Weapons in Borderlands 2, much like in the previous game, are generated using a procedural algorithm which combines various Parts to create an enormously large number of possible variations. Unlike the original, Gearbox has not given an exact figure, though Randy Pitchford has stated that the number greatly exceeds the original game's total and "There are enough where it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter."
Weapon classes have been reorganized. Revolvers and Repeaters were two distinct kinds of weapons in the original Borderlands; they have since been consolidated into a single "Pistol" category. Eridian weapons have been replaced by E-tech weapons which conform to the revised six categories listed below:
- Pistols : Versatile class of weapons usually suited to short-to-medium range combat, typically with fast reload speed. Sub-types include auto-firing machine pistols with larger magazines but lower accuracy, middle-of-the-road repeaters, and revolvers with longer range and higher accuracy but slower reloads and lower ammo capacity.
- Submachine Guns : High rate of fire and low recoil, good at close range and decent at medium range. Usually lower per-round damage than pistols of lower level, but greater rate of fire means higher DPS, and tend to have high capacity magazines.
- Shotguns : Fire multiple pellets, effective at close range but lowest accuracy of any weapon type. Sub-types include single-barrel fast-firing weapons with larger magazines, medium-range weapons with low spread, and multi-barrel weapons with huge per-shot damage but slow rates of fire and frequent reloads.
- Assault Rifles : Versatile medium/long range weapon. Sub-types include accurate, high-damage semi-auto weapons, general-purpose burst or automatic rifles, and high-capacity light machine guns with heavy recoil. Special assault rifles can fire grenades or rockets with standard rifle ammunition, though at a cost of multiple rounds per shot.
- Sniper Rifles : High-damage, accurate weapons which are most effective at long range, usually with very limited magazine size and slow rates of fire. They are almost always equipped with scopes, and often have a bonus to Critical Hit Damage. Unlike the original Borderlands, fully automatic sniper rifles are not limited to a single very rare model.
- Rocket Launchers : Powerful shoulder-fired weapons with many positive firing characteristics, but low ammo capacity, long reload time and expensive ammo. Subtypes include high-velocity cannons, low-velocity cruise missiles with devastatingly high damage and shotgun-like spread launchers.
The Item Card is shown whenever a weapon is examined on the ground or selected in any menu. This contains basic information about the weapon; the weapon's name is shown in its appropriate rarity colour, followed by the weapon's Damage, Accuracy, Fire Rate, Reload Speed (measured in seconds, higher numbers mean longer reloads), Magazine Size, any Elemental Damage the weapon deals, the Elemental Effect Chance, and a text box containing notes on any special bonuses or abilities the weapon has. Bonuses in this area are included in the stats displayed above it; for example, a weapon with a displayed magazine size of 14 and "+3 magazine size" has a magazine size of 14, not 17. The logo of the weapon's Manufacturer is shown in the lower-left, while the logo for the weapon's Element (if it has one) is shown in the middle.
A weapon's minimum level is shown at the top of the Item Card; if this exceeds the level of the character examining the weapon, the entire Item Card is shown with a red background, and the weapon cannot be equipped by that character (though it may be picked up, carried in their inventory and sold as normal). Rarely, weapons may have no level limitations; this is typically only seen on the Gearbox pre-order weapons and weapons which spawn right at the start of the game.
A weapon's value in dollars is shown at the bottom of the Card; this is its sell price for a weapon belonging to that character or on the ground, or the buy price for a weapon being viewed in a vendor. A weapon's buy price is always far higher than its sell price.
Weapon's scope magnifications were not originally displayed on item cards however this was changed in patch 1.6.0 (August 29th 2013). Tech pool stats have been replaced by the simpler Elemental Effect Chance section. The weapon itself is no longer displayed on the card, only a generic icon for the weapon class coloured for the weapon's rarity. Instead, a weapon can be viewed in full 3D in the inventory menu or store screen using the "Inspect" option.
A weapon's level determines a number of things aside from whether or not a character can use it. All other things being equal, as a weapon's Level increases its Damage and Elemental Damage will also increase proportionally; other stats do not increase in the same way, and are mainly determined by a weapon's Parts, manufacturer and rarity. The increases are much more pronounced than in the original Borderlands, scaling exponentially by a factor of 1.13× per level. For example, a no-level white-rarity Dahl Repeater acquired at the start of the game will deal around 11 damage per shot, while a level 50 version will deal over 5,000 damage per shot.
