Excluding abilities, what unit does the most DPS in starcraft 2?

Including abilities, which unit does the highest DPS?

Finally, which unit does the highest DPS/Cost?

Edit: For simplicity assume there are no bonuses (vs armored, vs light etc), serious bonus points though if you include these in their own category.

  • @strix good point, I was attempting to limit the calculation of abilities... However you could take the damage done and disperse it over the cooldown period... updating
    – Aardvark
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 0:40
  • I don't know why you'd want to consider that, because I don't think it really has any strategic value ingame because there are so many more parameters taking effect.
    – DogDog
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 6:19

3 Answers 3


At 46.88 DPS the Thor clocks in at the highest DPS in the game. Fully upgraded its 60.94.

Second place goes to the Battle Cruiser (also while attacking ground) at 44.44 or 57.78 when upgraded

However, if you're willing to consider splash damage, you can get much higher dps by sending lings at Siege Tanks or into Psionic storm. At that point we're talking about what the unit is that we're sending in and how they're moving.

Now, if we're looking at Effective Dps (dps/cost), then the list looks like:

  1. Zergling 28.74 dps per 100 Minerals
  2. Missile Turret 27.88
  3. Stim Marine 20.91
  4. Spore Crawler 17.43

Note: Spine Crawlers do 18.75 against armored, but only 15.63 normal.

Again, this doesn't include splash as that changes based on the unit being attacked.

  • Are the calculations for Thor and BC including abilties?
    – Aardvark
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 0:52
  • @Taboo they are not
    – tzenes
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 1:22
  • +1 Nice to know it is worth it teching to Thors or BCs if you can afford it. Also nice to know that Crawlers are useful as a Zerg, although people might want to consider in more mobile units instead. Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 0:11

@tzenes gave some good numbers but I want to point out that theoretical DPS which is what tzenes gave isn't the same as effective DPS, both because of armor value and bonus vs attributes, but also because of overkill damage. I'm sure he knows, but some people may try to read too much into the numbers.

For instance, theoretically Thors deal 46.88dps, however the effective DPS depends on the unit. Thor vs zergling only does 27.34dps. Why? Thors do 30x2 damage per attack every 1.28 seconds. 60 damage per 1.28 seconds is indeed 46.88dps, but zerglings only have 35 health. So really it's 35 damage every 1.28 seconds which is 27.34 dps.

Vs marines it's about 35.16 or lower (assuming 45 hp because it's 55 with combat shield, but you're almost never fighting unstimmed marines, so it's pretty much always 45 or lower)

Additionally against those units, upgrading thor's ground attack doesn't do anything vs these lower tier units either. Whether you're at 0 upgrades or 3 attack upgrades, it still takes 1 shot to kill a marine and 2 to kill a marauder, regardless of their armor upgrade (exception unstimmed marine with combat shield has 55 health and 3 armor, meaning it takes 54 damage per attack from an unupgraded thor, but again that's not really a scenario you run into)

A battlecruiser on the otherhand does 33.33dps vs a once stimmed marine (6 shots to kill). However if your BC's have 1 more attack upgrade than they have armor upgrade, it only takes 5 shots, increasing dps to 40.

Throwing in Medivacs completely changes the numbers again because you need to subtract the healing. Here the ability to one-shot something shines again because that reduces the HPS (healing per sec) to 0. Medivacs do 13.5 HPS, so if a unit does less than that, for instance a single zergling (7.18dps no upgrades) vs 1 marine + medivac will do 0 effective damage because it can't damage faster than the marine's getting healed.

I could probably go on for days crunching numbers, but I just wanted to make the point that you (and any other readers) shouldn't read too much into hard dps numbers without considering other factors. It's a complex system when you get really down and dirty into the theorycrafting. I haven't even taken into account range (things that die before they reach the target do 0 dps), splash or other abilities.

  • 2
    Definitely good points
    – Aardvark
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 16:16
  • Zergling 28.74 dps per 100 Minerals
  • Missile Turret 27.88
  • Stim Marine 20.91
  • Spore Crawler 17.43

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