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Characters / Borderlands Weapon Brands

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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 (Handsome Jack) | Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! | Borderlands 3 | Tales from the Borderlands | Other Media

Weapon Brands | Creatures

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  • Acme Products: As each of them is a Mega-Corp, nearly any branded product encountered in the games is also made by one of them or another, like Dahl brand dumpsters/treasure chests/squirt guns, Jakobs fuel tanks and prefab buildings, etc.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Reverse engineered Eridian technology is the source of elemental weapons, while Eridium was used in the making of E-tech weaponry in 2 This is phased out in 3 for a new, non-explained but seemingly still Eridian system.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Each company has a very clear aesthetic, making it immediately clear who made what.
    • Dahl has a fairly contemporary look - everything looks fairly 20 Minutes into the Future.
    • Hyperion items are yellow and white (Or black and red) and have an angular, brutal look with lots of polygonal planes, while inspired by construction equipment and power tools. Their architectural stylings take some inspiration from brutalism.
    • Jakobs items look like they could be from the late 19th to mid-20th century, with lots of wood paneling.
    • Maliwan weapons embrace Everything Is an iPod in the Future, with lots of glowing neon bits to show off their Elemental specialties.
    • Tediore items are cheap plastic, with some influence from electronics.
    • Torgue weapons look like internal combustion engines with gun handles.
    • Vladof, besides its obvious Kalashnikov influence, seems to have a heavy dieselpunk theme.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Somewhat downplayed in that a fair number of corporate higher ups are capable of defending themselves and getting their hands dirty when the situation calls for it. Jack and Katagawa Jr. are both capable of putting up a decent fight against Vault Hunters and Wainwright is competent enough with a shotgun to give Troy Calypso a run for his money.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: From 2 and onwards, the higher rarity a weapon is, the more expensive and prestigious it'll look. Most named (unique, legendary etc.) items will also have a unique look to them distinct from their non-named counterparts.
    • Atlas: While not present for 2, Atlas guns in 1 are shiny and pearl-white by design to reflect their expensive and rare nature compared to other brands. In 3 they take on a sleek, geometric design reminiscent of spacecraft with white, red and black as their colour scheme.
    • Bandit: The scrap metal used to construct the weapons have a shiny crimson red/orange sheen, as opposed to the rusty and unpainted weapons before them.
    • COV: Uncommon and rare COV weapons will feature bright paint splatter patterns, while epic COV weapons employ iridescent black metal with fluorescent accents adorned with neon tubing, reminiscent of a gamer PC with RGB lights and brushes of synthwave aesthetic.
    • Dahl: Bright autumn camouflage covers the weapon, and before that Dahl weapons sport a blue and black urban camouflage.
    • Gearbox: Legendary guns are bare gunmetal with golden graphics and detailing.
    • Hyperion: High tier Hyperion weapons have a gold finished frame to compliment their black and red decorations. In The Pre-Sequel, you can find Old Hyperion weapons from before Jack's policy to change the company's signature color from red/black to yellow, and the high tier weapons from that era are built with polished chrome and black parts.
    • Jakobs: In what is possibly the straightest example of this trope, rare Jakobs guns are gold plated with polished birch wood. In 3 epic rarity Jakobs guns include ivory white parts on black metal frames with gold engraving, and black leather accents.
    • Maliwan: Rare Maliwan guns bring out their signature orange/black/white colors with a faint hexagonal pattern put on the weapon, making them look out of this world when put besides other guns.
    • Tediore: Rare Tediore guns are built with dark purple carbon fiber parts and some polished chrome additions. While not as expensive looking compared to other brands, it's a notable step up from the cheap plastics and metals used in lower tier Tediore weapons.
    • Torgue: The well polished metals on high tier Torgue weapons are complimented by a large red stripe and a checkerboard race track pattern printed over the weapon.
    • Vladof: High tier Vladof guns are polished silver with a bright red imperial eagle on the side of the weapon.
  • Corporate Warfare: Every corporation seems to have its own private army of Elite Mooks. As of the third main game, we've seen:
    • The Crimson Lance representing Atlas, most of whom convert into the Crimson Raiders when Atlas abandons both the planet and their soldiers after their attempt to plunder the first Vault fell through. Atlas under Rhys managed to rebuild their military force, complete with swapping out red armor for white.
    • Hyperion's robotic army, who are supported by human construction workers and specialized elite soldiers.
    • The Lost Legion and New Pandora for Dahlnote 
    • Maliwan's army, which is comprised of elementally augmented mechs and soldiers, some of which come to battle in heavy Powered Armor.
    • Vladof was eventually revealed to have the Ursa Corps up their sleeves, a division of mech operators who are capable of singlehandedly wiping out a continent's worth of enemy forces with their small elite numbers and deadly mechanized suits. These Ursa Corps were later expanded upon in Borderlands 3, where Moze is an ex-Ursa Corps soldier who was left for dead after a suicide mission and her Action Skill is precisely one of such mechanized units.
    • Tediore reportedly had an unnamed army too, large enough to occupy a continent, though they were easily defeated in a Curb-Stomp Battle by the aforementioned Ursa Corps.
    • Torgue's armed forces do fit this trope, but they're a lot less organised than the other coporations' armies. Mr. Torgue just thinks all of his employees should lug around massive, high-calibre explosive weapons at all times and get into lots of fights because that's badass.
    • The Children of the Vault are a fanatical death cult that make up in enthusiasm what the lack in organization and competence.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Greed and amorality is common among most corporate executives. Violent psychopathy is optional but not uncommon.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Since Borderlands 1 used the same parts for all manufacturers, each of them has it's own colors:
    • Atlas in Borderlands 1: White with black accents
    • Atlas in Borderlands 3: Dark gray with red accents
    • Dahl: Desert or woodland camouflage
    • Hyperion in Borderlands 1 and Pre-Sequel: Dark red with metallic accents
    • Hyperion in Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2: Gold with element-dependent accents
    • Hyperion in 'Borderlands 3: Metallic gray
    • Maliwan: Light and neon blue, orange and white
    • S&S: Yellow and black
    • Tediore: Gray and beige
    • Torgue: Dark gray with black and yellow accents, sometimes with checkered flag patterns
    • Vladof: Orange with black accents
  • Evil, Inc.: Aside from the fact that they're primarily weapons manufacturers, a lot of the corporations are amoral to some extent, ranging from careless negligence (Dahl) to greedy and ruthless professionalism marred by comical incompetence (old Atlas) to comical feats of supervillainy (Hyperion, Maliwan). Even comparatively benevolent ones such as Torgue and Jakobs are still prone to poor treatment of personel and some shady history in the past.
  • Freeze Ray: Cryogenic element weapons can slow down enemies before slowly freezing them solid, leaving them not only open to attack, but more vulnerable to melee and explosive attacks as well. Frozen targets will also shatter when killed.
  • High-Voltage Death: Weapons that come with the Shock element can violently shock enemies while sapping their shields. In the first game, this translated to the current being so powerful the victims head bursts, leaving their skull exposed. From the second game and onwards the target is rendered stiffened from the electrocution as they're vaporized.
  • Hollywood Acid: Any weapons they make with the Corrosive element will drench the target in green acid that chemically burns them over time. Against unarmored targets this isn't as deadly as burning them with fire, but it's especially effective at damaging targets through their armor, melting them alive while bypassing their protection.
  • Hufflepuff House: There are a few more manufacturers that only specialize in shields, class mods, or artifacts. These are the likes of Anshin, Pangolin, and Eridian, and, with the possible exception of Eridian, don't play much a role in the story or even get mentioned by name.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Radiation-element weapons will irradiate foes, causing them to deal damage over time across a small area around them, and if they are killed while irradiated, they will reach critical mass and violently explode into a radioactive cloud that can irradiate more things.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: It varies between corporations but more than a few suffer from either having lunatics in charge, toxic corporate culture, a tendency to waste resources on questionable things, and an ability to fail spectacularly.
  • Mega-Corp: Most of them are powerful corporations who have claims on planets and entire systems across the galaxies.
  • Kill It with Fire: Most of the weapons made by the corporations can come with elemental effects, including fire, which immolates their targets with flames so intense nothing but ashes are left behind. Fire is typically the go-to element when dealing with flesh-based enemies.
  • Non-Elemental: Weapons with no element (a.k.a "Kinetic") will deal 20% more damage on average than their elemental counterparts while dealing average damage to all health types bar armour. Jakobs also specialises in dealing non-elemental damage, with the highest per shot damage out of all the manufacturers.
    • In 3, Explosive damage was merged into Kinetic damage.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: After the "Last Corporate War" destroyed the central government of the galaxy, the corporations rose to become political powers in their own right.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: Thanks to how the games are balanced, many of the brand pistols often have a higher damage-per-shot than their assault rifles and SMGs. Special mention goes to firearms such as the Unkempt Harold, Hornet, and Maggie, which can become so powerful in the right hands they can trounce most of the bigger guns in damage.
  • Theme Naming: While Borderlands 1 had a "naming convention" of sorts refering to the weapons' levels, starting with Borderlands 2, all gun manufacturers have begun following specific naming conventions in line with their values and backgrounds.
    • Atlas guns in Borderlands 3 have names that sound like highly advanced defense industry prototypes in reference to their advanced high tech gimmicks, such as "V-System", "AX-35" or "Pattern Red".
    • Bandit gun names look like something a barely literate and not very mentally stable person would conceive, such as "Ratatatater!!!", "bandity smig" or "Huntinig rom cleener". Scav guns, which are their Pre-Sequel counterparts, have Australian-like slang names such as "Arse Kicker".
    • Higher-tier Children of the Vault gun names are basically Bandit names with a religious twist, such as "Holy Rapchurer". Epic-tier guns start featuring actually proper spelling, which reflects the Bandits having finally coalesced into a minimally functional organized society under the Calypso Twins.
    • Dahl gun names in Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel are strictly descriptive and utilitarian, aimed at professional soldiers looking for something as practical as possible; the starter gun in 2, for example, is called "Basic Repeater". Starting with Borderlands 3 they have moved on to <adjective> <wild Earth animal>, such as "Silent Diamondback" or "Untamed Caracal".
    • Hyperion gun names are corporate buzzwords, such as "Transactional Policy" (a sniper rifle), "Longitudinal Apparatus" (a handgun) or "Double Face Time" (a double-barrel shotgun). While it comes across as representing Hyperion as a stark, faceless corporation, ECHO logs mention that it was Handsome Jack's idea, with the intention of making Hyperion's guns sound like "smart guns for smart sonsabitches". In The Pre-Sequel, high-tier Hyperion guns are "Old Hyperion" models with names and looks reminiscent of Borderlands 1, in reference to being made since way before Handsome Jack had any power over the company.
    • Jakobs gun names are descriptive of old-fashioned guns usually with an adjective reminiscent of 19th century product naming, such as "Doc's Coachgun" or "Deadshot Cannon". Their sniper rifles, meanwhile, have Chinook names such as "Tl'kope Calipeen".
    • Maliwan guns have elaborate, pretentious names for hipsters who think ordinary guns are too primitive and basic, such as "Pyroclastic Submalevolent Grace" or "Expeditious Aegis".
    • Tediore guns in Borderlands 2 have names that reflect their focus on making everyday guns for average civilians and use adjectives basically meant to catch your attention on a Wal-Mart's sporting department, such as "Guaranteed Special" or "New and Improved Home Security". In Borderlands 3 their names are basically what you'd imagine to see on a huge billboard with in-your-face advertising, such as "Kill-O-Matic 2000" or "Smart Gun XXL". In the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, which has a deadly mutating infection theme, RGB-tier Tediore guns have names such as "Disinfecter" or "Infection Cleaner".
    • Torgue guns have immature names that play on Mr. Torgue's character as a bumbling macho man who only thinks of sex and explosions, such as "Stiff Rod" or "Juicy Bangstick"; their rocket launchers degenerate into full-blown mindless babble (presumably Torgue's mental state when seeing explosions, often lapsing into explosion onomatopoeias), with names like "ga dunk ga derrrrp!".
    • Vladof guns have names that evoke glorious, heroic freedom fighters, such as "Rabid Renegade" or "Righeous Anarchist"; their sniper rifles, and all their guns in Borderlands 3, have nadsat names, such as "Zammechat Horrorshow".
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Slag elemental weapons harness the eponymous by-product of Hyperion's eridium refining processes to coat enemies in the stuff, making them more vulnerable to non-slag based damage. Additinally, exposure can cause mutations and disfigurement to an unfortunate victim, hence the look of "Slagged" enemies, who have tentacles sprouting out of them or anemic looking bodies.
  • Weapon of Choice: As of the second game, the manufacturers that are still in business have a heavy preference towards making only certain weapon types that fit both their trademarked technology and the demographic they're trying to appeal to, and as such have shed some of their weapon types they had from the first game.
    • Bandit: Every weapon type except sniper rifles and lasers — Bandits do not like aiming and reloading, so all their weapons are meant to focus around giant magazines saddled with very low accuracy for mindlessly spraying the whole place with bullets.
      • COV: Near-identical to the above, but they only produce Pistols, Assault Rifles and Rocket Launchers.
    • Dahl: Assault rifles, SMGs, pistols, sniper rifles, lasers (TPS only) — Dahl prefers to make weapons marketed towards the professional mercenaries and bounty hunters of the galaxy, meaning their arsenal is well balanced, practical, reliable in most situations, and features a burst fire mode as often used by professional soldiers.
    • Hyperion: SMGs, pistols (BL2/TPS), shotguns, sniper rifles, lasers (TPS only) — Hyperion markets to business people who want portable, accurate weapons that excel at taking out a specific single target, handy for a corporate work environment. Starting with Borderlands 2, Hyperion moved on to competing with Atlas in the modern, cutting-edge gun department, and their gimmick is having recoil-powered stabilizers that make the gun more accurate the longer you hold the trigger; and starting with Borderlands 3 their shotguns start featuring shields that protect you from frontal attacks.
    • Jakobs: Assault riflesnote , pistolsnote , shotguns, sniper rifles — Jakobs embraces the classic Wild West aesthetic (save for its repeaters in Borderlands 3, which start featuring World War II mechanisms), and thus limit themselves only to weapons that could have existed during that time period. They prioritize accuracy, power and pure statistics over elemental damage and magazine size, marketing towards bounty hunters and practicality-minded traditionalists.
    • Maliwan: SMGs, pistols, sniper rifles, rocket launchers (BL2/TPS), lasers (TPS only), shotguns (BL3 only) — Maliwan's elegant, colorful, sleek aesthetic, along with their marketing making heavy use of Apple-esque narration, make it clear who their main demographic is: hipsters who think non-elemental damage is dull, basic and un-cool. Their weapons are portable (with the exception of their rocket launchers) and aesthetically pleasing while also making the best use of their elemental technology.
    • Tediore: SMGs, pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers (BL2/TPS), lasers (TPS only) — Tediore prides itself on being the go-to gun manufacturer for The Everyman, people who typically want nothing more than to have an affordable form of home defense. As such, their weapons are relatively easy to pick up and use without too much formal training. Even their rocket launchers get in on this, maximizing ammo mileage by turning the launcher itself into a rocket once it runs dry.
    • Torgue: Assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers — Torgue likes their weapons big, bulky and explosive, with even their sidearms being Hand Cannons in their own right. Because of this, they dropped their old SMG and sniper rifle products from the first game, the former because the word "sub" in "sub-machine gun" is unacceptable, and the latter because you can't enjoy a good explosion from a distancenote .
    • Vladof: Assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles, rocket launchers — Vladof advertises to the freedom fighters of the galaxy, who may not have the patience or training for other brands of weapons and would rather not sacrifice that much firepower by picking a more accessible brand like Tediore or Maliwan. Thus, the full auto firing rate and decent power of Vladof weapons works best for them, with all of their weapons being capable of letting loose a flurry of bullets in a short amount of time with the proven reliability and simplicity of Soviet-era technology.

"It is said that the Greek god Zeus fought for 10 long years against the titans, only to have the battle end in a draw. We at Atlas like to believe Zeus could have won the fight in half the time if only he had one of the guns from our legendary line of firearms. All Atlas guns offer exceptional rate of fire, damage, and an epic level of high technology. Regardless of your god, you need not look to the heavens for salvation from adversity. Atlas weaponry can answer your prayers and grant you a power few mortals have ever experienced. Prove yourself as a true believer. Join the select ranks of Atlas owners and become a god among men!"

A weapon manufacturer and private military contractor, Atlas produce high-quality weapons that excel in almost all areas, with no obvious weaknesses, other than rarity. The corporation staked Pandora as its own in Borderlands but was forced off planet. By the events of Tales from the Borderlands, Atlas is now owned by Hyperion, thanks to Handsome Jack wiping out their executives between the Pre-Sequel and BL2, causing the corporation to disappear into the red ink, with Jack owning the rights to the company.

They make a return in Borderlands 3 after Hyperion programmer Rhys Strongfork took the company deed from the ruins of Helios and rebuilt the company from the ground up. The reborn Atlas trades ultra-high quality for a new type of weaponry: Smart Guns that lock on once an enemy is hit with a tracker projectile fired from an underbarrel attachment.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: While they didn't have this in the first game (and didn't have enough of a motif to be redesigned for the Art Shift of the second game), Borderlands 3 gives their weapons sleek, curvy shells with geometric designs on them, resembling spaceships more than guns. There's a rather bulky, thrown-together look to some of their weapons under said shells, while pistols and launchers are arm-mounted. This all combines to make them look both very advanced... and jarringly different from the more conventionally held pistols and rocket launchers in the game.
  • Arm Cannon: Atlas pistols and launchers in 3 are arm-mounted guns. Some pistols even fire micro-missiles in a more literal interpretation of the trope name.
  • Back from the Brink: After the events of Tales, Rhys managed to obtain the rights to Atlas and has made it a successful corporation seemingly back on par with the other companies within five years. Even Marcus was forced to acknowledge that the company was no longer a shadow of it's former self after initially laughing Rhys off as just some upstart.
  • Bad Boss: Before their status as Incompetence, Inc. drove them to collapse, Atlas was extremely hard on its employees. According to Typhon DeLeon's logs, once they found the first Vault on Promethea, they began working the population to the bone, making what was one of the largest urban worlds in the borderlands into a nightmarish hellhole that was almost as bad as Pandora.
  • The Empire: While all of the manufacturers are empires to some extent, Atlas seems to consider itself more of a political faction than a corporation, at least in the first game.
  • Evil, Inc.: Downplayed, surprisingly. While not completely on the up-and-up they are miles better than their successors, Hyperion. Averted completely in 3, thanks to Rhys.
  • Evil Matriarch: Their on-planet leader when invading Pandora was the Siren Steele.
  • Elite Mook: The Crimson Lance private army are the most powerful regular enemies in the first game, and are mostly present in the late game. In Borderlands 2, the few Lancemen who became bandits are all Badass-level enemies. Roland and many of the Crimson Raiders were former members of the Lance. They return, on your side, in 3.
  • Foil: To Jakobs come 3; both are friendly companies whose (rightful) leaders personally side with the Crimson Raiders and help them obtain the keys to the vaults, and both of them rarely make any elemental weapons. Both of these companies encourage hitting critical spots and good aim, but while Jakobs takes a more direct, simple approach with their increased damage and critical damage, Atlas makes it somewhat easier to land those hits provided the player manages to score a homing beacon on those spots.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • After the fall of the Crimson Lance, most of them ended up reforming under Roland as the Crimson Raiders, essentially becoming the official army of Pandora.
    • After the events of Tales from the Borderlands, the lessons learned by its recent CEO is visible enough to play the rest of it straight.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Atlas corporation's intense hunger for and reliance on Eridian technology led to them creating the Vault Hunters by paying massive amounts of money to anyone who would search for the Vaults. Those same Vault Hunters, coupled with Atlas' crippling incompetence, would in turn eventually lead to the corporation's collapse.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: While most corporations are implied to use Eridian-derived tech to some extent, Atlas deserves special mention - much of the material they used for their guns in Borderlands 1 was derived from Eridian tech, and Rhys semi-jokingly claimed that his company's new weapons use secret Eridian technology. According to Typhon's logs, Eridian technology was the only thing that let them rise to prominence.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Corruption and incompetence was so widespread among the higher-ups in Borderlands 1 that a three-year old was promoted as a Crimson Lance Admiral due to nepotism. By the time of Borderlands 2 Atlas was virtually defunct, and was so incompetent that then-current CEO accidentally left the deed to the entire company lying around where Handsome Jack could literally steal it by loading his dog it into a gun and firing it at said CEO's daughter, then stealing a Gortys part while making farting noises for some reason. It wasn't until Rhys managed to take over the company that he redeemed the brand name and rebuilt it.
  • I Own This Town: The Crimson Lance casually took over many smaller towns and bandit encampments around Pandora.
  • Light Is Not Good: All Atlas equipment in the first game is pearlish-white, befitting their mythical name, but their creators are by no means nice people. Once Rhys takes over the company and Atlas becomes good, they switch to a dark gray with red accents color scheme.
  • Master of All: Functions as this in the first game. All Atlas weapons are straight-up better in most areas, but only appear late in the game, are rare to find, and may not be actually better than other brands depending on what you're looking for. Much of their advertisement focus on this aspect as well. This is toned down in 3, as they're just another brand by this point. However, the Q-System Rifles are considered some of the best types of "standard" rifles due to the fact that they always shoot two projectiles at once, meaning they consistently do higher damage than most other rifles.
  • Non-Elemental: In 3, pretty much all Atlas weapons save for three unique cases lack elemental damage, similar to Jakobs. In this case, this is compensated by their use of smart bullets that home in on marked targets, making it easier to hit enemies, including weak spots.
  • Private Military Contractors: Has a whole army of them, in full heavy armor. When Atlas abandoned Pandora and went bankrupt, some of the leftover and stranded soldiers would later joined the Crimson Raiders in Borderlands 2, while others decided to join the bandits of Pandora.
  • Put on a Bus: Doesn't make an appearance in Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel, mostly due to their defeat in the first game. They come back in 3.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Their company and many of their rare guns draw their names from Greek Mythology.
    • A number of the Lance Assassins they've raised continue the theme. In addition to main character Athena, two of the assassins sent after you in the General Knoxx DLC are named Hera and Minerva.
    • This is later dropped in 3, however, where Atlas guns start receiving names fitting for advanced defense tech prototypes such as "AX-7", "V-System" or "Pattern Red".
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: Atlas guns in 3 are quite advanced...and not a single one of them uses iron sights. Every gun uses an Atlas-built sight, either a scope or a folding reflex sight.
  • Smart Gun:
    • Atlas guns in 3 use smart-gun technology that allows them to lock onto enemies. There's a number of mediums they use to accomplish this - "tracker pucks" that fling towards nearby enemies after a kill, "tracker grenades" that cause bullets to spread to everything within the radius of said grenades, and "tracker darts" which either fire a single projectile like the Bullseye from Resistance or the Buzlok from Warframe, or fire a shotgun-like spray of projectiles.
    • According to Marcus, the reason old Atlas guns are no longer usable is because Atlas installed brickware on their weapons that rendered them useless after their fall.

