[Guide] Beginners Guide to Axton

Beginners guide to Axton

Skills: synergy and specs

Early skills synergy

Axton has skills that synergyze pretty well across his trees so it is wise to get some key skills instead of going straight to the capstones.
The first skills to look for are Impact, Metal Storm and Ready. With them, Axton can make any gun work as they got their basic aspects boosted: damage, fire rate and reload speed. Also, the recoil reduction can make the handle of some manufacturers easy.
The second step is to make your Action Skill, the Sabre Turret 2.0, a trait. The early skills that allow the Turret to shine are Sentry, Scorched Earth and, as an option, Longbow. Sentry and especially Scorched Earth increase your Turret DPS by adding more shots to the burst, more up time to the Turret and the ability to shot rocket pods in every burst. With them, your AS is going to kill enemies by its own, granting you kill skills and occasionally second winds. As an option we got Longbow, which allows you to deploy your Turret further away from you and give more health to it. With Longbow, you can let your Turret clear camps alone while you progress through the map or even place it where you couldn’t before.
Note that going straight to the capstone makes you miss most of Axton skills synergy, so spec into these first basic skills before choosing where you are going to spend your next points. This is going to make the game a lot easier, keep it in mind.
By the end of the main storyline, your spec should look like this:
Note that we usually end the main storyline at level 30 and this spec stops at level 27. The last few points can be spent in Preparation, which is going to help with health regen between engagements - you can even spec one or two points in it before starting to spec the skills listed above. Keep it in mind, as new players can really benefit from it and get an easier play through.

Now it is time to start the True Vault Hunter Mode and build your spec further.
As a tip, do all the sidequests to get extra XP and unique gear that will help you play through the game.

Mid game synergy and specs

Reaching True Vault Hunter Mode is the time to choose our patch between a Turret focused Engineer, an Explosive Master or a Balanced Soldier. Let’ talk about them.


This spec is focused in putting your Turret out faster and keeping it alive longer. Battlefront is an amazing skill and one of Axton best boosts, so having it up as often as possible is the Engineer main point - especially if it get boosted by a COM.
Also, this setup provides good survivability capabilities with Preparation, Pressure and Quick Charge.
Note that Quick Charge is situational, as low capacity shields won’t benefit this much from it. Feel free to swap it for Healthy, if you want to stack health with an Adaptive shield or Forbearance if you want that DoT to wash off fast when wearing Tediore fast shields. Also, Last Ditch Effort is a good tool to get out of Fight for your Life easier.
The next skill to look at in this specific setup is the capstone Gemini, as it doubles your Turret DPS and synergizes with all the others Turret focused skills you already spec’d. Also, Mag-Lock is a good utility tool for your Turret if you can deploy it correctly.
The main drawback in this setup is the lack of damage when Battlefront and your Turret are down.


This spec is focused in one of Axton specialities: explosive damage. Be it with grenades, Torgue weaponry or Tediore reloads, Axton can take splash damage to the next level of power and efficiency.
This is mainly due to his Gunpowder tree, with skills boosting grenade damage - what affects some guns splash damage too. Steady, Battlefront and Do or Die can add together up to 65% grenade damage bonus without being boosted, on top of the gun damage skills that also boost the splash damage. This is especially effective with Torgue guns, that can have up to 85% damage added as splash.
On top of it, Grenadier adds up to 5 grenades to Axton pool, making spam it easier and more effective.
The next skill to look for is Double Up, which is already knocking your door. Allowing your Turret to slag for you is amazing, turning it in a great utility tool - especially in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, where the slag debuff has a higher multiplier.
The main drawback in this setup is the lack of survivability. Without points in Survival, you won’t be able to hold your ground if being hit hard. You can make up for it specing Able or Willing, but won’t be enough. Do or Die is an amazing skill to help you get second winds, though.


The soldier is Axton well rounded setup. It gives you survivability through Willing, Preparation and Pressure and, at the same time, increases your damage output with Onslaught. Also, Battlefront is a nice boost while the Turret is up.
This is a solid spec with no really drawback but being a little away from his capstones.
Your next step should be getting to Double Up, as it is the nearest capstone and its utility is going to be unvaluable in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.

End game specs

There are basically two basic specs when you reach the level cap, one about explosions and the other being solid for every aspect of the game.

The 26/15/26 a.k.a Double Up/Gemini

This is Axton all around spec for the end game. With no real speciality, it can perform well in mobbing or raiding scenarios, solo or co-op play.
This spec is solid with basically every one of the gazillion guns this game has to offer. The shield skills allow you to use any kind of shield too, from nova to turtle.
Also, the Turret is fully upgraded with both capstones, supporting you with both utility and damage output, being Phalanx Shield and Mag-Lock both optional utility tools.
Note that, if you feel going down often, Crisis Management and Last Ditch Effort can be good options instead of Quick Charge and Grenadier.
Also, Grenadier isn’t really necessary if your grenade slot is used for utility, like as a slag tool or singularity/transfusions grenades. That being said, Able is an excellent option to go down the tree, granting you even more survivability and chance to proc Grit.

