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The Akarius.png Akarius is a significantly under-estimated weapon. For run-and-gun carnage EVERYBODY always touts the Acceltra.png Acceltra, and always gives excuses based on flawed logic if you look into the details. But this guide intends to dig a bit deeper and prove just how dangerous the Akarius really is.

  • UPDATED JUNE 26 2021, with Endgame Mode
  • UPDATED AUG 9 2021, to bypass currently broken Galvanized Shot


Initial Comparisons

The first mistake everyone seems to make on the Akarius is "Oh, zero crit chance? It sucks bye". What they fail to realize is the following: a weapon with a certain damage per shot and 100% crit chance for double damage has the exact same damage output over time (DPS) as a) a weapon with the same damage per shot, zero crit chance but double the firing rate, and b) a weapon with zero crit chance but double the base damage per shot. To truly compare any weapon to any other, YOU HAVE TO CALCULATE WITH ALL THREE FACTORS of damage per shot, firing rate and crit stats to determine the weapon's Base DPS before mods. When planning for damage-dealing, this is what you start with and what all mods calculate off of. To calculate the actual effective DPS multiplier from Crit stats, taking the Acceltra.png Acceltra as a direct example: It has a 2.8 Crit multiplier at 32% chance. Reworded, it adds 180% damage to the shots 32% of the time. This is identical to 180 x 0.32 = 57.6% damage being added every shot, or a 1.576 Base DPS multiplier.

The second mistake everyone seems to make is on the falloff of the AoE. "Eww, the Akarius has a 70% damage drop, the Acceltra has only a 50% drop, the Acceltra is better bye". You missed something: that 70% dropoff for the Akarius is at 7.2 meters from the impact point. For the Acceltra it's at 4 meters. These falloffs are linear from the impact point, so to compare them you have to calculate the Falloff per Meter rate. For the Akarius, 70%/7.2m = 9.72% per meter. At 4m, the Acceltra's max AoE radius, the Akarius damage drops by 38.9%...far better than the Acceltra's 50%.

Status procs are not considered. It is easy to have an alternate weapon or Companion put whatever status effects you please like Viral or Corrosive on a target for any main weapon, so the below is purely considering raw direct damage output.

So, with all of the above being stated, below is a direct comparison of the Akarius against multiple other prominent AoE weapons (restricted to ones that give an AoE on every shot), comparing their Direct DPS (the Base Damage Per Second on a target that takes the direct projectile impacts as well as the AoE), the AoE DPS (for nearby enemies that are only hit by the AoE) and the Falloff Per Meter, to maximum radius. For weapons with a single-round magazine, their Reload speed is used to calculate DPS for a firing rate. Weapons with a Charge time like the Kuva Bramma are calculated off of a full-length charge. Weapons that create secondary cluster bomblets are calculated for both DPS values as if every bomblet also hits the same target:

  • Akarius.png Akarius: Direct DPS 2069.75, AoE DPS 1780.75, Falloff 9.72%/m to 7.2m
  • Acceltra.png Acceltra: Direct DPS 1494.05, AoE DPS 832.13, Falloff 12.5%/m to 4m
  • Kuva Bramma.png Kuva Bramma (at a full 60% Valence in an element): Direct DPS 2978.30, AoE DPS 2238.16, Falloff 10.84%/m to 8.3m
  • GrnGrenadeLauncher.png Tonkor: Direct DPS 586.40, AoE DPS 525.74, Falloff 10%/m to 7m
  • KuvaTonkor.png Kuva Tonkor (at a full 60% Valence in an element): Direct DPS 1133.71, AoE DPS 1042.45, Falloff 10%/m to 7m
  • OgrisNew.png Ogris: Direct DPS 710.5, AoE DPS 609, Falloff 11.27%/m to 7.1m
  • KuvaOgris.png Kuva Ogris (at a full 60% Valence in an element): Direct DPS 1867.82, AoE DPS 1797.19, Falloff 10.13%/m to 7.9m
  • GrineerCannon.png Zarr (in Cannon mode only): Direct DPS 1047.93, AoE DPS 995.53, Falloff 12.5%/m to 4m
  • ProboscisCernos.png Proboscis Cernos: Direct DPS 1048.28, AoE DPS 820.15, Falloff 7.14%/m to 7m
  • Shedu.png Shedu: Direct DPS 503.63, AoE DPS 277.31, Falloff 9.09%/m to 6.6m

So, as can be seen above, the Akarius does just fine compared to others.

