In Borderlands 3 you can load out your Vault Hunter with badass gear. I’m not talking about the character customization with cosmetic items. This article is all about Weapons, Class Mods, Artifacts, Shields, and Grenade Mods. Because while in Borderlands 3 these things still have the same purpose they kinda work a bit different compared to the previous games. This (with a lot of other things) not only makes the game feel fresh it also gives you new ways to play the game.
Your Backpack space has increased compared to previous games in the franchise. You will start with more backpack slots and eventually end with more slots. There are also other ways to store your favorite pieces of gear. However, for your main loadout, you have;
- 4 Weapon Slots
- 1 Class Mod
- 1 Artifact
- 1 Shield Mod
- 1 Grenade Mod
Borderlands 3 is all about the loot and weapons is a big part in that. Your favorite weapon manufacturers are all returning and even have a few new tricks up their sleeve. This is really big for me as it really makes the weapons feel fresh again. With Borderlands the Pre-Sequel you kinda knew what each gun did if you also played Borderlands 2. It had a lot of the same stuff while fixing the “broken” items. This is probably not doing the Devs justice because they spend a lot of time implementing all of it and adding new stuff. But going back to Borderlands 3, because each weapon manufacturer has a new gimmick I felt excited to explore the loot. Here are a few examples;
New weapon gimmicks
- Hyperion Guns have shields
- Bullets from Jakobs Guns ricochet on critical hits.
- Here you can read more about the weapon manufacturers
Alternate firing modes
Most of the weapons now also have an alt-fire mode. You can switch between elemental damage types, scopes, (under-)barrel attachments. This basically gives you 2 weapons in 1, which is great
Each weapon is made of a bunch of parts. You got your body, barrel, under-barrel, magazine, grip, scope, foregrip, etc and then most of them can also have an accessory which really buffs up the number of parts. One of these parts can be an Alien part. From what I have seen there can be an Alien barrel. This changes the projectile of the weapon itself. This sounds a bit like the E-Tech weapons from Borderlands 2. Like in that game the projectiles will become energy-based, so you will have your lasers and energy bolts. So this isn’t a whole Eridian weapon but a “normal” gun from any weapon manufacturer that has been infested with Alien tech.
The parts on each weapon will determine what the stats are of that particular gun. On top of that, a weapon can also have an Anointed mutator. This is like a red text special ability. You can purchase these from the Vending Machine next to Crazy Earl. However, these will also drop throughout the game, I encountered them during my Proving Grounds play session. The default Anointed mutators seem to provide special boosts that trigger by using your action skill. But there are also ones that are specific for a certain Vault Hunter. These mutators hook into specific actions that character can pull off or will boost specific things that only that character has.
Class Mods in Borderlands 3 will provide boosts to your character and unlock passive skills in your skill tree. In previous games, the class mod would only boost skills, so you had to spec into a skill with at least 1 point. In Borderlands 3 you don’t have to do that anymore. This way you can have cool additional skills from other skill trees that you didn’t spec into. The same goes for Capstone skills that are at the bottom of each of the skill trees. Because for the first time in a Borderlands game, class mods can also unlock and boost Capstone skills.
Artifacts in Borderlands 3 provide more than various boosts they will also hook into other mobility mechanics. If you played Borderlands the Pre-Sequel you probably remember the Oz Kits. These also changed up the way your butt-slam / slam / ground-pound worked. In Borderlands 3 you see that Gearbox Software expanded on that idea. So while you still have your increased gun damage type of buffs, you will also get new abilities. For example,
- When you slide you will throw out sawblades in front of you.
- When you kneel you will get an additional barrier shield in front of you.
- You can slide further
- Your ground pound gains elemental damage.
Shield Mods are here once again to protect you and consists at least out of 3 parts. You have your shield capacity, aka how many hit points can I take before I break, shield recharge time, and shield recharge rate. Then they have a chance to spawn with various modules. Some of those will boost specific stats and others will add a different behavior to your shield. So you have your Nova, Spike, Amp, and Roid shields to give you a few examples. There are over 30 of these modules.
You can also have Anointed mutators on your shields. So more modifiers that will hook into your characters action skill or other abilities.
Grenade Mods have a damage number, a blast radius, and then a delivery method. The first 2 are pretty explanatory the 3rd one alters the way you need to use the grenade. You have your regular lobbed grenades but also ones that bounce or teleport towards their destination. Each manufacturer has its own type of grenade. On top of that, you have various parts that will add special features to your grenade. Some of them will add elemental damage types to your grenade others will spawn more grenades on impact. There are over 20 of these modules.
You can also have Anointed mutators on your Grenades. So even more modifiers that will hook into your characters action skill or other abilities.