Zer0 is the playable Assassin class character in Borderlands 2.

He was revealed on February 21, 2012, in the Borderlands 2 Launch Date Trailer. His origins and real name are as of yet unknown. He works as an assassin, as much for the challenge as for the money; he even tells targets to fight back and give him a challenge. His nickname comes from the "0" hologram displayed over his faceplate when he dispatches a target. Other emotes and text, such as ":D" and "..." appear on his faceplate during different actions. Most of Zer0's phrases are spoken in haiku.



Zer0 is an assassin for hire. According to his wanted poster and his personal ECHO recordings, he performs both political assassinations and common hits. Following a particularly unsatisfying assassination where the target fails to fight back, despite being encouraged by Zer0 to do so, the assassin starts to look for a more challenging environment. He travels to Pandora after hearing of the Vault from a bartender, deeming the hunt as worthy of his skills.[1]

As his face and body are completely covered by his suit, a certain amount of mystery surrounds Zer0's true appearance. In an ECHO recording, Angel remarks that she's not even sure if Zer0 is human; both in-game and promotional material show that he has only four fingers on each hand.


Action Skill: Decepti0n

Decepti0n grants Zer0 the ability to deploy a holographic decoy of himself and enter an invisible "stealth mode." While cloaked, he can maneuver about the battlefield dealing amplified damage on his next attack. The longer Zer0 stays cloaked the more damage he can inflict to enemies; however, the shorter Zer0 stays cloaked, the sooner he is able to use the skill again. Zer0 does not enter a separate dimension like Lilith when she Phasewalks, and can still take damage from all sources while cloaked.

Decepti0n has a base cooldown of 15 seconds and gives up to +650% Melee Damage or +200% Gun Damage and +250% Gun Critical Hit Damage.


This tree focuses on guns, particularly sniper rifles.

Skill Tier Levels Effect
Headsh0t skill icon
1 5 +4% Critical Hit Damage per level.
1 5 +3% Zoom and +12% Aim Steadiness (reduces aim disruption when taking damage) per level.
2 5 Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives you +10% Critical Hit Damage and +15% Reload Speed per level for a few seconds.
2 5 +5% Accuracy per level.
0neshot 0nekill
0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill
3 5 The first shot from a fully loaded magazine deals +12% Damage per level.
3 5 +20% Bullet Speed, +3% Critical Hit Damage, and +2% Gun Damage per level.
3 1 Shots pierce through enemies, gaining +100% damage per enemy pierced. Enemy crit locations highlighted in Decepti0n.
Kill c0nfirmed
Kill C0nfirmed
4 5 Up to +8% Critical Hit Damage per level depending on how long you aim down the sights.
At 0ne with the gun
At 0ne with the Gun
5 5 +25% Hip-Shot accuracy, +10% Reload Speed, and +1 Magazine Size with Sniper Rifles per level.
Critical ascensi0n
Critical Ascensi0n
6 1 Scoring a Critical Hit with a sniper rifle gives you +6% Critical Hit Damage and +5% Damage with sniper rifles. Can stack up to 999 times. Stacks begin to decay if you haven't scored a critical hit after a couple seconds.


This tree focuses on improving Decepti0n, and abilities that benefit both ranged and melee combat.

Skill Tier Levels Effect
Fast hands
Fast Hands
1 5 +5% Reload Speed and +10% Weapon Swap Speed per level.
C0unter strike
C0unter Strike
1 5 After getting hit, your next melee attack has a chance to deal +50% damage per level.
2 5 +5% Fire Rate and +3% Gun Damage per level when your shield is depleted.
2 5 +4% damage per level when attacking enemies from behind or when attacking an enemy who is targeting someone other than you.
Rising sh0t
Rising Sh0t
3 5 Each successful ranged or melee attack gives you +2% Gun Damage and +1.8% Melee Damage per level for a short time. This bonus can stack up to 5 times. Faster weapons can gain stacks more quickly, but slower weapons retain stacks for a longer period of time.
3 5 Your holographic decoy explodes when you become visible again, causing shock damage to nearby enemies. Damage increases per level.
Death mark
3 1 Dealing melee damage marks a target for 8 seconds. Marked targets take 20% additional damage from all sources.
4 5 While Decepti0n is active you gain +2% Gun Damage, +7% Movement Speed, and regenerate 0.8% of your Maximum Health per second per level.
Tw0 fang
Tw0 Fang
5 5 Every time you fire you have a 6% chance per level to fire twice.
Death Bl0ss0m
6 1 Action Skill Augment. Throws a handful of Kunai knives. Has a random elemental effect. Does not take character out of Decepti0n. Can be used five times per cooldown. Can apply Death Mark.


