I found since the remake has dropped that many sources (wikis, guides, etc) were missing the new information on Necro health, limb health, damage output, etc. So I ran some tests and made this Dead Space Enemy Health and Damage Types Guide.
The results below are from simple experimentation into the Remake and should help with theory-crafting and general information.
Dead Space Enemy Health and Damage Types Guide
All of these initial tests are against a single slasher, which I fought on NG+, Hard Difficulty, right after the first shop. Super easy test as you can load the save, ride the elevator down, shoot the slasher, reload save, change loadout, test again.
This experiment was necessary due to most Dead Space guides using the original game numbers. The new game is sufficiently different that these calculations need to be redone. Here are my results:
Base plasma cutter (100 dmg) against basic Hard Slasher
100 dmg per shot
12 body shots to kill
3 shots per limb to remove limb
2 limbs removed to instakill
Thus, the slasher has
1200 total HP
300 limb HP
I also was trying to determine the cause of inconsistency in the number of shots to remove a limb. What I noticed was quite interesting. LIMB SEGMENTS.
In previous dead space games, if you shoot “the arm”, you are damaging the entire limb. In Dead Space Remake, however, if you shoot “the elbow” twice, then “the wrist”, it will not break the limb, as those health bars are both tracked separately.
This can naturally make removing limbs feel much more difficult, as now you have a much smaller space to target if you want maximal ammo efficiency. Considering a “perfectly optimal” dual limb removal of a slasher costs 6 shots, and an ammo drop contains 6 shots, efficiency is incredibly important.
The Myth and truth of “Stripping the Flesh”
You may have heard many youtubers and guides referencing the incredible value of using the force gun to “strip the flesh” off a Necromorph in order to make follow up shots deal more damage.
This is wrong, but they are close to the truth.
The force gun deals damage to all limbs it hits. This means if you fire your “100 damage” force gun shot, it will only take a tiny amount from the enemy’s total hp (try following up with rifle body shots afterwards to confirm), but will take that SAME AMOUNT from the enemy’s LIMB hp (try following up with plasma cutter arm shots afterwards to confirm).
This is useful because there are many EXCELLENT sources of “all limb” damage.
Fire from the flamethrower
DOT from the prototype stasis module
Explosives (force gun shots, explosive barrels, and many secondary fire modes)
And remember, following up on those limbs means removing them… which kills necros *fast*. So it’s not technically true that the force gun “strips flesh” offering a damage boost on followup shots… but it is ABSOLUTELY true that the force gun damages the necro’s joints making limb removal significantly easier with followup shots. An important distinction.
The Flames and Lightning (very very frightening)
The flamethrower deals 2 damage amounts; the listed “base damage”, which is how much damage is applied to the target per unit of fuel expended, and the unlisted “burn damage”, which is the damage of the DOT on fire effect. I have estimated the burn damage as ~20 DPS (unaffected by damage upgrades, but naturally affected by DOT duration), by subtracting the base damage of firing single shots at a necro and waiting out the full DOT duration, repeating until dead. The DOT and base damage stack with each other, but the DOT cannot stack with itself, only have its duration refreshed.
Also, the flamethrower DOES stagger. But only when catching a necro from “not on fire” to “on fire”. Make use of this as you will, but it does make it perfectly valid for combo starting as it doesn’t just apply damage… it also gives you enough time to switch to the next weapon and continue your assault.
The Prototype Statis Module, likewise, deals ~45 DPS; calculated by stasising a slasher from full health to dead; as far as I can tell it deals no impact damage and is only the DOT.
But what’s interesting is that Flamethrower Fire and Prototype Stasis deal, what I will call, “Withering damage”. What this means is that they will deal the full damage amount to the Necro’s health as well as to ALL LIMBS, but that limb health will not go below 1hp. That means if you fire 2 ammunition worth of base-level flamethrower, plus 4 seconds worth of DOT, the necro’s limb health has UNIVERSALLY gone down from 300-each to 300-65-65-20-20-20-20= 90; enough for a base plasma cutter to take out each limb with a SINGLE SHOT and not have to worry about limb-part-precision; one shot is one shot.
The Stasis is just as good, as in 4 seconds it will have removed 300-45-45-45-45=120; enough for an *ever so slightly upgraded* plasma cutter to do the same; ONE SHOT PER LIMB.
The Force Gun Conundrum
But what about thrown explosives, force gun shots, contact beam secondary fire, etc?
Well, these function slightly differently. I will call these “explosive damage”.
