Damage per second (DPS) is a useful tool in games to compare two different weapons, spells, or towers.  In Kingdom Rush, this can allow comparisons between tower types and within tower types: the optimal tower type and tower upgrade can be decided for a given situation.

Kingdom Rush uses approximate labels to describe the rate of fire of a tower (eg. very slow, normal, very fast, etc.) making it impossible to calculate a true DPS value.  This article lists some empyrical numerical values for the rate of fire and draws conclusions based on that.  All data are from the original Kingdom Rush available on Kongregate, using the non-premium version, unless otherwise mentioned.

Average DPS / cost efficiency

Taking an average of the Fire Rate (provided at the bottom of the page), and using the average damage listed in game, the average DPS of all towers can be determined.  It is assumed that the fire rates obtained are consistent for all towers, with the exception of "fast," which only two towers possess (both tested individually).

The cost efficiency can be considered as the amount of Gold per point of DPS.  In other words, this is how much gold you spend in order to obtain 1 DPS.  *This means that lower numbers are better for the cost efficiency fields!*


  • <DPS> = average damage / average Fire Rate
  • Cost Efficiency = total gold cost / <DPS>

where the total gold cost is the sum of all upgrade prices for that tower.

Archer towers
Tower Type

Fire Rate


Damage <DPS>

Upgrade Price


Cost Efficiency

{gold per DPS}

Archer Tower 0.7 - 0.9 4 - 6 6 70 11.7
Marksmen Tower 0.5 - 0.7 7 - 11 15 110 12.0
Sharpshooter Tower 0.5 10 - 16 26 160 13.1
Rangers Hideout 0.4 13 - 19 40 230 14.3
Musketeer Garrison 1.5 - 1.6 35 - 65 33 230 17.3
Mage Towers
Tower Type

Fire Rate


Damage <DPS>

Upgrade Price


Cost Efficiency

{gold per DPS}

Mage Tower 1.5 - 1.6 9 - 17 (11-20) 8.5 (10)

100 (90)

11.8 (9.0)
Adept Tower 1.5 - 1.6 23 - 43 (27-50) 21.3 (25) 160 (144)

12.2 (9.4)

Wizard Tower 1.5 - 1.6 40 - 74 (46-86) 36.8 (42.6) 240 (216) 13.6 (10.6)
Arcane Wizard 2.00* 76 - 140 (88-161) 54.0 (62.25) 300 (270) 14.8 (11.6)
Sorcerer Mage 1.5 - 1.6 42 - 78 (49-90) 38.7 (44.8) 300 (270) 20.7 (16.1)

Parenthesed values are due to full upgrades including 10% cost reduction upgrade and damage upgrade. The values for Arcane wizard changed since the fire rate is actually 2.00 instead of 3.00.

Artillery Towers
Tower Type

Fire Rate


Damage <DPS>

Upgrade Price


Cost Efficiency

{gold per DPS}

Dwarven Bombard 3.00 8 - 15 3.8 125 (113) 32.9 (29.7)
Dwarven Artillery 3.00 15 - 30 7.5 220 (198) 46.0 (41.5)
Dwarven Howitzer 3.00 30 - 60 15.0 320 (288) 44.3 (39.9)
500mm Big Bertha 3.00 50 - 100 25.0 400 (360) 42.6 (38.4)
Tesla x104 3.00 60 - 110 28.3 375 (338) 36.7 (33.1)

Parenthesed values for Cost Efficiency are due to the 10% cost reduction upgrade.

Tower Type Fire Rate {seconds} Damage <DPS> Upgrade Price {gold}

Cost Efficiency

{gold per <DPS>}    

Barracks 1.00 1 - 3 2 (6) 70 35.0 (11.7)
Footmen Barracks 1.6 - 1.7 3 - 4 2.1 (6.3) 110 85.7 (28.6)
Knights Barracks 1.6 - 1.7 6 - 10 4.8 (14.4) 160 70.8 (23.6)
Holy Order 1.5 - 1.8 12 - 18 9.1 (27.3) 230 62.6 (20.9)
Barbarian Mead Hall 1.5 - 1.8

16 - 24

[46 - 54]

12.1 (36.3) 




47.1 (15.7)


Parenthesed values refer to the damage of all 3 units combined, rather than a single unit.  Bracketed values refer to the fully-specialized damage of Barbarian "more axes" (+30 damage total). *Barracks units seem to have a bug where the first tier unit strikes as quickly as tier 0 (no upgrade) reinforcement units (1 sec).

