Borderlands 3 skill trees: Every Amara and Zane action and passive skill

We've played Borderlands 3, and we have hours of video to prove it. But naturally, before we fired a shot, we hopped into the menu to take a peek at the skill trees for Borderlands 3's new characters. Each character has three skill trees that will dramatically change their playstyles. 

So far, we've been able to see the skill trees of two Vault Hunters, Amara the Siren and Zane the Operative, and we've detailed all of their active abilities and passive skills below.

We'll start with Amara, whose skill tree has three branches: Brawl, Mystical Assault, and Fist of the Element. Each branch begins with an action skill, and she can equip one action skill at a time. As she progresses down these three trees, Amara will unlock passive abilities, action skill augmentations, as well as new action skills to equip. All of her skills are copied verbatim from the game.

Zane also has three branches, but is unique in that he's able to sacrifice the ability to wield grenades to equip a second Action Skill. His skill trees are Hitman, Doubled Agent, and Under Cover. The Hitman tree focuses on a sentinel drone, Doubled Agent is built around a hologram clone, and Under Cover is built around a defensive barrier.

Check out their skills in detail below, and check back for the skill trees of Borderlands 3's other playable characters, Moze and FL4K, shortly.

Amara's skill trees

Amara is Borderlands 3's Siren, following in the footsteps of Lilith and Maya. But she's clearly going to have her own playstyle(s). Here are her skill trees.

Brawl

Starting Action Skill

  •  Phaseslam: Amara leaps into the air and slams the ground, dealing damage to all nearby enemies and knocking them up. (Action Skill) 

Tier 1 Skills

  • One With Nature: Amara gains increased Max Health and Elemental Damage Resistance to her Action Skill Element.
  • Personal Space: Amara's weapon shots deal Bonus Damage based on the distance to her target. The closer the target, the greater the bonus.
  • Clarity: Amara constantly regenerates health. The lower her health, the more powerful the regeneration.

Tier 2 Skills

  • Root to Rise: Amara gains increased Max Health. 
  • Helping Hands: For a few seconds after using her Action Skill, Amara's arms remain active and grant her Damage Reduction.
  • Blight Tiger: Converts Amara's Action Skill to Corrosive Damage. 
  • Arms Deal: Amara deals increased Splash Damage, and takes reduced Splash Damage. 

Tier 3 Skills

  • Fracture: Amara summons a handful of fists that erupt from the ground, dealing damage to enemies in front of Amara. (Action Skill)
  • Mindfulness: Whenever Amara takes damage, she gains a stack of Mindfulness. For every stack of Mindfulness, Amara gains improved Shield Regeneration Delay and Movement Speed. Stacks decay after a few seconds.
  • Find Your Center: Amara gains increased Melee Damage.
  • Vigor: Killing an enemy with Amara's Action skill grants all allies increased Movement Speed for a few seconds. The effect stacks.
  • Revelation: Amara's Action Skill now creates a Nova when it damages enemies, dealing damage to all nearby enemies.

Tier 4 Skills 

  • Downfall: Amara leaps into the air and shoots an Elemental Beam below her briefly, followed by a Slam. (Action Skill)
  • Samsara: Whenever Amara deals damage to an enemy with her Action Skill, she adds a stack of Samsara. For every stack of Samsara, Amara gains increased Gun Damage and Health Regeneration fora  few seconds. Stacks decay after a few seconds.

Tier 5 Skills  

  • Do Unto Others: Whenever an enemy damages Amara, she automatically throws an energy orb back at them, dealing Action Skill Elemental Damage. This skill has a short cooldown.
  • Jab Cross: Whenever Amara deals melee damage to an enemy, she gains increased Action Skill Damage and increased Weapon Damage for a few seconds.
  • Guardian Angel: When Amara enters Fight For Your Life, she immediately gains a Second Wind, restores her health, and creates an Action Skill Elemental Noval that kocks back nearby enemies. This skill has a long cooldown.
  • Glamour: Enemies damaged by Amara's action skill become confused and temporarily attack their allies. However, Action Skill Cooldown is increased. If Amara targets an enemy with Phasegrasp, enemies near the Grasped target are confused as well.

Tier 6 Skills 

  • Blitz: Melee Override. Press (RS) to make Amara dash a short distance forward and perform a special melee strike, dealing Elemental Melee Damage. If a Blitz melee attack kills an enemy, Blitz's cooldown is immediately reset.

 Mystical Assault

Starting Action Skill

  • Phasecast: Amara sends forward an Astral Projection of herself, dealing damage to everything in its path. (Action Skill)

Tier 1 Skills  

  • Do Harm: Killing an enemy grants Amara a stack of Rush. Activating her action skill consumes all Rush stacks. For every stack of Rush consumed, Amara's Action Skill Damage is temporarily increased.
  • Fast Hand(s): Amara's Reload Speed, Weapon Swap Speed, and Mode Switch Speed are improved.
  • Violent Tapestry: Applying an Elemental Effect grants Amara a stack of Rush. Activating her action skill consumes all Rush stacks. For every stack of Rush consumed, Amara's Elemental Effect Chance is temporarily increased.