Crimson Lance
The Crimson Lance are Atlas's premiere enforcers, deployed when a new business opportunity must be persuaded into acquisition via heavy occupational force. Crimson Lancemen cover many roles, from basic infantry going to battle with assault rifles all the way up to massive mech suits. These specialized roles include Defenders, Engineers, Assassins, Royal Guards, Shock Troopers, Chemical Troopers, Pyros, Rocketeers, Medics and Devastators.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Their modus operandi revolves around invading a town / area of interest and strong arming the population into submitting to their interests. Resistance is typically met with extermination.
  • Beef Gate: Devastators often act like this when driving on the roads in The Ridgeway, luckily they can be sped past if they happen to off-centered from the road.
    • Many Crimson Lance roadblocks also act like this during the introductory quests to Secret Armory of General Knoxx in the Crimson Tollway. The quests require you to storm these bases and forcibly open the energy gates to pass, with an obviously massive amount of soldiers trying to stop you.
  • Defector from Decadence: Two Vault Hunters served as Crimson Lance soldiers before abandoning them: Roland as part of their infantry, and Athena as one of their assassins.
  • Elite Mooks: The Lancemen are among the final enemies faced in the base game and are the most well armed and protected when compared to the Bandit rabble faced before. Not only does their body armor significantly reduce the damage they take from attacks, but they're overall better armed, more accurate, employ better tactics, and have access to specialized equipment including deployable turrets, riot shields, and medic beams. The Secret Armory of General Knoxx adds even more elite units to their ranks, such as Pyro's, Chemical / Shock Troopers, Devastator mech suits.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Their helmets are a particularly high-tech version of a gas mask. You can wear one as Axton / The Commando in the second game if you got the save file from the first game to prove it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When abandoned on Pandora by Atlas, the surviving Lancemen were given the choice to band under Roland and defend the good people of Pandora, or to resort to becoming Bandits to survive. Most of them chose the former, creating the Crimson Raiders. When Rhys rebuilt Atlas, he turned the remaining Lance forces who weren't on Pandora into a far more competent and honorable military force.
  • Humongous Mecha: Devastator are massive weapons platforms that are often deployed at checkpoints or in areas of great importance, and can take massive damage before going down. Luckily, they're massive and slow targets.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Assassins are very nimble, hopping all over the battlefield while pelting you with constant damage and taking a large amount themselves before going down. Luckily, their encounters are normally scripted and are thus not seen very often.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The rank and file troopers are mostly relatively normal people who treat their occupation on Pandora as just another job than with any real malice. One ECHO recording has a Lanceman even mention that they have an ice cream day to look forward and relax to.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: One Crimson Lanceman left his post to see an attraction called the Worlds Largest Bullet nearby, and accidentally left the access code to Atlas' gigantic armory there. The Vault Hunters would use that code to break into the armory, kill General Knoxx, and give Atlas no choice but to abandon the planet and their soldiers.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Combat Medics can keep the already sturdy Lancemen alive and well in the middle of battle. Killing them ahead of time is in your best interests.
  • The Turret Master: Regular Lancemen can deploy Scorpio Turrets, front facing sentry guns with forward-shields that can more or less the same as the Soldier's / Roland's turret you can play as, albeit un-upgraded unlike theirs.
  • Unique Enemy: In 3, there's only a small squad of hostile Lancemen in the game: the Hightower gang, who are a Praetorian Guard for the optional boss Judge Hightower.



After the events of Borderlands, individual groups of bandits and outlaws began producing their own weapons more to their own liking. Unlike all other manufacturers, the Bandit brand isn't found anywhere but Pandora and are not a unified company in the slightest; rather, "Bandit" is a catch-all term to any weapon produced by bandits on the planet.

Their weapons and gear are recognizable by high damage and loaded magazines, but below average firerates and accuracy, producing weapons that can be fired forever without reloading. Their shields often give a melee damage boost upon being depleted, and their grenades boast AoE features, such as MIRVs and Bouncing Betty's.

Pre-Sequel reveals the the Scavengers of Elpis made guns incredibly similar (if not almost identical) to their Pandoran brothers, cobbled from scrap to fight off the space-faring beasts of the moon. So-called Scav weapons have different colour schemes and slightly different naming themes, but outside of that are essentially just blue Bandit guns.

Likely folded into Children of the Vault for Borderlands 3, considering the cult has united most of the bandit clans on Pandora.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: If it looks like it was cobbled together from bits of scrap and rejected parts from other manufacturers, it's probably Bandit tech.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Played straight for the Bandit manufacturers, but averted when it comes to the weaponry itself. Marcus, and many other characters both sell and carry Bandit weapons without any qualms. The weapon generation system also means that the supposedly superior weapon brands (including, ironically, Hyperion) use Bandit sights, barrels and even pistol grips on their own guns without concern.
  • Book Dumb: Bandits are not too good at spelling. Their weapons have names such as "Ass Beeter!", "Mashine Gun" and "smig". The Scavs of Elpis are a bit better (in that they at least know how many letters are in "SMG"), but they still make some fairly glaring errors - and use a lot of pseudo-Australian slang. On the other hand, they’re apparently highly skilled gunsmiths capable of building homemade guns that can rival, or outright beat supposedly superior brands like Hyperion in a fight.
  • Cool Guns: A given for a Borderlands weapons manufacturer, but the rough and slapdash Bandit weapons with huge barrels often make for some of the most badass weapons in the game.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Their high magazine size comes at the cost of almost every other stat save for firerate, particularly accuracy and reload time.
  • More Dakka: The most dakka you'll be able to hold in your hand with one gun. It's a rarity if a bandit assault rifle has less than a fifty round ammo capacity, and they are a rarity among the gun makers in 2 in that a lot of their guns visibly change magazine models on higher-rarity/capacity gunsnote . The Bandit shotgun barrel has three muzzles, making it the second most dakka-ey shotgun component after the four-shot Torgue barrel.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Any Bandit weapon worth a damn has a mostly red colour scheme, and given how Ax-Crazy most Bandits are, that red is probably dried blood. Some higher level weapons have bits of added black to the combination. Scav weapons are generally a cool blue instead.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: While the game doesn't simulate jams or misfires, the Bandit weaponry will reflect the low quality of production by having their reloads take a significant amount of time, at least partially because the magazine is so big, and partially because (as reflected by some of their SMG designs) the magazines are held on by cheap latches that you need to smack to eject the empty mag. Their accuracy also tends to be rather low to reflect their homemade production.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Bandit Shotguns are among the most inaccurate in the game, but it's made up by...
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Having the largest magazines and high damage. Bandit Shotguns tend to be the best weapons in the Bandit product line for this very reason.
  • Starter Equipment: Bandit weapons are more common early in the game, though it's certainly possible to find powerful Bandit equipment much later.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Bandit guns are essentially the new S&S, replacing them as the high ammo capacity manufacturer from the second game onward.
    • The Pre-Sequel rebrands Bandit weapons as Scav models to fit the native ne'er-do-wells of Elpis, which swap out the red and orange color scheme for mottled blues and purples but otherwise look and behave identically.
  • Talking Weapon: Two are found in the Pre-Sequel.
    • The Boganella is a triple-barreled shotgun with a... colorful vocabulary.
    • The %Cu+ie ^_^ ki||er is Cute But Psycho personified. Literally everything the SMG says has some variation of "kill" with an overly enthusiastic high pitched female voice that almost puts the Bane to shame in how annoying it can be.
  • Weapon of Choice: Between this and Vladof, Anarchy Mechromancers gravitate to these guns by sheer necessity. When you're firing more bullets than the stockpile of most small countries in an afternoon of adventuring, holding more bullets is always important. And you're not gonna hit anything anyway (except by sheer coincidence or by ricochet), so the low accuracy and bullet drift are just a drop in the bucket. Even the slow reload is undone by a few simple skills that can be boosted to ridiculous heights.
    • While not amazing, they can also be put to good use with, fittingly, Krieg. Using Bloodlust, specifically the Blood-Filled Guns skill (boosts magazine capacity for every stack of Bloodlust) means Krieg can boost his stacks, reload a Bandit pistol or SMG and never stop firing, ever.

"Shotty's been achin' for somethin' to kill!"

The unmutated human populace of any Bandit clan, Marauders form the bulk of their clan's fighting force, heading into battle with a variety of weapons and varying levels of toughness. After the events of Borderlands 1, some former Crimson Lancemen took to adopt the Bandit life rather than join with the Crimson Raiders.As of Borderlands 3, the grand majority of Bandits joined under the Children of the Vault cult, renamed as Fanatics.

  • Airborne Mooks: Buzzards are armored and well armed flying machines that are piloted by Marauders (their pilot share the health bar with their Buzzard, but they're clearly Marauders).
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Some of them are former Crimson Lance soldiers. Many of them are still wearing the old armor and several audio logs from Roland refer to Lancemen who decided not to join the Crimson Raiders and join the bandits. This generally doesn't make a difference gameplay wise, but most Badass Marauders you see are more likely to have Lance Armor (and much more likely to be former Lancemen).
  • Grenade Spam: If a Nomad issues a grenade order, all Bandits in the area will begin to toss a massive amount of explosives your way to flush you out of cover.
  • Metal Slime: They have a Mini Mook variant called Loot Midgets, who hide in containers (particularly treasure chests) to ambush anyone who opens them. They're treasured greatly by players grinding for Legendary items for their generous drop rates, though they can pack quite a punch for such small enemies.
  • Mini Mook: The Shotgunner Midget, a somewhat slow and hobbling Bandit that falls backwards when they fire their shotguns at you.
  • Mooks: They're the basic and most numerous Bandit type you'll be facing in most situations, and typically aren't a huge challenge in comparison to other threats.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sometimes it's their reactions to seeing a Vault Hunter using their action skills (if it isn't foolhardy taunting in the face of it), but what does consistently get them worried is shooting a Goliath's helmet off, which causes most of them to beg you to stop or remind you why that's a terrible idea.
  • Palette Swap: In just about every DLC, if there's a human population with guns trying to kill you, they're going to be Marauders in different outfits even if they're not bandits. They use the same animations and AI too.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Plenty of Marauders brandish shotguns as part of their arsenal, but one voice variation you can hear a Marauder sport in Borderlands 2 takes this to an obsessive and Companion Cube degree.
    I'll let my shotgun do the talkin'!
    You lookin' at my shotty?! Don't look at my shotty!
    (While dying) Bury me with shotty...'
  • Stupid Evil: It's a universally shared trait for most Bandits, but one voice variation a Marauder takes it to a new level in battle.
    (When a live grenade lands at their feet) Hey, is that a grenade? / Weird. Grenade. / Hey what are you throwing rocks at me for?!
    (Allies are getting shot all around him) Why is everybody dying?! / They killed one of us! That's bad right?
    (Following a Nomad's cover/focus fire/grenade order) Cover! Right! What's cover? / I didn't hear that! Focus on who?! / How long do I wait after pulling the pin?!
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Many Bandits are foolhardy, attacking even the famous and notoriously dangerous Vault Hunters despite the low odds of them winning, for no good reason other than a sincere belief in their skill.
  • Zerg Rush: Averted most of the time, as most Marauders prefer keeping at least a little bit of distance normally, but if a Nomad issues a charge order, then all Bandits in the area will puts their weapons away, pull a buzz axe out and rush you down. This can be a little deadlier than it sounds because unlike Psychos, they're protected by both better HP and shields.

"Strip the flesh! Salt the wound! *crazed laughter*"

The insane and motor mouthed sociopaths among the Bandit ranks, all Psychos share the combat philosophy of charging directly at their targets at high speeds to hack them apart with their buzz axes with no sense of personal safety.

  • Action Bomb: Suicide Psychos will either bomb you with an endless grenade supply, or run up to you to blow themselves up on top of you for a massive amount of damage.
  • Agony of the Feet: Players are encouraged to shoot Psychos in the feet / legs to make them stagger, slowing them down when they're chasing after you in a full sprint.
  • Ax-Crazy: Completely off their gourd and they're brandishing axes to boot.
  • Batter Up!: Sluggers are a variant in 3 that wield spiked baseball bats. They will also bat grenades at the player if they can't easily reach them.
  • Body Horror: Badass Psychos have mutated to gigantic sizes, with one arm becoming muscle bound and twice its length while the other has atrophied considerably.
    • Slagged Psychos are extremely thin and sickly, glow eridium/slag purple and can puke up a torrent of slag as an attack.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: They boast the most bizarre quotes in the game, featuring such gems as Borderlands 2's "You can't kill me, I'm already dead tomorrow!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There's a rare midget psycho who wears a skull for a helmet and throws bones at you. His name? "Midget Boner".
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: Invoked and Played for Laughs by the Psychos. One of their in-game banters is "I can hear with my teeth!"
  • The Goomba: Psychos aren't very tough at all, they go down in a few hits and if they do manage to beat you into a Fight For Your Life they're easy Second Wind targets thanks to their habit of standing within gunfire range to ineffectually toss axes at you. Later on into the game/playthroughs the game throws special variations to up their threat levels, such as Badass Psychos, Armored Psychos, Slagged Psychos, and Suicide Psychos.
  • Ground Pound: In 3, Badass Psychos gain the ability to slam the ground for a damaging shockwave, and even drive their axe into the ground hard enough to make an earthquake that travels in a straight line.
  • Mascot Mook: The Psycho is featured prominently on all four games' box cover art (even in The Pre-Sequel where you don't even find any in-game), and as such they're one of the series' most iconic enemies.
  • Insane Proprietor: A cut vending machine that seemed to have deal exclusively in Bandit equipment had a Psycho conducting the sales pitch. Naturally, they're extremely vulgar and threatening.
    Return within thirty days for a full refund, I smeared my diarrhea on the handle! That's viral marketing!
  • I Shall Taunt You: A Psycho who sends a Vault Hunter into FFYL in 3 will start doing gladiator-like posing and gloating to an invisible crowd.
  • Talkative Loon: They're loud, motor mouthed psychopaths who babble bizarre or violent threats at you while they hack you apart with their axes.
  • Zerg Rush: Their favorite tactic and is shared across all variants. Many battles against Bandits will have you have to deal with a wave of Psychos rushing you down at some point or another.

"C'mon, little one! Time to die!"

The giant and muscle-bound heavy hitters of the Bandits, Bruisers march forward in a slow but steady pace towards their targets while filling them with lead from their assault rifles/shotguns, and sometimes in the first game, with an endless supply of rockets. Their positions as the local leaders of Bandit clans was usurped by the Nomads in the sequel, only to be undone come the third game.

  • Giant Mook: They are bigger and bulkier than typical bandits.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Badass Bruisers in the first Borderlands had a helmet that glows white around the eyes, marking them as dangerous foes. In Borderlands 2, this is one of their default helmets.
  • Guttural Growler: All Bruisers speak in a gruff and boisterous voice that constantly shouts death threats at you.
  • Mighty Glacier: Bruisers will never move beyond their steady marching, but they have the health to back up their strategy of constantly pushing forward towards you.
  • Nerf: Their overall toughness and potential arsenal was decreased between the first game and the sequel, have some of their innate resilience taken away and can no longer wield rocket launchers to bombard even the toughest of players to death. That position was taken by the Nomads instead. This would be reversed in 3, where some Bruisers would carry shields similar to Nomads.


Introduced in Borderlands 2, Nomads are the commanding presences that organizes the Bandit rabble into something resembling a fighting force, shouting orders at their subordinates to change tactics on the fly while slowly pushing forward. Basic Nomads are comparable to Bruisers in toughness and tactics, but later variants bring elemental specialization and even giant shields into battle to make them impervious from the front.

Nomads are replaced by Enforcers in 3, which essentially fill the same role, but always have a shield. As for the Nomads, they joined the Maliwan Army as Heavies for better pay and not being Surrounded by Idiots. Ironically they now work alongside the N.O.G.s which remind them of the midgets they once despised.

