Torgue stickies are bugged

Or at least improperly labeled. I’ve posted this before but with all the nerf talk it seems anything not related to amara and drop rates doesn’t survive this forum so I apologize to those who may have seen this (all 10 of you).

Now that we have the target dummy, it’s easy to test this. For most weapons I’m seeing less damage per shot if any less than 9 to 10 stickies are on the target. I have a Zane that just respecced with no skill points used, no artifact, class mod or shield eauipped, and no guardian ranks applied.

I have a 4 round kielbasa (single round version). One shot does 2364 dmg in impact.

The sticky damage:
1 shot: 165 on impact, 1654 when detonated
2 shots: 165 on impact 1737 each when detonate
3 shots: 165 on impact 1820 each when detonated
4 shots: 165 on impact 1902 each when detonated

I then tried with a rifle. One impact shot does 523. No skills or class mods, the damage on the weapon card also says 523. The card says this rifle will do +5% dmg per sticky. Sticky damage is 37 on impact and then for each when detonated:

1 shot: 366
2 shots: 385
3 shots: 403
4 shots: 421
5 shots: 440
6 shots: 458
7 shots: 476
8 shots: 498
9 shots: 513
10 shots: 531
11 shots: 549
12 shots: 568
13 shots: 586
14 shots: 604
15 shots: 623

28 shots: 861

Now there’s much rounding that happens in borderlands, but it does seem the formula dmg per shot=base dmg * (1 + (shots stuck to target * % increase on weapon card)) is being followed. However, it’s calculated off of a much lower base damage of 366. This means without skills that give ammo, most torgue weaponry of the shotgun and pistol type are incapable of doing more damage with stickies than regular impact mode and even if they did, the bonus isn’t all that great.

Worse, the base damage the % will be applied to is hidden.

Finally, I tested a 425x6 torgue shotgun.

Impact did 276 dmg per pellet. Sticky did 278 per pellet WITH ALL 12 PELLETS STUCK. Wtf? What is the point of this mode if you aren’t moze or fl4k? It seems most torgue pistols and shotguns are better in impact mode in all but rate of fire, which when reload is factored I’m not sure increases dps.

This seems like it’s a mistake. Either the damage is wrong or the weapon description cards are wrong.


Yeah, I haven’t been on much since the last patch buried the game in an avalanche of bugs and performance issues (oh and I’m sick to death of ghosts) but I did notice playing in the previous few months that Torgue weapons sticky mode seems to only be useful for the quicker fire rate. Also, and I think this is just a personal thing but it is way easier for me to land crits with the sticky mode, so I use it like that sometimes.

Just another bug in a sea of bugs I guess.

1 Like

They always worked this way with Stickies, the percentages per stickie just used to be a lot bigger to make up for it. Yes, the game is a quagmire of unlisted modifiers and effects.

Anointment text, for example, replaces the sticky% mod (and many other manufacturer stats) on the item card. Keeping players informed about their equipment choices obviously wasn’t a high priority when they chose to go down this road.

That aside, and from memory:

  • Stickies do 66.6% of the listed damage as base. They increase via the listed percent per stickie on detonation.
  • The initial hits are 66.6% + the bonus for 1 stickie no matter how many are stuck to the target.

As a result you need 10 stuck to the target at 5% per (or 17 @ 3%) to be just ahead of break even on the detonate with the initial hit damage as a bonus. This means a lot of shotguns with small clips can’t actually exceed their original non-sticky damage without a clip size increase, being Double/Triple Penetrating (depending on ammo usage) or crit swapping with an Unforgiven.

9% ARs do well most of the time (need 6 to exceed original damage) as 16 is a common clip size.
7% ARs do decently as well (need 8 to exceed original damage).
33% or better launchers do better on the second stickie.

The largest increase for all of them is aiming for crits and then crit swapping to an Unforgiven.

Note: There is also a timer on Stickies meaning ammo regen or extremely large clip sizes make a big difference to the amount of damage you can do. Double Penetrating weapons often do better than their single shot counterparts just by virtue of landing a very high number of stickies before the timer expires even though the base damage per sticky is lower.

Early on they nerfed the ever-lovin’ pants off sticky ammo because of Moze using them with massive clip sizes and free ammo on exiting IB, then crit swapping with the Unforgiven for a double-pump of damage. Now they’re often kind of pointless for anything else because of the ‘quick fix’ nature of the unilateral nerf.

I hope they eventually revisit stickies and rebalance them properly but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting. I just made myself aware of the pros and cons and played around them, something I can continue to do.


Thank you for this break down. This definitely makes much more sense, and now I can make smarter decisions of what payload I carry.

It looks like they tweaked it a bit. It looks like the initial hits are much less than 66.6% + the bonus for one sticky. It’s more like 7% of the base damage is initial hit damage. It’s consistent against all 3 weapons I tested above.

Also, it looks like the base damage, and the first hit, are 70% of the damage on the weapon card. From this number, you can apply the sticky damage bonus. So for the rifle tested above, which did 523 damage, 70% of the base is 366.1. 70% of the shotgun tested above, which did 2364 on the card, has a sticky base of 1654.3.

So it looks like we’ve arrived at a current, accurate formula for Torgue stickies:

Dmg = (wpn card dmg * .7)*(1+(shots_landed * % on wpn card)).

It’s not exact, but it appears to be within +/- 3% due to the decimals all being hidden making exact math impossible.

I wish they just told us this kind of stuff.

Thanks for your input on this, I appreciate it.


Appreciate the detailed breakdown! I had no idea that they base it off of a much lower number like that.

I wish that the Inspection page had a much bigger breakdown on weapon performance for the people who would like to crunch the numbers to help with stuff like this. A performance calculator that could allow you to compare up to 5 weapons based on Raw Damage, Elemental Damage, Elemental Damage over Time, Damage Per Second (w/ reloads factored in), Reload Speed, Splash Damage, etc. AND a button to factor in your skills and guardian rank into the calculations, or remove them.

1 Like