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A Reddit Exclusive The Aspiring Vault Hunter's Guidebook to Borderlands 2 Originally authored by /u/Alexander_D

The Aspiring Vault Hunter's Guidebook to

Borderlands 2

The Aspiring Vault Hunter's Guidebook to Borderlands 2 Originally authored by /u/Alexander_D , co-authored and

Originally authored by /u/Alexander_D, co-authored and edited by /u/ohenry78. We do not give permission for this to be re-hosted anywhere. Borderlands and all related trademarks are property of Gearbox Software.

Hello again, guys and gals! I'm here with a sort of quick-start guide for Borderlands

Hello again, guys and gals! I'm here with a sort of quick-start guide for Borderlands 2. It's funny because this started out as a UVHM FAQ, and grew into this! I made a guide on this game's DLC in the past that went well, and after seeing how this project turned out I decided to add it to this guide too. If you think something should be here but is not, check the Useful Links and Resources section at the end. Chances are somebody else has already written a guide on it, so I’ll just link to it rather than re-writing it all.

CONTENTS:

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms.just link to it rather than re-writing it all. CONTENTS: Character Selection: A quick'n'dirty guide to

Character Selection: A quick'n'dirty guide to each character's play style, key skills, and common level 61 builds.re-writing it all. CONTENTS: Glossary of Terms and Acronyms. Tips for Your First Playthrough, General Gameplay

Tips for Your First Playthrough, General Gameplay Tips.play style, key skills, and common level 61 builds. True Vault Hunter Mode and Playthrough 2.5.

True Vault Hunter Mode and Playthrough 2.5.Tips for Your First Playthrough, General Gameplay Tips. Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. Borderlands 2 Rarity System

Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.Gameplay Tips. True Vault Hunter Mode and Playthrough 2.5. Borderlands 2 Rarity System Explained: Unique, Seraph,

Borderlands 2 Rarity System Explained: Unique, Seraph, Legendary, and Pearlescent Weapons.Hunter Mode and Playthrough 2.5. Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. SHiFT Codes & Golden Keys. Badass Ranks.

SHiFT Codes & Golden Keys.Unique, Seraph, Legendary, and Pearlescent Weapons. Badass Ranks. A Guide to Farming. Numbers: Cooldown, Damage

Badass Ranks.and Pearlescent Weapons. SHiFT Codes & Golden Keys. A Guide to Farming. Numbers: Cooldown, Damage Resistance,

A Guide to Farming.Weapons. SHiFT Codes & Golden Keys. Badass Ranks. Numbers: Cooldown, Damage Resistance, Elemental Chance.

Numbers: Cooldown, Damage Resistance, Elemental Chance.Codes & Golden Keys. Badass Ranks. A Guide to Farming. Melee Weapons for Krieg: A Word

Melee Weapons for Krieg: A Word of Warning.Numbers: Cooldown, Damage Resistance, Elemental Chance. Raid Bosses. Co-op Etiquette: How Not to Be an Asshole.

Raid Bosses.Chance. Melee Weapons for Krieg: A Word of Warning. Co-op Etiquette: How Not to Be an

Co-op Etiquette: How Not to Be an Asshole.Melee Weapons for Krieg: A Word of Warning. Raid Bosses. DLC Guide. Useful Links and Resources.

DLC Guide.Raid Bosses. Co-op Etiquette: How Not to Be an Asshole. Useful Links and Resources. GLOSSARY OF

Useful Links and Resources.Co-op Etiquette: How Not to Be an Asshole. DLC Guide. GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND ACRONYMS: Action

GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND ACRONYMS:

Action Skill: The skill that defines the character. Always unique to that character, and has a cooldown before it can be used again. Cooldown time and Action Skill duration vary per character and can be affected by certain equipment. Examples: Axton's Sabre Axton's Sabre

New-U Station: The re-spawn element in the game. They revive you for 7% of your money, or for free if you have 100 bucks or less. It's worth noting that Gearbox has confirmed that New-U stations are non-canon . They are a gameplay mechanic only, despite occasionally being referenced by characters in-game. non-canon. They are a gameplay mechanic only, despite occasionally being referenced by characters in-game. The mythos of Borderlands does not include New-U stations.

COM: Class Optimization Mod, or Class Mod . Class Mod.

DPUH: Double Penetrating variant of the Unkempt Harold . Unkempt Harold.

RNG: Random Number Generation, aka “the computer deciding which weapons drop from an enemy or appear in a chest”.COM: Class Optimization Mod, or Class Mod . DPUH: Double Penetrating variant of the Unkempt Harold

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Respec: Short for re-specification. In BL2, this means using a Customisation Station to refund all

Respec: Short for re-specification. In BL2, this means using a Customisation Station to refund all of your skill points and re-assign them. This costs a small fee each time it is done. It is highly encouraged that you do this fairly regularly if you're unfamiliar with your character, so as to see as many of their skills as possible.Build: The arrangement of skill points on your character. Proc: “Programmed Random Occurrence”, the occurrence

Build: The arrangement of skill points on your character.character, so as to see as many of their skills as possible. Proc: “Programmed Random Occurrence”,

