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Characters / Borderlands Vault Hunters

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Playable Characters
Borderlands Vault Hunters | Borderlands 2 Vault Hunters | The Pre-Sequel Vault Hunters | Borderlands 3 Vault Hunters

Supporting Characters
Borderlands | Borderlands 2 | Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! | Borderlands 3 | Tales from the Borderlands | Other Media

Miscellaneous
Weapon Brands

Vault Hunters (in general)

Small teams of adventurers hunting the alien Vaults that populate Pandora. Known for being extremely dangerous and rare, to the point that most people react with surprise when they meet one.
  • Affectionate Nickname, In the Borderlands 2 DLC Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, the Vault Hunters are nicknamed as "VH" by Ellie, and "Vaulty-Vault" by Tina.
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  • Anti-Hero: All of them except Maya, and possibly Roland. In the case of Wilhelm and Nisha, they are outright Villain Protagonists.
  • Badass Crew: Practically the definition of it: a small team of four to six people who effectively destroy entire armies of bandits, mercenaries, and robots, to the point where by the end of both of their respective games, they are expected to take on entire bases of well-armed enemies by themselves.
  • Blood Knight: Every single one of them enjoys going into battle to an extent. The only ones who may not relish it are Jack's Doppleganger and Roland.
  • Challenge Seeker: A common motivation for becoming a Vault Hunter aside from riches and glory is a worthwhile challenge (as well as the riches and glory that come with it). This is Zer0's MO in particular. When word gets out that Fiona considers herself a Vault Hunter, he willingly answers the call to help her out in the final chapter of Tales From The Borderlands, and is not disappointed.
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  • Combat Pragmatist: Turrets, Dual Wielding guns, swords, shields, holograms, attack animals, attack robot, mechs, Siren powers, ice summons,buzz axes, and fisticuffs. The Vault Hunters will use everything at their disposal to take out their enemies alongside their guns. Fighting fair is for chumps and it will get you killed in worlds like Pandora, Elpis,and Promethea.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: As dangerous as they are in-game, during cutscenes they evidently just stand around off-screen while villains either gloat at them or do something otherwise preventable.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": In the second game, everyone on Pandora calls the Vault Hunters either "Vault Hunter" or some sort of nickname:
    • Roland calls them "Soldier".
    • Lilith calls them "Killer".
    • Brick calls them "Slab".
    • Claptrap calls them "Minion".
    • Moxxi calls them "Sugar".
    • Tiny Tina calls them "Shawty" and "Vaulty-Vault".
    • Sir Hammerlock actually spends one sidequest of his DLC trying out nicknames for the Vault Hunters.
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    • Handsome Jack calls them "Bandit." Then again, he calls everyone not working for him that. Later on, he calls them "child-killers" after Angel's death.
    • Colonel Hector calls them "Raider".
    • Tyreen Calypso calls them "Superfan" or "Vault Thief".
    • Aurelia refers to them as "Whore".
    • Clay call them "Smooth Operator".
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: None of the Vault Hunters wears symmetrical clothes and none looks worse because of it.
  • Gun Nut: All Vault Hunters love guns and are all overjoyed upon seeing a weapon of decent rarity. Even bruisers such as Brick and Krieg love themselves a shiny new gun.
  • Hired Guns: They'll do any job as long as they get paid.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Lilith and Roland for the first set of Vault Hunters. Krieg and Maya for the second, thanks to the "A Meat Bicycle Built for Two" short film — at least, for Krieg toward Maya. In a non-romantic example, Roland and Brick with Tiny Tina. There's also Deathtrap (though he's a robot) to Gaige.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • Rhys and Fiona play entirely differently since they're from a Telltale game and not a shooter.
    • Gaige The Mecromancer was designed as a "Beginner Mode" character (the first skill tree focuses on making things easier, with skills that still do damage to enemies if the player misses or increase their ability to survive) with the option of playing her as Difficult, but Awesome instead for better results (the last skill tree has skills that deliberately make the player go against what they would normally do in an FPS, such as sacrificing accuracy for higher damage thus forcing them to get up close and discouraging them to avoid manually reloading).
    • Krieg the Psycho uses a lot of Desperation Attack based skills and generally involves taking damage to deal it (one skill tree consists mainly of skills that only work when he's on fire). In addition, he's also the only class which has a melee build as one of the default options (other classes can have them, but they need some optimization). The developers noted that it was because of this reason that he was saved as DLC since his skill-set would likely turn players off compared to the easier to play ones. One of his talents even makes him vulnerable to friendly fire.
