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Last Updated: 2/3/2016

Introduction

Figuring out which weapons are better than others, or which weapon is "the best" is often very difficult. In fact, it's probably more difficult than you realize. This is a compliment in a way, because it means the team behind New Vegas balanced weapons correctly. I will try to figure out what the best weapon is for a perfect character, accounting for every single variable I can think of. If you want to just jump straight into the results, go ahead. But I think you will fail to appreciate just how far I've went to try to make my data as true as possible.

This article will make multiple assumptions:
1. You don't care about sneak damage.
2. You are playing on PC and will use YUP to fix glitchy perks, but not other gameplay mods.
3. Gun condition is always 100%. (Anything but 100% CND means lower crit rate.)
4. Your character is maxed out. 10 SPECIAL, all the relevant perks, can obtain tons of rare ammunition, etc.
5. You are wearing the outfit that gives the highest critical chance and you are using ED-E.
6. You have all the DLCs.
7. You are not doing VATS, headshots, special attacks, or power attacks.
8. You use almost all drugs, except from poisons and Daturana Root.
9. Your primary concern is DPS.
10. You need to empty your clip and reload at least once before all the enemies are dead.
11. You will click attack exactly 5.5 times per second while aiming perfectly at the enemy.
12. Your attacks with explosive weapons are direct hits.
13. You are playing on Very Hard difficulty.
14. There are no enemy-specific perks that increase your DPS against the enemy you are facing.
15. You are not under the influence of the highly situational Atomic! perk.
16. The opponent does not have any DR.
17. You are primarily concerned about the DPS of weapons for the player, not the companions.
18. You took Camarader-E instead of Lonesome Road.

Perks

Firstly: No attack speed bonuses, be it from perks or consumables, work for automatic weapons. This includes weapons like the Ripper. Nothing in the GECK states that this will happen, but that's what happens in practice.

Perk Choices
Level 50 Perks: We have +50% critical damage, +10% damage (and +100 max HP), and +20% firing rate. As mentioned already, 20% firing rate is useless for automatics right off the bat. On top of this, there is a speed cap for each weapon, and your weapon will wear out faster. It is very rarely the highest DPS perk to take. The luck bonus of Just Lucky I'm Alive is pointless given that you have 10 SPECIAL. On the other hand as you will see later, most of the time it nets the highest DPS. Finally, Thought You Died still gives a good DPS boost and gives an extra 100 max HP, which is very useful. You will see an Excel spreadsheet with the highest perk for DPS for a given weapon/ammo/DT situation later on.

Fast Shot: You will get more scope sway and a 20% penalty in accuracy, but in exchange you will get a 20% increase in attack speed. In VATS the 20% decrease is mostly mitigated due to perks, but the same can't be said for free-fire. You also get 20% decrease in AP usage, but again: This article assumes VATS is not used. This is a more subjective and open-ended decision, but keep in mind that the downsides of Fast Shot do not apply to melee and unarmed weapons. Also, the faster rate of fire does not benefit automatic weapons yet the downsides do. The chart you will soon see does not include the penalty of Fast Shot for automatic weapons, which they would have if you have Fast Shot and want to get the most out of your short-ranged or non-automatic weapons. It will, however, assume that Fast Shot was used for all the non-automatic weapons, with its spread adjusted accordingly.

Heavy Handed: You get a 20% damage increase and a 60% decrease in critical damage. This perk always lowers DPS because critical damage is a huge part of melee and unarmed weapon DPS. It also doesn't affect guns, so this trait is objectively terrible.

Universal Perks & Chems
1.05 (Bloody Mess) * 1.04 (Lord Death) * 1.1 (Yao Gui Meat) * 1.25 (Slasher or Psycho) = 1.5015 or 50.15% damage boost.

Non-Universal Perks & Chems
Shotgun Surgeon - Enemy DT -10 for shotguns.
Cowboy - 25% damage boost to all revolvers, lever-action firearms, dynamite, knives, and hatchets.
Laser Commander - 15% damage boost to all laser weapons.
Camarader-E - Same as above, but +5 damage per projectile instead.
Grunt - 25% damage boost to many guns and a few knives. Note: Grunt does not affect DLC weapons outside of Honest Hearts without a bugfix mod.
Demolition Expert - 60% damage boost to explosive weapons.
Slayer - 30% speed increase for melee and unarmed attacks.
Melee Hacker - 10% speed increase for melee and unarmed attacks.
Pyromaniac - 50% damage boost to all fiery weapons.

Rushing Water, Fast Shot, and Ain't Like That Now can all increase attack speed. Melee and unarmed weapons also have Slayer and Melee Hacker. Attack speed problems will be discussed soon.

In addition, Weapon Binding Ritual increases unarmed and melee by a flat 10. The Daturana Root increases unarmed damage by 1 but decreases agility by 2. The effect of the Daturana Root is too small to matter, and I have decided to ignore it.

Critical Hit System

The DT of your opponent along with the chems, perks, critical chance/damage, and ammo type will affect which option nets the highest DPS. This article sidesteps almost all of those factors. Let's take a look at how the critical hit system works.

