“Look out, everybody, things are about to get awesome!”
Loaders are the mainstay of Hyperion's military might on Pandora. They come in an array of different varieties, each suited to a particular role when in action. Completely without conscience, they are the military, the enforcers, and frequently the executioners fielded by the Hyperion regime. Loaders supplement and make up the bulk of Hyperion's forces, but not the entirety of them as human soldiers and support units also work alongside them.
Loaders can enter the field by Moonbase shots, emerge from a Hyperion structure, or be digistructed from a digistruct pole, platform, or the eye of a constructor. Aside from being spawned by the constructor, or in certain missions, the number of the loaders that can spawn is limited and will eventually be depleted.
Loaders use holographic signals to supplement their verbal status updates. A grenade image indicates they are about to lob a grenade, and a spanner/wrench symbol denotes the unit is heavily damaged and awaiting repair by a surveyor.
The majority of loaders have a multitude of critical hit points, including arm joints, leg joints, and their optics. Dealing sufficient damage to a limb joint will cause the limb to fall off, disabling various combat functions of the loader. For example, destroying a leg joint will cause the loader to fall to the ground and force it to crawl.
Loaders have a universal weakness to corrosive weapons. While shock, slag, and explosive elemental weapons will retain their regular damage, non-elemental weapons receive a -20% damage penalty but are compensated by their higher base attack. Incendiary weapons will do the worst damage, though loaders can still be ignited.
ARR Loaders, H3RL-E, or Loaders being buffed by a Shielded Surveyor will have a shield which offers protection from corrosive attacks, as well as prevents limbs from being shot off until the shield is depleted.
- GUN Loader - GUN Loaders are the most common form of loader. They are armed with assault rifles and will occasionally lob grenades. If their gun arm is shot off, or occasionally if their target is at long range, they charge and release a small electric blast from their central optics. Shooting off their left arm removes their ability to throw grenades, while shooting their right removes their firearm. They have critical hit points on all four limb joints and their eye. They will swing either arm as a melee attack to knock back enemies at short range, but cannot do this if both arms are missing. Shooting the arm is usually preferred due to its long range attacking nature. Shooting the optic sensor yields more critical hit damage but is harder and cannot deprive any ability.
- EXP Loader - EXP Loaders (pronounced "exploders") function as suicide bombers. When they get within range of a target they raise their power core, break into a run, and attempt to close distance with the target. When they reach the target they stand still and emit a large, distinctive pulse before exploding; however a player can avoid the detonation simply by walking backwards from the loader. They are substantially less durable than other loaders, and have critical hit points on all four limbs and the power core, once it is exposed. EXP Loaders always explode when destroyed, regardless of whether or not their power core is raised. Shooting the leg is preferred over the arm due to their close range attack nature, although an EXP loader crippled in this manner can still pose a threat by crawling along the ground. EXP Loaders cannot be repaired by Surveyors.
- BUL Loader - BUL Loaders have an impenetrable shield on their left arm and a powerful rifle held in the right hand. They are generally slow-moving, but have an ability to transform themselves into a mini bulldozer and hurtle forward in a ramming attack. They are able to steer into the player during the charge, and generally jumping over them is the best way to dodge this. If the gun arm is shot off, BUL Loaders will lower their shields to attack with a electrical blast from their eye. If damage is dealt to their gun arm joint (without destroying it) the loader will rotate and extend its shield to cover the joint, but exposing its leg joints in the process. Shooting off the shield arm disables their charge attack. An effective way to deal with BUL Loaders is to destroy their gun arm with a high-powered Sniper Rifle, and then target its shield arm once it starts charging its eye blast. Note that BUL Loaders cannot have their legs shot off. However, they are still critical hit locations (although they are not highlighted by Zer0's B0re skill).
- HOT Loader - HOT Loaders fire globs of flaming goo and grenades from a distance, and use a flamethrower when up close. They have targetable fuel tanks on their backs which blow up like grenades when shot. They explode when destroyed with a chance of setting nearby targets on fire. They are fire-resistant, but vulnerable to explosive attacks.
- WAR Loader - WAR Loaders have massive incendiary autocannons for arms. Shooting their arms off drastically lowers the threat they pose. They can also stomp the ground to deal heavy damage and knock back any enemies that get too close. Their legs do not have exposed joints and do not present critical hit locations.
