Fl4k and their "pet builds"

Hello everyone!

First of all, this is not a rant or anything like that. I am a long time Fl4k main and just wondering to whether or not there are actual pet builds out there or that I may be missing something here.

I know this has been talked about since the dawn of time basically but I wanted to share it nonetheless, since I am playing this game ever since it was released. Now I know that I am neither the most knowledgable nor the “best” player when it comes to figuring out how builds work or how to optimize your build to the fullest. However, I would consider myself to be a Fl4k main ever since this game came out, in fact, I knew I was going to main Fl4k as soon as I saw the promotional trailer for the 4 Vault Hunters.

That being said, I feel a little bit confused when it comes to both a “pet build” (after all Fl4k is the “Beastmaster”) and Fl4k’s 4th skill tree. Personally I dont really struggle with survivability (on M11) on Fl4k, therefor to me all these shield related skills are a bit confusing to me, and I know that the 4th skill tree is bugged (if it still is of course). Then again that might just be me and the actual community hates it. For me at least I like the idea of Fl4k being strong yet having high risk high reward gameplay.

So my question is, why can’t we rely on our pets? (the same way for example you could rely on auto bear or the digi clone?) When I look at other peoples posts or build guides I never find a pure pet build that doesn’t rely on either the War bot chucking grenades left right and center or on some kind of gimmick. I’ve seen the argument being thrown around the gearbox doesn’t want an “AFK build” for Fl4k. Yet when I play on my Digi-Clone Zane build that’s excactly what I am doing, with of course me still doing dmg but you get the idea I hope.

Thank you all for reading this! I had to get this out of my mind since it concerns me a bit. Oh well, still with all of this, I not only love to play this game but enjoy it! If there is no one left with hope that one day the “Beastmaster” will get there pet build, I will be the last one standing and hoping until the end of time.

Thanks again for reading and stay safe everyone!


I’m not quite sure exactly what kind of pet build you wanting, but I just wanted to respond about a couple things that perhaps could be helpful.

I am not aware of any type of pet build that does not rely on some other source of damage in addition to the pet. Specifically, the most pet-centric build that I know of is @boombumr’s Killer Queen build (just do a search of the Fl4k forums, it is the most popular pet build I know about) relies heavily on proc’ing the Guardian Rank perk Hollow Point for a lot of its damage. And it works best with some specific gear too.

I don’t build around the pet at all, but I most definitely take several pet damage skills, specifically He Bites, PHOAS, Frenzy, GFTE, Ferocity, Pack Tactics, and there may be a few other ones that just don’t come to my mind right now. My pet can kill most basic mob enemies in Mayhem 10/11 with an attack command - maybe not a one-shot but fairly quickly. But sometimes a one-shot, just depending on circumstances. That is always fun to watch.

So I think you are correct that there are not a lot of builds where your pet can carry the major workload without being very, very heavily built around and even then you need to use some gimmicks. Bottom line I agree with what you are saying, but you can make a pet build work with gear and a little innovative thinking, if you want it bad enough. It does seem like it should be a little easier to build around the pet as a main damage source though.

1 Like

First of all thanks for the good reply!

I saw @boombumr build “Killer Queen” but personally its a bit to gimmicky for me, not to say its not a good build because of course its good!

I may have expressed myself a bit poorly in the original post, pardon me. Thats due to me not being a native english speaker.

My main concern would basically be that for the class called “Beastmaster” there is no “real” pet build, I KNOW that this is of course a loaded statement. Don’t get me wrong, I too can make a pet build work in my case it is a gamma burst/war loader build. As a matter of fact today I created it and I can solo the takedowns with it quite decently of course.

I basically was hoping for the Beastmaster maybe not to rely on gimmicks as much as on our pets natural ability to kill stuff without us investing too much into it, not saying that it should just one shot everything of course. It’s hard for me to express what exatly I am thinking but I hope I could eleborate on it a bit at least.

But thinking about it, Moxsy’s Chain Zane build for example seems to me like a better pet build then Fl4k could ever have for example, and that build is/was semi afk anyway the same “concern” they had with Fl4k and a potential pet build.

Then again, I dont mind it too much. Was just hoping for a slight reworked pet AI and 4th skill tree to be honest.


