This article is to explain and give insight to all that the Damage system in Warframe entails, such as Puncture, Slash and Impact base damage, as well as Elemental damage and Elemental Combo damage – and Finisher damage, Yellow, orange and red.
The Damage system in Warframe can be thought of as quite intricate and very complex/complicated, I will try to explain the most commonly mentioned attributes as best as I can.
All damage types in Warframe has a so called “status effect” that can be procced based on specific weapons and their stats for status chance. You can consider the status effect like a possible proc that is a result of status chance of a certain damage type on a weapon.
Let me break it all down for you :)
Puncture damage in Warframe
Puncture damage is a highly effective base damage type vs. Ferrite armor (+50% physical damage) as well as Alloy armor (+15% physical damage). So then what is Ferrite armor and Alloy armor?
Ferrite armor is mostly used by grineers, same as Alloy armor – which makes Puncture damage most effective against these types of enemies.
The status effect that can be procced with Puncture damage is negative/reduced damage for the enemies being battled with puncture damage.
Puncture falls short vs. all manner of shield enemy units – such that can be found within corpus enemy faction – only thing in corpus that puncture is remotely effective against is the Robotic enemy units where it deals +25% physical damage.
Looking closer at the infested faction we can see that Puncture has neither boost or lack of damage except for vs. “Sinew” enemy which there only is one of, a boss called Jordas Golem, besides this exception – Puncture is “neutral” and normal vs. all infested units.
So to summarize: Puncture is effective vs. Ferrite armor (+50%), Alloy armor (+15%) and Robotics (+25%), and falls short vs. Shield (-20%) and Proto Shields (-50%). Conclusion: Best to use against the Grineer enemy faction.
Impact damage in Warframe
Impact damage is least effective against so called “cloned flesh enemy units” which exist mostly within grineer (the less armored units) – it does -25% physical damage against these units. Whilst Impact damage is deals +25% physical damage to Machinery type enemies and +50% physical damage vs. Shield enemy units and +15% vs. Proto shield enemy units and can proc a status effect that make the enemy “stagger” (a form of crowd control).
This makes Impact damage Most effective vs. Corpus enemies since they are the ones to have most Machinery units as well as the Shield and Proto shield enemy units in their faction.
Slash damage in Warframe
Slash damage is most effective against flesh as well as the so called “cloned flesh” units which exist quite a lot within grineer, but sadly the Grineer have a lot of armored enemy units as well where Slash damage instead gets negative/reduced physical damage (-15% vs. Ferrite armor and -50% against the heavier armored units with Alloy armor). Compared to the grineer we can see that the Infested enemy faction only has Flesh type enemy units which makes Slash damage most effective against these types (Slash damage has +25% vs. Infested, +50% vs. Infested Flesh, +15% physical damage vs. Fossilized Flesh (ancients etc.)).
So Slash damage is best used vs. Infested enemy units.
Slash damage’s status effect is a bleed – which creates a DoT (Damage over Time) bleed effect consistent of Finisher damage that goes straight onto health.
Finishing/Finisher damage in Warframe
This damage type Ignores all kinds of armor and shields and goes directly on pure health. Which makes this damage type especially effective against both shielded as well as armored enemy units (Grineer and corpus), which normally have a lot of defenses to bypass before succeeding in killing them(!).
Corrupted enemy units in Warframe
Corrupted enemy units is what you will be battling at The Void for example and these units consist of a mix of all enemy factions – it’s hard to say what damage type is most effective against these, but many people simply goes Corrosive to melt the armor – more about corrosive later in this article under Elemental Combo damage.
Elemental damage in Warframe
Cold damage in Warframe
Cold is one of the 4 main Elemental damage types in Warframe, these can also be combined 1+1 to become a new type of damage that we will refer to as Elemental Combo damage and will discuss a bit later in this article.
Cold damage has a status effect of slowing enemies down when procced.