  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Capable of doing both interchangeably, they can command their men to either storm your position with full throttle or shout at them to fight defensively.
    CHAAAARGE! / Overrun 'em!
    Take cover boys! / Get behind something you morons!
  • Bad Boss: They're very cruel to their men, but they hate Midgets in particular, to the point where they either torture them endlessly or tie them to the front of their shields to cover up the hole in their defense they can't be bothered to fix properly.
  • Death Seeker: Nomads will generally express relief when they finally die, because of all of the idiots and lunatics they have to deal with every day.
  • Draw Aggro: Not to themselves (it'd still be a wise idea to take them out first though), but among their many commands is for them to call out one player in particular for all Bandits in their area to focus fire on. If you hear your Vault Hunter's name or description get called out, expect a lot of pain to suddenly be drawn to you.
    Get that Assassin!
    Men! Shoot the Siren!
    Somebody take that Commando down!
    The little girl!note  Kill her!
  • Fantastic Racism: Again, they hate midgets and find any excuse to torment them, and in battle they love comparing their opponents to those horrible and worthless midgets.
    You're worse than the midgets!
    Die, midget lover!
    Midget lovin' taint-sack!
    (If their midget escapes from their shield) I. FREAKIN'. HATE MIDGETS! / You're not getting fed this month!
  • Grenade Spam: One of their commands is to get all Bandits to hang back and start chucking grenades like there's no tomorrow in order to flush you out.
  • Guttural Growler: They speak in a deep, gruff and southern drawl.
  • Human Shield: Nomad Torturers use midgets to cover their shield's weak spot, partly out of cruel pragmatism, but mostly due to their sheer hatred of midgets.
  • In the Back:
    • The advisable strategy for dealing with the shield bearing variations, and is practically a requirement for killing a Badass Nomad because their shield has no weaknesses from the front.
    • In the case of Pyro and Shock Nomads, shooting them in the back will case their fuel tanks to explode and damage everyone around them for the former and cause the tesla coils on their backs to shock everyone indiscriminately for the latter.
  • Kill It with Fire: Nomad Pyros wield incendiary bullet spewing machine guns that can double as a traditional flamethrower if you get too close.
  • Mighty Glacier: They're all rather slow (but the unshielded variants can enter a full sprint for a full body tackle if they feel like it), but their HP means you'll need to put in a little more effort to take down their basic variants, and need then later have to adopt entirely new strategies for dealing with their special versions.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Nomad Torturers and Taskmasters can give commands to fellow bandits, such as ordering them to focus one specific player, charge, or take cover. Inexplicably, they feel the need to wave their shields around while doing so, giving you an opening to shoot them in the face.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: What do they most want you to do besides die and let them take your gear? Leave their territory, and they definitely won't object if you decide to scram off their property.
    (If the player runs away and disengages from combat) Aaaand stay out! / Stayin' back here!
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Their toughest variants come equipped with giant shields that block the front of their bodies. In the case of Nomad Torturers, they have a hole in their shields that they were too lazy to fix, so they used it as an excuse to tie a midget up over the hole to block it. Get rid of the midget and you can fire through that hole to hurt them.
  • Shock and Awe: Shock Nomads have giant tesla coils on their backs that will shock you if you get too close.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Heavy Nomad goes into battle with a rocket launcher, and seeing how enemies can't run out of ammo, you can expect to be dodging a lot of rockets if you don't take him down.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Nomads generally despise every other bandit in their clan, frequently insulting them while giving them orders. They'll even express relief when they die, as at least they won't have to deal with the morons in their gangs anymore.
  • Zerg Rush: Not by themselves, they're too slow for that, but they cause one by commanding all Bandits to charge you with their axes.


Introduced in Borderlands 2, Goliaths are very large and muscular simpletons who hobble slowly towards their enemies with dual assault rifles, making childish threats. Their most peculiar trait lies in what's under their bulletproof helmets though. For one reason or another, their Bandit allies have tamed the Goliaths by placing a heavy helmet over their heads, but if it were to ever get shot off, the Goliath will fly into a screaming rage, pop their skulls and spine from their skin and begin attacking everything indiscriminately. The more kills they earn, the stronger they will get, increasing in level, size and power. They return in Borderlands 3 a little chubbier, but are still a force to be reckoned with along with a few new attacks and a far more dangerous variant in Anointed versions.

  • A God Am I: When reaching the level of God-liath:
  • The Berserker: If you shot its helmet off, a Goliath will drop its guns, changes its appearance, tone and opting to fight any nearby targets in melee combat instead.
  • Body Horror: The Goliaths' mutations has caused their skulls and spines to pop out from their necks and out the deflated skin that use to be their face/mouth hole, which enrages them to a bloodthirsty rampage. This can apparently be solved by shoving their skull back in and preventing it from popping back out via a heavy helmet, but anyone who wants to incur their wrath is free to shoot it off.
  • The Dreaded: Among Bandits, who will plead and helpfully let you know why shooting a Goliath's helmet off is a terrible idea and promptly freak out if they start getting too powerful. For the players though, Goliaths can be a fun distraction to take the edge off of themselves in a gunfight.
    (Nomad) G-Goliath! I order you to stop! / We're all gonna die!
    (Psycho) This isn't fun anymore!
    (Marauders) "Head for the goddamn hiiills! / (Speaking to it like a pet dog) No Goliath, bad!''
  • Fat Bastard: All Goliaths are packing a noticeable amount of fat on top of their muscles. They've gotten even fatter in 3 with a gigantic hanging gut, not that it's made them any less acrobatic.
  • Gatling Good: Badass Goliaths wield miniguns (actually those stationary turrets you can sometimes find in Bandit strongholds).
  • Ground Pound: When enraged, Goliaths can wind up a powerful ground pound that kill many targets at once and will probably blow away a Vault Hunter.
  • Guns Akimbo: In their initial "calm" form, Goliaths double-wield guns
  • In a Single Bound: When enraged, Goliaths can jump massive distances to reach their target, doing a Ground Pound when they land.
  • Incoming Ham: You'll know when they're about turn into a berserking monstrosity when you hear a distinctive and metal PING! sound and when they have a drastic change in voice tone.
    Mistake!~ (Pause) ...BIG, GOD DAMN MISTAKE!
    Angry! (Pause) I'M SO GOD DAMN ANGRY!
    It's- (Pause) Oh! IT'S SERIOUS NOW!
  • Item Farming: It's not a bad idea to try and protect/help the Goliath level up to their full potential. Whatever they kill, they multiply their EXP value by x2 and add it to their own EXP, and the higher of a level they reach, the better chances they have of dropping rare loot and valuable items such as Eridium. Just know you'll have to put him down yourself (as the enraged Goliath can be killed by other enemies) if you want that payout when you're done.
  • Large Ham: Without a doubt sports the largest ham of any Bandit when their helmet is off.
  • Metal Slime: The rare Loot Goon Goliaths and the One Armed Bandits are these. The former is a Badass Goliath with a large Dahl weapons chest strapped onto their backs, killing them lets you open the treasure chest, and farming the Goliath himself by letting him rampage lets you reap the rewards of both the Goliath's drops and his treasure chest. The latter is a Goliath with a slot machine strapped to his back, killing him allows you to play the slot machine for however long you wish, complete with all the rewards they normally give back at Sanctuary.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Enraged Goliaths will attack any nearby target whether it be friend or foe. Maya's "Thoughtlock" ability temporarily turns any enemy into an ally, but this will have no effect whatsoever when the brainwashed Goliath is already Enraged, it will still attack both you and its friends.
  • Shoulder Teammate: Psycho Midgets can hop up on a Goliath's shoulders and start chucking buzzaxes on top of the Goliath's gunfire. If the helmet comes flying off and the Midget hasn't died yet, he's typically the first kill the Raging Goliath will go for.
  • Simpleton Voice: When not enraged, Goliaths speak like simpletons and make equally as simple threats.
    Squish you!
    Let's make face gravy!
    Prepare for die!
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Blaster Goliaths come with dual rocket launchers that can quickly and instantly blow away a Vault Hunter in all but extreme ranges, and god help you if he's got dual Vladof launchers. They're so dangerous that you're better off just shooting the helmet off so they'll throw their launchers away and switch to melee.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In 3 they may have this to say on death, so Jeremy should probably find a place to hide.
    I am real! Now I'm coming for you, Jeremy!
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: The Raging Goliaths have quite a few of these.
    (After Zer0's Decepti0n Fades) "Avoid me all you want, BITCH!"
    (When Salvador is Gunzerking) "I'll take your bullets, BITCH!"
    "I'll kill you SLOWER for that, BITCH!"
    "Fear your master, bitches!"
    "Die for me, BITCH!"
  • Turns Red: Literally. Shoot their helmet off and their skin turns blood red in rage, giving them a playstyle of The Berserker.


A variant of Bandits that can commonly be found either fighting alongside them or nearby in optional areas that split off from Bandit camps, the Rats are degenerated and emaciated opportunists who are, above all else, desperate for a meal. Specifically, human flesh. They are absent in Borderlands 3 due to either being killed off by the New Pandora Army or The Calypso Twins finding them too creepy or thin to assimilate into the Children of The Vault.

  • Bandit Mook: Nearly every Rat is capable of stealing items off the floor. Did you see a nice, blue or purple rarity weapon fall onto the floor? Better grab it before any of the Rats can, or else you’ll have to kill them to get it back.
    • Playing this more straight is the Rat Thief, a small and mutated Rat who sneaks up on the Vault Hunters to pickpocket their money. If you just saw a couple thousand dollars suddenly vanish from your wallet, check behind you and you’ll see a Rat Thief making off with your cash. Kill him before he reaches his burrow to get it back or else your money is lost for good.
  • Body Horror: No human being should be that thin. A more straight forward example is the Lab Rat: a person who presumably fell under Hyperion experimentation and has grown a single gigantic arm and a gauntly tall and bloodied body.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Rats are seen ambushing Maya in the A Meat Bicycle Built For Two cinematic, and might’ve come close to killing her, but they’re no match for a rampaging and lovestruck Krieg rushing in to save her.
  • Elite Mooks: Field Rats are noticeably tougher than regular Rats. They're not quite as tough as Badass Bandits, but are considerably more commonplace.
  • Eye Beams: For one reason or another, Lab Rats can fire a blue ray from their eyes when they get close enough. It hits devastatingly hard, and is one of the strongest attacks in the game as far as Mook-tier firepower goes.
  • Fantastic Racism: Even among bandits, the Rats are considered exceptionally disgusting and in many cases they are segregated into their own parts of bandit camps. They aren't even a part of the COV in 3 because the Calypsos refused to work with them.
  • Fragile Speedster: The majority of Rats fought are nimble and weak opponents who go down easy under gunfire. The exceptions to this are the Field Rats and the Lab Rats.
  • Fright Deathtrap: While cutting down Rats in ‘’A Meat Bicycle Built For Two’’, Krieg grabs a Rat and starts shouting insanity into his face, making him fall over in fear. Given that he doesn’t get up later, it’s a safe bet to think he died from terror.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Unlike the Bandits who prefer face masks, nearly all Rats don gas masks.
  • Giant Mook: Lab Rats are larger and more durable than most bandit enemy types and prefer to slowly limp towards you before blasting you with their Eye Beams. They're tough enough to consistently win a one-on-one fight with raging Goliaths of Badass, Super Badass, and even Ultimate Badass rank.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Lab Rats are being tortured by visions of 'something', which judging from their quotes are glimpses into whatever alternate dimension The Destroyer came from. Worst yet, they slip into sheer panic if Maya uses her Phaselock on them, causing them to apparently get a deeper look into their visions.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Even moreso than other bandit types, the Rats absolutely love eating human flesh, including that of other Rats. Dying Rats will even demand that their brethren eat them, which they'll gladly oblige if they get close to the corpse.
  • I Taste Delicious: A variant if you burn them alive with fire.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: For a loose definition of "hero", but the events of The Pre-Sequel go into how the Rats might've came to be. Colonel Zarpedon of the Lost Legion introduced a disease known as Space Hurps into the Hyperion Moonbase, getting their work force diseased with symptoms that are almost identical to the Rats from Borderlands 2. The Vault Hunters get infected with the disease while working under Hyperion CEO Tassiter to quarantine the area and its victims, and find out that the disease can be vented by leaving the infected area before it can settle to its final stage. Had Tassiter and the Vault Hunters not quarantined the Infected, they likely would not have led to the condition spreading down onto Pandora and creating the Rats.
  • Noodle People: They're unnaturally thin, down to the bone.
  • To Serve Man: All of their quotes and taunts make it clear that they want to eat you. And if they die, they beg their Rat allies to eat them to gain their strength. Naturally they’ll oblige; if they get near a dead body a Rat can begin eating them to regain health.

Scavs, short hand for Scavengers, are the bandit equivalent on Elpis, with the primary differences being space suits, laser weapon technology, and Australian accents note . While they’re not as heavily mutated as Pandoran bandits thanks to a lack of exposure to Eridium, their sanity has taken a massive toll due to being forced to survive in the open space of Elpis.Scavs go into battle with a variety of weapons, using the low-gravity environment to their advantage.
  • The Bogan: As the Elpis equivalent to Pandora's bandits, the Scavs are this character type in a sci-fi setting. Then there's Boganella, whose demeanor and voice should ring a bell or two if you're familiar in any capacity with Australian TV shows created by Paul Fenech.
  • Boom, Headshot!: It's openly encouraged in every Borderlands game, but there's another good reason to aim for head when fighting Scavs: the protective bubble their Oz Kits provide are vulnerable to gun fire, and blowing it out can expose them to the airless space, letting them potentially die from asphyxiation like a layer of Damage Over Time. Early on, this can save you some bullets, but later their pained reactions to this can be useful in keeping them open to more headshots.
  • Energy Weapon: The main difference they bring to combat is the possibility that they’re equipped with laser weapons.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Not that it can be helped. The space suits they rely on to survive have helmets with visors that glow white
  • Jet Pack: A variant of them called Raiders slowly hover into battle with jet packs to get a high ground advantage on the Vault Hunters.
  • Mooks: They're the most common variety of Scavs faced, with their primary advantage coming from their numbers and their variance in ordinance.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Functionally they're just Bandits with Australian accents.

The Elpis equivalent to Pandoran Psychos. Lunatics are deranged killers equipped with jump jets and buzz axes. Badass Lunatics come with dual shock batons.
  • Action Bomb: Suicidal Lunatics come with a large red rocket strapped to their backs. They act like ordinary ones up until they decide that they feel like dying, to which they'll prime their jet packs and fly head on into their target for large amounts of damage.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Badass Lunatics are huge variants that swing their shock batons at their opponents. Unlike their Pandoran equivalent, they're not particularly mutated, keeping their body in proper proportions.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their space helmets come with red visors.

The large and lumbering crooks of Scav crews, Outlaws provide the heavy laser weapons to the fight. Their Badass variants can come with rocket launchers to blow the opposition away.
  • Energy Weapon: If they're not equipped with laser weapons, it's going to be a rocket launcher instead.
  • King Mook: Aside from obvious candidates with their own character entires like Deadlift, there also exists the rare Swagman, who is a regular Outlaw but with buffed health and a Nice Hat over his helmet. Curiously, he doesn't seem to drop anything in particular or serve a specific purpose.
  • Shock and Awe: Badass Outlaws come with contraptions that fire electric-orbs at their enemies, dealing massive shock damage if not dodged.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Who would've thought a voice that high pitched can come from men that massive?

    Children of the Vault

"What is up, my bandit legions?! God-Queen Tyreen comin' atcha live with my brother Troy. We're streamin', you're screamin', and we're ALL ready to open the Great Vault. And when we do, our holy family is gonna tear the whole galaxy a new one!"

In Borderlands 3, the Children of the Vault are the main antagonists. Led by Troy and Tyreen Calypso, this Cult is fanatically obsessed with the Vaults, and seeks to lay claim to them as part of their search for the Great Vault. To further this goal, they have begun manufacturing their own weapons.

Weapons made by the Children of the Vault are unique in that they don't use magazines; instead, they draw directly from your ammo reserves and overheat if fired for too long.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Their guns draw heavily on The Apunkalypse, using bright neon colors, extraneous spikes and chains, and various tubes and nozzles. They also make use of seven year-old gun parts, most obviously the old Dahl assault rifle barrel from 2. They also use engines to power them, which must be turned on when the gun is pulled out or overheated.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: They're a colossal horde made up of the disparate bandit clans from the other games, all united behind Tyreen and Troy Calypso. Notably, the COV are the first real attempt anyone has made to unite the bandit clans, and they prove to be particularly deadly because their sheer numbers, fanaticism, and willingness to die.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Their stock-in-trade, as per the tradition established by their Bandit forbearers. The main appeal of the COV line of weapons is the fact that - barring the overheating and running out of ammo - you can literally fire all day long.
  • Cult: They are effectively the bandit clans of the previous games turned murderous cult.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: In contrast to regular Bandits, they have both men and women in their ranks all willing to throw their lives away for the Twins.
  • Gatling Good: Some of their pistols and rifles use gatling gun barrels for extra Dakka. Considering that guns in 3 don't share parts between manufacturers anymore, they're either hand-made or (in the case of the rifles) repurposed from older Vladof guns.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Despite the fact that they're the central antagonist faction of 3 they're still willing to give Brand Loyalty rewards to you whenever you gain 100 kills with COV weapons, even if most of those kills are their own guys or those they're affiliated with.
    • The mail messages that accompany said weapons even indicate as much, stating that if the recipient happened to victimize a group of COV members while earning the Brand Loyalty reward, it's of no concern to them, the more important part is that you killed a hundred people with their guns and therefore showed support of the COV.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: More like Elemental-Spewing Weapon. One of the three COV rocket launcher types, the Chucka, instead of firing an explosive projectile, instead spews a short-range elemental stream. Played straight if you find a Incendiary-elemental Chucka, which is pretty much a flamethrower.
  • Martyrdom Culture: The bandits have taken this up under Tyreen, gleefully sacrificing themselves to be devoured by her and volunteering to be brutally killed in the spotlight at Carnivoria.
  • More Dakka: Just like the bandits of old, it's what their guns do best. COV guns aren't all that accurate, damaging or hold particularly fancy gimmicks, but they can fire away until the user runs out of ammo or the gun overheats and something on it explodes, breaks, or needs to be doused in water.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Extreme Hangin' Chadd pistol, which does not use ammo, only overheats after a literal thousand shots are fired without a break, and is fully-automatic.
  • Mythology Gag: One of their sight options is a glass bottle with an X crudely drawn on it - not unlike the type seen in one pre-release image for the second game.
  • Overheating: The main drawback to their guns: you never have to reload, but you will have to contend with the weapon overheating, possibly at an inopportune time. In some cases, this is more literal as they'll catch on fire and have to be cooled off with a water gun, bottled water or (for their launchers) a hose. Their item cards even replace Capacity with the most amount of bullets they can spit in one go before they blow up. In a more extreme example, the "Pain is Power" Legendary Rifle will cause the player to "overheat" by setting them on fire while still being able to fire.
  • Recursive Ammo: The Legendary Yellowcake is a rocket launcher that fires an arching projectile that will split into two more projectiles which then split into four more projectiles, provided the shot has enough airtime to do so.
    • The Sawbar, a returning weapon from 2, is an assault rifle that fire bullets which then detonate at a certain distance and emits a small explosive burst to all angles.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Closer to the trope than the old Bandit guns, as using them too often in one go will cause something to explode on it, mainly the motor (for pistols) or the barrel (for rifles). They need to be replaced and restarted before the gun is ready to fire again. On the bright side, they have heat-capacity meters so you'll always know how close to breaking down the gun is, and leaving it alone for a little while without it overheating will naturally let the gun cool off.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The COV are effectively replacements for Bandits both story-wise as well as being manufacturers, replacing large magazine size with an overheat mechanic that gives them theoretically Bottomless Magazines.
  • Villain Team-Up: They have united Pandora's various bandit gangs under their banner. They're also allied with Maliwan, helping with their assault on the Atlas corporation as well as backing Aurelia Hammerlock's takeover of the Jakobs corporation.
    • Turns into an Enemy Civil War with Maliwan if a certain sidequest revealing that Katagawa Jr. intends on backstabbing the Calypsos is completed.
  • Unorthodox Reload: While COV guns don't need to reload, overheating them will still require a lengthy process akin to reloading. Some guns have them just replacing burnt-out parts, but some of the animations are... weird. One variation involves cooling down a gun by squirting it with a Dahl Kidz water pistol.
  • We Have Reserves: Tyreen cheerfully eats hordes of her minions whenever she wants and she and Troy show little concern for the wellbeing of their troops in general, being more than happy to throw them at the Vault Hunters to keep them busy. Similarly, Brand Loyalty messages sent to the Vault Hunters from the COV state that they have no problem with their own troops being massacred by the guns they build.


Super-powered henchmen created by Troy after he acquired his new powers.

