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Path of Exile Damage Types

As you'll learn while playing Path of Exile, there's more than one way to skin a cat, as some would say. If there was only one way to fight and kill enemies, then the game will get old fairly quickly. Having options to either choose from or put together can greatly increase variety and fun of a game like this. Therefore, damage types in Path of Exile are worth discussing.

There are different damage types and resistances to them that can be had by both player characters and enemies. The aim is not just to have high raw damage, but have different damage types to cover your bases. In the higher levels of play, you'll encounter enemies and bosses that have multiple resistances, and you have to be able to find a weakness with which you can punch through to win the day.

The most basic damage type is physical damage, which is easy enough to explain. It's just straight-up damage when you hit with a weapon, and it can be reduced by armor. Melee and ranged physical weapons cover this category for the most part, excluding spells and modifiers that augment it with another damage type.

Then there's elemental damage, covering fire, cold, and lightning. These require elemental resistances to defend against, which can be modified through auras, curses (debuff), certain unique PoE items, Path of Exile items modifiers, passive skills, elemental resistance flasks, endurance charges, and changing difficulties. The nice thing about resistances is that you can ready it up by using a flask before going up against enemies that deliver a particular elemental damage.

Each elemental damage type works differently. Fire damage, inflicts Ignite status ailment upon a critical strike, which means that it does damage over time called burning damage that takes away health for a number of seconds. Cold damage inflicts Chill status ailment upon a critical strike, slowing or even stopping affected targets in their tracks. Lightning damage has Shock status ailment, which causes the affected target to take 50% more damage from all sources.

Chaos damage is the rarest damage type and the hardest to get resistance for in the game. It goes through energy shield and hits life or mana directly. It's powerful as it's more or less sure to hit hard. However, there's a way to become immune to it, which is by acquiring the Chaos Inoculation keystone in the passive skill tree.

Those are pretty much the major damage types, but there are also a few more things to add. There's damage over time, which is as it says on the name. Aside from fire damage, you can also have damage over time through poison, which inflicts the affected target with chaos damage over time (although it's not considered a status ailment). There are also some modifiers that also make use of damage over time.

A big part of coming up with a character build is figuring out the best way to deliver damage amid restrictions and the character's known capabilities. By understanding all these different damage types, you can better plan your character all the way to the end game.

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