Man, a reworked purple tree that actually worked and also didn’t completely gimp Fl4k’s own damage would be fantastic. So would a pet that didn’t stand in the corner by itself 25% of the time. That could be me being a little bit harsh, maybe it’s only 10% of the time. Still, the pet definitely stands in the corner and doesn’t do anything sometimes LOL


That’s one of my biggest concerns when it comes to the pets. The AI is in some cases just horrendous. The loader bot (specifically the shotgun one) stands about 100 ft away from enemies and tries to hit the enemy with its shotgun, even when I gamma burst it into the enemies eventually my bot just yeets away. Not to mention that its attack command, the missile barrage, the bot doesnt go out of cover to shoot them, no more often then not it either hits a wall with that or the missiles just go over the top of the enemies.

Both the skag and the spiderant, for me at least, get stuck on everything. They are not “by my side” they are a mile behind trying to get unstuck.


I had great fun role playing a strong loader build and weak Fl4k using the purple tree.
Played through the Western themed DLC at 72 MH11 using traitor weed, shattering the glass, taking cover and relying on the loader for resuscitation when the character went down.
Wouldn’t take it to a true trial though.

this is a looter shooter sir if you want pet build play normal mode

This is also a game that has 4 different skill trees and ablities,not to mention that it draws inspiration from RPG’s, what’s your point? Fl4k has a whole skill tree dedicated to there pets plus sprinkled throughout all there skill trees pet dmg. Isn’t it then fine for me to ask that they fix the pet dmg better and fix the pets AI?


my point is action skills are viable pets are just companions they are not action skills and source of damage they are utility if you invest in pets you get it’s worth with them being almost unkillable and reviving you basically making you immortal and boosting your damage fire rate movement speed or whatever the ■■■■ you choose. pets are not supposed to kill anything but trash mobs

You may see it that way, and that is fine. But from what I have read and listened too, most of the Fl4k community disagrees with you there, in that our pets AI is bad and the 4th skill tree is relativly bad/or rather glitchy and buggy.

Look I am not saying that our pets should one shot Wotan or the raid boss, what I am saying is that if the digi-clone and Iron cub / Auto Bear can mob through enemies so should the pets from the beastmaster since that is (like it or not) the pet class of Bl3.


those are action skills pets are pets why are you comparing them

Because all 3 of them fulfill the same idea. An AI companion fighting by our side.

Look clearly you don’t understand my concern, which again is fine not everyone agrees with everyone. I just don’t want this thread becoming people discussing whether or not we should even ask for these changes, since the Fl4k community has been asking for them ever since the 4th skill tree came out.


oh i understand your concern i think you should not be conerned though! i don care whatever the fl4k community as an entity represents but if i was a dev i’d just read your thread and be angry as ■■■■ because i gave you perfectly capable character with good action skills (not snare) good 3 skill trees and pets as a bonus and to hear people moaning about having viable pets in endgame i’d literally jump out of my boots and fist fight everyone who thinks pets should be same level as action skills. i completely do not agree they you can not rely on pets they never fail to revive you and they distract enemies what more are they supposed to be how are you asking them to be same level as zane’s clone or iron bear which is full blown damaging action skill that takes 26 27 point investment to work, pets are just there. if you are asking about why you can not play with pet focused com with pet build in endgame… not every playstyle should be viable in hardest difficulty setting

I know this is going to sound cheesy, for which I am sorry, but if you in large “don’t care whatever the fl4k community as an entity represents”, then why bother to comment on a threat about a concerned Fl4k player?

Clearly you disagree with me, which is fine and good we should be able to see it from both sides, but there are problems with Fl4ks pets that aren’t just me comparing them to action skills, but rather skills not properly working there, dmg output which they should recieve from skills not properly working, the 4th skill tree being a buggy mess. If nothing these things at least should be agreed upon and fixed sooner or later.

With this post I wish you a happy day and thanks for your comments! Always good to see it from both sides with one playing devils-advocat.


@ForeverKrypto @Hexxusz0r What both of you are saying is correct. Two sides of the same coin, basically.

In my opinion, the issue is that we have so many skill points now that if you want to get all the pet skills and still get Fl4k damage skills, you can do that. This gives you a really powerful pet and a really powerful Fl4k. So if they increase the pet damage more than they have, Fl4k and their pet (as one entity) could easily be too powerful. I believe that is the concern of the devs.

