Physical Defense

Type Defensive Stat
Effect Shows your current Physical defense.

Physical Defense is a Defensive Stat in Elden Ring. Physical Defense shows your defense power and damage negation against standard physical attacks. Stats determine the strengths and weaknesses of your character. Defensive Stats are determined by Attributes and Equipment


Physical Defense Elden Ring Guide

  • Your Physical Defense and Physical Negation against physical attacks.
  • The former is calculated via attributes, while the latter is calculated via defensive gear and active and passive effects.


Elden Ring How to increase character Physical Defense


Related Equipment & Items in Elden Ring for Physical Defense

While no equipment directly affects your Physical Defense, your armor is your main source of Physical Negation.


Elden Ring Physical Defense Notes & Tips

  • Defense increase by Rune Level and Strength level:
    • The soft caps for Rune Level are 71, 91, and 161.
    • The soft caps for Strength are 30, 40, and 60.
    • The formulas for calculating Physical Defense by Rune Level are as follows:
      • Level 1 - 71: 40 + 60*((Level+79 - 1) / 149)
      • Level 72 - 91: 100 + 20*((Level+79 - 150) / 20)
      • Level 92 - 161: 120 + 15*((Level+79 - 170) / 70)
      • Level 162 - 713: 135 + 20*((Level+79 - 240) / 552)
    • The formulas for calculating Physical Defense by Strength are as follows:
      • Level 1 - 30: 10*(Level / 30)
      • Level 31 - 40: 10 + 5*((Level - 30) / 10)
      • Level 41 - 60: 15 + 15*((Level - 40) / 20)
      • Level 61 - 99: 30 + 10*((Level - 60) / 39)
    • After adding both numbers together, the resulting number is rounded down for the UI menu.


Stats in Elden Ring
Arcane  ♦  Dexterity  ♦  Discovery  ♦  Endurance  ♦  Equip Load  ♦  Faith  ♦  Fire Damage Negation  ♦  Fire Defense  ♦  Focus  ♦  Focus Resistance  ♦  FP  ♦  Holy Damage Negation  ♦  Holy Defense  ♦  HP  ♦  Immunity  ♦  Immunity Resistance  ♦  Intelligence  ♦  Level  ♦  Lightning Damage Negation  ♦  Lightning Defense  ♦  Magic Damage Negation  ♦  Magic Defense  ♦  Memory Slots  ♦  Mind  ♦  Poise  ♦  Robustness  ♦  Robustness Resistance  ♦  Runes Held  ♦  Stamina  ♦  Strength  ♦  Vigor  ♦  Vitality  ♦  VS Pierce Damage Negation  ♦  VS Pierce Defense  ♦  VS Slash Damage Negation  ♦  VS Slash Defense  ♦  VS Strike Damage Negation  ♦  VS Strike Defense  ♦  Weight

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    • Anonymous

      I wonder what it would take to completely nullify physical attacks if that's even possible. Assuming you have a character that's max level, if you were to wear the full Bull Goat's armor set and have the Dragoncrest Greatshield talisman on, you'd get 50% damage negation against Standard and Strike damage and 47% against slash and piercing. The Golden Vow spell provides 10% damage negation for 80 secs., Black Flame's Protection provides 35% physical damage negation for 70 secs., and the Opaline Hardtear provides 15% damage negation across the board for three minutes. If you were to combine all of that together, just how tanky can you make a character?

      • Anonymous

        after some testing, Defense (tested with pierce def and magic def) reduced dmg by a flat amount equal to half its value, then dmg negation is applied to it and is then rounded up or down (above 5 up, 5 and below down)

        • Anonymous

          to give an easy but incomplete explanation:

          lets say that you are going to take 1000 damage from something, but you have 100 defense and 20% damage negation. those 1000 damage would be cut to a lower number, lets say 900 for simplicity sake and from those 900 you would then apply the 20% and be hit for 720 damage in total.

          thing is, while the 20% does work like i have said, the 100 part doesnt. is more complicated than that. i goes with the amount of damage that you were receiving in the first place.