  • Elite Mooks: They are more powerful than the COV's other various mooks, and the first Anointed encountered serves as the boss for that level.
  • Degraded Boss: After their surprise introduction as proper boss battles, they're found and fought as minibosses. In higher Mayhem levels, they start showing up pretty much all the time in small groups per COV-controlled arenas.
  • Sizeshifter: Anointed enemies grow to enormous sizes when blessed, and the Anointed Tinks in particular frequently shift in sizes between hand-sized powerhouses to 'giant' versions of themselves (grow a bit taller than a normal human's height).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Functionally and thematically, they're pretty similar to the Eternals fought in The Pre-Sequel, being Elite Mooks who can mimic Siren abilities. But while Eternals rely on self-healing and numbers, the Anointed rely on sheer speed, innate toughness and invincibility phases.
  • Superpowered Mooks: Have teleportation and elemental powers common to many Sirens, albeit at relatively decreased capacity.
  • Lightning Bruiser: How much each one is depends on a unit-by-unit basis, but they're pretty fast and tend to go for the kill by teleporting right in the player's face, beating them senseless and then teleporting away before they can deal meaningful damage right back at them.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: When killed, they'll writhe and clench in pain as their bodies crystalizes into a person-shaped eridium statue. To get their item drops, you'll have to melee them into pieces.
  • Purple Is Powerful: They have purple skin, and are far harder to take down than normal enemies.


Renamed from and given larger roles than their Midget predecessors, Tinks serve as the loyal yet still diminutive worshippers for the COV. Aside their size, what separates them from their Fanatic counterparts is their ability to construct sentry guns from pile of scrap metal in a few seconds.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Tink' is short for 'Tinkerer', and they're more or less the Turret Masters for the COV.
  • Metal Slime: Loot Tinks, which are practically the same thing as Loot Midgets from previous games, are rare spawns that have a hefty boost to rare drop rates and plenty of cash, provided you can catch and kill them in time. They have a tendency to run around aimlessly if you hurt them enough, making it something of a wild goose chase if he's got backup keeping you at bay.
  • Mini Mook: They're very short and sport a less than generous amount of HP, and better yet they've got disproportionately large heads and tend to stand still in battle, making most of them convenient Second Wind targets.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: They are the Midgets from the previous games rebranded with a less culturally insensitive label.
  • The Turret Master: Tinks near piles of scrap will dive into the pile, rummage around and eventually erect a sentry that auto-targets the player. Badass Tinks can do the same, which in turn creates a Badass Turret.


The hulking and heavily armored heavy hitters of the COV, Hags will stand in the backlines firing their arm-cannons while carrying Tink support on their backs.

"Dahl has been outfitting the defenders of freedom for over a century, and isn't about to stop anytime soon. We've built our company on the foundation that dead customers can't be repeat customers — keeping you alive is in our best interest! We also know that those of you doing the government's secret dirty work have enough to contend with and don't need to fight your weapon, too. That's why we at Dahl have strived to manufacture the smoothest and most stable guns on the market. And when you get surrounded — and you will — you'll be glad to know your Dahl has been precision machined to remain as accurate during sustained fire as humanly possible. So make sure you bring a Dahl with you the next time you go on assignment. It just might bring you back."

Founded by Stanton Dahl, the Dahl corporation is one of the major corporations of the six galaxies and play a major role in the backstory of Pandora, being the original colonizers of the planet. Establishing mining operations using a workforce of convicts, they eventually abandoned the planet, leaving the workers to eventually become bandits. This happens many times.

They produce guns for the "professional mercenary", meaning that they are fairly balanced in all categories save for recoil, which is generally incredibly low. Their guns also feature a burst-fire mechanic for precision damage. Dahl lasers penetrate targets, and Dahl barrels turn lasers into blasters. Dahl shields drop shield-recharging boosters when damaged, while their grenades utilize Bouncing Betty technology to shower an area with bullets.

In Borderlands 3, Dahl has seen it fit to provide their guns the ability to switch firing modes as their wielders please.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Dahl weapons resemble modern-day military tech and come decorated in varying camouflage patterns.
    • In Borderlands 3, the designs are somewhat more futuristic, though they retain the camouflage coloring. Their SMGs in particular gain a bolt-locking notch not unlike the ones on the MP5 family, and are slapped in the same way.
  • Badass Army: While the Dahl executives tend to turn tail and flee the moment things go badly for them, the actual military arm of Dahl are surprisingly tenacious and dedicated and are more than able to hold their own in a battle, even when they've been abandoned for years on end by their executives.
  • Boring, but Practical: Dahl guns have a fairly simple gimmick with their burst-fire mode and tend to have a slightly more grounded design, but are generally reliable. Even moreso in 3, where their firing modes can be toggled manually and range from semi-automatic, burst-fire and full-automatic. Their guns also have surprisingly light recoils (most of times), especially when compared to Jakobs guns, which makes them easier to handle and score critical hits.
  • Bottomless Magazines: One of their Unique guns in Borderlands 1, the Dove - a Repeater Pistol that doesn't consume ammo.
  • Cool Guns: With the way Borderlands' procedural generation system works, you'll never find 1:1 copies of real-life weapons in this game, but elements of Real Life Cool Guns are very present. Ever since Borderlands 2, their assault rifles have taken heavy inspiration from the M16 family of weapons, their pistols are modeled off the FN Five-SeveN, and submachine guns (and snipers, weirdly enough) take heavy inspiration from the TDI Vector. As of Borderlands 3, they've picked up some inspiration from the M249 SAW and HK MP5.
  • Consummate Professional: Dahl weapons are advertised as weapons for the professional soldier, with an emphasis on a military aesthetic.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: In 2 and Pre-Sequel, Dahl sniper rifles shares the burst fire mode of their other weapons, meaning that if you are really good at leading your shots, you can take out several enemies in a single burst, or put several bullets into one tough enemy's critical hit spot.
  • Dirty Coward: For all their gung-ho marketing bluster, Dahl in general has a habit of pulling out of endeavors the second things go even slightly south and leaving next to all of their personnel and materiel behind. Almost every villainous faction outside of Jack, Steele and the general wildlife are because of them abandoning their troops - Banditsnote , Lost Legion and New Pandora, to name the major ones.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Dahl Field Reconstruction Stations in Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel, which are licensed off-shoots of Hyperion New-U Stations, speak to their users like drill sergeants to cadets (though unlike New-U stations, these are usually more motivational than passive-aggressively insulting).
    No time for slacking off! Get back out there!
    There is no afterlife, just an eternity of duty!
    Death is just God's way of making you angrier! YOU ANGRY YET, SOLDIER?!
  • Eagle Land: Both types, the Beautiful for its corporate image, but the Boorish in practice.
    • However, the Lost Legion are, despite their Well-Intentioned Extremist goals, is shown to be skewed toward the Beautiful, with Zarpedon and her army expecting and willing to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in the process of preventing the Vaults from being opened.
    • Where the Lost Legion are skewed towards Beautiful through their end goals, the New Pandoran Army is boorish. Hector and his army plotted to bring Pandora to its knees through an all-out war against its people, unleashing a deadly spore infestation because they felt that they were owed the land Dahl promised they'd get.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: They are responsible for Pandora being in the state that it is now, primarily the Bandits. Their decision to abandon Elpis after the Crackening also indirectly kicked off the events of the Pre-Sequel, and therefore 2 by extension. They are also responsible for Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, thanks to their decision to deceive Hector and his troops into believing that Pandora would be a paradise before sealing them into a mine there.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Dahl weapons feature relatively well-rounded stats, with their primary benefit being a low recoil and burst-fire.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: Much like Atlas, but as a commercialized, interstellar Military-themed corporation that never leaves its post without stating at least a Semper Fi.
  • Paper Tiger: Don't let the military theme and aggressive ways fool you, they are THE most cowardly of all the corporations, turning tail and running away the second anything slightly dangerous or problematic starts to happen.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The reason there's so much infrastructure with Dahl's name on it on Pandora, but no Dahl personnel still flying the colors? They up and left after Atlas took an interest in the Vault and other alien tech on the planet. No, they didn't bother getting their hired workers off the planet, thus... the bandits.
    • This was also the case with Dahl's attempt to control Elpis. Dahl sent a legion of their men under the command of Colonel Zarpedon to secure the moon for their miners. Then the Crackening happened, and Dahl once again turned tail and ran without bothering to get their workers off the moon. And thus, the Lost Legion came about.
    • Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary reveals this happened again . Dahl transferred their venerated 191st Brigade to what they promised to be a cushy security job on a paradise world, only to actually force them into grueling mining work in a particularly bad part of Pandora... then sealing the mine up with them still in it as soon as they start to find alien artifacts. There's not even that much of a reason for it this time, they just... do. This leads to the leader, Hector, working with a mutagenic compound to form New Pandora and force the planet into the Paradise they were promised. It's so bad that even the game itself mocks their cowardice in the side mission detailing this. We must stress this - it's in an Echo, not from a character, but an actual mission brief upon turning it in:
    Echoes of The Past mission: ""Whaat, Dahl abandoned their employees on an inhospitable wasteland AGAIN? What are the odds?"
  • Starter Equipment:
    • The very first gun you attain in 2 without the Premiere Club is a "unique"note  Basic Repeater that always spawns with a Tediore grip and Bandit barrel. It's obviously of little use once you actually get a better gun, mainly the Jakobs pistol (or if you're lucky, the Legendary Hornet pistol) that drops from Knuckle Dragger.
    • This repeats in Pre-Sequel, as Wilhelm starts a new game with a similarly part-fixed React Repeater, though his has a Tediore barrel instead of a Bandit one.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Dahl corporation has little to no presence as a faction in Borderlands but their actions not only lead to the Lost Legion being the main antagonistic force in the Pre-Sequel, but the existence of Bandits on Pandora and Scavs on Elpis and the New Pandora faction in Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary. They also have ties to the Olmsteads in Guns, Love, and Tentacles.
  • Weapon of Choice: The versatility of Dahl weapons as a whole makes it difficult to associate them with any one Vault Hunter, but Axton's various assault rifle skills and Maya's phaselock ability benefit Dahl's burst-fire, high accuracy motif.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: In-Universe example, but 3 reveals that Dahl has a Dahl Kidz brand that produces toy guns like water pistols. You know, a massive, intergalactic weapon manufacturer making kids toys - imagine Colt making a line of toy guns and it's kind of the same thing. The water pistol, by the by, is used by the Vault Hunters to cool down a few CoV guns when they overheat.

The Lost Legion
The primary antagonists of The Pre-Sequel, the Lost Legion are a band of former Dahl soldiers who were deployed to secure Elpis for mining, where they were left behind when the upper management turned tail and fled from Elpis during The Crackening. Left to fend for themselves, they turned to Colonel Zarpedon for guidance on what to do next. Having peered into the Vault on Elpis, Zarpedon witnessed a terrible future where a madman would bring genocide to the galaxy should he reach the Vault. Thus, Zarpedon and her Lost Legion appointed themselves as the guardians of the Vault in anticipation of Hyperion's (specifically Jack's) arrival to open it.After seizing the Hyperion Moonbase, they planned to use its laser cannon to destroy Elpis and everyone on it, sending its remains to come crashing down on Pandora and destroy most it in order to prevent any further openings of the Vaults.
  • Anti-Villain: Everyone thinks they're insane ex-military psychopaths hellbent on destruction. While it's true to an extent, their end goal still has some noble intent, especially considering the events of the second game which occur afterwards.
  • Airborne Mooks: A variant of the standard soldier can come with a jetpack made for zero-G fighting. Killing them makes them do a satisfying flip or two in the air before exploding.
  • Cool Starship: The RK-5 is a spaceship that's seen deploying Colonel Zarpedon's mech suit before flying off. It comes back as a proper boss fight when you're on your way to the Vault itself as its last line of outer defense, zooming by to unload massive amounts of bombs, nuclear payloads and energy blasts.
    • Many other larger warships are seen attacking Helios Station and deploying legions of troops to invade, particularly in the games introduction.
  • Deader Than Dead: If Jack and his Vault Hunters severing their chain of command eradicating what remains of their army on their way to the Vault didn't end them, then Moxxi sabotaging the Eye of Helios to create a massive black hole / singularity that absorbed all of their warships definitely did.
  • Elite Mooks: They have some amongst their ranks. Namely, the Eternals, who are Lost Legion exposed to powers within the Vault that mutated them. They're tough and sturdy on their own, but when injured enough they can ascend to stronger forms that can mimmic Siren powers.
  • The Engineer: Lost Legion Engineer's can deploy a variety of support tools against you. These are sentry guns, bubble shields, and gravity devices (which pull you in towards the gadget and likely into the waiting gun barrel of the Engineer).
  • Faceless Mooks: The majority of Lost Legion soldiers wear space suits suited for the moon environment they're stationed at, but there're exceptions: Sergeants and Medics go to battle without helmets.
  • Famous Last Words: They're very chatty even when dying.
    I died for my squadmates...!
    Don't open the vaults...
  • Freeze Ray: Ice Marines come equipped with cryo-spewing weapons that will slow the player down heavily, making them easy targets for the rest of the Legion.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The grand majority of the Lost Legion knows full well that they'll die in the process of stopping the Vault from being opened, and they're prepared for it.
  • Lost Colony: Similar to the bandits and scavs before them, the Lost Legion is comprised of former soldiers and employees who formed their own group after being left for dead. They utilize Dahl equipment and uniforms, but are considered separate from Dahl as a whole.
  • The Plague: They introduced a disease known as Space Hurps to a large section of Helios Station, which causes uncontrollable tumor growth, insanity, severe weight loss, and an intense desire to consume flesh (preferably human). This created the precursor to the Rats from the second game.
  • Sword and Gun: Sergeants and Badasses come with a pistol on one hand and a large, serrated sword in the other, which they put to deadly use.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Their entire plan will result in countless deaths, but they believe that the ends will justify the means when they prevent the galaxy from falling under the chaos the Vaults will bring when opened. As the events of 2 and 3 would show, they weren't particularly wrong about the incoming dangers.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Averted. Jack himself laments on how merciless the Lost Legion is when they first attack the Helios Station, pointing out that Hyperion doesn't even have a military stationed there, they're just shooting employees.

New Pandora

New Pandora is another faction of Dahl personnel left behind to die by Dahl. Dahl had promised the unit Colonel Hector was leading a lush paradise where they can retire into. The reality however was instead Pandora, where they were expected to mine for resources. For reasons yet known, Dahl decided to seal the mine where this unit was deployed when they abandoned the planet, creating a cave in and leaving the soldiers there trapped and isolated from the rest of the world.After the main events of Borderlands 2, the soldiers, now calling themselves New Pandora, emerged from the mines with a deadly spore infestation concocted to forcibly terraform Pandora from a desert wasteland into a green paradise. Unfortunately they have no intention on sharing the paradise, engineering the spores to infect and mutate any unprotected victims caught in its wake.

  • Elite Mooks: Very much so. They're only faced in the final DLC released for the second game, which takes place long after the events of the game before, but for a good reason: they're insanely well equipped to the point of often having E-Tech weaponry on them, which can shred players in an instant.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Lost Legion in a sense. Like the Lost Legion, they were left behind by Dahl when a disastrous event occurred and became separate factions in response. Unlike the Lost Legion though, their motivations are entirely selfish, with New Pandora attempting to kill thousands to create themselves a paradise for them alone to enjoy, rather than killing thousands to save the rest of the galaxy.
  • Hero Killer: Dr. Cassius fell victim to the spore infection, forcing the Vault Hunters to kill him, albeit by his own request. Additionally, they exterminated the Hyperion survivors from Tales from the Borderlands, and during their attack on Sanctuary countless civilians and Crimson Raiders fell victim to the infection and died.
  • Lost Colony: Another set of abandoned workers and soldiers that Dahl left for dead when the situation went sour. The game itself makes fun of this upon completing the quest Echoes of the Past.
  • Palette Swap: Most of their units are just reused assets from the Lost Legion.
  • Plant Person: They're often assisted by spore-infested wildlife and bandits who got caught in their wake.
  • Southern-Fried Private: They all sport notable southern accents. Not the trashy, hillbilly-esque accents that Pandoran bandits have, however.


"Gearbox Gunpack - A package of unique Gearbox Golden Guns to help you start your journey on Pandora."

Yes, Gearbox Software's Creator Cameo of choice. These guns are not typically found through normal loot drops, but are special weapons found periodically through the first game. In the second game, a few only appear to players who got the Premiere Club.

  • Ace Custom: Invoked, but Inverted. As of 2, they seem to specialize in making cheaper versions of other companies' products, despite being referred to "Gearbox Golden Guns."
  • Bland-Name Product: In 2, they don't have any unique products, only variants of other manufacturers' weapons.
  • The Bus Came Back: They're back for 3, even if only as weapon skins.
  • Creator Cameo: Is one to the company that made the game. Fittingly, they are absent from TPS and Tales, since those games were made by other developers.
  • Hufflepuff House: To a greater degree than S&S, to the point where it's not entirely clear if they're even canon.
  • Starter Equipment: If you applied for the Premiere Club in 2, you get a Vladof assault rifle, a Hyperion SMG, and a Jakobs sniper rifle - all rebranded as Gearbox guns - added in your inventory at the start of the game. These guns are a leg-up on the Dahl pistol and Jakobs revolver and shotgun you normally get initially, but they'll get outclassed quickly once you do a side quest or two in Southern Shelf (Hammerlock's quests will give you a Vladof rifle and, should you give the Bullymong fur to him, a Jakobs sniper, both of which trounce the Gearbox weaponry in terms of stats), or make a beeline for the weapons vending machine near Hammerlock's cabin.
    • Downplayed a little with the SMG, however, as SMG's don't start spawning until Three Horns - Divide so it's the only one you're going to get for a while. But even then, it's stats are so pitifully weak (easily outdone by a Vladof pistol of the same level range), it's not worth holding onto anyway.

"There are many weapons in this world, but only the best have what it takes to bear the Hyperion insignia. Every gun that leaves our facility has been tested by multiple independent inspectors and is guaranteed to meet our impossibly high standards. All Hyperion guns are meticulously calibrated by our technicians and certified to levels of accuracy never before seen in the industry. Whether you're a professional marksman or simply someone who appreciates a finely-crafted piece of machinery, you can't go wrong with a Hyperion. Financing is available to those who qualify."

Founded by Maxim Turner, Alma Harren and Lawrence De Quidt, Hyperion rose to power with the Last Corporate War. Known for their high-quality, high-tech, sleek-looking, accurate firearms, they are also known for the New-U Stations (before they became non-canon), the controversial CL4P-TP line of service robots, and various Loader robots. After the opening of the Vault of the Destroyer, an ambitious programmer known as Jack led mining operations in both Pandora and its moon Elpis via an H-shaped base known as Helios. After the opening of the Vault of the Sentinel on Elpis, Jack (now calling himself Handsome Jack) took control of the company as President and led it into a war with Pandora in an attempt to bring civilization and order as well as opening the Vault of the Warrior.

Hyperion guns tend to boast above-average stats with an emphasis on accuracy, featuring a stabilizer that reduces the recoil the more you fire it. Hyperion lasers get increased damage on critical hits, and Hyperion barrels turn lasers into railguns. Hyperion grenades include "Singularity" grenades, which pull nearby enemies towards them before exploding. Hyperion Amplify Shields are able to amplify damage when full by using a chunk of it to boost offensive power.