The Level a weapon spawns at is decided by the level of the enemy who dropped it, or the level of the area it is in if it is found in a chest or vending machine. Areas in Normal Mode and True Vault Hunter Mode usually scale to the character, with a set maximum which they cannot scale beyond. Loot drops will usually be within two levels of the area level.
A weapon's Fire Rate statistic can mean one of three things depending on the fire mode of the weapon in question. For fully automatic weapons (those which fire repeatedly as long as the button is held) it shows how many rounds the weapon fires per second. For semi-automatic weapons (those which only fire a single shot per press of the fire button), it displays the weapon's Firecap, the maximum rate at which the game will accept separate presses of the fire button. For Jakobs weapons with the special text "Fires as fast as you can pull the trigger" this cap is usually set sufficiently high that a human player could not hope to meet it; the limit exists to prevent auto-fire devices generating arbitrarily high rates of fire from these weapons.
Finally, burst-firing weapons fire a set number of rounds each time the fire button is pressed. For these, it appears the Fire Rate defines both the rate at which the game accepts presses of the fire button after a burst concludes, and the speed of the burst itself.
Flavour Text is found on Unique, Legendary and Seraph weapons' Item Cards, at the top of the text box; it is printed in red, and is usually a cryptic line of text which references the effects of the weapon and also some item of trivia or pop culture.
See Special Weapon Effects Borderlands 2 for a comprehensive list of weapon effects.
A weapon's Rarity determines the overall quality of the weapon, the strength of bonuses applied to it, and also the rate at which it will drop from enemies and chests and be available at vendors.
Each manufacturer has weapon textures of increasing quality for non-unique weapons. Quality varies from white (common), through green (uncommon), blue (rare), and purple (very rare), with the weapon's stats being boosted more by each increasing rarity level. The mnemonic phrase given by a loading screen in the game to remember the order of the color system is "When Grandma Burps, Patrick Obeys" (W, G, B, P O). Given all DLCs are applied it is instead W, G, B, P, P, O, C (White, Green, Blue/Unique, Purple/E-tech, Seraph, Legendary, Pearlescent).
White weapons will never have an accessory attached (see Prefixes below). Green and blue weapons have a chance of spawning with an accessory, while purple and higher rarity weapons will always have an accessory attached.
Unique & Legendary Weapons
- Main article: Special Weapon Effects Borderlands 2
These weapons are variants of standard gun models with special effects and bonuses added. Unique weapons are always of blue or purple rarity and are typically assigned as special rewards for quests or given for defeating named enemies. Legendary weapons are always of orange quality and are usually dropped by the toughest enemies on Pandora; they have the highest material bonuses, but are generally not directly comparable to lower-level weapons with the same barrel and body due to their various special effects, and have their own unique materials rather than using a standard one for their rarity. As with all loot, there is a very small chance of both types of weapons being found from any suitable loot source, but it is exceptionally rare.
See also: Legendary Items in Borderlands 2
- Main article: E-tech
E-tech weapons use their manufacturer's purple-quality skin, but are colour-coded magenta. They spawn with a special Eridian barrel instead of a normal one, and are thus a higher rarity level than purple. E-tech weapons use Eridium technology attached to the weapon to convert bullets into other projectiles. They are characterised by the hexagonal 'petals' on their barrels, which flare outwards from the weapon as it is being fired. While their stats vary, they often have superior damage to regular weapons of their level at the cost of using multiple ammo per shot.
Seraph weapons are pink-quality weapons introduced in the DLC Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, which can be acquired as rare loot from the DLCs' raid bosses or bought from the Seraph Vendor in Oasis, Badass Crater of Badassitude, Hunter's Grotto and Flamerock Refuge in exchange for Seraph Crystals, which drop from Seraph Guardians.
Pearlescent weapons are cyan-quality weapons and are only obtained as drops via Badass enemies and Loot Midgets in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode albeit their drop rates are unknown. All but Anshin and Pangolin manufacture a Pearlescent quality item, it is debatable whether the Pearlescent weapons are more useful than the Legendary items produced. Players will need to acquire the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack in order to find these weapons.
- Main article: Elemental Damage
Many weapons have a chance of spawning with an ability to deal one of five types of Elemental Damage; these are Corrosive, Incendiary, Explosive, Shock and Slag. The first four types all work in roughly the same way, while Slag is a special case.
The four types each have a set chance of causing an elemental effect when they hit a target, which will deal increased damage to that target. Elemental effect chances are much less abstract than in the original Borderlands; every shot fired by a weapon has a set percentage chance of dealing elemental damage, which is displayed on the Item Card. A shot which deals this damage is said to Proc (short for "programmed random occurrence"). Explosive weapons do not display their elemental effect chance on their Item Card as they Proc 100% of the time.
