How Does Damage Resistance Work?

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Delving into Destiny 2’s endgame can be daunting if you’re new. Running your first Grandmaster Nightfall or Master raid can be frustrating with one-tapping snipers and high-damage enemies. That’s why most of your builds should have some form of damage resistance.


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Related: Destiny 2: Ability Cooldowns And Super Tiers Explained

Reducing the damage you take in endgame content is vital to success, and damage resistance can even be used in PvP to lengthen the TTK of most meta weapons. In this guide, we’ll go over what damage resistance is, how stacking resist works, and we’ll cover every source of damage resistance currently available in Destiny 2.

Updated July 27, 2023, by Charles Burgar: The mid-season update for Season of the Deep has rebalanced a few Stasis keywords, notably Stasis Overshield. This overshield now provides a 50% DR buff in PvE, similar to how Void Overshields work. We’ve updated this guide with this new functionality, and we’ve adjusted some DR values that were changed recently.


What Is Damage Resistance?

Destiny 2 Titan

Damage resistance (otherwise known as “DR”) is a mechanic that reduces incoming damage from certain sources. The more damage resistance you have, the less damage you’ll take and the more likely you’ll survive a gunfight. This mechanic is more prevalent in PvE activities than in the Crucible, but it’s possible to get damage resistance against opposing Guardians.

Endgame Destiny 2 content is tuned around players having at least some form of damage resistance. Snipers one-shot players in Grandmaster Nightfalls, and most enemies deal absurd damage in Master-tier content. All it takes is a few armor mods to prevent yourself from getting one-shot by certain endgame foes. If you want to tackle Destiny’s hardest PvE activities, you’ll want some damage resistance in your build.

The Resist Buff Explained

Destiny 2 Resist x4 Buff

This is an outdated buff effect that only a few Exotics use. You’ll need to calculate your DR to get an accurate idea of how tanky you are (explained later in the guide).

While using certain damage resistance sources, you might come across the “Resist x[Value]” buff on your HUD. This is meant to give an approximation of your character’s current damage resistance, although it’s not as reliable as you’d expect. Certain damage resistance sources (notably chest DR mods and the Resilience stat) do not display on your HUD. The buff is meant to notify you of more circumstantial DR sources that are active—notable examples including Whisper of Chains, Emergency Reinforcement, and The Stag Exotic for Warlocks.

Each Resist stack roughly equates to the following damage resistance values:

Resist

PvE

PvP

Resist x1

10%

2.5%

Resist x2

25%

5%

Resist x3

40%

7.5%

Resist x4

50%

10%

Resist x1 is currently only achievable by using the Emergency Reinforcement mod, granting 10% DR. Whisper of Chains also states it gives “Resist,” yet that buff is far stronger in PvE.

Resist x2 appears on Renewal Grasps and The Stag, showcasing you have roughly 25% DR.

Resist x3 is shown while Whisper of Chains is paired with either Renewal Grasps or The Stag in PvE content. This is supposed to represent a 40% DR buff but is closer to 50% in PvE.

Resist x4 notably appears while using Omnioculus, a Hunter Exotic that grants 50% damage resistance in PvE while invisible.

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Stacking Damage Resistance

A Hunter wears the Omnioculus exotic chest armor in Destiny 2.

In general, most sources of damage resistance grant anywhere from 10-50% damage resistance, some outliers notwithstanding. However, unlike most damage buffs, you can stack damage resistance. Multiple sources of damage resistance stack together multiplicatively, not additively. In layman’s terms, you get diminishing returns from stacking multiple damage resistance sources.

A great example is the damage resistance category of mods on your chest armor. Each mod gives 15% damage resistance against a given damage type. Should you use two of the same mod (such as Concussive Dampener), you don’t get 30%; you actually get 25% damage resistance. This is for two reasons:

  1. Both mods are stacking multiplicatively.
  2. Stacking the same mod twice will give diminishing returns.

So you’re getting hit with diminishing returns twice in this case. However, if you stacked two different 15% DR sources, you’d get 27.5% damage resistance—slightly higher than stacking two of the same mod.

Calculating Damage Resistance

Calculating your Guardian’s damage resistance is quite easy. Subtract one from your damage resistance’s percent value, and do this for every DR source. Once complete, multiply them together to get your true damage taken.

1 – ((1-X) * (1-Y) * (1-Z))…

Each variable represents your DR percentage from a certain source. For example, if we’re using the Emergency Reinforcement and two Concussive Dampener mods, we’d calculate it as:

(1-10%) * (1-25%) = 0.675

For our DR value itself, subtract that value from one like so:

We take 67.5% of our initial damage, meaning we have 32.5% damage resistance.

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Related: Destiny 2 The Witch Queen: A Complete Guide To Weapon Crafting

Damage Resistance Versus Reducing Enemy Damage

Destiny 2 Heir Apparent Build

There are a few mods and weapon traits that reduce the damage output of certain enemies. Most players assume this is another form of damage resistance, but that’s not entirely true. Reducing an enemy’s damage output is a separate modifier that is far stronger than stacking more damage resistance.