In Borderlands 3, they retain the stabilizer tech, but their guns now sport weapon-mounted shields that deploy while aiming down the sights that can have properties of equippable shields such as absorbing ammo or enhancing damage. They also have long since washed their hands of Jack and his policy of invasion, genocide, mass murder, gleeful cruelty to all those in range of a Hyperion firearm, and making handguns.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Hyperion technology is slick, space-age stuff, with sharp angles, extraneous fins, and high-tech motorized reloading mechanisms. Kevin Duc, the concept artist for Borderlands, described Hyperion weapons as taking influence from "power tools and construction equipment." Fittingly, they're all named with various corporate buzzwords.
    • Borderlands 3 has their guns becoming even sharper, as well as exposing metallic parts, but they dropped some of their unorthodox reload mechanisms in favor of frontal shield technology.
  • Animal Testing: Put on prominent display in 2, with the Animal Exploitation Preserve being a level the Vault Hunters need to raid. Skags, Stalkers and Rakks all have nests placed there to breed and use them as test subjects for slag experimentation, alongside human 'volunteers' which Hyperion would apparently prefer. The facility is also in a pretty lousy state too, as the enclosures are busted and often have walls and railings punched open into other parts of the enclosure or even into the employees work areas for the vicious animals to freely attack.
    • Also the ultimate fate of Bloodwing, who was captured by Jack and slag-experimented on, turning her into a rabid animal imbued with every element, plus an Explosive Leash that executes her when she's subdued, all to spite Mordecai.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Hyperion sniper rifles are usually really, really powerful, and with Hyperion's focus on accuracy, you'd think it would be a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, they still have Hyperion's reverse-recoil gimmick, which makes them difficult to aim at first; aiming down the scope also improves their accuracy, but that just makes it harder to perform under sudden pressure.
    • Averted in The Pre-Sequel, where said scoped accuracy delay has been reduced to the point of being near instantaneous. This combined with them having the second highest damage (Behind Jakobs) and second lowest recoil (behind Vladof) in the game makes them a lot more balanced and desirable. Their only downside tends to be their low fire rate (lowest in game, not counting bolt-action Jakobs rifles) and the fact that you can't reliably hip fire with them.
  • Bad Boss: Anyone with power within the Hyperion hierarchy tends to become abusive to their subordinates, ranging from verbal abuse to outright torture and murder. Though they seem to have cleaned up a little bit by the time of 3, they're still unsympathetic toward their employees, judging by the emails they send you when rewarding you for getting kills with their weapons.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The founders of Hyperion were a triumvirate who formed the basis of the company's principles: ruthless business tactics (Maxim Turner), a focus on precision firearms (Alma Harren) and cutting-edge experimental robotics (Lawrence De Quidt).
  • Breaking Old Trends: Prior to the third game, every gun manufacturer made pistols given their versatility. However, in 3, Hyperion becomes the first and so far only company to ditch making pistols, likely because the Deployable Cover on a pistol is on-paper pretty useless.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Under Handsome Jack's control, the signature Hyperion color scheme is yellow and white, and high rarity gear is adorned with gold polish. Of course, since yellow is Jack's favorite color, that means they're the color scheme of a corporation trying to commit genocide against an entire planet and establish totalitarianism there.
    • Averted in the first game and 3, the former where their signature color scheme was black with a red stripe, and they're primarily a neutral, if amoral force idling in the background while Atlas is on the attack. The latter takes place after Jack has died, moving Hyperion back to an impartial company trying to do business.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Under Handsome Jack's management in Borderlands 2, in which he inflicts his tendency for random murder, sociopathy, and whatever kind of horror he finds to be funny on the workers and anyone in Hyperion's way. It's lucky for the players that it's so over-the-top, or things would be a lot more horrifying.
  • Critical Hit Class: Their extreme focus on accuracy makes them excellent for landing precise, consecutive critical hits. A few of their red-text weapons and all of their lasers even get boosted critical hit damage.
  • Cult of Personality: After his rise to power, the middle management all idolize Jack to some extent, ranging from admiration to outright worship to the point that they wear imitations of his mask and his office is essentially enshrined after his death.
  • Deployable Cover: In the third game, Hyperion guns have holographic shields that activate upon aiming down sights.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Hyperion guns start off ridiculously inaccurate, making guns such as sniper rifles highly impractical. However, if one can weather through such issues then they can take advantage of the gun's above-average statistics.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The Hyperion Announcer who insults you over the New-U station and announces messages over the Helios space station always speaks in a chipper and droning tone, even as chaos erupts around her. What's especially perplexing is that she's not a pre-programmed AI, but instead an actual person doing it all live.
    (During the quest Voice Over) Vault Hunter's faces look like wee-wees! God, I hate this!
    (After the quest) I'm so pissed right now!
  • Evil, Inc.: Even before Jack took over, the company was involved in unethical experimentation of animals and bred a corporate atmosphere of greed and backstabbing. After Jack took over, things got even worse due to many middle-management worshiping Jack and seeking to emulate him.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: As of 3, Hyperion, while still amoral are at least no longer continuing the actions of Handsome Jack and seem to be content staying out of the Crimson Raiders' way.
    New-U: Hyperion: We're not the bad guys in this one!
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: As mentioned on some other entries, the reverse recoil is actually surprisingly useful for such a simple gimmick. The guns are capable of doing several critical hits in quick succession, and they have practically no penalties for blindfiring, so you don't need to look down the sights. The latter also means Hyperion's guns are very useful when you end in "Fight for your life" mode, especially if the nearest enemy is too far for regular recoil to hit. They become especially powerful in the hands of a character who gets bonuses to magazine size, like Salvador or Moze.
  • I Own This Town: Hyperion forces took over many towns and encampments in 2, much like Atlas before them. Only this time, Hyperion is much more interested in clearing the "bandits" out from Pandora than simply just taking over.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Due to greed and sociopathy being part of the corporate culture, Hyperion tends to be filled with power-hungry assholes who rise to their ranks not because of competence but due to them killing anyone in their way and ability to push their weight around. Under Jack's leadership, the company waged a costly and pointless war to "civilize" Pandora and anyone who questioned him were promptly killed. Or had their children killed. Or both.
  • Klingon Promotion: Judging by Jack and Vasquez, killing your superior and getting away with it is a completely viable way to climb the corporate ladder.
  • L33t L1ng0: Seems to be the naming convention for Hyperion machinery, with robots being named like CL4P-TP, BNK-3R, C3N50RB0T, P3RV-E, etc...note 
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Loaders, which are repurposed mining robots sent en-masse to threats against the company.
  • Nerf: Hyperion Shotguns in 2 & Pre-sequel were almost overpowered due to their fast rate-of-fire, decent magazine size and much longer range than most other shotguns. In 3 all of the aforementioned stats have been lowered, but they also now include a built-in shield and some unique models have stats close to the earlier games' versions tp emphasize their power.
  • Posthumous Character: Lawrence De Quidt passed away before he could finish working out the kinks with the Claptraps. It's unclear if the other founders are still alive by the time of Tassiter.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Hyperion weapons in the first game were red and black before Jack took over. After he does, most of them are now yellow and white because he thought it was livelier, though higher-level weapons such as the Conference Call are still red and black. During the Pre-Sequel, Hyperion is still undergoing this transition, and weapons with both color schemes can be found (though lower rarity Old Hyperion guns are white and red, with the black being added back at higher rarity levels). Borderlands 3 allows you add a reversed version of this colour scheme if you so desire, with the Black Dragon weapon skin.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Inverted or possibly Zigzagged - Hyperion shotguns start out this way, but become extremely capable at long distances with sustained fire due to their reversed recoil gimmick.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Hyperion shotguns are generally quite good due to their tight spread, low recoil and high rate of fire. The Legendary Hyperion shotgun, the Conference Call, is generally assumed to be one of the better below-Pearlescent shotguns in the game, while the formerly Pearlescent as of 3 Butcher is said to be one of the best shotguns, period.
  • Smart Gun: They had a thing for developing unique talking guns before Tediore made it standard in their equipment.
    • Shotgun 1340 is a Hyperion shotgun with the AI of an EXP Loader installed, who hollers with glee while you shoot and reload it.
    • The Morningstar is a sniper rifle that adds a crit bonus for enough critical hit landed, all the while the gun whines and berates at the user for being such a terrible person for killing enemies, reloading, and swapping guns.
    • The Bane is a cursed SMG that boasts pretty good stats and can come in every element - but it's also ear piercingly loud, constantly giggles in a high pitched tone and emints an annoying shouting noise with every bullet fired, while also slowing the user down to a crawl. Note that the gun will still make noise even after muting the game from its volume settings.
    • The Handsome Jackhammer is an SMG that combines Tediore reload technology with Hyperion reverse-recoil and frontal shielding, but its main appeal coming from the fact that Handsome Jack's AI copy was installed into the gun, who mocks the user and enemies while also trying to convince the Vault Hunter to get him out of the gun.
  • Starter Equipment: Jack's Doppelgänger gains a Galvanising Vision with fixed parts and an Old Hyperion skin when starting a new game as him in Pre-Sequel.
  • Stupid Evil: Hyperion fall under this during Jack's tenure and after Jack's death until the end of Tales.
  • Talking Weapon: Four Hyperion weapons in the second game can talk.
    • Shotgun 1340 is made with the AI of a loader that tried to kill you and failed repeatedly. It offers messages of encouragement.
    • The Morningstar, on the other hand, is a sniper rifle that criticizes the user for any reason, from killing enemies to reloading.
    • The Bane is a "cursed" submachine gun with a shrill voice that screams while firing. Said screaming is unintelligible and translated in subtitles as "[annoying sound]".
    • The Overcompensator as featured in the Commander Lilith DLC is basically the Butcher with the added feature of having a Surfer Dude voice.
    • The Handsome Jackhammer is an SMG that spews out insults in Jack's voice.
  • Theme Naming: Hyperion guns tend to use various corporate buzzwords in their naming conventions, resulting in shotguns called "Face Time" or "Projectile Diversification". According to Handsome Jack, this was his attempt to create weapons "made by smart sons of bitches for smart sons of bitches". Old Hyperion in The Pre-Sequel has a different, but no less buzzword-laden set of names and prefixes.For example... 
  • Uniqueness Decay:
    • Played Straight with "The Bitch", an unique weapon that appears in each game. In 1, it was the only weapon with reverse recoil. As of 2 onwards, all Hyperions guns have this feature.
    • Inverted in 3. As mentioned under Nerf, only unique Hyperion Shotguns in 3 have stats comparable to the ones seen even in base models in the previous 2 games.
  • Unorthodox Reload: All Hyperion guns, with no exceptions, have magazines fed from the top in a hinged assembly that automatically pulls the fresh mag inside the gun. In sniper rifles, that means the scope slides forward to let out the spent magazine and then back when the rifle's loaded again. This is changed in 3, and instead, all their guns have some kind of mechanical motor that grabs the magazine and slowly attaches it with a whirring sound (though some do still top-load magazines).
  • Weapon of Choice: Hyperion's emphasis on full-auto accuracy and drilling round after round into a target's crit spot plays to the strengths either sniper-type characters like Mordecai, Zer0, and Aurelia, or full auto gunners like Roland, Axton, Salvador, and Wilhelm. Also Jack's doppelganger, who gets a skill just for boosting Hyperion weapons.
  • The Worf Effect: According to a hidden ECHO log in Commander Lilith and the Fight For Sanctuary, even Hyperion at its height under Handsome Jack wouldn't have stood a chance against Vladof's Ursa Corps and their Iron Bear mechs.


The bulk of the Hyperion army, Loaders are the mechanical soldiers and workers that come in a variety of configurations and sizes to match the situation. The standard GUN Loader comes with an assault rifle and an unwavering march towards their opponent, occasionally chucking grenades out, calling for help when injured, and is by far the most common model seen on the field. Other Loader configurations include: EXP, HOT, ION, WAR, RPG, SGT, JET, PWR, BUL, LWT, Angelic Guard, and the JNK Loader. They make a return in 3 's Handsome Jackpot DLC with a few new variants like ICE Loaders.

  • Action Bomb: EXP Loaders are nimble and fragile robots that sprint at their targets when they've seen them, before overloading their power cores to explode on top of them. While they don't use it as an attack, HOT Loaders explode on death, which can be problematic since they tend to fight at close range.
  • Airborne Mooks: JET Loaders are Loaders built to transform into miniature jets and swoop by to blast you with an electric bolt or a barrage of missiles.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Most Loaders are completely obedient to Hyperion with only a very vague degree of free will/consciousness. The few that have broken out of their control one way or another, such as Mal, Innuendobot 5000, and Loader #1340, are 'eccentric', to say the least.
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • Played with, all Loaders are programmed to kill everything in Pandora because they're under Jack's programming. When he's out of the picture, all Loaders evidently mellowed out and even developed their own personalities, as seen with Loader-Bot from Tales From The Borderlands.
    • Also Played for Laughs throughout the quest Out Of Body Experience.
      (After Loader #1340 tried to kill you when its core was plugged into a Constructor): Sorry for attempting to murder you, force of habit. Please help me. I still require a new body. Please, insert me into the broken WAR Loader at these coordinates. I will not attempt to murder you again.
      (Immediately after being inserted into a WAR Loader): Thank you. I will now attempt to murder you.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Like all Hyperion robots, Loaders only have a single eye.
  • Deflector Shields: ION Loaders can deploy a shield around themselves that blocks all forms of gunfire. You could walk into the shield to attack the Loader inside - if you don't mind getting painfully shocked, that is.
    • BUL Loaders are construction robots with a large metal plow on their arms, and when in combat they have it raised to protect themselves. Shooting at it is ill advised as these shields can reflect bullets right back at the sender.
  • Easily Detachable Robot Parts: The shoulder joints of most Loader variants and the leg joints of weaker ones serve as weakpoints, and the attached limb will fall off if the joint takes enough damage. Shooting off their arms deprives Loaders of firepower, while blasting off their legs reduces them to crawling along the ground.
  • Elite Mooks: SGT Loaders are dedicated combat units who lack some of the weaknesses their regular Loader counterparts have: namely, their joints are protected by heavy armor and they sport more health and better weapons. Badass Loaders are, as their name suggests, the Badass version of Loaders; they pack the amount of health and firepower you'd expect from such an enemy, and unlike their smaller counterparts, their legs are not detachable. And if that wasn't enough, there are Super Badass Loaders...
    • Angelic Guards are a unique type of Loader only found in Control Core Angel. In later playthroughs, they can be encountered again amidst regular enemy forces, and their combat effectiveness is on par with SGT Loaders with the added bonus of a laser beam
  • Eye Beams: All Loaders can fire an electric bolt from their eye if they're out of options. Angelic Guards come with a more traditional laser eye beam that does continuous damage on their target.
  • Go for the Eye: All variants except Super Badass Loaders take critical hits from bullets to their optic. While their joints are also weak points in many variants, shooting the eye always deals more damage.
  • Humongous Mecha: All Loaders are quite a bit taller than the average person, but WAR Loaders and Badass Loaders tower over humans by twice their height. Super Badass Loaders are about the size of a 2-story building.
  • It's Raining Men: Well, robots anyway. They're very frequently deployed in large numbers via moonshot.
  • Jet Pack: All Loaders come with jet boosters on their feet. It can't let them fly, but it allows them to make huge leaps towards you if you manage to get the high ground on them.
  • Killer Robot: Originally designed as workers, but the events of The Pre-Sequel made them prove themselves to be an easy to mass-produce and effective robot army, leading to the robotic onslaught that Borderlands 2 became.
  • Kill It with Fire: HOT Loaders lob balls of napalm at their enemies from a distance and switch to immolating them with their built in flamethrower when they're close. WAR Loaders and Badass Loaders have huge cannons on their shoulders that fire flaming hot bullets at their enemies, which can ignite them for Damage Over Time.
  • Machine Monotone: Nearly every Loader speaks like this, and the ones that don't are very likely insane.
    (When on fire) Ow. No no no. Stop it. Please.
  • Metal Slime: LWT Loaders have walking Hyperion weapons lockers that, when defeated, kneel down and can be opened for some weapons.
  • Mini Mook: They have variants called Loot Midgets, very short Loaders that hide in treasure chests to ambush people. They come in GUN, JET, and WAR configurations with the fabled Jimmy Jenkins being a rare opponent to find.
  • Praetorian Guard: Angelic Guards are a unique, powerful Loader variant with a deadly heat ray that are only found protecting Control Core Angel (in the initial playthrough; from TVHM onward they appear as regular enemies).
  • Punny Name: EXP Loaders are designed to explode.
  • I Shall Taunt You: In 3's DLC, The Handsome Jackpot, a Loader who sends a player into FFYL will pause to show the player they just gunned down their thumb and give them a disapproving thumbs-down to their face.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Most Loaders have red eyes to make it clear that they're here to kill you, rather than, say, throw a birthday party for Claptrap.
  • What a Piece of Junk: The JNK Loaders' haphazard appearance does nothing to change the fact that they're still endgame enemies with deceptively high amounts of firepower.


Flying robotic drones that provide battlefield support by repairing and shielding Hyperion robots. They also make a return in 3 's Handsome Jackpot DLC.

  • Airborne Mook: They're small, mobile, flying enemies.
  • Eye Beam: Like Loaders, they can shoot electric bolts from their optics if they need to fight.
  • Fragile Speedster: Surveyors are small, airborne targets that move at high speed, making them difficult to hit. However, even their Badass variants only take a few hits to drop.
  • Monster Progenitor: It seems like Surveyors are based off of Wilhelm's drones, Wolf and Saint, as no such models other than them are found during the events of The Pre-Sequel, and the Hyperion military had not yet included their now signature robotic army.
  • Mook Medic: Their main role is to repair and shield Loaders and Constructors.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Shield Surveyors can project a bullet-reflecting shield in front of themselves.
  • Shoot the Medic First: If you want that Badass Loader to stop gaining health and/or shields, you'll want to shoot down the Surveyors around it first. The normally hard-to-hit Surveyors will also hold completely still while doing their thing, making them easy targets.


Constructors are heavy support units that are deployed to construct and deploy a constant stream of Loaders and Surveyors into the field. Gigantic and stationary, they pose a significant threat to any Vault Hunters who need to get past them. They make a return in ''3'' 's Handsome Jackpot DLC alongside Loaders and Surveyors though thankfully they are far fewer to deal with.

  • Beef Gate: They're not usually blocking the way entirely, but thanks to the threat they pose and the amount of obstacles they bring to stop you, just getting past one is a challenge on its own, or even a death sentence if it's a Badass Constructor. As such, they are usually scripted to be deployed at narrow chokepoints or important areas you need to pass.
  • Calling Your Attacks: It's hard to hear thanks to their deep voices and the general chaos they bring, but they like to announce what attack is coming/is in progress.
    Preparing missile barrage.
    Nuclear bombardment commencing.
    Deploying protector turret.
  • Deflector Shields: Constructors can project an orange energy shield around their vulnerable eye that returns bullets to sender. The rest of it's still vulnerable to attack, though. When a Badass Constructor does this, that's your sign that it's preparing a nuke.
  • Eye Beams: Constructors can fire an orange/white beam that does continuous damage to targets in range. Badass Constructors get to fire three beams to utterly incinerate any players caught out of cover.
  • Ground Pound: Getting close to them for a better shot is in your best interest, but getting right up in their 'face' will cause them jump into the air and land with a fiery shockwave.
  • Humongous Mecha: The first Constructor ever built was intended to be built with legs and arm cannons, making it tower over everything by a considerable margin and even dwarfing Super Badass Loaders. Those extremities proved to be practically vestigial when Felicity went rampant and attacked, getting them blown off in the process and left her main body no worse for wear.
  • Machine Monotone: They sport voices even deeper and more robotic than Loaders.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: In two variants, no less: a barrage of missiles fired directly at the target, or a salvo launched overhead to bomb you from above. Badass Constructers particularly like to spam missiles like there's no tomorrow, forcing you to keep your head down.
  • Monster Progenitor: As revealed in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, a Hyperion R&D Scientists named Gladstone Katoa invented the first Constructor, and other than a lack of certain weaponry and an orange paint scheme, it is identical to the later models deployed by Jack. The real Progenitor however is Skipper / Felicity, who was a Dahl military-grade A.I. integrated with the first Constructor against her will, with her voice even slowly changing from her feminine dialect to the now standard and deep Machine Monotone. It's very much likely that all future Constructors, and possibly even Loaders, use a copy of her lobotomized A.I. as their default template.
  • Mook Maker: Their primary role is to digistruct Loaders, Surveyors and Turrets to attack you, but their Badass variants become more involved when they can start bombarding enemies with missiles, lasers and nuclear drops. Shooting them in the eye is the only way to cancel their building progress.
  • Nuke 'em: Badass Constructors have an uncommon attack where they'll stop what they're doing to open their top compartment and unleash a nuclear missile that homes in on a target's last known location. The blast radius is gigantic and is obviously fatal. Fortunately, you can shoot the (very slow) missile out of the air, making it far less threatening than you'd expect.
  • Tin-Can Robot: To Jack anyways, who calls the first Constructor he sees a 'Dumpster wrapped in sadness'.
  • The Turret Master: Constructors will occasionally chuck a deployable turret in front of them if a Vault Hunter gets the idea to close the distance on them. Badass Constructors can do the same, but also come with an arsenal of built-in turrets that fire constantly at anyone who gets in visual range.


