Now that Borderlands 3 is out in the wild, we've been able to take a hard look at the game's new gun generation systems and analyze our results. Obviously, Borderlands 3 is built on the foundation of randomly generated weapons, so we can't just list the best ones we found and hope you find them too. To account for randomness, we've listed our best traits to look for in guns and highlighted some common stuff to look out for.
Double-Penetrating The Boring Gun | Torgue Shotgun
This one’s for the lazy gamers. The Boring Gun spits out a bundle of sawblades with massive splash damage that ricochet all over until they find purchase. As long as your target isn’t in the air, this is an excellent go-to. Next to no aiming required.
Cash-Infused Brainstormer | Hyperion Shotgun
Shielded enemies are annoying. That overshield regenerates, so focusing fire on one target is usually the play. But with this shotty, electric damage chains between all nearby enemies. It deletes the entire room’s shields, and does great damage.
Bangarang XL | Tediore SMG
Throwable Tediores are mostly great across the board, but this one wears down entire crowds with style. Once thrown, the SMG spins like a copter, firing bullets and oscillating up and down all the while. It’s a lovely thing to behold.
Subsidized The Butcher | Hyperion Shotgun
DPS! Wild, untamable DPS! This automatic shotty has a fire rate like that of a fully-automatic machine gun. It’s a bucking bronco, and while it doesn’t have great supporting stats, shooting the thing nearly gives me whiplash through the screen.
Stark Storm | Maliwan Sniper
A charging sniper rifle with a trick up its sleeve. Yeah, it fires a powerful bolt of electric energy, but it also spawns a couple hovering electric nodes where the shot lands. And those nodes trap enemies, doling out electric damage all the while. An incredible weapon for crowd control.
L0V3M4CH1N3 | Hyperion SMG
It fires rounds in a heart shape! But it also melts fleshy enemies because of that fire rate and pattern. Eternal love, right here.
Essential Conference Call | Hyperion Shotgun
It’s back (but I’ve yet to find the Bee shield to see if the classic combo is busted once again)! The Conference Call fires pellets forward, like a normal shotty, but those pellets also fire pellets out to the side. Using this one in a crowd of bandits clears the space in short order.
Nuclear Jericho | Vladof Rocket Launcher
Death from above. It takes a bit to get the hang of, but this rocket launcher functions more like a portable mortar strike. Rockets shoot into the sky and explode, raining down corrosive damage and a few more explosive corrosive grenades. It makes for a nice opening salvo.
Dastardly Headsplosion | Jakobs Sniper
Critical hits with this rifle sends bullets bouncing to the nearest enemies. Pop a couple heads at once, something like a chain-reaction pimple popping.
Shocking AAA | DAHL Pistol
It’s a machine pistol, but it sends out what amounts to a wall of electric damage. The Shocking AAA deletes shields with a single trigger pull and does damage to match. A fast reload speed makes it a go-to sidearm.
It’s a gun that shoots guns. Only 10 Eridium per shot.
Traits to look out for:
When your shotgun is actually a grenade launcher
Terrible aim don’t mean a thang with these puppies. Plus, they usually come with a an alt sticky grenade mode, which often applies extra damage for precise lobs. It's all about that splash damage, though.
Splash damage is the best damage
Precision aim in Borderlands is possible and it’s rewarded with critical damage, but once the enemies and explosions and pets and singularities pile up, it’s hard to tell tit from tat. Weapons that deal splash damage make up for indiscernible targets.
Sniper rifles easy shoot without looking down the scope
This applies to most sniper rifles, especially with mouse aim, but look for those that feel good at the hip. The versatility will save you in a pinch.
Any throwable Tediore weapon
These things are seriously delightful and almost always useful for dealing splash damage, kiting enemies, or elemental AoE effects.
Whatever feels best in your hands
I always had the most fun with the weapons that felt best to shoot. Don’t get too bogged down by stats and min-maxing. Some of the most effective weapons might feel awful—I hate the charge shotguns that shoot in bursts, for instance. Guns take a while to outlevel and some, because of their broken stats, work far above the level you might find them at.