- "You won't last long here, not without help, not without guns... a hell of a lot of guns."
- — Helena Pierce, Borderlands debut trailer
According to Gearbox, there are over 17 million 750 thousand different variations of weapons, as of release. The game uses a procedural process to generate its various guns in certain classes, such as handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and more, but with many variations of firing speed, reload speed, damage type and more.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to determine the basics of a weapon without having to pick it up and open an inventory screen. When you approach a weapon on the ground, a small holographic window appears above it that displays information such as weapon type (shotgun, assault rifle, sniper rifle, etc.), damage type (static, incendiary, caustic, etc.), monetary value, as well as the weapon's rarity using a color coding system.
If a human enemy is carrying a special weapon that they drop upon their death, they will wield it against the player. Otherwise they use a default weapon for their enemy type.
Weapon Type & Proficiency
The different types of weapons are:
- Alien Rifles
- Combat Rifles
- Rocket Launchers
- Sniper Rifles
- Sub-Machine Guns
Specific Weapon Proficiencies apply to each and are displayed on your character screen. These boost player skill with the different weapon types and are increased up to a level of 50 whenever a certain number of kills are made with that weapon type, ie. the more you kill with a type of weapon the better you become with it.
Found in the stats boxes of guns are sometimes cryptic or humorous messages. These lines usually indicate a certain effect on the gun. The text itself often gives a hint of what that special ability does, and is also often a reference to a video game, movie, or any number of things. A list of all known Special Weapon Effects is available on that page.
Borderlands uses a classification system for gear that follows the standard color-coding system for RPGs. A common (white) gun would be average, an uncommon (green) would be slightly above average, a rare (blue) would be a premium gun, an epic (purple) would be a very strong gun, and legendary (orange) guns are the best of the best.There 3 type of orange, Light Orange, Orange and Dark Orange. Dark Orange being the rarest. The rarity of each gun is indicated by color as stated on the page of each gun. (See Category:Weapons) There are 7 confirmed rarity levels.
- Level 1 = White
- Level 2 = Green
- Level 3 = Blue
- Level 4 = Purple
- Level 5 = Light Orange or Yellow
- Level 6 = Orange or Gold
- Level 7 = Dark Orange or Orange
- (In game, weapons listed in the inventory screen have a darker text color than what is shown in the weapon box when that weapon is selected.)
In addition, there is also the so-called "Pearlescent" rarity. These are white weapons that sit above orange weapons in the rarity order (see image right) and have the red text abilities that only legendary weapons have. Long debated whether they are authentic or a result of bug (as seen in this discussion: http://gbxforums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=82042), evidence has been found that shows that Pearlescent guns are indeed the results of a bug in the game's random weapon generator (http://borderlandsguide.com/forum/read-pearl-rarity-glitch-read). Players who used hex editing to mod and create extremely powerful weapons have even found that the game assigns a red rarity to such imbalanced weapons.
Despite the rarity of a weapon generally summing up how powerful it is, it is also quite possible to find that some guns are exceptions to the color code. For example, you might find a rare (blue) gun that has drastically less damage than a common gun that has the rocket ammo effect. This is simply the result of the variable stats randomly generated by the game.
- Rare Items (Above Purple!) - a page for Legendary weapons
The elemental effects include fire, electrical, explosive, and corrosive. The damage of the elemental effect is a multiplier indicated by the elemental plaque and a "xN" in the weapon description, where N is a number from 1 to 4. The chance an elemental affect will occur depends on the difference between the level of the player and the level of the enemy. Occasionally a weapon description will include text reading "high elemental effect chance" or "very high elemental effect chance", which implies that the gun has a greater than normal chance of causing its elemental effect. Elemental attacks are added to the base damage of the weapon used and can have secondary benefits.
Each element has a specific benefit to use against differing enemies:
- Fire has a benefit against fleshy enemies and causes the enemy to burn for a length of time.
- Shock has a benefit against shields. It depletes them more readily but is less effective against flesh and armor than a normal weapon of the same type.
- Explosive weapons have a chance for the round to explode in enemies, dealing much more damage and leading to an incredibly messy death on a critical hit.
- Corrosive has a benefit against armored enemies, slowly draining health and making them weaker to other attacks as the ongoing damage progresses.
Each element also has its own specific death animation, most of which leave no trace of the target behind:
- Fire slowly incinerates the enemy. A fair bit of screaming is involved.
- Shock makes lighting arc up and down their body, eventually leading to their head exploding.
- Explosive leaves you with a loud bang and giblets. Fun against low level enemies.
- Corrosive is similar to fire, only it's acid doing the job.
In the land of Borderlands there are eleven official manufacturers that make the guns that you shoot enemies with. Each company will usually have particular attributes associated with it. Probably the easiest way to learn these different attributes is to listen to Marcus when you use a vending machine, as he will comment on the manufacturers and their attributes.
List of Weapon Manufacturers:
- Atlas - Above-average balanced attributes
- Dahl - Low recoil
- Eridians - Energy-based alien weapons
- Hyperion - Very high accuracy
- Jakobs - High damage, low rate of fire
- Maliwan - Elemental damage
- S&S Munitions - Large magazine capacity
- Tediore - Fast reload speed
- Torgue - Balanced attributes
- Vladof - High rate of fire
- Gearbox - special
See Manufacturers for more info
These weapons and modifications have a 100% chance to drop off a specific enemy or be contained in a specific location.
- See Guaranteed Drops
Please see the Weapons category page to see all weapons added to the wiki thus far.
- Note that due to the sheer amount of guns (Around 11.5 million) it is EXTREMELY unlikely that this Wiki will ever contain pages on every single firearm/firearm variant in the game. Indeed, it's probable that there may even be weapons that nobody in the entire world will ever find. Instead this Wiki lists groups of similar guns by their Title, the last word(s) in the weapon name.
Following the game's random weapon generation AI, a system formulates each weapon's model number and name according to its type, manufacturer and capabilities.
Please see Weapons by prefix for more information.
This illustration of a combat rifle identifies the different components that go into assembling a single weapon. Each manufacturer has a number of proprietary options for its components (Excluding "Shoulder" and "Trigger").
- Stock: Higher quality stocks provide more stability and accuracy. Smaller stocks and stockless weapons achieve faster reloads and equip speed.
- Body: Affects the weapon's firing rate and damage rating.
- Barrel: The type of Barrel used affects the weapon damage ratings and accuracy.
- Magazine: Better magazines yield increases in magazine size, reload speed, and equip speed.
- Scope: A scoped weapon offers various degrees of zoom, dependent on the quality of the scope.
- Materials: Higher quality materials yield different looks and stronger manufacturer bonuses.
- Accessory: Provide a range of benefits from Elemental Effects (acid, fire, electrical) to damage and stability bonuses, and much, much more.