Proc: “Programmed Random Occurrence”, the occurrence of a random or chance- based event. For example, your fire weapon would be said to “proc” when a shot ignites an enemy.Build: The arrangement of skill points on your character. Hotfix: A minor patch that is only

Hotfix: A minor patch that is only active when your game is “hot”, i.e. connected to the Internet.would be said to “proc” when a shot ignites an enemy. CHARACTER SELECTION: I'm not going

CHARACTER SELECTION:

I'm not going to focus on more technical character aspects like cooldown times, damage boosts, what can't be phaselocked etc. -- that's what the links are for. This is more of a TL;DR of each character. I've not hit level 61 with all characters, so I'm not an expert. This all comes from nearly 600 threads I've rummaged through, and personal experience. I won't go in-depth into which skills are "not worth it" as this usually only matters in UVHM, when you can figure that out yourselves ;) There are various types of skills in this game. Passive skills include increases to your maximum health and are always active. Kill skills activate for a short time (7 seconds) after killing an enemy, and can include bonuses like increased reload speed, shield regeneration and more. Melee Overrides change what your melee attack does, from knock-back punches to breathing fire (literally), depending on character. Melee Override skills have a cooldown,

which is explained in Numbers: Cooldown Rate, Damage Resistance, Elemental Effect

Chance. Axton does not have a melee override skill. Each skill tree for each character has a minor gamechanger (tier 3, in the middle, 1 pointer) and a major gamechanger, also known as a capstone (tier 6, bottom of tree, 1 pointer). Most character builds can be summarized by what trees and/or capstones they encompass, e.g. a Guerrilla/Gunpowder Axton build, or Ruin/Res/Converge Maya build. The links to Gearbox forums for builds were provided by /u/ContemplativeOctopus. The last two characters in the following list, Gaige and Krieg, do not come with the normal game and must be purchased as DLC. I highly recommend playing with at least one (ideally two) of the default characters before playing as either of the DLC characters, especially Krieg since his playstyle is often far from the norm.

Zer0 is the Assassin Class of BL2. His action skill, Decepti0n , allows him to Zer0 is the Assassin Class of BL2. His action skill, Decepti0n, allows him to create a holographic decoy and turn invisible for a short period. Key skills include B0re and Death Bl0ss0m. Mainly a sniper/melee character. Sniping is (to be quite honest) a poor choice in UVHM, so melee is generally the better choice at levels 50+. Check here for tried-and-tested builds.

Axton is the Commando. His Sabre Turret is a mounted gun that can be massively Axton is the Commando. His Sabre Turret is a mounted gun that can be massively upgraded. Notable skills are Scorched Earth and Mag-Lock, which can be seen in action here. Axton is best with assault rifles and shotguns. If investing in the gunpowder tree, Torgue weapons are an excellent choice since their gyrojet projectiles benefit from grenade damage boosts. Check here for tried-and-tested builds.

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Maya is a Siren . That article has BL2 spoilers, be careful. Her Action Skill,

Maya is a Siren . That article has BL2 spoilers, be careful. Her Action Skill, Maya is a Siren. That article has BL2 spoilers, be careful. Her Action Skill, Phaselock, locks the target into another dimension which manifests as an “orb” in the game world. It also allows her to deal elemental damage, converge enemies on a single point, and more. Her most notable skill in support roles is Res. Chain Reaction is also notable. Maya benefits from a load out of elemental weapons of various types. Check here for tried-and-tested builds.

Salvador is the “Gunzerker”. He can wield any two weapons at once, and his skills Salvador is the “Gunzerker”. He can wield any two weapons at once, and his skills are too varied to adequately describe here. The weapon in the right hand gains item card bonuses from the left, such as critical damage bonuses. Some notable skills are Money

Commonly, a Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold is equipped

with a Slag Rubi for more or less infinite, instant(ish) health regeneration. For this reason, Sal is the “easiest” to gear up to solo Raid Bosses. Check here for tried-and- tested builds.

Gaige was the first DLC character. Her Action Skill allows her to deploy her robot, Gaige was the first DLC character. Her Action Skill allows her to deploy her robot, Deathtrap. He can be upgraded in various ways, such as dealing elemental damage

with his claws, healing your shield, or having a shield all of his own. Gaige's single most notable skill is Anarchy. It is not required to use Anarchy, but highly advised to at

wouldn't hate on skills, but for reasons to be explained in

least try

it.

I

said

I

Numbers: Cooldown Rate, Damage Resistance, Elemental Chance, do not invest in

More Pep. Get Myelin instead. Trust me, it'll make sense later. Check here for tried- and-tested builds.

Krieg is the Psycho class, and the most recent DLC character. His Action Skill, Buzz Krieg is the Psycho class, and the most recent DLC character. His Action Skill, Buzz Axe Rampage allows him to go bAt-shIT fUCkiNg CRaZy aND HiT pEoPLe sO hARd tHat THey gO suPErNoVA aNd hE buRsTS iNTo fLaAAaaAaAaaAAAAamEs. I shit you not, it's fucking awesome. Notable skills include Elemental Empathy and Buzz Axe Bombardier. He's truly melee-based in most builds, much more so than Zer0; Zero puts out "bursts" of higher damage, but Krieg's damage output is both more constant and consistent. To make being a melee character feasible, Krieg is made to be “heavier” than the other characters so he does not get knocked back as easily while hacking and slashing. This also means he is not affected as much by geysers and cannot grenade jump. Check here for tried-and-tested builds.

TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST PLAYTHROUGH, GENERAL GAMEPLAY TIPS:

Solo play is fine. I played my first 150 hours alone. Co-op is nevertheless far superior. Try to find a friend to play with if you can, or check Useful Links and Resources for Reddit links to get partners. Useful Links and Resources for Reddit links to get partners.

If you can, try to move as slowly/little as possible when dialogue is playing. If you travel to where another piece of audio starts, the first will be cut off and you won't hear it until the next playthrough.Links and Resources for Reddit links to get partners. Every character can use every weapon type.

Every character can use every weapon type. The fact that Zer0 has a sniping tree doesn't hinder any other character from using sniper rifles.piece of audio starts, the first will be cut off and you won't hear it until

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Open everything. Rare loot spawns everywhere, so the more containers you open, the more rare

Open everything. Rare loot spawns everywhere, so the more containers you open, the more rare loot you will get. This includes Legendary Items.Try to accept and complete all missions in your first playthrough. Further playthroughs will involve

Try to accept and complete all missions in your first playthrough. Further playthroughs will involve you actually struggling to survive, so it's best to enjoy the dialogue now. Also, there are a number of areas, such as the Caustic Caverns and Lynchwood , that are possible to miss altogether if you aren't doing Caustic Caverns and Lynchwood, that are possible to miss altogether if you aren't doing side quests, as these places aren't visited as part of the main quest.

You're under leveled? Do side quests.these places aren't visited as part of the main quest. Fire weapons deal bonus damage to

Fire weapons deal bonus damage to fleshy enemies (red health bars), Corrosive damage is strong against armoured enemies (yellow health bars), and Shock damage devastates shields (blue bar). Many fleshy or armoured enemies also carry a shield. Fire and Corrosive damage deal decreased damage to the “wrong” enemy type, such as fire damage to a robot. Enemies of a specific elemental type, such as Badass Shock Skags , are innately resistant to that element. Shock-based enemies are the only Badass Shock Skags, are innately resistant to that element. Shock-based enemies are the only foes that resist Shock damage.

Slag weapons apply a slag effect to enemies, turning them purple. Slagged enemies take increased damage from all sources. By what factor damage is increased depends on playthrough.enemies are the only foes that resist Shock damage. That shiny gun you just found/bought will

That shiny gun you just found/bought will eventually have to be replaced. Don't get too Don't get too

attached to things, you got to learn to let go. You can give them to other characters of

yours once each character has completed Claptrap's Secret Stash in Sanctuary.

Ammo is plentiful, especially if you follow the first point. Don't worry about it.has completed Claptrap's Secret Stash in Sanctuary. Spend your badass tokens, the bonuses apply to all

Spend your badass tokens, the bonuses apply to all characters. See Badass Ranks for info. Badass Ranks for info.

Use a Golden Key if your gear is under-leveled, or you just want a boost. They're plentiful! Check SHiFT Codes & Golden Keys for info. SHiFT Codes & Golden Keys for info.

Normal mode enemies are capped at level 35, with some rare exceptions. If you're hitting level 38 or 39, it's best to move on to TVHM (see below), as you'll be leveling up incredibly slowly. Change the playthrough by going to the Main Menu Select Character (Character) Click on “True Vault Hunter Mode”. Then hit “Continue” on the Main Select Character (Character) Click on “True Vault Hunter Mode”. Then hit “Continue” on the Main Menu and you'll start back over in Windshear Waste. You can use this same process to return to Normal Mode, if desired.

TRUE VAULT HUNTER MODE AND PLAYTHROUGH 2.5:

True Vault Hunter Mode, TVHM, Playthrough 2, PT2. Call it what you want. TVHM is unlocked when you defeat the final boss on your first playthrough. This is the message you will see. TVHM involves stronger enemies, new enemy types like Armoured Maniacs, and increased chances that good-quality loot will drop to compensate for the difficulty. It may be worth getting used to using slag in TVHM, as the 2x damage bonus from non-slag attacks is very useful, and makes UVHM less of a shock to your playstyle. If you do not have the level cap increase (you do if you have the season pass, and you'd surely know if you specifically bought it), then it is advised to not complete side quests whose quest rewards are of blue- rarity or higher in TVHM, and instead hold off until Playthrough 2.5.

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Upon defeating the final boss in TVHM, and reaching level 50, Playthrough 2.5 is automatically

Upon defeating the final boss in TVHM, and reaching level 50, Playthrough 2.5 is automatically unlocked. It is not an official term, so there is no in-game notification of this. At this point, any side quests that have not been accepted will scale to level 50, as will their rewards. This is useful to obtain certain weapons/shields, such as the Rapier or Rubi, at their most powerful. If you have the level cap increase, this doesn't matter nearly as much since you can re-farm level 61 versions in UVHM, but I'd still keep certain quests for 50. A list of

Unique Items is in Useful Links and Resources.

