Elemental damage

From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki


Elemental damage is a modifier that exists on certain attacks and weapons. Elemental damage is one of the manifestations of Light and Darkness, and can be used to a player's advantage to make their attacks more effective. It comes into play for both Guardians and enemies.

Elemental Types[edit]

"A spark can give life...or take it."
— Grimoire Arc text.
"Sometimes the only answer is to burn it all away."
— Grimoire Solar text.
"It's fitting, then, that we have weaponized the unknown."
— Grimoire Void text.
"Darkness resides within, beckoning you. This is a truth we cannot hide from, so we must embrace it."
The Stranger

There are five types of damage types:

  • Kinetic—White—the default damage type on most weapons. Will cause basic damage to any enemy.
  • Solar—Orange—causes Solar damage.
  • Arc—Blue—causes Arc damage.
  • Void—Purple—causes Void damage.[1]
  • Stasis—Indigo—causes Stasis damage.


Weapons can be infused with elemental damage; by default, most weapons only do kinetic damage, but some may come with modifiers. The modifier is indicated not only on the weapon's stats but also in the weapon menu on the HUD. At the common level, only Fusion Rifles deal elemental damage, but at higher levels nearly all special and heavy weapons deal elemental damage. Only a handful of primary weapons deal elemental damage, and most of those weapons are typically acquired in Raids.[1]

The damage type on most weapons is random, though some weapons such as Exotics or Legendary Raid weapons have a set damage type.

In Destiny 2, all Energy and Power weapons have an elemental damage type, while all Kinetic weapons exclusively deal Kinetic damage (with the exception of Cryosthesia 77K, Fractethyst and Vulpecula, which also deals Stasis damage). Weapon perk Osmosis on a kinetic weapon turns weapon damage into same as your subclass from a grenade is used until weapon swapped.

Weapon Class Solar Arc Void Stasis Kinetic
Auto Rifle Abyss Defiant, Hard Light†, Tommy's Matchbook Necrochasm, Zhalo Supercell, Hard Light Atheon's Epilogue, Hard Light Sweet Business, Monte Carlo, Cerberus+1, Suros Regime
Submachine Gun Tarrabah Riskrunner The Recluse The Huckleberry
Pulse Rifle Outlast Oversoul Edict, Praedyth's Timepiece Graviton Lance No Time to Explain, Bad Juju, Outbreak Perfected, Vigilance Wing, Blast Furnace
Scout Rifle Vision of Confluence, Conspirator, Oxygen SR3, Skyburner's Oath, Polaris Lance Fang of Ir Yût, Symmetry, Eternal Blazon Royal Chase Jade Rabbit, MIDA Multi-Tool, Randy's Throwing Knife, Dead Man's Tale
Hand Cannon Sunshot, Eriana's Vow Fatebringer Word of Crota Vulpecula Midnight Coup, Sturm, The Last Word, Thorn, Lumina, Rose, Ace of Spades, Crimson, Malfeasance, D.F.A., Hawkmoon
Sniper Rifle Black Hammer, Ice Breaker, Black Spindle, Borealis†, Whisper of the Worm, Far Future Patience and Time, Hereafter, Borealis†, D.A.R.C.I., Cloudstrike, Adored Eye of Sol, Praedyth's Revenge, Borealis Izanagi's Burden
Bow Hush, Ticuu's Divination Trinity Ghoul Le Monarque, Leviathan's Breath, Imperial Needle Wish-Ender
Fusion Rifle Murmur †, Praetorian Foil, Pocket Infinity, Vex Mythoclast, Sleeper Simulant (D1), One Thousand Voices, Jötunn, Merciless Murmur †, Light of the Abyss, Plan C, Queenbreakers' Bow, Loaded Question Telesto, Null Composure Bastion
Shotgun Invective, Lord of Wolves, The Chaperone (D1), Felwinter's Lie, Duality Astral Horizon, Found Verdict, The 4th Horseman, Legend of Acrius Swordbreaker, Tractor Cannon, Python Fractethyst The Chaperone (D2), Perfect Paradox, Riiswalker
Sidearm Drang, Devil's Ruin Dreg's Promise, Trespasser, Vestian Dynasty Cryosthesia 77K Rat King, Traveler's Chosen (Exotic)
Machine Gun Super Good Advice, Nemesis Star, Abbadon, Xenophage, Edgewise, Heir Apparent Song of Ir Yût, Thunderlord, 21% Delirium, THE SWARM Corrective Measure, Nova Mortis, Hammerhead, Shattered Cipher
Rocket Launcher Hezen Vengeance, Hunger of Crota, Gjallarhorn, Dragon's Breath, Two-Tailed Fox‡, Eyes of Tomorrow, Code Duello The Wardcliff Coil, The Hothead (D2) Tomorrow's Answer, Truth, Deathbringer, Two-Tailed Fox
Sword Sol Edge, Solar Infinite Edge, Raze-Lighter, The Young Wolf's Howl, The Lament Arc Edge, Arc Infinite Edge, Bolt-Caster, Worldline Zero, Temptation's Hook Dreadfang, Void Edge, Void Infinite Edge, Dark-Drinker, Quickfang, Goldtusk, Black Talon, Falling Guillotine
Grenade Launcher Love and Death The Prospector, Anarchy The Colony, Fighting Lion Salvation's Grip Witherhoard
Linear Fusion Rifle Sleeper Simulant (D2), Man o' War, Komodo-4FR Tarantula, The Queenbreaker Crooked Fang-4FR, Lorentz Driver Reed’s Regret Arbalest
Trace rifle Prometheus Lens Coldheart, Divinity Wavesplitter, Ruinous Effigy Ager's Scepter