Corrosive, Incendiary and Shock are each effective against specific types of targets; respectively, they deal extra damage to Armour (yellow health bars), Flesh (red health bars) and Shields (blue health bars). Each of these elements can deal damage over time (DoT) to an enemy, with the damage taken per second displayed on their Item Card. Enemies attacked with an incorrect element will have the word RESIST! pop out along with the damage number, and take decreased damage.
Slag weapons work slightly differently in that the Slag elemental effect deals no actual damage; instead, if a Slag weapon Procs it will cover the target in Eridium goo for 8 seconds, and all damage from non-Slag weapons will be doubled during that period.
Jakobs weapons never have any elemental effects, while Maliwan weapons always do. Torgue weapons are limited to explosive elemental effects, while Maliwan weapons cannot be explosive elemental (their grenades, however, can). The explosive element can spawn on rocket launchers and Torgue weapons regardless of rarity, while other elements will only spawn on uncommon or higher weapons for any manufacturer but Maliwan.
There are eight weapon manufacturers on Pandora, each with their own distinctive receiver; all of the original game's human manufacturers return except the Atlas Corporation and S&S Munitions. In addition, the Bandits have started manufacturing their own weapons. Each manufacturer has a distinctive "gimmick" which defines them.
- Bandit : Bandit weapons feature very large magazines, increased reload times but otherwise below average stats. Bandit weapon names are usually misspelled, and the weapons have a "rough and ready" look with exposed bolts and screws. However, at higher rarity levels, Bandit weapons stats can match or even surpass counterparts from other manufacturers.
- Dahl : Dahl weapons are burst-fire when aiming down the sights, and semi-automatic or fully automatic depending on the weapon when firing from the hip. Dahl weapon names are typically "operator" terms found in modern military fiction, and are visually based on Western high-tech firearms with parts like MagPul PMAGs. They boast increasingly ostentatious camouflage patterns with increasing rarity.
- Hyperion : Hyperion weapons have "reverse recoil", explained in-game by the use of "stabilizers". They have heavy initial scope sway but become more stable and accurate as they are continuously fired. (Hyperion sniper rifles gradually stabilize as the user aims down the sight.) Hyperion weapons have a corporate naming theme, and are sharp and angular. They always use vibrant colors which become more contrasting at higher rarities.
- Jakobs : Jakobs weapons specialise in high power, and are always semi-automatic or bolt action. Jakobs weapons have an Old West naming theme, and have an old-style look with wood furnishings as well as engraved metal and highly-figured wood at higher levels.
- Maliwan : Maliwan weapons always feature an elemental effect, and sometimes use more than one ammo per shot. Maliwan weapons have a "ten dollar word" naming theme (Consummate, Acuminous, etc) and use flowing, organic shapes. The color scheme remains mostly the same at different rarity levels, but becomes more vibrant.
- Tediore : Tediore guns have mediocre statistics but very fast reloads; they are thrown in an arc, much like a grenade, instead of reloading, dealing damage based on the amount of ammunition left in the magazine (which is lost on reload). Rocket launchers are thrown overarm and travel straight initially, but randomly deviate off-course. Tediore weapons tend to be named like mass-produced generic products (New and Improved, Original, Basic, etc) and have a blocky aesthetic, taking on synthetic patterns at higher rarity levels.
- Torgue : Torgue weapons always deal explosive damage, and some variants fire rockets using bullet ammunition. Torgue weapon names are typically crude sex puns. The weapons themselves usually have a bulging, rounded appearance, with large projecting exhaust pipes or ports on the barrels. They have racing-themed color schemes that increase in detail with increasing rarity. Unlike in Borderlands, Torgue does not produce sniper rifles or submachine guns.
- Vladof : Vladof weapons are known best for their high rates of fire. They have a "revolutionary" theme (Glorious, Worker's, etc) and appear similar to Russian/Soviet Cold War-era hardware, with parts based on actual Russian weapons and equipment as well as slavic imagery on some parts of the guns. Higher-rarity Vladof weapons are all-metal and highly polished in appearance. When aiming a sniper you can also read Russian numbers in it regarding height and wind.
Each manufacturer makes a complete set of weapon Parts for any weapon they manufacture, enough to make a weapon with only that manufacturer's Parts. In practice, however, the only Part specific to any given manufacturer is the Body of a weapon; this is the receiver, frame, or the midsection of a rocket launcher. This Part determines what manufacturer the weapon has.
