Favorite methods for improving your gear as you level?(1-50 NVHM and TVHM) without Golden Keys

Each time I make a new character I always look forward to making it through the journey of 1-50 without the use of Golden Keys because you can have your gear fall behind pretty fast if you aren’t careful.

For me I have just always tried to get buy with farming the Sanctuary machines until I get something that isn’t totally pathetic and passable so I can continue on with the story. How about you guys?


Raging GOD-liath’s! They drop some nice stuff. Frostburn Canyon has a lot of candidates. As the Dust opens up, you have several farming options there. It levels up a few times, and that gives you the option to farm some more GOD-liath’s as you progress. Unfortunately, the Dust is bugged in TVHM, and stays at level 37 for the duration of the main story. So, I have to scavenge a bit more in the other areas.

I also make sure to check for loot midgetsd in areas that spawn them. They can drop some really nice things, that can tie you over for a long time.

But sadly, I often find myself wanting by the time I get ready to go to Control Core Angel. For some reason, I can’t seem to get decent corrosive weapons at this stage, so I often end up transfering something from the stash. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but that’s basically how I do it.

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Great question btw.

I hoard, hoard, hoard, then hoard some more. I love farming & collecting (and making 2nd profile mules)in both 2 & Tps. I have some nice shiny things I always use when levelling up.
I acquired them with a mixture of farming & luck. As I became more knowledgeable I farmed things I wanted, and to fill gaps. Gettle has had a lot of treatment over the years, at the different levels through nvhm. Even on normal I can’t help but do 5 or 10 or more runs at the LLM in the WEP every time I’m there. I’ve also done the Pirate dlc starting at various levels to get Pimpernels, started Mr Torgue too, to get Harolds & Flakkers, and Dragon Keep to get the items there. I’ve done those dlcs multiple times through nvhm & tvhm to get the items I want at level x.
So, before I had the stuff I have, I just used to farm something until I got it. I overlevelled myself a ton of times, but that’s not a worry in the first two modes.

Great idea with the Godliath I never even thought of that! I love this community.

Thanks BrisbaneGreg it is a question that has always haunted me every since I started making new characters like crazy in 2018-2019 out of the blue. I have just been hooked on this game like a drug and I just have this weird OCD thing about not using any Golden Keys and trying to find on level gear the best way possible in NVHM and TVHM.

UVHM is such a fun mode to me because of how easy it is to get gear. You think it would make sense to start Torgue DLC in TVHM at level 40 to have a nice medium waypoint to get some gear to push you through to 50?

Absolutely. I’ve done it. Any Harold is a good get out of jail or ffyl weapon.
I’ve a got a 40 Dpuh (and a 43 too, although the parts are cabbage) and when I did it, I did the dlc on normal too, to rack up tokens, mainly redoing level 3 of the race (with the relic from Ele). That’s where the overlevelling comes into it though.


I am sorry what did the relic from Ele mean? Elemental explosive relic or you mean the XP relic? Also how were you doing the tier 3 in normal mode don’t they level up to 50?

It’s the Afterburner relic from Ellie in the Dust. It’s the reward for the Positive Self Image quest

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The afterburner relic. Ellie gives you that quest right after you make the bandit technical vehicle. It gives boosts to driving.
The fights do level up to 50 in normal, but the race is the race, the same time applies, and no enemies spawn over what level you’re at.

Oh yes sorry I was confusing the race with the Bar Brawl my bad… thats how I got the tokens as well lol. Sorry for misunderstanding.

Also as a side note… it is coming back to me now that on previous playthroughs a surprisingly satisfying source of “on level” gear at times were the slots in Sanctuary as well… Sure it was mostly green gear but you can could sneak in some good elemental anarchists and other guns with good parts.

Even though there’s no way to know what they’re going to drop, I’ve had more than my share of relics, COMs and shields. These items are extremely rare in the early stages of the game, but this is a great way to get some of them early on.

List of areas they spawn in? I know frostburn canyon, but where a few rare goliaths ive seen in other areas kind of being sneaky and hiding I am just forgetting what those areas were -_-

As a tangent, it’s always annoyed me that some of the best - or at least handiest - guns come at the same level in Normal and True : Heartbreaker, Octo, Striker, others?

But yes, getting good gear for climbing up to the Bunker can be a bit taxing. Once I found out about the Bad Touch glitch, that mostly took care of it.

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Yes, the Dust glitch keeps you from getting a corrosive Lyuda for that.
However, you can do the alternate and “burn” your one Pimpernel acquisition per-character on a corrosive Pimp to do the Control Core-Bunker-Angel fight sequence. A pimp will make all of those pretty straightforward.
Of course then you’ve burned your Pimp chance for that character, and I like to have the corrosive Pimp for Hero’s Pass, so I scrounge around hither and yon for a Droog or Duab to do CC-bunk-angel. No particular place to search, just shoot things. And often get fortunate at gun vendors for something close to that.

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That helped me as well but I found out it wasn’t as strong as I thought and it can be surprisingly weak on flesh enemies and even some Badass Loaders at times.

I specifically meant the BT for WAFTT. It’s not strong but it’s better than just about anything else I end up with for climbing 1000 Cuts.

Oh definitely that makes everything much easier for sure when it is on level.