Perpetuum has it's own damage system. While it's not dissimilar from many other MMOs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to succeed in combat.
Without a lock and a primary target, you're not shooting anything. Luckily, if you try to shoot without a lock, it will start automatically. That works for beginners, but you need to learn the distance and time of your lock, and make sure to start locking beforehand. The easiest way to lock something is to select it in the world or map, and press "lock" key, (Default - F)
Line of sight
For your shots to connect, there should (ideally) not be anything between you and your target. A tree will happily absorb that laser beam or magnetic slug quite a few times before breaking down. Buildings are indestructible altogether so make sure you're in the right position to take a shot, or take cover.
Missiles usually go over the cover, but closer to the end and start of their trajectory, they can be stopped by terrain or trees as well
Distance, optimal and falloff
Most powerful guns are usually short-ranged so you need to get up close and personal to deal maximum damage. Sometimes it's more efficient to use lower-powered but high-range guns like EM-guns or Ballistic missiles.
Optimal range decides inside which range you do (potentially) 100% damage. It is present not just on the guns but also on Electronic Warfare and Energy Warfare modules. You can increase the optimal range of all the modules fitted to a robot by using a Range Extender.
Falloff is additional distance where your guns can have effect. It gets added to your Optimal range (e.g. if you have an optimal range of 150 m and falloff of 250 m, your total range would be 400 m) and along this range, damage linearly scales from 100% to 0% (so while you can shoot to 400m, your damage at that range would barely chip the paint).
Falloff is especially important for Firearms which have much more range in falloff than they do in optimal. It is also important to consider in Magnetic weapons, since their short falloff means a very sharp decline in damage past optimal range. Missiles usually don't have falloff at all, with exception of Large missiles
Different guns have different accuracies, which is represented by Hit dispersion in guns and Explosion size in missiles. Smaller robots are harder to hit with a big gun, which is represented by a Surface size stat in the robot. Once you'r Hit dispersion\Explosion size is bigger than Surface size of your target, your guns start to miss on occasion and your missiles just lose damage. Firearms are somewhere between those two, posessing Hit dispersion but having it work as Explosion size, reducing the damage instead of chance to hit.
To increase the accuracy, you can use Weapon Stabilizers
Once you hit your target, the damage you deal depends on what damage type you used and how well your target resists it.
Shield have effectively no resistances and it doesn't matter which ammo you use.
There are 4 damage types (and 1 special type)
Ammo usually has a primary damage type (always found on that weapon) and a secondary type(s), which allow to overcome some weapon's downsides against a particular faction, or just to fine-tune your damage. However, ammo with secondary types (unless it's PVP ammo) usually has less total damage than pure primary-damage ammo. More details on ammo are found in the main acticle.
There are ways to increase the bot resistances against a particular, or all damage types. Typically it's used to cover the most vulnerable resistance, or in PVE when you know exactly what you're up against.
WIP, might not be accurate
Damage and Weapon Cycle Time
- Damage :
Damage ( % ) = Base Damage x ( 1 + Basic/Advanced robotics x 0.05(0.03 for Syndicate) + Basic/Advanced Weapon ) x ( 1 + Target analysis x 0.01 )
- With Weapon Tuning :
Damage ( % ) = Damage x ( 1 + % Damage Tuning ) number of tunings
- Weapon Cycle Time :
Cycle Time ( s ) = Base Cycle Time / ( 1 + General firing/Missile launch x 0.01 + Rapid-firing/Complex missile launch x 0.03 ) / 1
- With Weapon Tuning :
Cycle Time ( s ) = Cycle Time x ( 1 - % Cycle Time Tuning ) number of tunings