DCUO Basic Guide to DPS

With the FOS raids out, it has become very clear as to who knows how to play as DPS and who doesn’t. FOS raids require good, competent and skilled DPSers to be able to complete them within a reasonable amount of time and heartache. Thus I thought I would write a BASIC DPS guide (for raiding) for existing and new folks. So if you are doing half the dmg of experienced players in Raids, read below and learn the basics around DPS.

Section 1. Use a ranged weapon (Except DON’T use handblasters)

Even with the melee weapon updates SOE did, there is almost always too many enemies that do nasty AOEs near the tank (even trash enemies in FOS). Maybe someday they will make it so that enemies do more dmg to whoever has threat (or some other mechanic) and less dmg to those nearby but without threat. Until then, just use a ranged weapon.

Section 2. Don’t try and do raids that you aren’t really geared for

(be honest with yourself) (or unless with your own league and they are willing to carry you and the risks entailed with you being undergeared). Without the minimum level gear for each raid you will die more, do little dmg, use up power and just be a drag on the team. Here is a general list of MINIMUM gear requirements for each class of raid:
Khandaq – Tier 1 (gear you get from marks from doing duos and Tier 1 Alerts)
Outer Batcave – Tier 1
Inner Batcave – Tier 1 with a few pieces of Tier 2 (gear you get from doing Tier2 Alerts, Khandaq, Batcave raids and daylies)
Batcave Subconstruct – Actually easier than Inner Batcave but still helpful to have Tier 1 with a few Tier2 pieces)
Fortress Chasm – ALL Tier 2
Fortress Core – Tier 2 and a few pieces of Tier 3 (gear u get from doing Fortress Raids)
Thus, as you can see, please don’t try and do Fortress Raids in Tier1, greens etc. You will be noticed and yelled at from team. Save yourself the headache and do the other raids and alerts to get the proper gear first.

Section 3. Regardless of Powerset – Learn how each power buffs your dmg

In short, what this means is don’t just spam your weapon. Use a power or mix of powers in an order that boosts dmg to both the powers used and your weapon. Here is an example with Sorcery:
Unbuffed Ranged Bow attack = 60 dmg (per attack)
Unbuffed Flury Shot = 215 dmg (no crits for this example)
Ranged Bow attack buffed after Weapon of Destiny “WOD” (which increase dmg 45% until hit counter on weapon stops or at least 5 seconds) = 85 dmg (per attack – and not including dmg from WOD itself)
Flurry Shot buffed after WOD = 260
Here is an example of power to power buffing:

Unbuffed Karmic Backlash dmg = 177
Karmic Backlash after buffing with WOD = 247
ALL powersets have this type of buffing interaction (as noted in the power descriptions for each power). Learn them and experiment with the best combinations and order of interactions to maximize your dmg in a given situation.

Section 4. Learn and use your powersets power interations

Powers within a set and across sets can interact with one another. For example, in sorcery, one of the main dps power interactions is Bad Karma. Bad Karma (in DPS mode) makes it so that enemies inflicted with it will do dmg to other enemies and can also synergize with other Sorcery powers like Circle of Protection. Enemies inflicted with Bad Karma will take TWO ticks of dmg (the 2nd tick is half the dmg of the first) instead of one! If you are using Circle without first inflicting Bad Karma you are cutting your potential dmg significantly!
All powersets have various interactions and since some other powersets have similar power qualities sometimes you can interact with a teammate’s powers. For example, a Gadgets toon has various ice powers that could interact with an Ice tanks.

Section 5. Putting it altogether

Here is an example of putting Section 3 and 4 together:
WOD, Karmic Backlash, Circle of Protection, Shoot Bow

This combo will AOE inflict Bad Karma via Karmic Backlash (buffed 45% by WOD) to all nearby enemies; keeping WOD active. Circle of Protection (buffed 40% by Karmic Backlash) will do TWO ticks of AOE DMG to enemies with bad karma AND the Circle will now buff your dmg with Bow (which still has WOD active) by 50%!
You could also do Karmic, WOD, COP, BOW for a slight variation on the above depending on what you want to buff.


