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Basic Gun Damage Formula

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Gun Damage Formula

Note: For the purposes of this formula, percentages are expressed in their decimal form. 1% would be 0.01, 10% would be 0.1, 100% would be 1, and so on.

Output = (NormalHit * SpecMult * CriticalHit + SplashDamage) * ElemBonus * TypeMod

That’s the basic breakdown. Looks simple enough, right?

Remember the order of operations:

  • Parentheses
  • Exponents
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Addition
  • Subtraction

Or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.

Moving on now, let’s define each of the terms to the right of the = in order they appear in the formula.

NormalHit = (BaseDamage * (1 + GunDamage) + AmpDamage)

Easy. This term actually shows up again later. Note that Gun Damage, Weapon Damage, and bonuses to specific gun types (like Laser Damage) are generally the same thing, and all sources of these get added together. However, some things that increase Damage, Gun Damage, or Weapon Damage are “SpecMult” or Special Multipliers. Consult your individual Vault Hunter’s Gun Damage resource for more information.

SpecMult = (1 + SpecialMultiplier1) * (1 + SpecialMultiplier2), etc.

Not every Vault Hunter has Special Multipliers, but for those that have more than one, they’re usually multiplied to each-other in this way. For example, Athena’s Tear and Omega-Senshu might give you 35% each against a bleeding enemy below 50% health for 1.35 * 1.35 = 1.8225 for your SpecMult value.

CriticalHit = 2 * (1 + TypeA) * (1 + TypeB) / (1 + TypeC)

This one might be a little confusing. There are actually 3 different kinds of Critical Damage modifiers. There’s no way to tell which one is which by reading the text in-game, so it usually requires testing to make sense of it. Obviously, this value only applies when scoring a Critical Hit, and in the case of multi-pellet weapons, only to the pellets that actually score a Critical Hit.

SplashDamage = NormalHit * SplashAmount * (1 + GrenadeDamage)? * SpecMult?

Ah, there’s that NormalHit term again. This is sitting here because Splash Damage doesn’t usually Crit. Nisha can score Critical Hits with it via Tombstone, so you would simply multiply SplashDamage by CriticalHit in that case.

Note: Not all Splash Damage benefits from Grenade Damage bonuses. That’s why I put the question mark there. For now, I’ll say that for the most part, Torgue weapons that shoot the normal gyrojets (Slapper, Ravager, Spitter, etc) do get Grenade Damage bonuses on their splash, but most other weapons could go either way.

Also note: Not all SpecMult (Special Multipliers) apply to Splash Damage, which is why that term shows up split between NormalHit and SplashDamage.

Also also note: Although NormalHit includes Amp Damage, sometimes it might not apply to your Splash damage. This isn’t really a function of the formula as much as it is a problem with the way Splash Damage is generated. Specifically, when the bullet hits the target, not when it leaves the barrel. This also causes issues with Claptraps’ One Last Thing skill.

ElemBonus = (1 + ElementalDamage + [SpecificElement]Damage) * FreezeBonus?

This illustrates that “Elemental Damage” is added to “Shock Damage,” or “Explosive Damage,” for example. This mostly concerns Athena because Maelstrom boosts “Elemental Damage” while she can also get various boosts to specific element damage as well from gear and such. Note that Nisha’s skill Magnificent 6 is normal Gun Damage (from NormalHit) that only applies to Non-Elemental guns. It doesn’t go here.

FreezeBonus is 3 if the damage type you’re dealing is Explosive and the enemy has a Freeze DOT. Otherwise, it doesn’t apply.


This is a multiplier that depends on whether you’re hitting Flesh, Armor, or Shield, as well as the specific damage type you’re dealing and the difficulty level you’re playing. Lucky for you, I have a table:

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