It is quite effective vs. heavily armored (Alloy armor) enemy units that can be found within the Grineer faction, as well super effective vs. Shield units (+50% damage) – which makes Cold damage probably most effective vs. corpus but can be quite nice vs. Grineer enemies as well.
Electricity damage in Warframe
Electricity is another one of Warframes 4 main Elemental damage types, it’s status effect is a “Chain-attack stun” which basically means AoE (Area of Effect) stun effect.
Electricity is super effective vs. Machinery enemy units that can be found within the grineer (+50% damage), as well as Robotics found within the Corpus (+50% damage also). It does however deal -50% damage to Alloy enemy units which makes it a bit impractical to use vs. Grineer since they have a lot of these units compared to the amount of Alloy armored enemy units and the fact that Electricity doesn’t seem to have a downside vs. Corpus in comparison.
Heat damage in Warframe
Heat damage is quite effective vs. all manner of Flesh units (+25% damage vs. grineer cloned flesh units, +25% vs. infested and +50% vs. infested flesh).
It can proc a Fire DoT effect together with “Panic” which is a form of CC (crowd control) on enemies.
It does fall short against Proto shield enemy units however with a reduction in damage dealt by -50%.
So in conclusion most effective to use against Infested enemy units, or lower level grineer enemy units.
Toxin damage in Warframe
Toxin damage has a status effect of Health DoT effect which means it can bypass shields and some forms of armor.
Toxin damage deals +25% damage vs. Ferrite armored units, but falls short vs. Machinery enemy units in the Grineer faction and deals +50% damage vs. Flesh units within Corpus, but -25% damage vs. their Robotic units, and fall short by -50% damage vs. Fossilized enemy units such as the infested ancients.
So it’s hard to say exactly where it would be most effective, since the status effect is Health DoT perhaps with modding to proc Status effect as much as possible it could be effective against Corpus.
Elemental Combo Damage in Warframe
How to get Elemental combo damage? Basically when modding your weapons you want to place 2 mods with respective elemental damage – such as Heat + Cold next to each other (modding order goes from Top-left corner to the right, to move onto lower row from left->right).
Blast damage in Warframe
Blast is the culmination of Heat damage + Cold damage and gives the Status effect of a Knockdown – which can be useful Crowd control vs. tough enemy units.
Blast damage is +75% effective vs. Machinery units within the Grineer but fall short vs. Ferrite armored units. And it is +50% effective vs. Fossilized enemy units such as Ancients.
Hard to say where it’s most effective but either higher-level grineer enemy units or infested.
Corrosive damage in Warframe
This is one of the popular Elemental combo damage types in Warframe due to it’s Status effect being reduction of Armor(!).
Corrosive is the culmination of Electricity + Toxin damage.
Corrosive damage melts Ancients and the like Fossilized enemy units within Infested, as well as deal +75% damage to the Grineer Ferrite armored enemy units, it does however fall short by 50% against Proto Shield enemy units within the Corpus.
I’d probably say it’s most effective vs. High-level Infested enemy units as well as Grineer in general since they have a lot of Armored enemy units.
Gas damage in Warframe
Gas damage is created from combining Heat + Toxin and gives a Toxin AoE Status effect if procced.
Gas damage deals -50% to Grineer’s cloned flesh units, but +75% damage to both Shield as well as Proto Shield units(!) as well as +75% damage to Infested and +50% to Infested Flesh enemy units.
Which makes it highly effective against the Corpus enemy faction, as well as Infested.
Magnetic damage in Warframe
Magnetic damage is the culmination of Cold + Electricity damage in Warframe and has a Status effect of reducing Max shields(!).
It falls short by -50% against Grineer Alloy enemy units, but is highly effective (+75%) vs. Corpus Shield as well as Proto Shield units.
Best used vs. Corpus I would say due to its massive effectiveness vs. Shielded units as well as the reduction of Max shields status effect.
Radiation damage in Warframe
Radiation is the culmination of Heat + Electricity damage in Warframe, and has the Status effect of Reduced Accuracy as well as Friendly fire which can be good crowd control.
