Example of a radiation weapon

Radiation is an element introduced in Borderlands 3. It inflicts a degenerative status effect that damages enemies near the affected target.


In addition to taking damage over time, irradiated enemies damage enemies around them. Enemies that die while irradiated explode in a radiation nova, with a chance to irradiate other enemies hit by the explosion.

The Radiation status effect lasts 8 seconds.

Weaknesses and resistances

In normal mode, Radiation deals regular damage against flesh and shields, and reduced damage against armor. In True Vault Hunter Mode and Mayhem Mode, Radiation also deals increased damage to shields, but damage against armor is further reduced:

Flesh Shield Armor
Normal mode 100% 100% 70%
TVHM/Mayhem 100% 150% 50%


An irradiated enemy inflicts roughly the same damage as their status effect to nearby enemies within a radius of roughly 2 metres / 6-8 feet. This does not irradiate those enemies, just damages them as long as they're nearby.


When an irradiated enemy dies, they explode. The explosion's damage is 3× the status effect's damage per second. Enemies hit by this explosion have a chance to become irradiated themselves; in this case, the newly inflicted status effect damage is 3/8 of that which the exploded enemy suffered.


  • Radiation has been added as a replacement/adaptation of the explosive element from previous installments, as that element has been effectively replaced with non elemental splash.
    • However, unlike the explosive element, radiation does not deal even damage to all enemies.
  • Irradiated attacks contaminate any bodies of water they hit, creating a radiation area of effect for a short period of time.
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