It should be noted that the majority of towers were not tested for Fire Rate; only the archer towers had each tower type tested, while only one tower from respectively mage towers and artillery towers was tested.  Tests were made for each Barracks unit, but with a limited number of trials in most cases.


Archer Towers

  • While it is slightly better to build more archer towers than upgrade a single one, the range difference in upgraded towers and their more consistent damage likely offsets the difference; all in all, tower positioning is the most important factor to consider, which tends to favor upgrading few towers in advantageous positions over placing many unupgraded towers in inferior positions.
  • The Critical Hit upgrade is not included, but it is estimated to be around 5% + 2.5%/tower tier.  This makes it weaker than the mage upgrade for increased damage, which is around 16-17% for most cases.
  • If we only look at basic (level 1-3) towers, archer towers have slightly better cost efficiency than magic tower when the technology level is low. However, when all the technologies for magic towers are upgraded, their cost efficiency significantly decreases. 
  • Rangers Hideout has the best cost efficiency among all the advanced (level 4) towers. 

Mage Towers

  • Considering DPS, one should not upgrade to Arcane Tower until he has enough money to upgrade to both Arcane Tower and its spells since Arcane Tower has even less DPS than Wizard (level 3) Tower. CORRECTION: The DPS value considered here was wrong since the fire rate considered was 3.0 second, but the true value for the Arcane Tower is 2.0 seconds. This correction shows that the Arcane Wizard DPS is actually extremely high and should be upgrades ASAP. 
  • Upgrades are wildly powerful on mage towers, adding strong utility at all tiers and increasing damage by slightly more than 15% (not shown in the tables above).  For single target damage, putting upgrade stars into mage towers is the best option.
  • While the Sorcerer Mage seems more efficient than the Arcane Mage (WRONG> see correction above), the latter's special ability Death Ray should not be underestimated.  Despite a total cost of 350, deleting an enemy, even as low as 500 hp, is the most efficient source of damage in the game and far more than makes up the difference with the Sorcerer Mage.  Polymorph, while similar in effect, does not grant kill bounty, which can be interpreted as an inferior cost efficiency compared to Death Ray.

Artillery Towers

  • The usefulness of the above table is debatable because the Area of Effect (AoE) damage is not included. While higher tier towers appear less efficient than tier 1, the AoE and range increase with tier. As a primarily AoE tower type, the AoE effect is vital.
  • Combined with the final upgrade to deal full splash damage, the potential DPS output of an artillery tower will be equal to or better than equivalent-tier towers, as long as it is striking ~4 targets or more per blast.
  • It's worth remembering that artillery towers deal explosive damage, being penalized for only half the amount of physical armor.
  • A 500mm Bertha Big Bertha is more cost-efficient than a Tesla X104 when striking more targets than the Tesla can hit with its lightning bolt.  For equal money spent, it is unlikely special abiltiies will affect this.


  • Fully-specialized barbarians are some of the most efficient DPS units in the game, second only to a fully-supercharged Tesla x104 or a Big Bertha striking five units or more, with the full-splash-damage upgrade.  The Barracks-equivalent upgrade that returns % damage may even give Barbarians an edge over artillery against higher damage opponents.
  • Given the above, Barbarians are likely the highest DPS units against three or fewer unarmored targets, although a Sorcerer Mage with golem will deal more damage if the target has no magic resistance. Of course, Death Ray and Polymorph are also more efficient, and mage towers—as well as artillery—are better vs. armored units.
  • Melee range and death severely limits the DPS of barracks units; however, the fact that enemy units wait on them while other towers fire is a synergy that can be attributed to their DPS.  Ultimately, their effectiveness is maximized when used in tandem with other towers.
  • Barracks units cost efficiency for survivability scales much better with single upgrades over building more barrackses, except for barbarians, who are less durable than Knights vs physical damage (unless the barbarians kill their opponents outright)
  • Barracks armor upgrade only affects the in-game descriptive label for the first and third tier units, as well as barbarians. This may be a bug.

Armor/Magic Resistance

It is suspected that physical armor reduces damage by 25%/50% for low and medium.  Against Brigands (medium armor), barracks units dealt 1 damage in 5+ trials, while footmen dealt 2 damage and Knights 4-5 damage in three trials each.  Barbarians dealt between 8-10 damage in 5 trials, and Paladins 6-9 damage in 10 trials. Low armor was tested in Frontiers as being between 25-32%, but the data was not recorded.  Presumably, high and great armor are 75% and 90%.


