I’ve been seeing a lot of questions and conflicting information about companion damage being spread around. A lot of it is understandable: companions cover many things in this game and most of them have their own mechanics that don’t carry over well to others. I have not finished testing every companion comprehensively, but I hope this thread will serve to answer most of the frequently asked questions I see regarding companion damage.
Note, I have not tested Snake Stick companions, spectral wyverns, or Feriore reloads aside from Hydras, Pixies, and guns with wings.
There are two types of companions: those that scale with companion damage, and those that do not. Some companions will still proc certain effects, like increasing the Faithful Thralls counter on Graveborn, but they will not scale with the companion damage stat from skills or gear.
Companions can come from skills, guns, spells, and even from melee. Each one will have a slightly different damage formula.
- Companions that scale with companion damage: Hydras (from spells and guns), Dark Hydras, Pixies, Mushroom, Demi-Lich, Wyvern
- Companions that DO NOT scale with companion damage: Guns with wings
Not that Spectral Wynverns, Dagger Storms, and other Feriore reloads are NOT companions and do not scale with companion stats. A good rule of thumb is that if a skill does not explicitly say it summons a companion, it probably doesn’t scale with companion damage, even if it increases the thralls counter.
This varies depending on which companion you refer to. While the wording of class feat companions reads that they receive the fatemaker’s damage boosts, that description is very vague. Do note, all companions benefit from your Hero Stats.
- Class feat pets (shroom, Demi-lich, wyvern) scale with companion damage and class power. They do not receive all of the fatemaker’s damage buffs. The only bonuses they will receive from your fatemaker are universal damage increases, like All Damage (Faithful Thralls, Swift Vengeance, The Old Ways), bonus elements (cryo damage from enrage, maybe Reaper of Bones), elemental damage (dragon aura), splash damage, and debuffs (Wrath of Nature). Their crit damage scales off of COMPANION CRITICAL HIT damage. Class feat pets do not receive melee damage increases on their melee attacks, or spell damage increases on their spell attacks. Ability damage does not seem to effect their special attacks, nor does your ability cool down seem to effect theirs, although I didn’t spend a lot of time testing this so I may need to revisit it.
Class Feat Pet Damage = Base Damage x Class Power x Companion Damage x All Damage x Elemental Damage x Companion Crit x Splash x Debuff x Bonus element
- Companions spawned from spells (hydras and pixies) receive the fatemaker’s universal damage increases, companion damage, and spell damage. They also receive splash damage. Their critical hit damage scales off of SPELL CRITICAL HIT damage, not companion crit damage. Spell companions can proc spell related skills like Blast Grasp. I have not tested how the specific hydra variations fare versus each other, but I can say for certain that multi-headed hydras have a faster attack rate than single heads.
Spell Pet Damage = Base Damage x Companion Damage x All Damage x Elemental Damage x Spell Damage x Spell Crit x Splash x Debuff x Bonus element
- Companions spawned from guns (hydras and pixies) receive the fatemaker’s universal damage increases, companion damage, spell damage, and gun damage DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF WEAPON IT SPAWNED FROM (more in this point later). This includes both weapon damage (the type of gun damage on most skills and gear slots) and bullet damage (the Guardian rank gun damage from BL3 that is multiplicative with other gun damage, notably found on Spellshot’s Magic Bullets skill). They also receive splash damage. Their critical hit damage scales off of GUN TYPE CRITICAL HIT or SPELL CRIT damage, not companion crit damage. If you spawn a hydra from a 0 mag, it will do 0 damage for its duration. If you spawn a pixie from a 0 mag, it will deal half damage for its duration. Pixies receive fire rate bonuses, and will shoot the pellets listed on your card.
Gun Pet Damage = Base Damage x Companion Damage x All Damage x Elemental Damage x Gun Damage/Spell damage x Gun Crit x Splash x Debuff x Bonus element
- I have not tested Dark Hydras comprehensively, but they get the fatemaker’s universal damage increases, companion damage, splash damage, and ability damage. They proc ability related skills like Wrath of Nature. I am not sure if they scale off of companion crit or ability crit.