(Base Crit Chance * Weapon Crit Multiplier) + Flat Crit Modifiers = Actual Crit Chance

The 'base crit chance' can be found by typing "player.getav critchance". As you can see, "Flat Crit Modifiers" apply after the weapon multiplier and base crit chance are figured out.

A flat crit modifier is superior to a regular crit modifier. A good way to show this is with a high rate of fire weapon and a low base critical chance. Here's a quick comparison, assuming you have a minigun and a base critical rate of 10%. It has a weapon critical multiplier of 0.02.

(0.1 * 0.02) + 0.1 = 0.102
(0.2 * 0.02) + 0 = 0.004

Let's look at the highest critical chance build you can make in Fallout: New Vegas.
5% - 1st Recon Beret
5% - Ulysses Duster (NOT Elite Riot Armor, as you lose Light Touch.)
10% - 10 Luck
3% - Built to Destroy
5% - Finesse
10% - True Police Stories w/ Comprehension
---
38% Base Crit Chance

Flat Crit Modifiers:
5% - Light Touch
15% - Ninja (Unarmed/Melee) (Ninja is a base crit chance modifier due to a glitch. Patched on PC, it's a flat crit modifier.)
4% - Set Lasers for Fun (Energy Weapons)
10% - Laser Commander (Laser Weapons)
5% - VATS

Crit Chances w/o VATS:
Guns - (0.38 * Weapon Crit Chance) + 0.05
Energy Weapons - (0.38 * Weapon Crit Chance) + 0.19
Non-Laser Energy Weapons - (0.38 * Weapon Crit Chance) + 0.09
Melee & Unarmed - (0.38 * Weapon Crit Chance) + 0.20


Now let's look at critical damage. Fortunately, this part is pretty simple.

50% - Better Criticals
50% - Just Lucky I'm Alive
50% - Elijah's Ramblings (Melee)
---
Let's calculate the total critical damage if you are using a gun. 1.5 x 1.5 = 2.25. This means a weapon with a critical damage of 10 will now do 22.5 damage for its critical damage (add the base damage to get the total damage of the hit). I've actually tested the 225% figure myself. It is correct. Please note that Just Lucky I'm Alive is not always the best perk out of the three level 50 perks for a given weapon's DPS.

Crit Damage:
Melee - 337.5%
Non-melee - 225%

Critical Damage + Special Ammo vs Armor
No matter what difficulty you play on, the game treats the damage of your weapons the same up until the very end. This means that you will need the same amount of damage per projectile to negate the enemy's DT regardless of difficulty level.

Let's say you have a Medicine Stick, which for you does 78 dmg per bullet. You also have 225% critical damage. Let's assume you have 100% critical rate. You are using 45 Gov't SWC, which is x1.2 damage and enemy DT -6.

Medicine Stick + 45 Gov't SWC:
Weapon Damage: 78 + 175.5 = 253.5
Opponent DT: 100-6 (Bullet effect.)
(253.5 - 94) * (0.5 * 1.2) = 95.7 dmg (The 0.5 is from Very Hard penalty, and the 1.2 is from bullet effect.)

If enemy DT is 10 and your DAM (damage per projectile, not including any buffs except weapon mods) is 50, you will do 40 damage. DT can decrease your damage to a minimum of x0.2 it's normal amount. This is different if you are using ammunition that changes your damage (like hollow point or max charge). This process is convoluted, but if you are interested, there is a section after the results section that explains the process.

Because armor piercing ammo's DT effect applies before DT vs bullet damage calculation is done, using that over regular ammo helps the player jump over enemy DT. On the other hand, ammo that increases gun damage does not help the player jump over enemy DT because the extra damage effect of the bullet applies after DT vs bullet damage calculation is done. In other words, 15% damage boosting ammo is very different from -15 DT armor piercing ammo when dealing with armored targets.

Because perks that increase damage of a weapon are applied after the damage vs DT calculations are done, they are not useful for breaking through enemy armor. On the other hand, perks that increase critical damage (and by extension, critical chance) will help in that regard. Note that even things that do not break through enemy armor could increase DPS against armor. A simple example is Psycho.

Camarader-E

Camarader-E boosts the base damage of a laser weapon. In other words, Camarader-E may help the player hop over enemy DT. This is a rare situation because non-critical-related perks and damage boosting ammunition do not to this. In addition, Camarader-E affects each projectile of a weapon, meaning it benefits the Tri-Beam Laser Rifle by a huge amount.

With Elijah's LAER which has 65 dmg (and no other perks but Camarader-E) against a Bighorner with 56 DT (ammo naturally has -2 DT effect, for a total DT of 54), I did 16 damage. Let's assume first that Camarader-E adds +5 to base damage of the weapon. We have 65+5 or 70 dmg. 70-54=16. The result matches. Let's assume Camarader-E adds +5 to damage after calculating DT vs dmg. 65 * 0.2 (we don't subtract because that would be below 65 * 0.2) = 13. If you add 5 to 13, you get 18. That's not 16.