The Hyperion workforce that does much of the manual labor needed to construct Hyperion installations. They're all overworked, underpaid, abused and under orders to open fire on any intruder that gets too close to their construction area. They're separated between Engineers and Combat Engineers, the former utilizes construction tools such as jackhammers and cutting lasers to fight while the latter uses traditional guns instead (sometimes imbued with elemental effects).

  • Bald of Evil: They're all bald.
  • Cannon Fodder: To drive the point home on how little Hyperion cares about their human workers, Engineers are advised to let the Loaders handle the heavy lifting of construction while they distract the local Bandits by drawing gunfire away from the robots to themselves instead. Compared to the other Hyperion mooks, they can be torn up like wet tissue.
  • The Engineer: They're the construction workers for Hyperion, but it has no glamor or respect to the title, and so they're expected to go from working to dying in a gunfight in an instant.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: There's plenty of dialogue that references their family, children and co-worker friends in various levels of affection and concern.
  • Ground Pound: Engineers are capable of using their built in jackhammers to make the ground rumble, damaging Vault Hunters who are too close to them.
  • If I Do Not Return: When dying, Engineers may have this to say:
    Tell my wife... she's a bitch...
  • Improvised Weapon: Engineers who aren't equipped with guns go to battle with their construction equipment - sawblades, jackhammers, cutting lasers in particular.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: By all means they're ordinary people who work for the villain's corporation, but they're still rather ruthless and sour thanks to being under orders to either fight the Vault Hunters or face whatever punishment Hyperion has for a disobedient worker.
    Come on, now I gotta deal with BANDITS?!
    If I kill you I'll get promoted off this hellhole!
    (Dying) I didn't sign up for this, damn it...

Hyperion Military

When the regular GUN Loaders and Engineers can't fend off a threat, Hyperion has their formal military to deploy, comprised of specialized and deadly Loaders and trained personnel. Aside from the Loaders, the soldiers fighting are well armed and well protected with advanced body army and technology that suits their roles. These soldiers include the Hyperion Soldier, Hyperion Sniper, Hyperion Hawk and the Hyperion Infiltrator.

  • Airborne Mooks: Hyperion Hawks come equipped with a jetpack that allows them to soar through the air and get a great vantage spot to bomb you away.
  • Cold Sniper: The Hyperion Sniper is just that; an enemy sniper gunning for you.
  • Elite Mooks: They're not fought very often until you reach the very end of the main game, but it's made clear that this is the fighting force sent in when things get serious.
  • Glass Cannon: Hyperion Hawks can deal devastating damage with their rocket launchers, but they go down easily in just a couple of shots. The trick however is spotting them in the air before they bomb you.
  • Laser Sight: Hyperion Snipers have a very visible laser that tracks where who he's going to shoot. This is your warning of big damage coming your way if it's set on you.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Infiltrators wield shotguns into battle, and as you can expect they hurt bad once they get close enough to use it.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Hawks come with a rocket launcher to blow you away if you can't shoot them down in time.
  • The Turret Master: Hyperion Soldiers can deploy a turret to help them out, much like an Evil Counterpart to Axton.
  • Visible Invisibility: Infiltrators are still pretty visible despite their cloaking technology, at best their invisibility is a problem if you're in a thick battle and you can't notice that subtle bundle of transparent white-ness getting closer to you.

"The Jakobs family has been assembling quality firearms for over 300 years, and although the world has changed quite a lot since Montgomery's grandfather bolted on the sandalwood grip of the company's first revolver, our family tradition and commitment to building a superior product is still as true as ever. The employees at Jakobs may not all share the same last name anymore, but we're still family. And we want you to join us. When you invest in a Jakobs, you're not only getting the most powerful firearm money can buy; you're also joining the biggest family of satisfied gun owners the world over. Whether you're shouldering one of our renowned rifles or staring down the barrel of one of our timeless pistols, you can be sure each and every shot packs the reliability and strength that only a Jakobs can offer."

Founded by the Jakobs family and headed by Montgomery Jakobs, the Jakobs corporation prides itself on high-quality firearms with a classical aesthetic. Their guns often feature wooden handles, making them a rarity among manufacturers.

Jakobs guns generally feature high damage, high accuracy and critical damage bonuses at the cost of tiny magazines, long reloads and no elemental damage. As of the second game, their guns simply fire as fast as you can press the fire button and often feature hidden bonuses to critical hit damage. As a rule, Jakobs does not manufacture shields (bar one, the Rough Rider in 2) or grenades.

In Borderlands 3, they've augmented their guns with the ability to ricochet shots from enemy to enemy upon scoring a critical hit. They are also involved in the war against the COV after Montgomery was assassinated and Aurelia Hammerlock took over.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Jakobs weapons all resemble antiques ripped straight from a western (except for the high end models that include a wheel as the clip), complete with plenty of wooden components.
    • They don't stray far from this in Borderlands 3, though some of their guns seem to now come with a few futuristic accoutrements.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Wild West weapon engineering, going up against lasers, elemental capacitors, and E-Tech... and often winning.
    • Jakobs, however, is not alien to technological advancement; their guns have evolved from early 19th century pump-action revolver rifles in Borderlands 1, to early 20th century bolt-action rifles with enclosed magazines in 2, to M1 Garand-like semiautomatic battle rifles in 3.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Especially relevant with Jakobs guns, as they have a greater crit multiplier than other manufacturers.
  • Badass Family: Being a crack shot is evidently expected of the Jakobs family, which is why Wainwright feels like an Inadequate Inheritor due to being half-blind (though still very capable with shotguns).
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Despite making weaponry that'd be primitive even today, Jakobs is nonetheless one of the most dangerous corporations out there. Not only do they make some of the most outrageously lethal firearms in the Borderlands universe, but it's heavily suggested that they or their management have a very strong grasp of how to use the Eridian-derived technology, going by the Jakobs Manor's Vault puzzle and the blacksite on Gehenna.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Their "Skookum" line of rifles comes from an American Aboriginal word for "strong."
  • Boring, but Practical: Downplayed. Jakobs guns are far from aesthetically-boring and they usually have the highest average damage per shot count, but they virtually never have elemental damage (Save for a few Uniques throughout the series) thus there is no Damage Over Time, aside from a few very rare exceptions. That said, Jakobs weapons are generally so high in quality that high-rarity Jakobs guns may generally last you for quite a while. Jakobs pistols in particular are commonly said to be the best pistols for general use in 2 and The Pre-Sequel, lacking any bells and/or whistles but hitting like a truck all the same.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: 3 reveals that Typhon DeLeon came up with their slogan after seeing Montgomery take out a creature in one shot. Monty liked it so much that he made it official.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The Jakobs corporation is stationed on Eden-6, a Single-Biome Planet that's effectively one single large swamp. They also have a facility on Pandora in very similar terrain.
  • Characterization Marches On: Compare the hilariously negligent characterization of Jakobs from The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned with their surprisingly caring attitudes and business practices in Borderlands 3. Monty Jakob's characterization in 3 serves to somewhat bridge the two depictions, and their facility on Gehenna in A Fistful of Redemption makes it clear that, whatever their leadership is like now, they have as many skeletons in their closet as any other corporation.
  • Cool Guns: Jakobs battle rifles in Borderlands 3 often have an M1 Garand-like en bloc clip — and yes, it pings when it runs dry.
    • They also have a lot of Winchester-like lever-action rifles as befitting of their New Old West aesthetics.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: With the exception of a very small handful of Legendary and Unique guns from Borderlands 2 onwards, Jakobs guns never have elemental capacitors, and so tend to be less effective against armoured or shielded targets. That being said, they're still capable of some high damage numbers, often more than enough to punch through that defense anyway with critical hits.
  • Critical Hit Class: Pretty much sums up Jakobs as a manufacturer, particularly with their new gimmick in 3.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The lack of an auto-firing option in 2 can easily set down several users from hammering shots in accord with its maximum firing speed, especially when the Jakobs gun in question is an assault rifle. Fulfilling the firing speed, on the other hand, allows a hilariously large damage output from their respective magazine sizes.
  • Family Business: The Jakobs corporation has been owned and operated by the Jakobs family, with Montgomery being the current president and his son Wainwright as the heir.
  • Gatling Good: In 3, Jakobs produce automatic weapons in the form of rare rifle variants that also function as hand-cranked gatling guns. They even make a Legendary rifle called the Gatling Gun, which functions a lot more like a Vladof spinigun barrel - only MUCH faster.
  • Hand Cannon: The longest pistol barrel in Borderlands 2 is of Jakobs manufacture, although ironically the guns actually named "Hand Cannon" are Torgue pistols with either Bandit, Dahl, Maliwan, or Tediore barrels.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Jakobs seems to be legit in their ideals of honesty and family values. They're also relatively pro-environment, as their operations on Eden-6 have mostly left the planet's ecosystem unharmed save for the logging facilities used to collect the wood used in their weapons.
  • Hufflepuff House: Aside from playing a minor role in the "Zombie Island of Dr. Ned" DLC, Jakobs as a corporation has relatively little attention given to it until 3, where the Jakobs family are the central focus of the Eden-6 plotline.
  • I Call It "Vera": The Legendary "Maggie" Pistol, which Monty evidently named after his own wife.
  • Moral Myopia: The Jakobs Corporation is beloved on its main planet, Eden-6, where its workers truly are treated as family, and readily form a resistance out of personal loyalty to the Jakobs family when Aurelia takes over on behalf of the Children of the Vault. Their treatment of their workers on Pandora, however, is negligient and callous, and their Black Site on Gehenna devastated the world's ecosystem so badly its people refuse to speak Jakobs' name.
  • More Dakka: A Jakobs pistol or assault rifle can empty its clip really quickly and messily, although overall dakka levels are kept down by clip size and how fast you can pull the trigger (assuming it's not a Sniper).
  • New Old West: Their guns are all western-themed in a futuristic setting.
  • Non-Elemental: With the exception of a few Uniques, Jakobs guns never have any elements attached aside from a few explosives here and there.
  • Pinball Projectile: In 3, their guns gain the ability to ricochet to other enemies upon critical hits. This gets especially silly with the Wagon Wheel, which spreads out six on crits. And the Duc, which fires out two on crits. Which are then remotely detonated.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The Law, one of the two best firearms in Borderlands 2 for melee specialists (and possibly the best once the Order shield is equipped), is a Jakobs wheelgun with a nasty bayonet.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: While the first shot a Jakobs gun fires is usually quite accurate, follow up shots end up going everywhere at once thanks to their vicious recoil and slow recoil recovery, combined with their ability to fire as fast as you pull the trigger.
  • The Rival: As of Borderlands 2, they have an especially vitriolic relationship with Hyperion, frequently badmouthing them in their radio ads.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Jakobs handguns always take the form of revolvers and pack quite a punch. Their high rate of fire is represented by fanning the hammer like a Western gunslinger. Jakobs sniper rifles also often use a revolver mechanism: in Borderlands 1 and 2 their sniper rifles use Colt's mid-19th century revolver rifles with another kind of mechanism — a pump action in Borderlands 1 like the Colt Lightning carbine, and Borderlands 2 upgrades to the more modern and still nowadays ubiquitous bolt action.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The Shoddy, either Jakobs has a subsidiary that makes gag weapons, it's a genuine knockoff and the game is gently aware of this trope, or it's a failure and their marketing department is trying to spin it as being this. Either way, it's advertised as "100% genuine Fakobs". It's certainly got the performance of a knockoff - the pellets instantly fall to the ground the second they leave the muzzle.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: One of Jakobs's rifles is as long as Gaige is tall.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Downplayed. While Jakobs Coach Guns, Longriders, Scatterguns, Bushwhacks and Quads are by no means bad (in fact their accuracy and damage are very good), their recoil kicks hard and their signature tiny (often single-shot) ammo capacity means you spend a lot of time reloading. Jakobs, however, is very good at loading multiple-slug bullets into other kinds of guns, with things like the Masher/Maggie (shotgun pistol) and the Skullmasher (shotgun sniper rifle).
    • However, if you play as Gaige and have the Anarchy skill, you might actually want to use a Jakobs shotgun, because their tiny magazines and the constant reloads you'll do as a result can make you easily rack up 30 stacks or more in a single gun fight.
    • Played much straighter in 3, as Jakobs makes a much wider range of shotguns, probably the most varied range of any manufacturernote , that allow you to put that high damage to much better use.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Jakobs design philosophy. They don't look as futuristically fancy as other weapons — even at higher rarity levels, their Bling-Bling-BANG! doesn't match the aesthetic touches given to other manufacturers at the same level. They're almost always Non-Elemental, and always have small clips (their shotguns are often single shot). However, their statistics are consistently off the charts, and when they hit, they hit hard. A Jakobs sniper rifle with a reasonable rarity can last many levels beyond when the player picked it up.
  • Slogan:
    If it took more than one shot, you weren't using a Jakobs.
  • Sniper Pistol: If a Jakobs pistol doesn't fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, it's probably this. Case in point, the Rex from Borderlands 2 and the Unforgiven from Borderlands 3, which are incredibly slow but boast ridiculous critical damage.
  • Sniper Rifle: In two flavors:
    • For the DMR/Battle Rifle, look no further than a Jakobs Assault Rifle; sure, they're semi-auto only, but given their high damage, and Jakobs being the Critical Hit Class of the manufacturers, they fit well in that role.
    • Their snipers are slower bolt-action weapons, but given the raw damage numbers that they're capable of, it's probably more accurate to label them as anti-materiel rifles. Notably, in Borderlands 2, a bolt-action blue-quality Jakobs far often outdoes a semiautomatic one in terms of damage.
  • Starter Equipment: Nisha, fittingly, starts every new game of Pre-Sequel with an Ornery Iron with fixed Jakobs parts plus a sight. In Borderlands 2, if you paid the Premiere Club DLC, you start with a Gearbox-branded Jakobs rifle.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • While the standing as a corporation can still be morally questioned, Jakobs is at its closest to ever be docile to its consumers and employees, without pushing radical militarism, brute advertising, or comedic abuse of workers compared to other companies - the workers on Eden-6 genuinely like working for them. Also, unlike corporations such as Hyperion, it stayed out of the Last Corporate War. It is also noted that it has been aware of Hyperion's unstable leadership and how it functions. However, the "Zombie Island" DLC showed them as having Bad Boss tendencies, not evacuating their workers from the zombie apocalypse-ravaged island they own, and being absurdly ineffective at doing much of anything to help those still stranded on the island. While this may not make Jakobs a straight example of the Token Good Teammate, it's still probably an improvement over working at Hyperion.
    • Zig-zagged in ''3'', though. On the one hand, it's shown that Monty Jakobs was a Benevolent Boss to his employees as well as actively trying to prevent the Vault of Eden-6 from falling into the wrong hands. The company cultivated a family-like atmosphere that results in the people on Eden-6 being deeply loyal to the actual Jakobs family and hating Aurelia for her takeover. On the other hand, the Bounty of Blood DLC reveals that they were involved in extremely dangerous experiments in bioweaponry rivaling even the Eridians and nuking Gehenna to hide what they did.
  • Weapon of Choice: Due to their high damage and accuracy, they are considered the preferred weapons of crit-based characters like Mordecai, Zer0, Nisha, and Aurelia (Nisha in particular is often shown in character pictures dual-wielding Jakobs Irons as well as having skills and mods dedicated to boosting Jakobs guns). They're also popular with Gaige in Anarchy builds: the high rate of fire and relatively small ammo clips of Jakobs pistols and shotguns let her build Anarchy stacks quickly, while the damage bonus from those stacks is nasty given the high damage of a Jakobs gun (especially the Maggie). A Fl4k with a build based around Fade Away and skills like Megavore will also benefit from the crit effects and higher crit damage.

"Isn't it time you take your weapons to the next level? Sure, old-fashioned slug throwers have served you well in the past, but so did Bologna sandwiches. You've grown. Your tastes have changed. They've refined. It's time you had a gun that evolved with you and didn't feel like a family heirloom. Maliwan believes in honoring the past by embracing the future. Every Maliwan weapon is designed by the skilled technicians in our bleeding-edge laboratories to pack as much elemental punch as possible. Our staff of artisans crafts each weapon to look as good as it performs. Maliwan offers a full line of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and rocket launchers to fit every style. If it's not elemental, it's not a Maliwan."

Headed by the Katagawa family, the Maliwan corporation focuses on weapons for the sophisticated intellectual (IE, hipsters). As such, they focus on elemental damage with sleek design elements. Maliwan lasers increase in damage as the trigger is held, and Maliwan barrels turn lasers into beams. Maliwan shields continue the trend by either emitting an elemental nova when depleted or retaliating against melee attacks with elemental spikes, while their grenades contain the much-valued Transfusion effect, healing the user whenever they damage an enemy.

In Borderlands 3, their guns gain the ability to switch elements on the fly at the cost of needing to be charged up. They have also allied themselves with the Children of the Vault as part of company heir Katagawa Jr.'s war on Atlas.

