[GUIDE] Pre-Sequel Basics for New Players


Sorry about the delayed feedback; I haven’t been checking the forums as much lately…

Typos in the Titan Production Plant section: clealry, you’re, carwalk, Assembley (many times), attaxhed, turrest

Not really. We discussed this in the “What did you do in TPS during your most recent session” thread, and @Kurtdawg13 posted a video showing how it’s done. I’ve nailed the challenge solo on all my characters now, most of them on the first try.

Science and Violence typo - great (should be greet).

Re: the water challenge, torks suck at jumping (just like me!), so often they’ll give you the challenge with no player encouragement. :slight_smile:

For Voice Over, it might be worth a comment that it’s one of the most hilarious quests in the franchise (as those who participate in the Alphabet Game thread can attest!). :smiley:

It is, at least for the one where you do use the power cores. All five in one session is the only requirement. For the other one, I don’t think I’ve done it but I’d assume it works the same, it’s a map challenge so there shouldn’t be any connection to the story progression.

(Is this thing on?) #62

It was late at night - what can I say?!

It had never occurred to me that you could body-block Felicity like that. Kudos to @Kurtdawg13!

My concern here was whether you needed to do it before draining the aquarium or not. I think there’s still water in the first big hole (where you jump down for that one challenge) but I haven’t had a chance to double-check it.

OK - thanks!

(Is this thing on?) #63

All right! Part 5 pretty much done, so now I need to go play some more TPS (yay!) There’s some stuff I will go back to fill in on all the parts, but I’ll get to that a little later. As usual, any remaining corrections etc. just quote the offending text and let me know.

(Idiosyncratic Wannabe.) #64




Oh, I always assumed a boosted jump pad ride to the blue tunnel three times to account for error correction was the correct way to find and reach the exit.:sweat_smile:



Looks like you passed over the Zarpedon fight without mentioning it. I thought maybe you were going to start the next section with it, but this one ends with turning in the quest to Jack…

I remember the second stage (human form, not powersuit) of the Zarpedon fight being the hardest thing in my first playthrough, by a wide margin. As I recall, the key lessons learned there were:

1.) Her novas are (weirdly) only horizontal, so if you jump at the right time, you can evade them. I suck at that, but at least now I can sometimes not eat the damage. :stuck_out_tongue: Eating all the novas was particularly problematical for that first character, since my Claptrap had been facerolling most of the game as a close-and-hose artist. Zarpedon is better at it than it was.
2.) Jack can take aggro for you, so circling around at a distance letting him do so is probably wise.
3.) The clustered power cores look like they should be useful, and maybe they are for players more skilled than I am. I’ve found them to be schmuck bait, though.
4.) Better awareness of where the adds are and being able to pick one off quickly in FFYL. Just a matter of practice as I recall. Something about that platform and the faded colormap of FFYL made it really hard for my eyes to find the adds. :man_shrugging:

(Is this thing on?) #66


I thought that seemed strangely straight-foward!

(Is this thing on?) #67

Vault Hunting 102: Pre-Sequel Basics for New Players Part 6

Your spoiler-free guide to characters, gear, loot, quests, and skills for your first play-through, covering Vorago Solitude through Outfall Pumping Station and Tyhco’s Ribs to Eleseer

Welcome back for part 6 of this guide, where I’ll be playing through the main story and trying to provide hints, tips, and insights along the way without spoilers. (There may be some, but they’ll be hidden by spoiler tags.)

Special thanks to the following for comments and corrections:


Beginning of the End

We finished off last time having shut down the laser (although not very safely) and being tasked with finding the entrance to Elpis’ Vault. The first task is to open up access to the old Dahl refinery, so travel to Triton Flats via your favourite route, grab a vehicle of some sort, and make for the marked entrance (between the ramp down from Diemen’s Crater and the Pop Racing location). Once there, Jack opens the way to Bradman’s Quarry and you’ll be able to take the map transition to Vorago Solitude. Note that there will also be some extra side quests at this point in various locations, depending on what you’ve already completed.

Back to table of contents

Vorago Solitude


  • Set of three vault symbols
  • Set of four lost echo recordings
  • Three other area challenges (none missable)

Discoverable Side Quests:

  • Return of Captain Chef (level 27) - pistol/AR
  • These are the Bots (level 24) - unique laser Toby’s Bright Spadroon
  • The Don (level 24) - character skin

You enter in the centre of the north side of the map, near the fast travel and some vending machines. Note that there’ll be some NPC dialogue as you move forward, so don’t be in too much of a hurry to grab that lost echo. At this point, you have two options:

  • If you just want to get through the main story mission, head down slope and keep fighting your way through the various camps more or less straight south, following the mission markers
  • If you want to grab as many challenges and side quests as possible, head east over the cliff and work your way clockwise around the map to the first side quest marker

Side Quest Route:

Work clockwise around the map to the East Pumping Station; clear both the upper and lower areas then take the jump pad up to pick up The Don. This will take you to one of the Dahl camps dotted around the map and back. It’s a timed mission, so just clear the path to your objective, find the mission item, and head straight back. It’s usually on a roof of one of the buildings wherever it falls.

