Explosive Element

Abit of a noob question but how does explosive element really work? How much damage/crit damage does it add and/or stack and does it increase bullet splash radius?

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That’s a very good question actually, and one I can only partially answer for you. Explosive is weird in bl1. First of all, the explosive accessory decreases the base dmg of a weapon, (other than the legendary exceptions) although not as much as the other elements. The wiki does not seem to explain this but I do know for a fact that I’ve had 2 of the exact same Maliwan smg…except one shock and one explosive …and the shock had about 170 dmg and the explosive about 200. So whatever that is. Then there’s the multiplier and tier… (blast detonating and erupting) which do not always line up. (Meaning that a gun can have a x4 but be either detonating or erupting depending on exactly how much tech it has)…confusing yes? Then there’s weird guns like gambles that can have a x4 but still have the blast prefix. Idk about that one. Anyways…so yeah …explosive takes some dmg away and then adds more back lol. So the question is…explosive or nonE? Well that largely depends on the character and the weapon type I guess. Not all weapons actually have a greater blast radius despite the high multiplier. Revolvers and snipers will actually produce large explosions that can hit multiple enemies. The other weapons seem restricted to x2 or x1. (For example , I’ve never seen my x4 detonating bitch do what a x4 Maliwan revolver can do)… also brick…with his ability to buff explosive dmg…may do better with some weapons that you would be better off using nonE versions of on other characters. I do know that typically explosive smgs, combat rifles (the ogre aside) and shotguns (the crux and hammer aside) seem kind of lame. Especially against lance. Repeaters do a little better due to all the free proccing. Anyway…thats all I got.


Yeah that is weird. Explosive element shouldn’t take away base damage. Maybe it takes away critical damage or alot of enemies have have resistances to it? I checked the weapon multipliers and you thread and explosive element does have the highest damage coefficient that stacks on base damage.

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It does take away base dmg tho. Something like 20-25%. I’m not doing the math. This on normal explosive guns btw…the ogre…hammer…etc still have at least the same base dmg. And I don’t really know about crits. If a gun crits and procs at the same time it does do quite a bit of dmg. And actually no enemy is resistant to it. That is the one perk over the other elements …well that and the instant dmg. But Lance (armored) still get the same dmg reduction as normal nonE guns. The ogre is the only explosive weapon I really use against them. Roland, Lil and brick all make excellent use of the ogre against any enemy.

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You could use a good look at this :

Elemental damage | Borderlands Wiki | Fandom

and another one here :

It will explains pretty much everything you need to know about Elemental Damages in general, and Explosives one as you asked, and how the game mechanics make them proc.

Back in the days I translated an old Gearbox forum post about damages and elemental damages for the french forum, but it doesn’t exist anymore :disappointed_relieved:

Ogre is beast mode for sure. Love the way it procs like crazy. Do Erupting Bitches also work similarly? What about Invader pistols?

But yeah, Borderlands 1 is full of hidden stats. One would have to really hack the game and mine the data to really find out.

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Like I said, different weapon classes behave very differently when it comes to elements and proccing. It has to do with the way it drains the tech pool and the cost of proccing. Thats why revolvers always proc on every shot, because all x1 procs are “free”. (I think that’s how it works anyway)…repeaters proc a lot more also…but not every shot like revolvers. Even fire hawks don’t proc every shot. Non hell fire smgs, even ones with high tech pools are only gonna proc say…4 or 5 times out of say…36 rounds. I have a level 67 540 G detonating bitch…and I really wish it was anything but explosive. Explosive smgs just don’t seem to do well imo. Not to mention all that muzzle flash nonsense makes them difficult to hip fire.

Damn I wish Bitches would work more like Hellfires or somewhere in between. Yeah revolvers procs like they’re all have x4 multiplier and repeaters almost all the time.

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Well, for non incendiary, bitches are one of the better choices. They do have inherently high tech pools. I’ve searched long and far for a really good corrosive one ( Ironically, the one I have, a hx2 mat1, is level 69 lol). I’m partial to twisted elementals myself, but that’s a whole other story

Yeah the twisted barrel 3 smg’s, but the drain is still large. Other than for the coolness and the looks, that proc rate still doesn’t do much.

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SMGs only decrease explosive damage by 20% instead of the standard 40% for other elements. They are unusual in this regard. Other weapon categories do not have this explosive exception. They are usable, but not remarkable.

Explosive damage does not add any kind of critical hit damage and can only land critical hits against enemies with “universal” critical hit locations, such as Crawmerax.

The amount of damage added is based on the weapon type and elemental multiplier. Suffice to say, among non-legendary explosive weapons your best bet is sniper rifles and revolvers. The higher the base damage, the more explosive damage will be added with your proc. Those same weapons also have the largest procs that increase bullet splash radius. All of these factors give Brick a very heavy preference for those two weapon classes when legendary weapons are not present.

Also, the damage decrease from the explosive accessory does not negatively impact sniper rifles or revolvers due to the mandatory added damage with each shot. Without the damage decrease explosive sniper rifles, in particular, would be ridiculously strong. The one legendary explosive sniper, the Torgue Cobra, does not have the damage penalty and it puts out a very high amount of damage per shot.


It’s only smgs that have the lesser dmg penalty…huh . Learn something every day. Yeah I meant to mention the thing with explosive snipers always proccing every hit, even X1 snipers (when x1 snipers of any other element in fact never proc at all)

Cool info. Learn something new every day. About tech regen rate and tech pool in general, does Lilith’s spark skill add both or just increases the tech pool?

Spark increases the recharge rate and the pool size. It’s not by the amount on the card(+ elemental chance), but the end effect is similar.

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