In Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands 3, and Tiny Tina's Wonderlands there are sets of items known as Unique. Unique items are usually rewarded from a challenging task – completing a specific mission or defeating a certain enemy, and feature special abilities that are often related to the mission and/or enemy that provides it, and a specially colored skin. Unique items in Borderlands cannot spawn with a code or prefix, but in Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Borderlands 3, Unique weapons can spawn with prefixes.
Acquiring Unique Items
Most of the Unique items in Borderlands are acquired in one of two ways:
- The item was previously wielded by a unique enemy. The earliest example is The Clipper from Nine-Toes.
- The item is a reward for a mission. For example, T.K. Baha will give his T.K's Wave after completing T.K.'s Life And Limb. The weapon will almost always be related to the mission/character that gives it, though there are exceptions.
Note that in both cases, these are always guaranteed drops. Exceptions include the Lady Finger, which is found in a mission-related stash, and The Chopper, which has no guaranteed drop location, and can only be farmed.
In Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Borderlands 3, most Unique items that are not gifted as mission rewards are not wielded by the enemy that drops them, with only a small handful of exceptions. While some Unique items are guaranteed drops (such as Deadlift's Vandergraffen), most merely have a moderate chance of being dropped. In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, vending machines can also sell Uniques.
Farming Unique Items
During a normal playthrough of Borderlands, almost every unique item can be acquired once, with no particular effort. It is when trying to farm a unique item more than once that things get more complicated. The re-availability of unique items can be broken down in several groups:
- Respawnable Unique Enemy Drop: For example, Bone Head and Sledge will always drop their Bone Shredder and Sledge's Shotgun. Re-acquiring the unique item simply involves finding and killing the enemy again.
- Mission Reward: A mission reward can only be obtained once, making these items a theoretic one-time only reward. However, in some cases, there is a unique enemy related to the mission that will gain a chance to drop the item after the mission is completed. For example, Scar is the target enemy of T.K.'s Life And Limb, and after the mission's completion, he has a small chance of the mission reward, T.K's Wave. Almost all mission items can be re-acquired this way, except for Chiquito Amigo, Athena's Wisdom and The Spy (to a certain degree). Lady Finger and The Chopper fall into this category.
- Non-Respawnable Unique Enemy Drop: Most notably King Wee Wee's Wee Wee's Super Booster. These items can only be acquired once. To "farm" these items, it is recommended to wait to collect the mission that causes the enemy to appear until after Playthrough 2, to increase the item's level to its maximum potential. The farming then consists of acquiring the item, and quitting without saving if the item is not satisfactory or if it simply did not drop.
In Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, mission rewards cannot be acquired by enemies after the missions are completed, meaning they are a one-time only reward.
In Borderlands 3 as of the 7/23/2020 update, it is now possible to get leveled mission rewards from either the Gungun / Eridian Fabricator's alternate fire mode (250 eridium for 1-4 items of either legendary or unique quality) or from Crazy Earl's vending machine on Sanctuary III.
Unique weapons bypass Borderlands classic weapon generation mechanics in that they often have restrictions on their parts. This means that unique weapons usually don't have as large a spectrum of characteristics as other weapons. Firstly, all unique items will have a unique material. This material will give it a special color scheme, and sometimes also change its characteristics. Like legendary items, unique items will also have a predefined part from which the special effect derives. Finally, there will be the part restrictions. For example, Sledge's Shotgun will always have a blade, will always have a 2-clip magazine, and will never have a scope.
Unique items don't have any special rarity. Most unique items are of the blue rarity, with a handful of green, purple, or legendary rarity items also being classified as Unique.
Mixing with Legendaries
As long the unique item's part restrictions don't forbid the legendary item's part, and the manufacturers match, then it is not impossible for Borderlands to generate unique legendaries. For example, Atlas's Ajax's Spear combat rifle can spawn with an accessory, and the Atlas legendary combat rifle, the Ogre, gets its effect from its accessory. As such (albeit extremely rare), it is sometimes possible to find an Ogre Ajax's Spear.
In most cases these items will have the name of the legendary weapon without any prefix.
Possible hybrid weapons in Borderlands:
- Atlas' Ogre Ajax's Spear
- Atlas' Cyclops Kyros' Power (retains the "Kyros' Power" name)
- Dahl's Bulldog T.K's Wave
- Dahl's Hornet The Dove
- Dahl's Penetrator Reaver's Edge
- Hyperion's Invader Nemesis
- Maliwan's Rhino The Roaster
- Tediore's Protector Chiquito Amigo
- Tediore's Savior Bone Shredder (retains the "Bone Shredder" name)
- Torgue's Friendly Fire Boom Stick (becomes an unprefixed "Fire")
A unique weapon is said to be aftermarket (in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel) when it is produced by a certain manufacturer, but contains component(s) from others (usually with a different barrel). While this is standard fare for the most common weapons and certain legendary weapons, unique weapons are built from a predefined set of parts, almost always exclusively from a single manufacturer. Rocket Launchers are an exception because they can have an exhaust from any suitable manufacturer.
Names and Locations (Borderlands)
A list of all the unique items, their initial drop location and their farming location, if any.
- See also: Special Weapon Effects
- * These items can only be obtained once per playthrough.
- * The Rider is only available for a limited time.
- * The Spy may also drop from King Wee Wee.
Names and Locations (Borderlands 2)
- * These items are only offered as mission rewards and cannot be legitimately obtained by other methods, but can be re-obtained in each separate playthrough or via a playthrough reset in UVHM.
- * The Grog Nozzle is a mission weapon. The weapon cannot be legitimately obtained without the mission. The only exception to this is the fourth week of the Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt.
- See also: Special Weapon Effects (Borderlands 2)
Names and Locations (Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel)
Names and Locations (Borderlands 3)
“Still working on that little favor of mine, I presume?”
Names and Locations (Tiny Tina's Wonderlands)
“Hey, Sugar. I've got another job for you.”