- PWR Loader - PWR Loaders (modeled after the Power Loader exoskeleton that Ripley uses to battle the alien queen in Aliens) generally use their arms for melee strikes. When the PWR Loader spots an enemy, it will open up its arms and start spinning them quickly as it advances, shielding the loader against attacks and reflecting bullets back at their attackers. Explosive attacks and elemental status effects will still damage the loader. If a target is close enough to a PWR Loader, the loader will stop spinning its blades and attempt to strike. With good timing, a player can step back to avoid the blow, and then take advantage of the loader's now-unprotected shoulder joints. When the target is too far away, PWR Loader may stop spinning its arm and use its electric blast attack instead, opening itself to attack in the process. Another option is to shoot their unprotected legs to make them flinch and stop spinning. Their legs cannot be shot off but the joints (similarly to BUL Loaders) are critical hit points. Their optic sensors are partially shielded by their spinning arms, therefore it is possible, although difficult to shoot it. A successful shot on the optic will disrupt the spinning arms and stun them, giving a long opening for attacks.
- JET Loader - JET Loaders are largely GUN Loaders with the additional ability to transform into a jet, launch into the air and bomb enemies from the sky. In addition to rifles and grenades, they can wield rocket launchers and sniper rifles, and also have missile batteries similar to those seen on RPG Loaders.
- RPG Loader - RPG Loaders are armed with dual back-mounted rocket packs and a rocket launcher. While the arms can be shot off, the missile packs cannot. RPG Loaders deal massive damage and can quickly cripple an unsuspecting target, and as such should be considered a high priority to destroy if spotted. It is highly recommended to shoot off their launcher arm as soon as possible.
- LWT Loader - LWT ("Loot" or "L3wt") Loaders are essentially walking weapons chests that will attempt to flee when attacked. They have only one combat ability that they try and stomp attackers that get too close. When they detect a fallen loot drop they will move to its location and stop directly over it, whereupon they extend a small claw hand from the underside of their container bin and retrieve the loot. LWT loaders present a very weak target that is easy to destroy, and when destroyed they will also drop anything they have picked up near points of conflict.
- JNK Loader - JNK Loaders are essentially GUN Loaders made out of junkyard debris. Their lower left arm is missing, which prevents them from using grenades. Their appearance varies. They only appear in the Arid Nexus - Badlands, Arid Nexus - Boneyard, and Washburne Refinery.
- SGT Loader - SGT ("Sergeant") Loaders are GUN Loaders that have had their joints reinforced to prevent their limbs from being shot off, and wield an identical gun in both hands, which may range from pistols to sniper rifles, but not rocket launchers. They cannot use grenades, however, as both of their arms are occupied. They are among the most powerful non-badass loaders. Their only critical point is their eye.
- ION Loader - ION Loaders carry twin Tesla coils on their shoulders and at the ends of their arms. The ION Loader can charge them up by spinning its upper body and emit a bubble shield that deflects incoming bullets and grenades, but allows friendly bullets to pass through. The shield does not block movement, but passing within its boundary causes the ION loader to fire a stream of lightning from its pack that can quickly sap shields and health. When its shield is inactive, it shoots a stream of powerful electric bolts from its right arm. Their limbs are reinforced, preventing them from being shot off, leaving the eye as the only option for critical hits. When the shield is up, nearby loaders (excluding EXP Loaders and other ION Loaders) will make an attempt to get under it. If the shielded ION Loader is knocked back or if it takes significant damage, the shield will be disabled. Singularities are useful against shielded ION Loaders as they reliably stumble them in this way, although any grenade with a large radius may also be useful if it can damage the ION Loader from the edge of the shield bubble. It is also possible for an attacker to rush inside the shield with a high-damage weapon and disrupt the shield before taking significant damage. It is generally impossible to highlight and therefore Phaselock a shielded ION Loader. Zer0's Deception ability does not prevent him from taking damage if he steps inside the shield. The Converge, Execute, Nuke and Fistful of Hurt skills cause knockback which may disrupt an active ION Loader. However, it is generally better to simply retreat to cover and wait for the shield to expire.