  • Abnormal Ammo: Maliwan "ammo" seem less like actual bullets and more like firing energy balls at enemies.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Perhaps you have picked up on their preference to put "P" names and prefixes on all of their rocket launchers. Except for that one in The Pre-Sequel. note 
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Maliwan weapons look like what Apple might produce with access to hyper-advanced technology, albeit significantly more colorful. When in doubt, look for diagonal stripes of white, black, blue, and orange.
    • Their weapons in Borderlands 3 lean even heavier into this, looking almost like they came from another galaxy.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: As of Borderlands 3, they've started sending a massive army of soldiers and robots to invade the newly built Atlas territories to usurp them. By the time the Vault Hunters arrive, the city is littered in Maliwan forces.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Sure, the fancy light effects and elemental damage of the weapons in Borderlands 2 look nice, but it all comes at the cost of actual damage per shot, rate of fire, bullet speed and, in the case of pistols, extra ammo consumption. Most players just use a Maliwan gun to slag things before switching to a more powerful weapon for the actual killing. They do become more practical in True or Ultimate Vault Hunter mode, though, with the increased relevance of Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors, but even so most of the time it's more effective to use a high quality elemental weapon from someone else that has better firepower to exploit it. The Pre-Sequel does give them a leg up with lasers, since Maliwan lasers increase in damage over time while being fired.
    • Borderlands 3 alleviates this problem a bit by allowing some their weapons to harness two elements at the same time, which lets their users switch to which element they'd prefer to have at the moment. However, this came at the cost of requiring most of their weapons needing to charge before firing.
  • Charged Attack: In 3, most of their guns need to be charged up in order to fire.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Maliwan guns do one thing: elemental damage. On enemies that can't be hit by such an effect, or ones that resist what should ostensibly be their elemental weakness (such as a badass fire skag), Maliwan Weapons can't really do much of anything. At least shock doesn't suffer any damage penalties against non-shielded enemies.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: They're this towards Hyperion as the resident "Evil Corporation to beat the crap out of". While human Hyperion employees are Punch-Clock Villains who only fight out of survival or to follow orders, Maliwan soldiers are of the Card-Carrying Villain type. Handsome Jack has an ego, flaunts it every time he gets the chance, has killed a few influential characters, and has genuine, if misguided, affection for his daughter. Katagawa Jr. also has an ego, one that falls a bit short, murders all but one of his siblings just to inherit the company, and is swiftly thwarted by the Crimson Raiders early in the story.
  • Elemental Weapon: All Maliwan weapons are elemental with high elemental effect damage and Damage Over Time proc chance.
  • Everything Is An I Pod In The Future: While they're far more colorful, Maliwan guns all have sleek curved designs and are clearly inspired by Apple consumer products.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The magazines of their pistols, rocket launchers and high-tier submachine guns spin when fired and reloaded, and in the latter case, also spin (but more slowly) when idle. There's no known purpose for that except to make them look cool.
  • Family Business: Maliwan is evidently run by the Katagawa family, though the family has been severely trimmed after Katagawa Jr. killed his siblings in order to move up the line of succession.
  • Hufflepuff House: Until 3, very little detail was given about Maliwan as a corporation.
  • It's All About Me: Maliwan's corporate culture is that everything is about the people at the very top of the food chain, and that everyone else exists to serve them. Their corporate branding presents their customers as being superior to everyone else precisely because they use Maliwan tech, and Katagawa Jr. repeatedly talks about how no one else in any corporation matters but the executives, and employees are completely expendable. An employee orientation manual on Skywell-27 explicitly says that the menial employees are only slightly more valuable than the wood used on the Zanara's floors and that the workers should avoid trying to sample any of the executives' food or luxuries unless they want to be driven to suicide.
  • Life Drain: Maliwan grenades in 2 and TPS explode and release homing projectiles which touch and damage enemies, spawning a healing projectile that returns back to the player.
  • Non-Elemental:
    • Curiously, there are game files for Dummied Out Maliwan weapons without elemental properties. There are even prefixes, such as "Technetronic" for submachine guns.
    • In The Pre-Sequel, there is exactly one Laser weapon with no element which also happens to be a Maliwan Weapon, the E-Gun. However this is a weird case as the E-Gun is explicitly modified to kill Ghosts, which might be why it has no element (the elemental capacitor being tampered to harm ghosts instead).
    • In 3, we have the Mind Killer, a legendary shotgun that spawns with no element.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Would become the next Atlas & Hyperion equivalent in 3 as the resident antagonistic corporation. However, they're not as well-developed and become quickly ousted by the time the first vault is opened save for one more late-game appearance due to their army being defeated in the battle of Promethea and their CEO being killed in battle.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Maliwan naming conventions usually give their names verbose and over-elaborate names such as "SubMalevolent Grace" for their basic SMGs or "Florentine" for sniper rifles. Jack mocks them in an Echo Log in Opportunity and Torgue PR loathes the very idea.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: Averted. All Maliwan weapons have decent iron sights, and their scope accessory on submachine guns and pistols is a holographic reflex sight. They only have true-to-form scopes for sniper rifles and rocket launchers.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Most of Maliwan's military is made up of this, with their armies invading Promethea and Athenas virtually relishing in the death and mayhem they're inflicting. Looking closely at the Maliwan troops and listening to their voices indicates that they're largely bandits just like the Children of the Vault, only working for Maliwan instead of the Calypsos. Most notable are the Traunts, a rather numerous family of psychopathic Heavy Troopers obsessed with screaming their names, committing warcrimes and avenging fallen family members.
  • Starter Equipment: An Electrified Aegis is Athena's starting weapon in a new game in Pre-Sequel. Because it's a Maliwan, it's the only starting weapon that can spawn with an elemental capacitor.
  • Starter Villain: Became this in 3 when much of the early-game focus was on beating back Maliwan from their assault on Atlas and Athenas. After Katagawa is killed, much of the conflict returns back to the Children of the Vault, although a Maliwan fleet under the command of General Traunt somehow managed to end up on Nekrotefayo.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Norfleet in 2 is an E-Tech rocket launcher that fires a volley of explosive orbs of energy with a blast radius so massive that everything in front of you will more than likely get blown away by it - including yourself if you're not far enough. Unless you're using The Sham shield with a high absorb chance, in which case, you'll get some free rockets.
  • Unorthodox Reload: The "iPod" aesthetics means that changing mags looks more like swapping a battery. In all cases, the Tron Lines on the gun have to first flicker on for it to be usable.
    • In SMG's, it's done depending on the rarity level. For white and green ones, you swipe a finger on the side of the receiver for a perfectly form-fitting magazine on the side to drop out, then put a new one. Nicer ones (blue and above) have an external circular magazine that is cranked upon insertion. In both kinds, if the gun's reload speed is low, the Vault Hunter will give the magazine a slap to insert it properly. In 3, a new magazine type that looks even more like a battery is inserted from the top of the gun.
    • In sniper rifles, the trick is to pull the barrel down to break open the entire frontal half to get to the magazine sitting in the center of the receiver. In 3, another magazine type has you pull it out from the top along with the scope, putting another one back in like a cassette tape.
    • In rocket launchers, the set of three barrels near the muzzle are pulled out, and another is inserted and does a little spin for good measure.
    • For pistols, the guns are styled after revolvers with their battery packs where the cylinder on an actual revolver would be. They are flipped out and another is slapped in sideways.
  • Villain Team-Up: In 3, Maliwan have allied with the Children of the Vault for the sake of expendable goons in Katagawa Jr's war against the Atlas corporation. A sidequest reveals that Katagawa fully intends on betraying the Calypso twins, which leads to the dissolution of the alliance after Atlas leaks said info to the public.
  • Weapon of Choice: Maliwan weapons are generally popular among elemental damage specialists such as Lilith, Maya, Krieg, Gaige, and Athena. Mordecai is usually seen wielding a Maliwan sniper rifle throughout Borderlands 2 and its DLCs.


Maliwan Troopers are the standard infantry, and are seen as the occupational force deployed on Promethea, Atlas' HQ, and Nekrotafeyo, the Eridian homeworld. The standard Troopers are armed with a variety of weapons and offer no particular specialization, but their armor may be augmented with modifications that grant high-tech abilities in battle. These specialists are the Flash Trooper, Med Trooper, Jet Trooper and the Riot Trooper.
  • Agony of the Feet: Riot Troopers can be shot in the legs to make them trip, which makes them drop their shield when they get back up.
  • Airborne Mooks: Jet Troopers use jetpacks to hover around the battlefield at a decent enough of a speed to be hard to hit.
  • In the Back: If you shoot a Flash Trooper in the back enough times, their boosters will malfunction and jettison them forward as they die. If they're facing a wall, they'll splat right into it.
  • It's Raining Men: Maliwan drop pods fall from orbit and teleport their troops to the fight in bulk, similar to Hyperion moonshot delivering Loaders from before.
  • Shoot the Medic First: It's in your best interest to find and kill their medics before they can heal their troops. Same thing if there's a NOG nearby, who is reinforcing their shields.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Listening to their dialogue indicates that they're only a bit more well adjusted compared to the COV lunatics.
  • Super Reflexes: Flash Troopers can enter a sprint that crosses a room in the blink of an eye. When being shot at, they can start dodging around bullets Matrix style while weaving their bodies around the attacks.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Played with, as a bunch of their dialogue makes it clear that they're only in the war for the money, but they're so amoral and vicious that they can only be considered slightly more well adjusted than the bandit populace.


Maliwan Heavies have been given the heaviest and strongest firepower infantry may get, and as a result are massive and lumbering enemies. In battle, they'll launch lobs of elementally-charged explosive projectiles to incinerate, contaminate, electrocute or otherwise destroy targets with. Aside from headshotting them, their backpacks are vulnerable to being shot and compromised, which leads to their explosive death. Elementally charged Heavies are the Pyrotech, Contaminator, Icebreaker and Powerhouse, with the odd members out being the Gunner. They're actually the Nomads from 2 that decided to join Maliwan for better pay and not having to deal with their former bandit subordinates.
  • The Family That Slays Together: The Traunt family are a family of Heavies who are all violent assholes with a tendency for screaming their name as a battlecry. They're also rather vengeful and are all dedicated to hunting down the Vault Hunters after they've killed at least two of them.
  • Famous Last Words:
    "I died as I lived: pissing and shitting...!"
  • Giant Mook: They're absolutely massive compared to regular Troopers, but tend to move sluggishly when they're not leaping or going for a tackle.
  • Ground Pound: All of them can prepare a leap towards their enemies that slams the ground around them.
  • Hollywood Acid: Contaminators are the Corrosive specialists, and spew a constant torrent of acid as an attack.
  • In the Back: Shoot them in the back where they draw their fuel/ammo from enough times, and they'll be rendered helpless as it malfunctions and prepares to blow them up.


NOGs are the diminutive support infantry in the Maliwan army, being armed with high-tech gadgets to the provide aid to their fellow troops and to hamper the Vault Hunters.
  • Fun with Acronyms: What 'NOG' stands for isn't disclosed, however it still acts as a joke to their disproportionately large heads/noggins.
  • Inside a Computer System: NOGs are apparently immersed and convinced that they're playing a video game thanks to their suits.
  • In the Back: Their helmets are so armored that shooting their heads won't act as a crit. Instead, they must be shot in their backpacks.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Badass NOGs will be armed with so many drones that they can deploy a frontal shield, protecting them from most attacks everywhere but their backs.
  • Mini Mook: Mini Maliwan Mooks.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Given their ability to restore shields, this should be a priority.

Death Spheres

Death Spheres are the flying and autonomous security drones deployed at key Maliwan positions as a security measure.
  • Airborne Mooks: They're constantly in flight and move lazily as they attack, with an armored HP bar to give them a certain level of durability. Fortunately, their spherical bodies give them an easy center-of-mass to attack.
  • Calling Your Attacks: They tend to call out what their incoming attack will be.
  • Dissonant Serenity: They speak with a calm and somewhat jovial female tone similar to the Hyperion announcer, even as they blast their enemies into pieces and as they die, and only sound mildly concerned when they start burning to death.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Badass Spheres have an attack where they'll start spinning wildly while letting loose tons of laser blasts to carpet bomb an area.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Badass Death Spheres don't stand hover still for long, constantly side-'stepping' in the air and flying at high speeds to deliver crippling laser blasts that sweep across the battlefield. Thankfully, they tend to be predictable with their flight and attack patterns.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Stingers are Spheres armed with missiles, when attacking they'll start firing entire volleys at the player.


Maliwan Bots are the mechanical infantry usually deployed alongside the human troops. In terms of design, they resemble smaller and professionally built versions of Deathtrap. Besides combat, they're also configured to handle a variety of more mundane roles such as policing, firefighting and janitorial duties.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Autonomous soldiers and workers that make up a decent chunk of the Maliwan army.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: As revealed in an ECHO log, Mr. Holloway, father of Marcie Holloway (who ripped off Gaige's design for Deathtrap for their science fair and accidentally got killed by Deathtrap as a result), took the robotic designs his daughter made and started a robotics company, which Maliwan evidently did business with. Visually, they're similar to Deathtrap by being floating torsos with attached weaponry, but they're much smaller and frailer despite being built in a factory unlike Deathtrap, who was built from home.

    S&S Munitions
"The brothers who first founded S&S Munitions did so with the goal to not just make a weapon, but to change an industry. As avid outdoorsmen with time in the military, they knew the power of your weapon only mattered when it was loaded. Tired of seeing their clips run dry at the most inopportune times, they set out to develop the highest capacity guns on the market. S&S Munitions is now the standard-bearer for large capacity, easy-to-change magazines. Today, our commitment to functional technological advancements doesn't end there. S&S Munitions also makes some of the most powerful tech weapons on the market. If power and capacity are your concerns, then say yes to S&S."

A manufacturer that only appeared in the first Borderlands, which produced high-capacity weaponry often augmented with elemental tech. Unfortunately, they went out of business (at least on Pandora and Elpis) due to the proliferation of cheaper, locally-produced Bandit and Scav guns.

  • The Cameo: Borderlands 3 mentions that they manufacture the loot identification lights on various weapons. That's the most we see of them after the first game.
  • The Generic Guy: Among the weapons of all three games, there just wasn't much distinguishing them from everyone else aside from very large magazines, moderate to fast fire rates and decent elemental multipliers that were still outclassed by Maliwan. As a result, they got replaced by Bandit weapons, which were much more flavorful.
  • Hufflepuff House: Originally, S&S was one of several manufacturers that only had characterization through ad copy, but it remains the only one to not be expanded upon at all. For example, Jakobs was given a prominent appearance in The Zombie Island of Doctor Ned, and both it and Torgue were then given radical redesigns for Borderlands 2 based on their respective motifs (The Wild West and manliness, respectively), before being made a central part of 3. S&S was dropped entirely and had its characteristics given to Bandit/Scav/COV and Vladof; it is implied that the development and proliferation of cheap, homemade Bandit/Scav/COV guns that also focused on large magazines ended up driving S&S into bankruptcy.
  • More Dakka: Their main schtick was having generously large magazines for their guns. To quote one of their advertisement posters:
    Reload: Verb.
    1. Something you do after your target is dead.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Again, don't plan on hearing about these guys past the first game.

"Tediore was founded on the principle that no family should be without the protection that an affordable, lightweight firearm provides. Whether you're planning on taking little Billy out to the fields for his first pheasant hunt or you need to chase some trouble off your front porch, Tediore will be there for you. Over the years, Tediore has built a reputation among the working class men and women of this land for providing fast-reloading weapons that anyone, on any budget, can afford. So the next time you're headed down to the Save-N-Save, why not put a little piece (sic) of mind in the cart and grab yourself a Tediore? Tediore's pistols, shotguns, sub-machine guns and rifles can be found at major retailers nationwide."

The Tediore corporation prides itself on cheap affordable firearms for the common people. As such, they are some of the most common guns found in the games and their easy-to-use functionality means that they have exceptionally fast reload times. In the second game, this "evolves" into being thrown away, with another gun immediately digistructing into your hands. Tediore lasers act as Tesla coils for a short while before exploding when they are reloaded, and Tediore barrels turn lasers into splitters. Tediore shields and grenades lack any sort of special gimmick, although their shields do boast low capacity in exchange for fast recharges.

Borderlands 3 turns the variety of their grenade modes Up to Eleven: Bouncing Bettys, MIRVs, homing grenades, guns with legs, and more.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology:
    • Tediore weapons are boxy and utilitarian, to emphasize their cheap and disposable nature. They're often made of low-quality plastic or metal, with higher-end models using carbon fiber parts instead.
    • In Borderlands 3, they've switched this out for a style similar to mechanical parts, though they have injected a bit more color into some of their guns. They also acquire 8 bit-era traits, such as sounding increasingly 8 bit-like as you spend their magazines.
    • In 2 and Pre-Sequel, Tediore guns have no external magazines due to their disposable nature.
  • Attack Drone: Tediore Guns in 3 can sometimes sprout legs after reloads so that they can run around and shoot at enemies, fly around as a homing missile while firing shots off, as well as act as turrets.
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: In 3, some guns may have a giant, holographic sphere around them when thrown that spell out Shoot Me. Shooting it makes the gun explode with even more force than what would be allowed.
  • Boring, but Practical: In 1 Tediore guns had the advantage of having lighting fast reloads and most of their unique and legendary guns gave you essentially infinite ammo through ammo regeneration, all which came at cost of them having lower than average stats and no other effect. In 2 and Pre-Sequel most Tediore shields tend to recharge very fast but lack any of the flashier effects.
  • Butt-Monkey: In Borderlands 3, Tediore is treated as this among the corporations. Both Rhys and Katagawa Jr (heir of Maliwan) make multiple digs at Tediore's expense, treating the company as a joke and not a serious threat. Even Timothy Lawrence in the Handsome Jackpot isn't so sure if they were still a thing when he meets the third generation vault hunters.
  • Cute as a Bouncing Betty: Tediore produces the Bunny, which is a line of Legendary rocket launchers that, when reloaded, bounces around and drops live grenades before blowing itself up, allowing their users to blow a up condensed room several times over. They're also painted bright pink with a white bunny emblem on its side.
    • The Baby Maker is an SMG (a pistol in 3) that's painted a vibrant pink/purple that explodes like any other Tediore weapon, but with the added effect of additional baby copies of the gun to sprout out and also explode on enemies, causing massive damage if not outright goring them. It also makes Varkid larvae sounds when exploding.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: From 2 and onward weapon reloads will make your character throw the gun, which has caused many guns being flung accidentally after an enemy has been killed or after a fight ended.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Starting from 2 Tediore reloads make your character throw the weapon to explode at an enemy instead of inserting a new clip, the more ammo the weapon throw had the bigger the damage will be. You can easily deal large amounts of damage if you can aim your throws, but missing means you wasted an entire clip worth of ammo, hitting enemies from mid distances is tricky stuff and from long distances is nearly impossible. This is more or less remedied in 3 with the new reload properties allowing weapons to home, or even chase targets, but a badly aimed throw still means you'll waste the gun's entire ammo. And if you're not careful you can burn through your entire stock of ammo before you can even notice.
  • Homing Projectile: The Deliverance in 2 is a shotgun that, when reloaded, will fly in the air and home in on the nearest target while still shooting at them before colliding and exploding; some of their rocket launchers also become homing rockets when you throw them away. In 3, this behavior was made into a generalized feature of much of their guns, from the gun itself homing in on a target to the projectiles it spawn doing so.
  • Housewife: Their mascot in radio ads is Mrs. Tediore, who is a 1950's-esque housewife who also happens to be a spokesperson for a weapons company.
  • Hufflepuff House: They tend not to play much of a role. The most heard about them happens to usually be anecdotes of their defeats and jokes made at their expense by the other corporations.
  • Magikarp Power: The Anarchy shotgun in 3, made in the likeness of an Anarchy focused Gaige, starts out with roughly the same damage as any other Tediore shotgun, which is to say not much. It will gain more damage whenever it kills an enemy or is reloaded with an empty magazine up to ten times, which ramps up its damage high enough to instantly blow away most enemies and have an even deadlier explosive reload.
  • Nanomachines: Tediore guns are implied to be this in its true form due to their Throw-Away Guns nature and how they easily digistruct for use.
  • Never Needs Sharpening: The volatile construction of a Tediore gun was made into a selling point of the gun.
  • One Bullet Clips: Subverted. Any bullets left when reloading a Tediore go with the gun and add to the damage of the explosion. If nothing, it can be useful for some burst damage with high-capacity guns such as SMGs.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Because of their cheap and disposable nature, the average Tediore gun will resemble an arrangement of boxes with a trigger mechanism. Even their scopes are boxy.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: Tediore Law revolvers in the first game. They fire fast, reload even faster, and outclass repeaters in damage no matter what, so they make for very good sidearms.
  • Smart Gun: They're begun delving into this business in 3, by installing AI into some of their guns which help the user deliver their disposed gun to their enemy. The guns with the bouncing augment stoically say 'Ow' while they hop around the environment, while those with turret legs will shout and threaten the enemy while firing at/chasing them.
    You will die! '''You! Will! Die!'''
    Here come that boy.
    I am unleashed!
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: In Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel, "reloading" a Tediore means tossing them at your enemies, thus turning them into grenades. In the case of rocket launchers, this means they turn into rockets themselves. The third game has the guns sprout legs and become miniature walking turrets. That explode.
  • Vendor Trash: Downplayed. Most of the time Tediores have such bad stats that they're best sold, but their prices are so low you won't get much of a profit. On the other hand, them being a budget brand means you can get a good one off a vendor for much less than you'd pay for a more chic brand such as Hyperion, Atlas or Maliwan (not that money is really necessary in the middle games). A Tediore rocket launcher bought for the price of an SMG from another manufacturer is nothing to scoff at. And a Tediore Legendary is still a Legendary — a Jack-of-All-Stats whose fast, explosive reload provides practically constant damage output.
  • Weapon of Choice: Characters who have skills that allow them to make the best of explosions may find themselves buying Tediore guns just to exploit their explosive reload property, such as Axton, Krieg, Claptrap, Wilhelm and Moze. Salvador's ammo regeneration when Gunzerking also allows him to make use of Tediore's ammo consumption upon reloads more liberally.
  • The Worf Effect: According to a hidden ECHO log in Commander Lilith and the Fight For Sanctuary, a shock troop of Iron Bear mechs from Vladof's Ursa Corps was able to clear out clear out an entire continent of Tediore forces in a matter of days. While Tediore's military might was never well-established, the fact that Hyperion was freaked out by this suggests the budget manufacturer is at least somewhat competent.

"The next time you go shopping for a new gun, ask yourself one question: Are you a man? If you answer in the affirmative, then you're ready for a Torgue. You see, we at Torgue make guns for real men. Tough guys. Badasses. The kind of guys your dad was and you hope to be! Torgue doesn't screw around making lightweight toys and we sure as hell aren't concerned with selling you a stylish accessory like those hip-huggers over at Maliwan. No. We make them tough, and we make them heavy. It's up to you to make 'em dead. Do it with a Torgue."

