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Enemy Races

  • Cabal (War-faring humanoid aliens wearing suits of power armor)
  • Fallen (Insectoid scavenger aliens, known in their language as the Eliksni)
  • Hive (Aliens hosting parasitic worms)
  • Vex (Time-traveling cybernetic machines containing radiolaria)
  • Taken (Aliens that have been forced to serve powerful individuals such as Oryx and the Witness)
  • Scorn (Undead Eliksni brought back through Dark Ether)
  • Dread (Enemy faction created by the Witness$

Enemy Factions





Enemy Modifiers

Enemy Toughness

Across all enemy factions, enemies come in one of four toughness levels:

  • Minor: Indicated by a red health bar, this is the weakest and most common toughness level. Base enemies can be found everywhere and may drop Special or Heavy ammo.
  • Major: Indicated by a dull orange health bar, Elite enemies are much tougher to kill than their base variants and often use more powerful weaponry as well. They tend to appear within group-oriented content such as Heroic Public Events and all kinds of Strikes.
    • Common Major Prefixes:: Resilient (Fallen), Unyielding (Fallen Servitors), Honored (Cabal), Quantum (Vex), Ravenous (Taken), Revenant (Hive), Axis (Precursors and Descendants Vex), Unhallowed (Grasp of Nokris), Corrupted (Scorn), Deranged (Scorn Abominations)
  • Miniboss: Indicated by a yellow health bar which is visually divided into three segments and commonly has an Absorption Shield on them on higher difficulty activities. Some enemies can become a miniboss, but they are rarely encountered in a patrol, where they can act sometimes act as a high-value target or encountered as final bosses in Lost Sectors.
    • Common Miniboss Prefixes: Resolute (Fallen), Unyielding (Fallen Servitors), Esteemed (Cabal), Blistered (Hive), Dread Unhallowed (Grasp of Nokris), Malignant (Vex), Servile (Taken), Tarnished (Scorn), Lacerated (Scorn Abominations)
  • Boss: Indicated by a unique name (and sometimes a unique enemy model) and a large health bar which is visually divided into three segments with a name displayed on the bottom of the player's screen, Bosses are the stronger of the two boss-tier toughness levels, usually serving as the final bosses of many Story Missions, Strikes, Dungeons, and Raids. Note that boss health levels (compared to Normal health levels) vary greatly depending on the difficulty and expected fireteam size of the content in which they appear (e.g. Story Mission bosses, designed to be taken on alone, have much less health than Dungeon bosses, designed to be taken on by a fireteam of 3 players and Raid bosses, designed to be taken on by a fireteam of 6 players).

Enemy Archetypes

Enemy units within each faction fulfill one of several archetypes:

  • Fodder: Enemies in this category have low health and individually can be dispatched easily. To make up for their weakness, melee and explosive Fodder units often appear in packs while ranged Fodder units usually attempt to stay near cover.
  • Soldier: Enemies in this category are the rank and file of each faction, possessing both average health and average lethality. Most Soldier units use ranged attacks by default, but will switch to melee in close range or launch explosives to flush players out of cover as needed.
  • Commander: Enemies in this category are the heavy hitters of each faction, having both high health and high lethality. Explosive ranged weapons can often be found in the hands of Commander units.
    • Many Commander units are protected by elemental shields which are resistant to damage types that do not match and prevent precision damage but are vulnerable to matching damage types as well as offensive Subclass abilities and melee attacks while carrying elemental orbs (e.g. melee attacks while carrying a Fusion Cell in The Arms Dealer deal Solar damage). Breaking such a shield with a matching damage type will cause it to explode, staggering and dealing damage to the Commander and any nearby units based on the shield's maximum health.
  • Artillery: Enemies in this category have high health and very high lethality. Artillery units should be prioritized over all other units whenever they appear - not only does focused fire destroy these units quickly, but it usually interrupts their attacks as well, especially when directed onto a weak point.
  • Champions: Enemies in this category are invulnerable without using the mods from the Seasonal Artifact, Exotic items with intrinsic Anti-Champion properties, or subclass keywords.