Electric skags, raging midgets, suicidal psychos, and that’s not even the half of it. There aren’t two ways about it: Pandora is one tough place that isn’t kind to new adventurers and you’re going to need all the help you can get.
I’ve seen chatter among other critics that you can’t play certain parts of Borderlands 2 solo or that you need to spend extensive time leveling. I’m standing right here as living proof -- minus a limb or two and a very damaged ego -- that you can get through the game’s story missions solo without leaning on others or grinding. Regardless of how you approach the game or what class you pick, these spoiler-free beginner tips should come in handy.
Elemental damage is your friend
I know that sniper rifle which deals twice the damage of your current one is tempting, but trust me when I say that it’s not going to get you very far if it doesn’t have some drastic elemental damage attached. Instead of comparing damage, I often found it more useful to compare the selling price of each gun. After all, who knows these guns better than the developers that put an objective price on each one?
If you’re going to get through the final leg of the game solo without tearing your eyes out with a spoon, you’re going to want a good long-range weapon that deals slag damage. Even though my sniper was level 18, the slag effect it dealt on level 32 enemies let me deal significantly more damage than my other weapons. That’s the nature of slag. You’re going to want to lean on this ability hard, but it won’t get you past the bosses and larger enemies like the fun-crushing constructors.
Bring an arsenal
The first thing you’re going to want to do with your erudite in Sanctuary is expand your inventory slots. This will make it easier to carry more weapons. It’s always good practice to have one of each weapon in your inventory, even if you only ever use the RPG in boss fights and the machine guns not at all. In those desperate moments when you run out of ammo for your main guns, you’ll be thankful that you packed some backups.
The same applies to class mods and artifacts that give you increased ability with specific weapons or effects. When you know you are going to be sniping and shooting rockets at a boss for some time, it’s always smart to equip items that will give you buffs with these weapons.
Show mercy to the meek
If you’ve played the first Borderlands than you likely already have this tip ingrained in your memory, but here’s a reminder and lesson to the rest: Always leave a weak foe alive and near you during a tough fight.
Borderlands 2 shows the player mercy by giving you a second chance at life, as long as you kill an enemy while you are bleeding out on the ground. I’ve had a couple rare scenarios where I defeated a strong foe and even a boss in this state, but you generally want to put your crosshairs on the weakest, closest foe in the room. Even if this means being subject to them damaging you during a fight, it’s often worth it because you’ll regain your health after second win is over.
There ain’t no shame in this game. Boss fights often throw weak enemies at you, suggesting that this is the way the game is meant to be played. So make friends with that sad, pathetic little skag gnawing on your leg. He may just save your life after you let him kill you first.
Try to break the game and you may just receive a reward
I can’t think of another first-person shooter with a jump as satisfyingly floaty as Borderlands. The game invites the player to jump like an idiot and try to reach tricky spots, as if they are playing Mirror’s Edge. A lot of times you’ll find a great sniping spot, but sometimes you’ll find a box with some of the best weapons in the game hidden away.
As a general rule of thumb, try to get to every roof and faraway spot you can. If you think it’s possible, then it likely is. After taking some epic Crackdown-worthy leaps of faith, you may just find your new favorite shotgun. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for treasure locked away by an electric fence. There is often a way to power it off nearby. You can even follow wires to the source sometimes. It pays to be aware and adventurous in Borderlands.
Good luck ...
So much of Borderlands 2 will come down to way you build your character and the loot you come across. Some areas that are easy for one player may contain the largest difficulty spike in the game for another. That’s the beauty of Borderlands: It’s not always fair but it’s at least always fun.
If you follow the above tips, you’ll do better than the rest and have a fair chance at beating the game in under 30 hours without relying on others to carry the weight.
|7:00 AM on 05.10.2013|
Borderlands 2: Hands-on with Krieg the Psycho Bandit
With the Borderlands 2 season of content coming to an end, Gearbox is releasing one last vault hunter just before the curtains close. Krieg is his name, he loves self-inflicting pain, and the insanity of the psycho enemy...more
|7:30 PM on 05.06.2013|
Borderlands 2's sixth playable character available May 14
The sixth playable character for Borderlands 2, Krieg the Psycho Bandit, will be available for loot hunting on May 14, Krieg himself announced on Twitter. Unveiled at developer Gearbox Software's PAX East panel back in March,...more
|2:30 PM on 05.02.2013|
Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina DLC announced (Update)
[Update: Gearbox has cleared us to share with you the following, in light of today's leak. Borderlands 2's Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, which follows Tiny Tina who is running a role-playing tabletop game, will come...more
|5:00 PM on 04.06.2013|
HAWP: How Anthony Burch wrote Borderlands 2
Anthony Burch was very lucky to get hired by Gearbox to work on Borderlands 2. But the road to writing a critically acclaimed game script would only get harder from there. In this very special episode of Hey Ash, Whatcha Pla...more
|10:15 AM on 04.02.2013|
Borderlands 2 Ultimate Vault Hunter Pack is out today
Starting today, you'll be able to pick up the Ultimate Vault Hunter Pack for Borderlands 2, which raises the level cap from 50 to 61 and a free update that unlocks a third playthrough mode. If you're a Season Pass holder, you...more
|1:30 PM on 03.26.2013|
Borderlands 2 is getting a title update soon
Gearbox has detailed a new free title update for Borderlands 2 that will increase your inventory size and allow you to hold more Eridium and ammo upgrades. The patch is set to go live pretty soon, and full patch notes will g...more
|1:20 PM on 03.24.2013|
PAX: Gearbox making more Borderlands Loot Chests
The fans have demanded it, and Gearbox has listened as they'll be producing more Loot Chests. There will be 5,000 Diamond Plate Loot Chest made in a limited run that will be available this May. While only 5,000 are being prod...more
|1:05 PM on 03.24.2013|
Fourth campaign DLC for Borderlands 2 out by end of June
Gearbox revealed during their PAX East panel that the fourth campaign DLC for Borderlands 2 will be out by the end of June 2013. The studio wasn't ready to show anything off, but they did offer a confusing little teaser video...more
|11:45 AM on 03.24.2013|
PAX: Gearbox details Borderlands 2 level cap increase
At PAX East, Gearbox Software announced that a level cap increase is indeed on the way for Borderlands 2, but it's not going to be free for all. The cap will be bumped up to 61 in a new Ultimate Vault Hunters Pack DLC ar...more
|11:45 AM on 03.14.2013|
Gearbox teases new playable character for Borderlands 2
At some point in the future, Borderlands 2 will be getting another playable character as downloadable content. We don't know what this escaped experiment is called, or what it looks like, exactly, but this teaser trailer fro...more
|8:00 PM on 05.14.2013|
Sid Meier says core gamers should not be forgotten
Sid Meier is a legend to PC gamers for strategy games he lent his name to but the man himself admits that the Meier name doesn't mean much to mobile players. In an illuminating interview with GamesIndustry, Sid revealed his n...more
|6:15 PM on 05.13.2013|
Take-Two's year led by Borderlands and NBA sales
Take-Two held its quarterly earnings call today to report on the end of its fourth-quarter and fiscal year. The company finished the year at a loss, but there were many bright spots to be optimistic about. Of particular note,...more
|12:00 PM on 05.13.2013|
New redaction-heavy The Bureau: XCOM Declassified trailer
There was a rocky period there where I wasn't so sure 2K would keep the XCOM shooter going. To hear that it's back, albeit with new branding, and still looks more or less like what I was hoping to get out of the game in its ...more