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Cryo weapons can only be found on Pandora's moon because of the frozen methane they require in order to fire. Marcus Kincaid hopes to one day bring this technology to Pandora.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel cryo weapon

Cryo is an elemental damage type introduced in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. It returns in Borderlands 3 and appears in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands as frost.

Cryo elemental weapons are capable of slowing down and/or freezing targets solid. Cryo damage is particularly useful against nimble targets, such as guardians (Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel), where a cryo status effect can freeze them in place to leave them vulnerable. If an airborne target is frozen, it will fall to the ground and receive fall damage, potentially causing it to instantly shatter if enough damage was inflicted.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, all manufacturers, aside from Torgue, have at least one cryo elemental weapon.


Enemies that can suffer a cryo status effect are slowly covered in ice as they freeze solid. While frozen, the enemy cannot attack or move and the effect persists for 6 seconds (unless another cryo status effect is caused), during which time the frozen target will suffer a small amount of damage-over-time. It is possible to determine when an enemy is about to thaw out from its frozen state, as the ice covering its body will begin to vibrate before disappearing and the damage bonus will be removed.

  • While frozen, enemies take from non-cryo weapons an additional +250% melee damage, +200% explosive damage, and +200% extra critical hit damage.
  • Cryo weapons against a frozen enemy deals +110% extra critical hit damage.
  • The critical hit bonus stacks with the bonus provided by a weapon additively.

Cryo attacks inflict full damage against both flesh and armored targets, but suffer a small penalty against all shielded targets in Normal Mode (75% damage) - in True Vault Hunter and Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode modes, shielded targets gain a significant resistance to cryo damage (40% damage). Enemies with the cryo elemental type cannot be frozen and are heavily resistant. Incendiary elemental effects do not interfere with Cryo in anyway and the opposite is also true. However, certain incendiary enemies, such as the normal Kraggons, are weak to Cryo.

Some enemies, such as Iwajira and most bosses in the game, cannot be frozen solid, but still suffer from cryo damage-over-time and the cryo-associated weapon debuffs, especially the movement speed reduction.

Effects Against Vault Hunters

When a playable Vault Hunter suffers a cryo status effect, the Vault Hunter will not freeze solid but will instead be significantly slowed down, with sprinting speed being slower than the regular running speed. This slowdown typically lasts for 6 seconds but can last longer if the Vault Hunter is standing near a cryo vine or is afflicted by another cryo status effect.


  • The slowdown inflicted upon Vault Hunters by a cryo damage-over-time can occasionally persist. While rare during normal combat, if a Vault Hunter enters Fight For Your Life while slowed down by cryo damage, the chance of the slowdown persisting is much higher. This effect can be cleared by being afflicted with another cryo status effect (by passing close to a cryo vine for example) and waiting for it to wear off again (does not always work). If no source of regaining a cryo status effect is available (or the previous advice does not work), saving and quitting is the only other available option.
    • This bug has been fixed as of the March 24th, 2015 patch.

Borderlands 3


In Borderlands 3, melee attacks against frozen enemies deal 300% damage. No other damage type is affected, including critical hits, elemental damage, and splash damage (which replaces the explosive "element" from previous games). The chances of freezing an enemy solid are based on the weapon's cryo efficiency, with a 100% efficiency being capable of freezing enemies under 20% health. This increases additively, so a weapon with 200% efficiency can freeze enemies under 40% health.

Enemies frozen while in midair will drop to the ground and suffer minor fall damage. Vault Hunters affected by cryo will receive a movement speed penalty, and will not be able to sprint or slide. Vehicles affected by cryo weapons will jam momentarily, forcing their wheels to stop for several seconds.

Unlike in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, cryo does not have a damage-over-time effect.

Weaknesses and resistances

Cryo weapons have a slightly higher base damage stat compared to other elemental weapons to compensate for the fact that they cannot inflict DoT effects. Cryo deals regular damage against flesh, reduced damage against shields and increased damage against armor. In True Vault Hunter Mode and Mayhem Mode, these effects are increased.

Flesh Shield Armor
Normal mode 100% 70% 120%
TVHM 100% 50% 150%


  • Cryo attacks will create an area of effect that deals cryo damage if it hits a body of water.
  • As the Face-puncher deals melee damage, it also does 300% damage against frozen targets.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

In Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, cryo damage is renamed frost.


Frost damage effectiveness varies based on both enemy health type and the current difficulty setting.

Flesh Ward Armor Bone
Relaxed 90% 95% 95% 115%
Balanced 80%
Intense 70%

See Also