- Note with recent patches on PS3 have made this guide more specific for XBL Players only. This guide is almost completely useless for anyone playing on PC.
This guide will mostly be specific for the console since Super Loot creates a bigger choice of items. Weapons have a better chance of having higher base stats on harder difficulties (weapons can still spawn negatives so there is no minimum base). Weapons also come in different sizes. Effects of the different weapons sizes will be identified by each class. The stats are obtained form the Perfect Drop Compendium unless otherwise noted. These stats are inaccurate for the PC as of recent patches, but should be reasonably accurate to the consoles. Other weapons may be worth listing; see the comments section. Remember that this is a guide for consoles.
To achieve the highest DPS, when upgrading a weapon all points should be focused on one type of weapon damage. Damage upgrades improve geometrically, generally 15% per level on physical damage up to a cap of either 48 or 80 or 20% per level on elemental damage up to a cap either 360 or 456 - it varies from weapon to weapon.
The only exceptions to the above are shots-per-second on huntress weapons and additional-shots for apprentice and ranged monk weapons. These should be upgraded whenever possible as there are only certain levels on which the upgrade can be spent on this attribute.
Physical vs. Elemental
The Hero Damage attribute only applies to base (aka physical) damage from weapons; if maxed out this stat can more than double your damage even without any particular gear to boost it. The biggest downside of physical damage is that the damage multiplier for each level of weapon upgrade is much smaller than for elemental damage, so that high-end weapons will generally be in the 1000-2000 range for physical damage once fully upgraded. In other words, physical-damage weapons will almost always do lower DPS than elemental weapons. Note that some weapons may actually do fire/lightning/poison damage for their "base" damage, but for all other considerations they fall into this category.
Elemental damage, on the other hand, has much larger multipliers and can go as high as 10,000 for some weapons when fully upgraded. It also has the benefit of not requiring any points into the Hero Damage attribute, which can be a big savings for hybrid or tower builds. The biggest downside, of course, is that 10-25% of monsters will be immune to your damage. To kill immune monsters you need to rely on either your tiny physical-damage component, a familiar that does physical damage (an animus is great for this), nearby towers, or another hero. Ogres and bosses never have an elemental affinity however, making elemental damage great for killing these monsters while in support of towers. One final advantage of elemental damage is that it is economically cheaper: because any sufficiently-upgraded elemental-damage weapon (must start with 19 upgrades and 100+ elemental damage) eventually will sell for more than it cost to upgrade it - you actually make money by finding a pretty good elemental damage weapon, upgrading it, then selling it as soon as you find a better one.
Please note that as of April 2012 (Patch 7.29c), the benefits of upgrading a weapon's elemental damage stat has greatly diminished, especially at the current maximum character level of 78. This is due to the high amount of hero damage found on modern weapons, armor and familiars. Despite the manner in which the character is "specced," it will often posses at least a few hundred "stray" points in hero damage, which generally causes a weapon to inflict far more physical damage than elemental (even if the same weapon's elemental stat had been upgraded to 10 times that of its physical damage). Therefore as a general rule (some exceptions apply), it is not recommended for max-level players to invest mana in a weapon's elemental damage rather than physical.
Aside from points spent in Hero Damage, the character level plays no part in damage. All weapons have a minimum level requirement, however, and most of the best weapons are usable by level 60.
As may seem obvious, attack speed bears a crucial effect on overall damage output. In the case of Huntress weapons the shots per second is listed on the weapon and available to upgrade. In the case of apprentice weapons the shot speed is basically constant but depends slightly on the charge bonus: the highest DPS can be achieved by charging the weapon just slightly prior to firing. With melee weapons used by the monk and squire, there is a swing speed that is not shown on the weapon statistics and in some cases (example?) may vary even for two different instances of one unique weapon. Play around with the dummy targets in the tavern to get a feel for your weapon speed before trying to compare.
