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The Element system is a mechanic in Steambirds Alliance.


The Five Elements

Many enemies and attacks are affiliated with exactly one of five elements: Fire, Water, Lightning, Poison or Ice. Each element is strong against a second element and weak against a third element.

  • Fire is strong against Poison and weak against Water.
  • Water is strong against Fire and weak against Lightning.
  • Lightning is strong against Water and weak against Ice.
  • Poison is strong against Ice and weak against Fire.
  • Ice is strong against Lightning and weak against Poison.

Elemental Defense

Avian aircraft do not possess an innate affinity for any of the five elements. However, they can utilize elemental Armor and resistance upgrades to reduce the damage and status effect potency of elemental attacks. Elemental bullets have particle trails and status effects not present on non-elemental bullets:

  • Fire bullets have a trailing orange flame.
    • Enemy-sourced Fire bullets deal no instant Fire damage --- instead, their Fire damage component is dealt over time through the burn status effect inflicted by the bullet (usually lasting for 3 seconds), acting as a reduction to Armor Self-Repair. (Player-sourced Fire bullets instead deal instant Fire damage without a significant burn effect.)
  • Water bullets throw out small blue bubbles.
  • Lightning bullets emit purple sparks as they move.
  • Poison bullets leave red skulls in their wake.
  • Ice bullets are denoted by a white mist.
    • All Ice bullets slow their targets for a set duration, reducing Max Speed (and Super Speed) and Agility based on the magnitude of the slow. By default, player-sourced Ice bullets inflict a 10% slow on enemies for 0.1 seconds.

Regardless of their class, aircraft can benefit from 12 elemental resistance upgrades of each type. Each used upgrade applies a 0.97x multiplier to incoming damage of the associated element, resulting in a net ~30.6% damage reduction at 12 applied upgrades.

Type Name Description Guaranteed Sources Possible Sources
Shockproofing Rubber Sealant Prepares for most shocking circumstances. Ambassador, Super Secret Base Home for Special Children
Water Sealant Heavy Caulk This caulk is super thick and solid. Does a great job keeping water out. Lobbyist, Great Trawler Crypt of Cathulhu, Temple of Bast
Fire Armor Heat Reflector A rare alloy that rapidly sheds excess heat. Noble Politician, Crypt of Cathulhu The Dig, Reeducation Camp
Poison Filter Antidote Powder Packed into small capsules, the powder neutralizes many poisons. Ra Generator, The Dig The Vaults, Venom Compound
Ice Armor Whale Oil Just as good as regular oil, but works in ultra-cold conditions. Doctor Notra, The Vaults Super Secret Base, Frozen Owl Monastery

Elemental Offense

The vast majority of T9, T10, Elemental (ELEM) and Special (SPEC) Weapons (as well as some Pilot Skills) deal at least some elemental damage. Elemental damage, just like Physical and Confuse damage, is increased by Damage multiplier; additionally, elemental damage components are increased further by the bonuses of applied elemental damage upgrades. Each applied upgrade multiplies damage of the associated element by an additional +4%, up to +48% damage (multiplicative with Damage multiplier) at the 12-upgrade maximum for each upgrade type.

Type Name Description Guaranteed Sources Possible Sources
Shock Damage Transformer Coil Step up the voltage! Rei, The Elder Arena Chariot Judge
Water Damage Wetting Agent Is there anything wetter than water? Our research suggests ... yes. Kai, Temple of Bast Crypt of Cathulhu
Fire Damage Research Dept Formula Flammable particles that make the flame burn hotter than normal. Jinn, Reeducation Camp The Dig
Poison Damage Diatomaceous Solution Tiny sea creatures gave their lives to gum up the machines of our enemies. White Spider, Venom Compound The Vaults
Ice Damage Nucleation-Active Protein Facilitates the formation of ice crystals. Iron Lair, Frozen Owl Monastery Super Secret Base

Generally, element-affiliated enemies take 200% damage from their elemental weakness and 50% damage from their elemental affinity; however, enemies exist which have nonstandard elemental damage interactions. For enemies with standard interactions, the following guidelines are useful for estimating practical damage output:

  • Against neutral targets, Physical/hybrid/Elemental weapons deal 100%/100%/100% base damage without upgrades and 100%/112%/148% base damage with capped elemental damage upgrades.
  • Against resistant targets, Physical/hybrid/Elemental weapons deal 100%/87.5%/50% base damage without upgrades and 100%/93.5%/74% base damage with capped elemental damage upgrades.
  • Against weak targets, Physical/hybrid/Elemental weapons deal 100%/125%/200% base damage without upgrades and 100%/149%/296% base damage with capped elemental damage upgrades.