Borderlands 3 is a game that hides a lot of complexity underneath the sheen of cel-shaded graphics, divisive humor, and shoot n' loot mechanics. While much of the game's marketing promises explosions, wild fights, chaotic decision-making and more variety in weapons than perhaps any other game in the genre, it also tends to mask the fact that the game is a min-maxer's dream. There are a lot of hidden mechanics at play in Borderlands 3 that determine damage output, survivability, and more - let alone the fact that certain builds of characters can become late-game powerhouses when, in the beginning, they seem much tamer than the other Vault Hunters.
All of this is to say that Borderlands 3 tips & tricks go beyond just the usual "stuff players should know" before booting the game up on their platform of choice. Being well-informed is a necessity, but the game's tutorial does a decent enough job of that - especially because so much content is gated behind story progression, introducing new concepts and more complicated loadouts at a pace that ensures players are experienced enough to handle it.
Those are the Borderlands tips & tricks that will help brand new players transition into playing the game competently. There's a lot more going on in the game than just having a decent build and knowing when to pop a cooldown, however. Here's our guide for the Borderlands 3 tips & tricks that will help set players up to become masters of the game as they get a better hold on what it's doing.
The Borderlands 3 Destructible Environment Is Key
One of the things Borderlands 3 doesn't do a great job at exploring early - beyond the fact that there are plenty of suspicious barrels just asking for players to try to shoot them - is indicating that its destructible environment is a big player in fights. It's not necessarily a make or break deal outside of some early bosses - later ones tend to have their own various mechanics and, beyond that, player builds are so intricate that there's so much going on some added damage doesn't often matter. For early group fights, however, these can be make or break, and they also dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to progress through the main story.
Most enemies tend to spawn in areas full of barrels that contain an element they're not particularly fond of. Beyond the questionable nature of enemy environment selection in Borderlands 3, though, it's strictly a boon to players to mess around with these and try to create scenarios where multiple enemies are crowding around a dangerous element. It's not just barrels, either. Borderlands 3 has low-hanging electrical wires that can be brought online as damage through shooting water valves, for instance, and other visual cues that function similarly. Make sure to pay attention to the environment much more than Borderlands 3 tells its players.
Don't Use The Same Borderlands 3 Weapon Types
This is important for two different reasons, but both of them are crucial. First, having multiple weapon types is important in navigating each situation Borderlands 3 throws at its Vault Hunters. Crowd control, solo DPS, maneuverability, distance, and more all play into the game's different setups, and being able to have a comfortable solution to problems posed on each of theses axes is important. Getting caught with two pistols, a shotgun, and then a sniper rifle can be tricky if there's a huge group of low health enemies at a medium distance, for instance, whereas having a more even spread helps cut off these problems before they occur.
The next reason is even more crucial, however. Doubling up on the same weapon in Borderlands 3 can be completely game-breaking for players who find themselves suddenly stuck in a lengthy firefight that's scarce on ammunition. Being able to swap between two, three, or four different weapons that don't share the same ammunition, even if one of them is a little worse than an option that would double up on types, can be the difference between wiping a fight and getting through some of the more chaotic moments when things don't go to plan.
Dump As Much Money As Possible Into SDU Upgrades
Specifically, Borderlands 3 SDU Upgrades to the backpack (inventory) are completely necessary for storing potentially awesome but situational loot, of which there is a lot towards the mid-to-late game. Beyond that, though, increasing ammunition stores is incredible, especially because farming time lengthens as the game progresses. That taxes inventory and ammunition and, to be as efficient as possible, sinking cash into these upgrades early - when buying weapons or trying a players' luck for some Eridium out of the slot machines is even less appealing than usual - can create some bigger paydays faster for prospective Vault Hunters.
Get Comfortable With Borderlands 3 Mayhem Mode Quickly
Mayhem Mode unlocks at the end of the first Borderlands 3 playthrough and buffs enemy health while adding different modifiers to their abilities or behavioral patterns while also increasing the chance at good loot. Mayhem Mode can seem like too much randomization for players, especially since True Vault Hunter Mode already exists as a true "higher" difficulty without necessarily the same level of variance, there's a reason Mayhem Mode is better first. Mayhem Mode can grant Anointed weapon drops, which have extra perks directly tied to a player's action skills that can dramatically increase the effectiveness of specific builds - some even create builds of their own, or at least draw players towards them, and the game won't be figured out for a very long time.
Respec Builds in Borderlands 3 Often
One of the most critical elements of Borderlands 3 is how cheap it makes respeccing builds. The game barely even hints at the function and it's not done in the actual skill tree menu, so it can be a well-hidden thing, although it's been a feature for so long that veterans of the series will certainly know it's there. There are situations where building out a character a specific way for 20-25 levels and then switching to a new build once a key ability unlocks is the best way to level, though, and players shouldn't be afraid to let that happen.
More importantly, though, players also need to understand that builds are a very difficult thing to get down early into a game's existence, even for end-game. That's further complicated by loot which, if it has specific buffs and perfect stats, could completely validate an otherwise unplayable end-game strategy. With the constant tweaks and updates that go into these sorts of games, players need to embrace the unknown and be unafraid to constantly attempt to interrogate what they understand about the game. Things change fast in Borderlands 3 sometimes and, like life on Pandora, if players don't adapt they could find themselves downed before they know it.