          if you receive little damage, for example. lets say 200 damage, those 100 defense after applying some formula reduce the 200 to 120 or so, and then the 20% would apply making it so that you only 96 or so damage.

          but if you get hit by something big, something that deals maybe 1000 damage or so, then maybe only 40 damage are decuded from these 1000 with 100 defense, so you are still getting most of the blow.

          in short, defense helps more with small hits and less with big ones, and damage negation works equally with everything, but still better to have high defense since negating 30% of 960 is always better than negating 30% of 1000 (672 vs 700 maybe not much, but those 28 extra hp can be the difference between you being almost dead vs choosing to respawn a the marika stake)

          • Anonymous

            to answer a lot of yalls questions about how this actually works; this page is talking about the flat number that you see NEXT to your damage negation percentage. this one is a flat subtraction from the damage type of whatever you take (say an attack did 400 damage and you had 150 physical defense; it would get cut to 250)

            • Anonymous

              I just did some other tests and noticed that the game (in this case a Small Octopus with "0" resist to the Pierce Damage I was throwing at it) reduces an 88 damage attack by 59, a 153 damage attack by 65, and a 239 damage attack by 76, so there's a sort of semi-flat reduction that scales up very slowly as your attacks get stronger, leading to individually strong attacks being best early on but multi-hit attacks catching up later as their individual hit values get high enough to not be murdered by the semi-flat reduction.

              • Anonymous

                Split damage feels great until I fight a strength build. Pure physical feels great until I fight a strength build or a faith build (black flame protection.) I use mostly small/medium weapons like hammers so this is why I struggle with overcoming defenses at 125. Ashes that buff a flat 84 dmg are a god send for these scenarios: sacred blade/flame strike for faith, lightning slash for dex or fth/dex, crag blade or braggarts roar for pure str. Physics boosting ashes are a % instead of a flat 84 like sacred blade etc and flame strike adds flat 93. There is also the Golden halberd which massively overcomes all resistances on a str/fth build and even str/fth/int build. 30 str, 31 int, 40 fth still hits like a truck on golden halberd, golden order seal.

                • Anonymous

                  For those of you who came here to find out what defense power ACTUALLY DOES, the best we can go off of right now draws from DS3, at least from what I have read. Has the data been mined to prove this? No, but why make a new game mechanic when an old one can be recycled?

                  Basically, the attack power/defense power ratio (ATK/DEF) determines the damage/attack rating ratio (DMG/AR, the amount of attack power that "goes through" and does damage). In DS3, some data miners made a piecewise function relating the two that works pretty well. See the replies to the comment on 08 Mar 2022 if you want all the details on that. Assuming it is similar in ER, DMG/AR maxes out at 0.9 and can't go lower than 0.1. DMG/AR increases rapidly with ATK/DEF until ATK/DEF=2.5 and DMG/AR=0.7, then it starts to plateau. Interestingly, DMG/AR appears to be a sigmoidal function of log(ATK/DEF). I was able to tweak a logistics function and get it within 4% of the piecewise function. Much more elegant.

                  Armor (damage negation) is much simpler and gives a flat percentage elimination, with some nuance.

                  In conclusion, defense power is more important if you are fighting relatively weak enemies, while armor (damage negation) is more important if you are fighting enemies that hit like a truck.

                  • Anonymous

                    Just a clear showcase for you guys.... As Naked ( So without any Armor , Gear or Talismans and Buffs etc. ). A Strength Level 99 character get's approx +36.35% more Flat Physical Defense overall compared to a naked character who only has Level 10 Strength Attribute. ( I tested this both times with my character at Rune Level 402 ). Remember this is not including Rune Level bonuses upto the End at Rune Level 713 which is the Maximum... So Strength has pretty Nasty good Physical Defense benefits. ( This includes all Flat Physical Defense attacks like Standard , Slash , Strike and Thrust ). Keep that in mind... Goodluck.