With multiple-shot weapons, an apprentice may have the highest overall damage output potential of any character; a fully upgraded high-end weapon may do well over 100,000 dps if all shots hit. To bring that damage to bear however you will have to be fairly close to your target; unlike a Huntress you can't sit back and engage an ogre at range but must approach to nearly point blank range. Investing in Hero Health and finding or upgrading armor to get good physical resistance both become important if you want to do maximum damage.
When looking for a weapon for the Apprentice, the first stats to look for are high Base/Elemental Damage, Additional Projectiles, and Charge Speed.
Remember to upgrade the number of additional projectiles whenever possible. This can go as high as +5 or even more but strangely can only be upgraded on certain levels. If you see the chance to upgrade projectiles and decide to wait until the next level, you may have missed your chance. There is a cap for additional projectiles (5?) for each weapon so missing one chance does not mean that the weapon can no longer reach its full potential.
Charge speed is harder to evaluate. With high charge speed, significantly higher DPS can be achieved by charging the weapon slightly before releasing, potentially shooting about 1.5x per second with a charge rate of 10. The best rate of fire depends on the charge bonus; test it out in the tavern to get a feel for it. It is certain that a higher charge speed will allow significantly higher DPS, but whether it would ever be worth spending upgrades on charge speed is unknown.
Longer Apprentice weapons have a blindspot between the character and the point where the projectiles are released. Be careful of this when you're trying to close to point blank range of opponents, as if you get too close you may miss completely.
Along with Alternative Energy Core, this is one of the highest elemental-damage weapons. It's not easy to acquire, however. The elemental upgrade cap is 273-274 per level. Keep in mind that fire damage may be a poor choice for a hybrid apprentice.
The weapon has decent max stats for physical damage as well.
- 76 base damage, 157 fire damage, 10 charge speed, +4 projectiles, 1/27 upgrades
- 76 base damage, ~4950 fire damage, 10 charge speed, +5 projectiles, 27/27 upgrades
Potentially slightly stronger than the Draconis Ignis, this is probably the highest possible DPS weapon if its lightning damage is fully upgraded.
- 65 base damage, 141 lightning elemental damage, 9 charge speed, +4 projectiles, 29 upgrades
Tsuda's Final Creation does the highest physical damage for an apprentice weapon. It is extremely difficult to farm, however, so it will take a while to get a good one.
- 102 physical base damage, 11 charge speed, +4 projectiles, 29 upgrades
Although it has lower physical damage than Tsuda's, the GOC is much easier to acquire.
- 81 base damage, 46 elemental damage, 11 knockback, 10 charge speed, +4 projectiles, 29 upgrades
The Huntress is the strongest and most popular damage-dealing character, not because of DPS but because of Piercing Shot which is badly imbalanced. Piercing Shot is based on the base damage of your weapon (the base damage of some weapons, such as Dancing Cavalier, deal elemental damage - often referred to confusingly as physical damage), so most good huntress weapons should be built around base damage. Although the huntress actually does significantly less DPS than the apprentice or squire, fast bullet/arrow speed and quick tracking of new targets allows her to tear through groups of small monsters and easily focus fire on ogres and bosses. To achieve maximum DPS, fire both the weapon and piercing shot simultaneously, for a maximum of perhaps 60,000 DPS until your quiver runs dry.
When looking for a DPS weapon for the Huntress, the stats to look for are high Base or Elemental Damage and Shots Per Second. Ammo, Reload Speed, and Projectile Speed are also important. Ammo determines how often you will have to reload; also, reloading when you only have a few bullets left slows down the reload speed. Projectile Speed affects how far projectiles from Grenade weapons can go.
Similar to the Apprentice, blind spots can occur from longer weapons. The blind spot is between the character and the point where the projectiles are released. Since the huntress rarely closes to point blank range this isn't a huge problem. For PC, you may also press the "H" key to hide your weapon and only display the crosshair.
The high shots per second allows this weapon to reach a high single-target DPS. It has no AOE bonus, but shots generally track very quickly on their target allowing the huntress to mow through opponents one by one. Unlike other weapons it may not be worthwhile to upgrade the shots-per-second, since the return is relatively low and offset by the proportionally higher reloading time required. The Assault challenge to acquire the Blasticus is one of the fastest to complete, making this the most popular weapon.
