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Borderlands 2:Elemental Effects

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Guns from each manufacturer except Jakobs (those Luddites!) can also come equipped to deal elemental damage. Maliwan does one better, making every single one of its guns output elemental rounds. Fire rounds scorch and burn, making them ideal against unarmored, fleshy targets. Corrosive rounds eat away at hard, fire-resistant surfaces, making them effective against robots and armor. And Electric rounds quickly overpower personal shield modules, disengaging shield protection and allowing free access to the sensitive, squishy areas of the would-be shield user.

On weapons of white, commonplace rarity, you’ll never see an elemental property unless the weapon is from Maliwan. On items of green or better rarity, you’ll start seeing elemental effects once you’re above a minimum level. If you happen to get incredibly lucky and receive a unique elemental drop before the minimum level for that effect to show up on drops, you’ll still get it.

Elemental weapons come equipped with a chance to inflict the target with a horrific temporary effect. Just like with impact damage, if a creature is vulnerable to a particular type of damage (like flesh creatures to fire), then they’ll be more vulnerable to the possible damage-over-time effect. It will also be more likely to go off in the first place, and they’ll resist less of the potential damage once their life is ticking away. Precious few enemies (thankfully) are entirely immune to damage-over-time effects, but watch especially for Constructor Bots, which you will learn to fear for that reason, among many others.

Fire.png Fire

Fire rounds may light the target on fire, causing them to burn and continue taking damage. Naturally, most living things have a deep distaste of being on fire, so this may also change their behavior. At the very least, you’ll hear more screaming. Armored targets are Fire resistant. They’ll take less impact damage from Fire rounds, they’re less likely to catch on fire, and they’ll take less damage from the fire when they do. Fire, like Corrosive, is also pretty bad at whittling down sophisticated shield technology. Fire elements appear on non-Maliwan and non-Jakobs weapons starting at level 7.

Shock.png Shock

Shock weapons chew through shields extremely fast, meaningfully quicker than other weapons. They may also electrocute the target for a few moments, dealing damage over time and potentially interrupting their actions, what with the electrocution they’re undergoing and all. Besides the obvious usefulness of knocking out enemy shields so you can damage them more efficiently when they’re unprotected, some enemies who are capable of cloaking depend on an active shield to draw energy from. No shield? No cloak. Shock elements appear on non-Maliwan and non-Jakobs gear starting at level 11.

Corrosive.png Corrosive

Corrosive weapons sizzle through even the best synthetic material, making short work of loaders and armor plating. Caustic rounds have a chance to leave their goop on the target, corroding further over several seconds. The doubling up of Corrosive impacts with ongoing Corrosion can help you melt through loaders as though they don’t represent billions of dollars of research in robotics and artificial intelligence. Corrosive rounds deal diminished damage to shielded targets. Corrosive elements appear on non-Maliwan and non-Jakobs gear starting at level 13.

Slag.png Slag

Since that last Vault opened, this purple goop is just everywhere, isn’t it? Eridium approaches abundance now on Pandora, and although this resource can potentially power a lot of wonderful things, it can also ruin entire regions and unnaturally afflict people and wildlife. Some monsters have lived long enough exposed to Eridium to have transformed into Slagged mutations of themselves, almost new creatures entirely. Normal Pandoran creatures exposed to Slag are only slightly better off—briefly Slagged creatures take double damage from all non-Slag damage sources! Slag elements appear on non-Maliwan and non-Jakobs gear starting at level 15.

Explosive.png Explosive

Explosive rounds also come equipped on some guns, and they are obviously the norm on rocket launchers. (Every Torgue weapon uses Explosive rounds, although their gyrojet rocket projectiles work a little differently.) Explosive damage differs from regular, non-elemental kinetic ammunition in its blast radius, as well as on the sheer force transferred. Explosive rounds explode on impact, unsurprisingly, damaging anything they hit and also anything in the impact blast radius. The actual damage dealt with an on-target Explosive hit is slightly higher than what you’d expect based strictly on the damage value on an Explosive weapon’s stat card. The raw explosive oomph is something the card doesn’t completely account for.

Elemental Damage Multipliers - first playthrough

Damage Type Impact Flesh Impact Armor Impact Shield Slag Bonus
None (regular ammo) 1 0.8 1 2
Explosive 1 1 0.8 2
Fire 1.5 0.75 0.75 2
Shock 1 1 2 2
Corrosive 0.9 1.5 0.75 2
Slag 1 1 1 1

Elemental Damage Multipliers - second playthrough

Damage Type Impact Flesh Impact Armor Impact Shield Slag Bonus
None (regular ammo) 1 0.8 1 2
Explosive 1 1 0.8 2
Fire 1.75 0.4 0.4 2
Shock 1 1 2.5 2
Corrosive 0.6 1.75 0.4 2
Slag 1 1 1 1