And now to prove that Camarader-E affects every beam of the Tri-Beam Rifle: Against a Bighorner with 22 DT (again, net result 20 DT due to ammo), we get 30 damage. The rifle does 25x3 by default. If it was 30x3, then the result should be 3 * (30 - 20) = 30 damage. If it acted like the PipBoy claims, then it would be 3 * {[25 + (5/3)] - 10} = ~20 damage.

More Information

The DPS values of my chart take into account very hard difficulty level, critical chance, critical damage, ammunition types, perks, traits, chems, attack speed caps, ROF glitches, flawed damage formulas, weapons that reload one shot at a time, weapons that ignore DR/DT, and the whole nine yards. The DPS values in other parts of the wiki do not consider all the of the factors. Because we're looking at end DPS against an enemy with a certain DT, showing damage, regular DPS, critical chance, and critical multipliers is pointless.

Obviously melee and unarmed weapons cannot attack from a far distance away. A large reach with a melee or unarmed weapon is still useful, but its utility can't be calculated. Gehenna's fire effect doesn't stack. When striking the enemy again, the counter for the amount of seconds left until the fire goes out resets.

Melee and unarmed weapons can use poisons. This make my calculations much more difficult because while the same poison doesn't stack in terms of damage, different ones do. While it would be technically superior to cycle through all the venoms and reapply them when all of them are used, that is a very masochistic way of playing the game. Also, consider how small the poison damage is relative to the best melee weapons. For example, Blood-Nap has 612 DPS against an enemy with 0 DT. Even if you get Bleak Venom and Cloud Kiss, Lethal down, that's 14 DPS increase. You'll have to hotkey the poisons too, otherwise the delay of pulling up the Pip-Boy and back down would cause a net loss in DPS. For the purposes of the chart below, the assumption will be that no poisons are used.

Explosive weapons are obviously able to damage more than one enemy at once at the expense of possible damage to oneself or their companions. Weapons that fall under Meltdown will cause explosive energy damage to appear when an enemy is killed. Elijah's LAER and LAER both do bonus damage to enemies in power armor and robots. This is noteworthy because high DT targets are often wearing power armor. LAER's bonus damage does not apply to NCR Heavy Troopers. If I had to estimate, I would say that the extra damage against robots and powder armor users is ~20% for 0DT enemies and <5% for 15 or 30DT enemies.

Finally, it is much easier to hold down fire with an automatic weapon compared to spam-clicking at a constant 5.5 clicks per second to maintain a good DPS on non-automatic weapons.

The Limits of Calculations

The attack speeds in the game are hard to calculate and glitched to some extent. The only way to really figure out how fast a weapon fires is to record footage firing it continuously (with an autoclicker clicking at 5.5 times per second) and replaying it in slow motion. I used Adobe Premier for this, so I could get granularity down to frame by frame (which, at 60 fps, would mean 1/60th of a second).

A few weapons actually glitch out when there are too many speed buffs. Those tend to be pistols (but not revolvers) and the plasma caster. For the chart I set the attack speed to the maximum without it glitching out. Because of this, these weapons will not get calculated with Ain't Like That Now. A Light in Shining Darkness and Plasma Caster were both tested with just Rushing Water, and Li'l Devil was tested with Rushing Water and Fast Shot, because giving any of those weapons more buffs results in a decrease in DPS due to the firing glitch. Unless you are using an autoclicker, more buffs at that point is a bad thing.

The damage formula listed in the combat page of the wiki is a great starting point but fails against armored targets in many situations. I could not come up with a better alternative that worked with other buffs like chems. What I did instead was test the weapons against Bighorners with Animal Control and Hunter perks removed. The problem with this is that the calculations are not easily view-able and therefore cannot be double-checked. Regardless, I felt it was the best way to complete my task.

The critical chances are calculated instead of tested and using GECK information on rounds per clip, I can figure out the average amount of shots per clip that will be critical hits. Using damage values obtained from real world testing, I can figure out how much damage is done on an average clip when factoring in critical damage and chance. Reloading times are taken from GECK for automatic weapons. Non-automatic weapons are recorded firing until empty and reloading to figure out the time it takes. Then, divide damage per clip by time to fire until empty and reload.

The Fast Shot perk increases sway of the weapon, which can't really be calculated and quantified in any practical way. Aiming down sights reduces sway according to the wiki, but by how much is unknown.

Results

If you don't know what each column means, hover your cursor over the small icon at the top of the chart. The final thing to note here is that the chart assumes the enemy has 0 DR.