The best example of this behavior is the Renewal Grasps Exotic for Hunters. While equipped, Duskfield Grenades grant 25% damage resistance while inside and debuffs enemy damage by 50%. Paired with the Whisper of Chains Fragment (40% DR), you’d have 65% damage reduction and take 50% less damage from that enemy. If that was standard damage resistance, you’d have 77.5% DR. In-game, your effective damage resistance is actually higher at 88.75% because the enemy is dealing half as much damage, regardless of your DR.

If you have 50% DR, the 50% reduced damage from the enemy gives you an effective 75% DR. If you have 80% DR, halving an enemy’s damage output would bump it up to 90%. That’s why reducing enemy damage is so powerful and why sources of this effect are scarce. For the rest of this guide, we’ll be separating the two effects to reflect in-game effects as closely as possible.

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All Damage Resistance Sources

Destiny 2 Stasis Subclasses

Since there’s a wide array of damage resistance sources, we’ll be splitting this section into multiple subsections, listing certain DR sources in unique tables. DR sources range from 10-50% on average, although certain Exotics, weapons, and subclass nodes can push this even further.

There are also a few more sources of DR we’d like to mention before showcasing the tables:

  • Supers: Each Super in Destiny 2 (except Golden Gun in PvP) gives some amount of damage resistance—even one-and-done Supers.
  • Finishers: While hard to test, Finishers seem to give around 65% damage resistance while in a finisher animation.
  • Power Level: Being overleveled for an activity reduces the damage you take from enemies up to 25%, provided the activity doesn’t limit your Power maximum.

Resilience

Destiny 2 Behemoth Subclass Menu Background

Season of the Haunted has reworked the Resilience stat to grant damage resistance in PvE only; the damage resistance bonus does not affect the Crucible in any way. Similar to Recovery, Resilience’s DR bonus becomes exponentially better the more points you invest into the stat. At 100 Resilience, you’ll gain an additional 30% damage resistance. All DR values for each Resilience tier are listed below.

Resilience still grants bonus shields in PvE. This means that your effective health pool (EHP) is slightly higher than the DR listed below. DR gained through Resilience stacks multiplicatively with all other DR sources. Exceeding 100 Resilience grants no bonus damage resistance.

Resilience Damage Resistance

Resilience Tier

Resistance (PvE)

Tier 0

0%

Tier 1

2%

Tier 2

3%

Tier 3

5%

Tier 4

9%

Tier 5

14%

Tier 6

17%

Tier 7

20%

Tier 8

24%

Tier 9

27%

Tier 10

30%

Damage Resistance Mods

General Damage Resistance Mods

Name

Source

Resistance (PvE)

Resistance (PvP)

Emergency Reinforcement

Chest Armor

10%

N/A

Elemental DR Mods

Chest Armor

15% against that element

N/A

Concussive Dampener

Chest Armor

15% against AoE attacks

N/A

Melee Dampener

Chest Armor

15% against enemies within 4m of you

N/A

Sniper Resistance

Chest Armor

15% against enemies over 30m from you

N/A

Stasis Overshield

Stasis Buff

50%

N/A

Void Overshield

Void Buff

50%

N/A

Woven Mail

Strand Buff

60%

25% against bodyshots

Activity-Specific Damage Resistance Mods

Name

Source

Resistance (PvE)

Resistance (PvP)

Riven’s Curse

Dreaming City Armor

-3% per stack (Dreaming City only)

N/A

Resistant Tether

Garden of Salvation Armor

5% per stack while tethered (GoS only)

N/A

Enhanced Resistant Tether

Garden of Salvation Armor

10% per stack while tethered (GoS only)

N/A

Dreambane Mod

Moon Armor

10% per stack against Nightmare bosses

N/A

Weapons And Exotics

Destiny 2 Riskrunner Exotic SMG

Weapons

Name

Source

Resistance (PvE)

Resistance (PvP)

Land Tank

Origin Trait

*5% per stack

N/A

Arc Conductor

Riskrunner

50% (Arc only)

50% (Arc only)

Blocking (Swords)

Swords

50-80%

50-80%

Blocking (Glaives)

Glaives

97.5%

50%

*This DR is separate from the bonus Resilience Land Tank provides.

Exotics

Name

Class

Resistance (PvE)

Resistance (PvP)

Wings Of Sacred Dawn

Warlock

15% while aiming midair

10% while aiming midair

Contraverse Hold

Warlock

20% while overcharging a grenade

20% while overcharging a grenade

The Stag

Warlock

25% while in a Rift

10% while in a Rift

Renewal Grasps

Hunter

25% while in a Duskfield

10% while in a Duskfield

ACD/0 Feedback Fence

Titan

*33% per stack on next melee hit taken

*33% per stack on next melee hit taken

Omnioculus

Hunter

50% while invisible

10% while invisible

Stronghold

Titan

80% while blocking with a Sword

80% while blocking with a Sword

*Stacks are multiplicative. Max stacks grant ~70% damage reduction on the next melee hit you take.