Tier 2 Skills  

  • Alacrity: Amara gains increased Reload Speed for every stack of Rush. After consuming Rush stacks, this bonus is increased for a few seconds.
  • Transcend: Amara gains increased Accuracy and Critical Hit Bonus for a few seconds after activating her action skill.
  • Restless: Amara gains increased Action Skill Cooldown Rate.
  • Soul Sap: A portion of all damage dealt by Amara's Action Skill is returned to her or a nearby ally as health.

 Tier 3 Skills  

  • Reverberation: Amara sends forward an Astral Projection of herself, dealing damage to everything in its path. Astral Projection deals increased damage for every enemy it hits. (Action Skill)
  • Ascendant: All Action Skill Augments gain increased effects.
  • Stillness of Mind: Enemies damaged by Amara's action skill become phaselocked until they are damaged or the duration ends. However, Action Skill Cooldown is increased. If Amara targets an enemy with Phasegrasp, enemies near the Grasped target are phaselocked.

Tier 4 Skills  

  • Deliverance: Amara sends forward an Astral Projection of herself, dealing damage to everything in its path. Whenever Amara's Astral Projection hits an enemy, it releases homing Elemental Projectiles that trigger her Action Skill Elemental Effect on enemies. (Action Skill)
  • From Rest: Amara gains improved Fire Rate and Charge Time.
  • Laid Bare: Enemies take increased damage from all sources for a few seconds after being damaged by Amara's action skill.
  • Wrath: Amara gains increased Gun Damage. This effect is increased after she activates her action skill for a few seconds.

Tier 5 Skills  

  • Remnant: When Amara kills an enemy with a Gun or Action Skill, she creates a homing projectile that seeks out a new enemy dealing her Action Skill Elemental Damage. Any Overkill Damage is added to the projectile's damage.
  • Awakening: Amara's Rush stacks gain increased effectiveness.
  • Tandava: Amara sends forward an Astral Projection of herself. When it hits a target, it explodes, damaging all nearby enemies. (Action Skill)

Tier 6 Skills  

  • Avatar: Amara's action skill can be activated while it's cooling down. The skill may only be used once per completed cooldown. Additionally, increases Amara's Max Rush Stacks.

 Fist of the Element

Starting Action Skill

  • Phasegrasp: Amara summons a giant fist that bursts from the ground and locks the targeted enemy in place for a few seconds. Some enemies are immune to being Grasped and instantly take damage instead. (Action Skill) 

Tier 1 Skills  

  • Anima: Amara's Elemental Effects deal increased damage over time and have increased duration. Her Action Skill Elemental Effect deals further increased damage.
  • Steady Hand(s): Amara gains increased Weapon Handling and Accuracy.
  • Infusion: Convert a portion of damage dealt by Amara's weapons into her Action Skill Element.

Tier 2 Skills  

  • Tempest: Amara deals increased Elemental Damage. Shock Damage is further increased.
  • Illuminated Fist: Amara gains increased Melee Damage and her Melee Damage is converted to her Action Skill Element.
  • Wildfire: Whenever Amara applies an Elemental Effect to an enemy, it has a chance to spread to a nearby enemy.
  • Soulfire: Converts Amara's Action Skill to Fire Damage. 

Tier 3 Skills  

  • The Eternal Fist: Amara summons a giant first that bursts from the ground and locks the targeted enemy in place for a few seconds. Whenever the Grasped enemy is killed, up to 3 new targets can be sought out and Grasped. (Action Skill)
  • Dread: Amara's Gun Damage is increased for a few seconds after an enemy is Grasped. Whenever any player kills a Grasped enemy, their current weapon is instantly reloaded.
  • Allure: Amara's Action Skill creates singularities that pull in enemies.

Tier 4 Skills  

  • Indiscriminate: Amara's bullets that damage enemies have a chance to ricochet and deal decreased damage to other nearby enemies. Ricochet Chance and damage are increased if the target is currently affected by Phasegrasp or Stillness of Mind.
  • Deep Well: Amara gains increased Magazine Size with elemental weapons.
  • Catharsis: Whenever Amara triggers an elemental effect on an enemy, when that enemy dies that enemy explodes, dealing her attuned element damage along with any other element that is currently inflicted upon the enemy. This skill has a short cooldown.
  • Ties that Bind: Amara summons a giant fist that bursts from the ground and locks the targeted enemy in place for a few seconds. Enemies near the Grasped target are linked, and any damage dealt to a linked target is shared between all other linked targets. (Action Skill)

Tier 5 Skills  

  • Fist Over Matter: Amara summons a giant fist that bursts from the ground and locks the targeted enemy in place for a few seconds. After Grasping the targeted enemy, large fists appear and constantly smash the area, dealing damage to nearby enemies. (Action Skill)
  • Sustainment: Amara gains Life Steal whenever she deals Elemental Damage with her weapon.
  • Conflux: Whenever Amara applies an Elemental Effect to an enemy, she gains a chance to randomly Electrocute, Burn, or Melt that enemy.