Weapon nameIcon gun Ammunition usedIcon ammo
Level 50 Perk ChosenIcon fist
Damage per second, 0 DTIcon damage
Damage per second, 15 DTIcon dps
Damage per second, 30 DTIcon dps
Weapon SpreadIcon spread
Magazine capacity (shots per reload)Assault carbine extended magazines


.45 Auto submachine gun .45 Auto SMG Honest HeartsGametitle-FNV HH .45 Auto, hollow point Dmg 422.161 40.848 23.369 1.8 50
.45 Auto submachine gun .45 Auto SMG Honest HeartsGametitle-FNV HH .45 Auto, super hand load Crit 299.132 193.991 61.636 1.8 50
12.7mm SMG 12.7mm SMG GRA Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA 12.7mm round, hollow point Dmg 349.826 51.234 24.205 1.6 27
12.7mm SMG 12.7mm SMG GRA Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA 12.7mm round Dmg 199.890 125.555 51.270 1.6 27
F3Firelance wwPerk wild wasteland Alien blaster Alien power cell Crit 297.401 273.592 249.803 0 10
A Light Shining in Darkness A Light Shining in Darkness Honest HeartsGametitle-FNV HH .45 Auto, hollow point Crit 394.413 215.134 60.787 0.66 6
A Light Shining in Darkness A Light Shining in Darkness Honest HeartsGametitle-FNV HH .45 Auto, hand load Crit 292.975 258.392 211.205 0.66 6
Bowie knife Blood-Nap² Lonesome Road (add-on)Gametitle-FNV LR Crit 612.372 612.372 558.770
BozarFNV Bozar Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA 5.56mm round, hollow point Dmg 313.514 17.356 17.356 0.75 30
CombatKnifeUniqueFNV Chance's knife Crit 521.626 521.626 449.388
CZ57Avenger CZ57 Avenger 5mm round, JSP Dmg 258.618 166.561 33.464 0.55 120
CZ57Avenger CZ57 Avenger 5mm round, hollow point Dmg 348.104 24.416 24.084 0.55 120
CZ57Avenger CZ57 Avenger 5mm round, armor piercing Dmg 188.968 188.968 121.759 0.55 120
LAER Elijah's advanced LAER³ Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB MFC, max charge Crit 728.518 706.755 641.398 0.096 15
(20)
Esther Esther Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA Mini nuke, big kid Dmg 492.964 485.292 477.700 0.6 1
FIDO FIDO Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB .44 magnum round, hollow point Dmg 270.489 25.789 18.715 1.5 50
FIDO FIDO Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB .44 magnum round, SWC Dmg 185.487 141.515 68.216 1.5 50
Deathclaw gauntlet Fist of Rawr Lonesome Road (add-on)Gametitle-FNV LR
Wild WastelandPerk wild wasteland Fist of the North Rawr
Crit 404.220 404.220 373.413
GatlingLaser Gatling laser ECP, max charge Dmg 591.049 424.290 88.736 0.6 240
GatlingLaser Gatling laser ECP, max charge Crit 587.428 435.935 128.850 0.6 240
Gehenna Gehenna Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA Crit 512.409 512.409 452.001
Holorifle Holorifle¹ Dead MoneyGametitle-FNV DM MFC, max charge Crit 202.874 190.657 177.827 0.18 4
K9000CyberdogGun K9000 cyberdog gun Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB .357 magnum round, hollow point Dmg 262.412 18.156 18.156 1.35 50
K9000CyberdogGun K9000 cyberdog gun Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB .357 magnum round, SWC Dmg 187.394 110.993 25.528 1.35 50
Industrial hand Industrial hand Lonesome Road (add-on)Gametitle-FNV LR Crit 1142.617 1142.617 1142.617
LAER LAER³ Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB MFC, max charge Dmg 715.609 690.330 614.533 0.096 20
(26.7)
LAER LAER³ Old World Blues (add-on)Gametitle-FNV OWB MFC, max charge Crit 707.006 685.885 622.458 0.096 20
(26.7)
Lil&#039; Devil Li'l Devil Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA 12.7mm round Crit 264.063 232.882 201.678 1.08 7
Lil&#039; Devil Li'l Devil Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA 12.7mm round, hollow point Crit 462.113 300.742 168.131 1.08 7
LMGRend Light machine gun 5.56mm round, hollow point Dmg 460.125 32.075 25.469 1.5 200
LMGRend Light machine gun 5.56mm round, armor piercing Crit 238.218 238.218 92.024 1.5 200
LMGRend Light machine gun 5.56mm round, match Dmg 301.549 107.620 42.551 0.975 200
Medicine Stick Medicine Stick Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA .45-70 Gov't, SWC Crit 218.588 205.768 184.405 0.06 8
Medicine Stick Medicine Stick Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA .45-70 Gov't, hollow point Crit 318.774 225.296 151.659 0.06 8
FNV Mercy Mercy 40mm grenade, plasma Dmg 363.547 329.047 294.353 1.2 18
5MMMINIGUN Minigun 5mm round, JSP Dmg 266.541 164.255 33.324 0.65 240
5MMMINIGUN Minigun 5mm round, hollow point Dmg 358.833 24.832 24.832 0.65 240
5MMMINIGUN Minigun 5mm round, armor piercing Dmg 194.741 194.741 120.063 0.65 240
SuperSledgeFNVUnique Oh, Baby! Crit 354.343 354.343 323.676
FONVEagleFlagPole Old Glory Lonesome Road (add-on)Gametitle-FNV LR Crit 561.940 561.940 530.480
PlasmaCaster Plasma caster MFC, max charge Crit 380.728 366.508 323.795 0.7 10
RangerSequoia Ranger Sequoia .45-70 Gov't, SWC Crit 229.253 215.360 192.203 0.1 5
RangerSequoia Ranger Sequoia .45-70 Gov't, hollow point Crit 334.335 233.010 158.877 0.1 5
SprtelWood9700 Sprtel-Wood 9700 Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA ECP, max charge Crit 437.152 350.886 137.176 0.5 90
SmittySpecial The Smitty Special Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA MFC, max charge Crit 198.784 176.742 110.594 1.3 20
Tri-beam laser rifle Tri-beam laser rifle GRA Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA MFC, max charge Crit 787.146 726.184 543.260 1.8 48
(16)