They chew up waaaaaay too much power for waaay too long a cast time and to waaay less damage than other abilities in your power pool.
Except Neovenom Boost. NVB is good in the right set up.
Take the time to learn your WEAPON, ROLE, and POWER INTERACTIONS and you will be on the road to good DPS. There are other things you should learn after this too, like animation canceling etc.

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to cabgold for making this guide. We think this will be extremely helpful for all of the DCUO community members and we hope you will enjoy it.


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28 Responses to DCUO Basic Guide to DPS

  1. SouthWestMoyo says:

    I love this and am glad you wrote it. With the large number of new players joining recently this will become invaluable very quickly. The only thing I would recommend to add for all players (especially new ones) is to Never underestimate the benefit of building your skill points by ‘Feat chasing’. This will drastically improve your performance with the might and crit’ bonuses and will make transitioning from the story line to late game play much easier.

  2. Kevo says:

    Thanks for this guide! Some clarifying questions.. 1) is the idea to use a power and then do a basic attack for ~5 seconds, then hit another power, repeat? 2) what is the balance between using powers and just using regular attacks? 3) why no handblasters?

    Love te site, is my one stop shop for all things DCUO! 🙂

    • UnfamiliarTone says:

      They are probably saying not to use blasters because of the lack of usefull AoE. HB’s AoEs are melee ranged only. I think HB makes up for this with killer cone attacks. 😀

  3. Bob says:

    Regarding handblasters, I can’t speak for the author but I would assume its that if you use the autofire the damage is distributed amongst the total targets hit. Ie if you have alot of mobs it does almost no damage and just attracts any unengaged ones.

    Also handblasters on autofire hit heal barrels etc. prematurely which really pisses people off.

  4. Kevo says:

    Wait, are you talking about the tap, tap, hold triangle combo? What you’re describing sounds like Dual Pistol’s “Full Auto” power.

    I think the answer to my first question now after rereading the article… so you do a power that adds, for example, 50% of your attack for 5 seconds or until a combo breaks, and then within 5 seconds you start and maintain a weapon combo (such as repeatedly tap, tap, hold triangle =p), and it will be 50% stronger until you lose the combo? Does that sound right?

    That revolutionizes the way I’ve been playing…

  5. Grand says:

    thx lot, great DPS guide. Well its possible to get a fire dps guide? Which is the best combination for fire dps?

    • Fire Bug says:

      Either fireball or Inferno, followed by Wildfire, then Fiery weopon.
      You get extra damage, healing and if you use inferno/wildfire you do damage to others around you.

    • Fire Bug says:

      Oh yeah and of course attack with your weopon, forgot the important bit.

    • UnfamiliarTone says:

      Here’s the important powers you should have in your load out. Fiery Weapon (boosts your crit damage), Inferno (gets em burning), Fire Burst (does crazy damage on burning targets), and to clear the room Mass D/Snuff out. Mass D is broken atm though, and snuff out is only really good for boss fights. It has an extra bit of damage against enemies at 35% health or less. For a super charge I’d recommend using fireball barrage. it’s only a 50% SC so it’s not so bad.

      As for your weapon, pick which ever one you really like. Some say go with ranged. Me, I say it’s preference. For your SP spend it on crit chance and crit mag first. Make sure you’re using DPS gear, the stats will help. also dont forget to pick up some iconics. Wisdom of Solomon (gives you an extra 100 power), Tactical Genius(10% Crit dam), and Weapons Expert (3% crit chance). Also Neo venom boost is a good buff power to pick up. if you choose to go melee I would also recommend using either Hard light shield or Amazonian Deflection. That will help with keep you alive.

      This is more or less a burst damage build I’m suggesting so your power will be wiped a lot. You will drive trollers crazy, but you will definitely do serious damage. Don’t forget to use your weapon for the power regen.

      • Fire Bug says:

        Completely agree, also if ur troll is gd after only 2 hits of ur weapon MD should have cooled down, but inferno will still be burning. Hit it again to 60% buff itself. By which time a couple of hits with weapon and Inferno has cooled down so rinse and repeat. Throw in Fireball barrage every so often for Mega damage.

