Damage per Second is first of all known as a theoretical formula to approximate the effectiveness of weapons versus enemies over time. Moreover an absolute value, which is calculated by total damage over a specific time, could be counted to the term DPS, too. The formula is not an absolute predicter of weapon effectiveness, due to the fact that it ignores any hidden effects, +/- stats, latent abilities, amount of TP per hit, the strength of a WS (calculated most of the time with the base dmg of mainhand-equipped weapons) and other additional effects like poison or ignoring defense, that may result in a more effective weapon. Remember, these are only the possible factors, which are given by the equiped weapon itself.

The DPS formula for melee weapons

[(DMG rating of weapon) x 60] / (Delay of weapon)
  • In the case of Hand to Hand weaponry, the base delay is 480. The abilty Martial Arts I reduces it to 400 and each further tier reduces the delay by another 20.
  • Ranged weapons apparently dont have a constant multiplier by 60. Tests predict 70 to 100 according to what ranged weapon was equipped (see also Delay).


Higher generated numbers should have an advantage against lower numbers at the damage over time. But don't forget, that most WS's are calculated with the weapon base DMG and could easily outdamage a higher DPS - predicted by formula - weapon over time. Especially at VT+ mobs, at which normal hits aren't very effective, the formula shouldn't be the criterion for choice. The other major factors are the speed of TP gain to execute a WS, your job and the abilities (e.g. Meditate; Double Attack; SaTa), your food (more dex or more attack), rest of your equipment and your own skill e.g. finding optimal ranged attack distance.
Effectiveness of a weapon and damage per second is based first of all by base dmg and TP gain and nevertheless by party members too. Depending on the weapon type, a well excuted WS can be worth more than in any formula and your own damage per second. Best example is, when you are able to open light or dark WS's fast enough to constantly chain with other party members.


At the end a little example, which gives a usefull idea of the effectiveness of the formula and the DPS system: The Military Axe has an unusually low delay for a Great Axe weapon. In comparison, the Centurion's Axe was created with common higher delay and higher base DMG. Let's see what the formula's choice is:

Military axe: 46 x 60 / (474) = 5.82 DPS
Centurion's Axe: 48 x 60 / (504) = 5.71 DPS

According to the DPS, the Military Axe is superior to the Centurion's Axe - around 2% more DPS. 2% is a lot in FFXI compared to the effort, which some players do to boost their attack and or strength and the AGI +1 at the Centurion's Axe doesnt help for damage, but otherwise the 504 delay give 13.72 TP per hit instead of 12,7 TP per hit by 474 delay (new TP system Update April 2006).

What does this mean?

A difference of 1,02 means, that after every 98 hits you have theoretically done 1 more WS with the Centurion's Axe. The Military Axe need theoretically 62 sec for 1 WS to be ready and for 98 hits 774 sec = 836 sec to fullfill the same amount of weaponskills as the Centurion's Axe , which need 823 sec. Double Attack gives also a TP gaining boost over time. Let's see: 836 sec = 108 hits (M.Axe); 823 sec = 98 hits without Double Attack. With Double Attack we could predict that the C. Axe is even faster. Approximately 10% of the hits done without losing time = 740 sec for 98 hits (C.Axe) and 766 sec for 108 hits (M.Axe); we won another 13 sec with C.Axe at 10% Double Attack rate and only 7 hits lesser than M.Axe (don't forget, that at 26 sec the C.Axe can do 3 hits)!!!

What have we now?

A stronger C.Axe superior to M.Axe (with 7 more hits - but need more time for same amount of WS's and the WS's are probably weaker anyway).

Now the Clue

You need 100% TP for a WS and all the calculations above are not rounding to 100%. It is just a theoretically pro for C.Axe at DPS calculated with TP, predicted in pure numbers, like the formula of DPS without TP do.

The Truth is, both weapons need 8 hits for 100% TP; we can't do half or comma hits.

M. Axe: 7 hits (55.3sec) = 88.9% TP; 8 hits (63.2sec) = 101.6% TP
C. Axe: 7 hits (58.8sec) = 96.4% TP; 8 hits (67.2sec) = 109.76% TP

Double Attack and TP gained by damage give more afford for the C.Axe. 3.4% TP to full 100% is done by one hit of an enemy. TP over 100% is even more faster done with the C.Axe as we have seen at our calculation above. The more at damage is also a great pro to choice the Centurion's Axe instead of the 1st of view better Military Axe. Only when you don't do any WS's, waste TP points by waiting too long at stagnating 300% TP or defeating too weak mobs with low defense (mob)/attack (char) quotient, the DPS of the M. Axe comes in handy. The last factor -the missing rate- doesn't give a great bonus to weapons, which have only a delay diffrence of 300 (= 0.5 sec). Statistically they miss nearly the same.


You always have to see what usage the weapon has got in certain situations, what job you have and don't rely too much on formulas: Consider for yourself and HAVE FUN!

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