¹Damage over time effect is not calculated.
²Grunt fix does not affect this weapon. While a Bowie Knife is a knife used in combat, the combat knife is a specific category in the game and Bowie Knives are not in that category.
³Does not consider bonus damage against robots and non-NCR-Heavy-Troopers which use power armor.

Graph

To the left is a graph showing how a weapon/ammunition combo performs at various DT levels. To view it in full size, open the picture in a new tab. Melee weapons only show performance at 15 and 30 DT due to Piecering Strike perk. Industrial Hand only has one data point because it ignores DR and DT, meaning it does the same damage against all amounts of DT.

12345

Finally, to the right is a chart showing how weapons, enemy DT, and level 50 perks interact. The green columns are DPS values with critical damage boost, purple has damage boost, and blue has rate of fire boost. Notice how the highest DPS values tend to go from Thought You Died to using Just Lucky I'm Alive as enemy DT increases.

Conclusion

I will now list some conclusions I came away from looking at my own graph. I find the graph to be an excellent way of visually taking in the information.

HP ammo is usually terrible for anything but lightly armored targets. It makes sense to have a build that switches between HP and AP ammo depending on the circumstance. Hand Load ammunition straddles a middle ground, although I find it an unfavorable middle ground. For the Light Machine Gun though, match ammo increases accuracy, so that is something to consider.

Surprisingly, Esther was not the highest DPS weapon in any category. The reason is because it takes so long to reload the weapon and it lacks critical damage. Speaking of critical damage, the best level 50 perk to get for DPS is Just Lucky I'm Alive for the most part. It is the best perk for most instances and most weapons. Ain't Like That Now on the other hand, is a terrible choice, placing last or near last in every single situation. My opinion is to go for Just Lucky I'm Alive for maximum DPS or Thought You Died for good DPS and higher maximum health.

Industrial Hand vs Fist of Rawr!
The Industrial Hand is so strong in part due to insane critical damage. It is by far the highest DPS weapon, and the ability to hold down the attack button to continuously attack is a good change of pace compared to the LAER. However, it is a player-only weapon. Give Fist of Rawr! to Veronica instead.

Old Glory vs Oh, Baby! vs Gehenna
Oh, Baby! is just terrible. Old Glory is the bomb.

Blood-Nap vs Chance's Knife
Blood-Nap is simply better, even thought Chance's Knife gets Grunt.

Tri-Beam Laser Rifle vs Elijah's LAER vs LAER
The Tri-Beam has higher max CND than LAER which has higher max CND than Elijah's LAER. The Tri-Beam is not nearly as accurate as the LAERs but has higher DPS against medium and lightly armored targets. Elijah's LAER is a higher DPS and lower CND version of the LAER. Note that at this point, the low CND is crippling when paired with max charge ammunition and ROF buffs. The LAER is the only weapon that maximizes their DPS with Ain't Like That Now, but even that isn't true for 30 DT targets.

Medicine Stick vs Sequoia
The Medicine Stick is very slightly higher DPS than the Sequoia, while also possessing far higher max CND and accuracy.

Gatling Laser vs Minigun vs LMG
0/15/30 DT:
Gatling Laser > LMG > Sprtel-Wood > Minigun > Avenger
Gatling Laser > Sprtel-Wood > LMG > Minigun > Avenger
Sprtel-Wood > Gatling Laser > Avenger > Minigun > LMG

The Gatling and Sprtel-Wood both deteriorate at a faster rate than the Minigun due to Max Charge ammunition. However, CND is not a huge problem for the Gatling Laser. The LMG can fire for days without breaking. However, it has the lowest accuracy out of all of these weapons.

Li'l Devil vs A Light Shining in Darkness
Li'l Devil is stronger than ALSID in terms of pure DPS except for 30 DT enemies. Firing Super Hand Loads, A Light Shining in Darkness has lesser CND compared to Li'l Devil, but either way Li'l Devil has notably lower accuracy.

12mm SMG vs .45 Auto SMG
The .45 Auto SMG has higher DPS than the 12mm SMG in all cases, but has slightly lower accuracy and much lower CND due to the use of Super Hand Load rounds.

Special Ammo vs DT

This section is purely academic, meaning that it has no effect on the data. For the purposes of this section, assume I am talking about a character with no perks, no chems, max stats, normal difficulty, and unmodded weapons unless specifically stated otherwise. This is important.

