Okay, we're not going to waste any time here. We know people are already addicted to Borderlands 3, we know there's no need to explain the franchise, and we know people know how to play. So, with that out of the way, let's get right into the pro tips.
These are things we found useful during our adventure across the galaxy, as fans who have played through every single Borderlands title. They're just some neat tips in the pursuit of an overall awesome experience. Some of these might be obvious to some readers, and some might be mechanics that only a small percentage know about. In either case, these are all absolutely crucial mechanics that anyone diving into this looter shooter should know about.
10 Use Elemental Damage Strategically
First and foremost, it's time to pay attention to elemental damage in Borderlands 3, more so than ever. Now that Slag is gone, there's been a rebalancing of elemental numbers and using the corresponding element according to the situation makes a huge difference in damage.
For reference, use Corrosive for Armor, Shock for Shields, and Fire for Red Health. Now, that doesn't include Cryo damage or the new element type, Radiation, but these two are more versatile and can be used in most situations with no issues. Plus, on Mayhem modes and in True Vault Hunter, the elemental damage becomes even more crucial!
9 Cooperation Is Great For Enemy Scaling And Easy Money
The scaling in Borderlands 3 is really something magical. On Cooperation Mode, each player sees the enemies as if they were scaled to their level, no matter how big the difference is between players. This means that a level 5 and 50 player can co-op together while still getting weapon drops at their own level, enjoying combat against moderately challenging enemies, and getting relatively decent EXP.
What people haven't thought too much about, though, is the monetary benefit. First of all, gun instancing means that players are picking up tons more guns than they would be in Coopetition, which means more money, which leads to early SDU upgrades. Basically, Cooperation is only beneficial. There's really no drawback.
8 Ragdolling Enemies Is Actually Pretty Useful
At first, we weren't sure if we liked the ragdolling in Borderlands 3. It's a bit much in the early levels, when a basic shotgun launches most mobs into the air. But, as the game went on and enemies became tankier and tougher, it actually became a sort of pro strat to use methods that would ragdoll enemies.
After all, if they're in the air or on the ground, they aren't attacking. Plus, for the particularly annoying enemies, there are plenty of death pits players can easily knock them into. Obviously, this is at the expense of drops, but still: a total timesaver.
7 Weapons Manufacturers Are More Important Than Ever
More than any other Borderlands title, the manufacturer makes all the difference. In previous games, a lot of the weapons had slight variable changes, but for the most part, they felt the same. Sure, they still had the small differences like explosive reloads, splash damage, elemental damage, and more. BL3, however, integrates the manufacturers into the storyline!
Players will actually be spending most of their time planet-hopping between the manufacturer HQs. Seriously, pay attention to the gun manufacturer, it's more important this time around. Our preference? Torque all the way. You don't need to aim if everything explodes.
6 Check And Set Up The Social Tab
This is a bit of a pain to do right off the bat, but players should link their SHIFT accounts ASAP. It's the best way to redeem Golden Key codes that are floating around everywhere, getting VIP points is super easy and can lead to some awesome cosmetics (especially for Zane), and we're absolutely positive more rewards will show up over the next few weeks.
Also, in the social menu, take notice of the "Mail" tab. This is where players will receive rewards from the challenges spread all over the map, like Hammerlock's Hunts. We've noticed that a lot of players have ignored this and are missing out on free guns in their inboxes.
5 SDU Upgrades Are Crucial, Especially That Handy Backpack
Upgrading slots is crucial in just about every Borderlands game, but BL3 seems to be bringing a lot of newcomers, which is awesome! That said, we want to do our best to give tips that'll help everyone, not just veterans. So, on the Sanctuary Ship, there's the Ammo Dump and Dr. Zed's Meds vending machines. In that same area is the Marcus Munitions Shop, where players can upgrade ammo capacities.
Quick tip: upgrade every gun-type's ammo to stage 3, because the first two upgrades only cost one and three thousand each. Second, upgrade the backpack, grenades, and safe storage first! Trust us, Vault Hunters need as much space as possible for the mountains of guns they'll nab.
4 Don't 100% The Game Before At Least Activating Mayhem Mode
We know that people love to 100% games. The satisfaction that comes from experiencing literally every piece of content that a game has to offer is really something special. That said, players should probably hold off on going back and completing old sidequests, for now, especially the ones they've out-leveled.
This is because, once the campaign ends, players have the option of turning on Mayhem Mode, which pulls all sidequests up to the players current level. Waiting to do this is 100% the best way to maximize the number of rad gun drops, and it also makes these old sidequests much more enjoyable.
3 Go Exploring! Make The Map More Clear
The fog of war in Borderlands 3 is something new. It's honestly a pretty great system, as it shows where the player has gone and which areas of each zone remain unexplored. Sure, clearing up every single bit of fog is a bit tedious, but there's a lot of content to see! Our pro tip is for players to explore the planets more, because the challenges and collectibles are pretty easy to find with a bit of exploration.
Plus, when the player unlocks more collectibles and sidequests, having a fully explored map means the icons are visible as well. There's nothing more satisfying than playing with a friend who doesn't know where an Ellie vehicle is and being able to quickly check our map and point it out to them.
2 There Are Already Easily-Achievable Overpowered Strategies
Borderlands isn't perfect, honestly, it's not even close. The game is pretty buggy in its current state and the optimization is poor at best. Still, there have always been "broken" techniques and builds for the games. Gear like The Bee or the Infinity Pistol made for some real overpowered builds in Borderlands 2, and there's already been some tech discovered in Borderlands 3!
For one, use Torque shotguns with the mode set to "sticky." Just...trust us, it's incredible, especially on FL4K. Secondly, it's never been easier to farm for legendaries. If a player wants a really absurd gun, just fight Traunt on Athenas on repeat. Sure, it feels a little lame farming a boss for insane guns, but that's Borderlands! Getting guns that are stupidly overpowered and breaking the game is essentially a core part of the design.
1 A Pre-Determined "Level 50" Build Might Not Be Fun Along The Way
One thing that a lot of players forget about Borderlands is that the skill trees are designed both with progression and endgame in mind. What we mean is that, sure, players can plan out their final build for a character at max level, but they should probably also make a build for leveling from 1-50 as well.
Sometimes, leveling up using a level 50 build as a reference leads to some underpowered Vault Hunters until later levels. So, our tip? Build for immediate damage in the moment, make the character as broken as possible for their current level. Then, at level 50, just respec and do the final build. It just allows the player to experience more of the skill trees and have fun while doing it.