Positive and Negative Status Effects Explained

Many characters in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes have abilities that either provide a positive effect to a Squad member or a negative effect to the opponents. These are represented in game by small icons hovering over the character’s heads. Green are positive effects and red are detrimental or negative effects. You can view the description of the effect in game by holding your finger on the icon, but let’s do one better in this article.

status effectsSWGoH Positive Effects or Buffs

advantage Advantage: Physical and Special type attacks are mitigated by a character’s Armor and Resistance. Advantage allows for +100% Defense Penetration of those stats hitting for the full amount. The effect is lost if the hero with Advantage is attacked twice.
critical up2 Critical Chance Up: This buff increases the Physical and Special Critical Rating by 25%.
defense up Defense Up: Increases the Armor and Resistance of a Hero by 50%.
evasion up Evasion Up: Adds 10% to the dodge stat which governs the chance of avoiding any physical type damage entirely.
foresight Foresight: Grants a Hero 100% Evasion chance against one attack and then it expires.
health up Health Up: Increases the maximum health of a character based on the percentage gain in the ability it generated from.
offense up Offense Up: Grants a bonus of 50% to Physical and Special damage stats.
potency up Potency Up: High tenacity characters tend to resist debuffs often, so this buff increases the chance to apply detrimental or negative effects.
Retribution: Provides the character Counterattack.
speed up Speed Up: Grants an ally +25% speed providing faster refilling turn meters for more actions per battle.
stealth Stealth: Stealthed characters are not directly targetable unless only stealthed heroes are remaining. Stealth expires when attacking.
taunt Taunt: Characters with taunt will force all opponents to target them until the effect expires.

SWGoH Negative Effects or Debuffs

ability block Ability Block: Prevents a hero from using their special abilities. Carefully time applying this debuff so it’s not wasted if the enemy’s special is on cooldown.
Buff Immunity: Prevents a hero from receiving positive effects. (Real icon TBD)
damage overtime Continuous Damage: This is a Damage over Time (DoT) effect that reduces health at the beginning of the character’s turn.
defense down Defense Down: Decreases the Armor and Resistance of a Hero by 50%.
exposed Expose: A character loses 20% of their health the next time damaged.
healing immunity Healing Immunity: Heroes effected by this cannot be healed.
offense down Offense Down: Reduces Physical and Special damage stats by 50%.
speed down Speed Down: Slows the turn meter down by 25% which reduces the amount of actions a hero can take during battle.
stun Stun: Stunned characters will miss their next turn.
grenade Bomb: The thermal detonator grenade will explode and damage the squad based on the countdown timer of the ability.

Some small assumptions were made in evaluating SWGoH status effects. This page will be updated as more information becomes available and new effects released. Should an effect not be here, please comment below.

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  1. There are some things that are not listed in here, as they may be newer? I’m not sure since I’ve only been playing for three weeks, now.

    Can anyone tell me what daze and burning do? I would imagine that daze is like stun, but if that were the case, they would just call it stun. Similarly, I would guess that burning is a DoT, possibly with an added effect. If you could let me know how close this is to being accurate, I would appreciate it.


  2. Got a new green one, Half a guy with lines going to him.

  3. Does Expose deal 20% of max health or remaining health when it is activated?

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  5. Looking for a list that’s easy to see who/what each character group is (empire..jedi..scoundrel)is there any available?

  6. I have unlocked admiral Ackbar in the data cards, and he’s pretty powerful. Question, he has an ability that says something that if a character uses a secondary power, they heal, what is the name of that?

  7. Has anyone even looked at the rancors abilities?It says that if an ally is suffering from a debuff, they do 50% less damage.

  8. has anyone noticed that “Health Down” actually cuts your outgoing damage in half? I’m thinking it is a incorrect debuff tag for the raid bosses. This is most obvious when using characters like geo soldier and ig86 who have big hitting attacks.

    • Yea, during either stage 2 or 3 of the raid, you do 50% damage while suffering from a negative Status effect.

  9. Can anyone explain what offense as a passive is? All of these chars have offense% or crit%, but what if the original crit is 0? 20% of 0 is still 0….

  10. Hello, I recently activated my jawa engeneer and tested it out. It seems his normal attack (that adds a bomb to the enemy) is resisted almost every time (something like 20% chance of success). He is 4* lvl 50 gear VI, and I tested him against the highest tier droid challenge.

    The chance of applying a debuff is affected by lvl of my character?

  11. Waht is the “tactical genius” for a buff?
    (Admiral Ackbar has it)

    • TG heals and grants one character an extra action if they use a special ability. You have to time it’s use well and make sure that you don’t use special abilities on any other characters before the one you want to use it on.

      • Agreed. I use it with vader. I activate TG with force crush, then on my extra atrack I use saber throw, which gets jacked up by the DoT debuffs and typically leads to a kill, triggering a 3rd attack which you get from killing with saberration throw. Very effective combo.

