[Guide] A Brief Guide on Passive Gear Bonuses

While passive gear bonuses aren’t the star of the loot show, they’re some of the background actors that make the whole thing run smoothly. I’ll be covering what parts can spawn on what gear (complete with handy info-graphics) and some tips on getting the most out of them.


Shields
Artifacts and Class Mods
Sources of information


SHIELDS

With millions of potential combinations, it’s a challenge trying to remember what can spawn on what and how powerful the effects can be. I’ve condensed this information regarding most shields here:

While this covers 95% of shields, there are a few shields that buck the trend. Some shields (typically unique shields) will always spawn with the same parts, while others have a limited pool of parts they can potentially spawn with.

Fixed Parts
All-In
Back Ham
Deluxe Badass Combustor
Ember’s Blaze
Faulty Star (Epic)
Frozen Heart
Golden Touch
Impaler
Initiative
Loop of 4N631
Moxxi’s Embrace
Mr. Caffeine
Plus Ultra (Epic)
Scream of Terror
Shooting Star
Transformer
Unpaler

Limited Parts

  • Band of Sitorak can only spawn with Fleet, Health, Nova, Safe-Space, and Trigger-Happy parts.
  • Messy Breakup can only spawn with Absorb, Projected, and Reflect parts.
  • Red Suit can only spawn with Amp, Power Charge, Nova, Roid, Safe-Space, Spike, and Trigger-Happy parts.
  • Plus Ultra (Legendary) cannot spawn with Absorb, Safe Space, or Trigger-Happy parts.
  • Rerouter can only spawn with Capacity or Health parts.
  • Rough Rider can only spawn with Adrenaline, Fleet, and Roid parts.
  • Stinger can only spawn with the Spike part.
  • Version 0.m can only spawn with Capacity and Nova parts.
  • Ward can only spawn with Roid parts.

Other Exceptions
The Old God is able to spawn with three shield parts instead of two, unlike most Legendary shields.


Tips

Manufacturers and You - What you need depends on your character’s build. If they’re pretty strong but have trouble taking hits, Hyperion shields will typically last the longest before enemies start digging into your health bar. If you want your shield to be at 100% as often as possible to trigger certain effects, Pangolin is your best bet.

Increasing returns from matching parts - The more matching parts you have on your shield, the stronger the effect tends to be. Amp damage is a fine example of this, going from a mere 20% damage boost with a 30% drain when your shield has one Amp part, to a whopping 100% damage with only 20% drain if all three parts are Amp.

Sometimes one is enough - Generally speaking it is better to match as many parts as you can, but a few of them are generally better off just having one part and then using the other remaining slots on your shield for a different effect. Brimming is an example of this, as you would usually use it between fights to patch your health back up. 5% health per second will top you off between many fights. Unless you plan on running cross-country, one instance of Fleet or Vagabond is often enough, there is only a 14% difference between one part and three.

Vault Hunter-specific tips

Moze - Absorb can help maintain your magazine in an infintie ammo build. Brimming gives Moze some means of recovery between fights given her lack of passive recovery. Capacity and Turtle are handy in a Shield of Retribution build for cranking your capacity through the roof, while Shield Charges help keep you trucking through the fight. Vagabond helps Moze keep up with the speedier Vault Hunters during a jog.

Zane - If you’re running his Barrier skill, you can consider running Pangolin shields to maintain Confident Competence and other effects that activate when your shield is full. Zane has plenty of means of refilling his health, so consider going for a more offensively-oriented shield. If you’re using Distributed Denial, try give booster shields a shot to effectively give yourself double the amount of boosters.

Fl4k - Fl4k’s a glass cannon, and their means of recovering health is largely passive. Hyperion shields help keep the rust off his metal hide, but if you’re running a build focused on dealing big damage per shot, Amp or Power Charge shields are something nice to keep an eye out for.

Amara - Amara doesn’t lack for means of survival between Sustainment and Mindfulness, so consider going for something that’ll support or augment your other capabilities. If you’re looking for punchy potential, Roid is the way to go.



ARTIFACTS AND CLASS MODS

Less direct than the abilities provided by shields but arguably just as important, the stat bonuses provided by these two item slots help realize your Vault Hunter’s full potential. With a total of up to six potential slots between artifacts and class mods, it is important to know what can spawn where so you aren’t trying to chase non-existent pieces of gear:

Other than a select few artifacts that spawn with the same two or three effects, it is fair game to try to find whatever passive bonuses on the gear you want.

Mutually Exclusive Passives (No more than one of these passives can appear on an artifact)
Shotgun Damage
Pistol Damage
SMG Damage
Assault Rifle Damage
Heavy Damage
Sniper Damage
Grenade Damage
Luck
Elemental Resistance (not the specific resistances for each element)

Limited Passives

  • Electric Banjo can only spawn with Shock Damage, Shock DoT Chance, or Shock Resistance.
  • Grave can only spawn with Max Health, Action Skill Cooldown, Fight-For-Your-Life Duration, or Fight-For-Your-Life Duration Movement Speed.
  • Lunacy can only spawn with Action Skill Cooldown, Area-of-Effect Damage, Health Regen, Movement Speed, Experience gained, and the various elemental resistances.
  • The Pearl of Ineffable Knowledge can only spawn with Health Regeneration, Maximum Health, Experience Gained, Fire Rate, Magazine Size, or Reload Speed.
  • Phoenix Tears can only spawn with Max Health, Fight-For-Your-Life Duration, Fight-For-Your-Life Duration Movement Speed, Fire Damage, or Incendiary Resistance.
  • Road Warrior can only spawn with Movement Speed, Melee Damage, or Radiation Resistance.
  • Unleash the Dragon can only spawn with Melee Damage, Fire Damage, or Incendiary Resistance.
  • Vengeance does not spawn with passive bonuses at all.

