The Atlas corporation is a massive interplanetary megacorporation involved in the development and manufacture of everything from spaceships and stardrives to small arms. It was the first company to discover ancient alien technology, on the planet Promethea, and reverse engineered it in order to manufacture machines and weaponry with the benefits of this new technology, allowing them to produce high performance equipment that excels in every area without trade-offs. The project also brought Atlas to the forefront of weapons manufacturing, and was extremely profitable. The immense success of the Atlas corporation's venture inspired other megacorporations, such as the Dahl corporation, to explore other frontier planets, like Pandora, in search of more alien technology and similar resources. Not all such ventures were immediately successful, as the case of Pandora shows, even though items of value still exist buried within the planet.
These guns tend to have high damage and fire rate, without sacrificing magazine capacity and reload. Indeed, Marcus Kincaid sometimes says, "Buy an Atlas, and you too will know what it is like to hold the power of the gods in your hands!" Atlas guns tend to be among the rarest guns in the game. Despite their overwhelmingly powerful portrayal in the game, this does not mean Atlas guns are always the best choice.
The Crimson Lance is a highly trained and well-armed private military force created and financed by the Atlas corporation. It can be assumed by Crimson Lance involvement that the Atlas Corporation is attempting to secure the Vault in order to maintain its technological edge over its competitors, but the original game leaves this matter unclear. In The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, General Knoxx's report to high command (a recording of which was recovered and listened to by the Vault Hunters) confirms that Steele was sent to secure the Eridian technology that the Pandoran Vault was rumored to contain. By the time the Vault Hunters arrive, though, there are indications that the Lance operation appear to have been abandoned by Atlas, as both they and the Dahl corporation began to doubt its existence after a fruitless search, and the continued stay on Pandora was possibly simply a power grab by its Pandoran leader, Commandant Steele. Helena Pierce's statement that the Lance soldiers have been invading towns and turning them into "Lance fiefdoms" supports this possibility. These efforts bring them into direct conflict with four highly dangerous and resourceful adventurers that came to Pandora.
Despite the eventual discovery of the Vault's true contents, Atlas has nevertheless decided to maintain their grip on the planet Pandora, and in this interest, have deployed heavy reinforcements to the planet under the command of Crimson Lance General Alphonso Knoxx. General Knoxx did make multiple attempts to kill the Vault Hunters (as ordered by command), however their skill and his disdain for his job resulted in Knoxx's death.
Shortly after the opening of the first Vault and the death of Knoxx, Atlas decided to "cut their losses" and left Pandora abandoning the entire Lance brigade stationed there. This decision prompted many ex-Lancemen to turn towards banditry, while others joined up with similarly former Lanceman Roland who formed the Crimson Raiders.
A digital version of Handsome Jack later claimed that he owned Atlas and had destroyed them, showing an apparently legal Atlas Certificate in his office, this was proven false by Atlas still having functioning Crimson Lance bases and military presence.
After Jack's demise, Rhys later reclaimed the certificate, seeking to gain full control of Atlas as a result, along with their top secret base on Pandora. At that point, Rhys is building Atlas back up, being different from the old.
Atlas returns in full force in Borderlands 3. Now owned by Rhys the company has gained a huge HQ base and have had the Crimson Lance return. Atlas' new CEO is Rhys, with Zer0 working for him.
Atlas' revival did not go unnoticed however, as Katagawa Jr., a Maliwan executive, took interest in the company, but most importantly acquiring Rhys's friendship. In the only way he knew how, Katagawa Jr. attempted a forced takeover of the company by sending Maliwan troops to Promethea. Maliwan was mostly successful in their efforts until four Vault Hunters from the Crimson Raiders showed up, and Katagawa Jr. was unable to secure Rhys's friendship. After the destruction of his pleasure yacht, Katagawa Jr. gave up in trying to absorb Atlas and decided to destroy the company instead, but he was killed by the Vault Hunters, ending Maliwan's forced takeover.
The following are produced by Atlas:
- Combat Rifle - Ajax's Spear (The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC only)
- Repeater Pistol - Krom's Sidearm
- Revolver - Patton
- Sniper Rifle - Kyros' Power (The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC only)
- Combat Rifle - Ogre
- Repeater Pistol - Troll
- Revolver - Chimera
- Shotgun - Hydra
- Sniper Rifle - Cyclops
- Rain - Explosive, Corrosive, Incendiary, Shock
- Shock Resistance - Grounded, Anionic, Cationic
- Revolver - Aries (The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC only.)
- Shield - Omega (The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC only.)
- Atlas Champion = Level 1-18
- Atlas Heroic = Level 19-26
- Atlas Herculean = Level 27-35
- Atlas Legendary = Level 36-42
- Atlas Titan = Level 43-69
- "Buy an Atlas, and you too can see what it feels like to hold the power of the gods in your hands!" - Marcus Kincaid.
- "Atlas spares no expense in making guns that excel in every area!" - Marcus Kincaid.
