A sample skill tree for Brick

Action Skills are special character abilities that the player explicitly activates, bound typically to the Action button on a game controller or a particular key on a PC keyboard. Once a player invokes a character's Action Skill, that skill will remain active for a specified duration. After the Action Skill ceases, a cooldown period must elapse before the player can again invoke the Action Skill.

A character first acquires their action skill upon reaching level 5 (level 3 in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 3). Only after unlocking that Action Skill will other talents in the character's skill tree become available.

Each class has their own characteristic Action Skill, distinct from every other class's skill.

Borderlands

Lilith

Main article: Phasewalk

Phasewalk

  • Duration: 5.5 seconds
  • Cooldown: 36 seconds

Lilith's Action Skill is Phasewalk, which allows her to turn invisible and increase her running speed. Upon entering and exiting Phasewalk, Lilith releases a Phase Blast that damages enemies around her. While in Phasewalk, Lilith cannot shoot, jump, or collect loot, and a melee attack will cause her to exit Phasewalk.

Lilith's Phasewalk can be upgraded to have many additional effects: causing elemental damage to enemies around her, altering the Phase Blast to daze enemies, regenerating a portion of her health, and strengthening her exiting melee attack to deal up to an additional 800% damage. The duration and the length of the cooldown of Phasewalk can also be upgraded through the use of skill points. The addition of an Eridian Artifact adds an elemental effect to her Phase Blast when entering and exiting Phasewalk, and is likely to cause elemental damage over time effects.

Mordecai

Main article: Bloodwing

Bloodwing

  • Duration: 1 attack
  • Cooldown: 28 seconds

Mordecai's Action Skill is to summon his pet Bloodwing that attacks one enemy, dealing substantial damage, then returns to him. When upgraded, Bloodwing can cause enemies to drop additional money, ammunition and healing items, heal Mordecai for a percentage of damage inflicted, daze enemies, and attack up to six enemies. Pressing the action button when Bloodwing has been sent out will command Bloodwing to return to Mordecai, and the cooldown adjusted accordingly (instant cooldown if Bloodwing did not attack anything before being recalled).

If Bloodwing cannot find an enemy within range, he will return to Mordecai after circling the area in front of him for several seconds. Bloodwing can attack enemies behind cover, and can be used as a scout when moving rapidly through hostile areas. When upgraded to attack multiple enemies, Bloodwing can potentially attack the same enemies more than once if they survive the previous attacks. For example, if there are two enemies in close proximity, and Bloodwing is upgraded to attack five enemies, he will "bounce" back and forth in between the two enemies, attacking one two times and the other three times for a total of five attacks.

Roland

Main article: Scorpio Turret

Scorpio Turret

  • Duration: 20 seconds
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

Roland's Action Skill is to deploy a Scorpio Turret, which fires at nearby enemies while providing cover with an energy shield. When upgraded, the turret may also fire a guided missile, provide supplies, heal and regenerate ammunition for nearby teammates, and even revive teammates when deployed. As with the Action Skills of all classes, Eridian Artifacts may be applied to the Scorpio Turret to deal elemental damage.

A good strategy for the turret is in using it as a distraction for bosses, to flank them and score critical hits.

Brick

Main article: Berserk

Berserk

  • Duration: 18 seconds
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Brick's Action Skill is to go Berserk, which gives very fast health regeneration and high damage resistance. While Berserk is active, Brick may not fire his weapons; instead he punches his enemies. Berserk can be upgraded in various ways, such as being able to dash forward before punching to close the gap between himself and an enemy, or a chance to spawn cash prizes every time a punch connects with an enemy. The addition of an Eridian Artifact imbues his punches with elemental properties. Notably an explosive Artifact is most often useful, given Brick's numerous enhancements from skills and class mods to that elemental damage type.

While in Berserk, Brick may pick up individual pieces of loot but cannot quick-equip or quick-loot. Berserk can be cancelled at any time by entering the ECHO or SDU menu.

Comparison of Action Skills

Roland's Scorpio Turret is sometimes regarded as the most tactical of the Action Skills, due to its potential uses when deployed appropriately. Most enemies, especially non-human ones, will actually turn their attention on the turret, allowing the player to find better firing angles, recharge shields and health, or even to escape while enemies are busy attacking the turret. The Scorpio Turret's initial cooldown, limited targeting area, and the need to be in close proximity to it to benefit from its radius effects often make it less effective against powerful and fast melee attackers such as skags and psychos.