The third main thing that many people seem to forget, the key Pistol damage mods are more powerful than their Rifle equivalents. Mod TT 20px.png Hornet Strike versus Mod TT 20px.png Serration, Mod TT 20px.png Barrel Diffusion versus Mod TT 20px.png Split Chamber, Mod TT 20px.png Lethal Torrent versus Mod TT 20px.png Vigilante Armaments; since Secondary Pistol weapons are typically much weaker than Primary weapons they get much stronger mods to help them compete. But as was just proven above, the Akarius DOES NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM, so using the much stronger Pistol mod set can really kick it into high gear.

Akarius Mod Set, Initial

After all the above, the following is the mod set.

The result: You get a weapon with a Direct DPS of 125.9K, an AoE DPS of 108.3K, an 11.95m radius AoE. Not many weapons can match this regardless of their Mod configurations. Further, given the guided nature of the missiles you have no need to directly aim; from the moment you notice an enemy on your radar you can quickly turn and fire somewhere in that general direction within a fraction of a second while in mid-sprint, and you'll still land powerful hits against the enemy unless there is a LOT of terrain obstacles between you and them. The Energized Munitions skill from the Helminth pushes this even further by compensating for the reload issues (not factored into the above calculations).

All in all, the Akarius will serve you very well in any situation you decide to use it in.

Endgame Mode

The release of the new Galvanized mods and gun arcanes VASTLY changed what the Akarius can do. The following will be a good deal more difficult and expensive to build (you need a maxed Secondary Arcane and Every. Single. Slot. needs to be Forma'd, including the Exilus) and also involves tweaks to your Warframe, but as an initial teaser: you could do over 1 million DPS to a single target and not much less than that in the area of effect. This was originally planned to also use Mod TT 20px.png Galvanized Shot, but that was recently determined to have no effect on boosting the damage of the AoE blasts and is therefore useless.

For starters, a recent and quite welcome discovery is how effective Arcane Pistoleer is with the Akarius. The common misconception many seem to have with Arcane Pistoleer is that only kills with direct projectile strikes to the head count to trigger it. This is simply not true; enemies killed by an AoE blast above them is frequently considered a Headshot kill, and despite the guided-to-body nature of the Akarius shots, as long as there are plenty of enemies available and you aim just slightly high, a maxed Arcane Pistoleer has been seen triggering quite frequently; in Sanctuary Onslaught, both normal and Elite versions, it has been seen triggering twice within a single ammo clip of the Akarius (remember that multiple procs of Arcane Pistoleer don't stack at all, you need to wait out an entire duration before it can proc again). This in turn completely surpasses the effect of Energized Munitions from the Helminth, allowing you to put a different ability in, which will be shown below.

The end-game Akarius build:

  • Arcane: Secondary Merciless and it MUST be maxed. This lets you swap out Stunning Speed from the above. You'll take a small reload hit but that won't matter as much as it sounds, at a sprint the reload will be approx. 2 seconds.
  • Exilus: Mod TT 20px.png Primed Pistol Ammo Mutation, again, don't max it, go to maybe level 6 and save some mod points.
  • Mod TT 20px.png Hornet Strike
  • Mod TT 20px.png Galvanized Diffusion
  • Mod TT 20px.png Lethal Torrent
  • Mod TT 20px.png Pathogen Rounds, Mod TT 20px.png Convulsion and Mod TT 20px.png Primed Heated Charge with the first two sequenced early, as I like a Corrosive proc on the weapon for general combat. If you are going against Corpus, swap Convulsion for a non-upgraded Mod TT 20px.png Pistol Pestilence and swap the Prime Heated Charge for Mod TT 20px.png Primed Expel Corpus, and set the Wildcard to Mod TT 20px.png Magnum Force to get a pure Toxin element to really tear through their shields.
  • Mod TT 20px.png Primed Fulmination
  • Final slot is a wildcard slot set to a Madurai polarity. This can match key mods like all three Expel mod types, Mod TT 20px.png Pistol Pestilence, and Mod TT 20px.png Magnum Force). Different DPS values will be calculated for different options.
  • Warframe Arcanes must include a maxed Arcane Pistoleer. If maxed, this will trigger very frequently giving you regular 12 second bursts of unlimited fire, and frequently happening several times within a single ammo clip so you could go as long as 36 seconds uninterrupted (3 procs in 1 clip).

