Semi-Automatic Weapon DPS is Very Misleading – A more realistic DPS comparison (you could be dealing 71% less damage than you think)

Listed Rate of Fire vs. Actual Rate of Fire

  • Listed Rate of Fire – This is the rate of fire (RPM) that appears on your in-game weapon UI.
  • Actual Rate of Fire – This is how fast you actually shoot your weapon.

The in-game DPS calculation uses the Listed RPM of the weapon to calculate your DPS because the game does not know how fast each player will be able to pull the trigger/click the mouse.

Converting from Rounds Per Minute (RPM) to Rounds Per Second (RPS)

Rounds Per Minute/60 = Rounds Per Second

Why is Rounds Per Second an important measure?

RPS is an important measure for Semi-automatic weapons because it tells you how many times you would need to pull the trigger (or click the mouse) each second to achieve the Listed RPM.

Conversion Example

The biggest Semi-Automatic RPM offender is the X-45 pistol with a Listed RPM of 625. To reach the in-game DPS calculation you need to fire your X-45 at 625 RPM.

625/60 = 10.4 RPS

This means that you need to pull the trigger 10.4 times each second which would require super-human ability.

Click Speed Testing – What is possible?

After doing some click speed testing I found that I was able to achieve 9 clicks per second but only after using both hands (I needed to hold the mouse with my left hand so I could position my right hand in a better way to spam the mouse).

Click Speed

When forcing myself to keep my left hand on the keyboard and my right hand on the mouse I was only able to achieve around 6.5 clicks per second. When you also consider that you must aim your weapon, and adjust for recoil you will come to the conclusion that you would not be able to “accurately” achieve 6.5 clicks per second.

There is no easy way to test this on console, so I setup a stopwatch and pulled the trigger to achieve an average between 5.5 trigger pulls per second for a best case scenario before you consider aiming/recoil (which is very different on console).

What is a Realistic Click Speed?

A more realistic estimation for clicks per second would be anywhere from 2 clicks per second to 4 clicks per second. (depending upon the weapon, player, and platform)

The Realistic Maximum RPM

Considering the above figure of 2-4 clicks per second this would translate to a more realistic figure of 120 RPM to 240 RPM. Console users may find themselves on the lower end of the spectrum.

How much is your DPS affected if your Actual RPM is much lower than the weapons Listed RPM?

DPS scales proportionally with RPM. If Listed RPM is 600 (10 clicks per second) and you can only pull the trigger at 300 RPM (5 clicks per second) then you are only dealing 50% of the weapons Listed DPS in the UI.

DPS Comparison of all Semi-Automatic Weapons at a “realistic RPM”

For the charts below an RPS of 3 Round per Second was chosen which converts to 180 RPM. Each Chart shows how severely the DPS is affected compared to all other weapons within the weapon class. You can use this information to choose the best weapon in each category that will be less dependent on your ability to fire at super-human speeds.

Marksman Rifle rounds per minute

The most important thing to note here is that the bolt-action rifles begin to seem competitive with semi-automatic rifles. Another thing to consider is that this analysis was done at 4000 firearms and bolt-actions scale much better with firearms meaning that they could easily outperform semi-auto if you choose to stack firearms.

The Semi-auto MMRs also suffer from severe crosshair spread when shooting at high rates of fire which means that even if you could pull the trigger 6 times per second you would not be able to accurately hit your target. You may be able to improve your semi-auto rate of fire by stacking accuracy. If you are in point-blank range, you can rapid fire your semi-auto MMR and potentially achieve 5-6 clicks per second thereby exceeding the DPS potential of the bolt-action but this is a very specific situation where you are using a sniping weapon more like a shotgun.

Pistol rounds per minute

While the Pistols were calculated at 3 Rounds per Second it may be more realistic that they could achieve 4-5 RPS since they do not suffer from poor accuracy in the same way that MMRs do. This would still require the user to be proficient at aiming and controlling recoil.

Shotgun rounds per minute

Shotguns are not severely affected by the 180 RPM cap.


The in-game DPS formula can be very misleading for semi-automatic weapons since users could be dealing up to 71% less damage than they think they are dealing. Modifying semi-automatic weapons to be balanced around having a lower RPM and higher base damage could alleviate these inefficiencies that are very unclear for the majority of players.

If you want to test your own clicking speed, this is the site I used:

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