Mordecai's Bloodwing is an aggressive skill with limited defensive or tactical applications. The Bloodwing will only attack a single opponent for the majority of the game, and it does not always reliably attack if the hunter is under cover or not looking at the enemy. Despite this however, it can operate and attack independently, making it a useful skill against mobile enemies who are tricky to hit with Mordecai's usual precision-targeting combat style. It should be noted that through use of the Swipe skill, a good deal of loot can be gained from most enemies. Also, when Swift Strike and Bird of Prey are fully upgraded, it is possible to take down an entire Rakk swarm without firing a single bullet

Brick's Berserk is a powerful, but often risky skill, because Brick must expose himself to damage to use it. It may also require some degree of running down targets in a firefight. Players are well advised to avoid having Brick leave the berserker state while exposed to attack. Despite this, Berserk's powerful offensive damage and rapid health regeneration make it a very effective skill in many situations. Berserk can be used to prepare for battle by regenerating health as well as used in battle, even as the main damage component instead of a gun.

Lilith's Phasewalk can be utilized for a variety of roles, enhancing both her offensive and defensive capabilities. While in phasewalk, Lilith becomes invulnerable and invisible. This can be used to regenerate shields and health while escaping, run to a downed teammate, or to move close to enemies where the shockwave can be used for devastating effect.

Borderlands 2

Axton

Main article: Sabre Turret

Sabre Turret

  • Duration: 20 seconds
  • Cooldown: 42 seconds

Axton's Action Skill is to deploy a Sabre Turret, which fires at nearby enemies. When upgraded, it can be equipped with ammunition belts, rocket pods, a targeting laser, an extra gun, a shield emitter, and mag-lock bases. Other skills can improve the turret's offensive and tactical use, such as longbow technology, a "nuke" explosion, as well as the ability to deploy two turrets. The Sabre Turret can also be manually deactivated before automatic deactivation to refund some cooldown.

Maya

Main article: Phaselock

Phaselock

  • Duration: 5 seconds
  • Cooldown: 13 seconds

Maya's Action Skill is Phaselock, which allows her to temporarily trap an enemy in another dimension, rendering them immobile and vulnerable to attack. When Phaselocked, enemies are shown motionless in an orb. Some enemies cannot be Phaselocked and instead instantly take damage.

Maya's Phaselock can be upgraded to have many additional effects: causing elemental damage to enemies, brainwashing enemies to fight for her, and pulling nearby enemies towards the orb while dealing a small amount of damage.

Salvador

Main article: Gunzerking

Gunzerking

  • Duration: 20 seconds
  • Cooldown: 42 seconds

Salvador's Action Skill is Gunzerking, which gives him the ability to wield two weapons at the same time. Upon activation, Salvador instantly heals half his max health, gains damage reduction, and constantly regenerates ammo and health.

Zer0

Main article: Decepti0n

Decepti0n

  • Duration: 6 seconds
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Zer0's Action Skill is Decepti0n, which makes Zer0 invisible to enemies and deploys a holographic decoy that attracts enemy aggro. Firing a weapon or striking an enemy with a melee attack ends Decepti0n, but the attack gains a large damage bonus. The longer Zer0 remains in Decepti0n, the larger the damage bonus becomes. Ending Decepti0n early shortens the followup cooldown.

Gaige

Main article: Deathtrap

Deathtrap

  • Duration: 60 seconds
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Gaige's Action Skill is Deathtrap, this allows Gaige to summon her robot, D374-TP or "Deathtrap", to fight for her. When upgraded, Deathtrap can have increased melee damage, explosive attacks, elemental damage, and can restore the shields of Gaige and her allies.

Krieg

Main article: Buzz Axe Rampage

Buzz Axe Rampage

  • Duration: 16 seconds
  • Cooldown: 120 seconds

Krieg's Action Skill is Buzz Axe Rampage, which equips him with his buzz axe and gives him increased melee damage as well as increased movement speed. Each time Krieg kills an enemy using Buzz Axe Rampage, his health completely regenerates. He can also throw his buzz axe at enemies causing damage from long range. Taking damage while Buzz Axe Rampage is active decreases its cooldown.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Athena

Main article: Kinetic Aspis

Kinetic Aspis

  • Duration: 11 seconds
  • Cooldown: 16 seconds

Athena's Action Skill is Kinetic Aspis, which allows her to raise an Aspis shield and use it to absorb incoming damage. It can be thrown at targets to inflict damage once the duration is over or earlier of chosen to do so, but it does not reduce the cooldown time. If the Aspis is charged with energy and thrown at targets, then the energy in released in a powerful attack.

