Borderlands 3: Which Character To Choose

borderlands 3 vault hunters fl4k moze zane amara

Borderlands 3 is just a month away, and now that all four Vault Hunters have been unveiled, it's time for players to make a tough decision: who to main first when they boot up the game next month. Gearbox Software is letting prospective players build Vault Hunter skill trees early, but for those who don't want to pour over every individual skill in each of the skill trees, here is a handy guide that will hopefully help narrow down the Vault Hunter selection process.

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Amara the Siren

Specializing in close-combat, massive elemental damage, and near limitless action skill customization, Amara the Siren is perfect for players who want to take down bandits with impressive magical powers. Each Vault Hunter in Borderlands 3 can be customized differently, and what makes Amara special is that her Action Skill augments are not tied to a specific skill, but instead work for each of her three action skills. She can also swap the element of her Action Skill between Incendiary, Corrosive, and Shock damage. Her three action skills are Phasegrasp, Phaseslam, and Phasecast. Phasegrasp is similar to Maya's Phaselock from Borderlands 2, which suspends enemies in mid-air for a time. Phaseslam sends Amara flying through the air only to come down in a big slam attack dealing damage to everything nearby. Phasecast sends forth a projection that deals damage to everything that it hits.

As players delve deeper into Amara's skill trees they will unlock new versions of that tree's Action Skill that modifies how the skill works. For example, in the Phasegrasp tree, Amara can get the Action Skill Ties That Bind which links enemies near a Phasegrasped enemy together, and damage is shared among all of them. Amara's three skill trees are Fist of the Elements, Brawl, and Mystical Assault. Fist of the Elements is perfect for players who love dealing a ton of elemental damage. Brawl buffs Amara's damage and health making her a deadly force at close range. Mystical Assault is all about buffing Amara's action skills and making her a magical powerhouse. Regardless of which tree players go down, Amara is perfect for those who love putting themselves in the middle of danger and fighting their way out - with the help of magic powers of course.

FL4K the Beastmaster

Perhaps one of the most interesting Vault Hunters is FL4K, a robot who has a particular affinity for animal companions. FL4K is perfect for those who love a good pet class, or those who love sniper classes. What sets FL4K apart from the crowd are his pets. FL4K can equip one of three pets: a Spiderant, a Skag, or a Jabber. While the first two are long-time staples of the franchise, Jabbers are a new addition to the series, and can be found on the brand-new planet Eden 6. FL4K can equip one of these pets and issue commands independent of FL4K's action skills. Much like the other Vault Hunters, FL4K has three action skills: Gamma Burst, Fade Away, and Rakk Attack. Gamma Burst opens a portal that FL4K's pets can travel through which increases their size and grants Radiation damage. Fade Away turns FL4K invisible for a short time, and all shots are critical hits. Rakk Attack summons a flock of Rakks to attack and distract enemies.

FL4K's skill trees break down into three basic build concepts: buffing pets with the Master tree, rewarding precision shots with the Hunter tree, and staying alive and moving quick with the Stalker tree. Both solo players and those playing with a squad will have options when playing FL4K. This robotic pet owner is perfect for players who love an animal companion to help clear up enemies, as well as players who love getting rewarded for fine shooting. Players who loved Zer0's sniper tree in Borderlands 2 will likely feel at home here.

Moze the Gunner

Unlike the other three Vault Hunters, Moze doesn't really have three action skills, but instead has her Iron Bear mech. What Moze lacks in varied action skills, she makes up for in interchangeable weapons for Iron Bear. Moze can equip two different weapon types (or two of the same weapon types) to Iron Bear, giving this big mech a lot of customization options. By default there is the V-35 Grenade Launcher, the Railgun, and the Minigun unlocked diving into Moze's skill trees for the first time. When Moze activates Iron Bear, she will have to monitor fuel usage, as the skill ends when Iron Bear runs out of fuel. As players progress through Moze's skill trees, they will unlock new equippable attachments for Iron Bear, like a flamethrower, a claw melee override, and even a rocket pod attachment. Her skill augments will help players fine-tune each weapon type to fit the playstyle they are going for.

Moze's three skill trees are Demolition Woman, Shield of Retribution, and Bottomless Mags. As the name implies, Demolition Woman is all about creating massive explosions and making sure they deal a ton of damage. The capstone for the tree even gives Moze a chance to cause an explosion every time she fires a weapon. This will pair really well with the new gun manufacturer perks in Borderlands 3. Shield of Retribution is all about making sure Moze and Iron Bear are near-invincible killing machines. Bottomless Mags gives Moze a chance to increase her magazine sizes and regenerate ammo on the fly, making sure she will run out of enemies before she runs out of bullets. Moze is perfect for players who love customizing every fine detail of their character's weapon (both for Moze and for Iron Bear), those who want to never buy ammo again, and for those who just really like explosions (Mr. Torgue would be proud).

Zane the Operative

Zane features one of the most versatile kits out of the four Vault Hunters, with each skill tree and action skill giving Zane even more flexibility and bonuses to cater to any playstyle. Zane's key feature is that he can sacrifice his grenade slot to equip a second action skill, which he can then slot augments into. Zane can also equip two augments to each action skill, making them even more potent and deadly as players level up Zane. Zane has three unique action skills: Digi-Clone, SNTNL, and the Barrier. Digi-Clone summons a clone of Zane which will shoot at enemies and draw fire. Zane can swap places with his Clone at any time, letting him hop out of a dangerous situation if needed. SNTNL is a drone that Zane can throw out that hunts down enemies. The Barrier is exactly what it sounds like, a deployable barrier that Zane can pick up and drop at will.

Zane's skill trees are Double Agent, Hitman, and Under Cover. Double Agent focuses on buffing Zane's Digi-Clone, which at a high enough level can even give the Clone a copy of Zane's equipped weapon. Hitman is all about kill skills, which buff Zane after he kills an enemy. The capstone for this tree makes it so when Zane activates any of Action Skills it activates all of his kill skills, a crazy buff! The Under Cover tree is all about giving great buffs to shields and the Barrier skill itself. The capstone here gives anyone near the Barrier a copy of Zane's equipped shield. Zane is perfect for those who really want to be a flex roll for their team, who can play both offensive with kill skills and defensive with Barrier. Zane can be both a one-man army and a team player all in one very Irish package.

The Vault Hunters in Borderlands 3 have far more to their skill trees than the previous Vault Hunters. Deep customization seems to be a big focus this time around for Gearbox Software, and it seems these four "heroes" really deliver on that. Whether players choose to go alone as FL4K and his pets, or team up to cause chaos with Moze's Iron Bear co-op turret, there are plenty of options for every type of player in Borderlands 3. Even if Borderlands 3 may not have DLC Vault Hunters, there are tons of different combinations in each character to make every playthrough truly unique.

Borderlands 3 launches September 13 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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