- 60 physical base damage, 9 shots per second, 84 ammo, 7 reload, 1/27 upgrades
- 1340 physical base damage, 9 shots per second, 84 ammo, 7 reload, 27/27 upgrades
- 1260 physical base damage, 10 shots per second, 84 ammo, 7 reload, 27/27 upgrades
The Crystal Tracker has a large blast radius, allowing the Huntress to easily clear groups of enemies. Although it is classified as a grenade-launcher-type weapon, the projectiles launch in a straight line; however, they can move a limited distance before exploding. Although the pure weapon damage output is lower than that of the Blasticus, the higher piercing shot allows it to do comparable DPS against ogres and bosses if both primary fire and piercing shot are combined.
- 132 base damage, 72 elemental damage, 5 shots per second, 41 ammo, 7 reload, 1/27 upgrades
- ~1734 base damage, 72 elemental damage, 6 shots per second, 41 ammo, 7 reload, 27/27 upgrades
This weapon has the ability to pierce through walls and enemies similar to The Lava Beetle Exterminator, and is quite popular for that reason alone. It has a rather low physical component, which if upgraded will yield only about 2/3 the DPS of the Blasticus or Crystal Tracker.
The Soul Focuser also has a relatively high poison elemental damage that has a high per-level upgrade cap of 456; If upgraded this may yield a high damage rate very suitable for a tower build. Without piercing shot to augment damage against bosses, however, the overall DPS will still not quite match that of the Crystal Tracker or Blasticus.
- 40 physical base damage, 98 poison damage, 7 shots per second, 69 ammo, 7 reload, 1/27 upgrades.
- ~1049 physical base damage, 98 poison damage, 8 shots per second, 69 ammo, 7 reload, 27/27 upgrades
- 40 physical base damage, ~5800 poison damage, 8 shots per second, 69 ammo, 7 reload, 27/27 upgrades
Krayt is a decent weapon but not many have access to it since the challenge to receive the weapon was extremely difficult. Its base damage deals elemental damage, but enemies can still be killed with Piercing Shot.
The squire can't do quite as much single-target damage as an Apprentice, but unlike the apprentice this character has the health to sustain the close range needed for that damage.
With a high-end weapon, small monsters will go down with a single blow or possibly two; the limiting factor isn't damage output but rather the inability to close with monsters quickly enough. Against ogres and bosses, the use of Blood Rage is crucial and can increase damage output severalfold. Since all weapons are melee range, investing in Hero Health is important, and to truly maximize DPS high Hero Speed and Blood Rage are needed as well. Even without these, though, a tower squire can do solid elemental damage with a good weapon.
This weapon has a fast attack speed b attack range that will usually only hit a single target. Though inferior to the weapons led below, it is far easier to acquire and serves as a good starting point for squires looki
The mobile moxie can't match the other weapons in this category for damage, but it is popular because of its bonus to tower health. A hybrid build may use this for its elemental damage and still get a reasonable boost to tower stats, or a pure tower squire may ignore DPS altogether and put all points into tower health. The base elemental damage is much lower than the other weapons, and the per-level cap on elemental damage is only 360; these greatly limit its overall damage output despite the high swing rate.
This weapon also boasts the highest physical damage of any squire weapon, though with its short range a weapon of this type would be inferior against mobs which are the main reason physical damage would be preferred.
- 178 base damage, 144 elemental damage, 7 knockback, 94% block, 27 tower health, 1/29 upgrades
- 178 base damage, ~6900 elemental damage, 7 knockback, 94% block, 27 tower health, 29/29 upgrades
- ~2144 base damage, 144 elemental damage, 7 knockback, 94% block, 27 tower health, 29/29 upgrades
- 178 base damage, 144 elemental damage, 7 knockback, 94% block, 55 tower health, 29/29 upgrades
The flamewarder also has a fast attack speed - even faster than the High Five's - but again a nonexistent attack range. It provides high elemental fire damage; with its high per-level upgrade cap of 456 a very high per-swing damage can be reached and with its fast attack rate this weapon provides the highest single-target DPS.