  6. KnightWing says:

    The only thing I would disagree with is the “don’t use melee”. My DPS has always used Brawling and I normally destroy enemies more than they bother me. I know there are some like the author that say this and as a rule you shouldn’t but if you have experience and know what your doing you’ll be fine.

    Most people that say this get killed long before I do and I’m stuck cleaning up their mess.

    • David says:

      I think it’s important to point out that while you can make a viable DPS build with a melee weapon this is a basic guide to DPS. If you know what you’re doing enough to play DPS comfortably and effectively using melee weapons you probably don’t need to read a guide on basic DPS.
      If you’re still getting your head around the concepts presented in this guide then it’s best to go with a simple ranged weapon like a bow. It’s easy, more forgiving of mistakes in encounters and lets you focus on putting what you’ve learned in this guide into action with minimal distractions.

  7. xMEGAMANx says:

    At Lower lvls stay range, but as you get better armor/wpns all beginner raids (OBC, Kahn) you should be able to use melee with ease. Just know when to block and roll away, that way you don’t put on strain on healers.

    • Warp says:

      OBC, Kahndaq are barely raids (obc t2 alert is harder then the raid)… those are the only 2 raids in which melee is viable but you will still be outdpsed by a same geared ranger. Inner, sub and in FoS melee is absolutely useless cause 95% of the time they get oneshot in about 10 seconds 🙂 Rifle and bow are the way to go imho if you want to dps in this game.

      • UnfamiliarTone says:

        I’m sorry sitting back spamming arrow storm, and mortar don’t do it for me. You can do just as much damage with a melee weapon. take two-handed or brawling, sure they’re slow combos but each time you hit its 200+/400+ sometimes higher than that. It gets old listening to all you people say ranged is the way to go for dps. Hell I’ve seen healers and trollers rolling melee, and they don’t wipe.

        /end rant

  8. Alec Kazaam says:

    Great guide. Thanks for the info!

  9. Spectre says:

    What you’re saying makes no sense. Melee does more damage than range, it’s just much less safer and requires some real skill to utilize properly.

  10. Bribot says:

    Distance excuse for better damage just means you can’t play as well as melee!

  11. Pants987978 says:

    I couldn’t get past the first sentence because all of the damn acronyms.

  12. Putter63 says:

    Was this a guide? After reading it, it just comes off as another person more or less complaining about new players starting out after hitting 30…. I used to like the player guides just to see how others play. Now it’s all the same. No intelligence, no insight, just “this is how I! Play, so this must be how you play!!!!!!”.

  13. Bendrell says:

    I think this is a great guide. Melee is difficult, and not entirely useful unless your fire/ice for their close ranged Powers, even though it does more damage, though I suppose it is based on your style of play. I like ranged weapons, personally.

  14. Lightning says:

    I very much like your guide, although I disagree with the limitation of going ranged. This coming form an electric DPS (new lvl 30, admittedly) and I still use Hand Blasters. Yes the damage blows by and large; HOWEVER, most forget that it has one of (if not the best) Power-generating combos in game. I don’t need my weapon to do more than give me blue back so I can spam more of my powers for damage. My powers r my AoE dmg. Help ur trollers and get ur blue back as well.

  15. FartMaster69-420- says:

    I’ve been getting so tired of people telling me that it doesn’t matter what power set I use and then five minutes later I find out it’s a shitty power set that does terrible DPS and takes easy damage.
    Instead of lying people just need to say they don’t fucking know, Mental/handblast and you can take out most shit once you get mind shurikens easily.

    Don’t stand there telling me your character spec doesn’t matter when there is such a thing as an ice brawler build. With these kind of games power combinations DO matter and your personal preferences DON’T.

  16. Jeremy says:

    Psychic Damage load out please. PS I use hand blasters

  17. michael says:

    any suggestions for a newb to dps, i’m pro healer and average troller never done dps before and because i’m bored of wipes being blamed on me due to the lack of offensive skills on my loadouts i had to change. I’m used to dps on wow but that’s different to dcuo so any advice around gadget dps would be much appreciated

  18. Stefan says:

    Anyone that know what the best power upset for Rage is? If i use Dual Wield as primary weapon and a Bow as Mastery weapond? I am always a DPS.

    Would be VERY happy 🙂


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