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Heat is a mechanic exclusive to the Holosmith elite specialization of the Engineer.


A heat bar divided on segments with Overheat red segment at the end of the bar.

The heat bar is displayed above your weapon skills and will slowly drain while not in Photon Forge mode. Heat will not drain if Photonic Blasting Module is traited.

The player's model will change from blue to orange depending on their current heat level. If Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit is traited, they can also change to red at above 100% heat.

Exceed skills have additional effects when above 50% Heat.

Generating heat[edit]

A full heat bar.

Heat is generated passively at a rate of 2% per second while in Photon Forge mode. Additional heat is generated when using a Photon Forge skill. Reaching maximum Heat damages the Holosmith through Overheat.

Heat generation per skill[edit]

Skill Heat Description
Light Strike.png Light Strike 2% per use Swing a holographic blade.
Redirect Arrow.pngBright Slash.png Bright Slash 2% per use Slash with a blade of light energy.
Redirect Arrow.pngFlash Cutter.png Flash Cutter 2% per use Cleave through all foes in front of you twice.
Holo Leap.png Holo Leap 7% per use Create a holographic launch pad and leap to your foe. The pad remains behind for a short duration, granting increased movement speed to allies who touch it.
Corona Burst.png Corona Burst 2% per pulse (10% total) Strike nearby foes and begin to store up energy, gaining boons and heat each pulse. After charging, the energy explodes, inflicting conditions on nearby foes.
Photon Blitz.png Photon Blitz 2% per projectile (16% total) Fire multiple piercing blasts at your target.
Holographic Shockwave.png Holographic Shockwave 25% per use Create a deadly holographic shockwave that launches foes upward. This attack always deals a critical hit.

Dissipating heat[edit]

Heat will dissipate at a rate of 5% per second, after 3 seconds of leaving Photon Forge mode. The rate will increase to 10% per second after 5 seconds of cooling.

Heat can also be lost at 15% per dodge through the Thermal Release Valve trait.


Overheat.png Overheat - Reaching the heat maximum results in a self-damaging explosion. Photon Forge is disabled until all heat is lost. Other tool belt skill cooldowns are increased.  Overheat.png Holoforge Overheated - Unable to reactivate until cooled. At 100% heat (or 150% with Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit), you will Overheat, forcing you out of Photon Forge mode and dealing 25% of your base health in damage. You will also take an additional 25% over 2.5 seconds. Vitality will not increase the damage taken from overheating. If Photonic Blasting Module is traited, then you will not take the initial damage to yourself, but you will still take 25% over 2.5 seconds.

Overheating will cause all your tool belt skills to go on a 15 second cooldown (5 seconds with the Photonic Blasting Module trait).

You will not be able to enter Photon Forge mode until all heat has been dissipated. It will take 15.5 seconds to fully cool down from 100 heat and 20.5 seconds to cool down from 150 heat.

Time Heat lost per second Heat lost within this range Total Heat lost
0-3 seconds (3 seconds) 0% 0% 0%
3-8 seconds (5 seconds) 5% 25% 25%
8-15 seconds (7 seconds) 10% 70% 95%
15-20 seconds (5 seconds) 10% 50% 145%

Heat may also be dissipated at 15 heat per dodge when using the Thermal Release Valve trait.

Skills affected by heat[edit]

Skills Type <50% >50% >100%
Sun Edge.png Sun Edge Damage Increase: 10% Damage Increase: 20%
Redirect Arrow.pngSun Ripper.png Sun Ripper Damage Increase: 10% Damage Increase: 20%
Redirect Arrow.pngGleam Saber.png Gleam Saber Damage Increase: 10% Damage Increase: 20%
Refraction Cutter.png Refraction Cutter Additional Blades: 2 Additional Blades: 4
Radiant Arc.png Radiant Arc Quickness.png Quickness (2s) Quickness.png Quickness (4s) Quickness.png Quickness (6s)
Coolant Blast.png Coolant Blast Exceed Coolant Blast.png Cooling Vapor (4s)
Frost Aura.png Frost Aura (4s)
Chain Arrow Toolbelt.pngCauterize.png Cauterize Toolbelt Additional Conditions removed: 3
Photon Wall.png Photon Wall Exceed Reflects Missiles
Redirect Arrow.pngLaunch Wall.png Launch Wall Exceed Additional Walls: 2
Chain Arrow Toolbelt.pngParticle Accelerator.png Particle Accelerator Toolbelt Velocity Increase: 100%
Laser Disk.png Laser Disk Exceed Duration Increase 50%
Chain Arrow Toolbelt.pngBlade Burst.png Blade Burst Toolbelt Damage Increase: 25%
Hard Light Arena.png Hard Light Arena Exceed Duration Increase: 4 seconds
Radius Increase: 120
Chain Arrow Toolbelt.pngPrismatic Singularity.png Prismatic Singularity Toolbelt Radius and Pull increase: 120
Spectrum Shield.png Spectrum Shield Exceed Recharge Reduced: 50%
Chain Arrow Toolbelt.pngFlash Spark.png Flash Spark Toolbelt Light Aura.png Light Aura (4s)
Prime Light Beam.png Prime Light Beam Exceed Leaves behind a burning holographic field.

Traits affected by heat[edit]

Skills Tier <50% >50% >100%
Prismatic Converter Prismatic Converter Major Adept Conditions to Boons: 1 Conditions to Boons: 2 Conditions to Boons: 3
Laser's Edge Laser's Edge Minor Grandmaster Damage Increase: 0 – 7.5% Damage Increase: 7.5 – 15% Damage Increase: 15 – 22.5%
Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit Major Grandmaster Might.png Might (2 stacks, 6s)

Related traits[edit]

Holosmith Holosmith[edit]


  • As of the August 17, 2021 update:
    • Mounting will no longer reset Photon Forge's heat level to 0.
    • Changing specializations away from and then back to holosmith will retain your former Photon Forge heat level.
  • Even though some skills list a flat Heat value and others a percentage, they're essentially all flat; so being over 100 Heat with Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit is the same as being over 100%.

Player chatter[edit]

Event Dialogue
Engaging Photon Forge Projector, activate.
Light, come forth!.
Activating hard light emitter.
Hologram projector engage.
Switching to holo mode.
Temperature normal.
Disengage Photon Forge Returning to normal parameters.
Disengaging holo projector.
Holograms off.
Better let this cool down a bit.
50% I'm just warming up.
Now we're cooking.
We're heating up.
Crossing heat thresholds.
Here's where things get hot
Heating up.
Critical heat level Heat sink reaching full capacity.
Overheat imminent!
So hot.
Heat level critical.
Can't take much more of this.
Overheat Hot! Hot! Hot!
We're burning up!
Capacity exceeded.
We can't take anymore heat.
Fully cooled Heat level zero.
All heat expelled.
Temperature normalized.
Heat levels stabilized.
Thermal release complete.