An Artifact, also known as an Eridian Artifact, is a powerful item found in Pandora which grants its wielder certain bonuses to their Action Skill. The mission reward artifacts are created from the different types of crystals that are mined on Pandora.
Although the artifacts gained from missions are always appropriate to your character, enemies that drop artifacts might drop one for any of the four classes.
- An artifact is applied by being selected in a character's inventory. Upon activation, the artifact will be removed from the inventory and is added to the character's Action Skill as a permanent upgrade.
- As higher level artifacts are added they will override their lower level predecessors and only higher level artifacts of any given type can be applied.
- All artifacts are class specific and the level of effect that the artifact grants depends on the level of the artifact itself. The highest elemental effect is level 6 for an artifact with a level requirement of 44.
- The currently active artifact is displayed in the Skill Tree window at the top, to the left of the Action Skill.
- Artifact types can be changed by selecting the artifact icon and picking a different artifact from the drop down list. The list displays the highest level artifact that has been applied of each of the four types, as well as an option for "None" to disable artifact effects.
- Artifact bonuses will be in effect until another activated artifact is chosen (e.g. a Shock Artifact and Incendiary Artifact cannot both be active simultaneously; the most recently activated artifact will provide its effect).
- With the exception of the Explosive Artifact, artifacts will decrease base damage done, but have a chance of giving the target massive damage over time, essentially being more effective against the right type of enemy but less effective against the wrong type.
Each artifact has a distinctive shape depending on the character class it relates to. The shape is how the item appears in game as well as the picture on the item card.
- Soldier - Pentahedron (Square bottom pyramid) (five sides)
- Berserker - Hexahedron (Cube) (six sides)
- Hunter - Octahedron (eight sides)
- Siren - Dodecahedron (twelve sides)
Artifacts come in four types and apply the appropriate elemental effect damage your character inflicts when using their Action Skill.
Each type has strengths and weakness against the various enemies in the game.
Artifact Comparison Chart
List of Known Artifact Rewards
- Level 1 Shock: 1st playthrough - Mission reward for Shock Crystal Harvest.
- Level 1 Fire: 1st playthrough - Mission reward for The Legend Of Moe and Marley.
- Level 2 Corrosive: 1st playthrough - Mission reward for Corrosive Crystal Harvest.
- Level 2 Explosive: 1st playthrough - Mission reward for Ghosts of the Vault.
- Level 3 Random: 1st playthrough - Mission reward for Get Some Answers.
- Level 4 Fire: 2nd playthrough - Mission reward for The Legend Of Moe and Marley.
- Level 4 Shock: 2nd playthrough - Mission reward for Shock Crystal Harvest.
- Level 4 Explosive: 2nd playthrough - Mission reward for Ghosts of the Vault.
- Level 4 Corrosive: 2nd playthrough - Mission reward for Corrosive Crystal Harvest.
- Level 5 random element: 2nd playthrough - Mission reward for Get Some Answers.
- Level 6 random element:
- SuperBad non-human enemies (after completion of 2nd playthrough).
- The Destroyer in The Vault (after completion of 2nd playthrough).
- Scar in Skag Gully (after completion of 2nd playthrough).
- Skagzilla in the Dahl Headlands (after completion of 2nd playthrough).
- Ultimate Rakk Hive in the Trash Coast (after completion of 2nd playthrough).
- Named Wereskags in The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned DLC.
- Crawmerax in Crawmerax's Lair in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC.
Artifacts of a given elemental type have a chance of dropping from enemies of the same elemental type - for example, a corrosive spiderant may drop a corrosive artifact when killed - which will be of a similar level to the enemy. Artifacts of all types have a chance of dropping from Badass/BadMutha/SuperBad Guardians in the Eridian Promontory.
- Level 2 random element:
- Guardian Spectre in the Dahl Headlands
- Level 1 random element:
- Skar in Skag Gully (1st playthrough only)
- Playthrough experience indicates that the highest achievable artifact level from Playthrough 1 is element level 4. Higher level artifacts can only be acquired and equipped in Playthrough 2.
- While somewhat random, there appears to be a higher probability in acquiring artifacts from high-end random encounters, e.g. Spiderant Kings and Queens.
- Artifacts exhibit their element when dropped, e.g. corrosive artifacts are covered in acid, fire artifacts are covered in flames.
In Borderlands 3 artifacts are not character class specific, they can be used by all characters. Artifacts can not be purchased at vending machines, they rarely spawn in weapon chests and most frequently are obtained as drops from killed enemies.
Buffs granted by artifacts can be divided into three categories:
- Basic buffs - these buffs are artifact-specific and are designed to grant additional abilities or to improve effectiveness of activities performed by the wielder.
- Special Effect buffs - only Legendary artifacts can spawn with Special Effect. These buffs are artifact specific. Some legendary artifacts spawn without Special Effect buff while others can have two.
- Bonus buffs - these buffs are randomly selected and artifacts, depending on their rarity level, can have up to three bonus buffs. These buffs, in turn, determine prefix of the artifacts.
- White - 0
- Green - 1
- Blue - 2
- Epic - 3
- Legendary - 3
In Borderlands 3 artifacts are equipped and removed just like any other item. Removing the artifact removes buffs granted by that artifact. Characters can carry number of different artifacts in their backpacks and equip one which is most suitable for situation on the battlefield.
Prefixes for common rarity level artifacts are determined by and are indicator of artifact's bonus buffs. Common rarity artifacts names are used as prefixes for Legendary artifacts.
|Asbestos||+ Incendiary resistance|
|Breaching||+ Shotgun damage|
|Contaminated||+ Radiation damage|
|Dead-eye||+ Pistol damage|
|Durable||+ Corrosive resistance|
|Frozen||+ Cryo damage|
|Greasy||+ SMG damage|
|Grenadier||+ Grenade damage|
|Grounded||+ Shock resistance|
|Hasty||+ Movement speed|
|Hollow Point||+ Assault Rifle damage|
|Hulking||+ Heavy damage|
|Insulated||+ Cryo resistance|
|Lead-Coated||+ Radiation resistance|
|Loaded||+ Magazine size|
|Long Lasting||+ Action Skill cooldown rate|
|Long Range||+ Sniper damage|
|Lustrous||+ Elemental resistance|
|Melty||+ Corrosive damage|
|Precision||+ Weapon accuracy|
|Quickdraw||+ Weapon reload speed|
|Ravaging||+ Area-Of-Effect damage|
|Spicy||+ Incendiary damage|
|Stalwart||+ Max shield|
|Uniyielding||+ FFYL Downed Time|
|Vigorous||+ Max Health|
|Zappy||+ Shock damage|