This tree focuses on melee attacks.

Skill Tier Levels Effect
Killing bl0w
Killing Bl0w
1 5 +100% Melee Damage per level against enemies with low health.
Ir0n hand
Ir0n Hand
1 5 +3% Melee Damage and Maximum Health per level.
2 5 Kill Skill. Killing an enemy regenerates 0.7% of your shield per second and gives +1.5% Action Skill cooldown rate per level for a few seconds.
Be like water
Be Like Water
2 5 Shooting an enemy gives +6% damage per level to your next melee attack. Melee Attacks give +4% damage per level to your next gun attack.
3 5 Kill Skill. Killing an enemy gives +8% Movement Speed, +6% Gun Damage, and +8% Melee Damage per level for a few seconds.
3 5 Your melee attacks deal +8% damage per level when hitting an enemy in the back.
3 1 Melee Override Skill. While Decepti0n is active and a target is under your crosshairs, melee to dash forward a short distance and perform a special melee attack, dealing massive damage. Has a range of 3 meters.
4 5 Killing an enemy with a melee attack restores up to 4% of your health per level depending on how low your health is.
Like the wind
Like The Wind
5 5 +3% Gun and Melee Damage per level when moving.
Many must fall
Many Must Fall
6 1 Killing an enemy with a Melee Attack during Decepti0n deploys an additional holographic decoy and extends the duration of Decepti0n instead of ending it.

Melee Weapon

Zer0's basic melee attack uses his sword. The sword cannot be equipped but its effectiveness in combat can be enhanced. It consists of a physical hilt with a blade that digistructs when pulled from its sheath.


ECHO recorders

Main article: Zer0/ECHO Recorders


Joining a game

  • Where is the target?


  • What's the hold up? / Is someone in the bathroom? / Are you on the phone?
  • What is going on? / Why have my limbs stopped moving? / Has my heart stopped?
  • Bor-ed, bor-ed, bored / Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored / I am really bored.
  • Boredom is my lot, / As I lack autonomy / To move my own feet.
  • An idle mind is / A very dangerous thing / I think of violence.
  • I am bored as hell / I would like to kill something / Can we friggin go?
  • I sit here and wait / So eager to move onward / But it's all in vain.
  • Can we start moving? / I grow tired of this spot / I long to explore.
  • The peaceful silence / Penetrates my whole being / It's so very dull.

Attempting to travel while other players are busy

  • Someone is busy. / Now we play the waiting game; / Everyone loses.
  • What is the holdup? / Is someone in the bathroom? / Are you on the phone?

Entering Decepti0n

  • Your eyes deceive you / An illusion fools you all / I move for the kill.
  • How hilarious / You just set off my trap card / Your death approaches.
  • The true world revealed / Weaknesses now known to me / Time to go to work.
  • And I disappear / A ghost amidst the combat / Preparing to strike.
  • I vanish.
  • Stealth!
  • Good bye!
  • Ghosting.

Scoring a critical hit

  • A critical hit / So very satisfying / I live for such kills.
  • Critical killing / Is an art unto itself / And I am Rembrandt.
  • A critical kill / Showers me in blood and spit / How enjoyable.
  • That was your own fault / You should have paid attention / And looked through the lie.
  • Sorry, did that hurt? / That "sorry" was sarcasm / I am not sorry.
  • I enjoy that.
  • Heehee.
  • Ow.
  • Ouch.
  • Sucker.
  • Precision!

