While crippled, accuracy with all weapons is greatly reduced and players are unable to access their ECHO screens, throw grenades or move - any Action Skill (except for Bloodwing) will disengage at the time of death (although characters are still able to melee adjacent enemies). During this time the targeting reticule will sway, increasing the difficulty of scoring critical hits. Characters will also begin to "bleed out", indicated by a red meter that replaces the heath/shield bar. As the timer runs down, vision will gradually fade and accuracy decreases even further.
A distinct advantage for the crippled character lies in their temporary invulnerability. All attacks striking a crippled character cannot inflict further damage while that character is already effectively dying. In co-operative games other players can exploit this fact tactically by treating a crippled character as a decoy, or as a physical barrier to hide behind while they fight or position their characters to revive their fallen teammate.
There are three possible actions players can take when their characters are crippled:
- Successfully killing an enemy while crippled will earn a Second Wind, allowing the crippled character to re-enter gameplay with critical health and a full shield. This can be achieved both by direct damage, or from damage over time inflicted by the crippled character.
- If playing cooperatively, a teammate can revive the crippled character. This also earns a Second Wind and rewards 100 experience points to the assisting character, which do not contribute to weapon proficiency.
- Holding down the Action key, or if crippled characters bleed out, will cause the crippled character to revive at the last activated New-U Station with full health and shields. When a character is revived at a New-U Station they must pay a fee of 7% of their total wealth - though the fee is waived if the character has less than $100.
When crippled characters are successful in achieving a Second Wind, then they will get back up with 25% of their health and a fully recharged shield. Damage dealt by all guns is also increased for a few seconds. The Diehard skill increases the percentage of health that Brick can gain from a Second Wind, as well as the time he has before dying.
Small enemies can be difficult to eliminate to receive a second wind as they are generally fast and often avoid attacks. This is particularly troublesome when using slower single-shot weapons. Large enemies often take too long to kill to receive a second wind, making Badass or Badmutha enemies impractical targets for gaining a Second Wind unless they are nearly dead already.
Becoming crippled again, soon after earning a Second Wind, will result in a shorter bleed out timer.
The act of reviving a teammate involves moving into close range of a crippled character and using the activation button, as if the target character was the same as any other interactive object in the game. The button must be held down while the revival attempt is in progress and will show a green status bar to both the player in control of the crippled character and the player in control of the reviving character. The reviving player is free to move around the entire close proximity of the crippled character, even so far as to look directly away from the victim or crouch behind them to use their body as a shield. However, attempting to shoot while reviving, or moving too far will stop the process altogether. Reviving a teammate takes five seconds. While the revival is in progress, the bleed out timer of the crippled character will remain locked in a paused state. Interrupting the revival before it is complete will cause the bleed out timer to resume counting down to the point of death. If successful, the revived character receives a second wind and the reviving character receives 100 experience points.
- Revive can also trigger a Second Wind when a crippled character is close to a Scorpio Turret. However, this does not grant the soldier an experience point bonus.
- A second wind can also be obtained by leveling-up. This would most likely happen when playing co-op and gaining experience from a team mate killing enemies or turning in a mission. The revived character will be at full shield and health because of the leveling up effect.
- A character cannot bleed out during the breaks between the waves of Mad Moxxi´s Underdome Riot. The character will receive a Second Wind at the moment the wave ends. If a character is crippled during the break, for example because of a grenade which explodes after last enemy was killed, the character will immediately receive a Second Wind.
While Fight For Your Life remains largely the same as in the first game, in Borderlands 2 more options are available while crippled and for obtaining Second Wind.
The three main actions that may be taken while crippled are the same across all classes.
- Kill an enemy to gain a Second Wind. Regain full shields and critical health (25% of maximum).
- Be revived by an ally and receive a Second Wind. Same as above for shield and health. Assisting ally receives 100 experience points.
- Bleed out (fail to gain a Second Wind), or hold the action button, to be revived at the last activated New-U Station. Regain full shields and full health. 7% of character's money is docked as a fee for revival -- no fee if total money is less than $100.
A crippled Vault Hunter is able to move in Borderlands 2. Though at greatly reduced movement speed, this mobility can help a character reposition themselves for a better shot at Second Wind targets. It can also make a difference in a potential revive from an ally: for example the crippled character can close a bit of distance, or drop down from a ledge to the same level as the ally, or come out of cover to be in sight of Maya spec'd with Res (see below).
Some options available to crippled Vault Hunters include skills designed for use during Fight For Your Life as well as effects triggered by low or depleted shields and/or health.
- Axton - Sabre Turret remains on the field if deployed before Axton is downed, who receives a Second Wind if the turret kills an enemy. Crisis Management increases Gun Damage and Melee Damage. Do or Die grants the use of grenades. Last Ditch Effort increases Gun Damage and Movement Speed. Pressure gives its maximum bonus to Reload Speed.
- Gaige - Deathtrap remains on the field if summoned before Gaige is downed, who receives a Second Wind if Deathtrap kills an enemy.
- Maya - Fleet increases Movement Speed. Immolate supplements all shots fired with a percentage of Incendiary Damage.
- Salvador - Down Not Out allows Salvador to use Gunzerking (if already active when entering Fight For Your Life, Gunzerking continues uninterrupted). Inconceivable gives its maximum chance to shots fired not consuming ammo. Out of Bubblegum increases Fire Rate. Just Got Real gives its maximum bonus to Gun Damage.
- Zer0 - Fearless increases Fire Rate and Gun Damage. Resurgence, while not directly of use to come out of Fight For Your Life, gives 75% of its maximum bonus to health restored if Second Wind is obtained with a melee attack.
The mechanics of reviving remain the same as in the first game.
Of note in Borderlands 2 is Maya's Res skill, which allows Maya to use Phaselock on a crippled ally to instantly revive him/her. This makes a support-oriented Maya invaluable in a team of two or more. As Phaselock and Res can be used at a great distance, Maya can be incredibly far away and still be able to revive teammates (a Sniper Rifle can aid in pinpointing a downed ally). With investment in action skill cooldown reduction, Res can also be used to perform multiple instant revives in relatively quick succession.
Salvador alone can activate his action skill while reviving a partner without breaking the process. Gunzerking restores half of Salvador's total health and gives constant health regeneration, which may help him survive enemy fire while reviving.
- Other classes may use their action skill before reviving as a means of distracting enemies. Deathtrap, Decepti0n's holographic decoy, and Sabre Turret may draw enemy fire, while Phaselock can hold an enemy.
Fight For Your Life Time
The bleed-out timer of Fight For Your Life is roughly 11 to 12 seconds. Several items in the game can affect the duration.
- A Tenacity Relic can increase time, and/or can increase health received upon obtaining a Second Wind.
- Captain Blade's Otto Idol reduces time by approximately 3 seconds.
- Every Aequitas or Veritas equipped in the party gives 10% duration.
- Every Deputy's Badge equipped in the party gives 10% duration.
- For every Deputy's Badge equipped in the party, the Sheriff's Badge increases time by 15%. On its own, the Sheriff's Badge does not grant this bonus.
Entering Fight For Your Life again soon after receiving a Second Wind shortens the bleed-out timer. If this happens a few times in rapid succession, bleed out becomes nearly instantaneous.
- Becoming crippled interrupts Phaselock, Gunzerking (if no point is invested in Down Not Out), and Zer0's simulacrum. Sabre Turret and Deathtrap remain while Axton or Gaige is crippled.
- The ability to move during Fight For Your Life is suspended while being revived.
- If Gaige receives a Second Wind due to an enemy being killed by Deathtrap, the message "Thanks, Deathtrap!" will appear.
- If a crippled character obtains their own Second Wind while being revived by an ally, the message "Kill Revive!" will appear to the latter.
- A message will appear to both party members involved if Res is successful -- for Maya, "Used Res on [player name]", and for the revived ally, "[player name] used Res on you".
- A number of Challenges revolve around Second Winds. These include weapon type used, elemental Damage over Time effects, Badass enemies as targets, and number of times a character has revived an ally.
- Successful melee strikes on targets during Fight For Your Life are still enhanced by a Maylay Shield's bonus Roid Damage.