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Unlike most third-person shooters, Warframe's weapons have unique damage types that come with powerful status effects and damage multipliers. Learning the usefulness and status effects of each element is key to making your weapons as powerful as possible. If you take full advantage of Warframe's damage system, you can turn your enemies into ash, bypass their defenses, or make hostiles fight their allies.

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In this guide, we're going to give a brief look at all 15 damage types present in Warframe, how to create certain elemental combinations like Blast and Viral, and explain what each damage type does. Before we give an explanation of what each damage type does, it's important to understand where these damage types come from and why they're important.

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Damage Types In Warframe

Warframe Damage Type Icons

There are 15 unique damage types in Warframe, each providing a unique effect and damage multipliers versus certain enemy types.

Damage types are divided into certain categories:

  • Physical Damage, otherwise known as IPS
    • Impact
    • Puncture
    • Slash
  • Simple Elements
    • Cold
    • Electricity
    • Heat
    • Toxin
  • Combined Elements
    • Blast
    • Corrosive
    • Gas
    • Magnetic
    • Radiation
    • Viral
  • Hidden/Misc. Damage Types
    • True Damage
      • Can't be modded for; this is intrinsic with certain damage sources
    • Void Damage
      • Used by Operators and Xaku

Most weapons in Warframe use Impact, Puncture, and Slash as their default damage types, although some weapon types (Lich and Tenet weapons, the Phage, etc.) might have an elemental damage type that coincides or even replaces Impact, Puncture, and Slash.

Elemental damage types can be applied to your weapon by using certain Mods, granting elemental damage based on a percentage of your base damage.

Combined elements are created by applying two or more simple elements onto a weapon.

Void damage is a rare damage type that is mainly used to strip Sentient resistances.

True damage is a hidden damage type that ignores armor. It's usually found on Warframe abilities and Slash's status effect.

Adding Elemental Damage To Weapons

Image Gallery (3 Images)

Certain Mods in Warframe allow you to add elemental effects onto your weapons. An elemental Mod adds one simple element onto your weapon—Cold, Electricity, Heat, or Toxin. The amount of damage the element does is dependent on the strength of the Mod and your weapon's base damage. In the above example, applying a 90% Toxin Mod to the MK-1 Braton will grant 90% of the Braton's base damage as extra Toxin damage.

Related: Warframe: Galvanized Mods And Weapon Arcane Guide

Combining two elemental Mods will create a combined element. These elements typically come with more potent damage modifiers and status effects. A combined element's damage value is based on the sum of both simple elemental Mods used to create the element. For example, applying a 90% Electricity Mod and 90% Toxin Mod onto a Braton makes Corrosive damage, which will deal 180% of the weapon's base damage as extra Corrosive damage.

IPS - Impact, Puncture, And Slash

Warframe Athodai Featured

IPS—short for Impact, Puncture, and Slash—is the backbone of most weapons you'll find in Warframe. These are the most common damage types.

Credit to the Warframe Fandom Wiki for the IPS damage icons provided below.

Impact

Warframe Impact Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Shields: +50%
  • Machinery: +25%
  • Proto Shields: +15%
  • Cloned Flesh: -25%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Stagger an enemy, increasing their HP threshold for a Parazon finisher by 4%.
    • Threshold cannot exceed 80% HP.
Strong Against
  • Corpus

Impact's effectiveness versus Shields and Machinery makes it a great damage type against the Corpus. Mods like Internal Bleeding and Hemorrhage allow Impact procs to apply a Slash status effect on a target as well.

Puncture

Warframe Puncture Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Ferrite Armor: +50%
  • Infested Sinew: +25%
  • Robotic: +25%
  • Alloy Armor: +15%
  • Shield: -20%
  • Proto Shield: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: The enemy deals 30% less damage for 6 seconds.
    • Effect caps at 75% at 10 Puncture stacks.
    • Applying additional status effects will refresh the duration.
Strong Against
  • Light-armored targets

Puncture's status effect is somewhat lackluster when compared to Impact and Slash, yet its high damage multipliers to common health types make Puncture a solid damage type for weapons with high critical stats and low status chance.