To keep it simple, there are only hydra pets and non-hydra pets. Pixies are essentially just flying hydras, and they are 95% similar. There is different damage/ mag size scaling between the two that I have not mathed out yet, but in terms of damage modifiers the only difference I can see between Hydras and pixies so far is that Pixies get your fire rate while Hydras don’t.
As for the point about the type of weapon effecting what bonuses a companion gets: refer to this video by ThiccFila. There is also a handy spreadhseet in the works by a redditor by the name of Katchenz.
Pistols with the FEARNOT prefix and shotguns that shoot PELLETS are counted as SPELL DAMAGE for the purposes of proccing skills. They can iterate blast grasp, for example. They DO NOT scale with gun damage (seems to have been changed in the hotfix last week). Shotgun pixie spell damage testing Pixie Spellweaving Pixie testing gun damage
SMGs, any pistol that does not have the FEARNOT prefix (watnots and others), and shotguns that shoot MAGICAL BEAMS are counted as GUN DAMAGE for proccing skills. They can proc Sever the Thread and Thrill of the Hunt. They DO NOT receive spell damage bonuses. SMG Pixie spell damage testing
Neither Hydras or pixies will benefit from the crossbow prefix in their thrown companion forms, but Guns with Wings will (since they are still shooting crossbow bolts).
- Think about which companions you want to prioritize in your build. If you want to build around wyvern, spell damage won’t matter to you, but if you want to build around hydras companion crit damage is a dead stat. If you want to build around spell damage, your guns need different parts than if you want to build around gun damage.
- Since spell and gun companions can potentially scale from so many sources, your gearing options are very open. Don’t just look for companion damage, look for the best spread of modifiers you can get. A ring with spell damage/ gun damage, and all damage will be better than a ring with companion damage and crit only.
- You are capped at 3 pixies/guns with wings. I have not personally tested, but I heard Hydras are capped at 7 and I haven’t been able to spawn more than 6 with my current reload speed. Spawning more will cause the oldest to despawn. Spam reloading will simply waste ammo in that case, use the in-between time to weave in spells or alternate which companion you are summoning.
- Weapon type and pellet count play a large role in the damage of gun companions.
- Pistols will offer the second best damage per shot, while having the fastest reload speed and second largest ammo pool. SMGs have the lowest damage per shot, the second fastest reload speed, and the highest ammo pool. Shotguns have the highest damage, lowest reload speed, and lowest mag size.
- I’ve heard that pellet count on single projectile weapons causing the damage to go up dramatically on hydras. I have not found similar enough guns to test this yet, but if true multi-pellet SMGs and pistols would be preferable for max damage.
- All companions (class feat, spell, and gun) will gain 100% crit chance during From The Shadows. The clawbringer’s Awe skill will also massively increase the crit chance and damage of companions.
- Gun companions benefit from Spellshot’s magic bullets and imbued weapon. SMG Companion Imbued Weapon
SMG Companion magic bullet
- Gun companions do not proc Sporewarden’s Play the Angles skill.
There are several character specific bugs that affect the performance of companions in drastic ways.
- Faithful Thralls - in the chaos chamber, whenever a mushroom companion dies and revives, it can add onto the Faithful thralls counter, drastically increasing your stack count and increasing your damage far beyond normal levels. The best way to avoid this is to exit to menu after every chaos chamber run.
- Harvest - like Faithful Thralls, Harvest can also stack far beyond it’s normal levels in the chaos chamber. To avoid this, you may need to wait for the skill to subside before entering a portal (not 100% sure if this fixes it tbh, not to sure about this one).
- I have not heard of any person finding a dark magic damage pixie or Hydra. I am not sure if they are superbly rare or bugged.
- Dark Hydras are bugged. Even if you get increased Dark Hydra count from a class mod, you will not spawn more than 3.
Hopefully all of this helps alleviate some confusion, or at least save someone a little bit of time. I’ll end with a link to some video I took of my testing for hydras and pixies. So far I only have my results for spell, gun, companion, and gun crit damage testing, I still need to record the rest. I will add it once I have it.