Throwing a grenade

  • Grenade out!
  • Here! Grenade!
  • 'Nade!

Affected by an elemental attack

  • I feel the burning / Eating through my equipment / Must stop, drop, and roll.
  • I'm covered in slag! / I must seek cover quickly / or pain is coming.
  • Disgusting, this slag / Inelegant chemical / Increases damage.
  • Slagged!
  • My armor!

Spotting items

  • A new instrument, / Waiting for a sonata / That I will conduct.
  • Maybe I'll use you / To blow a midget's head off. / Or maybe I won't.
  • Mine.
  • Nice.
  • Impressive.
  • Well, well...
  • Not bad.

Comparing items in the menu

  • Comparisons made / But which is superior? / A tough decision.

Reviving a downed ally

  • Get back on your feet / I will help you up, and then / We will kill more stuff!
  • Keep shooting!
  • Keep calm.
  • Do not panic.
  • I have you.

Killing an enemy

  • A most confused death / Dead before he even knew / Where I had struck from.
  • Striking from nowhere / Killing with accuracy / This is who I am.
  • Yoo-hoo, stupid guy / I was really over here / Too bad you're dead now.
  • I am everywhere / And yet, I am nowhere, too / I am infinite.
  • Farewell, foolish thing / Know that you have been deceived / As your soul moves on.
  • This is how you die / A spectacle of violence / Gorgeous and ugly.
  • I relish your death / You are so unsuspecting / How satisfying.
  • I say, boom biatch / That's what you get for messing / With the Assassin.
  • I have destroyed you / A deadly shot from nowhere / The ghost Assassin.
  • Over here you fools / That was but an illusion / I am your true foe.
  • You fought well creature / But I fought so much better / I'll pick your corpse now.
  • Assassinated / What a satisfying word / With five syllables.
  • What happened to you? / So strong, imposing, fearsome / Oh yeah, I killed you.
  • I witness your death / You were so unsuspecting / How satisfying.
  • Assassins never die!
  • Bow to my weaponary!
  • Unworthy opponents.
  • Fear my skills!
  • Easy.

Sighting a badass or boss

  • Warning, badass!
  • Badass approaching!
  • Greetings, badass.
  • Hello, badass.
  • Badass sighted.
  • Attention! Badass.
  • Badass incoming!
  • Incoming badass!
  • Hark! Badass.

Killing an enemy by running them over

  • That is called "roadkill" / Not the cleverest of words / But appropriate.
  • This is the story / All about how my life got / Flipped, turned upside-down.
  • What was that speed bump / That fell under my tires? / Was that thing alive?
  • Idiots.
  • Bump!
  • Funny.

Crashing a vehicle

  • System crashed.

Getting crippled

  • I am nearly dead / It's time for a second wind / Let my aim be true.
  • I will not die here / I still have too much to do / And too much ammo.
  • Dammit!
  • Come on!

Getting a Second Wind

  • I won't die today / Not while I still have ammo / I am a badass.
  • I have arisen / You will regret harming me / My vengeance at hand.
  • Second Wind achieved / Pulled back from the brink of death / I'm ready for more.
  • I'm back from the dead / To continue to raise hell / Get out of my way.
  • You should now be scared / I don't die so easily / And now I am pissed.
  • Nice try savages / I am not the dying type / You shall die instead.
  • This does not end here / I have much further to go / Before I fall dead.
  • I got Second Wind / Metaphorically speaking / Breath overrated.
  • I am eternal / Death will never capture me / My skills exceed his.
  • I do not think so.
  • Your mistake.
  • Yes!
  • I'm ready.
  • Fool.
  • What is next?

Out of ammunition

  • I'm empty.
  • Well, crap.
  • Curses, empty.
  • No ammo.
  • That's unfortunate.
  • Ammo dry.
  • Ammunition required.
  • Ammo depleted.
  • Munitions dry.
  • Ammo necessary.

