Most scouts would think that the vanilla scattergun is the best primary weapon for “serious” combat. However, the Soda Popper is definitely a worthwhile sidegrade and it’s a very viable weapon. Before you get out your pitchforks and defend the scattergun, take a look at the mathematical analysis behind the damages:
Here’s a pretty graph from TheOG_CRow - as you can see, over long term the soda popper does much more damage than the scattergun even without minicrits because of the long reload time of all 6 clips for the scattergun. In the short term, with minicrits the soda popper does more damage, while without hype the SP only does a bit less.
As you are able to control when your hype activations (by simply switching to your secondary or melee weapon), it’s not hard to get the minicrit buff every time you plan to engage in combat. It takes around 13 seconds of running with your primary to charge, which means in 5cp maps by the time you get to the midpoint you’re ready to shoot minicrits.The smaller clip and more distributed reload times is a trade-off – it gives greater stamina over the long run, but you can be hampered by the 2 clip size in combat.
What’s important is the the soda popper does the same amount of damage per shot, but it fires much much faster (0.315 seconds to unload two shots instead of 0.625 seconds). At point blank, you’re able to deal 210 damage (without minicrits) which is enough to kill every single class that’s not overhealed except for the heavy (which takes another shot).
The minicrits also have another advantage of no damage falloff. You’ll be able to do more damage at longer ranges (where the pellets connect), and you can exploit this perk of minicrits to make weapon heckling more useful. If you’re not very good at aiming, using the soda popper can also force you to make your shots hit — as a missed shot will half your damage because of the limited clip size.
Conclusion: The scattergun isn’t the best.There are a lot of good alternatives, including the soda popper which is useful for quickly sneaking up behind an enemy and killing them before they can even react. Use your mini