Arms Race: tips and tricks

Please share your tips and tricks regarding Arms Race mode! For criticism go to the other topic named Arms Race discussion!

Map for drop locations, thanks to Killersix, Joltzdude and Mentalmars!


Non legendaries to keep an eye for:

Q-systems, Blasters, Pulsars, Wolfhounds, Hyperion Shotguns, Atlas pistols, Vladof pistols, Jakobs assault rifles and shotguns. Therese are very good weapons that can be Badass killers even in white quality.
Tediore chucking will kill basically anything in seconds unless it’s a very weird, low damage variant.

Shields with high capacity and that drop boosters that recharge themselves are also very good

Mirv and homing grenades are very powerful, especially against the boss.

Relics with bonus damage and speed are quite the game changer, keep an eye out for snowdrifts.

Always look into vending machines, they can sell exclusive legendaries or powerful run winners at the cost of a few green or white items.

The boss seems to have very high resistance/weaknesses, so a low quality matching element gun will usually bring him down faster than a high quality non matching one. He seems to be very weak to explosions in general. Mirv grenades will usually delete his first two bars by the time you throw them all, leaving the easiest phase to other guns, preferably a fire one.

My theory is that the closet you are to the murdercane the more Badasses you encountered, but the better the loot is.
I’ve found red chests near the beginning of a match and they usually contained all white stuff… Can someone confirm?


Good topic to keep open while playing :slight_smile:

Tediores are not created equal - some do more chuck damage than other. Sometimes white Tediores are deadlier than purple - I recommend to always try them out. My favorite Tediores have homing or extra projectile attributes.

Additions from me (I might repeat myself from other topics).

  1. Don’t forget to upgrade toon’s SDUs.
  2. Max out backpack SDU’s to collect all gear in order to later sell it and have resources to replenish health, ammo and buy new gear.
  3. Plan your route in order to adapt to Murdercane. Route should include not only chests, but loot extractors, vending machines, mob camps.
  4. I am not sure if it best to rush to the Boss. I like to maximise amount of gear drop rolls and take on all challenges that come in my way sometimes even badasses and revenants drop legendary gear.
  5. Speaking of revenants, they (for me) spawn when Murdercane eye is very small (15 minutes in the run). The safest way approach them is to battle them near drop to the Boss, because there is health vending machine and ledges which can be exploited to confuse revenant AI (these dudes drop down and climb up while you can wear 'em down). HP doesn’t regenerate in this mode, so it is required for minimizing mistakes and trading blows (this is where collecting all gear for money comes in play).
  6. As I said, HP mostly doesn’t regenerate so health booster shields and shield with low recharge time, in my opinion, are pretty good.
  7. I suggest in early game to avoid linear paths, because they make good choke point and reduce flanking opportunities as a result.
  8. I had to adjust my style of encountering enemies, because it is hard to not to trade damage, while shooting at someone (sometimes), so keep line of sight just with one mob during battle. While doing that, use DOT grenades in order to wear down other and reduce contact time with the spawn pod.
  9. If you happen to fight several mobs at once and feel like in next 5 second will go down, focus one guy, reduce its HP to minimum and accept FFYL. If FFYL is long enough focus on mobs with high HP, damage trading is in your favour - you do not lose HP (just FFYL meter) while they lose their HP. When FFYL meter becomes short (1/3 of something, i don’t know) kill that mob with very low HP.
  10. Spiderant sewer arena is safe first encounter for new loot. It is always close to where players spawn in. It gives some green blue gear drops and is easy with white gear.

That’s it for now :slight_smile:


Thanks for both of your posts. Great stuff. I’ve definitely found more badasses near Murdercane.

The tactic that works best for me is sticking on the River that starts to the right of the bosses main bunker. I always head to the open air cache, without ever initiating it, because there is usually a crate plus lots of ammo boxes with gear too.

Then I go left on the river to the end of it where there is usually a loot box.

I then head back and go into the area where the enclosed cache. I then head through there to the warehouses. By then I have to head back to the boss fight and usually have good gear to use or exchange for better loot.

Also, I disagree about the revenants. Avoid them at all costs and definitely don’t draw them near the boss bunker to avoid having them drop into the main fight. Maybe some Vault Hunters can handle them, but I’ve found them really difficult so far.

Might not be the best strategy, but it’s served me all so far. Thanks again for you post. That was helpful.


Yeah, I’ve gotten most of my drops as random world drops from bosses (some in arenas, some not). Like I spend most of the time mobbing looking for these other drops until it’s boss time.

On topic: there is a white chest right where you land. The first couple times I dropped in, it was behind me and I just ran forward with no weapons… was sketchy until I got to some Skag piles that dropped a weapon. This chest has (so far) always given me a couple weapons and shield, which gets you on your feet.

Oh my, I didn’t know that was a thing. That’s a fun surprise. :laughing:

Also, I didn’t know that those enemies/areas had those dedicated drops… I’ve been exploring the edges of the map as far as the Murdercane lets me, just to see what’s out there (was wondering how I was lucky enough to get unique drops constantly). :+1:

  • Pick everything up, vendor fodder is important. If you’re solo, you have time to mark 'em as trash and sell them easily
  • Rounds are short, no need to prolong it. About 2-3 loot areas/airdrops and you can take on the boss.
  • The circle closes in quickly, so leave sketchy areas outside it for the next run.
  • Booster shields, healer shields are super good.
  • Slide/slam relics actually do worthwhile damage
  • Tediore and hyperion guns are nice on the whole. Consider heavy weapons, too: runs are so short that you’ll have almost enough ammo for the entirety of it.