Murmur is capable of switching between Arc and Solar damage whereas Hard Light and Borealis can switch between Arc, Solar, and Void

Two-Tailed Fox fires a Solar Rocket and a Void Rocket, but its in-game element is void.

Subclass Elements in Destiny[edit]

Each Guardian subclass focuses on one type of elemental damage. This extends to melee attacks, grenades, and Supers.

Class Solar Arc Void
Hunter Gunslinger Bladedancer Nightstalker
Titan Sunbreaker Striker Defender
Warlock Sunsinger Stormcaller Voidwalker

Subclass Elements in Destiny 2[edit]

Class Solar Arc Void Stasis
Hunter Gunslinger Arcstrider Nightstalker Revenant[2]
Titan Sunbreaker Striker Sentinel Behemoth[2]
Warlock Dawnblade Stormcaller Voidwalker Shadebinder[2]


Elemental damage will do bonus damage against certain types of enemies. The most obvious way to tell if an enemy is weak to a certain damage type is to see what color shield they have; for example, Fallen Captains with blue Absorption shields are weak to Arc attacks. Every race has at least one type of enemy shielded by default but will also have another type of enemy that's shielded whenever the Epic modifier is active (or during certain public events.) [1]

In addition to the below list, Nightmare Hunts will also frequently spawn large groups of enemies (typically the lowest class associated with the Nightmare's original race, which normally should not be able to be shielded) with Solar shields that are unusually resistant to even matching elemental damage. Nightmare Breaker mods, obtained from the gamemode, are required to effectively penetrate these shields.

Race Solar Shield Arc Shield Void Shield
Fallen Noble Shank, Scorch Captain, Brutal Shank, Kell's Scourge Captain, Shock Captain, Brutal Shank, Kell's Scourge Servitor (Only in Destiny 2 in presumably certain Strikes), Null Captain, Brutal Shank, Kell's Scourge
Hive Wizard Knight (Anointed variant in Destiny and higher ranks in Destiny 2), Omnigul Savathûn's Handmaiden
Vex x Harpy Zealot Minotaur
Cabal Centurion Bloodguard Legionary, Colossus (Destiny 2) Epic-difficulty Psion Operant, Incendior (Higher levels)
Taken Taken Captain, Taken Knight (During The Whisper Mission) Taken Centurion Taken Wizard, Taken Acolyte (On higher difficulties)
Bosses Kolar, Psion Flayer, Valus Trau'ug† , Protheon, Modular Mind Omnigul, Will of Crota, Vatch, Psion Flayer, Valus Trau'ug† , Protheon, Modular Mind Numoc, Psion Flayer, Valus Trau'ug† , Protheon, Modular Mind

† Indicates enemies that alternate between different shield types.

Enemy weapons and abilities typically have their own elemental damage types as well. Normally this doesn't come into play unless players are playing a mission with damage modifiers on. For example, a Nightfall mission with a 300% boost to Arc damage applies to both Guardians and enemies, so enemies that do Arc damage are especially dangerous. Note that Taken versions of enemies will do a different type of elemental damage than the original base enemy.

