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The weapons in Borderlands 3 can inflict various types of damage on your enemies. Besides having the normal projectiles that deal physical damage there are also a variety of elemental damages in the game.
These elements are; fire, corrosive, shock, cryo, and radiation. Each of them behaves a bit differently and excels at dealing damage to specific enemies.
Throughout Borderlands 3 you will encounter a lot of different enemy types. Each of them has its own abilities, behavior, weak points, and so on. But all of them have a life bar and this is where the elemental damage comes into play.
Because there are 3 types of life bars in Borderlands 3. You got your normal health gauge, an armored gauge, and a shield gauge. Each of these gauges has its strengths and weaknesses. While dealing damage with one element will deal increased damage another element will deal less damage.
Elemental Damage Types
These are all the various damage types in Borderlands 3, each has its own pros and cons. Choose wisely, Vault Hunter!
Physical Non-Elemental Damage (Kinetic)
Physical Damage is useful against everything. It has no special properties but also does not suffer weaknesses. Kinetic damage are your plain bullets, explosions, and melee attacks.
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Note: Kinetic weapons have a hidden elemental damage and chance stat. This is used if you have anointed gear that triggers elemental damage on your weapon.
Fire damage is strong against Flesh and can cause targets to burn. Burning deals high damage over a 5-second duration (15 ticks).
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Corrosive damage is strong against Armor and causes targets to melt. Melting deals high damage over a 7-second duration (21 ticks).
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Shock damage is strong against Shields and causes targets to be electrocuted. Electrocution deals very high damage over a 3-second duration (9 ticks).
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Cryo damage slows enemies and eventually freezing them. Cryo efficiency is the percentage of damage dealt that is applied as Cryo, at 100% efficiency, enemies will freeze at 20% health. Frozen enemies are unable to move and take 3x Melee damage
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Radiation damage can cause targets to become Irradiated. Irradiated enemies deal Aura Damage to nearby enemies for 8 seconds (24 ticks). If an Irradiated enemy dies, they explode, Irradiating any enemies damaged by the explosion.
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Elemental Effectiveness Infographic
Each of the (elemental) damage types has its own effectiveness against certain enemies. You have enemies with Health, Shield, Armor, or a combination of these gauges. Check out the infographic below to see how effective each element is against each of these life bars.
- Life Bars
- Red = Health
- Blue = Shield
- Yellow = Armor
Best Elemental Damage Type in Borderlands 3
The classic elemental damage types – Fire, Shock, Corrosive – all excel in one thing as they are the ideal counter to that life gauge. However, generally, Cryo or Radiation are both great damage types as have in your arsenal.