- ~331 fire elemental damage, 87% block, 1/27 upgrades
- ~9300 fire elemental damage, 87% block, 27/27 upgrades
This weapon boasts a high attack radius, which can quite long if you find one with a large weapon size (random). With its higher number of upgrades and high per-level cap of 456 damage per level a very high single-swing damage is possible; the swing rate is solid but can't match that of the Flamewarder which will have a bit higher DPS. Though slightly worse against bosses, the increased range makes this weapon vastly better against mobs.
- ~313 poison elemental damage, 6 knockback, 77 block%, 1/29 upgrades
- ~10000 poison elemental damage, 6 knockback, 77 block%, 29/29 upgrades
Compared to other classes, the monk simply cannot do damage. Without an equivalent of blood rage, its melee damage cannot get the multipliers needed to match squire damage. While the ranged damage has additional projectiles, it has no elemental component and cannot match the apprentice's. Finally, although the flexibility of melee versus ranged damage sounds like a bonus, they cannot both be upgraded so only one can be productively used. What the monk does have going for it is Hero Boost, which can increase the DPS of all nearby characters if used properly.
Choosing a weapon depends on whether you wish to focus in melee or ranged damage. For melee weapons, swing rate, weapon size, and base/elemental damage are important. For ranged weapons, only the ranged damage and additional projectiles really matter. Number of upgrade levels is crucial for both, of course.
Weapon size determines the area of effect damage of melee swings.
This has the highest ranged damage available and can start with high additional projectiles. Upgrade projectiles when possible then max ranged damage.
64 base damage, 103 ranged damage, 97 elemental damage, +3 projectiles, 27 upgrades
27 hero speed
This weapon has the highest melee physical damage available. Magina's Last Glaive could be a contender, but I am unsure of its attack speed; in addition, the challenge to get the glaive can be quite frustrating.
171 physical base damage, 39 ranged damage, 97 elemental damage, 27 upgrades
17 hero health, 17 hero aura
Need Mana for upgrading?
What is an easy way to get Mana for the consoles?
Doing Area 3 areas on Insane or Glitterhelm on Hard or Insane would be a good choice. Good Armor can also be obtained this way but make sure to pick up items quickly before they are automatically sold for Mana while playing on Insane. Items disappear quickly as there's a limit to the number that can be on the level at once, but regular scanning or simply picking up all items and mass-selling will turn a fairly significant profit. This can also work on survival mode, though you're limited to 10 pages of items per wave. It's possible to make several hundred thousand per wave if you have most of your forge open.
Can I "cheat" for some easy Mana (console only)?
Another way relies on a bug abuse, by upgrading a weapon's abilities to get exponential returns until eventually the value of the weapon may exceed the cost of the upgrading. The two stats that can be ugpraded this way are elemental damage (which upgrades 20% per level to a cap of 360 or 456) or projectile speed (which upgrades 32% per level with no cap). A general rule of thumb is that you need to be able to upgrade the elemental damage to 5,000 or more to get a return, or projectile speed to 500,000 or more. A quicker but less accurate guideline is that weapon needs 100+ elemental damage and 20+ levels (however this depends on the weapon type, since they have different caps), or 500+ projectile speed and 26+ levels.
Ogre Crush can be run very quickly on Hard for a good chance for such a weapon; Alchemical Laboratory can be finished with four Squires on Insane for an even better chance; Assault on Insane can be done even faster for a reasonable chance at making money. Many other levels will turn a profit as well; try to do levels that have a chance of giving you a weapon you would want and always keep an eye out for weapons that can make you cash.
when you do have a weapon or item which you can sell for a lot of mana you can use a glitch in the sell system. You wil have to drop the item in a random map activate the crystal and pick it up when the screen starts to shift to battle position. If done right you still have item and the mana it was "sold" for.