The problem with thrown bombs and secondary contact beam shots is that they kill most things instantly, so it’s kind of hard to determine exactly how their damage is applied. As such, we have to *infer* that they do the same type of damage as the force gun, because that would make sense… but that might not be the case.
What’s interesting about the force gun is that it appears to deal the full limb damage universally, just like fire does… but it can finish the limbs off. Three “100 damage” force gun shots to an enemy kills it; not by dealing extra damage, but by having 300 damage per limb to more than one limb, it removes those limbs and triggers the instant death. The same result can be achieved by the line gun, which is equally capable of removing multiple limbs with a single shot, getting incredible efficiency. But unlike the line gun, the force gun also doesn’t need to be aimed provided you’re close enough, damaging ALL parts rather than just the sweep of the line, AND knocks down the enemies around you, which gives you time to breathe, run away, reload, or just shoot again. It also buys time for your aforementioned DOTs (such as fire) to eat away even further.
Thus, a hyper efficient combo could go like this:
– light the necro on fire
– switch to force gun; if the necro gets too close, blast them back; if necro doesn’t, save your shot, move to next step
– switch to cutter; remove limbs with as few as one shot per limb.
Similarly, a hyper-efficient swarm combo would be the same, but with alt-fires:
-drop the flame wall
-drop the force singularity over the flame wall
-watch placidly as the necro horde is hoovered into the oven
-wait until the duration is about to expire, then plink limbs
However, I mentioned the force gun is tricky. That’s because I noticed a quirk in testing. The force gun deals however much damage it wants to. Sometimes that’s slightly less, sometimes it’s significantly more. I assume there are many cones of damage; an innermost perfect cone that deals extra damage over the listed amount, and an outermost cone that might deal slightly less? It’s unclear, but more testing will be needed to fully understand the thunder gun.
The Proto-Pulse Combo
Apply prototype stasis to a horde of enemies
Wait for the near full duration, so all limbs are down to 1 hp
Fire a single PULSE RIFLE shot per limb to clear the room.
This one is disgustingly efficient, as long as you’re near a stasis refill station. Absolutely ridiculously good. Why expend a WHOLE PLASMA CUTTER shot to remove a limb at 1hp? The efficiency of this cannot be understated, just don’t shoot your rifle shots too early or you’ll waste your bullets; let the DOT work and do your cleanup at the end.
The Punch and Stomp
14 punches to down a slasher: ~90 damage per, no limbs broken except the head, which does not count towards a necro’s “missing limbs” limit. Notably, even without the weighted blades, rapid punches did staggerlock the necro, making for a no-damage-taken kill.
6 stomps to down a slasher, but IT DID SO BY BREAKING LIMBS. Probably around ~100-120 damage per, but it breaks legs and arms effectively which makes a big difference in overall effectiveness… and makes estimates more difficult. Possibly it is of the “explosive” damage type but with a tiny AOE, considering that stomps will remove limbs from the farthest corner of a body. However, stomps did not staggerlock the necro; it killed faster, broke more limbs… but I also took some damage. There’s a tradeoff to be had here.
The Other Weapons
The line gun deals enough damage, when upgraded, to one-shot all limbs. Why bother with combos when you can just “enemy deletus”? Well, it’s a fantastic weapon, but it doesn’t do well against bosses, due to the tricky projectile speed. Still, that’s a lot of circumstances that aren’t bosses where it is fantastic. Have fun with your conga lines!
The contact beam deals enough damage on its alt-fire, even without upgrades, to one-shot most enemies. Why bother with combos when you can just “enemy deletus”? The answer is to find your bliss! I’d be curious to see someone try a contact-beam-only playthrough… it might be surprisingly effective.
The ripper is not fun to use. It gets good hypothetical efficiency (decent limb damage, high duration, and enough total damage per shot that you can even clean up necros with raw body damage). But it also requires you stand right next to them, trying to keep the exact right positioning where you can get sawblades in while they can’t quite slash you back. Doesn’t actually work all that well in practice, so you won’t be going no-hit with this weapon. Worth trying, absolutely. But IMO it’s just not as fun to use as its competition.
The Plasma Cutter is interesting, universally useful, and iconic as hell. But there are a few more things about it that might make you curious.
It appears to have a damage boost against limbs. Remember that calculation I did earlier; 2 shots flamethrower, 4 seconds burn, and you can one-shot each limb? Well, you actually only need 3 seconds burn. Why? Well, the plasma cutter appears to deal +~10% to limbs. This means it has a 2-shot-limb breakpoint at 140 rather than 150. Efficient!
