Quantcast
Surviving Pandora: A beginner's guide to Borderlands 2 - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Borderlands 2  



Surviving Pandora: A beginner's guide to Borderlands 2


4:00 PM on 09.19.2012
Surviving Pandora: A beginner's guide to Borderlands 2 photo



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.





Don't want to grind for those new Borderlands 2 skins? Just be patient instead photo


Free Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skins coming to Borderlands 2 on Tuesday photo


Borderlands 2 Vita hitting EU a bit later, arriving at the end of May photo


Borderlands 2 Vita to PS3 cross-save functionality coming photo


Borderlands 2 on Vita has co-op capped at two players photo


Borderlands 2 PS Vita bundle available May 6 photo


First footage of Borderlands 2 for PS Vita shows up photo


NEW PS Vita coming this spring to North America photo


Upcoming Borderlands 2 update to add colorblind mode photo


Borderlands 2 is getting Thanksgiving themed DLC photo


Borderlands 2 Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
Borderlands 2



6:30 PM on 07.16.2014
Don't want to grind for those new Borderlands 2 skins? Just be patient instead

Yesterday, a set of new skins and heads for Borderlands 2 released, featuring the Vault Hunters dressed as characters from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. As it was announced, the customization options would be made available as...more



1:45 PM on 07.14.2014
Free Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skins coming to Borderlands 2 on Tuesday

Over the weekend at GaymerX, Gearbox announced that it would be releasing free Borderlands 2 customization options tomorrow. The idea behind them came from the prolific Borderlands cosplay community, so the Borderlands 2 char...more



8:00 AM on 05.09.2014
Borderlands 2 Vita hitting EU a bit later, arriving at the end of May

For those of you who just picked up your shiny new Vita Slim in North America, you probably found a redemption code for Borderlands 2. Europeans have been enjoying it for about a month or so already, but without the...more



11:30 AM on 05.08.2014
Borderlands 2 Vita to PS3 cross-save functionality coming

For those of you that are lamenting the lack of cross-save functionality in the Vita version of Borderlands 2, fret no more, as an official Gearbox support representative has confirmed the mechanic on its forums. Answer a que...more



6:15 PM on 05.02.2014
Borderlands 2 on Vita has co-op capped at two players

Ever since the announcement of Borderlands 2 on PlayStation Vita, we have been hopeful about Gearbox's first-person shooter lootfest on Sony's handheld. After the first footage of it in action came out, it seemed clear that t...more



4:15 PM on 04.08.2014
Borderlands 2 PS Vita bundle available May 6

Sony has announced a release date for the Borderlands 2 PlayStation Vita bundle today via PlayStation Blog. The bundle, which marks the first release of the handheld's slimmer hardware redesign in North America, will be avai...more



12:30 PM on 03.20.2014
First footage of Borderlands 2 for PS Vita shows up

We have known about the PlayStation Vita port of Borderlands 2 for a while, but had not yet seen or heard much more about it. The port is due out some time this year, and now we have the first look at how the shooter plays o...more



4:20 PM on 02.10.2014
NEW PS Vita coming this spring to North America

The new PlayStation Vita will be launched this spring, coming in a Borderlands 2 bundle. This was confirmed today at a PlayStation media event in Santa Monica. It will include the game with six DLC packs (Captain Scarlett and...more



11:00 PM on 01.27.2014
Upcoming Borderlands 2 update to add colorblind mode

Gearbox Software is adding a colorblind mode to Borderlands 2 as part of an update planned for all versions of the game. Programmer Jeffrey Broome wrote a blog post covering his research into color vision deficiency more gene...more



10:30 AM on 11.20.2013
Borderlands 2 is getting Thanksgiving themed DLC

Borderlands 2 is getting some DLC for Thanksgiving, called The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler. First of all, that name is amazing. This is the second set of Headhunter DLC, following T.K. Baha's Bloo...more





Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

2K Games

5:30 PM on 07.23.2014
Jessica Nigri's hosting a Borderlands laser tag match at SDCC

San Diego Comic-Con has no shortage of special events to keep con-goers' schedules completely packed. Videogame publishers find the show a perfect opportunity to get their up-and-coming titles in front of a massive audience. ...more



1:45 PM on 07.14.2014
Free Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel skins coming to Borderlands 2 on Tuesday

Over the weekend at GaymerX, Gearbox announced that it would be releasing free Borderlands 2 customization options tomorrow. The idea behind them came from the prolific Borderlands cosplay community, so the Borderlands 2 char...more



10:00 AM on 07.11.2014
Gearbox explains why Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel isn't Borderlands 3

Developer diaries generally tend to be fairly niche videos that cover the specifics of creating a game. However, this one -- the first in a series -- takes a broad strokes approach and ends up being more interesting than mos...more



View all 2K Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more