RuneScape Best DPS Rotations Guide



RuneScape Best DPS Rotations Guide by Blaez_Knight

More and more abilities are being added to RuneScape and just in a few weeks we will finally be able to make full use of them conveniently with additional ability bars. Many people have their own perception of how the different abilities compare and have created their own rotations / priorities in their mind. However, there are a lot of subtle questions that cannot easily be answered which could further improve these rotations. It would also be very useful to get actual numbers for the best possible DPS under different circumstances in order to compare various setups.

Because of these reasons, for a long time now, I have wanted to create a program that tries out and analyses all possible rotations to answer these questions. The first version of that program is now finally finished. The program is still in its early stages, but so far I have obtained the “rotations” for dealing the most possible damage with Ranged in 30 and in 45 seconds and also for at most 24 seconds when starting from 100 Adrenaline. (There are an extremely large number of possibilities that need to be tested by the program, and a number of complicated optimisations had to be implemented to achieve any reasonable performance)

The current data only concerns Ranged, but the Melee and Magic versions along with a lot of more information should follow in a few days’ time.

This post explains the project itself the best, however, all the important actual data (more accurately and in a much better format than here) can be found in my Google spreadsheet, you should definitely check it out:
Google Spreadsheet – Blaez’s Ultimate DPS Guide


First of all, I have tested every relevant ability separately1 to confirm what their minimum and maximum hits are and how exactly they work. Much to my surprise, most of the data in the tooltips is correct, although there are some exceptions. (the last time I have tried doing this pretty much everything was wrong) Please find below the table that shows the total expected base damage percentage for the abilities along with the average damage per tick.

Ability Average damage Damage per Tick Notes
Piercing Shot 56.4 18.8
Needle Strike 94.2 31.4 The 5% bonus seems to affect all hits of the next ability if it is an instant ability, but only the first if it is channelled (so both hits of Snap Shot and only the first hit of Rapid Fire)
Ricochet 60.0 20.0
Binding Shot 60.0 20.0
Snipe 172.0 43.0
Tuska’s Wrath 700 23.3 Damage is between 30% – 110%, minimum damage higher than expected
Sacrifice 60.0 20.0
Fragmentation Shot 103.9 34.6 Does not benefit from bonuses (except for scrimshaws), shown damage is reduced based on a high-end setup
Corruption Shot 170.4 56.8 Does not benefit from bonuses (except for scrimshaws), shown damage is reduced based on a high-end setup
Snap Shot 265.0 88.3
Rapid Fire 451.2 56.4
Shadow Tendrils 274.2 91.4
Bombardment 131.4 43.8
Tight Bindings 120.0 40.0
Deadshot 425.8 141.9
Unload 610.0 87.1
Death’s Swiftness

A better explanation for how the abilities work exactly and my findings can be found in the Google spreadsheet.

1 Credit to The RuneScape Wiki for information on the one ability that I did not finish testing completely, Shadow Tendrils


I have used my program to calculate the best possible damage on a single, stationary target in 30 and in 45 seconds. Please find the rotations for these below:

  • 30 seconds (Picture): Fragmentation Shot → Needle Strike → Snipe → Corruption Shot → Needle Strike → Tuska’s Wrath → Rapid Fire → Fragmentation Shot → Needle Strike → Snap Shot → Snipe → Needle Strike → Shadow Tendrils → Corruption Shot
  • 45 seconds (Picture): Fragmentation Shot → Needle Strike → Snipe → Corruption Shot → Needle Strike → Tuska’s Wrath → Rapid Fire → Snipe → Needle Strike → Snap Shot → Corruption Shot → Needle Strike → Shadow Tendrils → Snipe → Needle Strike → Rapid Fire → Needle Strike → Snipe → Snap Shot → Corruption Shot

And these rotations deal the most damage when starting at 100 Adrenaline and using a Ring of Vigour:

  • 18.6 seconds (Picture): Snipe → Snap Shot → Fragmentation Shot → Needle Strike → Shadow Tendrils → Corruption Shot → Snipe → Unload
  • 19.2 seconds (Picture): Death’s Swiftness → Tuska’s Wrath → Needle Strike → Snipe → Fragmentation Shot → Needle Strike → Snap Shot → Corruption Shot → Needle Strike → Shadow Tendrils
  • 24 seconds (Picture): Death’s Swiftness → Corruption Shot → Needle Strike → Snipe → Tuska’s Wrath → Needle Strike → Rapid Fire → Needle Strike → Corruption Shot → Shadow Tendrils → Needle Strike

Update: The best rotations under the same circumstances but without Corruption Shot (for people who did not get it yet): [30 seconds] [45 seconds] [18.6 seconds] [19.2 seconds] [24 seconds]

These are only examples, a lot more will be revealed soon™.

Some conclusions based on this information:

  • Corruption Shot is the strongest basic ability, even on a single target, use it as often as you can. (unless the target is moving, in which case Fragmentation Shot is better)
  • Snipe is also really powerful and you should be using it if you want to maximise your DPS. It takes an additional tick to hit compared to other basic abilities and so it needs to be timed properly, but it is worth the extra effort if you are experienced enough.
  • Ideally, you do not often need to use the low damaging abilities (Piercing shot, Sacrifice etc.), but when you do, use Tuska’s Wrath if possible.
  • If a boss is about to be finished and you are at maximum adrenaline, it is worth using Death’s Swiftness if the fight will take at least 19.2 seconds.

The next step for me is to further improve my program’s algorithm so that it can determine the best damage for longer durations in order to obtain complete rotations. (the 45 second one took almost an hour and used about 6 gigabytes of memory) Here’s a screenshot of my program if anyone is interested:Picture.

After that, I would like to test the Melee and Magic abilities and run my program on those too as well as some other additions, in order to answer questions such as:

  • Melee has really good abilities but is lacking a good aura and a scrimshaw, how does it actually compare to the other combat styles?
  • How do the Supreme Invigorate and Inspiration auras compare to the other ones?
  • How much does Ring of Vigour increase your DPS by?

TL;DR:
I have tested all Ranged abilities to obtain the expected damage from each and wrote a program that tries out all possible ability rotations in order to find the ones that deal the most damage. All the up to date important data can be found in my Google spreadsheet, you should check it out if you would like to see a good comparison of Ranged abilities or if you are interested in some of the best example rotations for short durations:
Google Spreadsheet – Blaez’s Ultimate DPS Guide

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