Batery capacity is weird

several people
AA batteries in flashlights

Maybe I am missing something, but generally:

  1. you would not put AAs in any flashlight worth its salt. Maybe in some little ones with the light output of a dying firefly, but not into a real proper flashlight. Since the game only says “(this or that) batteries”, I always imagined them as C / D batteries, i.e. the bigger, fatter ones. In this case, I think the batteries would definitely be heavier than the plastic husk, a couple wires and a lightbulb comprising a flashlight, as you need at least 2 of them for most flashlights I know, and even 12 for a certain brutal portable floodlight I saw once…

  2. is it not the case that automobile batteries are generally more efficient than “consumer batteries”, such as the AA or the D? Just asking.



edit: typo, improper use of brackets

1 Like

The normal flashlights in the game are described as “typical household flashlight”. So they would most likely be on the lower end of the flashlight spectrum.

That’s why we have heavy, medium, light and ultra-light batteries.
Medium Batteries would be the equivalent to C/D batteries, light are more in the range of AA Batteries.

Eh…not as far as I know. Or at least not by much.
The biggest difference is probably if the Battery is Alkaline or Lithium-based, with Lithium-based ones being more energy-dense ; and also way more dangerous.
That’s the thing with batteries nowadays. We’re close to the peak of chemical battery-efficiency. There are, in theory, options to make them more energy-dense, but that would also cause the batteries to explode violently if you don’t handle them right - even letting them fall down would be enough to make them explode. You probably heard of small batteries in phones or appliances catching fire? Yah… Lithium-based batteries are no joke, trust me, they can easily catch fire or explode, they are really dangerous, especially if they get bigger.
So, in reality, any battery that’s more energy-dense than our current batteries would be basically hand grenades. Which brings us the point of the issue of this topic - with their current density, the ultra-lights would catch fire or explode in your pocket as soon as you move :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Yes, exactly. You would only put AAs in e.g. tiny pen flashlights, antiquated Commie trash or the like. Modern flashlights I have seen, even if recent and very, very low-end, operate on C’s or D’s. But this might be different in the Anglosaxon world, who knows.

Then again, in a world of fusion packs, pocket plutonium reactors and CBMs, maybe there is a new kind of unobtainium battery that is a lot more user friendly and a lot less prone to accidental explosion than our current tech. Again, who knows :slight_smile: Thanks a lot for the clarification though.

That’s a fat pen you have there if an AA fits in there! Jokes aside though, I don’t know how it works in america, I live in Germany :stuck_out_tongue: And in my household, we have like…5 or 6 flashlights, 4 of them which use C or D, and 2 of them which use AA. Anyways, I think you usually find Flashlights with medium batteries inside them anyways? Not sure anymore, to be honest.

If thats the case, then the vehicle batteries would be horrificially bad. It would also not explain why some of the battereis (light/ultralight) are so good, while the others are mediocre. Either way, something has to change.

Because of the extremely low amount of dough left to, say, a factory worker or a postman after paying his dues, said member of the proletariat would rather buy cheap, old-school batteries worth a dime a dozen, whereas your typical ExploiTech executive would buy the unobtainium ones for all his hard-stolen moolah, no? Just like Richie McDollahbill III. buys the iPhone 25 only to throw it away a week later, while Sergei Pennilessoff only has an old Nokia 3310 with a broken screen which he inherited form grandpa Ivan.

tl;dr: the mediocre ones are cheaper and meant for slave labor, while the ultra-lights are really really cool, but you could sell one to feed a family of five for a year.

Tangent. Sorry. Silent now. :smiley:

You are right but we already have plutonium batteries as Ultra-Luxe-tier. Regular lights/ultralights being better than plutonium? Well, maybe rechargeable ones, but then again, recharging batteries is for plebs… right? Cool kids just buy new toys when old ones are used up.

1 Like

Cool kids are the Zombie Children you get no morale penalties for when you put them out of their misery.