Slash

Warframe Slash Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Infested Flesh: +50%
  • Infested: +25%
  • Cloned Flesh: +25%
  • Ferrite Armor: -15% Robotic: -25%
  • Alloy Armor: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Apply a bleed effect to the enemy, dealing true damage over time.
    • True damage ignores armor
    • Stacks indefinitely, but only ten stacks are shown at a time
Strong Against
  • All

Slash is the best IPS damage type. It's excellent against unarmored targets and can bypass armor with its status effect.

Elemental Damage

Warframe Damage Types Featured

There are four standard Elemental Damage types in Warframe: Cold, Electricity, Heat, and Toxin.

Cold

Warframe Cold Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Shields: +50%
  • Infested Sinew: +25%
  • Alloy Armor: +25%
  • Fossilized: -25%
  • Infested Flesh: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Reduce an enemy's action speed by 25%.
    • Caps at 70% reduced speed at x10 stacks.
Strong Against
  • Corpus

Cold is great for damaging shields and certain Grineer heavy units. Its status effect can stack with other slows, although most players opt to combine Cold with Toxin to create Viral—one of Warframe's combined elemental damage types.

Electricity

Warframe Electricity Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Robotic: +50%
  • Machinery: +50%
  • Alloy Armor: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: The enemy becomes stunned and electrified, damaging nearby enemies.
    • Chains between enemies up to 3 meters from the target.
Strong Against
  • Corpus

If you're struggling to fight the Corpus in the early game, equip an Electricity Mod. It is fantastic against the Corpus but horrible against heavily armored Grineer. Its status effect, while powerful on paper, deals too little damage to warrant building around.

Heat

Warframe Heat Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Infested Flesh: +50%
  • Infested: +25%
  • Cloned Flesh: +25%
  • Proto Shield: -25%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Ignite the target, reducing their armor while dealing Heat damage over time.
    • Armor reduction is capped at 50%
    • Heat's DoT can stack indefinitely
Strong Against
  • Infested

Heat is considered by many as the best simple element in Warframe. Armor strip and DoT damage make Heat excellent for all factions across all activities.

Toxin

Warframe Toxin Damage Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • Flesh: +50%
  • Proto Shield: +25%
  • Robotic: -25%
  • Machinery: -25%
  • Fossilized: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Inflicts poison, dealing Toxin damage over time.
    • Stacks indefinitely
Unique Property
  • Toxin damage bypasses shields
Strong Against
  • Corpus

Toxin is the best standalone element for combating Corpus shields, as Toxin damage completely bypasses enemy shields. Toxin is also a solid choice for fighting unarmored Grineer. Just be wary of using it against the Infested, as Toxic Ancients make nearby Infested completely immune to Toxin.

Combined Damage Types

Warframe Combined Damage Types

Warframe has six combined elemental damage types: Blast, Corrosive, Gas, Magnetic, Radiation, and Viral.

Blast

Warframe Blast Damage Icon
Element Combination
  • Heat + Cold
Damage Modifiers
  • Machinery: +75%
  • Fossilized: +50%
  • Ferrite Armor: -25%
  • Infested Sinew: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Enemies become disoriented, reducing their weapon accuracy by 30%.
    • Caps at 75% reduced accuracy at x10 stacks.
    • Melee units are unaffected by Blast's status effect
Strong Against
  • None

Blast is created by combining Heat and Cold. It acts similar to Puncture, reducing an enemy's lethality while inflicted with the effect. Out of every elemental damage type, Blast is arguably the worst. Its damage modifiers make it solid for Corpus enemies, although this element seriously struggles against armored and Infested enemy types.

Corrosive

Warframe Corrosive Damage Icon
Element Combination
  • Electricity + Toxin
Damage Modifiers
  • Fossilized: +75%
  • Ferrite Armor: +75%
  • Proto Shield: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Reduce an enemy's armor by 30%.
    • Caps at 75% armor reduction at x10 stacks.
    • Stacks multiplicatively with other armor reduction effects.
Strong Against
  • Infested
  • Lightly-armored Grineer

Corrosive is created by combining Toxin and Electricity. While it can't fully strip armor on its own, Corrosive's damage multipliers and status effect make it a fantastic element for fighting the Grineer and Infested. Proto Shields are used by rather weak Corpus enemies, so you can use this as a reliable element for all factions.