  12. what about the red skull status?? i think mace windu does it, but you see it in the raids

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  14. Can you add the new negative effect from Grievous ? : Health Down. It’s the same thing that Health Up but it decreases the maximum health of a character based on the percentage gain in the ability it generated from.

  15. Mace Windu has a negetive effect that is a skull that is placed above my character. What is that?

    • Shatterpoint, you can hold down your finger on any debuff/buff in the game and it will tell you more information.

      But tl-dr It makes him hit go boom.

  16. While playing the INT Gear Challenge against Mace Windu today, he hit me with a negative status effect that I’ve never seen before. It’s a white skull on a red background. It only lasted one round, and I didn’t notice anything happen. Anyone know what this does? I can’t seem to find an answer.

    • Haha. Also just experienced that. Came here looking for an answer

      • Apparently it’s his Shatterpoint that indicates a OHKO if he attacks that toon, and it’s only in the INT Gear challenge. Read it on the subreddit today.

      • Me too, I experienced it today and it was so odd.

        • You are actually wrong. When you get the white skull on the red background it means that if your character gets hit AT ALL BY ANY CHARCTER it inflicts fatal damage and your character dies. I know this because I got the white skull, was hit by a droid while still at full health with a level 57 Clone Wars Chewbacca and still died.

          • Thats odd because that has not happened to me and gotten hit by droids all the time with shatterpoint on.

    • It mean Death. If one of your character get hit ( Only by Mace Windu ), it will inflict huge damage ( More than 100 000 … ).

  17. Does anyone know? When an attack attempts to remove a buff, does it challenge the guys tenacity in order to get rid of the positive effect?

  18. While watching a video of someone’s Arena match recently, I saw Yoda apply a buff to his team that looked like a fist with a green background. Based on the description for his “Battle Meditation” ability, I assume that this is Tenacity Up? Could be useful to add it here.


    • It is in fact Tenacity Up, however, it’s a bit misleading. It actually prevents any status condition from being applied, except for DOTs for some odd reason.

  19. Anyone have any experience with health down?
    General Grievous has this ability
    Assuming it’s a percentage of health taken away. So would be great applying at start of round and after someone is healed.
    Sounds great along with his healing immunity.

    • It’s a health down ability yeah which decrease their overall maximum health. So 10k health may turn into 9k health. I’ve checked the buff after using GG but it doesn’t give any numbers.

  20. Can anyone confirm what the Red version of Advantage is? I figure it’s just the reverse applied – that the next hit received (rather than the next hit given) will not consider defences, but I’m unsure.

    • In the Savage Opress challenge it was called defense penetration, not sure if they changed it with the last update or not though, haven’t checked.
      Next time you see it, press and hold the icon above the character and it will tell you what it is called.

  21. When using Assaj Ventress’ ‘Strike fear’, the positive status effects (green icons) above enemy units should disappear if successful right? She then gains 5% health or whatever. That’s what I thought anyway, unless I’ve been getting REALLY unlucky, but it’s yet to happen. Is that what the move should do or something different?

  22. Anyone have an idea of what the exclamation buff is that sometimes appears over Leia’s head?

  23. Can someone explain the differences between the support droids in some boss fights? They are called limiting and enhancing (respectively their equivalents in German) but I do not see the effect they have on the boss/me.

    • A good example I’ve seen to illustrate them is in the Cad Bane Bounty Hunter challenge. From what I remember, one of the bots will attempt to inflict Defense Down on the party, while the other buffs Cad (or sometimes itself or the other droid) with Offense Up. The former is probably your “limiting” droid and the latter is “enhancing”.

    • There’s also a “healing droid” in some of the challenges though the purpose is self evident.

  24. Does health up just increase the total possible, or the actual amount of health?

    For instance, if a hero has 50% health, and gets health up so their max health increases to 120%, does their health increase to 70%? Or do they need to be healed to get any benefit (ie to get beyond 100%)?

    Sorry, I just don’t get this buff.

    • As I have noticed, it gives the hero an added gain when he gets a healing affect. So if he doesn’t get healed while having this effect nothing will happen. I may be wrong and I hope this helps.

    • I know that if the hero is at 100% and they get HP up, the max increases and the hero remains at full health, meaning the actual increases as well to match the max. I don’t know if this applies if the hero is damaged. You can observe this effect when chewbacca gets the buff from his taunt, I’ve noticed that he remains at full health even though the max amount changed. However, I have not paid close enough attention to see if that’s the case when he isn’t at full health.

    • Health up increase your overall health pool X amount. At full health or not, your health pool will remain the same percentage away from full health when your maximum health pool is raised.

      Full health = 10k health max and 10k health seen. Health Up = 12k health max, 12k health seen.

      60% health = 10k health max, 6k health seen. Health up = 12k health max, 7.2 health seen.

      Hope this helps.

