As with the rest of this looter-shooter game, damage in Warframe is fairly confusing, although it certainly isn’t impossible to grasp. At first, you probably won’t need to worry about the many different damage types since you can simply aim at an enemy, hold down the trigger and shoot until they’re dead.
With that being said, as time goes by, you’re going to need the knowledge required to fight against the more complex enemies in the game. In this guide, we will be walking you through every damage type in Warframe, how they all work and what damage types specific enemies are weak against.
Apart from this, we’ll explain how to maximize damage in Warframe in order to improve how you perform in battle. After all, you’ll definitely need to know this information if you wish to succeed in Warframe, especially if you’re new to the game.
Physical Damage Types and Status Effects
Almost every single weapon in Warframe has one of—or a mixture of—three physical damage types: Puncture (needle puncturing a wheel), Impact (hammer and Slash (blade). As to be expected, every damage type has its own strengths and weaknesses that will inevitably change how you play.
In addition to this, they also have their own unique status effects that will also dictate how well you perform in battle. One thing to note before playing, however, is that you can’t add any of the three physical damage types to a weapon that deals with no physical damage in Warframe.
|Physical Damage Type||Status Effect|
|Puncture||Weakened: Causes victim attacks to deal 30% less damage over a period of 6 second. Subsequent procs add +5% less damage up to a total of 75% after 10 stacs. Puncture also reduces any damage dealt up to 30% over 6 seconds. Affected targets will have a yellow aura.|
|Impact||Stagger: Causes rival targets to flinch and spring backwards, staggering their movement for up to 1 second. Subsequent procs later cause Knockdown after 5 stacks. Bosses, Tenno and Ospreys are immune.|
|Slash||Bleed: Applies damage over time (DoT), dealing one tick of damage each second for up to 6 seconds. Every tick deals damage equivalent to 0.35 x Innate Damage x (1 + Faction Damage Mods) as True damage. This effect can stack on the same enemy target.|
Do keep in mind that unlike the other damage types we will be discussing in this guide, you cannot combine physical damage types. Having said that, they work very well against specific enemies in the game, something we’ll get into later.
Elemental Damage Types and Status Effects
In Warframe, there are four primary elemental damage types: Cold, Heat, Electricity, and Toxin. Unlike the weapons that deal physical damage to enemies, elemental damage types are almost always determined by the player. The real question is, how does elemental damage work in Warframe?
You can add elemental damage to any weapon that deals only with physical damage by using the elemental damage mod. The exact order you place your mods on the weapon Mod page is also important since the built-in hierarchy goes from left to right (top to bottom). As to be expected, you can combine multiple elemental damage types in a single weapon to create a godly machine capable of destroying every enemy in sight.
Secondary Elemental Damage Combinations
By combining the previously mentioned elemental mods, you can create something known as a secondary element. In Warframe, there are six secondary elements known as Blast, Magnetic, Viral, Radiation, Gas and Corrosive. These can be made by simply placing two elemental damage types next to each other on the weapon Mod page, such as Heat and Toxin to create Gas.
What’s more, if you add two different elemental damage types next to those two slots, they will combine to create a weapon with two secondary elemental damage types. As an example, if you wish to combine Heat and Toxin as well as Hot and Cold, this will give you a weapon with both Gas and Blast damage.
But before you go out and combine every elemental damage type in the game, do note that secondary elemental damage types will take the place of their combining elements. For instance, if you combine Cold and Electricity to create Magnetic, you will no longer deal Cold and Electricity damage.