ULTIMATE VAULT HUNTER MODE:

UVHM is a third playthrough in this game. It was released as free DLC, and is unlocked by defeating the final boss during TVHM, but reaching level 50 is not required to unlock it, contrary to what Gearbox says. Enemies now have far more health (~4x) which also regenerates over time. Additionally, they take more damage when slagged (3x as opposed to 2x), and stay slagged for longer. Elemental effects provide larger damage bonuses when used against the appropriate enemy type, and receive a more potent reduction in effectiveness when used “improperly”. Loot midgets become LLMs (see Glossary of Terms and Acronyms). Pearlescent weapons can drop in UVHM only, but are only unlocked with the level cap increase DLC, so there is no reason to go to UVHM without the level cap increase other than to farm Seraph Crystals. Enemies and side quests everywhere scale to your level all the time (though if you've accepted a side quest, it will stay at the level you accepted it). Enemy scaling means that there is no such thing as “leveling up to make this next boss easier”. If you level up and then go and try to fight X boss again, they've leveled up too. I strongly recommend moving on to UVHM if you hit level 53, even if there are things in TVHM you still want/need to do. Here’s why: weapons collected in TVHM will not go higher than level 50 even if you do. Because enemies don't have a fixed level in UVHM, if you hit level 58 (for example) in TVHM by grinding, you will face LEVEL 60 ENEMIES with your level 50 gear, and you shall lose. You're better off getting a few key items, moving to UVHM, then farming whatever you want. UVHM can also be reset. This means to undo all quest progress in the main game and DLCs for UVHM only; Normal Mode and TVHM are not affected. To do this, go to the playthrough selection screen mentioned in the last tip for Normal Mode, and highlight UVHM. There is an option to reset UVHM. Q for PC, Y for Xbox 360, and I assume Triangle for PS3. The campaign cannot be reset independently from the DLC packs, and vice-versa. What this means is if you rely on a mission reward as part of your build (e.g. Love Thumper for Krieg) and you have a level 50 version, but by level 56 you find you're a bit too weak with the ol' axe, you can get yourself a level 56 version by completing the relevant quest, and at some later point reset UVHM so you can work towards a level 61 version of that item.

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BORDERLANDS 2 RARITY SYSTEM EXPLAINED: Rarity is simple for the most part, and is denoted

BORDERLANDS 2 RARITY SYSTEM EXPLAINED:

Rarity is simple for the most part, and is denoted by the colour of the weapon name when viewing the item card. In order of increasing rarity, we have:

Whitethe item card. In order of increasing rarity, we have: Green Blue Purple Magenta ( E-tech

Greenthe item card. In order of increasing rarity, we have: White Blue Purple Magenta ( E-tech

Bluecard. In order of increasing rarity, we have: White Green Purple Magenta ( E-tech ) Pink

PurpleIn order of increasing rarity, we have: White Green Blue Magenta ( E-tech ) Pink (Seraph)

Magenta ( E-tech ) (E-tech)

E-tech weapons are guns modified with Eridium (this isn't seen in-game, just backstory) and generally fire energy-based projectiles, which vary both between weapon types, and manufacturers within that type. They tend to be very powerful but have increased ammo consumption to compensate. Plasma Casters seem to be the most popular E-tech weapons. Seraph weapons are a new tier of rarity introduced with the campaign DLCs. Some seraph items can only be obtained from certain Raid Bosses called Seraph Guardians (the details are on the Seraph page linked above), whilst others can be bought from Seraph vendors using Seraph Crystals as currency. These crystals are only obtainable in UVHM; Seraph Guardians do not drop Seraph Crystals in Normal Mode or TVHM. Most Seraph items have some sort of drawback, though most Seraph items were massively buffed with a hotfix a few months before the time of writing. Legendary weapons, like all weapons, can drop anywhere. Orange weapons have the unique “trait” of each having an increased chance to drop from a specific named enemy, making them farmable. They drop at the level the boss is when fought. The list of Legendary items and who they can be farmed from is found in the Useful Links and Resources section, as can a Crowd Sourcing Project for drop rate data. Pearlescent weapons are unlocked with the “Ultimate vault hunter upgrade pack”, which increases the level cap to 61 and allows pearlescent weapons to drop. The UVHUP is included in the Season Pass. These new weapons are farmable from Human Badasses, hence their (relatively speaking) high drop rates from LLMs. In my opinion, the UVHUP is the most poorly-named DLC ever. UVHM and the UVHUP are two very different things, which isn't immediately apparent from their names. It's worth noting that there is no “normal” when it comes to finding loot. If your question could be phrased to start with “Am I just having good/bad luck?”, the answer is “Yes.” The RNG in this game is indeed random, and many players finish TVHM without ever seeing a single orange. Heck, my Gaige is Level 52 and has never found one. All her gear came from my other characters that found stuff that would suit her. On the other hand, you can be very lucky. My Axton found (I think) about 13 legendary items between levels 1 and 37. It's totally random. A final point here: Captain Flynt and Doc Mercy's loot tables are bugged in TVHM and UVHM. They are supposed to drop the Thunderball Fists and Infinity, respectively, and do have a decent chance of doing so in Normal Mode, but in TVHM and UVHM you have an equal chance of them dropping one as you do of finding one in a pile of Stalker poop.

