Why chain reaction is amazing

I keep seeing people who are not using chain reaction or people avoiding the cat tree because the bad skills and not realizing what thy are missing. I think most people understand reaper, but not chain reaction. So here is why it is one of her best skills.

Here is the description

“While you have an enemy Phaselocked all of your bullets that hit enemies have a 8% chance per level to ricochet and hit another nearby enemy.”

If you max it out at 5/5 and you always should it gives a 40% chance to hit if you wear a blurred trickster you get 88% chance.

How does it work?

When you hit an enemy a RNG rolls to see if it procs, and if it does a NEW PROJECTILE is created and goes towards an new enemy or hitbox. 2 key things there, new projectile and hitbox. So because it is a new projectile any bullet effects will re proc on impact like splash, or bullet splits will re split. The second important thing about new projectile is that since it is a new one on impact it can proc chain reaction again, so when you get up around 80% and above you can get a lot of procs on a single shot. The third thing about new projectile is that it will have all of your damage buffs on it, so amp damage, skill tree damage, bar damage, relic damage, etc… Hitbox is important, and you can see it below, that even on a single target chain can bounce around.

How often does it really proc?

Well as we say random is random, but we have all seen stv chains and they are almost a 1 in 10 chance. We have seen crazy money shot chains and that is UP TO 50% chance depending on how low your shields and health is. Chain Reaction doesn’t have a sound so you know it happened and it can be hard to see with all the dots going off and a croweded mob below the phaselock, but it is happening a lot. Bullets can also bounce multiple times increasing your chances even more.

With 5/5 it is on average 1 in every 2.5 hits, with a trickster it can be 8.8 out of every ten hits.

How much Damage does it add?

So in a simple way its 40% dps increase, but not in a way accellerate or minds eye, its full damage of each shot that hits, so it includes all your skills, bar, amp damage etc… This is a multiplicative increase like reaper, not additive like wreck, accelerate, and minds eye as long as you have multiple targets that can be phaselocked. You can add around 700% damage or more to a single shot, that is on the high end and you won’t average that but you can add much more than the 40% with the right weapons.

On overlapping hitboxes it can do almost infinite damage, the game has a glitch with skills like this and b0re that with overlapping hitboxes everything just pretty much explodes. You can see evidence of this below with the saturn videos, this is partly dependent on the quality of hardware to process those insane numbers.

How does it works with multi pellet?

Each pellet has a chance to ricochet not just the shot, so if you have more than 3 pellets more than likely one will proc. This makes it amazing with fast fire rate shotguns like the butcher, cc, and interfacer.

Can it hit enemies with multiple hit boxes more than once?

Absolutely, enemies like bunker can be hit multiple times by the bullet going from one hit box to the next, and again if they have overlapping hitboxes you can one shot very large enemies with overlapping hitboxes like turrets.

What is the best way to utilize it?

The most effective way to get as much dps as possible is focus on anything that is not in the bubble so that it lasts as long as possible. It also seems to proc more often with closer targets/hitboxes. So converge is key to making the most out of it, but quasars or other singularities are helpful as well. The argument over high power, low fire rate to low power fast fire rate seem to equal out for the most part. The guns that do get more out of it than others are ones with bullet splits, impact abilities, or large splash damage.

What weapons do not work?

Guns that are pure splash, rockets, or grenades do not work with this skill. Rocket launchers, etech shotguns, torgue ar’s with torgue barrels, any gun that shoots rockets like the logans gun, or grenades like the kerblaster or boom puppy. Guns with bullets and splash damage like plasma casters DO work, just pure splash like splatguns do not. Same rules are b0re for the most part.

Guns with special abilities on impact.

So certain guns like the cobra, pimpernel, and others have something that procs when the bullet lands. If your original shot procs with chain reaction there abilities go off a second time on the second hit. This works much like b0re for zer0. I’ll take these guns one at a time.

Pseudo B0re

When a bullet hits a enemy or hitbox it does not stop but keeps traveling. Why this is relevant to chain reaction is that chain reaction can proc on each impact. So with converge its quite common to have multiple enemies under a phaselock lined up. So instead of that projectile hitting once and getting a RNG role, it can now how 1-3 times pretty easily and each hit can proc chain reaction. So for example imagine 3 enemies lined up and a blurred trickster com with 88% chance, that one projectile can easily turn into 4 pellets, and each of those has pseudo b0re so you can start to see how well this works.