    • Claptrap the Fragtrap features a few notable differences from the rest of the Vault-hunting crew. First, as a robot, he has no need to breath, so his Oz kit's oxygen reserves don't automatically drain over time in a vacuum. Second, as a robot, his metal chassis renders him resistant to Incendiary damage but vulnerable to Corrosive, as opposed to the other way around for his (mostly) human teammates. Finally, his Action Skill,VaultHunter.EXE, functions very differently from any of the other Action Skills in the series, randomly loading up one of several Action Packages. Several of these Action Packages can apply their effects to everyone on Claptrap's team, and even more can be unlocked by investing in the right skills in his skill trees. His right-side skill tree works around subroutines that provide buffs and debuffs based on what weapons he is using. It will randomly switch to a different subroutine at any given time, and forces him to switch and use different weapons to get the most out of it. In short, his gimmick is unpredictability that the player has no control over.
    • All of the Vault Hunters from 3 are this to their predecessors, since they get multiple options for their Action Skills that they can switch between freely. They also get special skills called augments, which alter the behavior of their Action Skills but don't cost skill points and can also be swapped in and out freely. And don't think the fun stops there, because they also manage to stand out against each other.
      • Amara the Siren is the closest to a vanilla Vault Hunter this time around; she only gets to equip one Action Skill at once, and she can equip up to two augments for it. However, one of her augment slots is reserved for augments that control the element of her Action Skill, and none of her augments have restrictions regarding which Action Skills they can be paired with.
      • Zane the Operative gets the option to equip two Action Skills at once, each of which gets two slots for augments. However, in order to equip a second Action Skill, he must give up his ability to throw grenades, and he never unlocks any additional Action Skills beyond his initial three.
      • Moze the Gunner behaves the most similarly to past Vault Hunters in some ways, since her Action Skill always summons her mech, Iron Bear. Instead, her Action Skill options control Iron Bear's weaponry, with one augment slot each for the left weapon and right weapon. She can choose to equip the same weapon to both sides or mix and match, but both sides must be assigned a weapon before she can use her Action Skill.
      • FL4K the Beastmaster gets to choose a pet to summon in addition to an Action Skill and two augments. The pet grants passive bonuses and largely acts autonomously but can be commanded to perform a special attack. Instead of new Action Skill options, FL4K unlocks upgraded versions of their pets instead.
  • Memetic Badass: They're seen this way in-universe. To be a Vault Hunter means that you are a badass. If one could use an analogy, a Vault Hunter is to Borderlands what a Jedi is to Star Wars.
  • One-Man Army: Each and every Vault Hunter is able to fight off hordes of men, women, monsters, and robots. Lampshaded by Professor Nakayama in the the second game's Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC, when he calls them a "walking apocalypse" while trying to hype himself up.
  • Only One Name: They all usually go by their first names or a nickname, with Nisha Kadam, Timothy Lawrence (That said, as Jack's body double, he's legally forbidden from saying he's not Jack), Aurelia Hammerlock, Zane Flynt, Moserah "Moze" Andreyevna, and Lilith Cashlin (seen in unused texture files) being the only exceptions. Some of them (such as Brick) probably don't even have last names in the first place. Zer0 may not have a true name at all (as with so much else about Zer0, it's left ambiguous), and not even Krieg knows his real name.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Come on back" after a mission.
  • Promoted to Playable: Athena, Claptrap, Wilhelm, and Nisha started as NPCs before being made Vault Hunters. Krieg also serves as this for the Psycho class of enemies.
    • In Tales, Zer0, Athena, Springs, August, Cassius, and Claptrap can all be selected as incidental Vault Hunters during the finale. Felix can also be selected, but he leaves the story again before you get to play him.
  • Pungeon Master: The Pre-Sequel Vault Hunters always have a set of ice puns for when they freeze their enemies with cryo.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits:
    • The first group consists of a reasonably sane ex-soldier, a totally berserk lunatic (bare-fisted version), an alcoholic sharpshooter and his bird (which he talks to), and a pyromaniacal power-obsessed mystical Siren.
    • The second group consists of another ex-soldier (this one with an overdeveloped ego), another berserk lunatic about a third as tall as anyone else (The Gunslinger/The Vaporiser version), an excessively (even gratuitously) mysterious assassin of completely unknown origins, a reasonably sane Siren looking for more about her heritage, a young robotics prodigy on the run from the law, and a psychotic escaped experiment who talks in complete gibberish.
