One straightforward way to compare weapons with different reload times and clip capacity is to average everything out to calculate the overall damage per minute (DPM). This tells you how quickly a weapon will damage an opponent over time, taking into account the time it takes to reload. All else being equal, a weapon with higher DPM is better than one with a lower DPM.
Note, DPM is not the only useful metric, as the reload time can become moot if a single clip destroys the opponent. So it is also useful to look at the total damage of a cycle as well as the damage per second (DPS) not counting the reload time. However, DPS is mostly applicable for weapons with high reload times, whereas DPM is a bit more broadly useful to compare most any weapon to any other weapon.
Below is a bar graph illustrating how the DPM of various weapons compare when they are at level 12 (the comparison ends up being very similar for other levels as well because they all level at similar rates), and assuming that every single round hits. This assumption is very optimistic for some weapons (e.g. Punishers) and less so for others (e.g. Aphids), and the Noricum and Zenit were left out altogether because this assumption is completely nonsensical for these weapons.
(Almost) All WeaponsAs you can see, the Thunder and Taran dominate the rest and should be prioritized accordingly. Do not, however, read too much into the high DPM of both Punishers. At any ranges greater than 150m, they will struggle to do half of their theoretical damage, and even at 150m, they still do damage rather slowly.
For ease of comparison, here are the same charts per type of weapon slot.Magnums and avoid Gekkos. The weakness of Spirals compared to the other missiles is also apparent. Workshop Points. Thunder’s presence in this graph makes it difficult to see the relative differences between the long-range weapons. Graphs with comparisons by ranges will be added later.
Here is how DPM is calculated. A cycle shall refer to the full process of emptying a clip (e.g. 16 missiles for Pinata) and then reloading. To calculate DPM, multiply the damage per round by rounds per cycle (RPC) to get the total amount of damage per cycle (DPC). This is the total amount of damage you’ll cause by emptying a full clip into an opponent.
Next, account for how long it takes to do this and reload. Calculate the cycle time as the reload time plus RPC/RPS (dividing the number of rounds in a clip by the rate of fire to determine how long it takes to empty a clip). DPM is then the total damage from the full clip divided by the time it takes to empty the clip and reload another, or DPC/cycle time.