Since the damage number I hinted at above sounds completely loony-toons at face value, I'm going to display the calculations directly, starting with Direct Damage.

ASSUMPTIONS: All of the Galvanized mods and Secondary Merciless are at their max stacks. All of the mods/Arcanes related to standard Base damage stack their damage additively

Final DPS = Base DPS x Base Damage Multipler x Elemental Damage Multiplier x Multishot Multiplier x Firing Rate Multiplier. I would add a Crit Damage Multiplier if this had crit (which is fine that it doesn't, but you could use this formula for other weapons). One of the Wildcard options shown below allows for this.

WILDCARD OPTIONS:

  • Base DPS, for Direct = 2069.75 from above
  • Base DPS, for Area = 1780.75 from above
  • Base Damage Multiplier = 1 + [Hornet Strike (2.2) + Secondary Merciless (3.6)] = 6.8 (or 8.45 under option B)
  • Elemental Damage Multiplier = 1 + [Pathogen Rounds (0.9) + Convulsion (0.9) + Primed Heated Charge (1.65)] = 4.45 (or 5.05 under option C)
  • Multishot Multiplier = 1 + [Lethal Torrent (0.6) + Galvanized Diffusion (2.3)] = 3.9
  • Firing Rate Multiplier = 1 + Lethal Torrent (0.6) = 1.6
  • Crit Multiplier, option A only, Arcane Avenger only and active: (0.45 x 1.1)+1 = 1.495
  • Faction Multiplier, option D only: 1.55 against the key faction

TOTAL DPS with no WF skills

  • Option A) Direct= 2069.75 x 6.8 x 4.45 x 3.9 x 1.6 x 1.495 = 584,269 Option A) Area = 502,687
  • Option B) Direct= 2069.75 x 8.45 x 4.45 x 3.9 x 1.6 = 485,645 Option B) Area = 417,834
  • Option C) Direct= 2069.75 x 6.8 x 5.05 x 3.9 x 1.6 = 443,509 Option C) Area = 381,581 plus Status chance
  • Option D) Direct= 2069.75 x 6.8 x 4.45 x 3.9 x 1.6 x 1.55(faction only) = 605,763 Faction, 390,815 Other Option D) Area = 521,181 Faction, 336,245 Other

THE CHERRY ON TOP: Activate Xata's Whisper either through Xaku directly or have the skill transferred via the Helminth.

My calculations are based on my current active frame build which has a maxed Umbral set (Mod TT 20px.png Umbral Intensify with the bonus from having all 3 umbrals on) and a maxed Mod TT 20px.png Blind Rage. This gives an ability strength of 276%, which in turn makes the damage boost from Xata's Whisper equal to 26% x 2.76 = 71.76%. This is a direct multiplier to the FINAL damages shown above, and it has the bonus of stripping resistances off of Acolytes, Sentients and the Stalker (the main reason I chose it. The damage boost is a bonus). AND THIS IS IF YOU HAVE NOT PRIMED TARGETS AT ALL WITH ANYTHING ELSE, which will only drive this higher if you do.

So, with a 71.76% multiplier from Xata's Whisper: TOTAL DPS, ALL OUT:

  • Option A): 1,003,540 DPS Direct, 863,415 Area
  • Option B): 834,143 DPS Direct, 717,672 Area
  • Option C): 761,771 DPS Direct, 655,403 Area, plus Status chance
  • Option D): 1,040,459 DPS Direct Faction, 671,264 Direct Other, 895,180 Area Faction, 557,534 Area Other


This makes a gun with a) utterly putrid DPS, b) strips resistances off of resistance-buildup enemies like Sentients and Acolytes, c) is guided so you could easily land this kind of damage on enemies over 100m away that you can barely even see, through walls, ceilings and floors at an 11.95m AoE, d) very frequently goes into 12 second bursts of unlimited ammo, and e) for extra giggles, the Void effect frequently makes the enemies shoot themselves instead of you, reducing inbound damage quite a bit. Choosing a Faction mod has the highest possible damage against only that faction, but it has the lowest damage against anything else so not necessarily viable for a multi-faction mission like Sanctuary Onslaught.

Very, very few weapons in the game of any kind can match this.

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