    • The group in between them consists of a mercenary obsessed with cybernetic augmentation, a sadomasochistic cowgirl with a cruel streak a mile wide, a former assassin trained as a child-soldier, a small annoying robot equipped with malware, an unlucky actor-turned-body double and an Egomaniac Hunter who happens to be a figurative and literal Ice Queen.
    • The third group consists of an ex-Vladof special forces soldier with a Mini-Mecha, a buff-as-hell Famed In-Story Siren vigilante, a retired special ops infiltrator with all sorts of classified tricks up his sleeves who happens to come from a family of murderous bandit lords, and a Killer Robot whose only friends are their pet beasts.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Between the first and second group of Vault Hunters (except Gaige).
    • Roland is a solid Blue, being The Hero for the first game, and Big Good in the second. Axton, by comparison, is a Red, what with being a Military Maverick that blew up some terrorists along ''with'' the VIP he was supposed to be protecting, basically due to Rule of Cool as opposed to a Roaring Rampage of Revenge like Roland. Athena actually bounces back and forth; outside of combat she's calm and controlled, recounting her tale without any real emotion to Lilith, while in battle she becomes loud, aggressive and, depending on her skill trees, she insults her foes or flies into berserk laughter.
    • Maya is Blue, being The Heart and Team Mom compared to her more... "reckless" allies, while Lilith is solid Red, being much more reckless and hot-headed. Their hair colors even match!
    • With Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, Lilith is now an Ascended Fangirl with some good old-fashioned repressed nerd anger compared to Maya's kinder lady scholar.
    • It's often hard to tell where the equally aggressive Brick, Salvador, and Krieg fall into which category, but Brick's occasional lapses into being the Only Sane Man makes him Blue by default, whereas Salvador's endless aggression and Krieg being, well, Krieg, point to them being Red. Wilhelm's deadpan professionalism makes him more Blue, especially as his cybernetic enhancements make him more and more inhuman.
    • Zer0 is a solid Blue, having no tone of voice outside his Creepy Monotone (even the times he's Sophisticated as Hell), while Mordecai's laid back, easygoing attitude makes him Red. Nisha is more of a Red, being a sadistic gunslinger while Aurelia is more of a Blue, being a stuffy, arrogant aristocrat.
    • Gaige fills both roles in a metaphysical context. She's voiced by two actresses. Luci Christian recorded 2/3rd of her lines, specifically covering all the interactions from her Best Friends Forever and Little Big Trouble skill trees, where Gaige is a solid Blue by remaining fairly calm and levelheaded. Cherami Leigh was later brought in to record her Anarchy tree as well as her official ECHO logs on Youtube, and lines that she says as part of the DLC storylines. With Anarchy, all bets are off. Gaige goes full-on crazy with power, right clear into Red territory.
  • Sadist: While none (OK, few) of them take it to the same horrifying levels as the franchise's villains, you can't be a Pandoran apex predator without taking at least a little bit of enjoyment in the eye-watering violence you routinely inflict on people. Even the most upstanding Hunters like Maya and Roland are very pleased with a good critical or elemental kill.
  • The Team: All the crews of the games.
    • The Leader: Roland for the first group, with Brick and Lilith taking over when he dies. For the second team, Anthony Burch says it's Maya. For the third group, Jack himself is the leader, and ostensibly represented by his Doppleganger.
    • The Lancer: Shared with Lilith and Mordecai in the first group, with Axton serving as it for the second. Athena fits this role for the Pre-Sequel Vault Hunters.
    • The Big Guy: Brick, Salvador, Krieg, Wilhelm, Amara.
    • The Medic: Both Maya and Roland share this role in their own ways. Almost all of the Pre-Sequel crew have team-healing capabilities, FL4K can heal via granting allies passive health regen.
    • The Engineer: Roland for the first team, Gaige and Axton together for the second, Wilhelm for the Pre-Sequel and Zane and Moze in 3.
    • The Smart Guy: Gaige
      • And Zer0, to a lesser extent
    • The Sneaky Guy: Zer0 in 2, Zane and FL4K in 3.
    • Team Pet: Claptrap, across all three games, although for the first two he's more of a supporting character.
  • True Companions: The first group has become one by the second game, despite their own vast differences. And when Roland dies, the reaction from Brick just shows how strong their friendship became. In the ending of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (which shows all of the Vault Hunters gathered around Roland and Bloodwing's memorial), Marcus has this to say about them.
    "And they'd remember that no matter how bad things got, they were never truly alone so long as they had each other."note 
    • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In contrast, the Pre-Sequel crew don't really like each other all that much (particularly in the case of Claptrap, who everyone hates) but are nonetheless capable of working together effectively.

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