The Torgue corporation owes its existence to Mister Torgue High-Five Flexington, whose write-up can be found here. It's said that the boss of a company sets the tone, and while the actual authority of Mister Torgue is somewhat limited, the company wouldn't be what it is without him...because "what it is" is off its nut in a violently proactive manner. Torgue weapons started out powerful and slow but otherwise fairly generic in the original Borderlands, but in Borderlands 2 they picked up their defining trait: EXPLOSIONS. All Torgue weapons in 2 fire slow but destructive gyrojet rounds that explode either on contact or after a slight delay, and there are no Torgue submachine guns or sniper rifles; guns tend to be named basically at random with a faint tendency towards sex jokes, while rocket launchers are given goofy onomatopoeic names for the sound of blowing stuff up ("Boom", "Blaaa"). Torgue barrels massively increase damage with a few penalties, and in the case of assault rifles, make them fire mini-grenades or rockets. Torgue shields punish attackers with explosive novas and spikes, and their grenades exclusively use MIRV technology.

In Borderlands 3, their guns can be toggled between regular "impact" gyrojets and sticky shots that deal more damage the more of them are clustered on a target. They are also no longer restricted solely to explosive damage and return to making weapons of other elements, likely as a result of being under new management (and because Explosive damage was folded into normal damage this time).

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • Every single Torgue weapon in 2 uses self-propelled gyrojets similar to bolt shells.
    • The SWORDSPLOSION!!! fires swords that explode on impact into three more swords. Those also explode on impact.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Effervescent variant of the SWORDSPLOSION!!!, the Unicornsplosion. Unicornsplosion acts mostly the same as the SWORDSPLOSION!!!, but it fires miniature Butt Stallions instead of swords that has sparkling trails and rainbow splash effect when the Butt Stallion projectiles hits the ground/the target.
    • Torgue weapons can use sticky bullets in 3, shots that harmlessly attach themselves to targets before exploding for damage that scales depending on how many shots detonated at once.
    • Because grenade launchers aren't a separate class of weapons in the game, any assault rifle with a Torgue Barrel effectively takes the role of a grenade launchers. They generally have less damage than an equivalent Rocket Launcher, but uses four Assault Rifle bullets instead (which is infinitely more common). Depending on the manufacturer, it can either function like a normal arcing Grenade launcher or a RPG. They often catch new players by surprise as they are the only other non-Unique/Legendary guns to cause self-damage. Some Torgue Uniques and legendary Shotguns also fire a single rocket or grenade, serving the same purpose, but often with damage on par with equivalent rocket launchers due to shotgun ammo being scarcer.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Torgue weapons feature a chunky appearance reminiscent of motorcycles and monster trucks, keeping in line with the Testosterone Poisoning theme. Their paint jobs often include racing stripes and checkerboard patterns with bold primary colors.
    • Borderlands 3 doubles down on this, with their guns looking almost like car parts and sometimes even featuring superchargers and small V8 engines.
  • Bad Boss: Mr. Torgue is decidedly not interested in anything remotely resembling safety. Presumably his employees have a remarkably short life expectancy.
  • BFG: Standard Torgue design policy is to make nothing but these.
  • Bigger Is Better: Torgue weaponry does not shy on its massive barrels and overstated "engine" receivers, with calibers large enough to make holes you could see through.
  • Character Exaggeration: In Borderlands 1, they were almost as generic as S&S, save for their advertising copy's focus on manliness. Borderlands 2 took that focus on manliness and ran with it as far as possible, and so the difference between this early version and their portrayal in Borderlands 2 and onwards is striking. Borderlands 3 then cranked it a notch higher with guns that outright look like big badass car parts.
  • Composite Character: A number of Maliwan rocket launchers, such as the Hive, were rebranded as Torgue launchers in 3, mostly due to the fact that Maliwan started to build shotguns in place of rocket launchers, and perhaps because Mister Torgue shouted at Maliwan for some time. It helps that Torgue weapons have expanded their roster to make use of elemental damage now that Explosive was demoted to normal damage.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Most of the other companies make a wider variety of guns, and most of them have at least a few weapons of each element. Torgue makes four types of gun — pistol, shotgun, rocket launcher, assault rifle — and all of them shoot explosive bullets. Only two weapons, Peak Opener and World Burn (both from Commander Lilith DLC), did not have explosive elements as their main element tech (being listed as Shock and Incendiary respectively and a foreshadowing to 3), and even both weapons still shoots explosive projectiles. Due to their ammo, Torgue weapons fare poorly at long range. The slow projectile speed, along with the generally reliable damage, means that Torgue weapons are ideally suited for killing very large targets like bosses, especially if you've got class mods or skills that boost explosive damage. This is rectified in 3 with Sticky bullets which lack the slow speed while also having immense damage potential.
  • Double Entendre: Torgue weapon names in 2 occasionally sound like sex jokes, much more so with the unique guns such as "Hole Puncher", "Bangstick", "Pounder", "Creamer", etc...
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Explosion damage can deal reasonably well with all specialist defenses and reduces the value of shields.
  • Large Ham: Torgue weapons do to subtlety what Krieg would do to your garden party. Their advertising largely consists of having Mister Torgue shout at people.
  • Lead the Target: Thanks to their slow projectile speed, Torgue guns require you to compensate to hit even the slowest moving targets.
  • Hand Cannon: Torgue produces the heaviest pistol barrel, and actually make a gun called the Hand Cannon (it's a generic title for any pistol with the Dahl, Tediore, Bandit or Maliwan muzzle), but even those are trumped by Torgue "Slappers" built with the Torgue-original heavy barrel (which, when on guns from other brands, also gives them Hand Cannon-ish names such as Magnum, Impact or Widow Maker).
    • They double down on this in 3; they are MUCH bigger and chunkier than they were in 2, and hit even harder. There is also a Shout-Out to Destiny within them, as some of their revolvers load from a cylinder-shaped magazine rather than a standard cylinder, much like the Hand Cannon weapons from that game.
  • Having a Blast: Torgue weapons all focus on explosive damage. In 3 however, since Explosion is no longer an element Torgue weapons deal normal damage by default and can come in other elements.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Under the leadership of Mister Torgue, the company was not known for wise business decisions. Eventually the Board of Directors bought it off him for twelve bucks and a high-five.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Unkempt Harold, particularly with the Double Penetrating prefix which lets it fire two shots at once. This pistol fires a volley of explosive bullets in a horizontal pattern, which then split into additional bullets after a short distance, which split into even more shots after another distance. It's capable of an intense amount of damage when aimed correctly or used against huge targets, making it an ideal sidearm for every character and makes it obscenely powerful in the hands of Salvador and Krieg, the former who can dual wield two of them to blow away enemies or match it with a slag weapon, and the latter whose skills in the Bloodlust tree gives him a considerable damage bonus for getting kills with explosive damage. Prior to being given a confirmed drop location with Savage Lee in 2013, it was a random world drop, and thus very hard to acquire normally (let alone with a Double Penetrating prefix), making it something of a prized treasure in the game.
  • Lethal Chef: The Torgue Corporation also produces food, and both BL 2 and BL 3 have side missions involving recalls.
  • Macho Masochism: Torgue weapons are, supposedly, deliberately heavy as a kind of first test of whether you're tough enough to use them. Since inventory is based on items rather than weight it doesn't come up much in play.
  • Made of Explodium: If it's made by Torgue, it's either exploding or causing exploding. It's so prevalent that even their food products (such as breakfast cereal and hot sauce) are known to explode.
  • Mighty Glacier: Torgue guns invariably have superior damage output to their competitors, even if a Jakobs rival has higher visible damage on the stat sheet. (Each gyrojet does double damage on direct hits), but have slow projectiles and below-average fire rates.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted with two of their weapons: the Duuurp! rocket launcher (and its unique derivatives) and the SWORDSPLOSION!!! E-tech shotgun.
  • No Indoor Voice: Their ads in Borderlands 2 were like this by default considering that it's Mr. Torgue who did the ads.
  • Not So Different: To both of their rivals. Like Maliwan, they exclusively focus on elemental damage and often use up multiple rounds per shot. Like Jakobs, they make relatively few types of gun and don't include much variety in ammunition, while favoring brute damage.
  • Nuke 'em: The Nukem rocket launcher fires a payload that explodes in a massive mushroom cloud when it lands, with an equally massive splash radius.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: They favor chunky and metallic aesthetics with racing check patterns. That said, the only really squared part they manufacture is their shotgun barrel. Everything else is rounded and tube-like, evoking both engine pipes and a man's "pipe".
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Torgue gyrojet rounds move very slowly, presumably due to the weight of the payload. This is particularly notable in their Duuuurp! Rocket Launchers, which fire in a shallow parabolic arc, and are slow enough that vehicles can usually outrun them. But if they hit anywhere near you, they're going to hurt. The only Torgue weapon with fast projectiles is the Blaa rocket launcher, thanks to the velocity-increasing Maliwan barrel. Rectified somewhat in 3 with Sticky shots, which fire out as fast as regular bullets.
  • The Peter Principle: While Mister Torgue was an excellent weapons designer, his actual management ability was very questionable as he was known for wasting money and men on projects of dubious worth/legality. Eventually this led to the board of directors "purchasing" the controlling stocks from him via $12 and a high-five, demoting him to a mere spokesperson and eventually firing him for sabotaging a publicity stunt (though he's back in the company by 3).
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Expect this to be the norm while firing Torgue weapons.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: As of Borderlands 2 and onwards, all their pistols are massive revolvers that rival and sometimes beat Jakobs in terms of power.
  • The Rival: To Jakobs and Maliwan. Torgue advertising tends to pour scorn on Maliwan's sleek, high-tech appearance and Jakobs's old-school wood-handled charm, encouraging people to instead buy the hunk of heavy metal.
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • Surprisingly, their spread is not that bad. The slow movement of Torgue gyrojet ammunition is the problem: it means that long-range accuracy is compromised against mobile targets, meaning that the closer you get, the more likely you are to actually hit what you're aiming at and not have them sidestep while the shot is in transit.
    • The SWORDSPLOSION!!! E-tech shotgun is quite long-ranged. Then again, that's because it acts more like a Grenade Launcher with Recursive Ammo than a shotgun proper.
    • The Flakker is about the shortest range a shotgun can get in the series - instead of firing shotgun shells, it shoots forward a creeping series of explosion that disperses after a few feet, similar to a real world flak gun. Its damage ranges from pitifully low to being capable of obliterating most common enemies in a single shot, depending on how close they are to the blasts epicenter. Characters like Krieg, Claptrap and Moze can get the most use of it thanks to its raw explosive power, which they specialize in.
  • Splash Damage: Every single Torgue weapon in 2 and Pre-Sequel has at least a little. And then there's the Carnage, Pocket Rocket, various Torpedo types and the legendary Ker-Blaster, all of which are effectively mini rocket launchers, to say nothing of the MIRV effects of the SWORDSPLOSION!!!.
  • Sticky Bomb: Torgue guns get sticky gyrojets as an alternate firing mode in the third game.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The heart and soul of Torgue.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Torgue make a lot of grenade mods, mostly focused on increased blast radius and damage.
  • Token Good Teammate: For a relative degree of "good". The Torgue corporation under Mr. Torgue's command is less concerned with power or influence and more with Crazy Awesome stunts. Sure, people often get hurt in the process, but there's rarely any active malice or greed behind it. Even their shareholders are decidedly less malicious since more often than not they're there to clean up after Torgue and the worst they've been seen to do is rig a competition in his favor as a promotional stunt.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Torgue rocket launchers are reloaded by replacing the rear exhaust. Don't ask how that worksnote .
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Torgue weapons don't have much of the whole "accuracy" thing everyone's talking about and their projectiles are slower than their competitors, but hell if they don't hit hard when they actually hit.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • Torgue's raw explosive firepower makes it the favored manufacturer of Rocket, Grenade or explosive damage specialists like Brick, Axton, Krieg, Claptrap, Wilhelm and Moze, as well as those who favor stopping power over accuracy like Salvador and Gaige.
    • Torgue Assault Rifles are a special favorite of Axton as his skills buff assault rifle damage and grenade damage (which buffs Torgue Gyrojets), making Torgue assault rifles in the hands of an Axton ludicrously powerful later in the game.
    • In the third game, due to sticky shots amplifying damage depending on how many are on a single enemy Torgue shotguns are very effective in the hands of characters who have some sort of skill that lets them shoot without costing ammo, such as FL4K and Moze. Done right, they can vaporize bosses within seconds.

"We see the pain in your eyes. We sense your anger, your feelings of betrayal, and your disgust. And we at Vladof are with you. The time is coming, comrades! The time to stand up and be heard is nearly upon us and you must be prepared. You must be armed! Vladof firearms were designed for this moment in time. Seize it! When you shoulder a Vladof, you will know at once that you are not alone and that you can be heard. You will be heard! All Vladof weapons are constructed in the factories of your brethren and designed to pack the highest firing rate possible. The oppressors will be fast — we know this — Vladof helps you to be even quicker. Rise with Vladof. Together we will forge a better tomorrow!"

A very clearly Russian-based corporation headed by Ivan Vladof, Vladof are mostly notable for two things: the revolutionary fervour of their radio ads, and the enthusiasm with which their guns spray ammunition. Vladof's unique manufacturer trait in 2 is their exceptional rate of fire, with a deeper magazine to make better use of that fire rate. Vladof make pistols, assault rifles, rocket launchers and sniper rifles, and most are given names implying revolution (the "Anarchist" pistol, for example). Vladof shields can absorb incoming fire and add the ammunition to the wearer's reserves, allowing them to keep shooting for even longer, while their grenades create large elemental areas of effect.

In Borderlands 3, their guns can be kitted out with underbarrel attachments: tasers, rocket tubes, even extra barrels.

  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Vladof weapons, like most aspects of the company, hearken back to old Soviet-era tech, with parallelogram silhouettes and the occasional hammer-and-sickle logo painted on.
    • In Borderlands 3, their assault rifles keep the AK aesthetic (with some parts being derived from the AKS-74U), but the other guns deviate from the Soviet-influenced design they're known for. Certain variations of their pistols even resemble Ruger's line of .22 pistols, of all things.
  • A.K.A.-47: While none of their guns are exactly identical to Soviet-made firearms, there's very clear design influence. Uncommon Vladof weapons in 2 and Pre-Sequel even have the same finish as a real AK-47.
  • Badass Army: Out of all of the corporations, Vladof's is apparently the most powerful and dangerous. The Ursa Corps was theoretically able to take on the entire Hyperion military under Handsome Jack in a straight fight. If Moze's Iron Bear is any indication, the Ursa Corps is basically an entire army of One Man Armies.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • In Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel, while they specialize in fire rate, none of their other stats are all that bad, making them pretty solid choices for general use. The only real downside is ammo consumption.
    • Vladof rocket launchers in 2 and Pre-Sequel don't really excel in any stat compared to rocket launchers from other manufacturers, but they get a feature that more than makes up for it: reduced ammo per shot, which means you'll occasionally fire a rocket that costs no ammo. Considering how small the ammo pool for rocket launchers is and how rare and expensive the ammo is to obtain, this makes them far more sustainable in combat. As an added bonus, the reduced ammo effect overrides the increased ammo consumption that E-tech weapons normally get, making the Topneaa viable for more than just emergencies.
    • In Borderlands 3, one accessory that may be found on a Vladof weapon is a bipodnote . This lacks the extra firepower that a rocket/grenade launcher attachment or an extra gun barrel may bring and it slows its users down quite a bit when used, but it allows for near pin-point accuracy and virtually no recoil on a brand whose advertising slogan is "You don't need to be a better shot, you just need to shoot more bullets!"
  • Bottomless Magazines: One Vladof legendary is the Infinity, a pistol with literally unlimited ammunition.
  • Chummy Commies: Subverted. Vladof talks a good game about overthrowing the corporations, but ultimately there's not much difference between them and any other Mega-Corp.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Their Ursa Corp armored infantry division are capable of wiping out an entire continent of Tediore forces in a matter of days and are so intimidating that a Hyperion employee during the time of Jack's reign believes that they're better off not going to war with Vladof.
  • Foil: To Bandit/Scav/COV guns. While both manufacturers boast high fire rates to overwhelm their enemies Vladof guns tend to have better accuracy and handling and values some trigger discipline instead of merely jamming your finger on it and firing wildly to cause serious damage. In 3 Vladof values versatility, having several alternate fire modes, instead of the single-minded track of "shoot until your gun breaks" COV firearms.
  • Gatling Good: Vladof barrels on most guns give it two (pistol, sniper rifle) or three (assault rifle, rocket launcher) barrels, which rotate as the weapon is fired. The Jakobs assault rifle with the Vladof barrel is actually called a Gatling Gun, though it doesn't actually function like one due to how Jakobs rifles are semi-automatic (instead firing three shots at once).
    • The legendary Shredifier rifle in particular is Vladof's design philosophy incarnate. It sports a rotary minigun that spools up far more quickly than standard Vladof guns, letting the user fire over a hundred bullets in just a few seconds of holding the trigger down. In 3, it may even spawn with a second gun barrel attachment, fittingly renaming it the Super Shredifier, which ups its already ridiculous fire rate twofold.
    • Lucians Call is another Vladof rifle that sports two minigun barrels that spin and fire an intense volume of bullets, with the added effect of returning bullets back into the users magazine when they score a critical hit. Provided you're good at aiming for the head, you'll likely never have to reload it in battle.
  • Hufflepuff House: They don't get much focus, apart from some ambiguous and implied connections to Nurse Nina in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! and Moze in 3, who was a member of their Ursa Corps.
  • Hypocrite: That speech you read as their quote? Yeah, that's basically just advertising copy.
  • More Dakka: Vladof lives and breathes this. Overall their stats are okay but cyclic ROF is through the roof. Even their snipers get in on the action.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in Borderlands 3, where Vladof brand guns can now sport additional gun barrels on top of the main barrel for additional firepower, resulting in the utter absurdity of a Legendary pistol with 3 magazines, a Lyuda sniper rifle with 3 rotating barrels, and assault rifles with two minigun barrels.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Vladof is not above randomly altering the contracts of their soldiers in order to keep them on service for far longer than they're willing to. Fortunately, the soldiers are apparently able to do the same thing; when Moze's commander tried altering her contract to force her to take five more missions, she refused and agreed to only one more... which was Darzaron Bay.
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: What happens if the people who sell Che Guevara shirts make Kalashnikovs? You get Vladof.
  • Recursive Ammo: These are the people who make the Mongol, a rocket launcher that fires rockets that shoot out more rockets as it flies across the battlefield.
  • Secondary Fire: Borderlands 3 gives Vladof brand weapons under-barrel attachments to compliment their guns, up to and including grenade/rocket launchers, tasers and another gun barrel.
  • Shout-Out: All their sniper rifles are named in Nadsat.
  • Starter Equipment:
    • Claptrap starts every new game of Pre-Sequel with a part-fixed Angry TMP.
    • In 3, the first weapon you get from Claptrap is a Moloko with a Zip Rocket underbarrel, which does decent damage against level one enemies and quickly introduces the alt. fire mechanic.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • If you want to put out bullets quickly, you have two real options: one, buy a Vladof gun, or two, buy another company's gun with a Vladof rotary barrel. Salvador in particular can make use of Vladof sniper rifles (particularly Droogs) as glorified heavy assault rifles. Other recurring Vladof customers include Roland, whose bottomless supply of ammo make actually using Vladof weaponry practical; Zer0, whose build often emphasizes putting a lot of shots into a critical spots to rack of obscene levels of crit damage, Axton, who has various skills that boost fire rate, damage, and assault rifle magazines, Gaige, who can make use of Vladof's high fire rate for powerful Anarchy builds, and Nisha, who can evaporate anything in seconds with a pair of Dva Anarchists (unfortunately doing the same to her ammo pool).
    • A Krieg running Bloodlust can also make incredible use of Vladof weaponry, as their high fire rate and capacity (plus slightly lower damage) allows him to rack up Bloodlust stacks and reap the rewards much faster. Use of the Blood-Filled Guns skill will also allow him to deal out positively ridiculous amounts of dakka in the middle of an intense firefight.
    • In 3 Moze fittingly has a skill tree that is all about increasing magazine size and ammo regeneration. Having the right skills and something to increase her magazine size will turn her into a woman whose definition of reloading will be simply "optional" or just something she never has to do at all.


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