 Tier 6 Skills  

  • Foreceful Expression: Amara's guns deal Bonus Elemental Damage, based on her Action Skill Element.

Zane's skill trees

Zane also gets three skill trees to wander down: Under Cover, Doubled Agent, and Hitman. He's a bit special in that he can equip two Action Skills at a time, but using a second Skill will remove his ability to throw grenades. 

Here are all of Zane's skills:

Hitman

Starting Action Skill

  • SNTNL: Send into battle an automated SNTL drone that continually flies through the environment and attacks enemies with its Machine Guns. Pressing LB or RB (controller) while SNTNL is active causes it to attack the enemy under Zane's crosshairs, if any.

Tier 1 Skills

  • Violent Speed: After killing an enemy, Zane gains increased Movement Speed for a few seconds.
  • Cold Bore: Zane gains increased Weapon Swap Speed. The next shot fired after swapping weapons deals Bonus Cryo Damage.
  • Violent Momentum: Zane's Gun Damage is increased while moving. The quicker he moves, the greater the Gun Damage bonus.

Tier 2 Skills

  • Winter's Drone: Converts SNTNL's primary weapons to Cryo Damage.
  • Cool Hand: Zane gains increased Reload Speed. After killing an enemy, Zane's Reload Speed is increased for a few seconds.
  • Drone Delivery: SNTRY will occasionally drop a free grenade based on your current grenade mod while attacking enemies.
  • Salvation: After killing an enemy, Zane's weapons gain Life Steal for a few seconds.

Tier 3 Skills

  • Bad Dose: SNTNL occasionally shoots out a beam of Radiation that weakens enemies and buffs Zane.
  • Seein' Red: Activating an Action Skill automatically activates all of Zane's kill skills.
  • Static Field: SNTNL emits a static field that sends a Shock beam to nearby enemies, draining their shields and replenishing Zane's.

Tier 4 Skills

  • Boomsday: SNTNL adds a rocket pod to its primary weapons, allowing it to shoot rockets as well as machine guns.
  • Violent Violence: After killing an enemy, Zane gains increased Fire Rate for a few seconds.
  • Playing Dirty: After killing an enemy, Zane's next five shots all have a chance to fire an additional projectile.
  • Almighty Ordnance: Hold down LB or RB (controller) while SNTNL is deployed to paint a target area. SNTNL fires a missile barrage at that area, and if an enemy is killed, Almighty Ordnance's duration is reset. This can only be used once per Action Skill use.

Tier 5 Skills

  • Good Misfortune: Killing an enemy increases Zane's Action Skill Duration. This skill has diminishing returns.

Tier 6 Skills

  • Death Follows Close: All of Zane's kill skills gain increased effect and duration.

Doubled Agent

Starting Action Skill

  • Digi-Clone: Spawn a Digi-Clone of Zane. The clone stays in place, but distracts and fires at enemies. Pressing LB or RB (controller) while the Clone is active causes Zane and the Clone to swap places.

Tier 1 Skills

  • Synchronicity: Whenever one or more of Zane's action skills are active, he gains increased Gun Damage for each active action skill.
  • Praemunitus: Zane and his Dig-Clone gain increased Magazine Size.
  • Borrowed Time: Zane gains increased Action Skill Duration for every active action skill.

Tier 2 Skills

  • Binary System: Whenever Zane swaps places with his Clone, a Cryo Nova is triggered around Zane and his Clone.
  • Dannybrook: Whenever Zane kills an enemy ,he and his Digi-Clone receive increased Gun Damage and gain Health Regeneration for a few seconds.
  • Fractal Frags: The Digi-Clone throws a copy of Zane's current grenade mod when it is first activated. If the Digi-Clone is killed, it drops a free grenade. Killing an enemy while the Digi-Clone is active gives the Clone a chance to throw a grenade.
  • Duct Tape Mod: The first shot fired from Zane's gun has a chance to also fire a grenade. The more grenades in his capacity, the higher the chance.

Tier 3 Skills

  • Schadenfreude: Whenever the Clone takes damage, Zane's shield is restored by a portion of that damage.
  • Quick Breather: Whenever Zane swaps places with his Clone, his shield immediately begins recharging.
  • Which One's Real?: Enemies are more likely to target the Clone for a few seconds after it's summoned and after swapping places.

