Mayhem Mode is a Borderlands 3 option providing configurable game-play alterations increasing both risk and reward. Availability is triggered by main story completion, and continues throughout True Vault Hunter mode.
Once enabled by either of the two aforementioned methods, although do note that if playing on multiplayer, only the lobby host can toggle the Mayhem Mode configuration, Mayhem Mode will offer ten difficulty levels, with each having a number of modifiers.
Semi-random modifiers determine each level's particulars, subject to limited control by the "reroll" command. Rerolling one level will reroll the entire pool across all levels. Changing levels, joining another player's Mayhem Mode lobby, or logging off the game will not reroll the modifiers. Rerolling modifiers or changing Mayhem levels requires a reload of the area if not aboard Sanctuary III.
These modifiers are separate for each level and can be rerolled at any time via the Mayhem menu tab. Modifiers will remain permanent for each character's save file until they are changed.
As the Vault Hunter goes higher up the ladder, each level increases the difficulty of the modifiers (from Easy to Very Hard), and total selection amount of modifiers (from 1 up to 4).
All opponents receive:
- Increased body durability (SP, AP, and HP).
- Increased vehicle durability (applies to Vault Hunter's vehicles as well)
- Mayhem-exclusive buff/nerf modifiers.
While enemies receive increased durability, enemies' damage to players is not increased, barring any applicable modifiers. This can lead to some disparity between player-to-enemy damage ratios, most noticeably with Anointed enemies.
Rewards and Gameplay
In exchange, Vault Hunters receive:
- Increased combat experience and currency.
- Increased damage stats.
- Melee, vehicle, slide, and slam damage scaling based on the Mayhem level.
- Skills and pet damage scaling based on the Mayhem level.
- Increased drop rate of higher rarity items.
- Increased drop rate of Anointed items.
- Mayhem Gear.
Mayhem Mode, together with the aforementioned rewards and buffs, will now offer a unique stats for equipment obtained while playing in Mayhem Mode, known generally as "Mayhem Gear".
Mayhem Gear does not add unique new effects as the Anointed item bonuses, but instead a passive buff that increases the proficiency of items. E.g. firearms will have increased damage, and class mods will also have increased damage.
- Weapon damage scales at 1.09^n, where n is the mayhem level.
- Only guns and grenades can legitimately spawn with mayhem levels.
This is not limited to stats, however. Mayhem Mode does introduce unique new items that will only spawn on higher Mayhem Mode levels. E.g. the Kaoson, a submachine gun dropped exclusively by Captain Traunt in Mayhem 6 or higher.
In a summary, Vault Hunters gain the following rewards:
- Enemies will now drop Mayhem Mode exclusive items on Mayhem 4 and Mayhem 6, or higher.
- Weapons will now drop with Mayhem Gear buffs; the higher the Mayhem level is that the item was obtained from, the higher its buffed stats.
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 1|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 2|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 3|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 4|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 5|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 6|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 7|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 8|
|Mayhem Mode||LEVEL 9|
For the sake of keeping information clear and understandable to the reader, some effects had their description rearranged, such as removing flavor text, or grammatical structure checks. Their name, however, is kept untouched.
|Big Kick Energy||
|More Than Okay Boomer||
|Chilling Them Softly||
|Floor is Lava||
Temporarily removed from the selection pool as per Hotfix April 30
Temporarily removed from the selection pool as per Hotfix April 30
|Very Hard Modifiers|
|Dazed and Infused||
|Not the Face||
June 25, 2020
- Added Mayhem Level damage scaling to melee, slide and slam.
- Added Mayhem Level skill damage scaling.
- Added Mayhem Level pet damage scaling.
- Added Mayhem Level vehicle damage scaling.
- Added Mayhem Levels to Grenade Mods.
- Updated several passive skills to properly respect Mayhem Level damage.
- Added skill damage as a rollable stat on Class Mods.
- Enabled all sources of loot to spawn Mayhem Gear.