Guns with this:

  • Godfinger
  • Bekah
  • Twister
  • Tidal Wave
  • E-tech Railers

Impact Effect

These can range quite a bit but what it is most simply put is when the bullet hits an enemy or surface a certain effect happens. This can be anything from splash damage to extra pellets, the reason it is good is when chain reaction procs and a new projectile is created this effect will proc on impact again. So this category technically includes all spalsh weapon but I’m only going to list the unique ones.

Guns with this:

  • Pimpernel - 5 pellets lift off of the first impact each with full damage and spalsh, each can crit and keep traveling to do one more impact at 50% damage
  • Cobra - A large splash radius wtih 80% splash damage
  • Storm - A large splash radius with 5 shock orbs each doing 10% splash damage in the form of tesla dots
  • Godfinger - On impact 5 pellets split off all with full damage, crit, and pseudo b0re
  • Swordsplosion - 3 mini grenade swords that do 70% splash damage come off of each pellet.
  • Fibber - On imact splits into 9 pellets each with full damage and crit
  • Conference Call - Each impact T’s off left and right in a horizontal line hitting anything in its path.
  • Thunderball fists - A orb slowly lifts up and explodes with a large radius doing 150% splash damage in the form of shock.

Bullet Split

This is when a bullet will split into more pellets or projectiles while traveling to the target. Why this is great with chain reaction is that when chain reaction procs and creates a new pellet that new pellet can split again.

Guns with this:

  • Lyuda - splits into 3
  • Hail - splits into 2
  • Leadstorm - splits into 3
  • Flakker - each pellet splits into about 10 explosions in a cone shape
  • Sawbar - splits into 3 and each of those split off into multiple fire explosions in a cone shape
  • Godfinger - splits into 6
  • Bekah - 3 pellets split off and follow the first, total of 4
  • Interfacer - each pellet splits into 3 the two outside ones arc back and meet the initial pellet after set distance.

from the B0re, Chain Reaction, and Nth Degree thread on how hardware effects this

How does hardware effect this?

In order for this to happen the CPU has to calculate each impact and each proc, and as these numbers get bigger it is more taxing on the CPU. Secondly you need enough frames for the bullets to keep impacting and procing these effects, but the massive amount of data to process lowers your frames and then you get less damage. This is why some of the crazier kills can only happen on high end PC’s. So lets use the Saturn Maya kills. When people who are on console started seeing those kills pop up on Youtube there were many comments that they could not replicate it on console. The CPU’s on the consoles can’t handle the load this puts on the CPU so not all the calculations happen by the time phaselock ends and causes you to drop frames, or same thing with some lesser power weapons with b0re, the CPU can’t do the math before the bullet passes through the overlapping hit box or you do not have enough frames for enough hits.

Youtube Playlist of Chain Reaction Highlights and Guides


Very nice!

I have a Pistol Maya in her 50’s, what Guns would you suggest I farm to give this a try? I have a 50 Slag Rubi and a 50ish Flints Tinderbox/Hornet & Maggie

Would an Unkempt Harodl work with this, or does it come under the Grenade/Rocket bracket ?

As I haven’t played Maya in a while I am going to have to go look up her COM’s to see which is best for this, but as I want to try just Pistols, I think I will have to go see what the Sheriff of Lynchwood is doing for lunch.

Man a 55 Axton, 54 Maya and a 59 Kreig, plus I want a Salvador, this game is eating away at me :smile:

Harold has pellets so its good
Maggie has a lot of pellets and fast fire rate so its good.

The trickster is the only com that boosts chain reaction.

Well had a play with this, turns out I already had Chain Reaction, just had to stick on a Trickster COM (which I had, +5 to Chain Reaction)

Now the only problem I had, was I decided to Farm TVHM’s Sheriff of Lynchwood for her Pistol Relic, I was level 54, using a Jacob Pistol and a Bee Shield

Things died pretty fast anyway, so I didn’t really get to test this as it was meant to be, but I did learn something for this weekends playthrough.

1: Ideally, you want a lot of bullets, so I may switch up from a Pistol build to an SMG build, fast firing Pistols may do the trick, so will work with the Sheriffs Relic, but a Bone Relic with SMG Ammo & Health would probably be better, I currently have a Pistol and Health Relic, so its a tough choice between more ammo & Health, or more Pistol damage.

2: My Current Build is this http://bl2skills.com/siren.html#505101353000000000004505510501 the idea being RUIN destroys them, and there is a good chance to jump to a new target, but I do wonder if going for something more like this http://bl2skills.com/siren.html#505101555100000000000505510500 , the main difference is actually targetting a a Hard Mob, so you get longer with chain reaction, as I do not think abilities that rely on mobs being Phase Locked, counts while the orb searches a new target, but it is still costing you Phase Lock time. Though what RUIN does to mobs is awesome.