The Barrel of the weapon, in combination with the Body, decides the weapon's Title. All other parts determine various bonuses; for example, many Bodies can spawn with two different Magazines, one higher capacity than the other.
- Main article: Borderlands 2 weapons by prefix
The first part of a weapon's name is called its Prefix. Each manufacturer has a list of Prefixes, and which one a weapon gets is determined by a number of factors including Parts, what Element it has (if any) and any bonuses the weapon has. Prefixes form a hierarchy, with each having a set priority. The highest-priority Prefix is the one that will be displayed, while all others will be hidden.
Some Unique weapons have special Prefixes which are actually part of their Titles in the game files, but are handled in such a way they are replaced with higher-priority Prefixes. For example, Good Touch actually has the full Title "Miss Moxxi's Good Touch," but the first portion can be replaced to make an "Acuminous Good Touch" if the weapon spawns with a bayonet accessory. This appears to be a coding hack designed to give these weapons unique but replaceable Prefixes.
Occasionally a weapon will spawn with no Prefix at all; this tends to be because it has a Maliwan grip (which assigns no Prefix) and no other Prefix-giving parts (ex. Shield, The Bee, etc.).
The second part of a weapon's name is its Title. In common weapons, the Title is determined entirely by the combination of Body and Barrel parts it has; the Body is determined by the weapon's manufacturer, while the Barrel assigns a specific Title from that manufacturer's list. Unique and Legendary weapons have their own unique Titles, but still use the common Prefixes for their manufacturer. Since the Title is the part of a weapon's name which does not change, it is used for categorisation purposes on this wiki.
This section list the basic Titles of all the randomly generated weapons in Borderlands 2, by the barrels which assign them. It excludes the names of Unique and Legendary weapons from these manufacturers.
Uniquely, the Maliwan SMG barrel assigns five different sets of Titles depending on what element it spawns with. For purposes of this list, it is thus shown as five separate barrels.
|Barrel||Manufacturer||Effect||Bandit Title||Dahl Title||Hyperion Title||Maliwan Title||Tediore Title|
|smig||SMG||Projectile Convergence||SubMalevolent Grace||Subcompact MG|
+ Recoil Reduction
+Elemental Effect (does not function due to lack of element)
|smig||SMG||Projectile Convergence||-||Subcompact MG|
|Maliwan|| Incendiary elemental|
|Maliwan|| Shock elemental|
|Maliwan|| Corrosive elemental|
|Maliwan|| Slag elemental|
|Tediore||None, basic model||smig||SMG||Projectile Convergence||SubMalevolent Grace||Subcompact MG|
|E-tech||Becomes E-tech weapon||Plasma Caster||Plasma Caster||Plasma Caster||Plasma Caster||Plasma Caster|
|Barrel||Manufacturer||Effect||Bandit Title||Hyperion Title||Jakobs Title||Tediore Title||Torgue Title|
|Bandit|| +Pellet count|
+2 ammo use per shot
|Room Clener||Crowdsourcing||Bushwack||Triple Barrels!||Hulk|
|Hyperion||+Accuracy?||longer ragne kilier||Thinking||Longrider||Sportsman||Stalker|
|Jakobs|| +Pellet count|
+1 ammo use per shot
|Stret Sweper||Face Time||Coach Gun||Double Barrels!||Pounder|
|Tediore||+Spread?||Skatergun||Projectile Diversification||Scattergun||Home Security||Bangstick|
|Torgue|| Pellet count 15-20|
+3 ammo use per shot
|E-tech||Becomes E-tech weapon||Splasher Blashter||Splatgun||-||Splatgun||-|
|Barrel||Manufacturer||Effect||Bandit Title||Dahl Title||Jakobs Title||Torgue Title||Vladof Title|
|Dahl|| ++Recoil Reduction|
Aimed Dahl: Burst count=5
|Torgue|| +Ammo consumption|
Projectiles become grenades (Dahl) / rockets (others)
++Rate of fire
|Vladof||Jakobs & Dahl: +Firecap|
Others: continuous fire increases fire rate
|E-tech||Becomes E-tech weapon||BlASSter||Blaster||-||-||Blaster|
|Barrel||Manufacturer||Effect||Dahl Title||Hyperion Title||Jakobs Title||Maliwan Title||Vladof Title|
|Dahl|| +Recoil Reduction|
Aimed Dahl: Burst count=5
|Maliwan|| ++Elemental proc chance|
|Vladof|| ++Fire rate|
|E-tech||Becomes E-tech weapon||Railer||Hybridification||-||Railer||Moloko|
|Barrel||Manufacturer||Effect||Bandit Title||Maliwan Title||Tediore Title||Torgue Title||Vladof Title|
+ Muzzle Velocity
|Tediore||None, Standard barrel||Launcher||Projectile||Launcher||boom||RPG|
-- Rate of Fire
|E-tech||Becomes E-tech weapon||PRAZMA CANON||PBFG||Launcher||-||Topneaa|
The number of weapons a character can carry (along with all other loot including Class Mods, Relics, Shields and Grenade Mods) is determined by how many inventory Storage Deck Upgrades have been purchased from Crazy Earl in Sanctuary. Under normal circumstances a character cannot pick up or purchase a weapon if they are at their inventory limit, though this is ignored for mission rewards which are given regardless. If the character is over their inventory limit, they must sell or discard items until they are not in order to pick anything up.
