A Fundamental Guide to Damage Profiles

Damage Profiles exist in both EVE: Online and DUST 514, however they differ slightly between the two games, and can often be confusing or misunderstood by players. This guide will briefly explain what each of the damage profiles are, as well as how they effect gameplay in DUST 514.

What are Damage Profiles?

There are 5 damage types in DUST 514: Laser, Hybrid-Blaster, Hybrid-Rail, Projectile, and Explosive. Nearly every weapon in the game uses one of these damage types which in turn modifies how well the weapon performs against armor and shields. Effectively, damage types will give bonus damage to either armor or shields, and an equal damage penalty to the other HP pool. For example, Laser damage gives a 20% damage bonus against shields, and a 20% damage penalty against armor. These percentages modify the listed damage value as such:

If a weapon has a base damage of 100 and has a Laser Damage Profile

Against Shields it will do 100+20% for a total of 120 damage.

Against Armor it will do 100-20% for a total of 80 damage.

This means that in this example, if most of the target’s HP is Armor, you will have a harder time killing them. Inversely, if most of their HP is Shield, they will die much faster.


Laser weapons do 120% to Shields and 80% to Armor (+20/-20)

Weapons that have a Laser Damage Profile

  • Scrambler Rifles
  • Scrambler Pistols
  • Laser Rifles


Hybrid-Blaster Weapons do 110% to Shields and 90% to Armor (+10/-10)

Weapons that have a Hybrid-Blaster Damage Profile

  • Assault Rifles
  • Ion Pistols
  • Shotguns
  • Plasma Cannons
  • Large & Small Blasters (Vehicle & Installation Turrets)


Hybrid-Rail Weapons do 90% to Shields and 110% to Armor (aka -10/+10)

Weapons that have a Hybrid-Rail Damage Profile

  • Rail Rifles
  • Bolt Pistols
  • Magsec SMGs
  • Forge Guns
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Large & Small Railguns (Vehicle & Installation Turrets)


Projectile Weapons do 85% to Shields and 115% to Armor (-15/+15).

Weapons that have  Projectile Damage Profile

  • Combat Rifles
  • Submachine Guns
  • Heavy Machine Guns


Explosive Weapons do 80% to Shields and 120% to Armor (-20/+20).

Weapons that have Explosive Damage Profile

  • Mass Drivers
  • Swarm Launchers
  • Locus Grenades
  • AV Grenades
  • Flaylock Pistols
  • Remote Explosives
  • Proximity Mines
  • Large & Small Missile Launchers (Vehicle & Installation Turrets)


Some weapons do not fit into into typical damage types and have unique damage profiles.
  • Nova Knives do 100% to Shields and 100% to Armor
  • Melee attacks do 100% to Shields and 100% to Armor
  • Flux Grenades do 100% to Shields and 0% to Armor (These grenades only damage shields and cannot kill infantry, they will however destroy any deployed equipment in a wide blast radius)
  • Null Cannons do 100% to Shields and 100% to Armor (These are the large cannons controlled by the control panels in Skirmish and Domination that target each team’s MCC)

Weapon Proficiency

Nearly all weapons have a Proficiency skill in their skill tree. This skill typically increases the damage bonus by 3%/level for a total bonus of 15%, but does not modify the damage penalty. For example:

A Rail Rifle will naturally do 90% damage against shields, and 110% damage against armor. With Rail Rifle Proficiency fully trained to level 5, the Rail Rifle will still do 90% damage to Shields, but do 110% plus an additional 15% to armor. This makes the Proficiency skill very powerful and worth training into once you unlock it.

Dropsuit Bonuses

Some dropsuits offer bonuses that are dependent upon damage profiles.
  • Assault suits gain a weapon support bonuses for specific damage profiles.
  • Commando suits gain a weapon damage bonus for specific damage profiles.
  • Sentinels gain a damage resistance against specific damage profiles.


The most important part to understand about damage profiles is that no matter what weapon you may be using at a given moment, there will be enemies who will perform very well against your weapon’s damage type, and others who will perform very poorly against it. Like many aspect of DUST 514, you are never going to be good at everything or very powerful in every situation. This is why it is important to work as a squad to not only diversify your roles, but also what kind of damage your teammates are dealing so that you can react to any situation as a unit.

About Pokey Dravon 98 Articles
Pokey Dravon has played DUST 514 since early closed beta and is a founding co-host of the Biomassed podcast and blog. Follow on twitter @PokeyDravon
  • Dust Merc


  • Nick Ashley

    Should mention how proficiency fits in to this. The differences become much more pronounced

    • There is an entire section about proficiency. Did I miss something you wanted mentioned?

      • Nick Ashley

        i guess I was going for some more practical examples. Eg when using an ascr doing 135% to shields and only 80% to armor. Vs using an SMG or combat rifle on a commando you can switch to a 130% damage when you hit armor on a heavy or when you go against a gal or amarr suit. I feel like people new to this system underestimate the drastic difference once proficiency is in play. Great article!

  • Nick Ashley

    Not to be the constant critic but the piece on assaults bonus isn’t correct. It’s not really tied in to damage profile. You could also stand to actually summarize which sentinels get which bonus and on which part of their tank.

    • Weapons are tagged by weapon profiles and not the weapons themselves. This is why for example the Caldari Assault reload bonus does not apply to the Swarm Launcher, because it is not Hybrid-Rail weapon. Or how the Minmatar Assault bonus does not apply to the Mass Driver because it is not a Projectile weapon.

      Additionally this article is specifically about damage profiles and not suit bonuses. There will be additional guides and articles about Assault, Sentinels, ect. where I will outline exactly what the bonuses do and will likely edit this post to link to those articles once they exist.

      Typically I will strive to make each guide as granular as possible without cutting a topic in half. There are many connections within the game but for a new player, learning one topic at a time is going to be far more effective than tossing the entire web of inter-connectivity at them at once. As the title suggests this is a Fundamentals guide, and for a new player who has no idea what a damage profile is, simply understanding what they are and that there is a connection to other elements of the game is sufficient. Once those additional articles are available, links will be made available for new players to click on if they want to see more of a certain topic.

      I feel that the biggest failure of the NPE is twofold. Either things are not explained at all, or they are explained in a giant chunk of information that is overwhelming to new players. It is my hope that a series of player-written guides will help to alleviate both of theses problems.

      I appreciate your feedback and thank you for reading!

  • Dust Merc

    Sentinels gain a damage resistance against specific damage profiles.Would be nice to see which suits defend better against which damage.

    • This will be covered in my comprehensive Sentinel guide ^_^. I will provide a link in this post to that post when it is available.

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