Borderlands 3 hotfix nerfs one of its most OP guns

Borderlands 3 Amara build
(Image credit: Gearbox Software)

Gearbox has rolled out a new Borderlands 3 hotfix that fixes a few bugs and makes a number of adjustments to weapons and Vault Hunters. Top of the list is a major nerf to the Flakker, a legendary shotgun which was widely regarded as one of the best weapons in the game, and which has had its damage reduced by 33 percent and now consumes its entire magazine in one shot.

"Flakker was greatly outperforming other shotguns due to the number of projectiles and the high rate of fire. We initially believed the resulting projectile spread would cause most of the explosions to miss the target, however this turned out to be false, so we reduced the projectile damage and allowed the weapon to only fire once per magazine," Gearbox explained in the patch notes. "This change encourages players to capitalize on different stat bonuses to maximize the weapon’s damage output."

It's also inspired some amusing Reddit threads, such as "Fs for Flakker" and "RIP in Peace," and at least one amusing meme. But cooler heads also pointed out that, disappointing though it may be, the nerf was probably in order. 

"Flakker was stupid how strong it was. It actually did hilariously outperform nearly every gun. It didn't matter how important your gun was to your build, chances are flakker could replace it with ease," redditor Pollia wrote. "The gun was stupidly strong to the point it didn't matter what modifiers mayhem threw at you, you could flak the world to your heart's content. No one should actually want a game balanced around that power level."

Another, Q2Qool, said that even after the change, it remains a powerful weapon. "It's not the best by any means now but it’s definitely not garbage and even better than a lot of epics out there and some legendaries," they wrote. If you're still grinding for loot in the endgame, check out our updated list of every Borderlands 3 Shift code that works right now.

(Image credit: Cappin_Crunch (Reddit))

Other notable nerfs include the Lyuda, which has had its critical damage bonus cut by 30 percent to compensate for a fixed bug that was causing it to fire four projectiles instead of the intended three, and a couple of Hyperion legendaries: The accuracy of Crossroad has been reduced and it now fires three projectiles instead of four, and Butcher's accuracy has also been reduced, and its damage cut by 25 percent. "The Butcher was drastically outperforming all metrics and we chose to reduce the damage in order to keep the fast fire rate," Gearbox said.

The Hex and Firestorm grenades were also dramatically nerfed—a 70 percent damage reduction to each—because they were "calibrated to the wrong damage modifier," Gearbox said. "We realize this is a drastic change on both of these grenades, but we did not want to remove the spectacle of the grenade (number of grenades spawned, number of targets hit, etc.) and focused on allowing their core identity to be emphasized instead of them continuing to just be high damage grenades."

The health of Moze's Iron Bear mech, Zane's Digi-Clone, and all pets has been boosted to make them more viable in the late game. Gearbox said that it's looking into longer-term solutions to scaling their damage, but this should encourage players to give them a little more love for now.

And the bug fixes:

  • Psychos will now use their True Vault Hunter Mode name in True Vault Hunter Mode
  • Removed the optional Rare Spawn missions from Galaxy Progress
  • Addressed a reported bug where Completely Sane Sid didn’t always become hostile when using FL4K
  • Addressed a reported bug where Ratch would not properly spawn during “Ratch’d Up”, which potentially blocked completion of that side mission
  • Included a modification so Lilith would continue to move toward the door in Shiv’s confession chamber during “From the Ground Up”
  • Lowered the chance for a weapon to drop from the Pachinko machine
  • Included a modification so that Zane’s Digi-Clone will no longer spawn into the cage in Cistern of Slaughter
  • Shield Boosters were modified and are now set for autopickup
  • An addition was introduced so Eridium chests are no longer listed as Red Chests in the ECHOcast extension on Sanctuary III
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.