First let's talk about the damage formula in the combat page of the wiki. DT vs DAM vs Ammo AP is calculated first, and only in the end are things like perks and ammo damage boosts (like hollow point or hand load) applied. Usually the resulting damage after DT vs DAM calculation is DAM - DT. The floor is 20% of the original DAM. There is a specific point where (DAM - DT) = (DAM * 0.2). I will just call this 'Magic DT' (the particular name isn't that important).

Let's write this out so it's easier to see what the wiki's combat page predicts.

DAM = 50
10 DT: 40 dmg (50 DAM - 10 DT)
11 DT: 39 dmg (50 DAM - 11 DT)
39 DT: 11 dmg (50 DAM - 39 DT)
40 DT: 10 dmg (50 DAM - 40 DT OR 50 * 0.2) Magic DT
41 DT: 10 dmg (50 DAM * 0.2)
1000 DT: 10 dmg (50 DAM * 0.2)

While that system makes intuitive sense, it gets weird when enemy DT is high and we are comparing ammunition types. I will show an extreme example to make things more clear.

DAM = 50
DT = 1000
AP Ammo (100% dmg, -25 AP): 10 dmg [Because: (50 * 0.2) > (50 - 1000 - 25)]
HP Ammo (150% dmg, x3 enemy DT): 15 dmg [Because: (50 * 0.2) > (50 - 3000); ((50 * 0.2) * 1.5) = 15]

If enemy DT is an insane 1000, then both HP and AP fail to penetrate armor so much, they both hit the floor (DAM * 0.2). This means any DT modifications here don't matter. The only thing that matters is the damage boost of the HP ammunition, which is calculated after DAM vs DT calculations. This means HP > AP ammunition against very high DT targets. We would also expect HP ammo in this case to hit its damage floor of 15 damage at 40 DT. This means that it makes no difference if the enemy has 40 DT or 1000 DT. The problem is that none of this is totally true.

To be clear though: If the player is not using special ammunition, the wiki's formulas are correct.


Weapon = Elijah's LAER (no mods)
DAM = 65

Ammunition: Regular microfusion cells (DT -2)
Magic DT = (65 * 0.8) + 2 = 54

Predicted Damage:
54 DT: 13 dmg Magic DT
55 DT: 13 dmg
1000 DT: 13 dmg

Actual Damage:
54 DT: 13 dmg Magic DT
55 DT: 13 dmg
1000 DT: 13 dmg

Verdict: Wiki's formula works perfectly.


Weapon = Elijah's LAER (no mods)
DAM = 65

Ammunition: Microfusion cell, max charge (DT -10, Dmg x 1.5)
Magic DT = (65 * 0.8) + 10 = 62

Predicted Damage:
61 DT: 21 [(65 - (61 - 10)) * 1.5]
62 DT: 19.5 ((65 * 0.2) * 1.5) Magic DT
63 DT: 19.5
...
1000 DT: 19.5

Actual Damage:
61 DT: 21
62 DT: 19.5 Magic DT
63 DT: 18 dmg (19.5 - 1.5)
64 DT: 16.5 dmg [19.5 - (1.5 * 2)]
65 DT: 15 [19.5 - (1.5 * 3)]
66 DT: 13.5 [19.5 - (1.5 * 4)]
67 DT: 13 dmg (Floor is 13)
...
1000 DT: 13 dmg

Verdict: Wiki's formula fails.


Remember the 'Magic DT'? If enemy DT is above the Magic DT and the player is using ammunition that changes weapon damage, the wiki's formula fails. I found a way to explain this behavior, but it fails when taking into account other buffs like perks.

Here is a group of formulas that accurately predicts damage of a weapon with ammunition with damage buffs. Note that these formulas were not tested for critical hits.

MagicDT = (DAM \times 0.8 \times Effect_{HP}) + Effect_{AP}

The HP Effect is 3 for 9mm HP, etc. The AP Effect is 10 for Max Charge, 5 for Optimized, 25 for 5mm AP, etc.

Dmg_{Magic DT} = max[DAM \times 0.2, (DAM \times 0.2 \times DmgFactor_{Ammo})]

Dmg_{Magic DT + n DT} = max[DAM \times 0.2, (Dmg_{Magic DT} - (DmgFactor_{Ammo} \times n))]

Ammo Damage Factor is 1.5 for Max Charge, 1.3 for Over Charge, etc. If you don't know how to read the formula above, realize that max[1, n -3] means the result is either 1 or whatever n - 3 is, picking the larger value of the two. This means (in this example) that 1 is the floor.

DAM is multiplied by 0.8 because it mathematically gives us the DT where DAM - DT = DAM * 0.2. Then, you account for the armor negation of some ammunition types by adding it to the result.

Look back at the example where I said the wiki's formula fails. Notice how the wiki's formula starts to fail after the Magic DT because Max Charge (x1.5 dmg) was used. The damage seems to be falling below the floor (predicted to be 19.5) at a rate of 1.5 damage per 1 increase in DT. x1.5 damage is the damage bonus of max charge ammo. This is not a coincidence. The damage the player does will continue to decrease by 1.5 per 1 increase in DT until it hits the floor of 13. 13 is the damage we would expect the player to do if Max Charge didn't have a x1.5 damage bonus. This is also not a coincidence.

