Anthem Combos, Primers, and Detonators – How To Maximize Your Damage

Combos are the central aspect that sets combat in Anthem apart from other looter-shooters. It is also how you and your team can do the most damage when you coordinate your builds and attacks.

Combos are a result of two different types of attack. The first is a Primer. This type of attack sets up an enemy for a combo. The Detonator is the attack which then activates the combo. Combos result in extra damage, as well as Javelin specific effects that we will run through below.

Combos In Anthem – How They Work

For the most part, combat in Anthem revolves around shooting with guns, using your Gear abilities, and throwing out your ultimate from time to time. The nuance comes in the form of Combos. It is easy to know when you have pulled off a Combo, as a large yellow “Combo” text will appear on screen, accompanied by a very satisfying sound effect.

Anthem Combo Indicator

To be sure you are putting out the most damage, which is very important for high-level activities, you will want to know how to take advantage of them fully. Sometimes this will mean setting up your Combo, other times it will involve setting up a teammate to get theirs.

As already said, a Primer is an attack that will set up a Combo, while a Detonator is an attack that activates it. Regular attacks from weapons only inflict damage and do not interact with the combo system.

An important note about Combos is, once an enemy has been Primed, the next Javelin to hit it with a Detonator will set off the Combo. When this happens, the bonus effect caused will be from THAT Javelin, not the one who Primed the enemy.

Primer and Detonator Abilities For All Javelins

Because gamers are an incredibly considerate bunch, a Reddit user by the name of FireDragon04 has made up a useful chart that details which Javelin Abilities act as Primers, and which ones act as Detonators. This will help you to put together your builds!

Anthem Primer And Detonator Abilities by FireDragon04

The above image makes it very easy to spot which abilities will have which effect. The circle within a circle shows a Primer, while the ornate X shows the Detonators. A good example is the Ranger Javelin. Hitting an enemy with the Inferno Grenade will prime it, then hitting it with the Pulse Blast will detonate the Combo.

Javelin Specific Combo Effects

Each Javelin, when setting off a Combo, will cause a different effect. Juggling these effects as a team will end up being the hallmark of a high-level group.

  • Ranger Combo Bonus – Critical Target Damage: deals additional damage to the single target affected by your Combo.
  • Colossus Combo Bonus – Area of Effect Explosion: deals damage to nearby enemies with a radius of the target affected by the Combo.
  • Storm Combo Bonus – Area of Effect spread: This will chain elemental effects from the target affected by the Combo to nearby enemies.
  • Interceptor Combo Bonus – Aura Effect: Gives you an Aura that passes elemental effects from the Combo target to enemies near you.

As you can tell, when dealing with single targets such as bosses, you want to set up Rangers for their Combo. When dealing with mobs of enemies, you want to set up the other classes for their combo. Working together, and knowing when not to activate a combo and leave it for someone else to Detonate is very important for improving clear times at high levels.

Melee Attacks And Ultimates

Depending on your Javelin, melee attacks and ultimates can also be Primers and Detonators. We have listed these for you below.

  • Ranger – Melee will prime, ultimate will detonate.
  • Colossus – Melee will detonate, ultimate will detonate.
  • Storm – Melee will detonate, ultimate with both prime and detonate. (Yep, the Storm ult will give you a full combo!)
  • Interceptor – Melee will detonate, ultimate will detonate.

That should get you fully up to speed on how Combos work in Anthem. With a little bit of practice, you will be a whirling dervish of destruction as you work to help the people of Tarsis.