True Vault Hunter Mode is a game mode available to the player once the Borderlands 2 story playthrough has been completed on Normal Mode. TVHM is a mode where-by the player can re-play the campaign on a more difficult setting retaining all of their skills, Levels, XP, guns and equipment. The player after completing the final mission and seeing the credits role will be offered to replay the campaign in TVHM.
TVHM poses a new challenge the player and offers a more realistic experience in which some factors of the game have been modified to pose a greater difficulty. Some of differences in TVHM as opposed to Normal mode are:
- Increased Enemy Health: The foes the player faces will have far more health than they would in normal mode, even if the enemy is of the same level as the player. Proportionally the enemies health will be greater.
- More Badasses: Badass variants of common enemies are more frequent in TVHM which in-turn makes combat more challenging for the player.
- New Enemies: Due to the rise in difficulty in TVHM some of the Normal mode enemies have been re-named and have become a tougher variant of their prior-selves. An example of this is the psycho, which in TVHM can appear as an Armoured Maniac which is a tougher more aggressive psycho which in turn deals more damage.
- Better Loot: Due to the nature of difficulty increase and the fact the game becomes more difficult, in TVHM there is a higher chance of enemies dropping better loot and chest also will contain better loot.
- Better Loot more frequently: Enemies in TVHM will be have a higher % chance of dropping better loot as they have more health and are more difficult to defeat.
- Enemies scale with the players level: Unlike in Normal mode where-by if you enter an area the enemies will stay the same level throughout the game whether or not you level. In TVHM if you enter an area at level 35 the enemies will be level 35. But if you re-enter at level 41 the enemies will all be level 41+.
- More XP from missions: In TVHM the player will gain substantially more XP from missions than they would do in normal mode.
- Stronger Enemy attacks: All enemy attacks in TVHM will be more damaging than that of the enemies in Normal mode.
- Removal of Michael Mamaril: Michael Mamarii will be removed from sanctuary hence not be able to offer the player free guns from Sanctuary. It is worth noting that Micheal Mamarii may be removed at level 35+.
- Better guns: Guns for example at level 35 in TVHM will be better than level 35 guns in Normal mode. This is because of the increased difficulty of enemies, it is necessary for the player to be better equipped.
- MORE GUNS BETTER GUNS: In TVHM due to the increased health of enemies it is necessary for the player to invest in better guns so as they can deal with the increased difficulty of combat.
- SHIELDS: Investing in a higher capacity shield or one with better effects such as The Bee will aid the player in defeating the more difficult foes. Also a higher capacity shield will allow for the more damaging attacks enemies use.
- SKILLS: As in TVHM the players level will increase investing the extra skill points in relavent skill trees will be incredibly important to ensure that the player survives. Capping out a skill tree with the extra skill points will mean that combat becomes substantially easier than it would otherwise.
- 'HEALING': If the player is the siren (Maya) Maya's Harmony tree can be upgraded so as she can heal players just by shooting them. This therefore puts her phaselock ability to good use. This will prove very useful to the player in boss fights as they become substantially more difficult in TVHM and the players will go down more frequently.
- SLAG ELEMENT: Slag is a new element to Borderlands 2. Slag doubles the amount of damage taken to the victim by other non-slag sources. This is useful to the player as enemies are vastly stronger and this offers yet another advantage to the player in TVHM. Slag can be applied to enemies via grenades, guns or action skills such as Axton's Sabre Turret.
- CROWD CONTROLLING: By keeping all of the enemies in one concentrated area this makes combating enemies easier for the player/s. This can be done by using Action skills such as Axton's Sabre Turrets or Maya's phaselock ability or singularity grenades. With the combination of Slag and either high fire rate guns or shotguns, a player can kill multiple hostiles quickly and with devastating effect.
- TEAMWORK: Teamwork is one of the most important factors to Borderlands 2 multiplayer, especially when in TVHM due to the numerous number of new difficulties the players will encounter. Using all of the above strategies and having good co-ordination will result in the player dominating in TVHM.
If a player in normal mode joins a multiplayer game in TVHM they will play in TVHM rather than the Normal mode they are currently playing in.
Investing the Badass tokens, gained by the player through completing challenges, in shield related upgrades e.g. capacity will increase the players chances of survival in True Vault Hunter Mode.