Upgrade nodes; you want 140 damage. For that two-shot breakpoint. That means 4 nodes going into damage upgrades, right? WRONG! That little isolated damage upgrade that’s just right 1 down 2 from the starting point? The dead end that nobody would waste nodes taking? Yeah, it adds +20 damage, rather than the standard +10. To hit your breakpoints early, don’t skip it.
The plasma cutter BURN
The plasma cutter burn is interesting because it doesn’t act like real fire. Repeat, it DOESN’T act like real fire. Real fire adds a full-body DOT which damages all limbs but does not break them. Plasma Burns add a limb-targeted DOT which DOES break limbs. This is incredibly efficient.
The burn effect deals ~90 damage over a duration of 6 seconds for 15 DPS
That means at a 110 damage cutter (the minimum possible to get the burn upgrade), you can fire 2 shots (220) and the DOT will remove the limb automatically
That ALSO means that a 200 damage cutter (maxxed out), you can fire 1 shot (200) and the DOT will NEARLY remove the limb automatically. A single rifle shot will finish it. 1 cutter shot + 1 pulse shot is much cheaper than 2 cutter shots!
Thus, to make the most of your burn damage, you can (occasionally) fire 1 fewer shots, and let the burn take them. But not all of the time; you’ll have to test for yourself what those breakpoints are for other damage values, difficulties, and enemy types, I only have so much time for testing. But on the whole it can save you up to 1 shot or more per limb, which is incredibly valuable.
The plasma cutter PUNCH
The base punch deals ~90 damage, not really reliably breaking any limbs.
The weighted blades also deal ~90 damage, still not breaking many limbs… but the stagger is upgraded to a full knock-down with a per-necro cooldown, which is nice.
It’s not really a weapon of choice, but if you get cornered, punch to stagger every few seconds and you’ll take a WHOLE LOT LESS DAMAGE. The stagger isn’t long enough on it’s own, even with the blades, but it opens a different combo. Stasis, punch, then shoot from a position of relative safety. Remember, if you stasis-only, a point-blank enemy can still get off their very slow attacks; the punch to stagger will protect you from coming into embarrassingly-avoidable harm.
The Pulse Rifle?
As the cutter had a damage buff against limbs, this thing has a damage PENALTY. Again, it feels like ~20%. Additionally, recall that limbs are not “the arm” but “the wrist, the forearm, the elbow, the upper arm, the shoulder”. So if you’re shooting at an elbow, a healthy number of your bullet-spread shots will miss entirely, hit the forearm, hit the head, hit the wall…
Recall that enemies have a mountain of body health. This is not good. If you’re shooting anything but the limbs, you’re wasting ammo. But if you’re shooting the limbs with this gun, you’re never going to break them; the enemy will run out of total health before two limbs have been shot off.
This gun does two things well; it’s not penalized against weakspot enemies, and it has the most dakka. It also has the one saving grace, and it’s not the mines (though those are pretty great too).
That is that you can get insane efficiency with combined with the reliable limb-weakeners of flamethrower and prototype stasis. Plasma cutter benefits from this by cutting the number of limb shots from 3-per-limb to 1-per-limb, but 1 shot is still 1/6 of an ammo drop. The pulse rifle can trim it down from 10-per-limb to 1-per-limb as well… but 1 shot is 1/25 of an ammo drop. If you want to break the entire economy of the game, and have excellent positioning and timing; BURN, WAIT, PLINK. It’s almost completely free.
Also the grenades really aren’t half bad. And with enough upgrades, the body-shot DPS is never good, but it can be good enough when you have ammo to spare. Plus it feels nice an aliens-y, so there’s that too.
On the whole, the rifle is very legitimately maligned. But dammit, you can have fun with it too.
Future Plans & Further Details
I made this guide because one didn’t exist, and because I was seeing too many myths out there regarding damage types in Dead Space Remake.
But it’s nowhere near complete.
Many figures are estimates, especially the part regarding damage multipliers. Are limbs 300, and cutter gets a buff… or are they 260? Are there damage types at all, or am I just missing 1 in 5 shots with the rifle even being as careful as I am?
Many of these tests could also be expanded against other enemy types, other difficulties, and critically WITH NON PROTOTYPE STASIS (as the DOT really throws off calculations, and without it it can be rather annoying to try to get 100% perfectly aimed shots for these tests)
So if anyone wants to steal this guide and expand upon it, YOU ARE WELCOME TO! I myself will probably leave this as is, but having hopefully debunked the myth of “flesh stripping” that caused me to make the guide in the first place.
Which is of course harmed by how strangely the force gun behaves. More testing is required!