Heh he. It just happened to me right at the outside of the bunker. It followed me there so I killed it. Fortunately I had some decent weapons. Once they’re in the fight itself, yah, they’re a barrel of bade throwing monkeys. Not literally, but they are a handful.:+1:

Nice. You’re spot on about Tediore. Your odds of clearing the boss improve exponentially once you get one though some are weaker than others.

I like to pick one of the loot rooms at the edge of the map and immediately run to it. Open whatever chests are on the way but for the most part try to dodge enemies until you hit a dead end.

As the storm closes in follow which ever path back to the middle that allows you to hit the most loot rooms. If possible, grab whatever airdrops are available before fighting a loot room just in case you need the extra firepower.

That map is super helpful!!


Another useful tip is to avoid fighting any mobs that you don’t need to fight. Figure out your path then beeline it straight there. You can fight more on your way to the boss after you’ve looted what you’re after.

Also, jumping is helpful in avoiding enemy fire if there’s no good cover nearby.


Work on priorities.
Kill melee mobs first if there are accompanied by dangerous shooting or cryo wielding ones, otherwise keep them as ffyl fodder.
Kill cyber dogs of any kind ASAP! They circle you and kill you in seconds, but have very low hp. Null hounds destroy your shield in a second, very dangerous.
Leave snipers (lean frame, usually hooded, big gun, sometimes laser scoped, they stand out) for last if you have cover, but if you are in the open charge them and steal their cover, they go down quickly.
Those elemental orb throwing tinks tend to be harmless and easy to avoid, they make easy ffyl fodder ad well.


you have time to sell stuff in a shop? I barely have time to look at the weapons I picked up to see which is good

I don’t understand how people can hit 2 or 3 loot rooms? The only chance I have of getting 2 is if I get lucky on one of the far-away rooms and then take the hotfoot-teddy-room (fall-down-spiderant-den near the boss) on my way back.

Most often when I’m done with a loot cache on the end, the murdercane is already right on me and I have to run towards the center. And - besides the spiderant-den - there are no loot-rooms anymore on the map.


When you enter your menu, the game pauses, including the Murdercane. Before you get to a machine, mark what you want to sell as trash. When you get to a machine, it’s like three keystrokes to get in, sell, and get back out (four if you want to refill all your ammo because you’re doing it at an ammo machine like a pro).

It is the browsing of wares that’s sketchy because the Murdercane/enemies don’t pause, and that takes a moment to read the stats and scroll to the next item. I mean, it’s like a second, but with an enemy shooting you or a Murdercane nipping at your heels, it’s weird. Usually I save this until the machine right before the fight.

I haven’t had time to nose around in more than a couple arenas at a time because I’m still not familiar with the map (just recently found out that those rooms have dedicated drops), and fart around with the locals outside a lot (which is fine - have had some great drops from them).

I think the strategy is to look at the map and aim for whatever distant arena you can get to as defined by how off-center the Murdercane is, and work your way back towards the final boss.


Although mentioned, I want to put an empisis on watching your shield and taking cover. If you don’t have great weapons then the fight becomes an endurange battle. Take proper cover to win the encounter.

A remarke on AI. Ranged enemies try to lead their shots. By ‘zigzagging’, they will miss most of their shots. Use it to prolongue your fighting time before needing cover again. Also a great way to run around more safely.


My boss farming process:

  1. Start Arms Race

  2. As soon as you’re dropped, open the first chest. If you got godly rng, kill the boss. The goal is either get a strong legendary or a strong Tediore. Some Tediores you get are ultra strong but some Teddies are kinda meh. If it’s meh, go to step 3. The problem with going to the boss is you don’t know if your first 2 guns are strong or not. If you don’t wanna risk it, go to step 3.

  3. My safest and surest approach to prepare for the boss is to circle the area around for mobs. Kill everything you see. Loot everything you can loot. The goal is to build up 4 different types of gear and get 1 or 2 strong guns. I always prefer to venture towards the Critical Thug chest. Not only I can get 4 different types of gear, I also have the chance to open that chest. And it’s close to the boss dungeon so no fear of being chased by Murdercane. If you can’t kill the badasses or giant spiderants easily, chances are you are not ready for the boss. Keep looting.

  4. Go back to the boss dungeon. Kill him

  5. Rinse and repeat.

Edit: In this process, you don’t go hunting any of those chest at the edges of the map. That’s not the goal of this boss farming process.


Thanks for the insights. Where is the critical thug chest? I’ve found that success in Arms Race is based less on skill and more on luck-whatever you find in a chest or drop. At least for solo players, which I always am.

I have a decent strategy now, but it could be better. You have some good tips for a very lame game mode, so thanks.:+1:

Anyone find a class mod in any of your runs. During one of my runs with flak I ended up picking up a white class mod. I’ve only seen it happen that one time so I’m assuming they are extremely rare.

They are very rare. Happened twice for me out of a ton of runs so far.

From my experience class mods drop mainly from Badasses and the boss.
If you rush a chest that is too “safe” from the murdercane you usually end up looting green and blue items, so being too efficient at reaching the desired chest is a thing.
So the best course of action is imho to go for chests near the edge of the murdercane, then swipe up the air drops and kill everything on sight when nothing else interests you. Badasses drop a lot of items after some time has elapsed. When the time is almost up go for the boss. This way you maximize dedicated drops and world drops.

r/showerthoughts: white COMs are more rare than orange ones