Subclass Damage Resistance Sources

Destiny 2 Revenant Subclass Menu

Subclass Aspects, Fragments, And Nodes

Name

Subclass

Resistance (PvE)

Resistance (PvP)

Freeze (Primaries Only)

Stasis Debuff

5%

50%

Amplified (Sprinting)

Arc Buff

15%

N/A

Juggernaut (Sprinting)

Striker Titan

33%

N/A

Spark Of Resistance

Arc Fragment

25% while surrounded

7.5% while surrounded

Whisper Of Chains

Stasis Fragment

40% while near Stasis

5% while near Stasis

Lightning Reflexes

Arcstrider Aspect

97% while dodging

32% while dodging

Super Damage Resistance

Destiny-2-Sentinel

In PvP, Supers have a specific DR value assigned to them. In PvE, you gain an additional 60% DR that’s multiplicative with the Super’s PvP resistance. PvE values are assuming no other forms of DR are active.

Super Damage Resistance

Super

Class

Resistance (PvE)

Resistance (PvP)

Golden Gun

Hunter

60%

0%

Deadshot Golden Gun (Knock ‘Em Down)

Hunter

66%

15%

Chaos Reach

Warlock

68%

20%

Glacial Quake

Titan

79%

47%

Silkstride

Hunter

79%

47%

Blade Barrage

Hunter

79.6%

49%

Needlestorm

Warlock

79.6%

49%

Nova Bomb

Warlock

79.6%

49%

*Well Of Radiance

Warlock

79.6%

49%

Bladefury

Titan

80%

51%

Dawnblade

Warlock

80%

51%

Nova Warp

Warlock

80%

51%

Shadebinder

Warlock

80%

51%

Hammer Of Sol

Titan

80%

51%

Spectral Blades

(Uncloaked)

Hunter

80%

52%

Stormtrance

Warlock

81%

53%

Burning Maul

Titan

81%

53%

Fists Of Havoc

Titan

81%

53%

Thundercrash

Titan

81%

53%

Sentinel Shield

Titan

81%

53%

Arc Staff

Hunter

81%

53%

Gathering Storm

Hunter

81%

53%

Shadowshot

Hunter

81%

53%

Spectral Blades

(Cloaked)

Hunter

82%

54.4%

*Since Well of Radiance constantly heals you, it’s incredibly difficult to get accurate DR numbers. Take these values with a grain of salt.

Reducing Enemy Damage Sources

Destiny 2 Fallen Overload Captain

Reducing Enemy Damage

Name

Source

Damage Reduction (PvE)

Damage Reduction (PvP)

Psychohack

Origin Trait

20%

10%

Overload

Artifact Mod

25%

0%

Renewal Grasps

Hunter Exotic

50% while in a Duskfield

20% while in a Duskfield

Sever

Strand Debuff

30%

10%

Damage Resistance From Power Level

Destiny 2 Power Level Damage And DR Scaling Graph
Via: u/Bachmanetti (Reddit)

u/Bachmanetti’s graph showcases the relationship between damage taken and how under/overleveled you are for a given activity.

More graphs and information on this topic can be found in u/Bachmanetti’s r/raidsecrets post discussing damage resistance.

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Related: Destiny 2: Craftable God Rolls Worth The Grind

Damage Resistance FAQ

Destiny 2 Behemoth PvP Crucible

Does Resilience Give Damage Resistance?

Yes, it does. Season of the Haunted added a DR rating to all Resilience tiers, reducing the damage you take against combatants in PvE. Resilience’s DR bonus does not affect PvP in any way, although the bonus shields from this stat still impact PvP. At 100 Resilience, you’ll take 30% less damage from PvE enemies, stacking multiplicatively with any other DR sources you have active.

Is There A Damage Resistance Cap?

No. Multiple damage resistance sources stack multiplicatively, meaning each added DR source gets less and less effective. This makes it nearly impossible to achieve damage immunity solely through perks and Resilience, although blocking with a Glaive in PvE can get you very close to 100% DR.

What Is The Best Damage Resistance Source?

For PvE, spec for Resilience and use chest DR mods. The former gives 30% damage resistance against all damage types, and your chest can equip two DR mods at once. The Emergency Reinforcement mod can give an additional 10% damage resistance for a short time while active, although you’ll need a way to gain Armor Charge. Check out our armor mods guide to learn how Armor Charge works.

For PvP, use your Super. Almost every Super in Destiny 2 gives damage resistance while active, making it a little easier to push the enemy and land a few kills. For a more passive form of DR, the Hunter’s Omnioculus Exotic, the Sentinel Titan’s overshield (this technically gives EHP but is worth mentioning), and the Warlock’s Stag Exotic are worth using.

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