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Borderlands 3: Mayhem Mode – Everything You Need to Know

Borderlands 3 Mayhem Mode 2.0
Borderlands 3 Mayhem Mode 2.0

What is Mayhem Mode?

Mayhem Mode is an end-game feature for Borderlands 3 that allows you to scale up the difficulty of the game while also increasing the quality of loot and the Experience Points you earn.

How to Enable Mayhem Mode?

Borderlands 3 Mayhem Mode Terminal
Borderlands 3 Mayhem Mode Terminal

You can activate Mayhem Mode once you complete the main story campaign. This can be done in your Echo Menu by navigating to the Mayhem Mode Tab or you can interact with the Mayhem Mode terminal aboard Sanctuary III. Select your preferred Mayhem Difficulty and confirm your choice.

Should I play Mayhem Mode or True Vault Hunter Mode?

You can choose between Mayhem Mode and True Vault Hunter Mode once you complete the main story campaign. Mayhem Mode allows you to continue playing at a higher difficulty and wrap up side quests. True Vault Hunter Mode is Borderlands’ version of NewGame+ as it lets you restart the main story campaign with your current character.

Why Play Mayhem Mode?

You want to enable Mayhem Mode because the Risk/Reward aspect provides an interesting mechanic to the Borderlands 3 and when you finish the Main Story Campaign, you aren’t done with the game.

  • More XP – When you unlock Mayhem Mode you aren’t Max Level yet and getting more XP will help you with that. On top of that, you also unlocked Guardian Rank which requires you to obtain more XP to unlock cool bonus perks.
  • More Cash – Better gear is more expensive. So if you are picking up that “Item of the Day” or visiting Maurice’s Black Market Vending Machine, it’s always good to have more cash to spend.
  • More Eridium – You are going to need this rare currency to get sweet sweet loot from Crazy Earl, purchase loot from the Veteran Rewards Vending Machine, or Re-Roll the Anointments on your gear.
  • Better Loot – Mayhem mode will increase the quality of the loot drops giving you a higher chance of getting Legendary Gear and the items are more likely to be Anointed.
  • Exclusive Legendaries – Increasing the difficulty will grant you access to Mayhem 4 Loot and Mayhem 6 Loot if you play on those or higher Mayhem settings.

How to Play Mayhem Mode?

The Gearbox Software developers intended that you start out at Mayhem Level 1 at the end of the Story Campaign and climb your way up the ranks.

By enabling Mayhem Mode all the enemies will scale up to your level and allow you to play side quests that you didn’t do at an oppropiate difficulty.

You can increase to Mayhem Level 2 when you fill up your inventory with quality Mayhem Level 1 gear and are up for the next challenge. Continue doing this until you reached the Max Mayhem Level.

How to skip the Mayhem Level Climb?

Climbing the Mayhem Ladder can be a big undertaking but if you want to skip to the end you want to do this.

  1. Set the game to Mayhem Level 11
  2. Travel to Sanctuary 3
  3. Use your Golden Keys for M10 gear
  4. Check the Weapon Vendors and Veteran Vending Machine for M10 Gear
  5. Redeem gear from Vault Cards

When you have some decent gear you want to Visit Maurice’s Black Market as you can get some easy Legendary Gear from him. Now go Farm Bosses for their Top Tier Loot. You can easily farm El Dragon Jr. for the Stop Gap so you become immune to all damage for 5 seconds whenever your Shield breaks.

Mayhem Weapon Buffs

The loot that drops in Mayhem Mode will receive a damage increase with each Mayhem level. This is indicated on the item’s card not just by the values but also the Mayhem Level is specified.

This means that you can get a max-level weapon with a Mayhem “5” buff on it for example. This boost should make the weapon viable on Mayhem 5 and get you started on Mayhem 6. You can compare it to the OverPower (OP) levels from Borderlands 2.

There are some abilities and skills that receive Mayhem Scaling to increase their effectiveness in Mayhem Mode.

Exclusive Mayhem Legendary Items

Gearbox Software added M4 legendary Items to the game when the original Mayhem 4 difficulty was released. In the revamped Mayhem Mode 2.0, they also added M6 Legendary items that only drop on Mayhem LVL6 or above.

These Legendary Items were initially tied to End Game activities, M4 Items drop in the Maliwan Takedown and M6 items in the Guardian Takedown, however, these later received dedicated drops throughout the game.

Mayhem Mode Difficulty

Borderlands 3 will become more difficult as you increase in Mayhem Levels. Not only do enemies gain more Health but Mayhem Mode will also introduce challenging modifiers to spice up the game.

The highest difficulty setting in Mayhem 2.0 will be more challenging than the original Mayhem 4 (Mayhem Mode 1.0) which had a 1000% health increase for enemies.

Shits gonna get real

Anthony Nickolson, GBX Dev
Mayhem 4Mayhem 6Mayhem 10Mayhem 11
Health+800%+3000%+100000%+100000%
Shield+800%+3000%+100000%+100000%
Armor+800%+3000%+100000%+100000%
XP+80%+120%+200%+100% +200%
Money+80%+120%+200%+100% +200%
Loot+750%+1300%+2500%+1250% +2500%
  • Mayhem 10 originally launched with +125000% Health, Shield, and Armor at launch.
  • Mayhem 11 got added on November 9, 2020. This difficulty level is the same as Mayhem 10 but without all the Mayhem Modifiers, therefore, all the rewards are reduced.
    • Note – August 9, 2022: Mayhem 11 is still bugged and you will get the same rewards as Mayhem 10.