After this, keep working along the south-east section of the map to pick up These Are The Bots - and keep your ear on the NPC chatter as you complete the mission. This will take you back to the north-west side of the map to turn it in. After this, I’m usually at the point of wanting to get back to Concordia to unload, grind, etc. Or you could just dump/reload at the vending machines up at the map fast travel. Finally, work your way counter-clockwise down the west side to Solitude Junction for the Return of Captain Chef. From there, you can continue working around to the main story mission marker.

Solitude’s Edge

The main story mission marker takes you to the large camp on the southern edge of the map. Fight your way through the camp until you work your way inside, and keep pushing through the corridors until you reach the map transition to the secondary map, Outfall Pumping Station.

Back to table of contents

Outfall Pumping Station

Time for another Boss fight, vault hunter! Before you take the elevator down, note that there are vending machines on the upper catwalk to the left. Also note that when you’re in the elevator, you’re in a vacuum. Stepping out of the elevator at the bottom triggers a cut-scene introducing your new foe, after which there will be a short period of dialogue during which you can look around and take stock a little.

You’ll notice that there’s a central platform, jump pads to that platform on both the left and right sides, and higher cliffs facing (just to your left as you come out of the elevator) and opposite; these also have jump pads on them. There are collections of chests on the cliffs, to the right of the elevator, and either side of the central platform.

The goal is obviously to take down the boss while surviving multiple waves of Guardians and Lost Legion. One thing to know if you’re using lasers: the boss will occasionally withdraw and circle round at a distance that is beyond the range of most beam lasers, as well as some of the other types. It’s also far enough that you will need to lead the target slightly with some projectile weapons.


If you need help:

There are three basic strategies you can attempt, depending on what you are most comfortable with:

  • Play “bounce” between the jump pads on the cliff tops - this makes it hard for the enemy AI to get a bead on you, so you can avoid quite a bit of fire.
  • Go right out of the elevator and use the cliffs and elevator shaft to limit the angles that the boss can hit you from, while fighting off the adds
  • Use the left or right jump pads to get up on the central platform and dodge fire behind the pillars along each side; if you’re taking too much heat, you can jump down at either end for more cover and some ammo

Hopefully, you survive the various waves and phases and emerge victorious. Note that the boss will do one final pass after health is fully eliminated for the loot drop, which happens on the right-side of the arena. Quite a bit of cash drops down on either side of the platform though, so run around and grab whatever you want before heading into the tunnel to take the one-way map transition to Tycho’s Ribs, where you’ll find a couple of vending machines and a fast travel station

Back to table of contents

Tycho’s Ribs

This map is an impressive piece of functioning Eridian architectural machinery, unlike anything seen in Borderlands 1 or Borderlands 2. Although indoors with atmosphere throughout, this map (and the next) are also low-gravity environments. Like pretty much any alien installation (hello, HALO!) there’s no obvious compliance with Occupational Health and Safety regulations, so it’s entirely up to you to avoid falling to your death or getting zapped by massive elemental discharges. You have been warned!


  • Set of two vault symbols
  • Set of seven lost echo recordings (some on next map)
  • Two other area challenges

Discoverable Side Quests:

  • Z8N-TP (level 26) - Oz kit/COM
  • Don’t Shoot the Messenger (level 26) - unique sniper rifle Fremington’s Edge

Oh, and did I mention the super-secret Easter Egg area?

You spawn in by the fast travel in a small room with some ammo crates, an Indiana Jones reference, and a couple of vending machines. This connects to a second similar room, which then opens up into your first battle area, the Observation Deck which overlocks a massive central shaft with some impressive looking machinery in it.

Once you’ve cleared and looted the first area, continue down the hill towards the giant elevator; from there, jump down to the next level and raid the Compression Chamber (there’s a bunch of chests in the back room which unlocks once you’ve cleared the mini-boss out of the way.) Your route from here is to continue down and cut through the Particle Collection Chamber to the next giant elevator. The jump pad here will take you to one of the discoverable side quest locations; I’d pick this up now if you want to complete all the side quests, since it’s easy to do while running the main story mission on the final map.

