Anthem Combos Explained - Primers, Detonators, Bonuses

Anthem Combos Explained - Primers, Detonators, Bonuses

If you want to take on some of Anthem’s tougher enemies, you’ll need to combo effectively. Here’s what you need to know.

Anthem has been in the hands of the players for a little while now, so the ins and outs of its combat systems are still somewhat nebulous. One mechanic, in particular, is giving players a bit of trouble, the issue of how combos work in Anthem. Well, to help you out, we’ve put together this Anthem Combos Guide. We’ll take a look at how to pull off combos in Anthem, and go into detail regarding Primers, Detonators and Bonus Effects. We also have an Anthem Combos Chart, explaining which combo effects that each javelin type has access too.

For more on Anthem, be sure to check out our Anthem Guides Hub. It’s where you’ll find all of our Anthem Guides content. From Chest locations to a detailed breakdown of each javelin type, we’ve got you covered.

How to Combo in Anthem

One of the main systems you’ll need to get your head around in Anthem is Combos. Combos deal extra damage to enemies, and involve two separate actions or phases. Almost none of it is explained in-game, so you’ll need to work out a lot of the intricacies yourself. We’ve got some essential advice below.

Anthem Combos: What Are Primers?

The first step in pulling off a combo in Anthem is to set up Primers. Primers are attacks or abilities that start a combo. They are followed up by Detonators (more on those later) and will allow you or a teammate to finish off a combo. But what attacks count as Primers? Well, thanks to one clever Anthem player, we have a better look thanks to a comprehensive chart. The chart, which you can view here, lists all of the possible Primer attacks.

Anthem Combos: What are Detonators?

Once the Primer has been set, it’s time to finish it off with a Detonator. These attacks will trigger the Combo effect, and are essential for taking down large groups of enemies.


Anthem Ranger Primer Attacks and Detonators

First, let’s take a look at all of the Primer combo capabilities of the Ranger javelin. For a more detailed look at the Javelin itself, head over to our Anthem Ranger Guide. We’ve listed every attack that deals a Primer effect for the Ranger javelin below:

  • Shock Mace
  • Inferno Grenade
  • Frost Grenade
  • Venom Darts

Next up, we have the Ranger Detonators. Once again, there are five to choose from, each with the Detonator effect applied on impact.

  • Frag Grenade
  • Sticky Grenade
  • Seeking Missile
  • Pulse Blast
  • Multi-Target Missile Battery

Anthem Colossus Primer Attacks and Detonators

The hulking Colossus Javelin is the ultimate choice for those wanting to deal a ton of damage at the cost of mobility. For a more detailed look at the Javelin itself, head over to our Anthem Colossus Guide. Here are the attacks that will result in a Primer effect:

  • Firewall Mortar
  • Shock Coil
  • Flamethrower
  • Venom Spitter

Now that we know the Primer capabilities of the Colossus Javelin, let’s take a look at the Detonators. The attacks listed below will all trigger a combo if fired at an enemy that has been Primed.

  • High-Explosive Mortar
  • Lightning Coil
  • Siege Artillery
  • Railgun
  • Siege Cannon

Anthem Interceptor Primers and Detonators

The Interceptor Javelin is agile and deadly up-close. It relies on powerful melee attacks and a fast retreat to periodically punish its target, though has the weakest shielding of the bunch. For a more detailed look at the Javelin itself, head over to our Anthem Interceptor Guide. Here are the Interceptors Primers.

  • Venom Bomb
  • Cryo Glaive
  • Detonating Strike
  • Venom Spray

Now let’s take a look at the Interceptor Javelin’s Detonator abilities.

  • Spark Dash
  • Tempest Strike
  • Bladed Daggers
  • Assassin’s Blades

Anthem Storm Primers and Detonators

Finally, we have the mage-like Storm Javelin. For a more detailed look at the Javelin itself, head over to our Anthem Storm Guide. It focuses on elemental AoE attacks which are great for setting up combos, let’s start with the Primers:

  • Ice Storm
  • Ice Blast
  • Living Flame
  • Frost Shards
  • Shock Burst
  • Elemental Storm

Now, let’s take a look at the Storm Detonator attacks. There are a fair few to pull from, making the Storm Javelin extremely useful in a team.

  • Fiery Strike
  • Lightning Strike
  • Burning Orb
  • Glacial Spear
  • Elemental Storm

The Storm Javelin is the Best For Combo Attacks

As you can see from the info above, the Storm Javelin has access to a larger pool of both Primer and Detonator attacks. It is clearly the best for both setting up and finishing combos, and it gets even more interesting when you consider its Ultimate. Elemental Storm is both a Primer and a Detonator, making it extremely effective.

Anthem Combo Effects - What Do Combos Do in Anthem?

So why go through all of the trouble with combos in Anthem? Well, each Javelin has a Combo Effect that it can trigger. These do massive amounts of damage and are essential in the end game. We’ve listed the combo effects for each Javelin below, alongside a description for each.

  • Ranger Combo Effects: Critical Target Damage - Large damage to detonated enemies.
  • Colossus Combo Effects: AoE Explosion - Explosion which damages nearby enemies.
  • Interceptor Combo Effects: Aura - Enemies near you gain the elemental effect over time.
  • Storm Combo Effects: AoE Spread - Spreads the elemental effect to nearby enemies.

Anthem Combo Tips - How to Make the Most Out of Combos in Anthem

Now that you know how to execute combos in Anthem, you’ll want to take a look at the tips below on how to combo effectively. They range from advice on which Javelins to use when, and also how to make the most out of your Primers, Detonators, and more.

  • Choose your Javelin based on the enemies you will be encountering in each mission. For example, if you’re likely to be taking on one tough boss, go for the Ranger and its damage-dealing combo. If you’re clearing large waves of enemies, take the Storm into battle.
  • Communicate with your team. Come up with callouts to indicate when you’ve triggered a Primer, and let your team know when you’re finishing a combo off.
  • Have multiple loadouts for each Javelin, so that you can always compliment those working in your team.
  • There’s a sound that plays when you pull off a combo, note its timing.

For more on Anthem, be sure to check out our Anthem Chest Locations Guide so that you can open the Tombs. Also, take a look at our guide on how the Anthem Alliance system works.

Jake Green

Guides Editor

Jake is a former freelance writer who now heads up guides for USG. He spends his days dreaming of an X-Files dating-sim and will play literally any game with monkeys in it. He has an unhealthy obsession with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and would pretty much trade a kidney for Skate 4 at this point.

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