Borderlands 3 starting character recommendations

I loved Borderlands 1 and 2, and didn’t really get into 3. I am now revisiting the game and have all DLC, and I’m not sure where to start with character builds as a lot of information may be outdated with all the buffs nerfs, since game launch, and the new skill trees that were added with season 2.

I’m looking for a character that is fun to play and powerful. I have a lvl 13 FL4K but the pet is not as fun as I thought it would be. I’ve read that Arma and Zane are good options.

Any recommendations on what character to try and a good place to look for starting builds?

My input is to either look at skill trees and figure out which one looks like it fits your playstyle or just pick whoever is the most appealing from a visual appearance and personality standpoint and go with it. This game doesn’t pigeonhole your build options at endgame like BL2 did and each VH has multiple viable options to go with at that point. Contrary to what many people on this board will try to make others believe, you do not NEED to have god roll gear with specific anointments to do end game. It can make it a bit easier in that stuff will die a little faster. However I’ve found M10 perfectly doable with no anointments at all as long as you arent using weapons that are lacking buffs to make them competitive with other options of it’s type at the core level of the weapon.


Honestly try them all, there are several different routes to take for each VH.

This site has some great build write ups in each VH’s section but I would have to confess that YouTube is almighty when it comes to builds.

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If there are questions about particular skills (how they work, are they broken, for example), just ask. That you don’t like FL4K’s pets is a legit opinion (though many people said the same about Deathtrap, and I was quite able to predict when he was going to fire something so I could prepare for it (slag that enemy, group others, etcetera, so make sure your disdain for the pets is because they’re actually not fun, not because they don’t seem to work. They’re not as refined as Deathtrap, I think, but they can definitely wreck things). FL4K’s pets have been rebuilt (and there’s a fourth pet now), so if you otherwise like FL4K’s skill trees, give the pets another shake. I have four FL4Ks, and one of them has an occasional playstyle where a pet isn’t warranted, so I turn the pet on and off accordingly.

Fun (and to a certain extent, powerful) is a matter of opinion, and “most powerful” tends to be decided along the lines of, “can do x mission faster than the others”, not, “this character is too weak to do what the others can”. None of the characters are so weak that I feel comfortable saying what has been said above: they all work; check out the skill trees/action skills, and see what looks like fun.

If you want me to just pick one, go Zane. His Clone/SNTNL are kind of pet like (so if you didn’t like FL4K’s pets, maybe their behavior will scratch that itch). If not, no problem - switch to a Barrier/MNTIS build instead.


Thank you! With FL4K sometimes I feel overwhelmed by enemies, and I die a lot, but it is likely because I am unskilled and not using him correctly. So maybe “more powerful” is code for easier. I find the amount of skill tree choices overwhelming and worry that I am picking the wrong skills or skills that don’t have synergy. I will check out YouTube for builds, and I will check out Zane. Thanks again!

As someone that started with Amara, and mains her now, I think she is a solid pick. She gets some solid skills early on, and can really take advantage of elemental weapons that wreck in a first play through. She also requires the least specialized gear to be good, whereas the other VHs do require a few more pieces of equipment to supplement their builds. I found my Flak play through much tougher at the beginning than Amara. Zane is another good choice, but his best mod is locked in DLC 1 whereas Phazezerker(one of Amaras best mods) is a world drop main game. Farming Prvt Beans in a side quest in the main game can give you a good westergun. With Amara element buffs it can really make an easy to get legendary that can rock most content early on.
That being said, endgame all 4 VHs can truly shine. If you do get season pass 2 even more so.
So if you have trouble early on with any characters, just try leveling up, look for legendaries etc.

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With that in mind, I might recommend Moze… her action skill is a great, “oh crap, I screwed up and am about to die, pull the ripcord” option. Plus she’s got an alternate pet version of the mech to get your summoner on.


I went through with Amara the first time and had a lot of fun with the melee skills. What sort of playstyle do you think you’ll like? Amara gets melee and lots of elemental skills, Moze is good with grenades and splash damage, Fl4k gets his pets and lots of critical hit damage and finally Zane gets double action skills, lots of kill skills and different skills for more tactical contact.


Amara is the least gear specific, and has the easier build up compared to flak or Zane. Zane isn’t too gun specific but he is com, grenade and shield specific. Zane and Flak share a more tactical role in the battlefield, but I’d say Flak is more braindead than Zane. Zane has a lot of maintenance. I compare the two because they enjoy high dps and high damage, low/medium firerate and magazine firearms. Amara makes good use of splash, non elemental or no, melee, elemental, and all her skills build up to insane mobbing quite easily.

And moze is pretty broken, in a good way, nowadays. Gb made her pretty much up to class with Amara. I think she’s the more POWERFUL character now, too? Idk.

Zane pretty much a dps tactician with some moderate maintenance. Only all rounder. Not like Kreig.

Moze is a splash/grenade character like Acton, but not an all rounder. She’s like Kreig plus Mechromancer.

Amara is the melee girl. She also can play like Brick, or like Maya, or like Kreig. Mostly Kreig. More so with fourth skill tree than ever. She also can play like Maya. But I never told you that.

Flak plays like Zer0. Except he doesn’t die every five seconds and enjoys automatic firearms. He isn’t a critical hit character in the same manner Zer0 is, but his playstyle is similar. His best comparison is Mordecai, since they have similar things on paper. Enjoys sniping and fast automatic weapons, good gun damage bonuses, lifesteal, etc.

All of these characters have great survivability skills and bonus dmg passive skills that are equal around the board. Wether that comes from bonus gun damage, bonus pellets, both, or a bonus element damage and whatever other damage, they do all have that, and they have Lifesteal, non situational health Regen, usually increased with action skill, accuracy bonuses, the yada yada. They all have the good stuff.

It’s just what kinda game you’re used to playing, really. Or what you like doing. Amara by far gets the most out of the inexperienced, due to her tree design. It’s very forgiving and gives bonuses you know how to stick to. Splash and DOT, which are the BNB of a Maliwan and Torgue weapon.

Im done rambling. I hope this helps anyone who looks at this thread. I played them all this time here and my experience is with Roland and Kreig previous, so my playstyle isn’t too rigid.

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I play all the characters quite a bit, and many multiples of each, but play FL4K and Zane the most. They are, to me, the most fun as far as the different play styles that are feasible throughout the game and end game.

Kind of depends on what floats your boat. If you already have a FL4K maybe give Zane a try.

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I ended up switching to Amara building along the Chaos Queen build with eventual dot smg focus. She’s at 57 and I’m up to mayhem level 5. Once I max her I’ll try out the others.

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Nice one. Do Moze next. Blue tree 1st, then mix green and purple.

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I just started Moze blue tree. I saw a guide that says what to pick so I’m iron bear focused. Tons of fun, great advice! I intend to rush through the campaign and try to level as fast as possible.

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amara is easiest moze is fun to play sure