Borderlands Wiki
Borderlands Wiki

Nukem is a Legendary Rocket Launcher manufactured by Torgue. Nukem is obtained randomly from any suitable loot source but has an increased chance to drop from The Black Queen located in The Dust. It is also available randomly at any Torgue Vending Machine as Item of the Day in Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage. In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, it has a chance to drop from the Sorcerer's Daughter. In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, it has a chance to drop from Flame Knuckle.

Special Weapon Effects

Name Dropper. – Rockets fire in an arc and explode in a mushroom cloud upon detonation. Extremely slow reload speed. Extremely high damage.

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 any 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 however 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 limits 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 skill or Zer0's Vel0city skill 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, which further lengthens the arc.


  • The Launcher's 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 Nukem's red text, 'Name Dropper', refers to mentioning important people, institutions or other things of importance in an off-hand and colloquial manner (in this case, Duke Nukem).
  • This weapon is virtually impossible to use in Marcus's Firing Range since the splash damage will put characters down very quickly.
  • The weapon as a whole is a reference to nuclear bombs, as it features the radiation trefoil symbol and the archetypical mushroom cloud that nuclear bombs create upon detonation.