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SHiFT CODES & GOLDEN KEYS: SHiFT codes are codes that Gearbox releases periodically for Borderlands

SHiFT CODES & GOLDEN KEYS:

SHiFT codes are codes that Gearbox releases periodically for Borderlands 2. If you have a SHiFT account (you can sign up here), you can enter these codes in-game in the Extras section of the Main Menu and unlock Golden Keys or special loot. Golden Keys are single-use and unlock the Golden Chest in Sanctuary, which yields high-quality purple or E- tech gear for the most part. You can only redeem codes in-game, and the reservoir of keys you have is for all characters; one code gives your SHiFT account a key, not each character. SHiFT codes will remain redeemable for either a certain number of uses or a given length of time. Codes limited to a number of uses invariably run out quickly, so act fast. Codes that last a certain amount of time can last days, weeks, or months. The Orcz Tracker can be used to obtain keys without constantly stalking GB's social networks. The latest codes are also posted to the top of the front page of /r/borderlands. Do not save your keys for the level cap, since you'll probably be farming Legendary gear at that stage if you care about gear. Use them whenever you need a boost, or your gear is a bit sucky. If the SHiFT code that you enter is for loot, the item will appear in the inventory of the first character that you play as after entering the code and it will be equal to their current level. Characters loaded after this will not get that item.

BADASS RANKS:

Badass Ranks replace Weapon Proficiency from Borderlands. Completion of in-game challenges (which provided XP in Borderlands) provides Badass Ranks in BL2. These Ranks, at certain milestones, will provide you with Badass Tokens which can be spent on your characters. You can upgrade things like Elemental Effect Chance, Maximum Health, Shield Recharge Delay and more, all seen in the above link. Upgrades offer diminishing returns, with the 100 th token boosting a stat by less than the 10 th . When you spend a token, 5 randomly chosen traits are listed. Those you choose less frequently show up more often, to even your spread of stat boosts. These bonuses apply to all of your characters, past, present and future.

A GUIDE TO FARMING:

Farming is simply the act of repeatedly killing a boss with the hope of obtaining the Legendary item that they have an increased chance to drop. Almost any item can drop anywhere in the game, but most bosses have a single item that they can be farmed for. The list of Legendary items and who they can be farmed from is found in the Useful Links and Resources section, as can a Crowd Sourcing Project for drop rate data. Most items have a low chance of dropping, so giving up after 5 kills is rather pointless. A friend of mine has killed a certain boss over 1,500 times and has yet to see the heads that the FCK-3R drops. LLMs are a very good source of loot in UVHM. With the quest Doctor's Orders active, the room in the WEP containing a red Hyperion chest and 4 cardboard boxes (you know the one, I won't spoil anything) has a massively increased spawn rate of LLMs, so much so that if you ensure you don't pick up any of the Echoes, four LLMs will spawn every time, allowing efficient farming. Owning the Natural Selection Annex DLC speeds up this process greatly, as you start roughly halfway through the WEP instead of the start when you save-quit and resume the game.

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Farming quest rewards (unique items received at the end of a quest) is actually much

Farming quest rewards (unique items received at the end of a quest) is actually much easier, since the weapon is guaranteed. The issue is getting the specific variant you want, such as a Slag Evisceration Rubi, or Inflammable Love Thumper (if running non-Hellborn Krieg). To do this, go to whoever you turn the quest in to, turn in the quest, and STAY at the screen where it tells you the money, experience, and item you received. You can “inspect” the item (click the right stick on consoles, F on PC) to check if it is the variant you desire. If it is, good for you! If not, you have to quit the game in such a way that it doesn't save, so you can re-turn-in the quest. For PC users, Alt-F4 out of the game. For Xbox 360 users, quit to dashboard – that is, open your dashboard menu and select “Xbox Home” rather than saving and quitting. This will exit the game without saving and allow you to re-load and turn in the quest again. For PS3 I believe you hit the PS button and select “Quit Game”. If on consoles, and you don't want to risk the quest accidentally saving if you mess up, take your game save and copy it to a USB key. PC users should just copy saves to somewhere safe, like the Desktop. Turn in the quest, and if you didn't get the gun you wanted, copy over the save on the console with the one from the USB key, which is from before you turned it in. You can also hand the item to a second character (2 controllers needed) and have them save-quit as normal before replacing the save. This is useful for obtaining multiple variants of a weapon, notably Shock and Fire Sand Hawks. If you're up for a bit of glitching, you can try farming the Treasure Room in the Captain Scarlett (Pirate) DLC. The Treasure Room has a high rate of Legendary drops, which is why you can legitimately only enter twice. That video has spoilers for the end of the DLC, so don't watch it until you've completed it. The video also explains it in plenty of detail, so I won't say any more about it.

NUMBERS: COOLDOWN, DAMAGE RESISTANCE, ELEMENTAL CHANCE:

The aim of this section of the guide is to give a simple explanation of some of the game mechanics whose effects aren't immediately obvious and are to some people counter- intuitive.

Cooldown Time is the amount of time that must pass between a character's action skill ending after being used, and being used again. For example, once Zer0 runs out of time in Decepti0n, he must wait 15 seconds to use it again. This same concept applies to melee overrides. Both Axton and Zer0 can reduce their Cooldown Time by ending their action skill early: Axton can “reclaim” his Sabre Turret with the action key (E/X/Square), and Zer0 can simply end Decepti0n early by attacking an enemy before the timer runs out. Most skills in the game affect Cooldown Rate, but some (such as Thoughtlock and Get Some) directly affect Cooldown Time. Also, Krieg has various masochistic ways of decreasing Cooldown Time that I won't go into. Cooldown Rate is the part that may not make sense. Why? Well, if your gear and skills net you a 100% bonus to cooldown rate, you might expect your Action Skill to cool down immediately after use, and sadly you'd be wrong. The cooldown system works by requiring a certain amount of “ticks” (a unit of game time) to pass before the action skill is ready again. By default, each cooldown tick takes 1 second to pass. Increasing the speed that each tick passes by 50% means that 1.5 ticks go by each second. That may be difficult

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to understand, so here is a formula that represents Cooldown Time (CT) as a function

to understand, so here is a formula that represents Cooldown Time (CT) as a function of Base CT and Cooldown Rate Bonus (CRB):

CT = (Base CT) x (1/(1 + CRB))

This formula has units of seconds for CT. CRB is represented as a decimal, so if you have a Proficiency Relic that yields a 20% bonus to cooldown rate, CRB = 0.2. What some of you may have already realised is that this yields diminishing returns, which will be seen shortly. Take Gaige, whose Action Skill has a default CT of 60 seconds. With a Cooldown Rate bonus of 50% from skills and relics, we see that:

CT = (60 s) x (1/(1 + 0.5)) CT = (60 s) x (0.6667) CT = 40 seconds.

So that 50% boost makes quite a large difference of 20 seconds! Let's say we're geared up in some way that gives us a 100% cooldown boost to Cooldown Rate:

CT = (60 s) x (1/(1 + 1)) CT = (60 s) x (0.5) CT = 30 seconds.

Now we see diminishing returns. The second 50% (if you will), is “worth” less than the original 50% we saw above, as this extra 50% only decreases Cooldown Time by 10 seconds, as opposed to 20 seconds. So it's easy to see that focusing on maximising your Cooldown Rate isn't always a good thing.

As a final, real-world example, I'll refer to my own Siren, Level 61. Phaselock's base Cooldown Rate is 13 seconds. When designing my build I found that I could rearrange it to invest 5/5 in Quicken for a 30% boost to Cooldown Rate. I mean, that's very attractive! I use primarily Shock-based weaponry and a Storm Front grenade mod, so a Shock Bone of the Ancients relic suited me well. My relic gives a 36% bonus to Cooldown Rate. I also have a Legendary Siren COM, which gives me another 44% boost. That's a total 80% boost, so CRB = 0.8 without Quicken, and 1.1 with 5/5 in Quicken. So, is the extra 30% from Quicken even worth the 5 skill points? Let's check the Cooldown Time both without and with Quicken, and compare the results.

CT = (13 s) x (1/1 + 0.8) CT = (13 s) x (0.5556) CT = 7.3 seconds.

CT = (13 s) x (1/1 + 1.1) CT = (13 s) x (0.4762) CT = 6.2 seconds

So, it's pretty clear that the extra 30% Cooldown Rate has a very small effect on my Siren, only a single second! For me, this is not worth the 5 skill points, so I invested them in

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more support-based skills. This is not to say that Quicken is a bad skill, of

more support-based skills. This is not to say that Quicken is a bad skill, of course. I'm merely demonstrating that that much investment in increasing my Cooldown Rate yields a result that is barely noticeable in the midst of a fight. I could of course choose to invest 5 points in Quicken, and swap my Bone of the Ancients relic or my Legendary COM for an alternative item.

Damage Resistance is another mysterious beast, but thankfully easy to understand now that we've covered Cooldown Rate. In some cases DR is incorrectly referred to as Damage Reduction, as in Salvador's Come At Me Bro skill. Given the nature of the mechanic, Damage Resistance is the more accurate term. DR acts in exactly the same way as Cooldown Rate, and its effect on incoming damage can be shown by a modified Cooldown Time formula:

Damage Taken = (Damage) x (1/(1 + DR))

Like before, DR is expressed as a percentage. Salvador always has 50% (0.5) Damage Resistance when gunzerking. I don't need to do any calculations to show you that DR boosts yield diminishing returns, just like Cooldown Rate Boosts. In fact, just check the Come At Me Bro link above. 300% DR will result in you taking ¼ damage from all sources, i.e. resisting 75% of damage. Below is a graph to help visualise the diminishing returns you receive on Cooldown

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 50 100 150
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0
50
100
150
200
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Bonus Cooldown Rate or Damage Resistance
Percentage of Base CT or of Incoming Damage Taken

Rate and Damage Resistance. Hopefully the y-axis is clear enough!

