Damage types and effects

Found this damage chart on Reddit created by user horrorslice.

Elemental pages:



Found on in this video: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/470753065?t=00h48m36s


edit: They’ve changed the cryo bonus to “take 3x Melee Damage” without talking about Crits and Explosive (Now Splash Damage?). Maybe that part, introduced by TPS, is gone.

edit #2: I don’t get the description at all. But English is not my mother tongue. So, it could just be me being incapable of understanding it …

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From that description on Cryo is seems like enemies can’t be frozen until they reach 20% of their max health. So, basically, you can’t freeze a full or even half health enemy. And that only applies if you have 100% cryo efficiency; less than that and I would assume they can’t be frozen until they have even less health than that.

Does anyone understand this differently? Have you seen enemies frozen during gameplay that had high health still?

Could mean that they freeze after you deal 20% of their health, so best-case-scenario is that you can freeze them at 80% of their max. But that’s probably just wishful thinking, and you are right. Interesting way to balance cryo to not trivialize fights. It’ll mostly just be a slow effect I guess, with the full-freeze coming into play against badasses.
I’ve seen relics that increase cryo efficiency though. Maybe it can go over 100% with certain gear combos.

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It seems strange to me that Fire and Shock only have 5 stars total, while corrosive gets 6 stars. Imo, they should be like this:

Health Damage- 3 stars
Shield Damage- 2 stars
Armor Damage- 1 star

Health Damage- 1 star
Shield Damage- 3 stars
Armor Damage- 2 stars

Health Damage- 2 stars
Shield Damage- 1 star
Armor Damage- 3 stars

No that sounds right as it is. Fire does not damage electric shields really, and shock does not metal armor.
But acid is strong against metal and flesh.
Only point might be shock being stronger against flesh.

My guess is that areas with mainly armored enemies won’t be very common so corrosive having an extra star against flesh is probably to encourage using it more against mobs that have more of a mix of flesh and armor.

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In Borderlands 2 Explosive was

100% flesh
100% armor
80% shields

Then…splash damage

90% ARs
100% Shotguns
100% Pistols

So I can probably see it for direct hits
2 Health
1 Shields
2 Armor

Then add on splash damage.

So based on that using Amaras Infusion using a corrosive weapon with shock action skill would be…

2 Flesh
3 Shields
3 Armor

Or if you ignore status effects Amara can be a beast with Jakobs non elemental guns.with infusion.

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Explosive isn’t its own element anymore iirc

There are guns with way higher numbers than 100% efficiency. That means you need a gun with 500% to freeze solid an enemy with full bar.
And yeah, this calculation is stupid. They should use scale 0-100% and the number represent at what health will freeze solid.

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My bad…“Splash Damage.”

Do we know if these “stats” represent 50%, 100%, and 150% damage?

Thanks for the info! Added the cryo element page to the op.

what about explosive damage?

I haven’t heard any mention of explosive as an element. I think it is now just considered physical splash damage.

That sucks.

Admiral Bahroo gives a run down of all the damage types in this video.

Includes non-elemental gun, non-elemental grenades, non-elemental explosive guns, and non-elemental melee

  • Shields and Flesh: Baseline damage
  • Armor: -20% damage on both normal and TVHM modes


  • Armor: +50% damage in normal mode and +75% damage in TVHM
  • Flesh: -20% damage in normal mode and -35% damage in TVHM
  • Shields: -30% damage in normal mode and -50% damage in TVHM


  • Shields: +100% damage in normal mode and +150% damage in TVHM
  • Armor and Flesh: -20% damage in normal mode and -35% damage in TVHM


  • Flesh: +50% damage in normal mode and +75% damage in TVHM
  • Shields and Armor: -30% damage in normal mode and -50% damage in TVHM


  • Flesh: Baseline damage in Normal and TVHM
  • Shields: Baseline damage in normal mode and +50% damage in TVHM
  • Armor: -30% in Normal and -50% in TVHM


  • Flesh: Baseline in Normal and TVHM
  • Armor: +20% in Normal and +50% in TVHM
  • Shields: -30% in Normal and -50% in TVHM

So basically the in-game star ratings for the damage types aren’t very accurate. The in-game corrosive stars suggest baseline damage against flesh, but that is not the case.


Seems like Gearbox really wanted to incentive switching between different elements in Borderlands 3, especially in True Vault Hunter Mode. No element is good at dealing damage to more than one type of enemy, though Radiation, Cryo, and Kinectic have the least disadvantages, while Shock seems to be better overall than Fire and Corrosive since it has larger bonus damage and smaller negatives than Fire and Corrosive.

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Very interesting that cryo would give bonuses against armor.
Seems to me like one of the best combos would be Shock weapon to remove shields -> Cryo weapon to kill against almost every enemy type.

I’m very happy to see this since I felt like Shock was very underutilized in previous games but it’s my favorite element. And Amara shock build will be one my mains so I’m super stoked!