Mayhem Modifiers

Mayhem Mode 2.0 introduced over 25 new modifiers into the game. These will dramatically change the gameplay. Modifiers will not change on map load or save&quit. You can choose to reroll modifiers if you don’t like the current setup.

Here is my guide for Best Mayhem Modifiers.

Mayhem LevelModifier 1Modifier 2Modifier 3Modifier 4
1EASY– – 
2EASYMEDIUM– – 
3EASYMEDIUMMEDIUM– 
4EASYHARD
5EASYMEDIUMHARD
6EASYMEDIUMMEDIUMHARD
7EASYHARDHARD– 
8EASYVERY HARD
9EASYMEDIUMVERY HARD
10EASYMEDIUMHARDVERY HARD

Easy Modifiers

Easy ModifierEffect
Galaxy BrainEnemy head size is increased by +100%. You know what that means: easier crits!
Speed DemonWho needs cars when you’ve got kills? After killing an enemy, Movement Speed is increased by 50% for 10 seconds. This effect can stack up to 3 times.
LootsplosionKilling an enemy has a 10% chance to cause a LOOTSPLOSION. Critical Kills guarantee an enemy will lootsplode.
More Than Okay BoomerGrenade Damage is increased by 25%. Additionally, enemies drop grenade ammo when they die. WARNING: Grenades may be live!
SlayerNon-boss enemies below 15% total armor, shields, and health glow blue, and will explode into shield and health boosters if damaged by melee.
Big Kick EnergyGun Damage is increased by 25% but Recoil is increased by 100% and Weapon Spread is increased by 100%. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Medium Modifiers

Medium ModifierEffect
Chilling Them SoftlyEnemies may be infused with Cryo. Infused enemies are immune to Cryo damage and release a Cryo Nova when killed.
Charred ModeEnemies may be infused with Incendiary. Infused enemies are immune to Incendiary damage and release an Incendiary Nova when killed.
Total RadicalEnemies may be infused with Radiation. Infused enemies are immune to Radiation damage and release a Radiation Nova when killed.
High VoltageEnemies may be infused with Shock. Infused enemies are immune to Shock damage and release a Shock Nova when killed.
Acid ReignEnemies may be infused with Corrosive. Infused enemies are immune to Corrosive damage and release a Corrosive Nova when killed.
Mob MentalityBreak it up, break it up! Enemy damage and Fire Rate is increased by 30% while near other enemies.
Healy AvengerEnemies have a chance upon dearth to release a powerup that will he’s the enemy it touches or drops health and shield boosters if destroyed.
The floor is LavaMotion is lotion! While in combat, standing still will cause an Incendiary damaging pool to form underneath you.
Freeze TagShoot to chill! Enemies may leave a Cryo Orb upon death. Cryo Orbs constantly release Cryo Novas and are slowed when damaged.
Pain ToleranceWhen damaged, enemies gain a 3% Damage Reduction against the type of damage received for 3 seconds. This effect can stack up to 20 times.

Hard Modifiers

Hard ModifierEffect
Chain GangCan you feel that connection? Nearby enemies are attached by a damaging elemental beam.
Boundary IssuesAt close range, enemies will attach a damaging elemental beam to you. Like a secondhand goldfish, it’s best not to get too attached.
Drone RangerEnemies have a chance to spawn with a Healing Drone supporting them. If the enemy is killed, the Healing Drone will find a new target to support.
Pool PartyEnemies drop Corrosive, SHock, or Incendiary Pools when their armor, shield, or health are depleted. Come in, the water’s fine.
Laser FareEnemies have a small chance to drop a Spinner trap when damaged. Spinners projects a rotating elemental laser beam.
Ticked OffStatus Effect Damage against enemies is reduced by 90%. Maliwan is not going to like this.

Very Hard Modifiers

Very Hard ModifierEffect
Dazed and InfusedEnemies may be infused with a random element. Infused enemies are immune to that type of damage and release a nova when killed.
Post MortemKilling an enemy has a chance to release DEATH, which follows after you. If DEATH touches you, you instantly enter Fight For Your Life.
Rogue LiteYou no longer enter Fight For Your Life before dying. All enemies drop insta-health upon death. Good Luck.
Buddy SystemEnemies may be supported by an Invunerablity Drone, which grants immunity to all damage until it is destroyed.
Holy CritI can dance all day! Critical Hit Damage is increased by 25% but non-Critical Hit Damage is reduced by 50%.
Not the FaceCritical Hit Damage is reduced by 75%. Some people are just hard-headed.

Mayhem Mode Guide

Borderlands: Debt or Alive - A Novel by Borderlands 2 writer Anthony Burch
Written by
I'm a Content Creator by day and a BattleBread Baker at night. I'll provide you with your recommended slice of entertainment! I'm a Gearbox Community Badass and a proud member of the official Borderlands & Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Creator Team (2K Games / NextMakers).

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