- Changed damage source for Remnant, Short Fuze, Indiscriminate, Do unto Others, and Ties that Bind to address that they "double dip" and scale inappropriately at higher Mayhem levels.
- As a result of this change, players will notice that Ties that Bind will not scale properly with Action Skill damage. This is a temporary fix that will be addressed in a future update.
- Vehicles now scale damage uniformly instead of just against non-vehicles.
- Addressed a reported concern where splitscreen players could sometimes not scroll through the Mayhem 2.0 modifier list.
- Addressed a reported concern where Mayhem Modifier Drone Ranger Healing Drones sometimes did not replicate position smoothly for clients.
- Addressed a reported concern where the tether from the Boundary Issues Mayhem modifier would sometimes persist after enemies died.
- Addressed a reported concern where the Mayhem vehicle damage scalars sometimes did not apply when players were in gunner seats.
- Addressed a reported concern where the Laser Fare Mayhem modifier would sometimes generate new laser beams when it took damage.
- Added the ability for Digi-Clone and Iron Bear to support damage scaling.
June 11, 2020
- Tweaked armor, shield, and health percentages on Mayhem 7 and above.
- Decreased Mayhem 7 from 5,000% to 4,500%.
- Decreased Mayhem 8 from 7,500% to 6,000%.
- Decreased Mayhem 9 from 10,000% to 8,000%.
- Decreased Mayhem 10 from 12,500% to 10,000%.
- Added support to show Mayhem Levels on Item Cards.
- Addressed a reported concern of a crash that could sometimes occur when engaging with enemies with the Wedding Invitation with the Galaxy Brain Mayhem modifier active.
May 21, 2020
- Addressed a reported concern that dedicated drops for Wotan were not dropping in Mayhem 4
May 14, 2020
- Addressed a reported concern where Mayhem would occasionally not award cash, Eridium, or XP after death.
May 7, 2020
- Addressed a reported concern that the Mayhem modifier Galaxy Brain could sometimes cause Graveward’s loot to drop in a location the player could not access
- Addressed a bug with Mayhem Mode that led to lower than intended drop rates for all Mayhem levels.
April 30, 2020
- Adjusted the drop rate for Legendary items in Mayhem Mode.
- Adjusted the drop rates for Anointed gear in Mayhem Mode.
April 23, 2020
- Permanently updated Mayhem Mode to Mayhem 2.0.
- Addressed a reported concern that Mayhem level was not displaying correctly for clients.
- Addressed a reported concern that Mayhem Mode would remain active after resetting mission progress in TVHM.
- Addressed a reported concern that exploding enemies would sometimes not die when self-destructing with the Buddy System Mayhem Modifier.
February 20, 2020
- Addressed a reported concern that Oversphere enemies occasionally would not shoot with their optic lasers in True Vault Hunter Mode or Mayhem Mode.
- Adjusted the balance for Tony Bordel and Petunia in Mayhem Mode.
December 12, 2019
- Added numbered icons to the Mayhem Mode icon on the HUD.
- Addressed an issue where Mayhem Mode icons on the HUD would sometimes become inconsistent when adjusting difficulty.
November 21, 2019
- Mayhem 4 introduced.
- New Legendary weapons and class mods exclusive to drop on Mayhem 4.
- Tweaked Mayhem station.
- Players will activate Mayhem through the center pillar and increase or decrease Mayhem levels by using the pillars on each side.
October 31, 2019
- The chance of receiving a weapon penalty as a Mayhem modifier will continue to be reduced at the same rate as the Mayhem on Twitch Week.
- The drop rate for Anointed gear has been increased.
October 24, 2019
- [Consoles Only] Mayhem mode is now available in True Vault Hunter Mode on Consoles.
- Added ability to specify Mayhem Mode while matchmaking.
- Fixed a reported UI issue where the Mayhem Modifier menu would sometimes not appear for certain players.
September 19, 2019
- Scaled down the amount of loot drops in Mayhem Mode.
September 13, 2019
- The higher the difficulty, the more encouraged it is for the character to always carry an ammo-on-melee resupply artifact due to the nature of damage sponges.
