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Artifacts are items in Borderlands and Borderlands 3 that provide passive effects when equipped.


Eridian artifacts are powerful item found in Pandora which grant their 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

Artifact Comparison
Artifact Skill Level Character Level Requirement Artifact Sell Price Image
6 44 405994 Level6SirenShockArtifact
Level 6 Siren Shock Artifact
5 44 332176 Level5SirenCorrosiveArtifact
Level 5 Siren Corrosive Artifact
4 38 121190 Level4SirenIncendiaryArtifact
Level 4 Siren Incendiary Artifact
3 32 49741 Explosive Artifact Berserker
Level 3 Berserker Explosive Artifact
3 26 17864 Artifact corrosive lvl3
Level 3 Berserker Corrosive Artifact
2 20 6284 CoArtifact
Level 2 Hunter Corrosive Artifact
1 14 2149 Artifact incendiary lvl1
Level 1 Soldier Incendiary Artifact

List of Known Artifact Rewards

Mission Rewards


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.

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 2's Relics functionally return in Borderlands 3 as artifacts. They provide non character specific abilities and passive bonuses to random stats. Artifacts can not be purchased at vending machines, but will appear in all random loot such as chests and enemies. While artifacts can be picked up at any point, they cannot be equipped until the Eridian Synchronizer is obtained during the story mission Cold as the Grave.


Bonuses granted by artifacts can be divided into three categories:

  • Basic Effect - these buffs are artifact-specific and are designed to grant additional abilities or to improve effectiveness of activities performed by the wielder.
  • Special Effect - only legendary or unique artifacts can spawn with special effect. These buffs are artifact specific. Certain artifacts with special effect buffs can also also spawn with an additional basic effect.
  • Passive Stat Boost - these buffs are randomly selected and artifacts, (typically) depending on their rarity level, can have up to three passive stats bonuses. The first listed bonus will determine the prefix of a non-unique artifact.
    • 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.

Prefix Affected Stat
Asbestos Reduces incendiary damage taken.
Brawler Increases melee damage.
Breaching Increases shotgun damage.
Contaminated Increases radiation damage.
Dead-eye Increases pistol damage.
Durable Reduces corrosive damage taken.
Frozen Increases cryo damage.
Greasy Increases SMG damage.
Grenadier Increases grenade damage.
Grounded Reduces shock damage taken.
Hasty Increases movement speed.
Hollow Point Increases SMG damage.
Hulking Increases heavy (Rocket Launchers) damage.
Insulated Reduces cryo damage taken.
Lead-Coated Reduces radiation damage taken.
Loaded Increases magazine size.
Long Lasting Reducess action skill cooldown.
Long Range Increases sniper damage.
Lucky Increases the chance to find rare items.
Lustrous Reduces elemental damage taken.
Melty Increases corrosive damage.
Precision Increases weapon accuracy.
Quickdraw Increases reload speed.
Ravaging Increases area damage.
Spicy Increases incendiary damage.
Stalwart Increases max shield.
Unyielding Increases downed time.
Vigorous Increases max health.
Zappy Increases shock damage.


  • Sometimes, a Relic can spawn with two of the same passive stat boost, doubling the effect. This will appear on the item card as the Relic giving one less stat boost than would normally be displayed.