From Atlas to Hyperion
Some games are known for their jaw-dropping graphics. Others are loved for the gameplay or story. Borderlands 3 is unique in that one of its signature features is that it has a billion guns to loot. The number of unique Legendary guns alone far outpace what any one player can hoard. With so many guns in a game, it can be hard to decide which is best for you.
Thankfully, the gun manufacturers in Borderlands 3 follow some rather distinct themes with their weapon designs. The result is that while individual guns may have wildly different stats, weapons made by a specific manufacturer will generally perform similarly. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, especially in regards to Legendary weapons.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Atlas
If you’ve ever wanted to shoot someone in the face repeatedly but didn’t want to put any effort into it, then Atlas guns are for you. Pick up one of their excessively large and boxy rifles or flying saucer shaped pistols and you’ll be able to land headshots with ease thanks to their use of tracking bullets. Practically every Atlas gun also has a secondary feature that lets you mark a target. After marking a target, all bullets fired from that gun will seek that target. You could be looking in the exact opposite direction of a marked target and the bullets will still hit.
Unfortunately Atlas guns have somewhat small magazine capacities and low fire rates. Given that they have fairly high damage per shot though, Atlas guns are always solid choices. The Rebel Yell Legendary assault rifle mitigates the fire rate problem by being fully automatic, though it possesses no other obvious special traits.
Borderlands 3 Weapons| Children of the Vault (COV)
The bandits of Borderlands 3 have united under a single banner, and they are making their own guns. Cobbled together with gun parts from previous games and random junk, COV guns have incredible variance. Their one common feature is that they overheat instead of having to reload. As a result, you can do surprisingly consistent damage over time. Unfortunately, COV cooling durations are generally longer than the average reload time. Curiously enough, COV Legendary weapons like the Sawbar are rather decent and may be worth using if you really need to have constantly active on-hit abilities.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Dahl
Sometimes, you don’t really need a gun that makes everything explodes or melts faces. For those situations, Dahl has the most well-rounded guns made for every conceivable encounter. Sporting a very modern tactical look, Dahl guns uniquely have fire selectors so that you have can have full auto, burst, or semi-auto options for every range. They also have very low recoil and middle-of-the-road stats in every respect. Dahl assault rifles and SMGs make for excellent primary weapons for this reason alone.
The Legendary Night Hawkin SMG is especially good as it combines low recoil, a relatively high elemental effect chance, and decent damage into one package. Perhaps not the flashiest Legendary, the Night Hawkin is still exceptional for a primary weapon.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Hyperion
The Hyperion company is making a return in Borderlands 3, evidently surviving the events of previous games. Their weapons are much more angular than before, though outside of this they are unchanged in function. As you fire, Hyperion guns become more accurate. In addition, aiming causes your gun to project a small shield. Theoretically, this makes Hyperion guns excellent defensive weapons. In practice, there’s too much incoming damage in Mayhem 3 for the shield to matter. Still, the reverse recoil feature makes it trivial to land consistent headshots. Never necessarily the worst option, yet better weapons exist.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Jakobs
With their western cowboy aesthetic and general lack of elemental effects, Jakobs guns are very old fashioned. The vast majority of their guns are semi-automatic, with somewhat low magazine capacities and reload speeds. What Jakobs guns offer in return are the highest damage per shot weapons in Borderlands 3. It’s not unusual for Jakobs weapons to have as much damage per shot as sniper rifles made by other manufacturers. Jakobs pistols are particularly heavy hitters, proving to be quite viable at extended ranges.
The Wagon Wheel Legendary pistol is an especially good example of Jakobs firearms. It's not flashy, in spite of the fact that it has high damage and accuracy for a pistol. It also heavily rewards accuracy, with bullets that ricochet all over the place whenever you hit an enemy.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Maliwan
The polar opposite of Jakobs, Maliwan specializes in futuristic guns that only have elemental damage. Maliwan guns also tend to have rather odd quirks, like a charge-up period or unique projectiles. The result is that while Maliwan guns have high damage potential, they can also fail to impress due to how elemental resistance works. This dual nature can be seen in their sniper rifles, which could be decent, but the charge up period absolutely kills their potential as sniper rifles. On the flipside, Maliwan shotguns are reasonably good as they can have extreme knockback effects on top of the raw damage.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Tediore
Despite their boxy shape and mundane color schemes compared to the rest of Borderlands 3’s arsenal, Tediore guns are actually respectable weapons. Their overall stats are on the low side, counterbalanced by the fact that instead of reloading, Tediore weapons are thrown. Once thrown, they can either explode as a rather lethal grenade or function as a fully autonomous weapon. The more ammo left in the magazine, the more damage that they can do when thrown. As such, even if a Tediore gun is terrible at being at gun, you can use it as a grenade.
If you want to see the best that Tediore has to offer, get your hands on a Long Musket SMG. Its unassuming features hide the fact that it is a flamethrower. Needless to say, it literally melts enemies. Having a second autonomous Long Musket chase after enemies while setting them on fire brings is a rather new, amusing take on crowd control.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Torgue
Rocket launchers seem to be a little underpowered in Borderlands 3, yet that doesn’t matter because Torgue guns exist to fulfill all of your explosive desires. Unlike other guns, which fire normal bullets, Torgue guns always fire micro-rockets. Also, unlike other weapons, Torgue guns have amusing naming patterns and aesthetics based on car engines. As a result, Torgue guns typically have extremely high burst damage, limited range, and slow projectile and reload speed. Torgue shotguns and pistols tend to be especially good as the range limitations are not as much as a problem for such weapons.
The Flakker Legendary shotgun is undoubtedly top of its class by amplifying Torgue weapons traits to the next level. It doesn't just fire explosive projectiles, it basically fires a cloud of explosions at people. The Flakker's range is limited, but when you can make an explosion that takes up your entire screen, range is hardly an issue. It is also hilariously powerful against mid-sized bosses like Captain Traunt.
Borderlands 3 Weapons | Vladof
The Vladof design philosophy is a very simple one: more bullets leads to more hits. To this end, all Vladof guns have multiple barrels, huge magazine capacities, and very high rates of fire. The damage is slightly on the low side, which is a rather predictable tradeoff for having surprisingly manageable recoil as well. Interestingly enough, Vladof guns have the most varied alternate fire abilities. You can find shotguns and grenade launchers on virtually every Vladof gun, alongside some more exotic attachments. While not capable of competing with their full-sized counterparts, these attachments are nice to have if you wish to have a weapon for every situation.
No gun better personifies Vladof's design philosophy than the Lyuda. This Legendary sniper rifle is fully automatic and can be used like an assault rifle in a pinch. In addition, each bullet fired from Lyuda splits into three bullets with minimal dispersion. Few weapons are better for boss farming in Borderlands 3 than the Lyuda, especially if you are farming the Graveward.
How are you enjoying Borderlands 3? What's your favorite gun manufacturer? Let us know in the comments below.