Elemental damage

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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.

Elemental Types

"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.

There are four types damage types:

  • Kinetic—White—the default damage type on most weapons. Will do base damage on any enemy.
  • Solar—Orange—causes thermal damage.
  • Arc—Blue—causes shock damage.
  • Void—Purple—causes Void damage[1]


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.[1]

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

Weapon Class Solar Arc Void
Auto Rifle Abyss Defiant Necrochasm, Zhalo Supercell Atheon's Epilogue
Pulse Rifle Oversoul Edict, Praedyth's Timepiece
Scout Rifle Vision of Confluence Fang of Ir Yut
Hand Cannon Fatebringer Word of Crota
Sniper Rifle Black Hammer, Ice Breaker, Black Spindle Patience and Time, Hereafter Eye of Sol, Praedyth's Revenge
Fusion Rifle Murmur †, Praetorian Foil, Pocket Infinity, Vex Mythoclast, Sleeper Simulant Murmur †, Light of the Abyss, Plan C, Queenbreakers' Bow Telesto
Shotgun Invective, Lord of Wolves, The Chaperone Astral Horizon, Found Verdict, The 4th Horseman Swordbreaker
Sidearm Dreg's Promise, Trespasser, Vestian Dynasty
Machine Gun Super Good Advice, Nemesis Star, Abbadon Song of Ir Yut, Thunderlord Corrective Measure, Nova Mortis
Rocket Launcher Hezen Vengeance, Hunger of Crota, Gjallarhorn, Dragon's Breath Tomorrow's Answer, Truth
Sword Sol Edge, Solar Infinite Edge, Raze-Lighter, The Young Wolf's Howl Arc Edge, Arc Infinite Edge, Bolt-Caster Dreadfang, Void Edge, Void Infinite Edge, Dark-Drinker

† Murmur is capable of switching between Arc and Solar damage.


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


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]

Race Solar Shield Arc Shield Void Shield
Fallen Noble Shank Captain x
Hive Wizard Anointed Knight, Omnigul x
Vex x Harpy Zealot Minotaur
Cabal Centurion x Epic-difficulty Psion Operant
Taken Taken Captain Taken Centurion Taken Wizard
Splicers x? x? Splicer Captain
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



  1. ^ a b c Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard.