Warframe – Damage types

Warframe have several types of damage. Most weapons deal physical damage, which is either Impact, Puncture or Slash damage. Some special weapons deal elemental damage e.g. Radiation or Electricity. Some weapons only deal one kind of damage, other weapons deal several kinds of damage.

You can use MODS to increase the damage of your weapons, fire rate/attack speed etc.

See the Warframe Wiki for more information about damage types.

Critical Damage & Critical Chance

All weapons have a chance of randomly hitting the enemy with a Critical hit, which is increased damage. When a critical hit occurs, the normal damage is multiplied with the Critical Damage number - how often this occurs is determined by the Critical Chance number. The higher, the better (both stats).

Notice that Critical Chance may be more than 100%; in this case every hit will be a critical hit! Furthermore, the weapon will randomly hit even harder - if the Critical Chance is more than 200% all your critical hits will do increased damage.

When hitting an enemy you can see a small number where the hit occurs; the color of the damage number indicates if you do normal or critical damage:

  • Grey - no damage, enemy is invincible
  • White - normal damage
  • Yellow - normal critical hit
  • Orange - harder critical hit
  • Red - hardest critical hit

For more information see the Wiki.

Status effects

A Status effect is a special effect that randomly occurs when you hit an enemy; this is also known as a "proc"  = Programmed Random Occurrence. Some weapons have a higher status chance i.e. a higher probability for the status effect to proc. You can increase the status chance and duration with mods.

The different physical and elemental damage types cause different effects when the status effects procs, see below for details. Some will reduce shield, armor or health, others will temporarily disable the enemy using a stun, slow or knockback effect and some will case Damage-over-time or also damage nearby enemies. For low level content Status effects are not very useful as the enemies are usually easy to kill. However, for high level content / endgame the status procs are very useful when you need to kill stronger enemies as fast as possible.

Physical damage

Most weapons have 1-3 Physical Damage stats but a few special weapons only have Elemental Damage. You can boost the physical damage of a weapon using MODS but in general it is better to boost other stats e.g. Critical Damage/Critical Chance or Status chance or add some elemental damage.

Damage Strong against Weak against Status effect
Impact Corpus shields Corpus and Grineer Flesh* Knockback: causes the enemy to be thrown back (bosses, Ospreys and other Tenno's being immune)
Puncture Grineer shields, Corpus robotics and Infested Sinew ** Corpus shields Weakened: the target will deal 30% less damage over 6 seconds (new status procs will refresh this period)
Slash Unshielded enemies (incl. infested) Grineer and Corpus shields Bleed: 6 second DoT

* Flesh = unshielded body
** Infested Sinew = Jordas Golem and Hemocyte

Hint: If you are playing Nekros and using his Desecrate ability to gain extra loot, you should equip weapons with high Slash damage and mod for extra Slash damage! Enemies killed by slash damage will be dismembered and each body part has a chance to drop extra loot when Desecrate is active.

Elemental damage

In general the elemental damage mods are stronger than the physical damage mods and should be preferred when modding.

There are four primary elemental damage types: Cold, Electricity, Heat and Toxin. These primary elemental damage types can be combined into six secondary elemental damage types.

The order of the mods define which secondary elemental damage type they combine to. For example, If you place a Cold, Heat,Toxin mod the result will be Blast and Toxin damage, however if you change the order to Toxin,Cold,Heat the result would be Viral and Heat damage.

Damage Strong against Weak against Status effect
Cold Corpus shields and Grineer Alloy shields most Infested enemies Freeze : cause the enemies to move and attack slower
Electricity Corpus Robotic and Grineer Machinery Grineer Alloy armor Tesla Chain: 3m AoE damage from chain lightning. Also stun main target.
Heat Grineer Flesh, Infested and Infested Flesh Corpus Proto Shield Ignite: 6 sec. DoT;  also cause the target to panic and run around for 2-4 seconds depending on enemy type
Toxin Corpus Flesh and Grineer Ferrite Armor Machinery, Robotics and Fossilized Infested Poison: 8 sec. DoT
Blast = Cold + Heat Grineer Machinery and Infested Fossilized Grineer Ferrite Armor Knockdown:  5m AoE Crowd Control (Ospreys, bosses and Tenno are immune).
Corrosive = Electric + Toxin Grineer Ferrite Armor and Infested Fossilized Corpus Proto Shield Corrosion: permanently reduces the targets current armor by 25% and may stack with multiple status procs; it is however is always calculated as 25% reduction of current armor, not base armor.
Gas = Heat + Toxin light Infested Corpus and Grineer Flesh Toxin Cloud: 3m AoE Toxin DoT (8 seconds)
Magnetic = Cold + Electric Corpus armor Grineer armor Disrupt: reduces the targets current and maximum shield by 75% for a duration of 4 seconds.
Radiation = Electric + Heat Corpus Robotic and Grineer Alloy Armor Corpus Shield, Infested and Infested Fossilized Confusion: causes enemies to fire on each other for 12 seconds.
Viral = Cold + Toxin Corpus Flesh and  Grineer Flesh Grineer Machinery and Infested Virus: reduces the targets current and max health to 50% for 6 seconds. Multiple procs will refresh the duration but the health reduction do not stack.


Know your enemy!

In general, each enemy is vulnerable to specific types of damage but may be resistant to other types of damage.

Notice that each weapon and warframe has three different MOD configurations; you can use these to optimize your damage against different enemies:

  • Grineer: Use Puncture, Radiation and Toxin damage mods.
  • Corpos: Use Impact, Magnetic and Toxin damage mods.
  • Infested: Use Slash, Corrosive and Heat damage mods.
  • Corrupted: Use Corrosive and Cold damage mods.