Borderlands 3 is back, and it’s just like you remembered it. For fans of the series, this should be a thoroughly familiar trip down memory lane — you’ll get all the looting and shooting with brand new Vault Hunters to choose from. There’s a lot you’ll already know, and there are wrinkles to the formula you might not realize right away.
As a Borderlands fanatic, I’ve absorbed as much as I can from the latest game, and I’ve got a few tips and tricks to share. While I might not be able to help you select your favorite Vault Hunter, I can provide general strategies you’ll want to keep in mind while progressing through the game. What to avoid, what to try, and how to earn tons of free stuff — hint, click on the SHiFT codes and VIP codes below.
More Borderlands 3 guides:
- Borderlands 3: The Best Unique Guns & How To Find Them | Easter Eggs & Secrets Guide
- Borderlands 3: How To Get More Legendary Weapons | Rare Gun Tips & Tricks
- Borderlands 3: How To Fix Low FPS, Stuttering, White Screen & More | PC & Console Tweaks Guide
- Borderlands 3: How To Dupe Weapons | Infinite Guns Guide
#1: Use A Variety Of Different Guns So You Don’t Run Out Of Ammo
Ammo is your most precious resource in Borderlands 3, and you can chew through your dwindling supplies super-fast if you’re not careful. Each type of weapon uses a different type of ammo, so if you diversify your loadout, you’ll (usually) have plenty of ammo to spare. If you use two of the same weapon, you’ll burn through ammo at twice the speed.
It helps to always buy as much ammo as you can from vendors. Refill your stock before going back into the fray. It’s better to save your precious cash for ammo and weapon upgrades — sometimes, it helps to purchase the rare relic or shield, too.
#2: Don’t Bother Buying Guns – Buy Storage Upgrades Instead
Borderlands 3 dumps an endless amount of loot on your Vault Hunter heads. As you level up, you’ll get better and better guns from chests. Guns are just raining from the sky, so there’s almost never a reason to purchase guns from the vendor while you’re playing through the main story.
There’s just no reason to buy guns. Like, no reason at all. Don’t bother wasting money when you’ll just get better guns naturally as you play. It’s better to save your pennies and use them on weapon upgrades. You can purchase SDUs from Marcus’s shop — Storage Deck Upgrades. I recommend getting ammo upgrades as soon as you can for your favorite weapon types.
#3: Play With Friends To Maximize Efficiency
Some of the new features in Borderlands 3 might even convince a dedicated solo player to jump online and shoot bandits with friends. For starter’s, you don’t have to travel together as a team — you can run around your chosen planet and complete objectives on your own to speed up the entire process. Unless you’re dying a lot, then it’s probably a good idea to work together.
If you’re working together, you can use the new Mark Target ability. Everyone can now call out targets for your team to see — even if you’re not talking in voice, or playing with complete strangers, you can use the Mark Target action to coordinate yourselves. It’s a godsend in hectic situations.
#4: Experiment With Class Mods & Skills To Create The Perfect Build
Experimentation is key. No build is set in stone, and you can use class mods or full respec to change your playstyle on-the-fly. If you try a skill you don’t like, you can spend a little cash for a respect to refund your points. If you want to try a different skill tree that you haven’t been investing in as much, you can equip class mods to gain extra points.
Respecs are cheap, so don’t feel bad about wasting money refunding your valuable points. It’s better to find skills that you want to stick with. There’s no reason to slog through Borderlands 3 with skills you don’t like.
#5: Understanding Elemental Damage Will Make Every Battle Easier
There are five different types of elemental damage in Borderlands 3, and it helps to have most of these on-hand at all times. Depending on your opponent, you can quickly chew away their health bars with the proper elemental damage type.
There are three different health bar types — red (flesh), yellow (armor), and blue (shields). Use the right element to burn through faster.
- Incendiary is effective against Red (Flesh).
- Shock is effective against Blue (Shield).
- Corrosive is effective against Yellow (Armor).
Match the corresponding elemental damage type to the enemy you’re fighting to destroy them even faster. There are two other elemental damage types too — Cryo and Radiation. Cryo slows enemies you shoot, while Radiation irradiates enemies, poisoning them with a damage-over-time cloud that will also hurt nearby enemies.
#6: Grab Every Side-Quest And Challenge You Can
This goes with the cooperative multiplayer tip. Always be on the lookout for side-quests and challenges. They’re literally everywhere, and often you’ll find them on the way to main story missions. You’ll be able to complete them as you go — that extra XP and cash is important for your progress!
Gaining levels is the most important thing, so you’ll always want to be on the lookout for gigs to complete. These are usually pretty simple and quick, so fill up your quest book with as many as possible. There’s no reason not to do them all, all at the same time — your friends can run around, knocking out separate challenges / side-quests for faster XP.
#7: You Can Now Scoot Around When You’re Downed
Here’s a small but important change in Borderlands 3 — you can now scoot around when you’re downed. Officially, when you’re about to die, it’s called the ‘Fight-For-Your-Life’ state, or FFYL. I’m just going to called it ‘downed’, and like every other game with a downed state in our modern age of gaming, you can crawl around to get a better angle on your shots.
Once again, you can continue to shoot while downed. If you manage to kill an enemy while in your downed state, you’ll automatically revive. Other Vault Hunters can also revive you while you’re downed, so crawl toward them if you’re looking for a little help up.
#8: Look For Purple Car Icons On Your Mini-Map
Vehicles are king of a big deal in Borderlands 3. The Catch-A-Ride station returns with Ellie at the helm, and you’ll be able to grab all-new vehicles if you keep an eye-open while exploring each of the new planets.
You can temporarily steal enemy vehicles and use them, or hop on-board cars with purple icons on your mini-map. If you manage to return these rare commodities to the Catch-A-Ride, Ellie will transform them into usable vehicles and add them to your garage.
#9: Mayhem Mode Scales Everything Up To Match Your Level
It’s easy to out-level challenges, side-quests, and lots of other stuff you might’ve missed in your first playthrough. Don’t fret about over-leveling or missing missions — you can upgrade the challenge and still earn handy rewards with Mayhem Mode. This special mode unlocks after completing the story, and it makes everything in the game match your current level.
Every enemy, side-quest, and challenge will scale up and provide a worthy challenge. It isn’t just for fun, it means you’ll actually earn XP and get rewards that are worth keeping. Don’t waste time completing old side-quests for trophies — wait until Mayhem Mode unlocks!
#10: You Can Get Exclusive (& Free!) Cosmetics & Loot
SHiFT Codes aren’t alone. In Borderlands 3, you can also use the VIP System to unlock exclusive cosmetics and other awesome rewards through the VIP website. SHiFT Codes and VIP Codes are actually two separate features, even if they’re also extremely similar in function. Both can get you a load of free loot, so I recommend checking out our guides for complete, up-to-date lists of codes you can use to get stuff.
That’s all the tips we have so far. Keep your eye on Gameranx as we dive deeper into Borderlands 3 and share everything there is to discover.