Radiation is Highly effective (+75%) vs. Grineer Heavily armored (Alloy) units and +25% vs. Corpus Robotic units but falls short -25% vs. Shielded Corpus units as well as -50% vs. Infested and -75% vs. Fossilized enemy units. Which makes it least effective vs. Infested and most effective vs. Grineer.
Viral damage in Warframe
You get Viral damage from combining Cold + Toxin damage and it’s status effect is Reduction of Max health(!).
It deals +75% damage to Grineer cloned Flesh but falls short by -25% vs. Grineer Machinery, and is +50% effective vs. Corpus Flesh whilst being -50% effective vs. Infested units.
Which probably makes for the argument that its best suited vs. Grineer.
Popular Elemental Combo damage pairs in Warframe
Usually Blast + Corrosive is one Elemental Combo pair in Warframe that utilized all the elements – very effective vs. Armored units as well as Infested.
Another one is Magnetic + Gas which is most effective vs. Corpus enemy units.
Radiation + Viral is supposedly most effective vs. Grineer – but Blast + Corrosive is also very good here.
Rarer in-complete Elemental Combo damages in Warframe
Sometimes People simply go Corrosive + Cold for example vs. Shielded units or Corrosive + Heat vs. armored/infested units.
Complete damage setups vs. specific enemy factions in Warframe
Vs. Grineer you probably want to go Puncture damage as well as Blast + Corrosive – OR if you want to try it out, Radiation + Viral :)
Vs. Corpus you probably want to go Impact damage as well as Gas + Magnetic.
Vs. Infested you probably want to go Slash damage and Blast + Corrosive (or corrosive + heat).
Vs. Corrupted you can try going Corrosive + Cold damage to reduce armor as well as Shields – opt for Status chance perhaps? It’s hard to say really.
Enemy faction specific Damage mods
There are mods such as “Expel”, “Bane”, “Cleanse” and “Smite” Corpus/Grineer/Corrupted/Infested that gives an increase in damage vs. these specific types of Enemy factions by +30%. Could be strong to use in your mod-setup to boost damage vs. specific enemies.
Punch through in Warframe
Punch through is a mechanic added to weapons through mods and can make the weapon fire through enemies, cover and objects. Might be cool/effective to try with a Bow for example to shoot 1 arrow through a few enemies xD
Stealth attack in Warframe
Stealth attacks bypass shields and armor due to its damage being Finisher damage. The damage is affected by weapon damage and mods (critical damage and critical chance). And it deals 3x Weapon damage for Daggers, Dual Daggers, Polearms and Staves while dealing 6x Weapon damage for Hammers and 4x weapon damage for all other types of weapons.
To calculate Stealth attack damage bonus the formula is Weapon Damage * Stealth multiplier (8x) * Weapon multiplier (6x for hammers).
You can access this type of damage if enemies are unaware of your presence when you walk up to them you get the option to press X to deal a stealth attack to the enemy executing in special animation.
Yellow, Orange and Red crits
If the Critical hit chance of a weapon Exceeds 100% every strike will be a critical hit, but there will also be a chance of an Orange crit which is displayed in orange color compared to the Regular crits which are displayed as Yellow color.
If the Weapons Critical chance Exceeds 200% however – you get a chance to Red Crit with every attack and at 300% every attack will be a guaranteed red crit.
Obviously Orange crits deal more damage than yellow crits and Red crits is the mother of all crits in damage but by how much you may wonder?
Orange crits deal 2*(crit multiplier -1) +1 <- the 2 comes from 200% and the crit multiplier can be seen on the weapons – you subtract with 1 because weapons damage is that 1.
For 300% crit you take 3*(crit multiplier -1)+1 (for minimum red crit) if you got 400% you do the same formula but 4 instead of 3 in the beginning :)
And as you can imagine, Red crits can lead to very impressive damage numbers :)
If you are interested in critical damage, take a look at warframe.wikia.com.
Headshot damage increase
Shooting enemies in the head usually increases damage dealt by 2 times (doubles the damage)!