This is a question I can't seem to find in any of the FAQs or explanations of the game.

Is it beneficial to have a weapon in your free hand? For instance, I have a pretty sweet wand, I enchanted it like 10 times, got really lucky and I've got 2 pretty sweet gems in it. So, for where I am in the game, this thing is kicking ass. But it's a one handed weapon, I have another hand free. My other one handed weapons are not as good; lesser wands or pistols, with DPS much lower and no good effects.

So my question is, is it still better to put SOMETHING into the other hand, or leave it empty? If the other hand is empty, will the good wand fire twice as often as if I had 2 weapons? Would be overall DPS be the average of the two, or the sum?

Also, does Dual-Wield affect this decision?

2 Answers 2


In short: you should be dual-wielding if you have an off-hand weapon with many powerful effects; otherwise use a shield.

When dual-wielding the effects from both weapons are added together and applied with each attack. So if your off-hand pistol has +X life-steal, then all of your attacks will have life-steal.

However, DPS is only the better of the two weapons (discovered with a little testing). Attack speed averages because attacks alternate between the two wielded weapons, each taking the time of the respective weapon. For example, if you have a quick pistol but a slow wand, the pistol attacks will happen very quickly after each wand attack, but wand attacks will happen slowly after each pistol attack.

What this means is that you should only dual-wield if you have an off-hand with a fast attack speed and many useful effects.

The Dual-Wield skill increases damage significantly, but it is geared towards Berserker as most of his skills add the DPS of both weapons to skill damage. Being an Alchemist, this skill should not interest you nor affect your decision.

Usually the defense of an off-hand shield is more valuable than a weapon that only adds its value in effects. Also, as your mana regeneration increases you will be using only skills, meaning your weapon is never used whereas a shield is (passively).

  • 2
    Yeah, im an Alchemist. Basically I'm just wondering if say I have a wand that's 100 DPS, and another that's 50 DPS. If I use just the 100, i'd expect 100 DPS, but if I use both, is it 150, or 75? In other words, does wand A fire more often if I have a free hand? Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 16:36
  • We need an addin like WOW's recount ;) Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 16:36
  • 3
    If not using a second weapon, use a shield. Blocking is always nice.
    – bummzack
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 16:40
  • @LoveMeSomeCode I'm hoping for 150 but expecting something not totally obvious, you'll still have to wait until I get home and turn Torchlight on. Although, if wand A has a high fire rate do not equip a weapon with a lower fire rate. If you do then you take the lower of the two rates.
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 18:36
  • fire rate is a good point. I've actually been ignoring fire rate entirely since i figured DPS would include that, but in this case it might be relevant. Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 19:02

The average is 75, if both are same speed. If speed difference is drastic, the faster one will sometimes double-fire between the weaker one's attack. If the worse wand is faster, it increases the loss, else, it decreases the loss. However, you need a wand for alchemist because the wand can be used "from the corner" if its bolt is reflecting.

This could be useful for corner-striking bosses or some harder enemies. Generally, only dual to amass effects on two equal-speed, equal-damage weapon, else use shields, maybe even dual shields.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .