Vehicles are machines that can be driven in Borderlands. Some can be controlled by players, while others in the hands of enemies cannot. Some vehicles can be used as transportation for getting around Pandora quickly, and these are suitable for combat. They are digistructed free of charge at Catch-A-Ride stations scattered around Pandora.
Each vehicle has its own set of weapons, and the increased mobility of a vehicle lends itself well to attacking enemies while avoiding retaliation. As vehicles each have their own differing maneuverability and armament, the specific strategies vary considerably from one vehicle to another, and can be referenced in the individual pages for each. One advantage that they all share is all vehicle-mounted weapons have limitless ammunition.
All vehicles can also be used to run enemies over provided that the speed of the vehicle is enough to deal sufficient damage. In Borderlands vehicles deal normal damage when impacting an enemy. Hitting an enemy with a vehicle in Borderlands 2 deal normal damage when done at moderate speed and explosive damage when done at full speed and while boosting. Damage inflicted by ramming a pedestrian target deals very heavy damage (in-game it is treated as a very rapid series of hits, until the target is gibbed), providing a very fast way of killing any enemy, including bosses.
When running over enemies, there are two issues to take into account. Firstly, killing an enemy while in a vehicle yields far less experience (with the exception of enemies who are also in vehicles). Secondly, the vehicle itself will take damage when ramming an enemy, which is proportional to the amount of health that the enemy has. A collision with an extremely tough enemy (like high-level Badasses or Bosses) can result in the destruction of the vehicle. By mid-to-late Playthrough 2, ramming enemies is no longer a viable tactic.
A vehicle's health value is proportionate to the level of the highest level player character in the game.
Drivable vehicles have a nitrous boost accessory in their engines, which provides a brief burst of speed. The speed boost is relative to the distance travelled under thrust. Smaller, faster vehicles have a short duration burst, while the larger, slower vehicles have a longer-lasting boost. Thus, though the lighter vehicles will traverse the distance in a shorter time, the total distance covered while emptying the boost bar ends up being similar.
- See also: Control schemes#Vehicle Combat
The vehicles that are controllable by players in the original release of Borderlands.
- Outrunner - Often referred to as simply a "Runner".
- Mulciber Mk2 - Stationary turret that can be mounted after its gunner is killed.
The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
- Monster - A larger truck-like vehicle with a rocket turret.
- Racer - A lightly-armored vehicle with a high top speed.
- Lancer - An armoured personnel carrier able to seat all four party members.
The vehicles that are controllable by players in the original release of Borderlands 2.
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty
This vehicle is encountered in Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty.
- Sand Skiff - A hovering platform capable of strafing.
Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
This vehicle is encountered in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt.
- Fan Boat - a flat-bottomed vessel propelled by an aircraft-type propeller.
Several vehicle color schemes, or "paint jobs," can be selected when choosing a vehicle at a Catch-A-Ride Station.
In addition to the default selection of color schemes, or "skins," available when choosing a vehicle at a Catch-A-Ride Station, numerous non-default skins can be unlocked through random enemy drops, specific (though rare) enemy drops, quest rewards, challenge rewards, downloadable content and in-game trading with other players.
- See also: Vehicle/Skins
In order of appearance:
- Bandit Out Riders (Outrunners)
The Secret Armory of General Knoxx
Non-functional and Limited Interaction Vehicles
A number of vehicles exist within Borderlands as a purely background fixture. Some exist as in-game objects that can be can be jumped on or used for cover. Others are mentioned or displayed on wall pictures.
Marcus Kincaid drives a battered old bus that is visible in the intro movie. Another bus can be seen refitted to operate as a cable car that provides passage between The Salt Flats and The Devil's Footstool. Several parked buses can be found in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx as well, but are non-interactive.
Posters found on pinned to walls in several locations illustrate a bus-like hovercraft labeled "Hopper Transportation." However, the vehicle itself is never seen in the game.
The Lancer appears in Crimson Fastness as a non-interactive prop. It is later introduced in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, first as enemy vehicles piloted by a Lance crew, and then later becomes available for player control.
- Outrunner Wreck
Wrecked Outrunners are mostly junk found around garages and junkyards, but they can provide cover in a gunfight; one also conceals a revolver barrel in Scavenger: Revolver.
Vehicle missions primarily involve vehicles or require players to use an Outrunner to complete.
- In order of appearance:
- The Piss Wash Hurdle
- Road Warriors: Hot Shots
- Road Warriors: Bandit Apocalypse
- I've Got A Sinking Feeling...
- The Final Piece
- Each vehicle created at a Catch-A-Ride has a selection of eight different paint schemes. These are listed in their respective articles.
- Mobile vehicles inflict a high rate of consistent damage to enemies they run into, resulting in a near instantaneous kill. When running a vehicle into a team mate no damage will result and the character will instead be pushed along until losing physical contact with the vehicle.
- Vehicles are not a major part of gameplay in the retail release of Borderlands. In earlier phases of Borderlands' development, game creators Gearbox had planned to have a more vehicle influenced game including more vehicles, vehicle missions, and weapons. Now the vehicles' only practical use is to aid travel over long distances, although players can also use vehicles for combat.
- The Salt Racer was a vehicle intended for player use that was cut from the game before release.
- Marcus' bus may be modeled after the fortified bus from Mad Max 2, as the game takes place in a similar dystopian desert setting.