All Damage Types & Their Effects


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You might have noticed that the weapons of Valheim all have different damage types, but what do they do, and how much should you care about damage types in general?

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Damage types are an essential part of Valheim, and if you’re struggling to kill a specific enemy type or boss, it might be because you don’t fully understand the damage types and resistances at play. The game never explains this system very well, but don’t worry. Here’s everything you could want to know about Valheim’s damage types and what they do.


The Basis of Damage Types

Every point of damage inflicted by both the player and enemies has some mix of damage types. Certain armors and enemies will have weaknesses or resistances to said damage types. So far so simple. You can tell when an enemy is weak to a damage type if they show a yellow damage number when hit. Resistant enemies show a dark gray, and indifferent ones display a white number.

Weak enemies can take up to twice as much damage from a given type, while resistant enemies can go as far as being completely immune. Not using the right damage type can make a fight much, much harder than it has to be, and preparing ahead by giving yourself resistance to common damage types can be a game changer.

Physical And Elemental Damage

The damage types in Valheim can be split into two broad categories: physical and elemental. Physical damage exists on nearly every weapon in some combination. Enemies are never immune to physical damage, but they might be resistant to some types of physical damage.

Elemental damage is a mixed bag. Every elemental type comes with a debuff, and some enemies might be super weak to certain elements while completely immune to others. As a general rule, it’s harder for the player to deal elemental damage, especially in the early game.

Physical Damage Types

The player crafts the Porcupine at a Forge. The weapon info pops up on the right.

The three physical damage types are Blunt, Slash, and Pierce. Most weapons will deal all their physical damage as one of these three, but a few weapons, like daggers and the Porcupine, will split their damage between a few physical types. While there is no functional difference between the three in terms of how they deal damage, different types will be better against different enemies depending on their resistance.

Seekers are resistant to all physical damage types, so if you’re exploring the Mistlands, prioritize making elemental weapons.

Blunt Damage

Blunt damage is the domain of hammers and clubs, and out of the three physical damage types, it is likely the most useful all around since it has the fewest enemies that resist it. As a general rule, this damage type performs well against Blobs, Oozes, Skeletons, and the Stone Golem, but it is less useful against Trolls, Abominations, and Loxes.

Slash Damage

Slash damage is primarily dealt with swords, axes, and knives. While the weapons that deal it might be popular, the damage type will never catch an enemy off guard — no enemies are weak to Slash. The best enemy to use Slash against is the Abomination, since it is resistant to all other damage types, and the worst enemies to use it on are the Stone Golem, Lox, and Blob.

Pierce Damage

Pierce damage is dealt mostly by spears and bows. Since it’s the de facto ranged damage type, enemies that resist it will almost always be better to fight in melee. Don’t try to use it on Abominations, Bonemass, Yagluth, Stone Golems, or Blobs — they all resist Pierce. However, Pierce is a great option against Trolls and Ticks.

Resisting Physical Damage

There are a few ways to gain resistance to physical damage yourself. The Root Armor and the Serpent Scale Shield give you resistance to Pierce damage, which is useful for dealing with ranged enemies or Seekers. If you’re looking for a more general solution, the Bonemass Forsaken Power gives you resistance to all three physical damage types — elemental damage is all you’d have to worry about.

Fire Damage

A Cultist shoots flames from its hands in a Frost Cave hallway.

Fire is an elemental damage type that applies a damage-over-time debuff to players and enemies. A handful of enemies deal Fire damage, and you have access to it in the form of Fire Arrows and gear from the Mistlands. Fire damage stacks, so don’t be afraid to wail away with your Fire attacks.

Fire works best against large enemies like the Elder, Moder, Abominations, and Loxes. Don’t try to use it against Serpents, Stone Golems, or Bonemass, however. All three are either immune or highly resistant to Fire.

If a Fire-dealing enemy is giving you trouble, you can gain resistance to Fire through the Yagluth Forsaken Power or Fire Resistance Mead. Using the latter is a great way to tough out the hotter parts of the Yagluth boss fight.

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Poison Damage

Two Slimes patrol an island in the Swamps.

Poison damage applies a damage-over-time debuff that is altogether similar to Fire with one key difference: It doesn’t stack. You’ll be wasting your Poison damage if you attack an enemy that already had the Poison Debuff. The length of the debuff also depends on the amount of Poison damage, so you’ll have to experiment and figure out the best interval for your shots. One of the easiest ways to start dealing Poison damage is the Draugr Fang.

Poison deals extra damage against enemies found in the Frost Caves, and it is only resisted by a handful of early-game enemies. Most monsters will take normal damage from Poison, but don’t try to use Poison damage in the Swamps — most enemies there won’t even notice it. As a special note, the Elder, Bonemass, and Yagluth are all immune to Poison as well.

If enemies like Blobs or Bonemass are giving you trouble, try brewing some Poison Resistance Mead. It makes you nearly invulnerable to Poison damage, turning debilitating attacks into nothing more than large green clouds. The Root Mask is also a great way to get consistent resistance to Poison damage.

Spirit Damage

The player wields a Crystal Battleaxe in the Swamps.

Spirit is a damage type unique to the player. Only a handful of weapons, like the Crystal Battleaxe, deal it, and Spirit damage behaves very differently from normal elemental damage. It applies a damage-over-time debuff like Fire and Poison, but it only works on a handful of enemies — most of the other creatures in the game are immune to it altogether. The debuff is also the quickest in the game, lasting only three seconds and dealing damage every half second, and the damage stacks in the same way Fire does.

As a general rule of thumb, Spirit works against enemies that look undead, like Skeletons, Yagluth, Bonemass, and Draugr. Anything outside of that, Spirit is unlikely to make any difference. This makes Spirit an oddly specialized damage type for clearing out the Swamps and fighting the Plains boss.

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Frost Damage

The player holds Frostner in one hand atop a mountain capped in snow.

Frost damage does direct damage, meaning it simply adds damage to the initial impact of your weapon instead of creating a damage-over-time effect. However, it also applies a short debuff that slows enemies down.

Frost does extra damage against Blobs, Bonemass, and Serpents, but it deals no damage against Abominations, Moder, Stone Golems, and Drakes. All in all, it’s a great choice in the Swamps, decent in other biomes, and almost useless in the Mountains.

You’ll need a source of Frost resistance to avoid taking freezing damage in the Mountains.

If you’re looking to resist Frost damage, you have plenty of options. Multiple pieces of armor like the Lox Cape, Wolf Cape, Fenris Coat, and Wolf Armor give you Frost resistance permanently, but if those are all out of your reach, you can also make some Frost Resistance Mead or use the Yagluth Forakesn Power.

Lightning Damage

Eikthyr slams the ground and fills the surrounding air with a Lightning attack.

The final damage type is one of the rarest and strongest in the game. Lighting deals direct damage just like Frost damage, but instead of a slowing debuff, it applies a stagger effect on the enemy. No enemies in the game are resistant to Lightning damage, making it a straightforward upgrade in terms of damage. However, getting your hands on lighting damage means making your way through the Mistlands to acquire the only weapon in the game that deals it.

This rarity isn’t exclusive to the player, either. In the whole game, only Eikthyr and Yagluth deal Lightning damage, making it perhaps the least-used damage type around. If you still want to resist it, however, your only option is to use the Yagluth Forsaken Power.

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