Gas

Warframe Gas Damage Icon
Element Combination
  • Heat + Toxin
Damage Modifiers
  • Infested: +75%
  • Infested Flesh: +50%
  • Flesh: -25%
  • Cloned Flesh: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Create a 3-meter Gas cloud on the enemy, dealing Gas damage over time.
    • Radius increased to 6 meters at x10 stacks.
Strong Against
  • Infested

Gas is created by combining Heat and Toxin. Gas clouds require Faction Mods and high base damage to deal respectable damage. However, Gas' great AoE coverage makes it excellent against the Infested and even the Corpus if you build around Gas' status effect.

Magnetic

Warframe Magnetic Damage Type
Element Combination
  • Cold + Toxin
Damage Modifiers
  • Shield: +75%
  • Proto Shield: +75%
  • Alloy Armor: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Increases the damage an enemy's shields take by 100%.
    • Stacks to 325% increased damage at x10 stacks.
    • Enemies cannot recharge their shields naturally while Magnetized.
    • Magnetic saps Energy from Warframes.
Strong Against
  • Corpus

Magnetic can be created by combining Cold and Toxin. This is a fantastic element for fighting the Corpus, amplifying the damage their shields take tremendously. If an enemy is too heavily armored for Toxin's shield-bypassing damage to be effective, Magnetic is a great substitute.

Radiation

Warframe Radiation Damage Icon
Element Combination
  • Heat + Electricity
Damage Modifiers
  • Alloy Armor: +75%
  • Infested Sinew +50%
  • Robotic: +25%
  • Shield: -25%
  • Infested: -50%
  • Fossilized: -75%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Enemies become confused, turning hostile towards their allies.
    • Confused targets deal 100% damage to allies
    • Scales to 550% damage at x10 stacks.
    • Enemy auras stop affecting nearby targets while confused
Strong Against
  • Grineer

Radiation is the result of combining Heat and Electricity. Its damage modifiers make Radiation a fantastic choice against heavily armored Grineer, although it struggles against humanoid Corpus enemies and the Infested. Radiation's status effect is especially useful for pacifying Ancient Healers and Exilus targets, preventing their auras from buffing their allies.

Viral

Warframe Viral Damage Icon
Element Combination
  • Toxin + Cold
Damage Modifiers
  • Cloned Flesh: +75%
  • Flesh: +50%
  • Machinery: -25%
  • Infested: -50%
Status Effect
  • Effect: Enemies take 25% increased damage.
    • Stacks to 325% increased damage at x10 stacks.
Strong Against
  • All

Viral is the result of combining Toxin and Cold. This element is fantastic for all situations, causing all targets afflicted to take increased damage from all sources. Its damage multipliers allow it to decimate unarmored targets, while its status effect makes Viral a great element for killing more armored targets as well. It's tough to top Viral in the current meta.

Void And True Damage

Warframe Xaku in the Cambion Drift

Void and True damage are two unique damage types that are fairly rare. Let's go over how they work.

Void

Warframe background of the Void.
Damage Modifiers
  • None
Status Effect
  • Effect: Spawn a magnetizing bubble around the target
    • Punch-through projectiles ricochet in the dome
    • The dome is centered on the point of impact
Unique Property
  • Void damage removes Sentient resistances
Strong Against
  • Sentients

Void damage is reserved for Operator Amps and the Xaku Warframe. This damage type causes bullets to magnetize to a certain location, making it much easier to land headshots or hit a target multiple times with a punch-through projectile. Void damage strips Sentient resistances, although only Operator Amps can damage Eidolon shields.

True Damage

Warframe True Damage Glyph Icon
Damage Modifiers
  • None
Status Effect
  • None
Unique Property
  • True damage ignores armor
Strong Against
  • Armored targets

True damage is an unlisted damage type that some Warframe abilities possess. It has no damage modifiers or unique status effects. Instead, true damage ignores all armor that an enemy possesses. Some examples of true damage include melee finishers (not Parazon finishers), Slash's bleed status effect, and Ash's Blade Storm ability.

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