The number of weapons which can be equipped at any given time defaults to two. Two more equip slots can be unlocked by completing storyline missions, and are given at set times.
Ammunition is divided into the same categories as weapons themselves; pistol ammunition, SMG ammunition, shotgun shells, rifle ammunition, sniper rifle ammunition and rockets. Ammunition can be found in most lootable containers, and is often dropped by enemies. The amount of ammunition a character can carry for each type is determined by how many Storage Deck Upgrades (SDU) have been purchased from Crazy Earl in Sanctuary, certain skills, or a stockpile relic.
Certain types of ammunition will not spawn at first; in particular, rockets do not spawn from low-level vending machines in Normal Mode. The price of ammunition from vendors is based on the level of the area it is purchased in, and increases as the game goes on.
Purchasing a SDU will refill that ammunition type to it's new maximum
Bursts and Damage Multipliers
Certain weapons will fire multiple rounds with a single press of the fire button. This can be either in a multi-round burst where each bullet is fired sequentially, or multiple projectiles fired at the same time.
Burst fire is the Dahl manufacturer gimmick, and almost exclusively present on their weapons. A burst-firing weapon fires a set number of rounds sequentially each time the fire button is pressed. The game counts this as normal fire, and any effect that would only affect a single round (such as an Amplify Shield or Zer0's Decepti0n Skill) will only affect the first round fired in the burst.
Shotguns are the most common example of a weapon which fires multiple projectiles at the same time, but this effect is also present on all Bandit Rocket Launchers, Jakobs Gatling Guns, and any weapon which spawns with a double fire accessory. In all cases, any effect that is restricted to a single shot will apply to every projectile since they all count as being fired together; for example, an Amplify Shield will add its damage buff to all 18 projectiles fired by a Torgue Ravager shotgun, though as of Patch 1.2.0 the bonus is divided evenly among them rather than applied to each in full. If the weapon has an element, each projectile has a separate chance to Proc for elemental damage.
Both effects can be present on a weapon at the same time; this is most common with Dahl weapons that spawn with double accessories. If this is the case, every shot fired in the burst will consist of multiple projectiles.
Damage Per Second
- Main article: DPS
Fast firing weapons are often chosen based on Damage Per Second (DPS), which can be easily calculated by multiplying Damage by Fire Rate. DPS reflects an imaginary rate of fire which does not include reloading (for real weapons this is referred to as the cyclic rate of fire), which can also be a major factor in choosing a weapon. Something that has to be taken into account when calculating DPS is that Jacobs' weapons has a highest possible fire rate, that is usually, if not always, higher than what you actually can produce, and Dahl weapons uses burst fire that usually has a different fire rate from what's stated on the gun.
Each manufacturer are "missing" two weapon types that they simply do not produce, appart from Bandit, that is only missing one weapon type.
- Bandit does not produce sniper rifles.
- Hyperion does not produce rocket launchers or assault rifles.
- Dahl does not produce shotguns or rocket launchers.
- Maliwan does not produce shotguns or assault rifles.
- Tediore does not produce sniper rifles or assault rifles, although, in a leaked alpha-gameplay from 2011, a Tediore assault rifle is seen.
- Jakobs does not produce submachine guns or rocket launchers.
- Vladof does not produce submachine guns or shotguns.
- Torgue does not produce sniper rifles or submachine guns.
- ↑ Yin-Poole, Wesley, How many weapons are in Borderlands 2?, Eurogamer, http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-16-how-many-weapons-are-in-borderlands-2
- ↑ The Pepperbox is not obtainable through legitimate means