                    • Anonymous

                      Should we still use the term "soft cap", when the gain is exponentially good ? Instead of decreasing, it's between 40 and 60 STR that the gain in physical defense is the better. I don't know if it's because I'm not reading it in my native tongue, but "soft cap" is misleading to me due to the definition I give it here.

                      • Anonymous

                        The damage formula's floating around, but what are the average attack and motion values of non-player enemies, particularly those in late-game areas? In application, is there a threshold for defense that a player (Strength build or no) should aim to hit before endgame (therefore indirectly providing a practical suggested minimum level for endgame bosses), or does enemy atk*mv scale so high that it will always be 4x or 8x any defense we could reach, making rune level irrelevant?

                        • Anonymous

                          Can someone please explain how defense and negation work? Like how much does having a 44 actually change? It doesn't seem to make much difference wearing my starting gear compared to wearing the heaviest.

                          • Anonymous

                            Where are these numbers actually coming from? For example, for the rune level I get that it's 40 + 60 * (( Level + 79 - 1) / 149) and I see that the 40 and the 60 must be from the soft caps for strength. Why "79 - 1" though? Why 149? As you go down the calculations, why do we jump from 149 to 150 -- but then jump to 170? And why the "/ 20" and then the "/ 70"?

                            • Anonymous

                              Tried all stackable buffs and got to 99.994% Negation. I'm probably off and you could get higher but that was the highest I got it to. Lasts for less than like 10 seconds. Not practical at all

                              • Anonymous

                                so what's the difference between defence and damage negation? I've just noticed the dragon crest and drake talismans boost damage negation but not defence.

                                • I don't know why the original author did not simplify the formulas, so I did it myself. The values for each threshold are:
                                  Rune Level:
                                  1-71) [72 - 100] with step 0.4
                                  72-91) [100 - 120] with step 1
                                  92-161) [120 - 135] with step 3/14 ≈ 0.21
                                  162-713) [135 - 155] with step 2/55 ≈ 0.036
                                  1-30) [0 - 10] with step 1/3
                                  31-40) [10 - 15] with step 0.5
                                  41-60) [15 - 30] with step 0.75
                                  61-99) [30 - 40] with step 0.25

                                  • Anonymous

                                    Are these formulas show how much defense you get per level or your actual defense at that level? Either way it makes no sense:
                                    Defense goes down, or I just get less here?
                                    25 Str-> 7,5
                                    26 Str-> 4,5
                                    However, there's a big jump at 41 Srt:
                                    40 Str-> 15
                                    41 Str-> 25,1

                                    • Anonymous

                                      The bit about the bull-goat set is wrong. It has the highest physical *absorption*, not defense. Armor doesn't directly impact defense at all, so far as I can see.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        Str not end buffs defense in elden ring. Defense is super good here, due to a damage stat +scaling it and buff availability. Rune arc + prawn make even naked lvl 1 characters tanky.

                                        • Anonymous

                                          As with all defenses, it's calculated much the same as it is in DS3. In PvE, most attacks deal generic physical damage. In PvP, attacks deal their actual damage. So a Knight with a sword slashing you in PvE will deal only physical, while a player with that same sword will deal slash.

                                          The most important stat for defense is your raw points in all defenses and affinities - this is increased by leveling naturally. Defense and absorption are two entirely different things, just as expected.

                                          Defense is a flat negation of a certain amount of damage, up to 50% of the attack's damage I've noticed (needs to be tested). If you have 100 points of defense, and the enemy deals 200 damage - you will negate 100 damage before absorption is applied. Absorption follows behind negation; of that remaining 100 points of damage, if you have 20% absorption of that affinity, you will take 80 damage.

                                          Absorption soft caps at 30%, and has a second, harder cap at 50%. This means that the easiest way to reduce damage in Elden Ring is to just passively level up your character. Armor has very little effect until late game, or in areas with really strong enemies. Armor becomes more valuable once enemies deal more than 2x your negation.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            Add more to this when you figure out how it actually works this time around. I was 100% hoping they'd just gut defense completely tbh and go full absorption based defense.

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