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Diablo 4: Vulnerable Status Effect Explained

May 12, 2023May 12, 2023

Status effects play a huge role in the revamped combat system in Diablo 4. Here's how one of the most important debuffs in the game works.

There will come a time in Diablo 4 when players will feel like they aren't doing enough damage. Swapping out a gear piece or getting a new Legendary Aspect is often the most obvious solution to this, but what some players might overlook is that there's so much free damage to be had just by inflicting one Status Ailment against whatever they're trying to remove from existence.

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Vulnerable is a status effect that does exactly what it implies; it makes things more vulnerable to damage. This is one of the core mechanics in Diablo 4's revamped combat system, and players need to know how to take full advantage of this if they want to get the most mileage out of their builds. Here's how it works.

Certain Skills, passive nodes, and environmental effects have the ability to inflict the Vulnerable status, which increases the damage they take from all sources by 20%. This will not seem like much for many characters in the early game, but when enemy health values start scraping on six-digit territory, players will need every single advantage they can get.

The damage players deal versus Vulnerable targets in Diablo 4 can be increased via Skills, items, and various Paragon Board bonuses. The Damage to Vulnerable Enemies stat multiplies the number resulting from the initial 20% damage increase—it does not add anything to the base damage modifier value.

Vulnerable enemies will have their health bars marked with a purple glow. Conversely, players will know that they are vulnerable if their health globe at the bottom of the screen gets cracked. The duration of this effect varies depending on what ability triggers it.

Every class in Diablo 4 has some means of applying Vulnerable built right into their kits. Some Skills are guaranteed to inflict Vulnerable, such as the Barbarian's Violent Double Swing and the Necromancer's Ghastly Bone Prison. Others rely on the Lucky Hit mechanic or similar percentage-based chances, such as the Sorcerer's Greater Frozen Orb.

The Rogue class, in particular, becomes extremely lethal when played around the Vulnerable effect. They have a ton of Skills that boost their overall effectiveness against weakened targets, piling even more damage on their already impressive DPS output. This class also has a number of Legendary Aspects that make Vulnerable more potent and accessible.

Players can safely disregard applying Vulnerable to enemies while they're leveling up or going through the campaign. However, once they enter the Nightmare and Torment difficulties, this status ailment will become almost mandatory.

Diablo 4 is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Marc is a seasoned writer and enjoyer of all things difficult in gaming. If he's not knee-deep in Destiny 2, then he's probably drowning in indie or early access titles in search of the next big hit. Some of his most-played genres are FPS, MMO, RPG, horror, and sandbox survival. He enjoys the frantic firefights of Apex Legends and dark corridors of Resident Evil as much as he loves the peace and quiet of Stardew Valley.Marc has been writing about video games for over three years with a particular specialization in creating guides and walkthroughs. Occasionally, he also covers gaming-related news about upcoming releases, major updates, and things that shake up the industry as a whole.Outside of gaming, Marc enjoys watching anime, dissecting films, and reading all sorts of drawn and written fiction. Some of his all-time favorites include Back to the Future, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Kentaro Miura's Berserk.

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