- Character health and shield capacity do not scale in the same way that weapon damage does with the mayhem level. This is a double-edged sword: it becomes much easier to be Crippled from self-inflicted damage, but damage-based healing effects such as life steal become much more effective.
- Be cautious around Anointed enemies; due to the massive increases of durability stacking of Mayhem with the already spongy Anointed enemies, it can lead to some tedious, long-lasting conflicts.
- Some modifiers are not recommended to ever use, and to simply reroll for a better listing:
- Freeze Tag deploys a high shield points entity that constantly chases the character and triggers cryo novas. This can easily interfere and bring doom to any Vault Hunter that wasn't able to sprint away from danger.
- Floor is Lava punishes players for playing it slow and safe, which is what players will need in order to have control of a fight, or even trying to regenerate health and shields.
- Pain Tolerance punishes for up to 60% damage reduction on damage-per-second weapons, giving a serious punch to automatic weaponry items.
- Rogue Lite removes the chance of getting a Second Wind, restarting all progress for boss fights.
- Holy Crit heavily increases the durability of enemies, at the cost of a minimal critical damage boost. While it may sound efficient, some enemies are hard to get a critical hit on, thus making them unnecessarily tougher.
- The Slayer 'glory kill' effect may trigger at around 15% to 50% HP remaining.
- As the Face-Puncher does melee damage, it can be used to trigger Slayer's effect.
- All Mayhem-spawned enemies, such as Healy Avenger, Laser Fare, or even Post Mortem, will see their durability increased as well.
- Chilling Them Softly and Dazed and Infused enemies with the cryogenic effect are not immune to being frozen using Zane's Brain Freeze.
- Laser Fare turrets' lasers can go through walls, but not Zane's Barrier.
- Anointed gear is more likely to appear the higher the Mayhem level is.
- On Mayhem 10, there is a 100% chance for anointed gear to spawn.
- Several of the Mayhem modifiers are pop culture references.
- Big Kick Energy is a play of words from "Big Dick Energy", a phrase used for doing something with full confidence.
- Galaxy Brain is a reference to the Galaxy Brain/Expanding Brain meme.
- Its modifier, the comical big head, is based off "Big Head Mode", a common completion reward in early 3D games.
- Speed Demon is a reference to the 1989 single Speed Demon by the pop singer Michael Jackson.
- More Than Okay Boomer references "OK Boomer", a catchphrase used to mock the stereotypes attributed to the baby boomer, or "Boomers", generation.
- Slayer's name and effect are a reference to the protagonist of DOOM (2016) and its gameplay mechanic, Glory Kills.
- Rogue Lite is a reference to the roguelike genre of RPG games, which typically feature high difficulty and permanent character death.
- Chilling Them Softly is a reference to the 1996 album song Killing Me Softly by the hip hop group Fugees.
- Chain Gang may be a reference to the 1960 single Chain Gang by the R&B singer Sam Cooke. Otherwise, based on its literal definition.
- Dazed and Infused may be a reference to the 1967 single Dazed and Confused by American writer Jake Holmes, although popularized by the English rock band Led Zeppelin released in 1969.
- Otherwise, could be a reference to the 1993 comedy film of the same name, Dazed and Confused.
- Gearbox Software (June 25, 2020) "Borderlands 3 Patch and Hotfixes: June 25, 2020" Borderlands Official Website. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Gearbox Software (April 23, 2020). Borderlands 3 Patch and Hotfixes: April 23, 2020" Borderlands Official Website. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Noelle_GBX (April 30, 2020). "Borderlands 3 - Hotfix [4/30/2020]" Gearbox Software's Official Forum. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- neptuneestate (June 26, 2018). "big dick energy" Urban Dictionary. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- Multiple Sources (February 17, 2017). "Galaxy Brain" Know Your Meme. Retrieved April 27, 2020
- Collaboration (October 30, 2011). "Big Head Mode" TV Tropes. Retrieved May 1, 2020.