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Star Wars: The Old Republic APM Guide: How To Improve Your Low DPS & Heal with High Action Per Minute

9/2/2020 3:41:49 PM

In this SWTOR guide, we will explain how your APM or Action Per Minute works and how to measure it, intended to provide tips for players with low DPS or low effective Heal to improve their gameplay.

SWTOR Action Per Minute (APM)

Action Per Minute in Star Wars: The Old Republic is a unit of measurement that tracks the number of actions (skills, cooldown, etc.) taken per minute between entering and exiting combat. This is one of the main indicators for measuring a player's skills. Ideally, APM only includes "productive" actions, however it can be augmented by so-called "superfluous" actions.

Note: “50 APM”, corresponds to 50 actions performed in one minute.

Why Have A High APM in Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Increasing the number of actions and therefore your APM means that you are able to make decisions quickly, increase your effective Heal output, or predict damage taken in addition to increasing your DPS output.

When we talk about DPS, HPS or TPS (Threat Per Second), we find a notion of APM. Indeed, the higher the APM, the higher the DPS / HPS per second will be, the APM allowing to strike / heal more often in less time.

Setting up a high APM takes into services certain prerequisites that we will not deal with here such as knowledge of bosses (mechanics, types of attacks, etc.), knowledge of its class, its role, a connection stable and of course fights lasting more than a minute (stop the mannequins at 1,000,000 HP!).

How Does SWTOR APM Work and Effect Your DPS & Heal? 


First, let's define the term GCD: it is the time between two consecutive actions or overall reuse time. By default, this time is 1.5s. With a GCD of 1.5s, 1.4s or 1.3s, it is impossible to have an APM around 200 on Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, some “out of cooldown” spells do not consume GCD and may therefore increase the player's APM.

  • - On a pole there should be no downtime, so you should chain spells as quickly as possible to get the highest MPA possible.

  • - On a boss, there are idle times (variable depending on the boss), so your APM will sometimes be a little lower than on a pole, but it shouldn't be ridiculous either.

  • - Either way, the goal is to keep the MPA as high as possible. However, on some bosses your APM value will be irrelevant and unrepresentative due to downtime.

Note: Depending on the class or discipline, there are differences in APM. This is due to channeling times, non-GCD spells, or an increase in the percentage of alacrity (via a non-GCD spell, relic, dope, supercharged haste, or boss mechanics).

SWTOR Alacrity

Alacrity impacts many elements:

  • - Increases the rate of resource regeneration

  • - Reduced channeling time

  • - Reduced the cooldown of powers and certain liabilities

  • - Reduces the time between 2 ticks of Hot or Dot

  • - Reduces overall cooldown (GCD) time

By reaching a certain value of this statistic, we will reduce our GCD and therefore increase our APM by going to the lower cap: 1.4s or 1.3s. Some disciplines, with an offensive spell, can go to course GCD 1.2s see 1.1s. If you want to get some amors and weapons to upgrade your alacrity, cheap SWTOR Credits from AOEAH.COM will help you save more time.

Having more alacrity can make Heal's DPS or Spike more reliable as you will be able to react faster. However, Alacrity is THE skill-based statistic of the player so if you are not able to reach the APM cap with your current GCD, increasing alacrity for the lower GCD cap will hardly give you no benefit.

For example: A Heal (1.3s GCD) with 30 APM, whether Scholar / Sorcerer, Commando / Mercenary or Scoundrel / Secret Agent, whether he has a lot of channels or moments, has an APM too low for a GCD heading at 1.3s. It is important to work on your APM before going up to the lower GCD course, compensating for your lack of responsiveness with more alacrity will not help you progress.

How To Measure Your SWTOR APM?

That's fine, but where can you find the APM in Star Wars: The Old Republic? You cannot find it directly in the game, however StarParse will calculate it for you. The software analyzes your “CombatsLogs” (found in C: \ Documents \ Star Wars - The Old Republic \ CombatLogs) and shows your DPS, HPS etc, and APM values, which are of interest to us here.

Below is a theoretical calculation of APM (an example) based on the GCD heading over one minute, with no out-of-GCD spell, no channeling, no change in GCD and via an increase in alacrity:

  • - 1.5s cooldown (without spell out of GCD): 60 / 1.5 = 40 APM

  • - 1.4s cooldown (no spell out of GCD): 60 / 1.4 = 42.8 APM

  • - 1.3s cooldown (no spell out of GCD): 60 / 1.3 = 46.1 APM

  • - 1.2s cooldown (no spell out of GCD): 60 / 1.2 = 50 APM

These are not fixed values or values that you must necessarily reach, as said before, depending on your discipline and depending on the boss you can get closer to these values but not necessarily reach them.

  • - A DPS will often approach 43 APM, some classes / disciplines will be much higher due to their non-GCD spells or a little lower due to many channels.

  • - In heal you have a lot of pipes or incantations, being at 43 APM for 1.4s of GCD is very difficult then.

Remember that all of your non-GCD spells allow you to gain APM and are mostly defensive or offensive. You do not replace a spell under GCD with a spell outside of GCD!

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