Elemental Effect Chance bonuses are also disappointingly misleading. If you invest 5 points into Maya's Flicker skill, you get a +30% chance for elemental effects to proc. So, I have a Vladof pistol with a 10% chance to corrode enemies, 5/5 in Flicker should increase that to 40%! Once again, this is sadly not the case. You get a 30% increase to the existing Elemental Effect Chance, increasing it to 13%. So yeah, this is kind of disappointing. That said, most of the time, you don't just fire one shot, and the Elemental Effect Chance is per

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shot , so these increases can be worth it. Gaige's More Pep , which I

shot, so these increases can be worth it. Gaige's More Pep, which I mentioned before, comes in now. That skill, with 5/5 invested in it, will only give a 10% boost to all non-shock elements, and a 20% boost to shock. It's generally considered a far better use of skill points to invest in Myelin instead. Flicker doesn't suffer as badly because it gives a 30% boost for all elements. That said, with a Legendary Mechromancer COM, it may be worth sticking a single point into More Pep, because one skill point isn't a huge deal.

MELEE WEAPONS FOR KRIEG: A WORD OF WARNING:

This section will be nice and short. See this Gearbox Forums thread for reference. Basically, even outside of Buzz Axe Rampage, Krieg does more melee damage than other characters. This means that melee damage boosts from bladed weapons work differently for him, as when wielding a bladed weapon, he doesn't gain the bonus seen in the graph on that thread. I don't believe it came from that exact thread but it was discovered shortly after release (like 36 hours after) that above level 44, Krieg's “natural” melee boost is greater than 50%.This means above level 44 you are better off without a bladed weapon, as you do more damage normally. This caps out at the 82% increase at level 61, so weapons with a +100% or melee boost are the only ones worthwhile beyond level 44. At the time of writing this includes only the Rapier and Law. There is one exception to this: if you are using a Roid shield, even a 50% melee weapon will grant a nice bonus while the shield is depleted due to a different calculation method used while the shield is giving the bonus melee damage. You can watch this video for explanation and demonstration.

RAID BOSSES:

Raid bosses are special bosses intended to be fought by a team of players. It is typically expected that a group of four players at the level cap for that playthrough would be needed to beat the bosses, due to their insane amounts of health (often more than one hundred million health points in UVHM), and the massive amounts of damage they deal. That said, there are specific builds and equipment loadouts that can be used to solo most Raid Bosses with most characters, which can be found within the Gearbox Forums links in Character Selection. There are only two Raid Bosses in the base game, and each DLC adds either one or two new such enemies. Some Raid Bosses can drop Seraph Crystals, and these are known as the Seraph Guardians. All Seraph Guardians are Raid Bosses, but not all Raid Bosses are Seraph Guardians. Raid bosses generally need to be searched for: Apart from Vermivorous the Invincible, no Raid Bosses can be found by accident. There's not much else I will put here, but this List of Raid Bosses tells you what level they are fought at in each playthrough, and provides links to articles on each.

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CO-OP ETIQUETTE: HOW NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE: This will also be a short section.

CO-OP ETIQUETTE: HOW NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE:

This will also be a short section.

If you aren't the host, don't ninja-loot things. Host gets dibs, else see point 2.HOW NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE: This will also be a short section. If multiple people

If multiple people want a piece of loot, duel for it. Two players melee each other to begin a duel.ninja-loot things. Host gets dibs, else see point 2. Don't let people into your game just

Don't let people into your game just to kick them at the end of a boss fight so you can keep the loot for yourself.duel for it. Two players melee each other to begin a duel. If you're the host,

If you're the host, don't be afraid to kick somebody if they actually deserve it . if they actually deserve it.

Don't drop into a game with a character whose level is way off the host's. Don't bring your level 2 Axton into a Level 61 Raid party just so you can get EXP. This is of course okay if your friends offer to do it, but don't do it in random matchmaking. Also, dropping into a level 42's game with your level 58 character to “help” will make all enemies in that game boost up to levels 58-60, so don't do that either.be afraid to kick somebody if they actually deserve it . If you are playing a

If you are playing a modded game, change your network options to stay off of change your network options to stay off of

random matchmaking. Sure, many people would appreciate a few good drops, but when every other skag drops a Norfleet, the game is just not fair and for most people simply not enjoyable. I also advise you to learn what the three final-tier skills for the characters are and what they look like in-game, so you can tell if your host has modded skill points.

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DLC GUIDE:

DLC GUIDE: The following sections are taken from my original DLC guide, which can be visited

The following sections are taken from my original DLC guide, which can be visited from Useful Links and Resources. This is intended to provide the crux of what you would need to know about all the Borderlands 2 DLC that has been released as of 15/07/2013. Further DLC is incoming in the future, and an updated guide will be provided at such a time as it becomes outdated.

THE SEASON PASS:

The Season Pass includes the 4 campaign DLCs (outlined below), and the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack (increases level cap to 61, and allows pearlescent weapons to drop in UVHM), all for the price of 3 individual campaign DLCs. Well worth the money. It does not include Krieg or Gaige, the character DLCs. It does not include any of the skin/head DLCs seen at the Customisation Stations/Quick Change stations. There's always one guy who claims it was, so I'll say no, it was not stated that Gaige came with the season pass. If you didn't pay for her (and didn't pirate her) then you preordered the game.

