with the Mule Truck. When you carry Mama to the mountain, that's exactly what she does: Gets off your back and rides shotgun. (But why doesn't she just sit there to begin with? High maintenance, laugh)

The rest of Sam's slots (besides backpack) can be jammed full. They don't matter for truck purposes.

Of course, Shotgun Space doesn't apply to the Trike or the Carrier.

Another wrinkle:

If the truck is almost to capacity, Sam can have more on top his back... he can have however much would bring it to capacity. For example, if a Bridges Truck has 27 XLs, Sam can have an XL "on top" of his backpack, and still get in.

Again, it's most easily seen in a Mule Truck... whatever was extra goes in the back. And whatever's in his backpack proper goes in the passenger seat.

Questions for extra credit: If a Mule Truck has 5 XLs (only), how many Smalls can Sam have on top of his backpack? How about for a Bridges Truck with 27 XLs?

Sneaky Sam's Shotgun Space loophole!

As stated above, Sam can have cargo on top of his backpack, as long as there's room for it in the truck.

When he does this, the cargo on top of his backpack does not count as being in or on the truck. It is ignored for Truck load purposes. This helps the truck battery last a little longer (see Batteries) and thus helps the most with a Mule truck's small battery. When this trick is combined with the ~336-kg grace-load freebie, the Mule is practically empty, for battery purposes.

At standard speed (not Boost), a Mule Truck's battery lasts ~3:45 when empty, ~3:00 full up with 720 kg (6 120-kg SA XL4s). At Boost speed, it's ~60s versus ~45s. So it doesn't actually save you a ton, lol. But still, you can eke out a little more distance. Put the heaviest things on Sam, and the rest in the truck bed. (Things attached to Sam also don't count toward truck load.)

Bridges trucks have a much larger battery and carry far more, so it doesn't have much effect overall. So if you have a B Truck, you only need to bother with this if you know you'll be pushing how far it can go.

Whichever truck you use, if you want to ride the shotgun loophole, give Sam the heaviest cargo from a density perspective (kg/SCE).

This loophole does not apply to any bikes. Bikes are also affected by load, but in calculating it, they always add Sam and the bike's load together.

Loophole denied.

Also see Stuff on Sam Pops Through the Roof of Truck, which is probably related.

Vehicle Obsolescence Hierarchy

I'm sticking this here for lack of a better page, though it's not about Loads per se ...

In theory the PC game has 5 Trikes and 7 Trucks (including Mule). But if you could theoretically stick to the best in class of each variant "line", the number is smaller:

  Generic Trucks:  Mule  ⇒  BT0  ⇒  BT1  ⇒  BT2  ⇒  BT3  largest battery
  Defense Trucks:  Truck: Defensive  ⇒  Truck (λ Type)  better shields
    Cargo Trikes:  Reverse Trike  ⇒  Reverse Trike: "Ride"  50% more battery
  Defense Trikes:  Trike: Defensive  ⇒  Reverse Trike: "Yaiba Kusanagi"  better shields and jump
Long Range Trike:  Long Range Trike  no competition, but also no cargo rack
Click here for more on battery sizes

So, while there are 5 bikes and 7 trucks on paper, there are actually only 3 bikes and 2 trucks you might get, depending on the functionality you need. If you can choose.

Of course, often enough we just grab whatever's at hand, shrug.

There are two levels of Floating Carrier, but strictly speaking the level 2 (FC2) does not obsolete level 1 (FC1). The FC2 uses 50% more CXls than the FC1, but also carries twice as much weight. If you care about conserving CXls, the FC1 can be a viable option, depending on your load.