Claptrap

Main article: VaultHunter.EXE

VaultHunter.EXE

  • Duration: Varies between Action Packages
  • Cooldown: 40 seconds

Claptrap's Action Skill is VaultHunter.EXE, which upon activation will analyze the current situation and will give Claptrap an Action Package based on the criteria met. However, since Claptrap's programming is glitchy, VaultHunter.EXE may select an Action Package not relating to the situation or may choose a random package if multiple criteria are met. The effects of some Action Packages can extend to Claptrap's allies, granting them some of the abilities of the Action Package chosen. Regardless of the Action Package selected, VaultHunter.EXE will always restore all of Claptrap's health and give him health regeneration for the rest of the duration.

Nisha

Main article: Showdown (Nisha)

Showdown

  • Duration: 6 seconds
  • Cooldown: 16 seconds

Nisha's Action Skill is Showdown, which gives her multiple gun bonuses and automatic aim. When Showdown is active, Nisha will automatically aim at nearby targets and will be given increased gun damage, fire rate, reload speed, accuracy, and bullet speed. These bonuses are given to all guns, but sniper rifles and rocket launchers do not receive the damage bonus. Once a target is eliminated, a new target is automatically selected. Also, targets can be cycled through manually.

Wilhelm

Main article: Wolf and Saint

Wolf and Saint

  • Duration: 35 seconds
  • Cooldown: 42 seconds

Wilhelm's Action Skill is Wolf and Saint, which allows him to summon Wolf, his combat drone, and Saint, his support drone. When summoned, Wolf will appear and attack enemies, shooting shock bolts at them to inflict damage. Saint will stay by Wilhelm and will regenerate his health. Saint has a protective shield and cannot be destroyed while Wolf can be damaged by enemies. Both drones can be upgraded to further help Wilhelm in battle. Wolf and Saint can be recalled early to have some cooldown refunded.

Jack

Main article: Expendable Assets

Expendable Assets

  • Duration: 40 seconds
  • Cooldown: 40 seconds

Jack's Action Skill is Expendable Assets, which allows him to summon two Digi-Jacks who will fight alongside him. The Digi-Jacks will fight using wrist-mounted shock blasters and will constantly lose health. When destroyed, a new Digi-Jack will be constructed near Jack himself. Expendable Assets can be upgraded to increase the strength of the Digi-Jacks. It can also be ended early, refunding some cooldown in the process.

Aurelia

Main article: Cold As Ice

Cold As Ice

  • Duration: 21 seconds
  • Cooldown: 35 seconds

Aurelia's Actions Skill is Cold As Ice, which allows her to throw a Frost Diadem Shard that will automatically seek out enemies and attach itself to them, dealing Cryo damage in the process to the target and the surrounding enemies. Once the target is dead, the Shard will automatically seek out a new target unless Aurelia tells it to go after a specific enemy. The Shard can be returned early and refund some cooldown.

Borderlands 3

Amara

Each of Amara's skill tree has one starting Action Skill, and additional Action Skills available at higher levels.

Brawl

  1. Phaseslam: Amara leaps into the air then slams down, damaging nearby enemies and knocking them up.
    • Cooldown: 35 seconds
  2. Fracture: Amara sends forward multiple fists that damage enemies in front of her.
    • Cooldown: 28 seconds
  3. Downfall: Amara leaps into the air, shoots an elemental beam downward, then slams down, damaging nearby enemies.
    • Cooldown: 47 seconds

Mystical Assault

  1. Phasecast: Amara sends forward a projection of herself, damaging everything in its path.
    • Cooldown: 28 seconds
  2. Deliverance: Amara sends forward a projection of herself, damaging everything in its path. Upon contact with an enemy or object, the projection releases homing projectiles that trigger Action Skill elemental effects when hitting enemies.
    • Cooldown: 28 seconds
  3. Reverberation: Amara sends forward a projection of herself, damaging everything in its path. The projection's damage increases every time it hits an enemy.
    • Cooldown: 30 seconds
  4. Tandava: Amara sends forward a projection of herself, which explodes upon hitting a target, damaging nearby enemies.
    • Cooldown: 35 seconds

Fist of the Elements

  1. Phasegrasp: This skill summons a giant fist which immobilizes the target for a short time. Enemies who cannot be immobilized take instant damage instead.
    • Duration: 7 seconds
    • Cooldown: 16 seconds
  2. The Eternal Fist: This skill summons a giant fist which immobilizes the target for a short time. If a Phasegrasped enemy is killed, another fist appears and seeks out another target.
    • Cooldown: 20 seconds
  3. Ties That Bind: This skill summons a giant fist which immobilizes the target for a short time. Enemies near the target are linked. Any damage dealt to a linked target is shared among other linked targets.
    • Cooldown: 18 seconds
  4. Fist Over Matter: This skill summons a giant fist which immobilizes the target for a short time. Large fists then appear and smash the area, damaging nearby enemies.
    • Cooldown: 28 seconds

FL4K

Each of FL4K's skill tree has one Action Skill, one starting Pet Skill, and additional Pet Skills available at higher levels. Pet Skills and Action Skills have separate cooldowns. FL4K can equip one Action Skill and one Pet Skill at a time.

