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Bruisers are large, hulking and very muscular bandits. Regular bruisers are shirtless, wearing surgical-style masks, goggles and have a mohawk hairdo. Badass Bruisers wear full-face masks crafted from metal. Bruisers in Borderlands 2 use the first game's Badass Bruiser appearance.


Bruisers number among the many former convicts brought to Pandora as cheap labour. Casting off their shackles along with the other bandits, they quickly joined in with the pillaging of Pandora's civilian population. Bruisers bear traits of both the regular bandits and the psychos, being both sane enough to use guns effectively, yet also being physically enhanced like the larger psychos. Their size may be the result of exposure to the same source that mutated the psychos.




Bruisers move at a walking speed with no regard for their own safety, preferring to rely solely on their own physical resilience rather than seek cover when under fire. This makes them relatively easy to fight in a tactical sense in that they can be avoided and have their line of sight blocked, but also present a protracted engagement due to their high health (they have roughly 4-5 times the amount of health of a standard Bandit Thug). As a result of relying on their physical traits, bruisers never carry shields, making incendiary weapons highly effective against them.

Bruisers in Borderlands prefer wielding power weapons; typically high-clip combat rifles, shotguns and rocket launchers. If a Vault Hunter gets in front of a Bruiser's face, then they will switch to a generally weaker melee attack where they will punch them with their left hand.

It is often preferable to run in close and score critical hits with high powered close range attacks, though this runs the risk of the Vault Hunter being overwhelmed by other bandits if they have not been dispatched yet. In higher playthroughs the Vault Hunter's shields will be stripped very quickly, and it's best to only do this if a Second Wind is needed.

As the game progresses medium to long range combat will be preferred over close range, due to the increased health and firepower they gain as well as approaching a bruiser exposing Vault Hunters to other enemies.

Borderlands 2

In combat, Borderlands 2 bruisers will occasionally raise their hands or fist in the air to rally other bandits, leaving them open to head shots. They will also charge when ordered by a nomad taskmaster, albeit at a very slow speed. Another change in behavior is that they will begin limping when they are critically hurt. Bruisers use mostly shotguns and assault rifles, and very rarely, if ever use rocket launchers.

Types & Bosses


Badass Bruiser

Badass bruiser (Borderlands)

  • Bruiser is the slow, heavy weapon specialist of the bandits.
  • Badass Bruiser is a very large, badass, armored Bruiser that rarely equips a shield mod. In the second Playthrough, they are replaced by BadMutha Brutes, which are in turn replaced by SuperBad Bullies after completing the second Playthrough. They can be easily recognised as a badass due to their signature glowing eyes, larger goggles, and significantly larger size than normal Bruisers. Their weapons are more powerful than regular Bruisers and they can often be found firing rocket launchers.
  • Badass Thug (The Secret Armory of General Knoxx)
  • Franz, the boss

Borderlands 2


  • You don't want none of this, merc!
  • Get your ass gone!
  • You lost?
  • You lookin' to get shot?
  • We got a live one!
  • We got ourselves a hero here!
  • What're you lookin' at?
  • You don't wanna be here.
  • You think you oughta be here?
  • Goddamn mercs!
  • You'll pay for that!
  • I'm gonna tear you in half!
  • You're going down!
  • I'm gonna kill you!
  • You're dead meat!
  • There's no escaping, merc!
  • No gettin' away f'rom us!
  • Come on, little one! Time to die!
  • I got something for ya!
  • Get 'em!
  • Shoot 'em! Shoot 'em!
  • Kill that one!
  • Look out! Mercs!
Throwing grenade
  • Eat this!
  • Shove this up your ass!
  • Suck on this!
  • Let's see you run from this!
  • Grenade!
  • Fire in the hole!
  • Ow, ow, why am I on fire? (When killed by fire damage)
  • OH MY GOD I'M ON FIRE, OH OW! (When killed by fire damage)
  • AH, I'M BURNING! I'M BURNING! (When killed by fire damage)
  • OHH GOD! It burns! (When killed by fire damage)
Spotting a grenade
  • Oh god! Grenade!
  • MOVE!
  • Get outta here!
At critical health
  • I'm losing blood!
  • They got me!
  • I don't wanna die!
  • Help! I'm dying here!
Vault Hunter retreating
  • You just keep running!
  • We'll be waiting for ya!
  • Big bad merc! Hahaha!
  • I ain't gonna be so nice next time!
  • What a loser!
  • Whoahoho! No-one threatens us!
  • Run away, little girl! Run away!
  • Next time, bring a real gun!
  • I'll find you sooner or later!


  • On Playthrough 2 in Borderlands, Bruisers are called Brutes; after Playthrough 2, they are called Bullies.
  • On Playthrough 2 Bruisers tend to spawn a little more than regular bandits making a small group of them extremely dangerous.
  • On True Vault Hunter Mode in Borderlands 2, they are renamed Crushers. On Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, they are renamed Bone Crushers.

See Also