DPS is not equal to actual damage a tower will inflict. One must also consider the range, area effects, and the number of enemies. Musketeer covers almost twice the area of other advanced towers, so theoretically its damage against one enemy will double. However, this depends on the position of the tower and the map.

For the statement that building more towers is better than upgrading a single tower, one has to be careful:

  1. A tower is more important when enemies stay longer in its range. Sometimes it's impossible to build so many towers around a single choke point. So one must upgrade the towers near such an important point first.
  2. In later stages, advanced towers are more urgent than low-level towers due to thier special functions. So building too many low-level towers will delay the upgrades to advanced towers. 

However, this generalization is useful in early stages, especially early iron/heroic stages when advanced towers are disabled and level of technology is limited. Besides the better cost efficiency, another advantage of building more primary towers is that primary towers cost less so they can be applied faster into battlefield than tower upgrades.

Archer Towers

  • Upgrade a few towers in strategic positions over building many towers.

Mage Towers

  • Sorcerer Mage is more efficient than Arcane Wizard for DPS (WRONG> see corrections above for Arcane Wizard), unless you want the gold bounty from Arcane's instant kill (Polymorph receives no gold bounty).


  • Big Bertha is better than Tesla, if it hits more targets than Tesla's lightning can strike.
  • Artillery towers are better than equivalent towers of other types if you hit 4 or more enemies with your attacks.
  • If range is not an issue, two tier 1 towers are likely better than one tier 2 tower.


  • If you have more soldiers than incoming enemies but need your line to hold longer, then upgrading a single barracks is better than building more barrackses, unless you are upgrading into barbarians.
  • DPS is really bad except for maxed Barbarians.
  • If you can keep them alive, barbarians fully specialized have the highest DPS in the game against three or fewer unarmored units, excluding insta-kill attacks from tier 4 mage towers.

This game is about more than just DPS, but hopefully some of this was able to inform you how to make better decisions while playing!

Kingdom Rush: Frontiers

None of this data is tested for Kingdom Rush: Frontiers, or in any version of the game besides non-premium Kongegrate.  If one attempts to carry the data over, keep an eye out for the changes to tower damage as well as the upgrade trees of the towers.  Namely, archer towers deal less damage without upgrades, but have three damage increasing upgrades, as well as the only cost reduction upgrade.  Archer towers scale much better with upgrades for single-target damage in this sequel.

Fire Rate

Here are the empyrical data used for Fire Rate.

Fire Rate of specific towers in the original Kingdom Rush
Speed Time {seconds} Tower(s) Tested
Very Slow ~3.00 (2.00) Dwarven Bombard, Musketeer

(Arcane Wizard)

Slow 1.50 - 1.60 Mages
Average 0.70 - 0.90 Archer Tower
Fast (1) 0.50 - 0.70 Marksmen Tower
Fast (2) 0.50 Sharpshooter Tower
Very Fast 0.40 Rangers Hideout

Fast (1) corresponds to an Archer Tower level 2 (Marksmen Tower).

Fast (2) corresponds to an Archer Tower level 3 (Sharpshooter Tower).


  • Recordings were captured using Screencast o'matic and analyzed with Windows Live Movie Maker (frame steps of 0.03 seconds).
  • Very Slow was only tested twice for each tower, both eliciting 3.00 seconds.  Due to lack of data points, the 3.00 seconds is considered approximate (~). CORRECTION: The Very Slow fire rate for Arcane Wizard is actually 2.00 seconds instead of 3.00.
  • The other towers were tested around 10 times each, with firing from the front and the back for about half of them.
  • Sharpshooter and Rangers Hideout had zero variance in their values and were recorded with Archer and Marksmen towers in the same video, suggesting that other towers' inconsistencies in Fire Rate were not due to frame rate issues.
  • It was unsure whether the Archer Tower and Marksmen Tower had some variance between the left and right animations (there are two archers within the tower), and front or back animations may also have played a role for any of the towers.  These effects were normalized by only considering attacks after the first one, using the same animation point and recording any persisting disparities as a range of times, as seen in the table above.
  • Barracks/reinforcement units don't seem to fall into any of usual labels, being slightly slower than either "slow" or "average." Each barracks unit was tested, as well as tier 0 reinforcements ("underfed" farmers).  A change in enemy health was used as the reference point for the speed of each strike.  The data can be found in their DPS table.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.