Race Solar weapon Arc weapon Void weapon Kinetic Weapon
Fallen Shrapnel Launcher, Fallen Walker's main cannon, Molten Welder, Scorch Cannon Shock Pistol, Shock Rifle, Wire Rifle, Shock Grenade, Shock Dagger, Shock Blade, Pike, Skiff, Fallen Walker's secondary armaments, Arc Spear, Melee (Wretch only) Servitor's blasts Melee
Hive Acolyte Grenade, Splinter Boomer, Thrall's melee attack, Cursed Thrall explosion, Wizard's darkness blast Shredder, Ogre's Eye Beam attack, Shrieker, Tombship
Vex Slap Rifle, Line Rifle, Hobgoblin's Shield Hydra's Shield Torch Hammer, Slap Grenade, Goblin's melee attack, Aeon Maul, Cyclops, Vex Laser Rifle Temporal Shockwave
Cabal Slug Rifle, Projection Rifle, Heavy Slug Thrower, Cabal Headhunter, Cabal Severus, Cabal Magma Launcher, Cabal warship Missile Fire, Harvester Missile Fire, Interceptor, Goliath Tank, Energy Shield, Cabal Melee (Legionary) Psion Psychic Melee, Psionic Blast, Thresher Missile Fire, Cabal Slug Launcher, Cabal Slug Shotgun Psion Void Melee, Void Orb Blast, Cabal Bronto Cannon, Cabal Melee (Centurion) Melee (Incendior), Cabal Claws Melee (War Beast)
Splicers Devil Splicer SIVA-infused weapons, SIVA Charge, Splicer Walker weapons (except Shock Grenades) Shock Cannon Null Cannon, Wretched Gaze
Taken Taken Acolyte melee attack, Shadow Thrall melee attack, Taken Wizard Necromantic Gaze, Taken Knight Flame Bolts, Torch Hammer, Wire Rifle, Taken Incendior Magma Flame Shredder, Acolyte's Eye, Shrapnel Launcher, Slug Rifle, Projection Rifle, Taken Ogre Eye Blast, Taken Phalanx Shield Blast, Taken Captain Darkness Bolt Boomer, Line Rifle, Taken Hobgoblin Retaliation Swarm, Taken Centurion Axion Dart, Taken Incendior Void Fireball
Scorn Chieftain's Solar totem, Lurker's Scorn Pistol, Scorn Walker's Armaments, Wraith's Flame Torches, Ravager's Flame Cauldron, Scorn Cannon, Scorn Blaster Chieftain's Arc totem, Fanatic's Staff, Scorn Mine Launcher, Abomination Overcharged Ether Scorn Rifle, Scorn Repeater Pistol, Chieftain's Void totem, Scorn Crossbow, Stalker's Scorn Grenade


  • It is unclear whether there is necessarily a distinction between the elemental damage done by weapons and the corresponding manifestation of the Light or Darkness associated with a given element; for example, a weapon which does Arc damage may not necessarily be imbued with the power of Arc Light, but rather merely fire electrified ammunition. In contrast, some weapons clearly do derive their power from the Light or Darkness, such as Salvation's Grip (which fires Stasis projectiles).
    • This is backed up by Ikora's and Drifter's notes on the elements, Ikora states we do not know what came first, the Light or the Elements, but they are fundamentally linked like Twins[3], and Drifter states the Pyramid's energies are getting the Elements all twisted up[4]
  • Osiris states that the Elements are a means to communicate with the Light, but recently, now with the Darkness.[5]
  • There are several types of planetary materials that responds to the Elements, Relic Crystals inside Relic Iron for Void on Mars, Zeptocyte Cores inside Spinmetal Leaves for Arc in the Cosmodrome, and Soliton Flares inside Helium Filaments for Solar on the Moon.[6][7][8][9]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard.
  2. ^ a b c Twitter: @DestinyTheGame ("Command a new source of power. Are you ready to wield Stasis?")
  3. ^ Primordial Competitor
  4. ^ Refining the Recaster
  5. ^ Elemental Competitor
  6. ^ Withstand the Elements
  7. ^ Essential Elements (Void)
  8. ^ Essential Elements (Arc)
  9. ^ Essential Elements (Solar)