Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know this has been asked as a general question before and the consensus here is that each item that adds a resist magic percentage is multiplicative but UESP reckons it is additive with an 85% hard cap. With 1.3 out now have we any more confirmation which is correct?

share|improve this question
What? It's additive like every other resist / fortify / etc. thing. Where is it said it's multiplicative? – agf Dec 16 '11 at 14:19
@agf if you find a source or show that you've tested this, feel free to write an answer – l I Dec 16 '11 at 14:33
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Resist magic sources are additive, but are multiplicative with element resists. I have copied text below I wrote in another post:

Magick damage received calculation

Magic resist does reduce elemental damage, but separately from the resists.

( Damage | Absorbed ) = 0 * damage

( Damage | ¬Absorbed ) = (( 1 - magic resist ) * ( 1 - elemental resist )) * damage

Elemental Resists and Magic Resists cap at 85%. Magick absorption caps at 80% (without the breton daily power). Probability( Absorbed ) is just your magic absorption. Each effect is additive with itself up to the cap, then multiplicative with the other effects.


Expected damage = ( 1 - magic absorption ) * ( 1 - magic resist ) * ( 1 - elemental resist ) * damage

Min expected damage is therefore 0.2*0.15*0.15*damage = 0.45% of original

N.b. we can see, therefore, that it is better to stack a single source of resistance up till the cap than spread it evenly with the possible exception of absorption which will put you in the random hand of fate: Assuming equal chance of element types. However, this is not the case as fire and frost are much more common than shock. So it may be better to have single element fire and frost resistance, than a lower magnitude resist all.


EDIT: apologies for formatting. I am new to stack exchange and haven't worked out a clean post style yet.

share|improve this answer
If that's not what you were after let me know. (Add a comment below this one with @CRoss). – C. Ross Dec 16 '11 at 15:42
@CRoss, that is beautiful! Thanks. – Asdafgh Dec 16 '11 at 15:47
Great answer! Thanks! – DeanMc Dec 16 '11 at 16:57
nice first post, welcome to the site – l I Dec 16 '11 at 17:47
Whoever 'Community' is (/jk) and whatever you changed, then thanks :-). Reading back on this, I would have phrased/formatted it differently now I am no longer a S/O newb, and if you corrected maths issues then double thanks! – Asdafgh Feb 27 '14 at 0:13

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.