Borderlands 2 Tips and Game Play Guide

So we have now all had a few weeks to play through Borderlands 2 and to say the least, its a kick ass game.  Props to the game developer for putting so much thought into every detail and aspect of game play, graphics, sound track and of course all the neat little subtleties added in a long the way (yes the bazillion guns was a nice touch too).  So here are some tips we have compiled to help out people just getting started out or even some tips you might not have even though of when playing the game.  Of course there are a lot of better players (i’m sure) then the ones writing this guide so if you want to chip in your thoughts please add your comments below.


Spotting Rare Weapons

Joedigital tips: Spotting rare weapons to snatch up is almost like Where’s Waldo,  for me anything thats white at this point isn’t even worth checking out those are pretty common guns found in dirt piles, just lying around on the ground etc, you can pretty much just be walking and trip on like ten of them.  To start its worth looking at any green rarity gun you can spot or at least go and check it out if your not being bombarded by baddies at the time.  Then you get to the Blue rarity guns, pretty much anything in this level or rarity is worth keeping if you have space in your pack, it might not be a gun you need or want at the time but it will be something you can trade or sell.

When it comes to really rare guns you are talking Purple, Magenta and Orange.  If you see those then they automatically go in the pack, these guns generally have bigger damage, elemental effects and other accessories and powers.  Just remember when it comes to special ability weapons that are above and beyond the normal rarity levels they will all have the red wording in the description when you hover over the gun, doesn’t matter what rarity level it is, if its got the red writing then its probably a pretty decent pick and you want to keep it.

KidMachinate tips: If you see a Orange or Purple item, you best be mashing the X or Square button. This is to guarantee you actually get to look at the item and decide if you want it. If you’re playing with randoms, you’re bound to have loot thieves that do just this and don’t even drop it afterwords to see if anyone could use it. Friends of course can be the exact same way, so in that case, you’ll just have to be a good judge of character and may just find that certain friends can’t be trusted. Borderlands 2 looting – SRS business.


Making Money

Joedigital tips: More money = more things you can buy.  The trick to making money is selling guns, whenever you see a gun in any class just pick it up and throw it in your bag, you can check them out later to see what they are and if you run out of room just toss out the lower grade ones first.  Anything with elemental effects or red writing is worth keeping, if you dont need it then it can be sold or traded.

KidMachinate tips: I’ve spent a stupid amount of time on this game thus far and there are two ways to make definite money fast. Chances are, you want to be in the mid-30s level wise, and be done with playthrough one. The strategy is simply to farm the final boss, which I won’t reveal as some people are not there yet and the game has not even been out for a month. The next I used mostly for XP, but definitely could also be for money as well.


Earning Experience points

Joedigital tips: Basically with XP and Leveling is easiest when playing with other players, you will not only get experience points from your own kills but points from friendly kills (the bad guys your team mates take out as well).  Basically the harder the levels and enemies you are fighting the more experience its worth.

KidMachinate tips: Another strategy that works is simply to spend lots of time in the arena levels. There are two within the game, although optional, and a third if you pre-ordered the game. A friend and I found out however, that even if you don’t have the last unlocked, you just need someone with the DLC as the host. Don’t go crazy looking at your GameStop receipt and wondering where the “Creature Slaughter Dome” is. The DLC may be called that, but the place in game goes by a different name.

– Fink’s Slaughterhouse

– Ore Chasm (the best one, in my opinion…you’ll see…)

– Natural Selection Annex (Pre-order DLC)

Farming these areas will catch you up if you’re having trouble with the story, or simply work toward more and more xp if you fail, which will eventually lead to not just more xp, but possible drops you may like (or not like to sell). You can access each of these places when you get to certain key points in the game. In order, The Fridge, Wildlife Preservation Center, and Eridium Blight.


Upgrade Your Pack

Joedigital’s tips: A great first investment for any player is upgrading your pack so you can carry more weapons, loot etc.. I mean the more loot you can carry the better right? can you imagine a pack full of rare runs and then finding an even more rare gun? I wouldn’t be the one wanting to make that decision.

KidMachinate tips: For me personally, this is the first thing I upgraded fully. The bank upgrades came not too long after. If I have any complaints about the game, the lack of space is DEFINITELY one of them.


Guns In Your Inventory

Joedigital tips: Its always a good idea to keep one of each elemental type of weapon as you never know what kind of enemy your going to come up against.  Some might need to be zapped, some might need to be corroded you really never know when you will bump into enemies that just wont die easily with good ol’ bullets.