In reality, of course, there is more that distinguishes batteries than their capacity. I’m too lazy to look up details, but it’s going to take a lot of alkaline batteries to put out enough oomph to run a truck’s starter motor.

not all flashlights we have at least 2 in real life that weigh about as much as the ingame metal pipe

all the flashlights in our house with 3 exceptions use D batteries the 2 of the exceptions are not even “flashlights” but they are handheld battery powered lighting units one is a small stick with very bright lights one 1 side and the other is a thin rectangle that has a base and has a light strip on 1 side and on the top. and of course the third is a hand crank powered one.

so all of them if you have psychopath or all after you killed 100 of them

Average american flashlights in average households use AAA, AA, D and the lesser rectangluar 9v. Only people who dabble in survivor-ish lifestyles will then use some other form of battery. Which, will normally be an 18650 Lithium recharge battery. C-cells are not that common unless you visit a hardware store often and/or work in an occupation like an electrician. Average people probably won’t even know what a c-cell is.

Based on my recent shopping experiences, most flashlights currently on the market use either AA, AAA, button cells, or lithium ion rechargeables. It’s hard to find any flashlights these days that use larger batteries; I’ve got a big Maglite from the 90s that uses 3 Ds, and I’ve seen similar Maglites of around the same vintage that used 4 Cs, but haven’t seen anything of that sort in quite a while.


I use 18650 flashlights, not because I’d be a survivorman, but because they are superior in nearly every way imaginable. Yes, I had to buy them direct from China as they are not sold anywhere close. China ftw.


I’m planning to rebalance them across the board, which will also touch headlamps/flashligths and vehicle recipes. Flashlights/headlamps should also have low/med/high modes I guess, with the low mode equivalent to a cellphone with twice the runtime.

Is there a reason why the capacities are like they are nowadays or was it just made up?

1 Like

The storage batteries were researched; the car batteries are legacy, and the item batteries are legacy and clearly wrong.

i think, for arguements sake, we should re-compare the battery types to lithium-ion batteries, having the non-rechargable batteries still have more charge but be similar weight, and continue to have high capacity versions of existing batteries… sure it may not be realistic, but consider that the cata world has been experimenting with plutonium batteries, and could have therefore found a more efficient storage medium than even lithium-ion (plutonium/lithium-ion combo, using depleted plutonium?)

maybe we could also add in alternatives to batteries for specific items, like the shake-flashlights that are poor quality, but require no actual battery to use (you’d just spend a minute in game ‘shaking’ it through activating for charge, similar to how the hand crank battery charger works now.)

Yes for comparing to li-ion. Most portable devices today run on this tech. It would still be realistic to have high-capacity versions as this matches real world: there are cheap 160Wh/kg li-ion cells and expensive 260Wh/kg ones. Of course, there are a lot of different cells in between these two densities. This happens for both powertools and laptops.

I’m not sure about what to do with heavy batteries. They are only twice the capacity of medium ones and from that and their disassembly to 5/10 light cells, one would think that they model power tool 5/10 cell packs (often marketed as 20V 2.5Ah and 20/40V 5Ah/2.5Ah respectively), in which case tools requiring medium batteries should be compatible with heavies, but tools running on 40V would require heavies. Perhaps rename them to XL mediums XL HC mediums and delete the heavies? Hotplates, welders and forges should run on storage batteries. That is, they should be compatible with nothing and unusable until you either install a battery mod and a storage battery into them, or you install them into a vehicle.

of note, i believe the heavy batteries could be anywhere between 20 and 120 volts (6 amp), especially considering there are batteries that can switch types on the fly.
like this one
but it also seems like a proprietary thing where you’d have to be using tools from the same manufacturer… i dont think thats a far stretch though for cata considering the universal battery situation.

medium batteries would be closer to like… everything above D batteries.
i’m thinkin hobbiest batteries made for specialty equipment or RC cars, things that -can- exist battery-wise but would be too chunky to be held in anything portable.

That would also be a possible explanation, as a D cell’s capacity is about 5 AAs. But the in-game energy content is way off (140 Wh opposed to 13 Wh for a D cell NiMH).

Tool packs are indeed proprietary. But adapters exist and can be 3D printed (How come there are no 3D printers in cata?).

was said on another thread where someone suggested a 3d printer, theres not enough use cases for a 3d printer to be viable, not to mention all the specifics you’d have to put into it to make it work… your average layman wouldnt be able to use it and wouldnt know how, so you’d need a book or something to learn, you’d need blueprints for the construction of things… the actual material you’d be printing with is finite and a special compound, etc etc etc.