Being revived

  • I thank you for your / Kindness and sincerity. / Now, let's kill some stuff.
  • Thank you for saving / A not so innocent life / By reviving me.

Leveling up

  • Levelled up.
  • That felt good.

In the menu with a Skill Point left to spend

  • Why, yes. I do have the skills to pay all my bills... figuratively.

Issuing a duel challenge

  • Oh, what? Yeah, what, bitch? / Yeah, I just slapped you and stuff. / What you gonna do?
  • Let's duel, you and I / So we can compare weapons / And know who is more skilled.
  • Let us fight.
  • Duel. Now!
  • I challenge you.

Accepting a duel

  • A chance to spar / Is something I adore / I'm ready to fight.
  • Was that a stiff wind? / Or a fly landing on me? / I barely felt it.
  • You sure?
  • Your mistake.
  • Death wish, huh?

Winning a duel

  • A victory earned / A hard fought battle, that was / I honor my foe.
  • That was a fine fight / I say that due to your skill / Not because I won.
  • Easy.
  • I win.
  • Victorious.
  • Back on your feet.

Losing a duel

  • I lost fair and square / Whatever that dumb phrase means / Who loses a square?
  • Well done.
  • Rematch. Now!
  • Surprising.

Tying in a duel

  • The battle complete / The warriors are equal / Identical skills.
  • A tie? Disappointing.
  • Unexpected.

With Handsome Jack's voice

About Handsome Jack's voice

  • As my voice changes / I cannot help but feel wrong / I sound like a jerk.
  • Now, I have Jack's voice / I truly understand him / He is an asshole.
  • Since I speak as Jack / I know him, inside and out / Which sounds kind of gross.
  • I miss my old voice / I sound like a jackass now / Pun not intended.

Spotting items

  • I found equipment.
  • Beautiful weaponry!
  • Poetic armaments.

Getting a Second Wind

  • I feel the Wind.
  • I'm ready!

Getting crippled

  • No! Serenety!

Killing an enemy

  • Good!
  • Fool!
  • Peek-a-boo!
  • Gotcha!

Entering Decepti0n

  • Over here!
  • I disappear!
  • Goodbye!

Accepting a duel

  • Your mistake.
  • I don't think so.
  • Wrong move!


Zer0 often displays holographs from his faceplate, revealing his emotions through this. Known ones include:

  • :) - a smiley face emoticon, displayed randomly
  • 0 - a large zero, displayed when an enemy is killed with a melee attack
  • :D - a smiley face emoticon, displayed when constructing and/or entering a vehicle at the Catch-A-Ride
  • WTF BRO - an acronym for "what the fuck, bro", displayed when crashing into something in a vehicle
  • <3 - a heart emoticon, displayed while reviving a friendly player
  • FML - an acronym for "for my loss," or "fuck my life," displayed while downed
  • ? - a question mark, displayed when pending actions (such as switching seats with a player in a vehicle)
  • ! - an exclamation mark, displayed when seeing a downed friendly player
  • $ - a dollar sign, displayed when completing a mission
  • && - twin ampersands, displayed when inspecting items in the menu
  • - a kanji character meaning "victory", displayed when receiving items by either picking them up or via trading
  • ... - ellipsis, displayed when either inspecting menu items, after killing an enemy, or while reloading a weapon
  • :| - a straight face emoticon, displayed when standing idle
  • ZZZ - three Zs, displayed when standing idle
  • :( - a sad face emoticon, displayed when standing idle
  • B0R3D - the word "BORED" written in leetspeak, displayed when standing idle
  • 嘆く - a kanji character meaning "sigh", displayed when standing idle
  • OWND - acronym for owned, displayed when killing an enemy with a critical hit

During Decepti0n with the B0re Skill active various other Emotes can been seen on the Enemies weak points.