KidMachinate tips: What he said. Really though, you can’t just run around with an explosive gun the whole game and expect to plow through everything. Borderlands 2 actually makes you plan for which elemental guns you need to use in certain situations. I find the fire is great early on and somewhat later. Flesh based enemies, Skags, and Varkids. Later on, when you feel like you’re fighting armies of T-1000s, corrosive is the way to go. The bots won’t stand a chance.

One thing to note, rocket launchers are MUCH more useful in this game than the first. Damage is great, and unlike the first, the accuracy is better. For the most part, I still don’t use them, but they can do some undeniable damage for taking that last chunk off a tough boss – like Terramorphus.


Accuracy and Maximizing Criticals

KidMachinate tips: Neither one is a strong suit for me, but if you’re really into getting those critical  and furthermore, those head-shots with deadly accuracy, Zer0 is the way to go. His final game changer spell on the Sniper tree, I’d imagine is pretty good.

Joedigital tips: Well, lets be serious. Accuracy for some of these guns is pretty crappy at most your just firing away hoping that you hit something, it really comes down to a combination of accuracy, aim and spread which are in direct correlation with recoil.  With Hyperion guns there you can find them with stabilization built in which certainly helps overall in this area.

I guess really when it comes down to it, it’s more about maximizing criticals.  When it comes to human looking enemies obviously the head shots work the best but with mechanical creatures its all about the joints and the red sensor eyes.  Other weak points on creatures such as spiderants and varkids have their weak points around their tails and hindquarters.  This is how to maximize damage/criticals.

Beyond those points every player in this game has skills in their trees to increase either accuracy or criticals (or both), these are good skills to assign some skill points to as it will allow you to kill bad guys faster.


Staying Alive, Shields and Vehicles

KidMachinate tips: If your gear isn’t up to par, the game will let you know real quick. You will die – a lot. Furthermore, if you can’t support yourself through constant second winds, you may want to play with others to help with that, or upgrade. Probably both, for fun and the whole staying alive thing.


Skill Tree Building

Joedigital tips: All I can say here is choose a skill tree to build up first obviously you want to go to the skill tree builder on Borderlands 2 website to see what all the skills are (maybe we will put up a skill tree post here soon) and then decide on what skills you want to build and concentrate on, of course with how skill points work you might not always be able to assign points to your specific skill you are trying to build since its random but overall I think that is the idea.

KidMachinate tips: I can only speak for the two classes I have played so far, and both characters are very similar in what skill trees I mostly stick to. With my Siren (main – level 50) I stick mostly to Cataclysm for stacking of elemental damage, on top of either a slag or explosive weapon to stack on top of all that. Ruin, as mentioned in the Maya Gamechangers Guide is quite the game changer skill. It makes Maya amazing, to say the least. I have a Zer0 as well, but he’s not all the way to 50, so I’ll be explaining my Siren because it is indeed the complete character of the two.

My Current Maya Build

With this build, I focus mostly on the “Cataclysm” tree, which great for making your Phaselock not only hold enemies in place, but also stack different types of elemental damage. “Ruin” adds fire, shock, and corrosive damage – plus you can always use an explosive weapon, or slag weapon while an enemy is in this. On top of this, “Cloud Kill” which I also use puts up a small corrosion cloud of death for 5 seconds. You can only have one at a time, but with all this going on, that damage stacks. We’re not done yet.

If you’ll notice, I do have some skills in the “Motion” tree. I want to point to the “Converge” skill in particular. While all this is happening, nearby enemies are dragged in and this will deal some damage to them as well. The skill “Suspension” helps increase the duration of Phaselock, letting me damage my lucky target or targets for that much longer. When they are finally done taking this damage, both my class mod and relic have “Reduce Action Skill Cooldown Rate” so it’s not long before I get to do it all again.



Joedigital tips: Relics are like bonus skills just for having them, as many as you can find and carry would be ideal depending on the skills they give and if you where on the pre-order list you get a rare/unique relics right off the bat which is the Vault Hunters Relic that increases the chances that enemies drop rare loot!  Other relics in the list give additional bonus stats such as enhanced shields, melee attack bonus, increased xp etc.. it certainly doesn’t hurt to have relics.

KidMachinate tips: Class Mods are equally as important, as they will help with specific skills, or add health, ect. A nice combination of the two can really help with any build you make that sticks to one primary focus. Good builds should generally stick to one tree for the most part and branch off a bit into the other trees as well, based on what you want to accomplish. Knowing what you want to focus on for your character as opposed to just putting skill points into skills randomly could make the difference between a good character and a great character.