3: As MOAR Bullets = MOAR Chain Reaction, I am thinking either, Hyperion SMG’s for Accuracy and Pound the Phase Target, or Spread SMG’s to hit lots of targets and get ricochets all round, bofe on hand would be better, but as I don’t have any SMG’s tonight, and don’t want to do Scarletts Booty just yet on UHVM, I am off to Frostburn tonight to get myself a Lascaux (sp?)

As much as I like the Bee Shield, mine went down a little to fast, so I need something a bit better, and then it doesn’t become a crutch to DPS. If I can get to smash face without a Bee Shield, when I get a higher level one, I will do even better.

Thanks for pointing out the utility of Chain Reaction, and I have to agree, if you’re going to bother putting points into it, get the COM to make it 80%, isn’t it nice to have Ruin, Chain Reaction & Cloud Kill all in the same tree.

I think I will respec tonight to this

with this eventually

Because as much as I think Thoughtlock might be better for longer Chain Reaction Times, I love what Ruin, Sub-Sequence & Sweet Release do to Mobs Damage and Healing wise.

This is not what I meant in the thread, you should almost always have 5 points in chain reaction. Even at 40% its amazing you do not need to run it at 80% to make it worth while. Not at all. Chain reaction is one of her best skills and since she has so many amazing coms wtihout it there is no need to run a trickster. The trickster is fun and great, but you should almost always have chain reaction at 5/5.


My bad for implying that, apologies

I was playing +5 Chain Reaction in Fink’s Slaughterhouse a while back, going ape with a Fire Pimpernel and it was so good that every time I Phaselocked an enemy my friend started getting serious lag. His poor little Mac couldn’t keep up.

I mainly use it for farming Bnker or Saturn with a Blurred Trickster. Are there other bosses CR will work well on? Terra, or are its boxes too far apart? I generally Beehawk in game, but those 2 are sort far away, and the bullet speed can a bit of a problem…
Ps I use the Pimpernel for them and I’m on PS3, so I have noticed that it not work as well as some cpus crazy damage numbers.

You need to be able to properly PL a target for Chain Reaction to proc. With both Saturn and BNK3R, you can. Saturn has that little Skag pup nearby, and BNK3R has the various Loaders. However, I don’t think this will work with Terra since all Terra has is its Tentacles. If the Snowman has multiple hitboxes (which I am not sure about), then it might work on him since the Snowman has the little snowmen minions you can properly PL.

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Its great on the Assasins, Boom Bewn, the Warrior, Bad Maw, Mad Mike, UBA Constructors, many bosses.

It doesn’t one shot them all like it can with Bunker but its not just some gimick. Chain Reaction is just great for 90% of the game, not just to show off and one shot 2 big bosses.

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Argh! Forgot about the PL part! This is what happens when you send replys via phone and not actively playing. At least I forget things like that…

I’ve done that

Today I remembered you can do it to the Warrior, using the Rakk things…

I spent the all level 56 this weekend just farming the Snowman, trying out different comm’s etc.

I did have 88% chance to Chain Reaction a few times, and I PL’d a little snowman, and shot the Big guy in the head (I was using the Lascaux)

As far as I could tell, shooting him in the head for the Crits, was all the rebounds went straight for the little guys, non seemed to go back into him, all the hits stayed up in the general area of the head, and didn’t seem to increase in number as something was PL’d

So I do not think his hit boxes overlap allowing him to be ripped apart.

I just usually Beehawk him… :smile: At least thats one down we know cant be CR…

Tinder doesn’t have overlapping hitboxes and since there is a long way to travel from his head to his snowman he doesn’t get a lot from chain unless you use something like a fire pimp maybe and even at that the little snowmen die do easy you can’t really get multiple procs.

Overlapping hitboxes are usually in the form of something attacked to a boss like Turrents on Saturn, Bunker, and UBA constructors.

Some of the craziest CR benefit I’ve seen has been running something like this against Invincible Son of Craw:


Beehawking with a Legendary Siren and fire Bone. Absolute ridiculousness. Craw hammers his friends at the same time as CR, and there are Converge, Ruin, Helios, Cloudkill, and Chain Reaction effects going off everywhere. POPPOPPOPPOPPOP. That is the one and only place where I like Sub-Sequence. In that fight, CR wipes out many ads without you having to do anything.


I love Chain Reaction.