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Call it whatever you like—DPS, damage per second—we just call it DAMAGE, and when it comes to making red bars go down, you can never have enough of it. Don't trivialize it though; damage is a very versatile aspect of combat. There are so many ways that a character can do damage.

— GuildWars2.com promotional material

Damage is any effect from an action which results in a target losing health. Damage is considered to be one of the three facets the Guild Wars 2 combat system is built around, the others being support and control. All professions are able to deal damage in a useful way, mostly by using skills. Direct damage and condition damage are the two primary forms of damage. The term damage usually refers to direct damage in the game.

There are three types of damage in Guild Wars 2:

  • Direct damage. This damage is inflicted by skills and/or traits directly, can crit, and is mitigated by the target's armor.
  • Condition damage. This damage is inflicted primarily by conditions, does not crit and is not mitigated by the target's armor.
  • Falling damage. This damage is taken from falling. When taken below zero health by falling damage, the player does not enter a downed state but instead dies immediately. Falling damage scales with height fallen and is not mitigated by armor or any skills that reduce or prevent damage, but can be halved by one specific trait that varies by profession (see below). Death/defeat from falling does not result in damaged armor.

Outgoing damage is not affected by Health unless under the influence of a modifier such as a Trait with effects based on character's health. In other words, a Player or NPC may do the same amount of outgoing damage if they are at 100% health, 50% health or 1% health.

Direct damage[edit]

Base direct damage is given by the following equation:

Damage done = (Weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (target's Armor)
  • Weapon strength: a uniformly distributed random number taken from the range of weapon strength of the equipped weapon. The weapon strength used for a skill will typically be that of the weapon associated with that skill; utility and elite skills are typically not affected by weapon strength and use a range based on the player's level. The weapon strength is also fixed for the duration of the skill, in particular pulsing aoes and channeled skills; although damage per hit is still affected by attributes, potions, sigils and other modifiers.
  • Power: The current power as listed on the Hero tab.
  • Skill coefficient: Every skill has a unique coefficient used to calculate damage inflicted. Listed by the () after tool tip listed on wiki pages, not shown in-game however.
  • Target's Armor: Not shown in-game for PvE targets.

This base direct damage can then be modified by the following effects:

In order for a skill to do direct damage, it first must hit. The following will cause a skill to miss:

  • The blind condition affecting you
  • The target blocks, dodges or evades by other means
  • The target is out of range of the actual attack (some attacks have greater reach than their skill tooltip indicates, e.g. projectiles with high arc)
  • The target is obstructed by terrain, structures or objects
  • The target is invulnerable

Direct damage is listed on skill tooltips with the Damage#Direct damage Damage icon. Skill tooltip direct damage is given by the following formula:

Tooltip damage = (average weapon strength) * Power * (skill-specific coefficient) / (level-based Armor value)
  • Average weapon strength is the average of the range of damage listed as Weapon Strength on the equipped weapon's tooltip.
  • The damage actually done is unlikely to equal to the tooltip damage, since it depends on your opponent's Armor value and other factors listed above.
  • At level 80, the opponent Armor value used to calculate the tooltip's direct damage is 2600. The value the game uses at other levels can be derived from the amount shown in the tooltip using the damage formula.
  • Some skills do not calculate their tooltip damage based on the equipped weapon. These are frequently the same skills that are unaffected by Weapon Strength.
  • Some skills list multiple strikes of Direct Damage. Each strike is treated independently as to whether it hits or misses and for the application of modifying effects. Using "Damage (2x): 500" as an example, the base damage of each strike is 250. Each strike that hits will have relevant modifying effects applied to it (crit, glancing, etc.).
  • Some skills which apply conditions, such as Burning, may also have direct damage associated with them. For example: Damage (8x): 800, 8xStack Burning (2s): 4800. In this case the fire will apply 8 pulses of direct damage of 100 each at 1sec intervals. Each direct damage pulse will extend the burning condition by 2 sec which will apply 2 pulses of burning damage of 300 each at 1sec intervals as long as the burning lasts. The burning will therefore last 16sec and apply 16 burns of 300 and 8 direct damage hits of 100 each.

Condition damage[edit]

Primary article: condition damage

The damage done by conditions is governed by the character level, the condition inflicted, and the player's Condition Damage attribute. Unlike direct damage, condition damage is not reduced by armor or toughness. Players can increase the listed amounts by increasing the Condition Duration attribute via traits, equipment, or nourishments.

Condition Formula Inflicted
Deals damage every second; stacks intensity. Bleeding 0.06 * Condition Damage + 0.25 * Level + 2
lvl80 : 0.06 * Condition Damage + 22
per second
Deals damage every second; stacks intensity. Burning 0.155 * Condition Damage + 1.55 * Level + 7.5
lvl80 : 0.155 * Condition Damage + 131.5
per second
Deals damage every second; heal potency decreased by 33%; stacks intensity. Poison1 0.06 * Condition Damage + 0.375 * Level + 3.5
lvl80 : 0.06 * Condition Damage + 33.5
per second
Deals damage every second. Deals additional damage to moving foes. Stacks intensity. Torment2 0.045 * Condition Damage + 0.18 * Level + 1.5
lvl80 : 0.045 * Condition Damage + 15.9
per second
Damage received on skill activation; stacks intensity. Confusion 0.035 * Condition Damage + 0.1 * Level + 2
lvl80 : 0.035 * Condition Damage + 10
per second
Damage received on skill activation; stacks intensity. Confusion 0.0625 * Condition Damage + 0.575 * Level + 3.5
lvl80 : 0.0625 * Condition Damage + 49.5
per foe skill use
  • 1 Poison reduces incoming healing by 33% for its entire duration.
  • 2 Torment deals double damage to moving targets.

Falling damage[edit]

A fall from a sufficient height will instantly put a character into the defeated state.

A character that falls takes damage, which depends on the distance fallen; a character can become defeated if the fall is far enough. The damage is proportional to the character's health- a level 80 character and a level 1 character falling from the same height will both lose approximately the same percentage of their maximum health. Landing in water negates fall damage, although invulnerability does not. Armor is never damaged by falling damage unless you are already within the downed state while falling.

Fall Damage.jpg

You can fall while attempting to navigate a slope, since it is more difficult to estimate the height and angle. Sometimes, instead of sliding safely down, a character can be inflicted by repeated short falls that are each far enough to cause falling damage, sometimes resulting in becoming defeated, even though individually the falls would not have been fatal.

Forcing opponents to fall

In WvW and PvP, you can cause other players to fall by using control effects, such as fear and knockback, to move them over the edge, but NPCs will never fall off ledges.

Sometimes after falling, your character may uncontrollably run off despite that your character is still facing flat on the ground. This bug causes disadvantages while going through jumping puzzles where platforms above falling pits are narrow.

Related traits[edit]

Every profession has a trait which halves falling damage and grants one or more other effects after falling. Previously unlocked by completing Obsidian Sanctum or with gold from profession trainer.

Related upgrade components[edit]

See also[edit]