Master

Gamma Burst: This skill teleports FL4K's pet to a target location, dealing radiation damage to nearby enemies. The pet also becomes irradiated, growing in size and dealing bonus radiation damage with its attacks.

Gamma Burst can also revive FL4K's pet at the target location, but this also doubles the followup cooldown time.

  • Duration: 20 seconds
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Pet Skill

  1. Guard Skag: This skill summons a skag to fight alongside FL4K. The skag can be ordered to vomit acid at enemies. FL4K gains increased damage while the skag is alive.
  2. Great Horned Skag: The skag becomes a large horned skag. It can be ordered to charge at enemies and knock them up. FL4K gains increased damage while the skag is alive.
  3. Eridian Skag: The skag becomes an Eridian skag. It can be ordered to generate a singularity, pulling in nearby enemies. FL4K gains increased damage and fire rate while the skag is alive.

Stalker

Fade Away: This skill renders FL4K invisible to enemies for a short time. FL4K can fire up to three shots while being invisible, and each shot will be an automatic critical hit. FL4K gains increased movement speed and health regeneration during this time.

  • Duration: 15 seconds
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Pet Skill

  1. Jabber Sidekick: This skill summons a jabber to fight alongside FL4K. The jabber is armed with a pistol, and can be ordered to throw a radiation barrel at enemies. FL4K gains increased movement speed while the jabber is alive.
  2. Beefcake Jabber: The jabber becomes a beefcake jabber, armed with a shotgun. The jabber can be ordered to summon a melee weapon and perform a powerful melee attack. FL4K gains increased movement speed and maximum health while the jabber is alive.
  3. Gunslinger Jabber: The jabber becomes a gunslinger jabber, armed with an SMG. The jabber can be ordered to switch to a rocket launcher. FL4K gains increased movement speed and critical hit damage while the jabber is alive.

Hunter

Rakk Attack!: This skill summons two rakk which explode upon hitting an enemy. This skill has multiple charges.

  • Cooldown: 18 seconds

Pet Skill

  1. Spiderant Centurion: This skill summons a spiderant to fight alongside FL4K. The spiderant can be ordered to charge at enemies. FL4K constantly regenerates health while the spiderant is alive.
  2. Spiderant Scorcher: The spiderant becomes a scorcher spiderant. It can be ordered to charge at enemies. The spiderant occasionally deal incendiary damage to nearby enemies. FL4K constantly regenerates health and gains elemental resistance while the spiderant is alive.
  3. Spiderant Countess: The spiderant becomes a countess spiderant. It can be ordered to burrow then reemerge, dealing corrosive damage in an area. FL4K constantly regenerates health and gains damage reduction while the spiderant is alive.

Moze

Moze's main Action Skill allows her to digistruct and control her robot, Iron Bear.

  • Cooldown: 2 minutes

The duration of Iron Bear is represented by a Fuel meter, which drains slowly.

Each of Moze's skill tree has additional Action Skills which allow her to use various weapons while controlling Iron Bear. Each weapon has its own Fuel consumption rate. Moze can equip two of these Action Skills at the same time.

Demolition Woman

  1. V-35 Grenade Launcher: a semi-automatic grenade launcher which is not affected by Moze's equipped grenade mod.
  2. Vanquisher Rocket Pod: a rocket launcher that can fire volleys of explosive rockets.

Shield of Retribution

  1. Railgun: a railgun whose bullets deal shock damage.
  2. Bear Fist: a pneumatic fist for melee combat.

Bottomless Mags

  1. Minigun: a minigun which can sustain rapid fire, but will overheat after long firing periods and become inoperable for a short time.
  2. Salamander: a flamethrower which deals incendiary damage to enemies at close range.

Zane

Each of Zane's skill tree has one Action Skill. Zane can equip two Action Skills at the same time.

Under Cover

Barrier: This skill drops a barrier that can block enemy projectiles. Zane can shoot through the barrier for increased damage. The barrier can be picked up and held, but its size and damage bonus will be decreased.

  • Duration: 14 seconds
  • Cooldown: 24 seconds

Doubled Agent

Digi-Clone: This skill creates a clone of Zane to distract enemies. Zane can swap places with the clone by activating the skill again when it is active.

  • Duration: 15 seconds
  • Cooldown: 28 seconds

Hitman

SNTNL: This skill deploys an SNTNL drone which flies and automatically attacks enemies with machine guns. Zane can order the drone to attack a specific target by activating the skill again while having the target under crosshairs.

  • Duration: 24 seconds
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds
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