The Generic Torguemando

This spec focus in dealing damage with explosives and, different from the mid game spec, doesn’t suffer for the lack of survivability.
Preparation, Willing and Pressure help with keeping your shield fully charged while you wreck the battlefield with explosions.
Also, Resourceful helps with keeping Battlefront up more often, increasing your damage output.
The only drawback, in my opinion, is the lack of Grit. But, again, Do or Die is an amazing get out of Fight for your Life tool.

Gear: gimmicks and how they work.

Borderlands 2 guns are built around gimmicks - different effects each manufacturer have. Let’s talk about how they synergize with Axton skillset and when they are best used.



Dahl weapons are stable, accurate, fast and effective. Their burst fire gimmick is useful to hit crit spots quickly, saving some ammo. Even without any specific synergy with Axton skillset they can be effectively used from normal to Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. Just remember that their sniper rifles are best used as long range assault rifles, what is good as Axton has no one shot potential.
Dahl is also responsible for Booster type shields and Bouncing Betty grenades. Both of them are solid picks before you get top tier gear: Booster shields can spawn with elemental immunities and Bouncing Betties are good AoE grenades, especially against slow moving targets like bots. Also, the boosts provide great utility for teamplay.


Torgue guns fire slow moving Explosive gyrojets with up to 85% extra damage added as splash. They hit hard and are effective against all types of health bars - not counting shields, but you won’t notice the difference.
The downside of Torgue guns is their sluggish reload speed and fire rate, both covered by Axton skillset due to Ready and Metal Storm. But what make they shine brighter in Axton hands is the splash, boosted by grenade damage. With Battlefront, Do or Die and Steady we get 65% extra damage added in the splash. Also, the splash is based in the gun damage so skills like Impact and Onslaught boosts your damage twice - up to 80% gun damage that also boosts the splash.
On top of it, Torgue MIRV grenades are among the best in the game. They can cover a large area with high damaging child grenades, cleaning groups easily.
Torgue also makes explosive nova and spike shields, good choices while leveling. Axton shield skills allow him to recharge fast the nova shield or keep the spike shield recharging even through damage, optimizing their special effect.


Vladof guns pack the highest fire rate of all Manufacturers, alongside a higher than normal mag size and recoil. Metal Storm is the skill you need to optimize the use of Vladof guns, as it helps you handle the recoil and boosts the fire rate even further - reaching the caps in some cases. Also, Axton gun damage boosting skills can cover the lower damage that Vladof guns have. While Vladof assault rifles are kinda lackluster when compared to the other manufacturers their pistols and sniper rifles are among the best in the game. Look for Droogs and Anarchists!
Vladof AoE grenades are the best of their type in the game, alongside Torgue MIRVs. They can come in all elements, last


Hyperion guns have the reverse recoil effect, which means they get more accurate the longer you hold down the fire button. This is a great way to score critical hits, which are made even better by Axton’s damage boosts. Skills like metal storm and ready can help improve there fire rate and reload speed. Their single barrel shotguns, called thinkings and vladof barrel pistols called synergys have the best balance of damage, ammo usage, and fire rate.


Jakobs guns sport an increased critical hit bonus, so Axton’s gun damage boosts amplify that even more. Their shotguns reload a lot, so ready is a mus have skill. Their pistols and assault rifles can be hard to handle recoil wise, so metal storm is good for them. Gatling guns and coach guns are their best offers without red text.


Axton can fix pretty much everything wrong with bandit guns. Ready for the slow reloads. Metal storm and other skills for fire rate and recoil reduction. Impact and other skills for base damage. Bandit smgs are good standard weapons boasting high magazine size, decent damage, and ok accuracy


I’ve added this to the community guide, so you had better impress me, Piemetaco.



Thanks man. Also how do you get it to where instead of the URL I can have a word that you click to take you to the other page.

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Like this:

 Click [here][1] to follow the link
[1]:  url

Collect your number all at the bottom, and they won’t show in the main page as long as you formatted everything correctly

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Lets get it started!

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Great Purple Guns for Axton and Playthrus
Torgue Rifles

Good Touch…as often as you want
Bad Touch…only one time so choose wisely
Anarchist Pistols
Gwen’s Head
Dahl Snipers
Dahl Miniguns
Fremington Edge
Little Evie
Of course Sandhawk and Pimpernel
Blasters till about level 50
Adaptive Shields
Turtle Shields
Shields with Immunities


Well we should proabley start with a short intro about Axtons strengths my phone is painfully slow so it will be added when I get back to my I pad

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Good list proabley won’t add them all tho.

It is hard to list gear when Axton is good with nearly everything. We should list the pros and cons and add some possible setups and how to spec while leveling until hiting the early UVHM (lv 50) first.

Later we can list some commom gear that is good with Axton and with specific specs. Im on mobile but am going to try and post some specs and little explaining texts with my point of view.

