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Zane “the Operative” Changelog

Here are all the changes Gearbox Software made to Zane "the Operative" since the launch of Borderlands 3

Hotfix – April 1, 2021

  • Implemented a stacking cap of two on the Operative’s Commitment skill to bring it in line with similar skills and prevent excessive stacking

The intent for this skill was always to stack as many times as Zane’s other Kill Skills, which is twice. When its increased stacking was discovered last fall, we determined we would leave it as it wasn’t causing catastrophic issues. As part of balancing for the upcoming content however, we have deemed it necessary for the stacks to be capped as originally designed.

Patch – November 9, 2020

With today’s patch, we have made several changes to Zane’s Skill Trees and Class Mods. Our goals with these changes are to increase the Skill Tree build diversity as well as remove the reliance on one Class Mod for builds. While making these changes, we determined that certain skills should be moved on their respective skill trees to a different position.

For these skill changes to apply properly, Zane players will need to save/quit their characters once to have their trees updated to these new layouts. Skill points that were in the four swapped skills will be refunded when they load their characters the second time. If a player does not have enough points invested to unlock a high-tier skill they have previously applied points to, they will need to re-apply the refunded skill points before using those high-tier skills.


Hitman Tree

Death Follows Close is an incredibly strong passive skill, much stronger than the effects of the capstone Seein’ Red. This feels backward, so we have swapped the position of these two skills to better represent their value relative to each other. Please remember the changes require you to save/quit your character once to function properly.

  • Swapped the positions of Death Follows Close and Seein’ Red on the Skill Tree
  • Added Kill Skill Bonus +15% to Seein’ Red

Under Cover Tree

Like the Hitman Tree, the mid-tier passive and capstone skills of this tree had an inverted value relative to their position. This change also allows players to get more value out of their shields and Barrier via Distributed Denial being much lower in the tree. Please remember the changes require you to save/quit your character once to function properly.

  • Swapped the positions of Confident Competence and Distributed Denial on the Skill Tree
  • Buffed Gun Damage from Confident Competence

Double Agent Tree

Given the percent chance of Duct Tape Mod proccing, it could spell disaster for Zane in close quarters combat. Now players don’t have to worry about accidentally downing themselves when a grenade is launched.

  • Duct Tape Mod now grants Zane immunity to damage from his weapons and grenades



  • Reworked the ability to allow the shield to refill before it is broken whenever an Action Skill is activated

Seein’ Dead

This Class Mod has been over-performing, so we have removed some of the power from the mod. To counter this change, the Seein’ Red passive skill within Zane’s Hitman Skill Tree has been given a buff, effectively giving all players access to additional damage without the requirement of using this Class Mod.

  • Lowered the Kill Skill Damage bonus

Hotfix – October 8, 2020

Today we’re releasing several changes to Zane’s passive skills and class mods. After buffing weapons, we started looking at how class mods were impacting the build diversity of the Vault Hunters. After investigating community feedback, we developed these changes to make more class mods viable for Zane in the end game. Most of the passive skill buffs changed today are used by class mods that had been underperforming. Additional changes to Zane are already planned, with some coming in future hotfixes and patches.


Cold Bore

  • Increased bonus damage

This skill only provides extra damage on the first bullet of a weapon swap. This bonus happens infrequently by nature, so we have massively buffed the damage. With this change, we are interested to see new builds centered around small magazine sizes, sniper rifles, and more.

Duct Tape Mod

  • Decreased grenade cooldown by half

We found that the value of this passive skill was limited by the cooldown between each grenade, so we’ve cut that in half. Players will need to be conscious of the cooldown time and type of grenade mod they equipped to get maximum value out of this passive skill.

Like a Ghost

  • Increased chance to ignore a bullet
  • Increased the bonus for each active action skill

The stacking bonus only occurs each time one of Zane’s action skills is activated. This is infrequent in the late game, as players generally extend their action skill duration time. We’ve made this change with that play style in mind.

Trick of the Light

  • Increased damage bonus

The damage from this skill depends on the number of enemies targeting Zane and Zane’s clone and can occasionally be unpredictable. To better account for this inconsistency we’ve buffed the damage bonus.

Best Served Cold

  • Increased damage from the Cryo novas

Frutility Belt

  • Increased the damage reduction

To help encourage players to consider builds that remove elemental damage, we’ve buffed the damage mitigation to be stronger here.



  • Increased movement speed while taking Cryo damage


  • Increased the damage bonus

The damage bonus for this class mod is dependent on the amount of action skill duration time you have left. Like Trick of the Light, this damage can feel inconsistent. We have increased the damage bonus to provide more reliable damage.


