I did some testing on Puncture/Plasma procs and general Archgun damage in Railjack, since the wiki was lacking info

TL;DR: Space enemies (fighters/ships) in Railjack have 90.91% damage reduction (i.e. they take 1/11 damage) from Archguns and Archmelee. Puncture procs in Railjack reduce the enemy's CURRENT armor by 10%, stacking multiplicatively with each new proc. If enemy armor is reduced below 1, the armor is temporarily removed completely, including any damage modifiers from said armor type. Essentially it's a much worse version of the old corrosive procs, which permanently reduced armor by 25% per proc. Slash (ballistic) procs are significantly more powerful, so don't focus on puncture (plasma) procs when modding archguns or looking at railjack armaments.

NOTE: The rest of this post is just an explanation of how I came to these conclusions so that I have some proof that it's actually true. Feel free to skip it if you're not interested in mathy stuff. Also I didn't test how puncture procs work on shields since that would be kind of complicated, so I don't have a clue how it works. Presumably it reduces the current max shield capacity by 10%(?) per proc, kind of like how magnetic and viral used to reduce max HP and Shields, but that's for someone else to figure out.

So the big thing that I couldn't find ANYWHERE on the internet was how exactly plasma (or now simply puncture) procs work in Railjack. Every source just says the same vague description:

  • "Decompress – Target ship has reduced shields and armor for 20 seconds. Additional procs stack additively."

Reduced by HOW MUCH? Kind of important right? Are we talking a 1% reduction, or 20%? Does it take a percent of armor or a flat amount, like Shattering Impact? If it's a percent, is it a percent of total armor or a percent of current armor? Is there a cap on the armor strip?

Puncture proc armor strip cap:

So I had to do a lot of testing to figure out these details. Since Mausolon is the only archgun that has puncture damage and no slash damage, I decided to use that for my testing. This way, any damage increase from status procs would only be from reducing the enemy's armor, not from getting a damage multiplier from slash (ballistic) procs. I used Marked Target and Modified Munitions for pure status chance, Quasar Drill for extra puncture weighting, and Charged Bullets to turn the Mausolon's innate heat damage into radiation (which can't proc in Railjack, unlike heat, which would take away from my number of puncture procs).

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I went to R-9 Cloud (the highest lvl grineer Veil mission) and just unloaded a clip into an Elite Exo Flak. I found that my damage ramped up until it hit a plateau, then dipped down to a lower number after around 62-64 procs. The ramping damage is obviously from reducing their armor, but the sudden dip was actually from the Flak completely losing all of its armor. Since my Mausolon was modded for radiation, which deals 1.75x dmg to the Flak's alloy armor, my total damage went down after the Flak no longer had any armor for me to get that extra damage multiplier from. So the takeaway here is that Puncture procs can fully strip an enemy's armor.

Archgun damage reduction versus space enemies:

While testing, I noticed that my Mausolon's damage was drastically lower than it should be, even once all armor was removed. This made it clear that Railjack space enemies have innate damage resistance, so I wanted to find out exactly how much. Initially it was definitely looking like 90% DR, and I could've SWORN that I saw this mentioned in the patch notes at some point, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I just decided to figure it out on my own to be sure.

Given that I know I can fully strip an enemy's armor, I just had to remove their armor, deal a set amount of damage, observe how much damage I actually dealt, and then find the damage reduction that's being applied. I used my radiation modded Prisma Veritux to deal this damage, since the larger the damage value, the more accurate I could be with the damage reduction value I get out of it. I had to use an extinguished dragon key since I was actually doing a bit too much damage, and Railjack enemies don't show overkill damage for some reason (i.e. if they have 100 health left, the killing blow will say 100 regardless of how much dmg you actually dealt).

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My Veritux had +170% base damage (110% from Cutting Edge, 60% from Steel Charge), +360% radiation damage, and a 4.2x critical multiplier. Plugging these into a damage calculator that I had made previously, I found that against the unarmored Flak's machinery health, I would normally deal 4887 damage (cell F22). Including my extinguished key, that drops down to 1221.75 damage on normal hits and 5131.35 damage on crits. In game, after fully stripping the Flak's armor and attacking with my Veritux, I dealt 111 damage on normal hits and 466 on crits. These values are almost exactly 1/11 of my calculated values, so the innate damage reduction of Railjack space enemies is 90.91% (or 10/11).

Puncture proc armor strip per stack:

With that out of the way, I could actually do some accurate damage calculations, meaning I could determine how much armor enemies had based on my damage dealt to them. So first, I used my Veritux on the lvl 40-42 cutters and flaks in R-9 Cloud, and I derived a small range of possible armor values they must have based on my damage dealt. These armor values all matched up perfectly with the Wiki, so I decided to use the wiki's armor value since it was more exact. I decided to do my final testing against lvl 41 elite exo cutters (627 armor before any armor stripping) since they're very common, and made sure to only fight that specific enemy type throughout my testing (to keep this initial armor value constant).

I pulled out the old Mausolon again, but this time modded for blast damage. I collected data on the damage dealt by one Mausolon shot (direct hit damage, not the AoE damage) after 0, 1, 2, 3, etc puncture procs. Then I took those damage values, plugged each one into my calculator with the new 90.91% damage reduction, and found the range of armor values that would give me the damage value that I saw. I charted the number of procs vs the min and max armor that could give the observed damage value. Then I plugged these two charts (procs vs min armor is the green dots, procs vs max armor is blue) into a graphing calculator.

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I quickly came to the conclusion that the equation: New Armor = (Initial Armor) * 0.9x, where x = number of procs, was a perfect fit for my data. This equation means that each proc reduces the enemy's CURRENT armor by 10%, stacking multiplicatively with each new proc, just like how corrosive used to work before it was nerfed updated. Also like corrosive, puncture procs will completely remove armor from an enemy once it goes below 1 (due to rounding), although with puncture this is only temporary.


Puncture procs in Railjack suck pretty bad right now. If you remember from earlier it took a little over 60 procs to totally remove about 700 armor, which is honestly insane. 700 armor only reduces your damage by 70%, meaning you deal 3.33x more damage by removing all of it (ignoring the loss of armor modifiers). On the other hand, 60 slash (ballistic) procs would multiply your damage by 1.07560 = 76.65x. Like holy shit, that's not even a competition. Puncture procs are still helpful for sure, but their usefulness quickly falls off after just a few procs, while slash procs only get more and more potent with every stack.

So in the end, slash is the king of IPS in space just like it is on the ground, who woulda guessed right?


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