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what does dps mean?

Asked by [ Editor ]

Im just wondering what it means cuz i see it brought up alot.

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4 answers


harlock [ Editor ]

To add to the two previous replies that are perfectly right :

DPS is the damage ouput you can pull from your ship for a sustained period of time. Lets say 1 minute. You divide total damage done per 60, which gives you your DPS.

It's not to be mistaken with "volley damage", which is the amount of damage you can pull during ONE attack.

If your guns have a slow attack speed, your DPS will be lowered since you don't attack a lot. Let say :

400 damage every 4 seconds = 100 DPS
1000 damage every 12 seconds = 83 DPS

Still, your "volley" was considerably higher in the second case ;)

The first "volley" is often refered to as "Alpha Strike", or Alpha.

Some ships like stealth bombers rely more on Alpha rather than sustained DPS. Their goal is to strike very hard once, and rely on other ships like them to produce an actual "dps burst" that will cut trough shields and armors in no time ;)

A bit offtopic I know, but I think it was worth mentionning.

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serker [ Editor ]

DPS is Damage Per Second. Calculated mostly by dividing your volley damage with your rate of fire. And volley damage is damage you deal when firing all your guns at once:)

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werner lucifer [ Editor ]

Damage per Second

DPS is an abbreviation for "Damage per Second". It's an average of much damage to targets HP that's done/is going to be done/might be done per second. As an example is if you did 6000 damage in 60 seconds the DPS would be 100HP/s.

This example above is of actually dealt DPS and as such the DPS is calculated from what actually happened. That is not very useful because you're either dead or happy already. What we are interested in is theoretical DPS. You can of course calculate this very close to the dealt DPS value but we usually have to leave quite a few variables out like for example speed and direction. People in Eve nearly always simplify it even more, either because target isn't known or a more complicated average is... well, more complicated. So we often also remove resistance, sig radius, reload time, tracking speed, hit chance etc.

Conventional DPS

DPS in Eve-chats are almost always calculated like below. It's excluding most of the variables and it's great for creating a feeling of the ships capabilities. But it does suffer some problems like you can have a high conventional DPS value but your hit chance might be close to zero. Which would result in an actually dealt DPS of close to zero. Which is the problem when people use software like EFT without thinking.


(Turret Damage modifier*Ammo Damage*Number of Turrets)/Rate of Fire


(Ammo Damage*Bonus from Ballistic Control Units)/(Rate of Fire+Flight time) where flight time is excluded sometimes.


The DPS for drones is a bit more work as it doesn't factor in skills and stuff on the ship that affects damage.

The easy way

You can use EFT to do the above calculations for you. EFT Also offer this DPS with regards to range. Or you can use EveHQ that also offers some more intricate data.

Complicated side note on conventional DPS:

When you fire a turret you fire in the beginning of the cycle so if RoF is 3 sec you will actually fire 2 times in close to the first 3 seconds (depending on lag). So the DPS starts higher and converges to the values in "conventional DPS" above as time moves towards infinity. This can be good to know as PvP fights usually doesn't last very long. Here's an example:
Below is the DPS for the example above calculated after each shot is fired. After the first 4,05sec the turret will have fired 2 times. After 8,1 sec it will have fired 3 times.

More basic info:

Check out Evelopedia for more basic info (that for the moment seem to be totally wrong).

Dig deeper:

DPS is depending on damage and damage depends on a lot of variables. What variables do you know? Are you sitting still outside a station hitting specific targets? Then you know range, approx ang, sig rad etc. Damage and hit chance for turrets is calculated with this formula. Check out this link discussing calculating the DPS for turrets with regards to hit chance. The damage for missiles is also done with a formula but always have 100% hit chance if it catches you. Drones? No idea sorry.

Thought for the day:

Ask yourself why you are calculating DPS. Are you going to hit certain T3s undocking from a station exactly 30 km away while standing still? Then you might want to calculate a target-specific DPS with sig radius and range etc. Are you going to engage in PVP against unknown targets? Then you might want to go for a more simplified DPS-calculation. Are you bragging about your DPS or comparing tank-capability? Then go for the conventional calculation. Know this though: the more variables you factor in the less chance is it that you have a surprised look on your space-frozen body. Knowledge is power.

NN comments

I am sorry but this is plain incorrect. Although what you say make sens if you think of how DPS is used in EFT, dps doesn’t mean anything else than damage per second, whatever way you put it ;)

werner lucifer

There is nothing wrong with using DPS in that way, it’s actually preferable because it’s standard now days. I just like to point it out so no confusion arise. It doesn’t hurt to know that sometimes DPS is calculated in another way than just (output damage)/time.

werner lucifer

When I say “more correct” in the post I’m not saying that the simplified DPS function is wrong but just that it’s simplified e.g. not actual reality and that every step of a theoretical DPS closing in on reality makes it more correct (maybe less useful). BTW. I will edit the post to make everything a bit more clear.

ecaf ersa

Some of Werner’s answer may have been edited since this chain of comments but it looks quite good to me. +1 for answer, formatting and graphs. Keep these answers up Werner, its good stuff. Maybe time to delete all these comments that are merely quibbling over semantics and add nothing to the answer?

werner lucifer

Interesting how you just explained a word only by using the word itself. “Damage”, the English word, does normally mean the actual inflicted damage. E.g. if you shoot a gun the “damage” isn’t the flying bullets capability of damage but the actual damage inflicted. So it means “Oh look at the damage to this dude, his gut is all over the place” not “Look at the damage to this person if he wasn’t wearing a body armour and the bullet did actually hit which it didn’t.”. But this much more “correct” way of interpreting DPS isn’t how it is used in game, which I explain at the top of my post.


I didn’t say it was wrong. You said others where not totally correct, but it’s subjective because you are assuming we talk about “expected” DPS, which can be found mostly in EFT.

The guy who asked wanted to know what DPS did stand for. There is no need to re-invent words to make that clear to him ;)

PS : still you are correct, EFT “dps” is biaised, although you can add some filters to get it much more accurate.

Overall your point is valid, but it’s not the question that was asked, that’s all ^^

werner lucifer

Sorry I must have mistaken “incorrect” with “wrong”;) I’m talking about different meanings of DPS that are used already, not some fictional over-complicated interpretations that I myself invented for this post. Proof? Check out the links in the post. Even you refer to EFT’s definition of DPS; proving yourself that DPS have multiple interpretations. If someone asked you about a multiple definition word then your answered with one of those definitions that would not be a full and complete answer. The answer is complicated, but it’s more complete, and does answer the question asked.

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