TechyHint Gaming How Does Damage Resistance Work?

How Does Damage Resistance Work?


Destiny 2 Stasis Subclass Supers


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.

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 August 23rd, 2022, by Charles Burgar: In preparation for the first Season of the Plunder hotfix—which plans to overhaul damage resistance values in the Crucible—we’ve updated this guide to include updated values for PvP DR effects and the Spark of Resistance Fragments for PvE Arc users. We’ll be updating this article again when patch goes live so we can validate these numbers.

What Is Damage Resistance?

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

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 Well of Tenacity, Protective Light, 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 Protective Light mod. All other weak DR sources either don’t appear on your HUD or give more Resist stacks.

Resist x2 is quite common and appears while using Renewal Grasps, The Stag, or stacking enough DR sources to reach a value of around 25% (explained in the next section).

Resist x3 is currently only shown by using the Well of Tenacity mod, which in-of itself seems to be a bug; it should be giving 50% DR instead of 40%. Whisper of Chains, the only DR source intended to give 40% damage resistance, displays as “Resist” without any stacks on your HUD. This is one of many reasons why this buff name is unreliable.

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

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-X) * (1-Y) * (1-Z)…

Each variable represents your DR percentage from a certain source. For example, if we’re using the Protective Light and Striking Light mods, we’d calculate it as:

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

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

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

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 70-80% damage resistance while in a finisher animation.
  • Power Level: Being overleveled for an activity reduces the damage you take from enemies up to 25%.


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 40% damage resistance—the same amount as Whisper of Chains and Well of Tenacity. All DR values for each Resilience tier are listed below.

Resilience still grants bonus shields with each rank, same as in previous seasons. 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 1%
Tier 2 2%
Tier 3 3%
Tier 4 4%
Tier 5 8%
Tier 6 14%
Tier 7 20%
Tier 8 26%
Tier 9 32%
Tier 10 40%

Damage Resistance Mods

General Damage Resistance Mods
Name Source Resistance (PvE) Resistance (PvP)
Protective Light Combat Style 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
Striking Light

(Secondary Effect)

Combat Style 25% while sprinting N/A
Well of Tenacity Combat Style *40% N/A
Passive Guard Artifact Mod 50% N/A

*Provides 40% DR from in-game testing despite being listed as a 50% DR source in The Witch Queen patch notes.

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

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% 75%

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

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.

**We have not tested this yet. Numbers listed are before Season of the Plunder.

Subclass Damage Resistance Sources

Subclass Aspects, Fragments, And Nodes
Name Subclass Resistance (PvE) Resistance (PvP)
Void Overshields Sentinel Titan 15% N/A
Spark Of Resistance Arc Fragment 40% while surrounded *N/A
Whisper Of Chains Stasis Fragment 40% while near Stasis 7.5% while near Stasis
Lightning Reflexes Arcstrider Aspect 70% while dodging 32% while dodging

*Untested. We’ll be revisiting this in our next update.

Super Damage Resistance

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%
Chaos Reach Warlock 68% 20%
Glacial Quake Titan 79% 47%
Blade Barrage Hunter 79.6% 49%
Nova Bomb Warlock 79.6% 49%
Well Of Radiance

(Casting Animation)

Warlock 79.6% 49%
Dawnblade Warlock 80% 51%
Nova Warp Warlock 80% 51%
Shadebinder Warlock 80% 51%
Hammer Of Sol Titan 80% 51%
Spectral Blades


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


Hunter 82% 54.4%

*Requires testing. Presumed values based on how Arc Staff functions.

Reducing Enemy Damage Sources

Reducing Enemy Damage
Name Source Damage Reduction (PvE) Damage Reduction (PvP)
Psychohack Origin Trait 10% N/A
Overload Artifact Mod 25% 0%
Renewal Grasps Hunter Exotic 50% while in a Duskfield 20% while in a Duskfield
Warmind’s Protection Combat Style Mod 50% while near a Warmind Cell N/A

Damage Resistance From Power Level

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

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 40% 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 impossible to reach 100% damage resistance.

What Is The Best Damage Resistance Source?

For PvE, spec for Resilience and use chest DR mods. The former gives 40% damage resistance against all damage types, and your chest can equip two DR mods at once. The Well of Tenacity mod can give an additional 40% damage resistance for a short time while active, although you’ll need a way to spawn Void Elemental Wells. Check out our Elemental Well mod guide for more info on how to spawn each Well type.

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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Next: Destiny 2: Airborne Effectiveness Explained


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