10 Borderlands 3 Tips

How To Survive Pandora, And Beyond
Gearbox Shows Off Scrapped Cover Art For Borderlands 3

So you want to be a Vault Hunter, eh? You’re in luck because Borderlands 3 has been released for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4! Whether this is your first foray into the Borderland franchise or you’re a grizzled vet we’ve gathered up a few tips to help you get off to a good start on Pandora (and beyond). So before you choose which character to play (Moze, right?) and head off for fame and fortune be sure to check out our 10 Borderlands 3 tips to surviving Pandora, and beyond.

1 – Pistol Power

Pistols aren’t a secondary weapon that is only used when all other ammo is empty. All of the weapons in the game carry some punch given the right circumstances and pistols are no different. Overall the weapons are pretty well balanced and even though pistols have smaller clips than some of the others they are usually easier to keep on target than, say, an SMG. No matter what your weapon of choice is, make sure to carry a few other options just in case. I wouldn’t exactly say ammo is a rare commodity but many weapons have a tendency to chew through the bullets. The Children of the Vault may be short on brains, but they more than make up for it in numbers, and the last thing you want is to have plenty of bullets but nothing to shoot them with.

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight

2 – The Alt-Right

Many weapons have an alternate fire mode. After switching to a weapon with an alternate fire, the current mode will be listed under the weapon portrait, and pressing C will switch between the two options. This can be as simple as switching between semi-automatic and burst or full auto, but some weapons launch grenades or have tasers. One of the most useful alternate modes is the ability to switch between two different elemental types such as electrical and corrosive. This option allows you to trim down the number of weapons you have to carry in your backpack and still be ready for various types of enemies.

3 – Ready, Aim, Fire!

Headshots aren’t the only shots you should focus on. Sure, it’s nice to see a head or two explode when a headshot is the killing blow, but targeting other body parts can help you dispatch the higher hit point enemies. For example, if there is an enemy crouching behind cover, shooting an exposed body part will often make them pop up for easy shooting. Targeting arms can make them drop their weapon, and hitting a charging enemy can sometimes make them trip and fall. Remember, killing an opponent quickly is better than killing them with style. Well, maybe.

Who am I kidding? Aim for the head!

4 – In The Blink Of An Eye

You can fast travel from anywhere. Once you unlock a fast travel location all you need to do is pull up your map, click on the location you want to go to, and press E. You can even travel to a different world or back to Sanctuary as long as the location has been unlocked. Doing so means you will miss the hundreds of loot containers scattered around the map. I don’t know about you, but I consider it my civic duty to click on every glowing green container even though I know I probably don’t need what’s inside. 

5 – You Can’t Take It With You

Spend your money on SDUs. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying, ‘You can’t take it with you.’ Well, it’s no different in Borderlands 3. Don’t waste your money buying weapons from vending machines (you’ll quickly outgrow them and find better weapons out in the wild), but don’t hoard your savings either. Instead, once you have access to Sanctuary, go and visit Marcus. He will sell upgrades to your carrying capacity of ammo, backpack space, and so on. The price may seem a little hefty but you’ll be glad you spent the cash when the upgrade means you don’t run out of ammo in the middle of a big fight.

You have to spend money to make money

6 – I Needs Moar Stuff!

If you have been playing a few hours and are worried because you still haven’t unlocked your full loadout, you can relax. All of the loadout unlocks are found through the main storyline and with a little patience, everything will be unlocked by just playing the game. That doesn’t mean you should skip all the side quests, though, since you will lose out on the extra XP and loot they offer.

7- GPS

Check your map before leaving an area. Generally speaking, you will discover most, if not all, of a map if you play the main story quest and any side quests you find along the way.  Any big undiscovered areas can mean you missed something so it wouldn’t hurt to poke around those areas just in case. If you do miss some side quests along the way you can always go back after you complete the main story and play them in Mayhem Mode.

Missions aren’t the only thing you’ll find while exploring every nook and cranny on the map. You’ll never be able to pimp your ride if you don’t hijack other vehicles that are driving around (or hidden away). There are also Crew Challenges like finding Claptrap parts and re-purposing propaganda radio towers. There’s more to find, but I can’t give it all away now can I?

8 – Home, Sweet Home

Make sure you check out all Sanctuary has to offer. Along with Marcus and his wares, you can also try your luck at Moxxies Slots, pick up all your first aid needs at Dr. Zeds Meds, and even use any keys you come across at your very own golden chest. You can take a gander at all the cosmetics (and a few choice weapons too) Crazy Earl’s has to offer, but make sure to bring your Etherium, you’ll need it.

Head to Crazy Earl’s for some crazy stuff

There are a couple of other amenities Sanctuary has to offer and both will help with inventory management. The first is your player bank. Is that Gunner mod you just found just taking up backpack space because you’re currently playing as Fl4k? Then throw it in your bank and pull it out later when you’re getting your mech on with Moze. And speaking of backpack space…did you have to leave a couple of sweet items behind because you just didn’t have the room to carry them? Then check out the Lost Loot Machine to see if they have magically made their way back to you. Just an FYI, if you picked it up and then threw it away it will never find its way into the LLM.

9 – All Your Frames Are Belong To Us

Many people are reporting low frames per second as well as other graphics issues, but there are some things to try if you fall into this group:

  • If you have a  21:3 display and cut scenes aren’t displaying correctly, turn off FidelityFX Sharpening and the world will be right again.
  • If you have artifacts being left on the screen and are using DirectX 12, switching to DX 11 will give slightly lower frames per second but should fix your artifact problem. 
  • Switching from DirectX 12 to 11 also gets rid of the insanely long initial game loading time. My load time dropped from minutes to a second or two. This is only a problem on the initial game load. Moving from the main menu into the game or from one map to another doesn’t have this problem.
  • Tinkering with the advanced graphics options will help you fine-tune the visual quality vs. frame rate. I am no expert, but a quick run-through found that lowering the setting on Volumetric Fog had a major impact on my fps. The gang over at PCGamer have a great writeup about this, and the BL3 subreddit has a good video thread and a general bug thread as well.

10 – Cheaters Always Prosper

If you don’t want free rewards that will make the game a little easier, then just stop reading now and get back to it. If getting a few extra epic or legendary weapons sounds like something you would like, then SHiFT codes and the Vault Insider Program (VIP) are waiting for you.

Head over to the Borderlands VIP site to sign up and start earning points which can be redeemed for various in-game items such as gold keys, weapons, and skins. 

SHiFT codes, like VIP points, will earn you free loots. These codes can be redeemed a couple of different ways. You can enter a code in-game at the main menu by clicking on the Social option, then choosing the middle button on the menu bar (the S). Out of game, again just head over to the Borderlands VIP site and sign up.

Don’t have any codes and want some? No problem, just scour the internet and social media for them. Or if you’re lazy like I am, our very own Kelley already did the hard work and gathered up all the codes you’ll ever need.

VIP – When Crazy Earl’s isn’t crazy enough


Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

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