Elemental damage is a modifier that exists on certain attacks and weapons. Elemental damage is one of the manifestations of Light, and can be used to a player's advantage to make their attacks more effective. It comes into play for both Guardians and enemies.
There are four types damage types:
- Kinetic—White—the default damage type on most weapons. Will do base damage on any enemy.
- Solar—Red—causes thermal damage.
- Arc—Blue—causes shock damage.
- Void—Purple—causes Void 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 do elemental damage, but at higher levels nearly all special and heavy weapons do elemental damage. Only a handful of primary weapons do elemental damage, and most of those weapons are typically acquired in Raids.
† Murmur is capable of switching between Arc and Solar damage.
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. 
|Race||Solar Shield||Arc Shield||Void Shield|
|Hive||Wizard||Anointed Knight, Omnigul||x|
|Cabal||Centurion||x||Epic-difficulty Psion Operant|
|Taken||Taken Captain||Taken Centurion||Taken Wizard|
|Bosses||Kolar, Psion Flayer, Valus Trau'ug †||Omnigul, Will of Crota, Vatch, Psion Flayer, Valus Trau'ug †||Numoc, Psion Flayer, Valus Trau'ug †|
† Valus Trau'ug will alternate between different elemental 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|
|Fallen||Shrapnel Launcher, Fallen Walker's main cannon, Scorch Cannon||Shock Pistol, Shock Rifle, Wire Rifle, Shock Grenade, Shock Dagger, Shock Blade, Pike, Skiff, Fallen Walker's secondary armaments||Servitor|
|Hive||x||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||x||Torch Hammer, Slap Grenade, Goblin's melee attack, Hydra, Cyclops|
|Cabal||Slug Rifle, Projection Rifle, Heavy Slug Thrower, Harvester, Interceptor, Goliath Tank||Psion Psychic Melee, Psionic Blast||x|
|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 Darkness Blast, Taken Knight grenade attack, Torch Hammer, Wire Rifle||Shredder, Acolyte's Eye, Shrapnel Launcher, Slug Rifle, Projection Rifle, Taken Ogre Eye Blast, Taken Phalanx shield blast||Boomer, Line Rifle, Taken Hobgoblin Retaliation Swarm, Taken Centurion Axion Dart|