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Elements are properties applied to various gameplay mechanics.


Every weapon, ability, and subclass in the game can be classified by its associated element. Elements have been referred to as either Light-based or Darkness-based in the game's story. Currently, aside from subclasses being divided into Light and Darkness subclasses, this distinction does not appear to be relevant to gameplay.


Weapons and abilities used by both Guardians and enemy combatants have different elemental damage types. Some activity modifiers can increase the damage dealt by specific elements. Armor Mods can be equipped to reduce elemental damage.

Some enemies will be protected by elemental energy shields, which can be identified by their color. Elemental weapons will deal more damage to shields than text-center Kinetic weapons. Dealing matching elemental damage to an enemy's shield (e.g. using an text-center Arc weapon to break an text-center Arc shield) will be more effective, causing the shield to explode when broken and stunning the enemy. Currently, text-center Arc, text-center Solar, and text-center Void are the only elemental shield types that appear. Guardian shields are not associated with a specific element.

Weapons of a specific element do not function inherently differently from weapons of other damage types, aside from text-center Kinetic weapons dealing less damage to shields than Energy weapons. However, some perks may only appear on weapons of a specific element.[1] For example, Incandescent icon1.png Incandescent only appears on text-center Solar weapons, while Headstone icon1.png Headstone only appears on text-center Stasis weapons.

In the vast majority of cases, the element assigned to a specific weapon cannot be changed. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Exotic weapons with The fundamentals icon1.png The Fundamentals weapon perk can cycle through the text-center Arc, text-center Solar, and text-center Void damage types. These weapons currently include: Borealis icon1.png Borealis, Dead messenger icon1.jpg Dead Messenger, and Hard light icon1.png Hard Light.
  • The Osmosis icon.png Osmosis weapon perk can temporarily change a text-center Kinetic weapon's damage type to match the player's current subclass.
  • The Adaptive munitions icon1.png Adaptive Munitions weapon perk does not change the weapon's damage type, but causes it to deal increasingly greater damage to non-matching enemy shields with each hit.


Every armor item in the player's inventory has an elemental affinity, indicated by an icon, which determines which mods can be equipped to it. Most mods do not have an associated element, allowing them to be equipped to any armor item. However, mods with a specific element icon can only be equipped to armor that has the same elemental energy type. An armor item's affinity can be changed, but costs text-center Glimmer and an Upgrade Module.jpg Upgrade Module.

Types of Elements

text-center Kinetic

Main page: Kinetic

Kinetic refers to non-elemental effects. Kinetic weapons deal less damage to shields than Energy Weapons, and can be equipped in the Kinetic Weapons slot. However, despite the name, text-center Stasis weapons also appear in this slot.

text-center Arc

Main page: Arc

Arc is a Light-based element. Its effects are associated with electricity and lightning.

text-center Solar

Main page: Solar

Solar is a Light-based element. Its effects are associated with fire and the Sun.

text-center Void

Main page: Void

Void is a Light-based element. Its effects are associated with gravity and black holes.

text-center Stasis

Main page: Stasis

Stasis is a Darkness-based element. Its effects are associated with ice.

text-center Strand

Main page: Strand

Strand is a Darkness-based element. Its effects are associated with psychic energy and threads of the mind.


  1. "This Week at Bungie – 8/19/2021" Bungie, posted by Cozmo_BNG, 19 Aug. 2021, https://www.bungie.net/en/Explore/Detail/News/50572.