Attack speed

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Attack speed in Terraria refers to the rate at which a weapon can attack. Despite many modifiers and effects showing changes to attack or melee speed, attack speed is not an in-game statistic and is instead determined by its reciprocal, known as use time. This is the amount time it takes to swing (attack with) or use an item. If use time increases, attack speed decreases, and vice versa. For example, a weapon with a use time of 30 will have a lower attack speed (slower rate of fire) than a weapon with a use time of 10. As such, any attack speed modifiers will in actuality act as a variable within the use time equation. However, as shown below, for many melee weapons a change in attack speed (and therefore use time) will have effects other than a change in use time.

While almost all weapons can recieve attack speed modifiers, such as Quick or Legendary, accessories will only ever provide bonuses to melee speed.

Effects on special types of melee weapons

Melee speed bonuses affect different types of melee weapons in different ways. For most endgame weapons, it does not increase DPS, as most of them fall into one of the following categories:

Projectile melee weapons

Melee speed only affects the actual swinging animation and not the rate at which a weapon fires projectiles. For example, a Terra Blade will fire projectiles at the same rate regardless of whether it has a +10% attack speed bonus or a +150% attack speed bonus. Melee speed does, however, affect the speed at which the projectile travels. The Terragrim, Arkhalis, and Starlight's main attacks are considered projectiles, and do not benefit from melee attack speed boosts.

Yoyos

Melee speed bonuses increase the length of a Yoyo's string, but not its attack rate. This can be very helpful in the early game, when yoyos are very short and hard to hit bosses with, and against bosses where you need to keep a distance (such as Empress of Light). The exact multiplier for yoyo string length is (1+3*(melee speed))/4, where melee speed is 1.0 without buffs. Thus, if the player can reach 2x melee speed through buffs, the yoyo string will be 75% longer.

Flails

Similar to yoyos, Flails do not attack more often with melee speed boosts, but they reach further and shoot out faster, making them much better at hitting flying targets.

Whips

Despite doing summoning damage, Whips are heavily affected by melee speed, making them one of the few endgame weapons whose DPS is directly affected by melee speed.

Spears

Spears gain additional reach from melee speed but not additional DPS. Instead, they move faster during each swing to make up for the increased travel distance.

Boomerangs

Boomerangs gain additional range from melee speed.

Boost gear

Accessories

Item Attack speed bonus
Fire GauntletFire Gauntlet 12%
Feral ClawsFeral Claws 12%
Berserker's GloveBerserker's Glove 12%
Power GlovePower Glove 12%
Mechanical GloveMechanical Glove 12%
Celestial StoneCelestial Stone 10%
Sun StoneSun Stone 10%
Moon StoneMoon Stone 10%
Moon CharmMoon Charm 5.1%
Moon ShellMoon Shell 5.1%
Celestial ShellCelestial Shell 15.1%

Armor

Item Attack speed bonus
Shadow GreavesShadow Greaves 7%
Shadow ScalemailShadow Scalemail 7%
Shadow HelmetShadow Helmet 7%
Molten GreavesMolten Greaves 7%
Hallowed MaskHallowed Mask 10%
Frost LeggingsFrost Leggings 10%
Ancient Shadow HelmetAncient Shadow Helmet 7%
Ancient Shadow ScalemailAncient Shadow Scalemail 7%
Ancient Shadow GreavesAncient Shadow Greaves 7%
Palladium MaskPalladium Mask 12%
Orichalcum MaskOrichalcum Mask 11%
Titanium MaskTitanium Mask 9%
Beetle Scale MailBeetle Scale Mail 6%
Beetle LeggingsBeetle Leggings 6%
GiGi 10%
Solar Flare LeggingsSolar Flare Leggings 15%
Monk's Bushy Brow Bald CapMonk's Bushy Brow Bald Cap 20%
Shinobi Infiltrator's TorsoShinobi Infiltrator's Torso 20%
Ancient Hallowed MaskAncient Hallowed Mask 10%
Crystal Assassin PantsCrystal Assassin Pants 10%
Cobalt armorCobalt armor(with Helmet) 15%
Adamantite armorAdamantite armor(with Helmet) 20%
Beetle armorBeetle armor(with Scale Mail) up to 30%

Notes

  • The maximum increased attack speed (for melee) is +158.1% using Monk's Bushy Brow Bald Cap (20%), Shinobi Infiltrator's Torso (20%), Solar Flare Leggings (15%), Exquisitely Stuffed (buff) (10%), Tipsy (buff) (10%), and the five accessories Feral Claws (12%), Power Glove (12%), Mechanical Glove (12%), Celestial Shell (15.1% at night) and Berserker's Glove (12%), each reforged to Violent (20%). In Expert Mode Violent Fire Gauntlet can be worn for an extra 16%, with +174.1% total; In Master Mode an additional Violent accessory (As of 1.4.0.1, Sun and Moon Stone and their upgrades' effects no longer stack) can be worn for an extra 4%, with +178.1% total.
    • When combined with the fastest melee weapon, the Fetid Baghnakhs, a player may execute a full melee attack in roughly 0.033 seconds, or thirty times per second.
  • Mining speed of various tools is however not affected by the bonuses above, it is only boosted by specialized mining bonuses (such as the Mining Potion and Mining armor) and speed bonuses granted by the tool's own modifier, the best of which is Light. The exception is the Celestial Stone (and related accessories), whose bonus to mining speed is stated in the tooltip.
  • Enemies' invincibility frames should be taken into consideration when dealing with attack speed. Generally speaking, no invincibility time is applied when referring to projectiles that do not pierce, but those that do pierce or explode are not in this case. Normally it is 1/6 seconds (10 ticks[1]) while there are some exceptions ranging from 5 ticks to 20 ticks.

Footnotes

  1. A tick is a time unit countable by the software. Most of Terraria's updating logic happens every tick. A tick has the length of 1/60th of a second, hence there are 60 ticks in a second and 3600 ticks in a minute.