Tier 4 Skills

  • Dopplebanger: Hold down LB or RB (controller) to end the action skill early. When Zane's Action Skill is ended, the Clone explodes, dealing Fire Damage to all nearby enemies. The more Action Skill time remaining, the greater the damage.
  • Pocket Full of Grenades: After killing an enemy, Zane gains Grenade Regeneration for a few seconds.
  • Old-U: Press LB or RB (controller) during Fight for Your Life if Digi-Clone is active to destroy the clone and immediately gain a Second Wind with full health.
  • Supersonic Man: Whenever one or more of Zane's Action Skills are active, he gains increased Movement Speed for each active Action Skill.
  • Digital Distribution: If Zane takes health damage while the Clone is active, a portion of that damage is shared to his Clone instead.

Tier 5 Skills

  • Like a Ghost: Zane and his Digi-Clone gain a chance to ignore bullets. This chance is increased for a few seconds after activating an action skill. This effect stacks.
  • Boom. Enhance.: Whenever Zane summons his Digi-Clone, it consumes up to 3 grenades. For every grenade consumed, the Digi-Clone gains increased Gun Damage, Max Health, Fire Rate, and Reload Speed.
  • Trick of the Light: Zane deals Bonus Shock Damage to enemies that aren't targeting him.

Tier 6 Skills

  • Double Barrel: The Clone is equipped with a copy of Zane's Current Weapon when activated. Swapping places with the Clone causes Zane and his clone to gain increased Gun Damage.

Under Cover

Starting Action Skill

  • Barrier: Drop a deployable Barrier that blocks incoming projectiles. Zane and his allies can shooter through the Barrier, dealing increased Gun Damage. Pressing LB or RB (controller) while Barrier is active picks up and holds the Barrier, but the size and bonuses are decreased. 

Tier 1 Skills

  • Adrenaline: Zane gains increased Action Skill Cooldown Rate. This bonus is based on the amount of shield he has. The more percent full, the greater the bonus.
  • Hearty Stock: Zane gains increased Maximum Shield Capacity.
  • Ready for Action: Zane gains improved Shield Recharge Rate and Shield Recharge Delay.

Tier 2 Skills

  • Charged Relay: Whenever Zane or an ally touches the Barrier, they gain increased Movement Speed and Fire Rate for a few seconds.
  • Brainfreeze: Whenever Zane scores a Critical Hit on an enemy, there's a chance they will be Slowed.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Whenever Zane is damaged, he gains Damage Resistance against that damage type.
  • Rise to the Occasion: Zane gains Health Regeneration. The lower his shield is, the higher the bonus. While Zane's shields are full, he does not receive any health regeneration.

Tier 3 Skills

  • Nanites or Some Shite: Zane and his allies gain Health Regeneration, increased Reload Speed, and greatly improved Shield Recharge Delay while near his Barrier. The lower their health, the more health is regenerated.
  • Confident Competence: While Zane's shields are active, he gains increased Gun Damage and Accuracy. This bonus is based on the amount of shields he has. The more percent full, the greater the bonus.
  • All-rounder: Zane's Barrier becomes a dome, covering all sides.

Tier 4 Skills

  • Redistribution: Zane and allies near the Barrier gain increased Gun Damage for a few seconds after the Barrier takes damage.
  • Really Expensive Jacket: Elemental damage over time effects applied to Zane have reduced duration.
  • Best Served Cold: Whenever Zane kills an enemy, they create a Cryo Nova, dealing damage to all nearby enemies. This skill has a short cooldown.
  • Futility Belt: Zane gains resistance to non-elemental damage. Kill Skill: All elemental damage Zane takes is converted to non-elemental damage.
  • Deterrence Field: Enemies that touch the Barrier take Shock Damage and are staggered.

Tier 5 Skills

  • Refreshment: Whenever Zane damages a frozen enemy with his weapon, he gains some of that damage back as health.
  • Calm, Cool, Collected: Whenever Zane Freezes an enemy, his shield instantly begins recharging. If Zane's shields are already full, he regenerates health for a few seconds. If Zane's health is already full, his Action Skill Cooldowns and Durations are immediately reset.
  • Nerves of Steel: Zane gains increasing Accuracy and Handling. The longer his shield is full, the greater the bonus.

Tier 6 Skills

  • Distributed Denial: Zane's barrier gains the effects of his currently equipped Shield Mod. Additionally, shield effects are applied to all allies near the barrier. Bonuses to Zane are reduced.

When Borderlands 3 is out, we'll update this page to include skill trees for all of the Vault Hunters. In the meantime, here are our impressions from this week's preview session, and everything else we know about Borderlands 3. If you're jumping back into older Borderlands games to prepare for 3, we've gathered Shift Codes for Borderlands 2 that work in 2019.