- "Pandora. A planet that once knew only peace and prosperity under the fair and noble direction of the Atlas Corporation. But there were those that sought to disrupt our perfect existence. Thieves and murderers. Perverts and scoundrels. The lawless garbage unleashed an unspeakable evil upon Pandora not known since the age of the Gods. But together, we shall not despair. Atlas has not forgotten you. We are returning and we will restore order and security to your planet. When we arrive, we will..." - From the intro cinematic of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, an Atlas Educational Film entitled "Respecting Your Superiors"; continued as a quote by Athena.
- "Atlas believes in customer service above all else. Though all sales are final." - Atlas propaganda announcement.
- "Do not worry. Pandora is the thirteenth most important planet within our interglobal dominion. We might not spend much of our budget on you, but at least you're not on Promethea!" - Atlas propaganda announcement.
- "Give us your hungry, and we'll give them our leftovers! Give us your poor, and we'll give them a job that might pay! Give us your weary, and we'll make them sing us a song! We are Atlas!" - Atlas propaganda announcement.
- "Atlas shall return to break the bothersome shackles of freedom and choice that have plagued your weary minds!" - Atlas propaganda announcement, after the completion of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx.
- "Fight like a God. Buy Atlas." (Mad Moxxi in The Underdome Riot)
- "Bring an Atlas. Fear nothing." (Mad Moxxi in The Underdome Riot)
- "Atlas ... Wield the weapons of the gods...get an Atlas." (Mad Moxxi in The Underdome Riot)
- "Atlas ... Good enough for Gods and mortals alike." (Mad Moxxi in The Underdome Riot)
Atlas gear has seen drastic changes from the first game. Aesthetically, the weapons are of futuristic style similarly to Maliwan, but can be bulky, or very thin built.The pistols and rocket launchers are wrist mounted, an unorthodox design for the weapon classes. Functionally, the weapons feature weapon that fire relatively slow and which projectiles travel slowly. To make up for these downsides, the bullets has the ability to home in targets with the use of tracker rounds.
Alternative Fire Mode
- Main article: Alternative Fire mode
Atlas weapons shoot a tracking round as a secondary fire mode. After applying the round to an enemy, all regular shots will target the tracked enemy for a time dependent on the nature of tracking round fired; the general rule is if the tracking round on the weapon is capable of tagging multiple enemies at once, then the tracking duration will be shorter. Tracking rounds automatically replenish their on-weapon stock after a few seconds, with some options needing longer time to regenerate.
There are different types of tracking rounds:
- Tracker Dart
A singular dart is shot which can track one enemy.
- Tracker Burst
A small number of darts are shot in a shotgun-like burst. It is possible to track multiple targets if the darts connect with more than one enemy.
- Tracker Puck
A magnetic puck that sticks to the enemy it's shot at. Upon the target's death, it will drop off and has a chance to seek out a new target within a small radius. The puck's tagging effect lasts for eighteen seconds.
- Tracker Grenade
A grenade-like charge that is shot in an arc, and will rise up on impact with terrain and explode into hundreds of darts that will track all enemies within the burst radius. The grenade can prematurely explode on directly impacting an enemy. The grenade's tagging effect lasts for twelve seconds.
• AX-7 • AX-19 • AX-88
- Assault Rifles
• N-System • Q-System • V-System
- Rocket launchers
• Pattern Black • Pattern Red • Pattern (NULL)
- Pistols – Peacemonger
- Assault Rifles –
- Rocket launchers –
- Like a number of other major weapons manufacturers in the game, there is an ancient Greek mythological tie-in with the Atlas corporation. Atlas was the primordial Titan who, as punishment by the Olympian conquerors, was given the eternal task of holding up the celestial sphere (he is frequently depicted in art holding the world upon his shoulders).
- Many rare Atlas guns are named after mythical beasts from Greek mythology.
- Atlas has a stake in the canned food industry. In the Earl Needs Food...Badly mission, the cans of Skag Meat have "Atlas" printed on them.
- According to the Lance probes fought in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, Atlas also makes coffins and sells life insurance.
- The Crimson Lance are not restricted to using solely Atlas brand guns, although some do. For example, Lance Bosses Ajax and Kyros both use and drop unique Atlas weapons.
- Athena hides her ECHO messages to the Vault Hunters among ads for Atlas' Engorge male enhancement product in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx.
- After their defeat at the hands of the Vault hunters, weapons manufactured by Atlas are no longer sold in Pandora and did not appear in Borderlands 2.
- The loss of their Third Starbourne Brigade may have been a serious blow to Atlas, but it is possible they still hold claim to galactic supremacy elsewhere. Nevertheless, it is evident that as of Borderlands 2 they have completely abandoned any official ventures and sales in the Pandora system.
- There is, however, a small octagonal ATLAS sign texture in Borderlands 2. It is a common feature among corrugated roofing structures throughout the second game.
- There is also a small wanted poster located primarily in Sanctuary on different walls, which contains an ad that says "WANTED ANY AND ALL ATLAS ASSASSINS." It contains two pictures of Atlas Assassins from the first game. The posters include more, including a reward section, but the wording is mostly illegible.