Calculations

Gatling Laser
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.02) + 0.19 = 0.1976
ROF 30, mag 240; (240/30) + 2.25 = 10.25
240 * 0.1976 = 47.424
240 - 47.424 = 192.576

Sprtel-Wood 9700
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.04) + 0.19 = 0.2052
ROF 20, mag 90; (90/20) + 2.25 = 6.75
90 * 0.2052 = 18.468
90 - 18.468 = 71.532

Sprtel-Wood 9700
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.04) + 0.19 = 0.2052
ROF 20, mag 90; (90/20) + 2.25 = 6.75
90 * 0.2052 = 18.468
90 - 18.468 = 71.532

Minigun
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.02) + 0.05 = 0.0576
ROF 25 per sec, mag size 240; (240/25) + 3 = 12.6
240 * 0.0576 = 13.824
240 - 13.824 = 226.176

Avenger
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.01) + 0.05 = 0.0538
ROF 30 per sec, mag size 120; (120/30) + 3 = 7
120 * 0.0538 = 6.456
120 - 6.456 = 113.544

Medicine Stick
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1) + 0.05 = 43%
ROF 2.5 per sec, mag size 8; (8/2.5) + 3 = 6.2
ROF 2.75 per sec, mag size 8; (8/2.75) + 3 = 5.909090909090909
8 * 0.43 = 3.44
8 - 3.44 = 4.56

Sequoia
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1.5) + 0.05 = 62%
ROF 2.96666 per sec, mag size 5; (5/2.96666) + 2.25 = 3.935397045836058
ROF 3.583333 per sec, mag size 5; (5/3.583333) + 2.25 = 3.6453489670092063
5 * 0.62 = 3.1
5 - 3.1 = 1.9

Light Machine Gun
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.06) + 0.05 = 0.0728%
ROF 12 per sec, mag size 200; (200/12) + 1.625025 = 18.2916917
200 * 0.0728 = 14.56
200 - 14.56 = 185.44

Bozar
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.05) + 0.05 = 0.069%
ROF 15.0075 per sec, mag size 30; (30/15.0075) + 1.625025 = 3.624025499750125
30 * 0.069 = 2.07
30 - 2.07 = 27.93

Tri-Beam Laser Rifle
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1.5) + 0.19 = 0.76
ROF 4.666 per sec, mag size 16; (16/4.666) + 1.875 = 5.304061294470639
ROF 5.333 per sec, mag size 16; (16/5.333) + 1.875 = 4.875187511719482
16 * 0.76 = 12.16
16 - 12.16 = 3.84

Blood-Nap
ROF: 4.029550033579583
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1.5) + 0.20 = 77%
4.029550033579583 * 0.77 = 3.102753525856279
4.029550033579583 - 3.102753525856279 = 0.9267965077233042
ROF: 4.2283298097251585
4.2283298097251585 * 0.77 = 3.255813953488372
4.2283298097251585 - 3.255813953488372 = 0.9725158562367864

Chance's Knife
ROF: 4.1067761806981515
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 2) + 0.20 = 96%
4.1067761806981515 * 0.96 = 3.9425051334702252
4.1067761806981515 - 3.9425051334702252 = 0.1642710472279263
ROF: 4.4763670064874885
4.4763670064874885 * 0.96 = 4.297312326227988
4.4763670064874885 - 4.297312326227988 = 0.1790546802595001

Gehenna
ROF: 3.6079374624173184
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 2) + 0.20 = 96%
3.6079374624173184 * 0.96 = 3.4636199639206255
3.6079374624173184 - 3.4636199639206255 = 0.14431749849669284
ROF: 3.867225265871737
3.867225265871737 * 0.96 = 3.7125362552368673
3.867225265871737 - 3.7125362552368673 = 0.15468901063486973
It looks like fire effect stacks with perks/difficulty level/etc.

Old Glory
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1.5) + 0.20 = 77%
ROF: 2.736
2.736 * 0.77 = 2.10672
2.736 - 2.10672 = 0.62928
ROF: 3.009027081243731
3.009027081243731 * 0.77 = 2.3169508525576727
3.009027081243731 - 2.3169508525576727 = 0.6920762286860582

Oh, Baby!
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1) + 0.20 = 58%
ROF: 2.7235587834770767
2.7235587834770767 * 0.58 = 1.5796640944167044
2.7235587834770767 - 1.5796640944167044 = 1.1438946890603723
ROF: 2.922552362396493
2.922552362396493 * 0.58 = 1.6950803701899657
2.922552362396493 - 1.6950803701899657 = 1.2274719922065271

Industrial Hand
ROF: 3.2
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1) + 0.20 = 58%
3.2 * 0.58 = 1.856
3.2 - 1.856 = 1.344

Elijah's LAER
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1.5) + 0.19 = 76%
20 * 0.76 = 15.2
20 - 15.2 = 4.8

