This was originally started by Wingsday and ThatOneGuy42, but Wings is busy with college stuff and TOG is busy with…stuff.
This is meant to be a guide for new players to break down Clappy’s skills. This thread is a part of BlutFatal’s Dear Doctor Dumbass: A guide to min/maxing thread. If you disagree with anything I have in here or have anything to add, links, math, opinion, anything let me know and I will gladly update and change it. I’ll include descriptions of the various action packages Clappy’s different skills can unlock.
I’ll be using this rating system:
Terrible: These skills are a waste no matter what and should always be skipped.
Sub-par: These skills either are just bad or did not scale well. You might be able to make them some what usable combined with other skills or gear making them an ok choice to pick if nothing better is available.
Average: Can help, not bad choices for going down trees.
Great: These skills will make the game much easier and shoud be taken always if you are at that point in the tree they are located in.
Outstanding: Skills of this rating will be game changers that you base your build and play-style around.
VaultHunter.exe (from the wiki):
Upon activation, VaultHunter.EXE will analyze the current situation, including Claptrap’s health, shield, teammate as well as enemy presence, and will bestow a “Action Package” depending on the criteria met. The effects of some Action Packages may extend to nearby allies. More outcomes can be made available by investing in certain skills in the skill tree. VaultHunter.EXE may occasionally select an Action Package not relating to the current situation, as well as sending a random package if the situation meets multiple Action Packages’ criteria at the same time. Regardless of Action Package type, activating VaultHunter.EXE always instantly fully replenishes health and grants health regeneration in the duration. Any skill that affect teammates will also inform them (with a “You’ve been Claptrapped!” message as well as the Action Package’s name.) along with a duration bar on screen.
His default packages are these (descriptions from the wiki):
- Miniontrap - Claptrap throws out a Turrettrap that shoots explosive rockets (similar to Axton’s Sabre Turret) and wields a Dahl assault rifle, periodically shooting powerful non-elemental bullets at its chosen target.
- Meat Unicycle - Claptrap pulls out a Buzz Axe for melee combat, similar to Krieg’s Buzz Axe Rampage. The fire button slashes horizontally, while the aim button slashes vertically. Claptrap also periodically emits incendiary novas, and gains increased movement speed.
The effect extends to Claptrap’s allies, who will receive increased movement speed and melee damage.
- Funzerker - Claptrap receives a copy of his currently equipped weapon in his other clamp, mimicking Salvador’s Gunzerking ability. Both guns are automatically fired and reloaded until the end of the skill. Ammo for the equipped weapon regenerates during the package (excluding rocket launchers). During this time Claptrap receives +50% fire rate and +100% reload speed.
The effect extends to Claptrap’s allies, who will also continuously fire and gain ammo regeneration, but will not receive an additional copy of their weapon. Meleeing or throwing a grenade can temporarily pause the continuous fire.
Reviving teammates is impossible while Funzerking is active.
- Mechromagician - Claptrap summons a Punkbot, which engages enemies in combat in a similar fashion to Gaige’s Deathtrap. Gun accuracy and magazine size are reduced by a third, but gun damage is increased by approximately 263%, similar to Gaige’s Anarchy and Discord skills. Bullets also bounce off of walls towards enemies similar to her Close Enough skill.
The effect extends to Claptrap’s allies.
- Shhhh… Trap! - Claptrap deploys a Holotrap and becomes invisible, similar to Zer0’s Decepti0n ability. The hologram attracts aggro from nearby enemies. Enemies will not deliberately target Claptrap himself for the duration of this effect, though flying bullets and splash damage will still injure him. Claptrap is free to attack as many times as he likes without breaking stealth.
If for whatever reason the Holotrap does not deploy when the skill activates, Claptrap will become invisible, but enemies will still shoot at him.
- Blight Bot - Claptrap summons a Sirentrap emitting an acid gas and with fire wings on its back, which proceeds to fly around enemies dealing incendiary and corrosive damage, similar to Maya’s Blight Phoenix skill.
- Rubber Ducky - Claptrap will continually bounce into the air and gain bullet reflection. Damage-over-time, melee attacks, grenades and rockets can still damage Claptrap, however.
The effect extends to Claptrap’s allies.
Reviving teammates is impossible while Rubber Ducky is active.
- Senseless Sacrifice (co-op only) - Claptrap forces himself into Fight For Your Life to revive all other team members that are currently in Fight For Your Life.
- Medbot (co-op only) - Claptrap gains drastically increased movement speed and a healing laser that he can use to restore teammate and enemy health.
Drop the Hammer Great especially for gun chucking.
Reloading increases fire rate and Reload speed but decreases accuracy for 10 seconds.
Fire rate: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
Reload speed: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
Accuracy: -2% per rank; -10% at 5/5
The accuracy loss is not very noticeable, but the extra damage is. It has great synergy with Load ‘n’ splode.
Killing an enemy restores health but costs shields
Both values increased depending on how low your health is:
Health restore: up to +7% of max per rank; +35% at 5/5
Shield cost: up to +2% of max per rank; +10% at 5/5
Any skill that restores health on kill is great, even at the cost of shields, because shields generally recharge quickly. Also, the shield cost works well with roid shields.
Coincidental Combustion Average or Great depending on gear
Shooting an enemy with a non-explosive weapon has a chance to deal X% of your gun damage as bonus explosive damage.
Explosion Chance: +7% per rank; +35% at 5/5
This is great for elemental weaponry, but it won’t do anything for explosive weaponry like what Torgue sells. I like Torgue so I don’t generally use this. It does work great with cryo weapons and none-elemental ones that have high base damage. It doesn’t work very well with elemental weapons due to their lower base damage.
When hit by a melee attack, that enemy is knocked back and takes some explosive damage. Has a cooldown of 5 seconds.
Shockwave momentum: +300 at 1 rank, +50 per rank after that; +500 at 5/5
Analysis of Repulsive (not available here).
This is a pretty worthless skill. Knocking enemies back just means you have to lead them more to hit them. Also, it can really screw up a melee build or when meat unicycle is active. You’re better off killing your enemy versus knocking them around.
Second Wind [By Tediore] Average
When you enter FFYL you spawn a Clonetrap that flies to a nearby enemy and explodes dealing X (21455 at level 50) explosive damage. You emit explosive novas every X seconds when in FFYL (you will get 2 novas off with the base FFYL time),
Not a great skill, but not a bad skill either. Also, it helps you go further down the boomtrap tree. For a single skill point, you get a chance to get back up before you even fire a shot. What’s not to like? You’ll still need to shoot something just in case.
Analysis of Second Wind[By Tediore] (not currently available here).
Load ‘n’ splode Outstanding in gun chucking builds, Average or Great depending on gear.
When you reload your gun you gain a stack of Load ‘n’ splode, granting increased explosive damage, stacking up to 5 times. Stacks last 14 seconds and decay independently (gaining a stack does not reset the decay timer of older stacks).
Explosive damage +4% per stack per rank; +20% per stack at 5/5
Maximum bonus: +100%
If you like explosions, and you should seeing as how this the Boomtrap tree, you’ll love this skill. This has great synergy with drop the hammer - just shoot, reload, and laugh as your enemies explode all around you.
I am Rubber, You are Glue Sub-par
Kill skill: When you kill an enemy bullets have a 25% chance to reflect off of you (preventing the damage) towards an enemy for 6 seconds. Unlocks the Action Package “Torgue Fiesta”
Torgue Fiesta: Claptrap will periodically emit a live grenade in a random direction that can damage both allies and enemies. The effect extends to any allies near Claptrap.
This is borderline terrible because of the action package it unlocks. This is one skill you should NOT take in co-op if you want to have people play with you. It might be useful in single player, which is why it’s sub-par and not terrible.
Start with a Bang Great depending on equipment/average otherwise.
Firing the first shot from a full mag causes you to emit an explosive nova and take a percentage of your health as damage.
Explosive Nova: Rank 1 damage to Rank 5 damage
Self damage: +1% of max health per rank; +5% at 5/5
Analysis of Start with a Bang (not available on here).
This is a great skill if you’re using explosive weaponry, load 'n splode, and drop the hammer. I’ve used Too Scoops to freeze enemies and have had the nova destroy them after a reload. The nova has a difficult time hitting flying enemies, so be aware of that.
Hyperion Punch Terrible
Dealing explosive damage gives you a stack of Hyperion Punch, when you reach 5 stacks your next melee attack instead throws a projectile that flies where you aimed it for a bit then locks on to a target and deals fire damage.
Rank 1 damage to rank 5 damage
Analysis of Hyperion Punch (not available on here).
Fire has two things against it: one: it only applies damage over time in atmosphere, and two: some enemies resist fire. You’re better off shooting your enemies until they’re dead versus wondering whether or not this skill will kill them.
One Last Thing Great or Outstanding depending on gear.
The last shot from a mag gains bonus damage, the bonus is reduced the smaller the mag is below 8.
Bonus damage: +80% per rank; 400% at 5/5.
This is Clappy’s money shot. What’s not to love? Max it and grab a gun with a large mag.
Livin’ Near the Edge Outstanding
Increases Fire rate and Reload speed the lower your health and shields are. Unlocks Action Package “Pirate Ship Mode”.
Fire rate and Reload speed: up to +100%
Pirate Ship Mode: Claptrap dons a Pirate hat and 4 cannons, allowing him to deal massive damage in this mode. Fires to the tune of the 1812 Overture. Each cannon shot flies in a slight arc and explodes on impact with a fairly large blast radius and high explosive damage. The final three salvos do the most damage.
You can turn into a pirate ship with cannons! What’s not to love?
I Love you Guys
Best Buds 4 Life Average
When you revive someone or someone revives you, both of you get health regeneration and damage resistance for X seconds. Extends FFYL time and gives gun damage in FFYL. You must be revived to get the health regeneration and damage resistance, getting a second wind does not count.
FFYL time: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
FFYL gun damage: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
Damage resistance: +7% per rank; +35% at 5/5
Health regen: +0.5% of max per rank; +2.5% of max at 5/5
While this sounds good on paper, it’s not that good in practice. First, the bonuses are rather small, and second, you have to be revived or revive someone to gain all of them, which is not always possible during combat.
Maniacal Laughter Great
Dealing damage with a status effect gives you a stack of Maniacal Laughter, granting health regeneration, stacking up to 200 times. Stacks last 8 seconds and decay independently (gaining a stack does not reset the decay timer of older stacks). Regeneration is increased the lower your health is.
Status effect chance: +4% per rank; +20% at 5/5
Health regen: up to +0.03% of max per stack per second per rank; +0.15% per stack per second of at 5/5
Max regen: 30% of max health per second
This is a great team healing skill, but you need to use elemental weapons for it to work. This is also the only skill that makes increasing your health useful on Claptrap. Normally extra health can be detrimental, but the higher your max health is, the more healing you’ll do.
Through the Thick and Thin Average
Grants Action skill cooldown rate, while VaultHunter.exe is active everyone on your team receives the bonus.
Action skill cooldown Rate: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
Not a bad skill, but none of the other VH’s skills have a long cooldown, so this is really only useful for Clappy. Plus, cooldown rates have diminishing returns the higher you go.
Kick Him while He’s Down Terrible
While in FFYL, you draw aggro from all nearby enemies. Unlocks Action Package “Clap-in-the-Box”.
Clap-in-the-Box: Claptrap digistructs a large bomb, which will explode after a short delay, dealing heavy Explosive damage to enemies and allies alike. If he doesn’t do damage, he enters Fight For Your Life mode.
This might be worth it during solo play, but your friends will hate you for life if you pull this out of your hat during co-op. Just skip it because it’s too volatile to rely on. That and enemies don’t tend to run away during FFYL, so the aggro isn’t necessarily needed.
All the Things are Awesome! Great
Increases fire rate, weapon swap speed, and Max health, bonuses increased for each additional Teammate (not including yourself).
Fire rate: +3% per rank; +15% at 5/5
Swap speed: +3% per rank; +15% at 5/5
Max Health: +5% per rank; 25% at 5/5
Fire rate per teammate: +1% per rank; +5% at 5/5
Swap speed per teammate: +1% per rank; +5% at 5/5
Max health per teammate: +2% per rank; +10% at 5/5
Max Fire rate: +30%
Max swap speed: +30%
Max Health: +55%
This is a great skill in co-op, and is somewhat useful in solo. It’s a good skill for going down the tree, that’s for sure.
You’re…GOING TO LOVE ME!! Great because of the action package.
Killing an enemy heals generates a nova that heals you and your teammates in the radius. Targets with lower health receive a larger heal. Unlocks the Action Package “Gun Wizard”.
Friendship nova: up to 15% of your base health.
Gun Wizard: Drastically increased fire rate, damage, magazine size, and gives maximum ammo. The effect extends to any allies near Claptrap.
While the friendship novas are nothing to write home about (you need to be almost in melee range of your kill to benefit), the action package more than makes up for this. Your friends will kiss you (or just give you a high five) if you can pull this out of your hat. Just call me Gundolf!
Wax on, Wax off Average
Shield capacity: +3% per rank; +15% at 5/5
Shield recharge rate: +3% per rank; +15% at 5/5
Shield recharge delay: -3% per rank; -15% at 5/5
Having your shields up is generally a good idea, but you’d be better served using BAR or a quick charge shield instead. If the game had the equivalent of a Bee, then this would be more useful. Still not a bad skill, just not something to spend a whole lot of points in.
It’s a Trap…Card Great
When your shield is depleted, you release a Mega-Nova that heals you and your friends for up to 15% of your max health, and damages enemies. Players low on health are healed for more. Your shield must fully recharge between Novas.
Mega-nova: Heals up to 15% of your max health.
This is like You’re…GOING TO LOVE ME!! but without the awesome action package. It can still put the hurt on enemies.
Pain Simulator is Painful Average or Great
Grants you a bit of health and damage resistance.
Max health: +6% per rank; 30% at 5/5
Damage resistance: +4.8%, +4.3%, +3.9%, +3.7%, 3.3% each rank; 20% at 5/5
If you’ve maxed out ML, max this out as well for the extra health. Plus the DR isn’t bad either.
Kick Him while He’s up Average
When you get a second wind, your gun damage, melee damage, and crit damage are increased for 30 seconds.
Gun damage: +5% per rank; 25% at 5/5
Melee damage: +5% per rank; 25% at 5/5
Critical damage: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5 type A crit damage
More damage when you get a second wind, what’s not to like?
Organized Guns are Happy Average
Increases magazine size for you and your teammates. The teammate bonus does not apply to yourself.
Magazine size: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
Teammate mag size: +2% per rank; +10% at 5/5
This is a decent skill. It might have good synergy with One Last Thing, but I haven’t tested it so I don’t know.
High Fives Guys Great
Request a high five by holding the melee button (30 second cooldown). If a teammate gives you a high five, you and your teammate gain:
Gun damage: 15%
Fire rate: 50%
Health regen: +3% max health per second
If you have no friends, you gain:
Gun damage: 15%
Health regen: +3% max health per second
If you can get a high-five, the bonuses are rather nice. You can “request” a high-five from an enemy and still get the bonuses if they melee you. This skill would be outstanding if the gun damage was doubled. But the health regen is nice, as is the fire rate.
All the Guns Average
Adds gun subroutines to the list of available subroutines. The game randomly picks a subroutine from the list of available subroutines, when it picks a new subroutine you gain 100 frag stacks. When your frag stacks reach zero the game picks a new subroutine. Frag stacks decay at a rate of about 1 per second and the rate increases the longer they have been decaying without being reset. Gun subroutines increase the effectiveness of one gun type (SMGs, Lasers, Shotguns etc.) and decrease the effectiveness of all other gun types.
Using the correct gun type:
Fire rate: +20%
Reload speed: +20%
Using the wrong gun type:
This skill, like the other two tier 1 skills, are required to go down the FF tree. Still, the bonuses for using the correct weapon type are nice and the penalty isn’t really noticeable unless you use Triple Clocked.
Fuzzy Logic Great
Taking a hit from an enemy grants bonus Crit (Type A) damage. Cannot proc in FFYL.
Only stacks once and lasts 5.5 seconds
Crit damage: +10% per rank; +30% at 3/3
You do extra critical damage upon getting hit. What’s not to like? That’ll show 'em!
Safety First Great
Adds health and shield subroutines to the list of available subroutines. The game randomly picks a subroutine from the list of available subroutines, when it picks a new subroutine you gain 100 frag stacks. when your frag stacks reach zero the game picks a new subroutine. Frag stacks decay at a rate of about 1 per second and the rate increases the longer they have been decaying without being reset. Health sub routines grant you health regen and decrease gun damage, shield subroutines grant shield regen, increase shield capacity, and decrease gun damage.
Shield capacity: +35%
Shield/Health regen: +2.5%
Gun damage: -15%
As with ATG, the penalty isn’t very noticeable. Note that Triple Clocked will always triple the bonuses/penalties of these subroutines, so be careful.
Surprised? Stabilize! Average to Great depending on gear.
Taking a hit from an enemy increases your accuracy and recoil reduction. Cannot proc in FFYL.
Accuracy: +10% per level; +50% at 5/5
Recoil reduction: +10% per level; +50% at 5/5
If you’re using a high recoil weapon, like a beam laser, then this skill will help quite a bit. Otherwise it probably won’t be very noticeable.
Rope-a-Derp Terrible to Outstanding depending on play-style.
Adds Melee subroutines to the list of available subroutines.The game randomly picks a subroutine from the list of available subroutines, when it picks a new subroutine you gain 100 frag stacks. when your frag stacks reach zero the game picks a new subroutine. Frag stacks decay at a rate of about 1 per second and the rate increases the longer they have been decaying without being reset. Melee subroutines increase melee damage but decrease gun damage.
Melee damage: +150%
Gun damage: -25%
You should only get this if you’re doing a melee build. If you’re not, the bonuses to melee aren’t worth it and the penalty to gun damage can hurt, especially with triple clocked.
Blue Shell Average
Increases gun damage, fire rate, reload speed and FFYL duration in FFYL.
Gun damage: +7% per rank; +35% at 5/5
Fire rate: +7% per rank; +35% at 5/5
Reload speed: +7% per rank; +35% at 5/5
FFYL time: +7% per rank; +35% at 5/5
It’s not a great skill, but it isn’t terrible either. Anything that helps with FFYL is generally useful, but you shouldn’t rely on it.
Multiplies the bonuses and penalties by up to three, increasing as frag stacks decrease (shield capacity always gains the full 3 times bonus). Unlocks Action Package “One Shot Wonder”.
One Shot Wonder: One pull of the trigger unloads all ammo left in the magazine at once and knocks Claptrap back. The effect extends to Claptrap’s allies.
Tripleclocked analysis (not available here).
If you’re using subroutines a lot, especially Rope-a-Derp, then you’ll want this skill, but be very, very careful of the action package. I’d make sure I had a low mag gun (like a Jakobs pistol) equipped just in case this action package showed its ugly head.
Grenade Vent Average to Great depending on playstyle.
Increases grenade damage, tossing a grenade adds frag stacks:
Grenade damage: +9% per level; 45% at 5/5
stacks per throw: +1 per rank; +5 at 5/5
This is a great skill for keeping a particular subroutine going.
Element of Surprise Great
Adds Elemental subroutines to the list of available subroutines. The game randomly picks a subroutine from the list of available subroutines, when it picks a new subroutine you gain 100 frag stacks. when your frag stacks reach zero the game picks a new subroutine. Frag stacks decay at a rate of about 1 per second and the rate increases the longer they have been decaying without being reset.
Correct element damage: +32%
Other element damage: -16%
This has great synergy with Maniacal Laughter. The more damage you do, the greater the healing. What’s not to love? Just make sure you can match elements.
Death Machine Great
Kill skill: Killing an enemy grants gun damage, reload speed, and movement speed for 6 seconds.
Gun damage: +6% per level; +30% at 5/5
Reload speed: +6% per level; +30% at 5/5
Movement speed: +4% per level; +20% at 5/5
Kill skills are great, especially ones that increase gun damage.
Cryogenic Exhaust Manifold Average to Great depending on playstyle.
When you space jam you release a Cryo nova and lose frag stacks.
Rank 1 to rank 5 damage
Frag stacks per space jam: -1 per rank; -5 at 5/5
Cryogenic Exhaust Manifold analysis (not available here).
This is a good way to get rid of an unwanted subroutine, but that’s about it. It’s great for melee players that want to switch out a subroutine for Rope-a-Derp.
Float Like a Bee Terrible to Great depending on play-style.
Increases Melee damage. Killing an enemy with a melee attack grants frag stacks, health, and movement speed for 5 seconds.
Melee damage: +6% per rank; +30% at 5/5
Health restore: +5% per rank; +25% at 5/5
Movement speed: +3% per rank; 15% at 5/5
Frag stacks on melee kill: +1 per rank; +5 at 5/5
If you’re going melee, grab this skill. Otherwise skip it.
Rainbow Coolant Outstanding if you have Maniacal Laughter, Sub-par if not.
When a new subroutine is chosen A rainbow nova is released. Unlocks Action Package “Laser Inferno”.
Laser Inferno: A disco ball floats above Claptrap’s Head, constantly shooting elemental lasers in Claptrap’s vicinity.
You gain a disco ball that shoots lasers? What’s not to love? Also it has great synergy with ML. Let the healing wash over you!
Rainbow nova analysis (not available here).
You can find the other characters skill guides below