The Akarius is a significantly under-estimated weapon. For run-and-gun carnage EVERYBODY always touts the 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.
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 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: Direct DPS 2069.75, AoE DPS 1780.75, Falloff 9.72%/m to 7.2m
- Acceltra: Direct DPS 1494.05, AoE DPS 832.13, Falloff 12.5%/m to 4m
- 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
- Tonkor: Direct DPS 586.40, AoE DPS 525.74, Falloff 10%/m to 7m
- Kuva Tonkor (at a full 60% Valence in an element): Direct DPS 1133.71, AoE DPS 1042.45, Falloff 10%/m to 7m
- Ogris: Direct DPS 710.5, AoE DPS 609, Falloff 11.27%/m to 7.1m
- 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
- Zarr (in Cannon mode only): Direct DPS 1047.93, AoE DPS 995.53, Falloff 12.5%/m to 4m
- Proboscis Cernos: Direct DPS 1048.28, AoE DPS 820.15, Falloff 7.14%/m to 7m
- 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. Hornet Strike versus Serration, Barrel Diffusion versus Split Chamber, Lethal Torrent versus 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
After all the above, the following is the mod set.
- Exilus: Primed Pistol Ammo Mutation
- Hornet Strike
- Barrel Diffusion
- Lethal Torrent
- Stunning Speed. Reloading while sprinting with any non-Gauss frame, this puts the reload to 1.79 seconds.
- Pathogen Rounds and Convulsion as I like a Corrosive proc on the weapon
- Magnum Force. The guided nature of the missiles makes the accuracy penalty of this have ZERO effect.
- Primed Fulmination
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).
Final point to consider, the Akarius does not have an arming distance so its blasts can happen even at point-blank range. I always put whatever mods I need to on my Warframe to have complete Self Stagger immunity, so I won't get a disruption from being knocked over. But weapons like the Acceltra and Tonkors that do have an arming distance can have their damage output crippled to practically nothing against enemies inside their arming distance.
All in all, the Akarius will serve you very well in any situation you decide to use it in.