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Synergy as used in The Secret World is what happens when two (or more) weapons are able to create, and make use of the same attack types (triggers), defense types (triggers), special effects (states) or attack types.

Synergy Types

There are three types of "synergies" -

  • Trigger - Making use of attacking and defending.
  • State - Making use of special effects that can be applied to a mob.
  • Type - Making use of the type of attack done.

Trigger Synergy

Different weapons give bonuses to various triggers. And, weapons that give bonuses to those triggers also take more advantage of that trigger than other weapons. For example - Shotguns have a trigger synergy with Penetrating hits - they give buffs that make you more likely to land a penetrating hit as well as having abilties that give you extra bonuses or do more damage every time you do make a penetrating hit. Additionally, "tanking" weapons can also trigger when the player is defending against an attack.

The triggers for effects are:

  • Critical – The player successfully makes a critical hit
  • Penetrate – The player successfully makes a penetrating hit
  • Hit – The player successfully makes a hit against a mob
  • Evade – The player evades being hit
  • Block – The player blocks a hit
  • Glancing – The player turns an enemy's attack into a glancing blow

State Synergy

Different weapons can put enemies into a certain "state". The name of the state is based on what the weapon has done to them. Weapons that have a synergy with a certain state have abilities that make them more likely to put an enemy into that state as well as having abilities that give you extra bonuses every time you put a mob into that state or attack a mob already in that state.

  • Hindered = Hindering a target slows down, or stops completely, it's movements. Also known in other games as Root or Snares
  • Afflicted = Afflicted puts a "Damage over Time" effect on the mob so that it continues to take damage ever after the main attack is know. Also know in other games as DoTs
  • Impaired = Impairing a target makes it unable to use some abilities or even unable to act at all. Also known in other games as Silence and Stun
  • Weakened = Weakening a target does just what it sounds like. Makes them take more damage every time they are hit, deal less damage every time they hit you, etc. Also know in other games as Debuffs

Type Synergies

Most abilities just do normal attacks (either single-target or multi-target). However, some abilities are able to do special types of attacks. The type of special attack is based on the weapon's type synergy. Weapons with a type synergy have abilities that do these types of attacks as well as abilities that can make these types of attacks more effective.

NOTE: Not all attacks fall into one of these 'types'. Most abilities do normal attacks. If the ability does do one of these, it will explicitly say so within the description (and in-game will do so with a different colored font to make sure it stands out).


  • Focus = Focus attacks are the TSW version of channeled attacks, doing damage to a monster over a period of time, but unlike a DoT you must continue to cast the attack for it's entire duration.
  • Strike = Strike attacks are very strong single-target attacks that do a large amount of damage in a single hit.
  • Burst = Burst attacks do multiple (3 or more) attacks against the same target, automatically, every time you use that ability


  • BlastBlast attacks are typically cone shaped attacks, hitting all mobs within the cone boundaries
  • ChainChain attacks hit the monster you're targeting, and then jump to another target to damage that one as well. The number of times the chain attack can jump, and how far it is able to jump is dependent on the individual abilities.
  • FrenzyFrenzy attacks are your stereotypical AoE that attacks all mobs within a circular area around you

Using Synergy

In general, you’re going to want to pick weapons that reinforce each others effects, triggers, or damage types. The "Trigger" synergies seem to be strongest, "Effect" synergies second, and "Sub-Type" synergies the weakest. But, that is a bit of a generalization and builds focused around a specific sub-type of damage can be viable. And, if you typically run with a friend, or in a static team, it may be even more effective to create builds that have synergy with each other rather than just between your own two weapons.

The chart below shows the synergies for each weapon.

Weapon Synergy table
Trigger Synergy (Attack) Trigger Synergy (Defend) State Synergy Type Synergy (Single-Target) Type Synergy (Multi-Target)
Weapon Role Critical Penetrate Hit Defense Block Evade Hinder Impair Afflict Weaken Focus Strike Burst Blast Frenzy Chain
Pistols Support X X X X X
Shotgun Support X X X X X
Elemental Support X X X X X
Rifle Healing X X X X X
Blood Healing X X X X X
Fists Healing X X X X X
Blade Tanking X X X X X X
Hammer Tanking X X X X X X
Chaos Focus Tanking X X X X X X

External Links