WHICH DLC TO BUY IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE SEASON PASS:

Generally it would be recommended that you wait until you can afford the season pass. It's cheaper than all the campaign DLC individually and includes the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack (worst named DLC ever: this is the levels 51-61 pack). Unless you are hell-bent on getting Krieg or Gaige (I certainly was for Gaige), I would get the Season Pass first. More game content > same content with a new character IMO, but you're free to do what you wish. If you must choose between them: I think general opinion is something like this, in order of decreasing awesomeness:

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (Accessed via "Unassuming Docks" in Fast Travel) Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (Accessed via "Unassuming Docks" in Fast Travel)

Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage (Accessed via "Badass Crater of Badassitude" in Fast Travel) Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage (Accessed via "Badass Crater of Badassitude" in Fast Travel)

Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty (Accessed via "Oasis" in Fast Travel) Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty (Accessed via "Oasis" in Fast Travel)

Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt (Accessed via "Hunter's Grotto" in Fast Travel) Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt (Accessed via "Hunter's Grotto" in Fast Travel)

In terms of character DLC, which one you should buy (if you have to choose) probably depends largely on which characters you play/have played. If you haven't played anything seriously melee related, Krieg is likely the better choice for you. If you've played axton, I think you'll find Deathtrap to be a (slightly buggy) breath of fresh air. You now have a moving source of damage! Of course this is harder for me to quantify and give an objective opinion on, as not every player uses Krieg for melee or Gaige for Deathtrap.

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DLC LEVEL SCALING OF QUESTS AND ENEMIES: The levels of the enemies and missions in

DLC LEVEL SCALING OF QUESTS AND ENEMIES:

The levels of the enemies and missions in the DLCs are as follows:

Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty - levels 15 to 30of the enemies and missions in the DLCs are as follows: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage

Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage - levels 15 to 30Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty - levels 15 to 30 Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt -

Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt - levels 30 to 35to 30 Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage - levels 15 to 30 Tiny Tina's Assault on

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep - levels 30 to 35to 30 Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt - levels 30 to 35 As /u/Danarhys pointed out

As /u/Danarhys pointed out in the past, the latter two of these are rife with spoilers from the main game! You shouldn't play them in normal mode until (at the very, very least) you're in the Arid Nexus. This is reflected in their lower level cap being higher than those of the first two campaign DLCs. In True Vault Hunter Mode (TVHM), enemy levels in the DLCs will scale to around the player's level starting from around their Normal Mode playthrough level caps (30,30,35,35 respectively) until level 50. In Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode (UVHM), enemy levels in the DLCs will scale to around the player's level starting from around level 50 until level 61. This was all taken from /u/intergalacticninja's comment here.

WHAT ORDER TO DO THE DLC IN AND WHEN TO DO THEM:

The following assumes you own all 4 campaign DLCs either by purchasing the Season Pass, or by purchasing them individually. I would like to start this section by saying that no, you don't need to do all DLC in all playthroughs.

In normal mode you can start them as soon as you're at the lower level limit, and any time after that. If you're hitting level 36/37, you may want to just stop and move on to True Vault Hunter Mode, playthrough 2. You won't get much XP for enemies and quests that are levels below you, and all gear will be capped at 30 or 35 anyway, so unless there's a particular item you want from a DLC quest, I wouldn't stress about fully completing them.

You need to be a bit careful in TVHM, especially in Playthrough 2.5 (after you beat the final boss again and hit Level 50) because trying to keep all sidequests (that's another topic, won't cover it here) and DLC quests for when you hit level 50 is a recipe for disaster. XP gain is nerfed once you hit 50, to minimise your ability to level up thereafter. This is (in practise) to prevent you grinding to level 61 and entering UVHM only to fight level 63 badasses or level 66 Dukes of Ork with your level 50 legendary weapons you've farmed. I guarantee you will be struggling to a Dark Souls/Demon Souls degree. The difference between a level 50 DPUH, which can do 15145x2 damage (item card damage, from the wiki, and a level 61 version, which could deal 58923x2 (same source as above) is incredible. Your level 50 gear is worthless at L61, with the possible exception of the Slagga, and that's only if you just use it for slagging. This was kind of ranty but UVHM is a free DLC so I decided to include it. The

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point is you should really only do the side quests from the main game and

point is you should really only do the side quests from the main game and the DLC main/side quests that give you gear your character would need for UVHM. Typically that at least includes The Bee and (more commonly obtained by duping) the Legendary Class Mod for your character, plus whatever else you feel you need or just want.

USEFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES:

Compilation of Character Head & Skin Combos : Outdated, does not contain any data for Compilation of Character Head & Skin Combos: Outdated, does not contain any data for

the customization DLC, or for Krieg and Gaige.

Weapon Parts Infographics - This is the Assault Rifle link, but it links to the Weapon Parts Infographics - This is the Assault Rifle link, but it links to the others. These guides explain which company makes which weapon part,and what effect each part has on the weapons.

/r/borderlandsguns for trading gear. /r/borderlandsguns for trading gear.

/r/pandoranredcross for powerleveling requests, gear handouts, and corrupted save help. /r/pandoranredcross for powerleveling requests, gear handouts, and corrupted save help.

/r/bl2guns for showing off screenshots of nice loot. /r/bl2guns for showing off screenshots of nice loot.

/r/bl2builds for any questions about your build, or proposition of a new one. /r/bl2builds for any questions about your build, or proposition of a new one.

/r/bl2modding for those interested in modding the game. /r/bl2modding for those interested in modding the game.

/r/borderlandscoop for organizing group sessions. /r/borderlandscoop for organizing group sessions.

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