Melee weapons have two stats: Damage per swing and Swing speed. The meaning of damage per swing is fairly obvious, but what does swing speed measure? Is it time/swing (so a lower value is better), or swings/time (a higher value is better)?

  • You also want to look at the armor penetration of it; a weapon with 4 armor penetration and 30 damage is worst than a weapon with 8 armor penetration and 17 damage, so keep an eye on that as well. – user63293 Dec 7 '13 at 6:29

Higher value means more swings/shots/attacks per second, so higher value is better.

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    This depends ofcourse. if you have a high damage weapon with low swing speed it could be better then a weapon with faster swing speed but lower damage – Serge Bekenkamp Dec 7 '13 at 9:45
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    @SergeBekenkamp true, but assuming all else is equal, higher swing speed is better. Also, weapons with lower swing speeds might have a better reach, but that's unaccounted for in stats (at the moment) – toryan Dec 7 '13 at 13:34
  • @SergeBekenkamp Given that weapon knockback is always the same, higher speed/lower damage is always better because it keeps mobs off you. – Fambida Dec 10 '13 at 4:32

Having only played Starbound for a bit, I can not answer this 100%. But, looking at its brother, Terreria, higher swing speed would be better. Usually, the swing speed is related to how many swings per second, not the other way around.

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