I am going to add a lvl 31 spec for getting to each cap stone. A few lvl 50 builds and lvl 57 (I think that’s when you can get 2 capstones)

Really? I never used Dahl snipers much, since in NVHM/TVHM the goal is one shot one kill. A burst just wastes ammo. I always used the best Jakobs or Maliwan sniper I had. And generally green, not purple. :smiley:

Let’s see, notable gear that you haven’t already listed:

  • Teapot - I had no idea Wilhelm was supposed to be challenging on my first playthrough. Teapot + Turret = easy win in that fight the first time you see him. Facing Wilhelm with other characters gave me more respect for him.
  • Lady Fist - another of the “good for any character” awesome guns. And it’s a good reason to learn how Hyperion reverse-recoil works if one hasn’t already. The NVHM Lady Fist was the first Hyperion gun I spent much time with, anyway.

If one has time for the Tiny Tina DLC while leveling:

  • Any magic grenade, for the grenade regen if nothing else. Even once you’ve massively outleveled the grenade it can be nice to not have to worry about your grenade supply.
  • Swordsplosion!!! Because Mister Torgue Said So.

Build through level 50: what worked for me was 5 Preparation, then 26 down the Guerilla tree, then 12 in Gunpowder for Longbow and a point in Battlefront (for COMs), then back to Survival. My level 50 build is


Dahl snipers are pretty good on Axton since they can be used like assault rifles.
Also all the gear you listed are in the top gear thread I’d go check.it out if your interested

All Great catches…how on earth did I forget the Teapot and Ladyfist…LOL…I guess I just took the Splo for granted.

There already top gear this isn’t really a guide for them. That’s why I linked the top gear guide at the top.

Torgue DLC farming the bar room brawl is a huge strategy I constantly used. Every 5-10 levels I could get a new set of torgue spitters, ravagers, and even the occasional DPUH.

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Yeah that helps a lot for getting new gear for any character

In my opinion, Axton first spec should be this one: http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#55000100005005010000000000000000

With Impact, Metal Storm and Ready Torgue weaponry should start to shine a little. But, truth be told, with these skills every gun should be working pretty fine.
Also, the synergy between Sentry, Longbow and Scorched Earth is pretty good early on: Scorched Earth turns the Turret in a heavy damage dealer, while Sentry and Longbow allow it to last longer, increasing your DPS. And Longbow allow you to place your Turret further away from you, letting it clear minor camps alone and granting you second winds ocasionally.
At this level we are ending the main story and preparing to start TVHM. For the next levels, I recommend specing into survival as enemies are going to hit a little harder and the shield buffs are a welcome addition.
So, for mid TVHM we should have this very balanced spec: http://bl2skills.com/commando.html#55000100005005010000005050000000
From there, you can choose your path. You can go down either Guerrilla or Gunpowder to increase your DPS.
The next skills to look at, in my opinion, are Battlefront, Onslaught and Willing.
If you manage to get good grenades and the Grenadier COM, you can spec the skills boosted by the COM and start a grenade focusing build as you can get the Rubi in normal mode and keep it, but I can say that it isnt optimal as your grenades are going to be outleveled fast.

Commom gear that we should look at in TVHM are Torgue guns in general, Tediore, Turtle and Adaptive shields.
Torgue barreled AR synergyzes well with Axton gun damage boosting skills, so keep them if you manage to get a good one.
I like the feel of Dahl guns with Axton in general, from pistols to sniper rifles and Metal Storm can take Vladof pistols/assault rifles to the next level.

About grenades, AoE Vladofs and MIRVS are beasts early on. Especially if you are already speced in Steady and Battlefront.

And it is kinda hard to talk about Axton COMs early on. The Engineer is amazing when you have both Sentry and Battlefront specced, same for Tactician. Almost all of Axton COMs boost either Impact or Metal Storm, so I could say that almost every COM you pick up is a good choice. Grenadier is what I talked early, isnt worth early in the game as your grenades are going to be outleveled fast in normal and TVHM. Can be a good choice when you start UVHM, though.

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I think it’s actually pretty hard to go wrong in NVHM as far as build is concerned. So far, I’ve done one run straight up Guerilla, and another pretty much straight up Gunpowder, and neither had any real problems getting to the end of the story and level 30. (I still had points in other first-tier skills for survivability though.) My latest run is going to spec more into Survival for NVHM, just to see what that’s like.

That said, I’m not sure it’s worth concentrating the points into a single tree just so you can get the capstone skill after completing main story! TVHM builds pretty much guarantee one capstone and a chunk of one other tree, so unlocking Sanctuary in TVHM is probably a good time to respec and focus.

The only other thing I’d add would be a general comment: Any recommendations need to be play-tested!

I just hit lvl 50 and am about to kill the warrior in tvhm on my new play though. And I just went down to Gemini than picked up rocket pods.

I’m a bit confused since the link to the top gear leads to the skill guide but the link I used was to the top gear