The Secret World – Build Guides – AR/Pistol Nightmare DPS Build
The Secret World – Build Guides – AR/Pistol Nightmare DPS Build

AR/Shotgun Nightmare DPS Build

Submitted by: Venlafaxine

Details: The following is a build intended for Nightmare DPS. It is able to achieve 1k dps with blue QL10 gear and 3k dps with QL10.4 gear. It also contains minimal supporting capabilities.

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WEAPONS: Assault Rifle/Pistol

Why AR? AR has the highest hitting builder and the longest range of any weapon in the game. With Three Round Burst it also supplies one of the strongest consumers. You do also hit very often and fast and can thereby trigger passives dependant on crit or penetration procs.

Why Pistol? Shootout supplies an extremely high damage output, while also delivering a lot of hits. Pistol is, in addition, very viable for supporting your group, with cleansing and heal/damage-augmenting abilities.

Caution: Safety Off, Shootout and Supressing Fire will significantly slow you down while casting. Be extra mindful of these circles!


Safety Off – Hardest hitting ressource builder in the game

Three Round Burst – Multiple hits, high damage consumer, feeding passives

Shootout – Multiple hits, high damage consumer

Deadly Aim – +40% crit for whole group (8sec., 90sec. cooldown)

Do or Die (Elite) – +25% dmg for yourself (10sec., only 40sec. cooldown)

Lock & Load – Not essential, can be swapped for support or aggro mitigrating skills. Useful for burst damage situations

Supressing Fire – Also not essential. TAoE ressource builder, effective even without AoE consumer.


Extra Bullet – Augments Safety Off

Twist the Knife – Applies a +3% damage buff whenever you penetrate. Stacking 3 times.

Incision – Applies an affliction (DoT), whenever you penetrate. Higher damage than similar abilities like Bloodsport.

Sudden Return – A small hit occurs whenever you penetrate your target. Can be swapped for 12 Gauge, or Fever Pitch

Iron Maiden – When penetrating an afflicted target, you get +10% penetration for 8 seconds. Sould be up all the time.

Ferocity – Applies a +3% damage buff whenever 2 hits of your burst abilities (Safety Off, Three Round Burst) do not glance. Stacking 3 times.

Live Wire (Elite) – Does a massive amount of damage with the next hit after critting four times in a row. Benefits from fast hitting abilities.


The rotation is very simple: build 5 ressource stacks, then use consumers. Use support abilities at your discretion and try to time them with the other members of your group to max out damage.
Always keep in mind that many of your abilities will slow you down.


Hit Rating has been found to be inefficient, once it goes up over 300. This is probably bug related. Therefore I aim for a total of 200 Hit Rating and try to compensate with Fever Pitch in Hell Raised.
Penetration and Crit Rating are your core stats. They should both be at approx. 750. You still benefit above that, but suffer from diminishing returns.
Everything else goes into Crit Power.

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