With that being said, you can simply neutralize this by using an odd number of elemental damage mods. For further guidance on secondary elemental damage combinations and their status effects, see the table below.
|Damage Types||Secondary Element||Status Effect|
|Heat + Cold||Blast||Inaccuracy: Reduces opponent accuracy by 30% for 6 seconds. Subsequent procs add +5% reduced accuracy for up to 75% after 10 stacks.|
|Cold + Electricity||Magnetic||Disrupt: Increases the damage given to the shields of your enemy target by 100% and cancels its shield regeneration for 6 seconds. Subsequent procs add +25% more damage to enemy shields up to 325% after 10 stacks.|
|Cold + Toxin||Viral||Virus: Increases damage dealt to the health of the injured target by 100% for up to 6 seconds. Subsequent procs add +25% more damage to health up to a total of 325% after 10 stacks.|
|Heat + Electricity||Radiation||Confusion: Alters the faction of the injured enemy target for 12 seconds, enabling friendly fire among it and allied units. In addition to this, Radiation applies 100% damage to strikes against allied units. Subsequent procs add up to a total of 550% damage.|
|Heat + Toxin||Gas||Gas Cloud: Gas fittingly creates a gas cloud that deals one tick of damage every second to all enemies within 3-meters for a total of 6 seconds. Every tick deals damage equivalent to 0.5 x Modded Damage x (1 + Faction Damage mods).|
|Electricity + Toxin||Corrosive||Corrosion: Degrade the armor (Alloy or Ferrite) of injured enemies by a total of 26%. This lasts for 8 seconds. Subsequent procs add +6% decreased armor up to a total of 80% after 10 stacks.|
Unique Damage Types and Status Effects
Unique damage types in Warframe are special in that they are not accessible as base damage types for any typical weapon. They also can’t be added through mods. While there are only three unique damage types, Tau and Void damage are unique to the late game Sentients in Warframe, so you won’t have to worry about those immediately.
The first of the three is True damage: a hidden, unique damage type that can simply be applied through the Slash procs, finishers, and a few more Warframe abilities.
It is unique in that it directly deals with its raw damage to the value of your target’s health by ignoring enemy armor, bonus or malus damage mods. The next damage type is Void which can only be used by the player (Operator) after completing a cinematic quest known as The War Within. Tau, the last unique damage type, is unique to the energy attacks of the Sentients.
|Unique Damage Type||Status Effect|
|Void||Bullet Attractor: Creates a 5-meter radius around the enemy target that absorbs and diverts projectiles over a period of 3 seconds.|
|True Damage||No applicable status procs alone|
|Tau||No status effect|
Understanding Enemy Weaknesses
Have you ever sat and thought to yourself, “What damage is best against Corpus?” Maybe you can’t stand those pesky Infested enemies and you want to destroy them all? Well, now that you have all of the knowledge required to modify weapons using the different damage types, it’s time to learn a little bit about enemy weaknesses.
In Warframe, there are four main factions each with its own weaknesses that you should absolutely learn before you jump right into the game.
Prior to entering a mission in Warframe, we highly recommend looking at the mission details to find out more information about the enemies you will face. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for battle before you inevitably go in blind. To make things simple, we have done all the work for you and listed every enemy faction alongside their weaknesses so that you can increase your chances of winning against them in Warframe:
|Corpus||Toxin and Magnetic|
|Grineer||Toxin, Puncture, Corrosive and Radiation|
|Infested||Heat and Corrosive|
|Corrupted||Cold and Corrosive|
Maximizing Damage in Warframe
Taking into account that you will (mostly) only encounter Corrupted enemies in the Void, we highly suggest using the three weapon mod loadouts for the other three main enemy factions that you’ll encounter throughout the game: Corpus, Grineer and Infested.
As we have previously stated, we seriously recommend reading the mission descriptions before entering to find out which primary enemy types you will face. This way, you’ll be prepared for battle, maximizing damage as you enter missions full of different enemy types with specific weaknesses.
We hope that our guide has given you enough information on Warframe damage types so that you can destroy enemies with ease. If you’re new to the game, do be sure to check out our guide on Warframe cross-platform where we answer the most frequently asked questions regarding Warframe and the future of crossplay.
If you’ve been playing since the game was released back in 2013, then you may need a change of scenery. This is exactly why we recommend checking out our guide to the absolute best co-op games on Steam. While we’ve included Warframe in the guide, we’ve also listed some games that you simply can’t miss out on.