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Resistance penetration is a property of hits that reduces the target's effective resistance to specific damage types.


When a target is struck by a hit with resistance penetration, that target's effective resistance is reduced for determining the amount of damage dealt by the hit. Resistance penetration does not modify the target's resistance or maximum resistance stats.

The target's effective resistance to damage type is

where is the target's resistance to damage type , is the target's maximum resistance to damage type , and is the resistance penetration of the hit for damage type .

Just like resistance stats, effective resistance can be a negative number. There is no minimum limit on effective resistance imposed by the game mechanics.[1]

Due to the fact that resistance penetration is a property of hits, it cannot apply to damage over time.[2]

Efficacy of resistance penetration versus resistances

Efficacy of 10% resistance penetration versus resistances

It can be shown that resistance penetration is more effective in terms of damage dealt against targets with higher resistances.

The percentage increase to damage type as a result of resistance penetration is

Sources of resistance penetration

Currently, resistance penetration exists only for elemental damage types.

Skill gems

Template:SMW item table/skill gems


Base types

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Unique items

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Passive skills

The following passive skills affect penetration: Template:Passive table

Template:Ascendancy passive table


  1. Mark_GGG (December 11, 2012). "Penetration gems mess up balance between ele/physical". Official Path of Exile Forums. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  2. Mark_GGG (November 18, 2013). "Damage over time mechanic change clarification?". Official Path of Exile Forums. Retrieved July 7, 2016.