LAER
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1.5) + 0.19 = 76%
26.7 * 0.76 = 20.292
26.7 - 20.292 = 6.408

Esther
ROF 3.42, mag 1; (1/3.42) + 2.3 = 2.5924
[(475 + (600 * 1.6)] * 0.5 * 1.33 * 1.1 = 954.275
1049.7025/2.5924 = 404.915 DPS

Mercy
ROF: 2.5, mag 18; (18/2.5) + 3 = 10.2
ROF: 2.75, mag 18; (18/2.75) + 3 = 9.545454545454547
18 * 100 = 1800
18 * 5 = 90

Fist of Rawr
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 2) + 0.20 = 96%
ROF: 2.6726057906458798
2.6726057906458798 * 0.96 = 2.5657015590200447
2.6726057906458798 - 2.5657015590200447 = 0.10690423162583507
ROF: 2.888781896966779
2.888781896966779 * 0.96 = 2.7732306210881075
2.888781896966779 - 2.7732306210881075 = 0.11555127587867142

Plasma Caster
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1) + 0.09 = 0.47
10 * 0.47 = 4.7
10 - 4.7 = 5.3

The Smitty Special
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.1) + 0.09 = 0.128
ROF: 7, mag 20; (20/7) + 2.25 = 5.107142857142858
20 * 0.128 = 2.56
20 - 2.56 = 17.44

Holorifle
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 1) + 0.09 = 0.47
4 * 0.47 = 1.88
4 - 1.88 = 2.12

Li'l Devil
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 2) + 0.05 = 0.81
7 * 0.81 = 5.67
7 - 5.67 = 1.33

A Light Shining in Darkness
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 2) + 0.05 = 0.81
6 * 0.81 = 4.86
6 - 4.86 = 1.14

12mm SMG
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.08) + 0.05 = 0.0804
(27/9) + 1.5 = 4.5
27 * 0.0804 = 2.1708
27 - 2.1708 = 24.8292

.45 SMG
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.06) + 0.05 = 0.0728
(50/11) + 1.625025 = 6.170479545454546
50 * 0.0728 = 3.64
50 - 3.64 = 46.36

K9000
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.06) + 0.05 = 0.0728
(50/9.8) + 3 = 8.10204081632653 50 * 0.0728 = 3.64
50 - 3.64 = 46.36

FIDO
Crit Chance: (0.38 * 0.06) + 0.05 = 0.0728
(50/7) + 3 = 10.142857142857142 50 * 0.0728 = 3.64
50 - 3.64 = 46.36

Alien Blaster
Crit Chance: 1
4 * 0.47 = 1.88


Bloodnap, Chance 4.1666
Laer 5.333, 4.666
Tribeam 5.333, 4.666
Gehenna 3.6666, 3.6666
Medicine Stick 2.75, 2.5
Oh Baby 3, 2.75
Old Glory 3, 2.75
Fist of Rawr 3, 2.75
Seq 3.583333, 2.96666
Mercy 2.75, 2.5

Alien Blaster ((1844-89)/60)/7, x 70 4.17857142857 seconds per clip 9432-8012 (10910-10860 or 5 reloads) 4.73333333334 per clip

Elijah LAER 985 - 925, 45 rounds, 4 reload ((12098-10795)/60)/4 5.42916666667 seconds per clip 14925 - 13498 (985-925 or 4 reload) 5.9458 seconds per clip

Holorifle 930 894 (9) (17645-15432)/60/9 4.09814814815 seconds per clip 16970 - 18017 (936-920 or 4) 4.3625

LAER 878 798 4 reloads (19710-18068)/60/4 6.84166666667 seconds per clip ((22250-20287)/60)/4 (882-802 or 4 reload) 8.17916666667 seconds per clip

Plasma Caster (Only Rushing Water) 988 898 9 reload (3128-992)/60/9 3.95555555556 seconds per clip

ALISD (Only Rushing Water) 981 903 is 13 reloads ((5255-3440)/60)/13 2.32692307692 seconds per clip

Lil Devil ((24879-23514)/60)/9 (993-930 or 9 reload) 2.527777777777 per clip

Medicine Stick ((18559-15770)/60)/8 467-403 or 8 reload 5.81041666667 ((30191-27155)/60)/8 434-370 or 8 reload 6.325 per clip

Fist of Rawr 4222-68, 200 2.888781896966779 4709-219, 200 2.6726057906458798

Oh, Baby! 10192-6086, 200 2.922552362396493 11475-7069, 200 2.7235587834770767

Old Glory 3.009027081243731 2.735978112175103

Blood Nap 4.2283298097251585 4.029550033579583 Chance's Knife 4.4763670064874885 4.1067761806981515 Gehenna 3.867225265871737 3.6079374624173184

Sequoia (27854-26284)/60)/8 437-397 or 8 reloads 3.27083333333 ((38646-36239)/60)/11 373-318 or 11 reload 3.64696969697 per clip

TriBeam Laser ((29954-28044)/60)/7 (769-433)/48 4.5476190476190474 ((40974-38833)/60)/7 (742-406)/48 or 7 reload 5.09761904762