“An incredibly sharp katana sword.” —Trader description
The katana is a fast, powerful and light melee weapon for berserkers. It can be used with two different firing modes, a quick slash with the primary fire button, or a slower swing with the alternate fire button. Of the two firing modes the primary has the highest damage per second. The katana is never found at random weapon spawn points in official maps, but can be found on Icebreaker in a katana only spawn point found amidships in front of a dead crew member. There is also a "Golden Katana" available in the "Golden Weapons" DLC. Its statistics are identical to the normal Katana.
The Berserker perk gets bonuses and a discounts for the katana. Strikes to the head cause 10% more damage.
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The base cost of the katana is £2000, this can be reduced by up to £1400 with use of the berserker perk, at intervals of £200 per level. As with all melee weapons there are no maintenance costs for it. With full level 6 bonuses Katana drops down to £600 for cost and sells for £449. The golden weapons downloadable contents adds a golden katana that share the same price range and stats without any additional benefits.
Usage and damage
The katana's headshot multiplier is 1.1x, which is less than the 1.25x multiplier of the knife, machete and fire axe. Like other melee weapons it has a 2.0x backstab damage multiplier as standard which can be improved further by aiming for headshots. Katana has a swing reach of 1.8 meters which is longer than Fire axe and Chainsaw. Upon swinging for a heavier alternative fire horizontal slash, it slows down the bearer only 50% which is on par with Knife. Its delay for primary attack is as short as 0.67 seconds at base value, scoring up to 89~ RPM and its delay lengthens further to 1 second for alternative fire horizontal swing for a flat 60RPM.
Without any perk bonuses katana deals 135 damage on primary and 205 damage per alternate attack. While alternate swing deals 65% more damage per attack, the damage per second difference between two are rather negligible. Primary attack scores 201.49~ dps, compared to that alternate attack barely surpassing it with 205 dps. Berserker bonuses allow wielder to deal up to double damage and attack up to 25% faster. Without any perk bonuses an off-perk user only can deal that amount of damage by general backstab multiplier of 2.0x to attack from behind per hit but can't sustain it and won't have faster attack speed bonus. At the hands of a level 5-6 Berserker, Katana can deal up to 270 damage on primary and 410 damage on alternate swing. At the hands of a level 6 Berserker, dps table won't change much besides the increased attack speed over the level 5. Level 5 Berserker can deal 483.58 dps with primary attacks and 492 dps with alt-attacks; Level 6 Berserker can score 503 dps with primary primary fire and 512 dps with alternate fire.
In terms of damage output, the katana deals approximately a third more damage over time than the axe in primary fire and the same damage in alternate fire, despite its higher rate of fire. Compared to the chainsaw, the katana has up to 40% less damage potential over time, but is five blocks of weight lighter, has a 10% larger headshot multiplier, and allows the player to run faster whilst wielding it. While Chainsaw is much more effective trash clearer at lower difficulties, this effect vains away as Berserker gains moderate movement speed as they level up, which can't be utilized with Chainsaw. Overall, Katana stoods as a reliable side arm for trash clearing with lower dps output for all kinds of Berserker players. However, Katana loses effectiveness as an off-perk weapon to deal with trash as Field Medic at high difficulties due 5% movement speed negate and increased damage of crowded specimen but it retains its status as a reliable tool for Support Specialists and Commandos to perform flinch and dispatch kills on Scrakes.
When playing on lower difficulties (Hard and below), a berserker wielding the Katana can repeatedly mini flinch a Scrake (150+ damage in one shot, attack interrupted but able to move, very short duration) and prevent it from retaliating by continuously attacking with primary attack. Headshots are needed for a level 0 Berserker to deal with Scrake properly in order to reach the ~150 damage threshold for flinching. Unfortunately, this tactic is not feasible on the higher difficulty levels (Suicidal and HoE) as each Scrake gains an inner cooldown for flinch states inflicted from melee weapons on these difficulties.
At times of desperation, Katana can be used to kill a Scrake at high player Suicidal or Hell on Earth difficulty games but it takes a level 5+ Berserker to perform safely and knowing when Scrake gonna enrage. By pre-damaging its head with 2-4 alt fire swings, Scrake can be enraged controllably but can be halted by interchanging between primary and alternative attacks to its head to slash away at its face. The damage you may suffer diminishes greatly if pulled right but risk of this combo grows greater at lower levels due slower attack speed and inability to heavy flinch (450+ damage in one shot, attack interrupted but able to move, short duration). However, a mid-high level berserker (level 4+) can still stun a Scrake (unable to move or attack, moderate duration) on any difficulty level by attacking with the Katana's alt-fire from behind doubling the damage; dealing over 667 damage done in a single attack. Team cooperation would be needed in that case.
Katana is fast and reliable to clear trash specimen while dealing with a bigger specimen. While kiting a Fleshpound as Berserker, switching to Katana and moving around to juke smaller specimen will give you quicker results to get back to Fleshpound to keep whittling at him. When kiting Fleshpound away, instead of dealing chip damage for one alternative fire attack per step in, you can attack its head twice with primary attack without enraging Fleshpound considering he's not incurring any other damage output and whiffs or loses eye sight with squad once in 11-15 seconds as intended. Katana also will not enrage Fleshpound lit on fire on first primary hit on body, successfully able to take its aggro without enraging it; considering you didn't perform a follow up melee slash or any other teammate shooting at it. Same situation apply when Fleshpound turned its back, a primary attack at its body won't enrage Fleshpound right away without any outer effects. An intentional headshot from Katana when it's lit on fire or back turned will enrage him most likely. In addition, as a level 3+ Berserker slashing Fleshpound from the back or when it's lit on fire with alternative swing of Katana will enrage it right away. At these situations it's better to switch to knife just to poke Fleshpound to take its aggression usually.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Lightweight at 3 kilogram;
- Fast attack rate under a second;
- Moderately powerful with fast swings;
- Can chain ZED-time efficiently;
- Reliably decapitates lesser specimens;
- Grants onperk speed for causing big specimen to whiff their attacks;
- Has a longer reach than most of the melee weapons;
- Alternate attack only slows for 50%;
- Alternate attack can be used offperk for Scrake flinch combos;
- From backstab, a mid-high level Berserker can stun a Scrake;
- A primary swing will not enrage the lit or backstabbed Fleshpound;
- Alt-fire to the body stuns Husks when used by high-ranked Berserker;
- Headshots flinch Scrakes when used by a high-ranked Berserker.
- Weak against bigger and stronger specimens(Fleshpound and Patriarch);
- Without perk bonuses even backstabs can't do much;
- Fleshpound has a 50% resistance against any kind of melee damage;
- Offperk damage is not impressive at high difficulties;
- Scrakes gain inner cooldown against melee flinch-locks at high difficulties;
- Deals less damage per hit than the heavier melee counter-parts;
- Requires precise headshots against trash when used offperk;
- Short range requires a side-arm to deal with agile threats at range;
- Requires the user to close into melee range.
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