Borderlands Wiki
For the legendary launcher in Borderlands 3, see Nukem (Borderlands 3).

Nukem is a legendary rocket launcher in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel manufactured by Torgue.

In Borderlands 2, the Nukem is obtained randomly from any suitable loot source, but has an increased chance to drop from The Black Queen located in The Dust.
In Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, it is also available randomly at any Torgue vending machine as 'Item of the Day'.
In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, it is obtained randomly from any suitable loot source, but has an increased chance to drop from Flame Knuckle located in Helios Station.

Special Weapon Effects[]

Name Dropper. – Fires slow rockets in a parabolic trajectory with increased damage, reload time and ammo consumption. Explosions generate a mushroom cloud.

Usage & Description[]

The Nukem is an extremely powerful rocket launcher that fires rockets in a heavy arc, creating a very large blast radius and dealing heavy damage. Like other Torgue weapons, it only spawns with the explosive elemental, and is affected by grenade damage modifications, further boosting its lethality. The weapon is extremely useful for getting out of Fight For your Life, as the sheer damage and blast radius is enough to put most enemies down in a single shot. Care needs to be taken, as it is very easy for the user to instantly put themselves in Fight For Your Life mode. Its arc and short-range limit it to a last-ditch weapon or in an area with large amounts of cover. The arc can be exploited and used to hit enemies that would otherwise be impossible to hit, or to prevent exposure to enemy fire.


  • Having the rocket velocity attachment on a Nukem significantly increases its effective range. However, using the arc of the rocket to hit enemies over walls and obstructions is also made much more difficult.
  • Use of Maya's Accelerate or Zer0's Vel0city is highly recommended for anything but short range encounters, as it makes use at longer ranges significantly easier. This is also supplemented by the projectile speed accessory and a Maliwan exhaust.


  • The name "Nukem" is a reference to the franchise and character Duke Nukem, whose most recent game, Duke Nukem Forever, was developed by Gearbox Software.
    • The flavor text refers to mentioning people, institutions or other things of importance in an off-hand and colloquial manner (in this case, Duke Nukem).
  • The weapon is also a reference to nuclear weapons, as it features the radiation trefoil symbol and the archetypical mushroom cloud that nuclear bombs create upon detonation.
  • This weapon is virtually impossible to test in Marcus's Firing Range as the splash range is too large and will simply cripple characters.
  • Nukem's skin is later reused for World Burn.