- Angelic Guard - Angelic Guards are Loaders designed to guard Angel. They are painted white, and have similar armaments to SGT Loaders, but instead of firing shock projectiles from their eyes, Angelic Guards can fire an incendiary laser beam (similar to a Constructor's) that is highly damaging. They have more potent weaponry and are more durable than most other loaders. Their limbs are reinforced, and cannot be shot off or yield critical hits. In Normal Mode, Angelic Guards will only appear in the basement of Control Core Angel, while in True Vault Hunter Mode and Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode they will spawn in other locations like other types of loaders.
- Main article: ARR Loader
- Badass Loader - Badass Loaders are a combination of a WAR Loader, a SGT Loader and an RPG Loader, as they possess the twin incendiary autocannons of the WAR Loader, the back-mounted missile racks of an RPG Loader, and the dual-wielded weapons of a SGT Loader. Like regular loaders, their arm and leg joints are exposed and can be shot off to reduce their threat level. Also, like all loaders, their eye is another weak point.
- Bone Head 2.0 - A loader in the image of the late Bone Head. It is found in his old camp next to Fyrestone, and may drop the Bone Shredder. He may jump and attempt to land on a target, dealing moderate damage.
- Hyperius Minion - Loaders summoned by Hyperius the Invincible.
- Jimmy Jenkins - A missing midget loader belonging to Hyperion, as seen on "Missing" posters throughout the game. He only appears in Hyperion crates, ammo boxes, or chests found in Opportunity, the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, Hero's Pass, or the Hyperion-controlled area in Thousand Cuts. He drops a high quantity of loot when destroyed. If killed within Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, he has a chance to drop Pearlescent weapons.
- Super Badass Loader - Super Badass Loaders have six autocannons in place of arms. Unlike most loaders, their only weak points are the arm joints; their eyes are not considered critical hit locations. They are actually less threatening than Badass Loaders as they don't have back-mounted missile racks, though their arm joints have more health. Once their arms are destroyed, no further critical hits can be scored on them, and the loader will still have around 60% of its health left.
- Wee Loot GUN Loader - Basically midget GUN Loaders that sometimes hide inside of crates and chests waiting to pop out and attack. They drop a high quantity of loot when destroyed. If killed within Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, they have a chance to drop Pearlescent weapons.
- Wee Loot JET Loader - As with the GUN Loaders, but patterned off a JET loader instead, allowing them some additional mobility. They drop a high quantity of loot when destroyed. If killed within Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, they have a chance to drop Pearlescent weapons.
- Wee Loot WAR Loader - These diminutive WAR Loaders hide inside crates and chests, waiting to jump out and attack. They act like regular WAR Loaders, but are more powerful, and their arms cannot be destroyed. They drop a high quantity of loot when destroyed. If killed within Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, they have a chance to drop Pearlescent weapons.
- First Law disabled. (A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm)
- Killing bandit.
- Lethal force authorized.
- Murderer detected.
- Increasing aggression.
- Removing bandit.
- Success imminent.
- Combat commencing.
- Engaging target.
- Target in sights.
- Target death imminent.
- Moving to engage.
- Charging primary weapon. (exclusive to WAR, Badass and Super Badass Loaders)
- Fire, fire, fire. (exclusive to HOT Loaders)
- Increasing temperatures. (exclusive to HOT Loaders)
Taking Elemental damage
- Stop it.
- Taking damage.
- Repairs needed.
- Repairs wanted.
- Requesting repairs.
- Injuries critical.
- Unit shutdown.
- Error. Error.
- Critical damage sustained.
- Injuries fatal.
- Mission failed.
- Unit destroyed.
- Bandit retreating.
- Bandit admits cowardice.
- Throwing bomb.
- Throwing grenade.
- Grenade out.
Crippling a player
- Mission success.
- In Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, Badass Loader will be renamed as Super Badass Loader, while the original Super Badass Loader will be renamed as Ultimate Badass Loader.
- When Phaselocked, Loaders will fold themselves, makes scoring critical hits much more difficult.
- When loaders are digistructed, their chemical makeup is displayed beside them, in the form of boxes from the periodic table. According to this, they consist of iron (Fe), tungsten (W), strontium (Sr), and nickel (Ni).