"I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain."
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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.
- "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 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.
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.
The damage type on most weapons is random, though some weapons such as Exotics or Legendary Raid weapons have a set damage type.
||Abyss Defiant, Hard Light†
||Necrochasm, Zhalo Supercell, Hard Light†
||Atheon's Epilogue, Hard Light†
||Sweet Business, Monte Carlo, Cerberus +1, Suros Regime
||Oversoul Edict, Praedyth's Timepiece
||No Time to Explain, Bad Juju, Outbreak Perfected, Vigilance Wing, Blast Furnace
||Vision of Confluence
||Fang of Ir Yût
||Jade Rabbit, MIDA Multi-Tool
||Sunshot, Eriana's Vow
||Word of Crota
||Midnight Coup, Sturm, The Last Word, Thorn, Lumina, Rose, Ace of Spades, Crimson, Malfeasance
||Black Hammer, Ice Breaker, Black Spindle, Borealis†, Whisper of the Worm
||Patience and Time, Hereafter, Borealis†, D.A.R.C.I.
||Eye of Sol, Praedyth's Revenge, Borealis†
||Murmur †, Praetorian Foil, Pocket Infinity, Vex Mythoclast, Sleeper Simulant (D1), One Thousand Voices, Jötunn
||Murmur †, Light of the Abyss, Plan C, Queenbreakers' Bow
||Invective, Lord of Wolves, The Chaperone (D1)
||Astral Horizon, Found Verdict, The 4th Horseman, Legend of Acrius
||The Chaperone (D2)
||Dreg's Promise, Trespasser, Vestian Dynasty
||Super Good Advice, Nemesis Star, Abbadon, Xenophage
||Song of Ir Yût, Thunderlord
||Corrective Measure, Nova Mortis
||Hezen Vengeance, Hunger of Crota, Gjallarhorn, Dragon's Breath, Two-Tailed Fox‡
||The Wardcliff Coil
||Tomorrow's Answer, Truth, Deathbringer, Two-Tailed Fox
||Sol Edge, Solar Infinite Edge, Raze-Lighter, The Young Wolf's Howl
||Arc Edge, Arc Infinite Edge, Bolt-Caster, Worldline Zero
||Dreadfang, Void Edge, Void Infinite Edge, Dark-Drinker, Quickfang, Goldtusk
||The Prospector, Anarchy
||The Colony, Fighting Lion
|Linear Fusion Rifle
||Sleeper Simulant (D2), Man o' War
† 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 it’s in-game element is void.
Subclass Elements in Destiny
Each Guardian subclass focuses on one type of elemental damage. This extends to melee attacks, grenades, and Supers.
Subclass Elements in Destiny 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.) 
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.
||Servitor (Only in Destiny 2 in presumably certain Strikes)
||Anointed Knight, Omnigul
||Epic-difficulty Psion Operant
||Taken Captain, Taken Knight (During The Whisper Mission)
||Taken Wizard, Taken Acolyte (During The Whisper Mission)
||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.
||Shrapnel Launcher, Fallen Walker's main cannon, Flame Censer, Flame Torch, 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)
||Acolyte Grenade, Splinter
||Boomer, Thrall's melee attack, Cursed Thrall explosion, Wizard's darkness blast
||Shredder, Ogre's Eye Beam attack, Shrieker, Tombship
||Slap Rifle, Line Rifle, Hobgoblin's Shield
||Torch Hammer, Slap Grenade, Goblin's melee attack, Aeon Maul, Cyclops, Vex Laser Rifle
||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)
||Devil Splicer SIVA-infused weapons, SIVA Charge, Splicer Walker weapons (except Shock Grenades)
||Null Cannon, Wretched Gaze
||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
||Chieftain's Solar totem, Lurker's Scorn Pistol, Scorn Walker's Solar missiles, Wraith's Flame Torches, Ravager's Flame Cauldron
||Chieftain's Arc totem, Fanatic's Staff, Scorn Repeater Pistol
||Raider's Scorn Rifle, Chieftain's Void totem, Raider's Void Scorn Crossbow, Stalker's Scorn Grenade
List of appearances
- ^ a b c Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard.