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Zane “the Operative” Skill Tree

Zane the Operative - Borderlands 3 Character Profile

Zane is “the Operative” class in Borderlands 3. With these various skill trees, you can create some very powerful character builds for Zane. Zane is the only Vault Hunter that can select 2 action skills at the expense of his grenades. This not only makes him a very versatile character but he might also be the min/max hero of the game. Zane can also equip 2 augments per action skill, granting him even more gadgets to work with.

Skill Trees

  • Under Cover
    • The undercover skill tree is focused on Zane’s barrier action skill,  survivability, and the Cryo element. You will also find some crowd control and co-op skills in this tree. The Capstone allows your barrier action skill to get the same special effects as your equipped shield mod. Since there will be awesome legendary shields that will do all sorts of crazy stuff this can be cool to provide such protection for your entire team.
  • Hitman
    • The hitman skill tree is focused on Zane’s drone action skill and kill skills. A cool thing is that there is a skill that allows you to trigger all your kill skills by activating the Sentinal drone. This is an awesome augment because this will allow you to be badass when you jump into a fight rather than struggling to get a kill before all your buffs will trigger. The capstone really increases all the kill skill boosts and there are plenty in this tree. If you sacrificed your grenade to pick up the second action skill you can use your drone to drop frags as it will drop a corresponding grenade based on your grenade mod.
  • Double Agent
    • The double agent skill tree is focused on Zane’s ‘Digiclone’ action skill. Interesting is that you can pick up the ability to sacrifice your clone to get a second win. Generate and use grenades to boost your stats. Use the Digi-clone to trigger shield regeneration. Capstone skill allows you to give your Digi-clone the same gun as you. So if you are rocking an epic legendary it can become mayhem.
  • The Professional (DLC) 
    • The Professional skill tree is focused on critical hit damage and reducing your action skill cooldown. So you can create a sniper build or spam your action skill.
    • Gameplay Preview

Zane Under Cover Skill Tree – Borderlands 3

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:  [Augement] 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:  [Augement] 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:  [Augement] Zane’s Barrier becomes a dome, covering all sides.
Tier 4 Skills
  • Redistribution:  [Augement] 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. This Skill Receives Mayhem Scaling.
  • Futility Belt: Zane gains resistance to non-elemental damage. Kill Skill: All elemental damage Zane takes is converted to non-elemental damage.
  • Deterrence Field:  [Augement] 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.
Zane Hitman Skill Tree - Borderlands 3

Zane Hitman Skill Tree – Borderlands 3

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:  [Augement] 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: [Augement] 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:  [Augement] SNTNL emits a static field that sends a Shock beam to nearby enemies, draining their shields and replenishing Zane’s.
Tier 4 Skills
  • Boomsday:  [Augement] 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: [Augement] 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.
Zane Double Agent Skill Tree - Borderlands 3

Zane Double Agent Skill Tree – Borderlands 3

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:  [Augement] Whenever Zane swaps places with his Clone, a Cryo Nova is triggered around Zane and his Clone. This Skill Receives Mayhem Scaling.
  • 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:  [Augement] 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?:  [Augement] Enemies are more likely to target the Clone for a few seconds after it’s summoned and after swapping places.
Tier 4 Skills
  • Dopplebanger: [Augement] 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. This Skill Receives Mayhem Scaling.
  • 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: [Augement] 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.
Zane's 'The Professional' Skill Tree - Borderlands 3

Zane’s ‘The Professional’ Skill Tree – Borderlands 3


  • MNTIS Shoulder Cannon:
    • Zane equips a Shoulder Mounted Cannon. Pressing the action skill button causes Zane to fire his cannon at his crosshairs and consume one charge.
    • Max Charges: 3
    • Cooldown: 12 seconds
    • Damage: 12324


  • Man of Focus:
    • Activating an Action Skill grants Zane increased Accuracy and Handling for a short time. This effect stacks.
    • Accuracy: +7%
    • Handling: +7.4%
    • Duration: 12 seconds
    • Max Stacks: 10
  • Renegade:
    • After scoring a Critical Hit, Zane Regenerates Health for a short time.
    • Health Regeneration: up to 0.5% Max Health per second
    • Duration: 12 seconds
  • Déjá Vu:
    • Whenever Zane kills an enemy with a Critical Hit, there is a chance for 1 ammo to be added to his magazine.
    • Chance to add ammo: +14%


  • Colder Shoulder: [Action Skill Augment] 
    • Converts Zane’s MNTIS Shoulder Cannon damage to Cryo Damage but deals reduced damage. Additionally, Zane gains Increased Cryo Freeze Rate.
    • Cannon Damage: -10%
    • Freeze Rate: +20%
  • Headsman’s Hand:
    • Kill Skill. Zane gains increased Critical Hit Damage. This effect stacks twice.
    • Critical Hit Damage: +6%
    • Duration: 15 seconds
  • Tunnel Vision:
    • While moving, Zane gains increased Accuracy and Handling. The quicker Zane moves, the greater the bonus.
    • Accuracy: up to +10% at default walk speed
    • Handling: up to +11% at default walk speed
  • Commitment
    • Kill Skill. Zane gains increased Gun Damage and Action Skill Cooldown Rate.
    • Gun Damage: +6%
    • Cooldown Rate: +6%


  • Wetwork: [Action Skill Augment]
    • Whenever Zane kills an enemy with his Shoulder Cannon, that enemy explodes into an Elemental Puddle.
    • Explosion Damage: 8532
    • Puddle Damage: 4740 per second
  • Fugitive:
    • Zane can sprint and shoot at the same time.
  • Brain Drain: [Action Skill Augment]
    • Whenever Zane kills an enemy with a Critical Hit from his Shoulder Cannon, two charges are instantly returned.


  • No Way Out: [Action Skill Augment]
    • Whenever Zane damages an enemy with his Shoulder Cannon, that enemy is pulled to him and takes Increased Damage for a short time. Additionally, Zane’s MNTIS Shoulder Cannon cooldown time is increased.
    • Cooldown: +20%
    • Damage Increase: +25%
    • Duration: 6 seconds
  • Domino Effect:
    • Whenever Zane scores a Critical Hit, he gains increased Fire Rate and Reload Speed for a short time. If he scores a Critical Hit with his Action Skill, he doubles this effect.
    • Reload Speed: +4%
    • Fire Rate: +3%
    • Duration: 8 seconds
  • The Art of War
    • After activating an Action Skill or Action Skill Ability, Zane’s next shot fired from his weapon deals Increased Damage. This effect stacks.
    • Gun Damage: +3%
    • Max Stacks: 10


  • Sheer Will:
    • Zane gains increased Action Skill Cooldown Rate. Scoring a Critical Hit increases this effect. This effect stacks.
    • Cooldown Rate: +5%
    • Cooldown Rate: +2.5% after Critical Hit
    • Duration: 8 seconds
    • Max Stacks: 15
  • Eraser:
    • Zane’s Critical Hit pierce through enemies for all weapons, dealing Increased Damage for every enemy pierced.
    • Pierced Shot Damage: +40% per enemy pierced
  • Proliferation:
    • Zane’s MNTIS Shoulder Cannon gains Additional Charges and deals Increased Damage based on the number of charges remaining.
    • Additional Charges: +2
    • Cannon Damage: +20% per charge


  • Our Man Flynt:
    • While aiming down sight, Zane’s weapons deal Bonus Damage and automatically apply their Status Effect when he scores a Critical Hit.
    • Bonus Damage: 25% of damage dealt.

Best Zane Builds

Vault Hunter Skill Trees

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