Stagger is a short term physical debilitation which causes interruption to a person or creature's actions. It can be caused by physical attacks or spells, explosions, or even by running into someone.

With lesser enemies stagger is indicated by sudden stop of performed action followed by short "Staggered" animation indicating loss of balance or being repulsed. Large enemies often have few "Staggered" animations - usually depicting great pain in a particular body part or loss of balance - some of which can stagger or even harm the attacker.

Ability and resistance to stagger is measured by Stagger Damage and Stagger Resistance.


A character's or enemy's stagger resistance will diminish with continued attacks - once a threshold is reached, they will be staggered, making them briefly unable to attack, defend, or do other actions.

Each weapon has a Stagger Power value, and the ease of staggering with a weapon is further modified by the skill or spell used. The resistance to staggering can be increased by wearing armor or certain earrings or augments - their contribution to resistance is displayed as a Stagger Resistance value - Character Weight also affects stagger resistance.

Some skills such as Pommel Bash have high stagger output. Specific body locations also have different stagger resistance and vulnerabilities (e.g. a Drake's heart).

Equipment and Augments

Equipment Boost
Cursed King's Belt +50
Barbed Nails +100 each
Virtuoso Ring from +11 to +20
Preceptor Ring from +21 up to +30
Master Ring from +31 up to +40

In general the 'heavier' the armor the better the resistance - with Very Heavy Armor Sets, and Heavy Armor Sets having the best resistances, and the Hellfire Armor Set the best of all. A gold rarified Set of Duke's Clothing has 96% stagger resistance.

  • For weapons stagger power increases with enhancing.
  • For armor and clothing, stagger resistance increases with enhancing only for Leg Armor
  • For armor and clothing, resistance is generally very similar to knockdown resistance or power.
  • For weapons, power is generally identical to knockdown power.
  • Clothing and cloak resistances are generally small or zero.

Several Augments and earrings improve stagger resistance :

Augment Effect
Audacity Protects against stagger accumulation while charging a physical attack.
Gravitas Protects against stagger accumulation while intoning a spell.
Periphery Increases blocking ability with shields.
Stability Prevents the staggering or knockback effect of wind buffets such as from enemy wings, or from Explosive Barrels.
Stonewall Earring Improves both stagger and knockdown resistance at heavy encumbrance.
Ogre Bone Improves both stagger and knockdown resistance.


A few skills and spells increase knockdown resistance.


Main article: Blocking.
See also: Blocking ability

Stagger resistance does not apply to blocking with shields - each shield has an invisible "blocking ability" that is unaffected by armor or other equipment - only the augment Periphery can improve the shields blocking ability.

In general the better the shield the better the blocking ability. In terms of offensive strikes (such as Cymbal Attack) the shield's stagger power is used, just as it would be with a primary weapon.


It is thought that stagger (and Knockdown) resistance is modified by vocation - though the effect is shown in any stat. Warriors specifically show greatly increased resistance to blows compared to other classes.

Stagger and Knockdown

Once a foe is staggered, it is much more susceptible to being knockdowned until it recovers from the staggered state. Attacking a different part of the body to that which the staggering attacks hit is often more effective, but attacking a weak spot is the best choice in most cases.

Dragon's Dogma - Gorecyclops Hunting the Great White

Dragon's Dogma - Gorecyclops Hunting the Great White

@ 9min21sec "Let's talk about stagger/knockdown"

See also


  • Staggered enemies do not take inherently more damage, but they are more likely to receive further damage due to being staggered - as they are unable to defend or counterattack.
  • Staggered enemies are not "out of battle stance" - this effect refers to not having drawn a weapon, or creatures struck before they are aware of an enemy.
  • If an attack, either magickal or physical, is not powerful to damage a foe at all, they will not be staggered either.
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