Pain state


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A monster's pain state is an action frame used for that monster when being momentarily stunned by a damaging attack. Each monster type has a different probability of suffering this effect when hurt. This probability is called the monster's pain chance (from DeHackEd). The monster, when in pain from being hit by a projectile or shot, clawed or bitten, or punched or chainsawed, halts its movement or attack and displays its pain state sprite frame while usually giving a cry of pain, and then continues moving or possibly retaliates against its attacker. The player's pain state includes a reddening effect of the screen, as well as the third-person view sprite frame.

Combat strategies[edit]

The chaingun is particularly useful against monsters with a high pain chance, as due to its rapid rate of fire each bullet causes the monster to cringe convulsively in pain. This is called "doing the chaingun cha-cha" in the original Doom manual. Monsters especially vulnerable to be stunned due to continuous damage are imps, demons, lost souls, cacodemons, pain elementals, mancubi, arachnotrons and revenants. Only lost souls and Commander Keens have a 100% pain chance.

For those monsters with a low pain chance, the shotguns or plasma guns are more effective. Pain stunning with the plasma gun is often exploited in the final battle with the Spiderdemon in Doom E3M8: Dis.


The pain chance is handled in P_DamageMobj() in p_inter.c. This is the generic "hurt something" code which is called for all damage events. On each call, the monster's pain chance is compared to a random number from 0 to 255. If this number is less than the monster's pain chance, then the monster goes into pain state. There are no situations in the game where multiple separate damage events are combined into one pain chance check. For example, for rocket splashes, P_RadiusAttack() from p_map.c calls P_DamageMobj individually for each splash it makes, and the direct hit is also a separate call. BFG tracers and shotgun pellets also call P_DamageMobj individually for each one, even if many hit one target. A straightforward consequence of this handling is that attacks with many individual components, like super shotgun hits or BFG tracers, are very likely to give a monster pain, because the pain chance check only needs to succeed for one component.

List of monsters sorted by pain chance[edit]

Besides monsters and other enemies in the four main Doom-engine games, these tables also list all other shootable objects.

The percentage chance is based on the game's pseudorandom number generator, which does not feature a uniform distribution of numbers. As a result, there can be some apparent discrepancies, for example a pain chance of 10/256 would mathematically be about 3.91% but ends up listed as 3.13% because there are only eight values out of the 256 in the table that are below 10, so a random chance of 10/256 ends up being functionally equal to 8/256.