  • Increased stat bonuses

Players suggested that the stat bonuses provided as a kill skill weren’t strong enough to feel the value. We’ve buffed each significantly.


  • Increased the chance of recharge to SNTNL cooldown’s and active duration

The intent of this class mod is to provide a way to keep Zane’s drone active nearly indefinitely, but at just 5% chance to refill the cooldown and duration, it wasn’t consistent enough. We’ve increased the likelihood of this behavior occurring.

Patch – June 25, 2020

  • Added the ability for Digi-clone to support damage scaling

Patch / Hotfix – June 11, 2020

  • Addressed a concern with the Operative’s SNTNL not targeting enemies in some cases
  • Addressed a reported concern that the Operative’s Action Skill Anointed effects can be affected by other Action Skills when activating two Action Skills at the same time

Patch / Hotfix – April 23, 2020

  • Addressed a reported concern that Action Skills would sometimes stop functioning temporarily for the Operative when getting a Second Wind while the Action Skills were still active
  • Addressed a reported concern that the Operative’s Death Follows Close skill did not modify the damage of the kill skill Best Served Cold
  • Addressed a reported concern that the Operative’s Schadenfreude skill did not apply when damaged by vehicles or other non-enemy sources
  • Addressed a reported concern that the Operative was able to gain more ammo than intended when using Digi-Clone with the Double Barrel skill
  • Addressed a reported concern with the Operative where the Calm, Cool, Collected skill would not trigger when an enemy was frozen by the Operatives’s Digi-Clone when using the Double Barrel skill.
  • Addressed a reported concern that the Operative’s Digi-clone would share damage when the player still has shield capacity available when using the Digital Distribution skill
  • Addressed a reported concern that some enemies’ projectiles could damage the Operative when holding the shield

Hotfix – March 19, 2020

  • Changed the Operative’s Cool Hand skill description to show the correct values

Patch – December 12, 2019

  • Addressed a reported concern that Zane’s “Quick Breather” skill was sometimes not functioning
  • Addressed a reported concern that Zane’s “Schadenfreude” skill would sometimes not award the player Shield restoration
  • Addressed a reported concern that Zane’s “Praemunitus” skill would sometimes not award the proper size clip on the first clip of the weapon the Digiclone is spawned with

Patch – November 21, 2019

  • SNTL damage scale increased by 2% per level
  • Donnybrook, Pocket Full of Grenades, Cool Hand, Violent Violence, and Violent Speed bonuses now stack twice
  • Fixed Violent Momentum to scale more at higher movement speeds
  • Best Served Cold radius and damage increased by 2% per level
  • Confident Confidence increased max weapon damage bonus from 20% to 35%
  • Changed Trick of the Light element to Cryo and increased bonus from 18% to 36%
  • Borrowed Time duration increased from 15% to 30% per active skill
  • Double Barrel‘s bonus increased from 20% to 25%
  • Quick Breather now restores 50% of the clone’s health after a swap
  • Pocket Full of Grenades bonus slightly decreased from 6.5% to 5% as it now stacks
  • Violent Violence bonus slightly decreased from 4% to 3% as it now stacks

Hotfix – October 17, 2019

The current state of Zane’s Digi-Clone have made players focus on other elements besides those Vault Hunter’s fundamental action skills in the late game. While longer term solutions to scaling their damage is explored, we have boosted the health of Iron Bear, the Digi-Clone, and the pets to make them more viable. We will have more to say about long term solutions for these characters in the future.

  • Digi-Clone: health increased by 100%
  • Included a modification so that Zane’s Digi-Clone will no longer spawn into the cage in Cistern of Slaughter

Hotfix – October 10, 2019

  • Death Follows Close will correctly update several Kill Skills after unlocking this ability
  • Anointed Parts: When Zane swaps positions with his Digi-Clone, the damage gained is increased to 130% (up from 75%)

Hotfix – October 3, 2019

  • Adjusted the cooldown values when they are displayed for Zane’s skills

Hotfix – September 27, 2019

Zane’s gadgets were great at providing additional utility but lacked impact as players leveled up. We increased the Digi-Clone damage with all equipped weapons so the skill can scale better with players as they get to higher levels and harder content. The Drone requires a lot of player involvement to take full advantage of its damage output and increasing the base damage as well as the augments will greatly increase the Drone’s versatility and reward players even more for using it effectively.

  • Digi-Clone Damage Increased by 38%
  • Drone Damage increased by 50%
    • Cryo Bullets damage penalty removed
    • Drone Rocket damage increased by 50%
    • Almighty Ordnance Rockets damage increased by 75%

More Changes

This was just the changelog for Zane “the Operative”. Go here if you want to see the full changelog of Borderlands 3.

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