  • 00110000 - Which is binary encoded ASCII for 0
  • :(_8(1) - Sad_Dead
  • >_< - Which symbolises a person who is frustrated as an emoticon
  • :-P - Which symbolises a person sticking out their tongue as an emoticon
  • :-D - Which symbolises a person smiling as an emoticon
  • >:-] - Which symbolises an evil look as an emoticon
  • [O][O] - Which symbolises wide eyes as an emoticon
  • [.][.] - Which symbolises breast as an emoticon
  • ^5 - Which symbolizes a high five
  • D13 - The word "DIE" written in leetspeak
  • K1LL - The word "KILL" written in leetspeak
  • 1337 - The word "LEET" written in leetspeak, which means Elite
  • PA1N -The word "PAIN" written in leetspeak
  • W34K - The word "WEAK" written in leetspeak
  • 3MTA3 - The words "EAT ME" written backward, Made Famous by the Beastie Boys
  • 4SS4SS1N - The word "ASSASSIN" written in leetspeak
  • <-SHOOT - Shoot here
  • WTF - An acronym for "What The Fuck"
  • OMG - An acronym for "Oh My God"
  • LOL - An acronym for "Laugh Out Loud"
  • GTFO - An acronym for "Get The Fuck Out"
  • \M/ - Sign of the horns
  • \0/ - Which symbolises a person with his arms in the air
  • !!! -
  • 42 - "The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"
  • 666 - The number of the Beast
  • 31415 - The first five numbers of Pi
  • 8675309 - "867-5309/Jenny" a song preformed by Tommy Tutone
  • 8===D - ASCII representation of male genitalia, often used by trolls with a penchant for the vulgar.


  • Gearbox concept designer, Scott Kester, credits Zer0's inspiration to "loner characters" like Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe and Gray Fox from the Metal Gear video game series. [1]
  • Zer0's Class Mod is represented by an attachment on his elbow.
  • The bounty on Zer0's head is $32,000,000,000.
  • Most of Zer0's dialogue is spoken as a haiku, something that is noticed by Handsome Jack in an ECHO recording.
  • One of the lines of dialogue spoken by Zer0, "This is the story / All about how my life got / Flipped, turned upside down." is a referrence to the intro theme of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, featuring Will Smith.
  • One of Zer0's heads, known as "Alienati0n" is a reference to the Alien franchise.
  • One of Zer0's heads, "Gh0st" is a reference to the character, Ghost, from wikipedia:Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
  • One of Zer0's heads, known as "C0al Train" is a reference to a character named Augustus Cole in the Gears of War franchise, who was a former football player and he was known by his fans as "The Cole Train."
  • One of Zer0's skins, called "Why so Serious?"(a black and green color swap of his default costume) is a reference to an iconic line in the movie The Dark Knight.
  • One of Zer0's skins, called "Leaf on the Wind". (Mostly green hues) is a reference to the character Hoban 'Wash' Washburne's coined phrase from the Joss Whedon movie Serenity. Also from the series Firefly.
  • One of Zer0's skins, called "Mutant" (a green and yellow color swap of his default costume) is a reference to the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. The blue highlight on some of his faceplates is a reference to Leonardo, the de-facto leader of the turtles who is also known for his katana.
  • One of Zer0's skins, called "Vault Suit" is a reference to the Fallout video game series. The yellow and blue colors are the trademark colors that the Vault Boy wears on his vault suit.
  • Another of Zer0's skins, Toad of Battle, shares the color scheme of the main characters of the game Battletoads.
  • After obtaining the voice modulator from Angel, Zer0 improvises a haiku about his new voice, mentioning that it makes him sound like a jerk. "As my voice changes / I can not help but feel wrong / I sound like a jerk."
  • Zer0's personal back story ECHO recordings can be found in Sawtooth Cauldron. [2]
  • Zer0's version of "Slayer of Terramorphous" was bugged, providing a bonus to one of Salvador's skills. It has since been fixed in a patch.
  • When using the Handsome Jack Voice Modulator, Zer0 will become far less talkative. Many of his lines are replaced with lines that are cut short, as though Zer0 was about to say something, heard his own voice, and decided against it.
  • Zer0 stands at a 1 metre 93, which stands him as the tallest playable character in Borderlands 2.



  1. Lost ECHO recordings 3 and 4, Sawtooth Cauldron
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