The Ultimate Guide to Buffs and Debuffs

Let’s explore everything there is to know about buffs and debuffs in Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent.

The Basics of Buffs & Debuffs #

  1. There are currently 4 “brackets” of buffs and 4 “brackets” of debuffs in Global version.
  2. Each bracket has it’s own 30% cap.
  3. Buffs and debuffs from the same unit using the same skill do not stack, but they will increase the effect duration.
    • e.g Lynette’s unboosted 20% PATK/EATK buff used twice in a row will still result in just a 20% buff, but will last 4 turns.
  4. Buffs and debuffs from different abilities can stack, and they will increase the effect duration.
    • e.g Lynette’s unboosted 20% PATK/EATK buff will stack together with Iris’ unboosted 15% PATK buff to reach 30% PATK for 4 turns and 20% EATK for 2 turns.
  5. Max buff/debuff duration is 9 turns.

What are the 8 Brackets that each has a 30% Cap? #

  1. Buffs to DMG Up from unit skills (e.g Sword DMG Up, Spear DMG, Ice DMG, Break DMG, Crit DMG, Weakness DMG)
  2. Buffs to DMG Up from unit or equipment passives (e.g check above)
  3. Buffs to stats like PATK, EATK, Crit, Speed, PDEF, and EDEF from unit skills
  4. Buffs to stats like PATK, EATK, Crit, Speed, PDEF, and EDEF from unit or equipment passives
  5. Debuffs to enemy Resistance from unit skills (e.g Sword Res down, Ice Res down, Wind Res down)
  6. Debuffs to enemy Resistance from unit or equipment passives (e.g check above)
  7. Debuffs to enemy stats like PDEF or EDEF from unit skills
  8. Debuffs to enemy stats like PDEF or EDEF from unit passives or equipment passives

We call buffs/debuffs to stats Group 1.

And buffs/debuffs to DMG Group 2.

And buffs/debuffs to Resistances Group 3.

What is the Math Behind Stacking

Let’s assume pre-buff, our Sword’s physical damage dealt is 10,000.

With the following list of hypothetical buffs/debuffs, let’s see how the math works out:

  1. 20% PATK buff from skill
  2. 15% PATK buff from passive
  3. 40% Sword DMG Up from skill
  4. 20% Sword DMG Up from passive
  5. 10% Sword Res Down from skill
  6. 15% PDEF Down from skill
  7. 35% PDEF down from passive

Step 1: Figure out the caps.

  • With that list of hypothetical buffs/debuffs, we can immediately notice something off. The cap is 30%, so buff #3 and debuff #7 drops down to 30%.

Step 2: Figure out which groups they belong to, and sum the values together.

  • Remember, Group 1 are stats related. Group 2 are DMG related. Group 3 are resistances related.
  • Group 1: #1, #2, #6, #7 = (0.20+0.15+0.15+0.30) = 0.8
  • Group 2: #3, #4 = (0.30+0.20) = 0.5
  • Group 3: #5 = 0.1

Step 3: Do the math.

10,000 x (1 + 0.8) x (1 + 0.5) x (1 + 0.10) = 29,700.

That’s a 2.97x multiplier to damage.

Because of math, buffs/debuffs that belong to separate Groups are going to be stronger.

15% from Group 1 and 15% from Group 2 is considered a 1.322x, while 30% from Group 1 and 0% from Group 2 is considered a 1.3x.

Buffs Debuffs Formula Table Octopath Traveler

What Bypasses the 30% Rule? #

There are quite a few exceptions to the rule.

  1. In the future, Limbo equipment (the special effects of Limbo gear has their own separate cap, to a maximum of 200%)
  2. “Talismans of protection” related to Arena apparently
  3. Units that deal more damage when the enemy is “bleeding” is supposedly a separate bracket from the 8 listed above
  4. Status ailment resistance can go as high as 100%

What happens if you have two separate DMG up or Stats buffs/debuffs? Which one takes priority? #

Q: If you have 20% Ice DMG Up from unit skill and 20% Tome DMG Up from another unit skill, which one takes priority?

A: Damaging skills can only be weapon-related or elemental related. If you use a Tome attack, you get the 20% Tome buff applied. If using Ice skill, you get the 20% Ice Dmg buff.

Q: What if you have 20% Ice DMG Up and 20% Break DMG Up from passives, which one takes priority during a break with an ice attack?

A: It doesn’t matter which one takes priority as the end result is the same – 30% DMG Up buff for the damage calculation.

Q: What if you have two stats up buff, like 20% PATK Up and 20% Critical Hit Up, are they both applied?

A: Yes, they are both applied at 20% each.

Q: So a debuff like Viola’s that reduces enemy PDEF/EDEF by 20%… does that mean the overall debuff is 20% and 10%?

A: No, the enemy is debuffed by both 20% PDEF and 20% EDEF. Damage in this game is either physical or elemental, and the damage formula will only consider one or the other. If your attack is physical, the formula will consider enemy’s 20% PDEF debuff and likewise for magical. 

What is Wrong with Scarecrow’s pASSives? #

Scarecrow has two passives that boosts DMG Up, one for 20% damage up during Break, and the other for 20% DMG Up during a critical hit.

Unfortunately, he’s capped at 30% as both of these belong in the same group and the same bracket. So if he critical hits during a break, 10% of his passive is wasted.

Why are “Random” multi-attacks that can debuff so powerful? #

Units like Sofia and Primrose that “hit 3-times to random enemies and apply a 15% resistance debuff for 2 turns”, will stack with itself in turn duration but not potency. If they hit a single enemy 3 times, they are debuffed for 6 turns.

How Do Buffs & Debuffs From Allies Work? #

They are treated as unit skills and belong to the respective brackets.  

How Do Buffs & Debuffs From Enemies Work? #

Unlike players, enemies’ buff/debuff to YOU are capped at 50%.

Enemies can use the same buff/debuff on YOU and it’ll stack in potency and effect duration.

Future: Why are Buffs/Debuffs from “Specials” so Powerful? #

Once global gets Specials (ultimate skill from units), we’ll get 4 additional brackets each with 30% caps.

  1. Specials that boost DMG Up
  2. Specials that boost stats like PATK or EATK
  3. Specials that debuff Elemental Resistance
  4. Specials that debuff stats like PDEF or EDEF

This is why units like Lynette, who has a Special that buffs PATK/EATK/SPEED, is so sought after.

Same with 3* unit Jose, who has a Special that can debuff enemy’s EDEF.

Sources/Links #

Buff/Debuff Finder



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