    • No, you are right in both ways.

  25. Is it correct that DoT damage will never actually kill a character, just bring them to 1HP?

    • Yes, it’s true. You need to use an actual attack to defeat a character. DoT damage is merely to weaken the target.

      • I have seen numerous enemies die due to a damage over time effect. Their turn pulses and they just drop dead. This may have been patched at some point after your comment.

        • It was patched however it led to an issue of the interface freezing when a character that died from a DoT was revived so they reversed the patch. Not sure if at this point whether or not they’ve fixed and re-instituted the patch via ninja update.

          • Certain DoT effects will not kill a hero. If that’s the case, it will specifically state it in the ability description.

  26. How can Bariss heal others when they have healing immunity?

    • The health equalization bypasses healing immunity.

      • So they only equalize health but they don’t heal?

        • Think it heals some crap like 4% of her health across the board, doesn’t explain the near dead char jumping up with full health

          • Bar Off does a forced 4% of her total health (between 12 and 20k) across every char, then steals the life back and puts everyone at the same percentage that the total life allows. That is how you go from 15% to 80%+. If the rest of the team is healthy you may hit 90%.

        • Bariss first equalizes everyone health percentages. So if everyone is at 100% except one, the new health for everyone will probably be something like 85-90% depending on how much health that one character lost. Once it is equalized, then she applies the 4% heal. This 4% can be blocked by healing immunity.

        • They equalise heath and THEN they heal.

  27. To add to my previous question:

    Is DOT a flat dmg / % of dmg dealt / % of target’s health?

    I see a big variance in Talia’s DOT dmg.


    • DoT dmg is based on a % of the affected target’s HP. So against low health targets, DoTs will do very little damage. Against high health targets, DoTs can sometimes do far more damage than an ordinary attack. Thus the variance you have experienced.

  28. Apologies if it doesn’t belong entirely under this section, but couldn’t post in Character stats.

    How exactly is crit chance calculated? Is it simply Crit hit rating in %? Ie. does 200 Phys crit rating equal to 20% chance to score a crit?

    Also, how does Crit chance up vs flat bonus work?
    Does Crit chance up multiply Crit rating by 1.25 but Dark Sidius’ bonus gives a flat % on top of the base Crit rating converted to %?

    • My guess as well that 200 crit = 20%. They didn’t want to display decimals, so they just used 3 digits.

      But I find it interesting that the icon for Increased Crit (+25%) is x2.
      Fully geared 7* median crit (according to the cantina) is about 34%. Regardless, it would only be x2 if your crit rating were 250…

      As far as calculations go, only the devs would know that, and there’s been very little revealed by them about under-the-hood processes.

  29. hi guys, someone can explain me why admiral Ackbar “IT’S A TRAP” doesn t remove “OFFENSE DOWN” debuff?

    • He removes positive buff from the enemies not negative buffs from allies.

      • That’s incorrect, like Lobot, he removes negative effects from allies and heals a small % for each effect dispelled.

        I use Lobot and he doesn’t seem to be able to clear healing immunity so I’m guessing Akbar is similarly bugged but with a different debuff. Effects on allies shouldn’t be resisted by the effects themselves so there’s no reason it shouldn’t dispel all, like it says.

  30. Thanks for the summary Kylven. Your articles have been very informative and well-written.

    I was wondering if you could differentiate the difference between effects and debuffs, for the purposes of characters such as Resistance Trooper (for his Opportune Strike) and Jawa (for Exploit Weakness)

    • For Jawa, “Exploit Weakness” deals 25% more damage to enemies suffering from a negative status effect so any debuff applied will multiply the damage by 25%. If you have, 2x DoTs from Sid and an ability block from Boba, he’ll do x1.75 damage as an example.

      The Resistance Trooper’s Special ability’s cooldown is reduced by 2 if his target is suffering any negative status effects. This is where the meta game gets interesting as changing a target to an opponent with 2 or more debuffs will allow him to use his special again without waiting.

      • I’ve noticed that sometimes when there’s a red debuff over a character and I use the Opportune strike, the cooldown isn’t reduced. Is there a difference between a “negative status effect” and “debuff”?

        • I think they are one and the same. I assume the potency and Tenacity stats were in play.

          • I feel like I’ve noticed what Dan noticed – Opportune Strike not reducing its cooldown even when a negative effect is in effect on the target. I didn’t quite understand your answer about potency and tenacity? You mean you think the target can resist the cooldown “buff” ?

        • I’ve noticed that some debuffs don’t count as debuffs for some skills. For instance, Ackbar’s debuff removal skill doesn’t remove Healing Immunity. This might be something similar. Some debuffs may not count with Opportune Strike.

        • My best guess is that if Opportune Strike kills the debuffed character, the cooldown isn’t reduced. I’ve never had a problem with it when the target survives the shot.

      • SWGoH has been updated, this website is way out of date

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