@ForeverKrypto Maybe if they came up with some sort of gear set that was focused solely around pet damage, that would be one way to achieve what you want (to some extent or another, a pet-only damage build). In other words, the pet damage would come from the gear equipped/held, as opposed to the skill tree, and that would be the method you used to control/limit Fl4k’s damage.

@boombumr (and others) probably would argue with me about my points above. We’ve had that discussion before and I think a lot of folks are split. You can’t give Fl4k all the damage and also give the pet all the damage too, IMO. Too tough to balance because things like the Guardian Angel and other OP weapons exist.


I have a gamma burst build with no 4th skill tree or loader bot (don’t have season pass 2), and my pets can handle most badass enemies alone. I put ALL my skill points into pet damage, and my action skill is just more pet buff, but my guns don’t do huge damage. I think that’s a fine trade-off, to let my pets do decent damage as long as I don’t. If attack commands worked better (like zane’s SNTL) and the pet targeted better (like auto bear), it’d be perfect.
I get what you’re saying, Hexxusz0r, but gamma burst IS an action skill, and it’s only really viable if pets are. It’d be like if zane’s shoulder cannon scaled based on his grenades, but his skill trees gave rubbish grenade buffs. For gamma burst to be viable like other action skills, the pet needs some damage, but that should take investment and maybe some effort directing the pet around with attack commands. I think the base game skill trees manage that, more or less, but you need to go all-in, not try to combine pet damage and fl4k damage.

One thing I would love to see is an adjustment to the bloody harvest pet anoint, so it gives a small boost without terror and a bigger boost for each terror stack. Ideally, it’d also trigger on issuing attack commands, not waiting for the pet to do them. So, it’d have a place in any pet build, not just terror builds.


@hovismetaphor55 Exactly what you said and nothing more! I too have a gamma burst build but I DO use the war loader bot with it - coupled that with either my atom balm deathless faulty star/re-volter and urad OR a pearl re-volter consecutive hits combo. It does good, and my pet (at least for mobbing) is rather good.

Of course my concern being that if the AI wasn’t that bad that my shotgun loader tries to fire there shotgun from 100 feet away, and the bugged pet scailing skills actually working, this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

The bloody harvest annoint that gives pet dmg should have either been just a normal in game annoint with no gimmicks or not at all in the game in my opinion.


I wish the base game gamma burst anoint boosted pet damage too. Even just 50% or whatever, so it served a purpose in a pure pet build. Or, that there was a gamma burst pet anoint that purely boosted pet damage.
The terror anoint is ok, and if it got reworked slightly it would be good, but I don’t get why gearbox expected players using a gamma burst pet build to want an anoint for gun damage and nothing that would help the pet. Hell, look at all the iron bear anoints, and Amara and Zane get anoints to boost action skill damage, but gamma burst gets nothing?


Good post Hovie (post 17 I think? I’ve been having connection issues and trying to post this ever since you posted those thoughts LOL). That’s along the lines of what I was thinking and/or trying to say. I think you should be forced to give up most or all of Fl4k’s damage if you have the expectation that the pet should be doing all or most of the killing. I have always felt like that was a reasonable and warranted tradeoff. Trust me though, there are plenty of people who don’t feel the same way I/we do. I understand both sides but just don’t agree personally.

These are the kinds of issues the devs have to balance, and I don’t envy them. The biggest issue I have is that it appears to me in at least some cases that the devs don’t understand the problem at all, much less that they want to address it.


Dude, I’ve had this discussion a million ■■■■■■■ times and I’m getting so sick of this argument so I will ask you the same question I asked the dozen others who have made this point:

If FL4K’s pets were only meant to be utility, why do they have they have the most amount of raw pet damage boosts in the entire franchise, an action whose main purpose is to buff their damage, and COMs and skills whose effects are based solely on them killing/ damaging things? Seriously, all this ■■■■ has been in the game since launch. Before even trying to make another point, answer that question or else please don’t bother responding to this thread anymore.

OP, there is no sensible answer to your question. I don’t know why GBX is so intent on the actual pet’s damage being a gimmick, or why FL4K is the only pet class in BL3 that can’t do effective hybrid builds, but their past comments have indicated that they do not want FL4K’s pet to be too powerful even though they buff IB (and by extension AB and IC) every 3 months. It’s one of the most baffling things about the balance of this game to me, that they are so intent on dying on this hill even when the AI, usability of attack commands, and overall low damage have been some of the most oft criticisms of the class as a whole.