Anarchy is one of the two first (and, to reach the next tier, mandatory) skills for Gaige in the Ordered Chaos skill tree. With it, Gaige improves her damage but lowers her accuracy each time she kills an opponent, or completely empties and reloads a magazine with her weapon.
Anarchy only has one skill point; with it, Gaige gains an Anarchy 'stack' whenever she kills an enemy, or fires every bullet from her weapon's magazine. Each Anarchy stack adds 1.75% to her Gun Damage, but lowers her Accuracy by 1.75% in exchange. Anarchy does not wear off by itself, and continues to add stacks with each subsequent kill or emptied magazine. Deathtrap kills do not grant Anarchy stacks. The skills Rational Anarchist and Typecast Iconoclast may cause more than one stack to be gained at once.
If Gaige reloads before the magazine is completely empty, she will either trigger Discord (if she has it) or else lose all of her Anarchy stacks. She will also begin to lose Anarchy at a rate of roughly five stacks per second while Crippled, but getting a Second Wind will stop the loss of Anarchy stacks. Dying (in most cases), exiting the game or resetting skill points will remove all Anarchy stacks. Anarchy stacks are also consumed by Death From Above and With Claws.
Gaige's stacks 'max out' at 150, giving her a maximum potential benefit of +262.5% Gun Damage at a cost of -262.5% Accuracy. After fully investing in Preshrunk Cyberpunk, this limit can be extended to up to 400 stacks, increasing the benefit to up to +700% Gun Damage and -700% Accuracy. One step further is using the Slayer of Terramorphous Class Mod, allowing for up to 600 stacks or 1050% Gun Damage and -1050% Accuracy.
The success of an Anarchy build is greatly determined by the weapons used with it to maximize the gain of Anarchy stacks from reloading. When choosing gear players should prioritize weapons with high fire-rate, reload speed and small magazines, while accuracy is not a priority. Weapons with high rate of fire but medium-large magazines like Vladof Assault Rifles or most SMG's are bad choices to level up Anarchy because the unmanageable ammo consumption they require to gain Anarchy stacks and time to empty the magazine, but can be used efficiently once the stack cap has been reached (600 stacks with Slayer of Terramorphous). Contrary to popular belief the revolver Law isn't a good choice because it starts to lose accuracy with only 57 stacks. Weapons manufactured by Torgue may look useful with low number of stacks, as even a shot at an enemy's feet will do splash damage. However, they are overall the worst choice because with high numbers of stacks the spread will be so high that even Torgue shotguns at point-blank range won't be able to hit and more important, Close Enough doesn't ricochet gyrojet projectiles nor folding fin rockets. They also have low fire rate and below average reload speed, being unsuited for fast stack gain.
The Cobra is a good choice, as it deals powerful explosive splash damage, has high velocity, and is also able to ricochet with Close Enough, unlike Torgue weapons, but the fire rate is low.
Rocket launchers are not recommended. With high number of stacks there is a huge potential to shoot one's feet accidentally and get crippled, even if aiming high, although the Hive is an exception. They are not a good choice to get second winds for the same reason (terrible accuracy even at point-blank range), but they can be used when the number of stacks is low (under 100). Tediore brand with low magazine size and high reload speed are recommended for that purpose.
One of the best, if not the best overall weapon for use with Anarchy are the variants of the Conference Call shotgun with Vertical Grip accessory (7 pellets instead of 5) and 8 to 10 magazine size. Its good fire rate, reload speed, pellet count and low magazine size, make for an optimal choice. Even better, its special effect (the perpendicular shoot) somewhat preserves accuracy even if the main shoot miss, making easy to hit at medium to long ranges with an extremely high number (>550) of Anarchy stacks. On top of that, the reflection of all the missed pellets by Close Enough can wreak havoc doing ludicrous amounts of damage with the potential to kill entire groups in a single shot. It's both useful to level Anarchy fast and when the cap has been reached. When the cap has been reached, the player can reliably shoot at random almost anywhere and still get kills.
If the player does not have access to such rare weapons, one inferior but easy-to-get alternative are Rubi variants with small magazine size and decent fire rate. Its special effect provides powerful healing to Gaige.
That said, when the max number of stacks have been reached, the player can then swap to any weapon of their choice.
The other pillar of Anarchy builds are the skills used in conjunction with it. Players should max the Close Enough skill, because the bullets reflected by it will have perfect accuracy. The damage loss is compensated soon by the Anarchy boost and it's especially efficient when using shotguns. Only one skill point should be invested in The Nth Degree as it also provides bullet reflection, but its rewards diminish as more points are invested. Discord is the only fail-safe available to prevent the loss of all Anarchy stacks due to a premature reload, and can be triggered while crippled for extra accuracy without an increase to the speed of stack loss. Smaller, Lighter, Faster and Preshrunk Cyberpunk provide faster accumulation of stacks and higher stack cap respectively while Rational Anarchist gives momentum.
Conserving the use of Deathtrap is more important with many Anarchy stacks, as it can be used to distract distant enemies and allow the player more time to reach an effective range.
Since many players have a habit of reloading when the alert for low ammo appears, premature reloads may lead to losing all stacks of Anarchy accidentally. To counter this, bringing up the character menu, performing a melee attack or swapping weapons will interrupt the reload. To reload the weapon without losing Anarchy stacks, unequipping and re-equipping a weapon via the inventory screen will fill it with ammo. Discord also replaces the reload penalty with a buff that can be deactivated with another reload.
- Prematurely reloading a Tediore firearm makes Gaige lose her stacks/toggles Discord, even though the ammo is expended in the process.
- With a high number of Anarchy stacks, accuracy will be close to non-existent, and the spread of the weapon will spray far outside the limits of the crosshairs. With a very large number of stacks (around 550 or more, which is only possible with the Slayer of Terramorphous class mod) and a low-accuracy weapon such as regular shotguns, the weapon crosshair becomes extremely small. However, the player's accuracy does not improve.
- In co-operative play, having a Gunzerker with an ammo-regenerating class mod is an asset, as Anarchy tends to create a high consumption of ammunition.
- In order for a reload to count towards a stack, damage must have been dealt, from any source including grenades, melee and Elemental effects, to an enemy or object a few seconds before the reload. Objects include anything that can be destroyed, such as explosive barrels, Skag piles, or Necrophages.
- Anarchy stacks can be 'farmed' by reloading the weapon while attacking the practice target found in Marcus munitions gun range. They can also be gained by emptying weapon magazines on destructible objects such as barrels and skag piles. However this is of arguable benefit as stacks may be gained faster by killing enemies in combat.
- If Gaige falls off the map, she may or may not lose her stacks of Anarchy. If the camera switches to third person as one falls off the map, the stacks will be reset. Otherwise they will be retained.
- Some weapons with a very long reload time (mostly rocket launchers) may not give stacks of Anarchy when reloaded, even when the last shot fired hit an enemy or destructible object.
- In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, dying from failed puzzles and traps does not typically result in loss of Anarchy stacks.
- Gaige has a set of dialogue for when she gets a stack of Anarchy. Each stack gain has a chance to play a line, but it seems that it happens more often when gaining a stack from reloading. All of the known voice lines can be found here.
- The more stacks Gaige has the more insane (and louder) she gets as evidenced by her dialogue, going from "normal" to "excited" to "god-complex". Some dialogue lines can only be heard with an extremely large number of stacks, obtained by points in Preshrunk Cyberpunk and a Slayer of Terramorphous class mod]].
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