Passive Bonuses that can potentially spawn twice on one artifact
These passives will only display once on the item card but with double the bonus a single instance would have.

  • Cryo Damage
  • Incendiary Damage
  • Melee Damage
  • Movement Speed
  • Radiation Damage

Tips

Weapon Damage vs. (Type) Damage - If you don’t have one particular weapon or element archetype you stick to and use often during combat, the Weapon Damage passive is serviceable. But if you tend to use one particular element or weapon type during combat it is preferable to use the respective bonuses instead. Due to how damage calculation works in the game, you will most likely get more effect out of the focused damage boosters. Avoid manufacturer-specific damage boosts as they fit in the formula the same as base Weapon Damage does and are therefore inferior to it.

Managing your gear boosts to get the most effect - If you’ve looked at the artifact/com chart above, you can see that certain bonuses (when available on both artifacts and class mods) are stronger on one over the other. If you’re gunning for increased Magazine Size for example and want more room for other bonuses, you’ll get a considerably bigger boost from an Artifact than you would from a Class Mod. For bonuses that don’t appear on both artifacts and class mods, take into account you only have so many slots for passive bonuses to work with and plan accordingly.

Health regen vs. percentage-based health regeneration - The health regen bonus you can find on gear is roughly equivalent to 2.5% of the standard maximum health of a Vault Hunter at the same level. It becomes more effective the lower your maximum health is and less effective the higher your maximum health is.

Vault Hunter-specific tips

Moze - She appreciates Magazine Size, Splash Damage, Action Skill Cooldown, and Health Regen. Magazine size helps to keep her Bottomless Mags bottomless, Splash Damage boosts Moze’s favorite source of damage, Action Skill Cooldown helps chop Iron Bear’s lengthy cooldown down to size, and health regen keeps her in fighting shape.

Zane - Zane enjoys Cryo Efficiency on artifacts to make turning chumps into popsicles that much easier. Beyond that, Zane is pretty versatile with what he wants. Grab Action Skill Cooldown if you aren’t using a build that keeps them active perpetually.

Fl4k - If you’re running the Rakk, Splash Damage and Grenade Damage will boost the damage your Rakk do. If you’re going in heavily with Gamma Burst, Radiation damage is a fair choice for bolstering certain anointments and effects. Basic Fade Away appreciates anything you can do to crack the damage of the three shots as high as possible, while Guerillas in the Mist would enjoy fire rate and magazine size boosts to make the most out of the limited duration it has.

Amara - Amara is quite versatile with no glaring issues, so feel free to use just about anything you want. Action Skill Cooldown and Magazine Size are always safe bonuses to go for if nothing else.



Sources of information

Shield Part Spawns and Stats
Artifacts Part Spawns and Effects
Class Mod Part Spawns and Effects
Additional Info for Shields
Google Sheet of Part Spawn Information for all Gear

27 Likes

Maybe you can help me understand something…

I have an Electric Banjo with buffs to electrocute chance and shock damage. What’s the difference between the two?

Chance increases the chance for applying DoT, damage increases the shock damage.

Added some additional info. Mutually Exclusive Passives, Artifacts that have limited passives, and the Initiative shield (in fixed parts shields). Will update the values of level 57 passives in the future.

IMO Crit bonuses aren’t the best for Fade Away builds for 2 reasons. Firstly, the pseudo crits in Fade away don’t benefit from any critical hit bonuse. Secondly, even if you do score an actual crit, by aiming for weak spots or Megavore, the Fade Away PostAdd bonus is so huge it diminishes the value of other crit bonuses.

Manufacturer bonuses are also gun damage like generic weapon damage. They’re just worse, weapon damage vs type damage is a great recommendation. Manufacturer damage is just shooting yourself in the foot. They cannot be mathematically superior to weapon damage, ever.

Thats weird why general bonus is way better than specific one. Manufacturer weapon damage needs a boost.

It was an issue with anointments but most of them is fixed now (Amara’s rad is the only one left).

1 Like

Duly noted about critical passives for Fl4k and the manufacturer damage bit. Altered the main post in accordance.

1 Like

I was meddling around with relics while trying to boost my magazine size as high as possible for a Moze build and remembered those odd world-drop legendary relics that sometimes would only have “two” passives and got curious. After discussing with shadowevil’s discord, it turns out some passives on artifacts can actually happen twice, just that the second boost is not displayed:

I’ve added a list of what can roll double to the main post.

5 Likes

Being able to roll AOE/element damage twice on a relic is a big deal…

As it turns out, not every passive can be doubled-up. Going off of this sheet by apocalyptech (which apparently pulls the info directly from the game), about half of the passives can’t be doubled up. What can be doubled up are the following:

As for class mods, assuming they can double up it would be limited to legendary class mods.

2 Likes

Magazine size still too right?

No mag size doubling up, at least on artifacts. Remains to be seen if legendary class mods can double up, but it isn’t looking promising.

Damn, so the video must not have been a dropped item

The doubled-magazine relic was given to shadow to easily illustrate the “doubling up” and I assumed it was legit given how I’ve seen other world drop legendary relics only have two passives.

1 Like

Ok makes sense.

But of a bummer, the srat boosts there aren’t exactly top tier. Maybe I’ll make a class where I can zoom around in FFYL. Kind of glad I don’t have to rely on extreme luck to get double AoE though.

Well those ruined my day :joy:

…why in all of this can Fire Damage double but not shock? What even is this game? :joy::joy:

2 Likes

Good news is Cryo can double stack. Ice Breaker anyone?

1 Like

Movement speed too, if you want to pump Violent Momentum up.