Keep going down to the third giant elevator. (Note: If you want all the achievements, there are items on the levels both above and below you at this point.) Fight your way through into Maintenance Access 42 (avoiding the elemental discharges along the way) and work through the tunnels to the Exhaust Port and the Very. Large. Cannon. Getting the challenge here is simply a matter of jumping around in front of the shield wall and not dying. Again, no harm in picking up the other side quest while you’re here. After that, it’s a short running fight to the map transition and a pretty cool cut-scene sequence that should answer the question, “Who’s Tycho, anyway?”

Back to table of contents



  • One vault symbol
  • Additional lost echoes (from Tycho’s Rib challenge)
  • One misison-related challenge (missable?)

The map is circular, subdivided into quadrants by giant ribs. You spawn into the north-east quadrant not far from the fast travel and a set of vending machines.

Work your way south down through the quadrant. Your goal is to get through a doorway to the inner circuit around the map that then allows you to work your way back north to trigger access to the actual mission marker location. Use the floating islands and the tunnels to do this, until you emerge back near the start and trigger a very brief cut-scene followed by a mini-boss fight. This ultimately opens another doorway through to the interior; keep going across the islands and through the corridors until you trigger the ramp system. Follow up a series of ramps through another mini-boss fight and use the portal to enter the Vault of the Sentinel.

Time for the BIG boss fight! This takes in what is basically a walled arena in two stages, each of which has three distinct phases. The first stage isn’t too bad, as many of the moves are similar to the ones that Zarpedon used earlier with one addition: use the pillar in the arena to break line-of-sight and so avoid damage from the beam attacks while your enemy is airborne.


If you need help:

Stage 1: Each phase involves a different elemental attack/resistance on the part of your enemy, and the transition between phases occurs whenever you break their shield. There’s a steady stream of adds but focus fire on the boss and only take out the adds if you need to activate a kill skill or get a second wind. Note that there’s a horizontal nova fired at the end of each stage just before shield regeneration, so be ready to jump to avoid it. The thrid and final phase of this stage simply requires you to take down the health bar.

After the third phase is done, there’ll be some loot dropped and you’ll have a short period of time to grab it. Note that you’ll occasionally see small circular ripples on the floor - this signifies that ammo is about to pop out of the floor for you to grab. It’s pretty obvious when the second stage is about to start.

Stage 2: Again, there are three phases, each of which characterized by a particular elemental attack/resistance. Note that the floor will frequently become part of this scheme - I use jump pretty extensively during this fight to avoid taking additional damage-over-time from the floor. You again have to break the shield but then additionally remove the health bar before each phase progresses. There are, again, plenty of adds, and you do occasionally get some added cover as well. One thing to watch for is when you get launched in the air: this is usually followed by a massive horizontal nova, so slam down hard to avoid taking major damage.

Once you’re done, there’ll be a long cut-scene, so just sit back and enjoy as the end of the story unfolds. You can fast-forward through the credits using your movement control; it’s worth sitting through them (even if you “fast-forward” them) as there’s a bunch of drawings that appear filling in events between the end of the story you’ve just completed and the opening sequence of Borderlands 2.

After this, you’ll have a chance to loot the place before exiting and making your way back to the Fast travel station; head to Jack’s Office to hand in the final story mission to Jack and receive your reward. This unlocks the second playthrough - True Vault Hunter Mode (TVHM) - as well as the final batch of discoverable side quests. If you’re like me, your inventory is probably stuffed at this point, so head on back to Concordia first for some trading, stashing, and grinding.

Back to table of contents

Last Side Quests

Guardian Hunter (level 29) in Vorago Solitude

  • unique shield the Asteroid Belt or unique AR The Wallop
    • Unlocks the related mission Sterwin Forever in Eleseer (level 29) - sniper/grenade

Note that, besides being a tribute to the late Steve Irwin, the Guardian Hunter mission is popular amongst players for power-levelling characters in higher modes - particularly Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode (UVHM). You really don’t need to do this in NVHM.

For higher modes, the usual tactic is to never capture any of the Guardian Wraiths and simply camp at the first spawn point killing them repeatedly. As a more interesting alternative, Sterwin Forever can be used instead (which means you can pick up the reward for the first side quest). This is a more frantic fight, however.

The Bestest Story Ever Told (level 28) in Concordia

This is the Raid Boss version of the final story boss. He is somewhat tougher than the story version, and has some extra attacks he uses, although the flow of the fight is the same. To fight the Raid Boss, you need to deposit 20 moonstones in receptacles just outside the entrance to the Vault of the Sentinel; you will more than recover the moonstones invested. After this side quest, you can revisit and decide which of the two you want to tackle - if you want the regular boss version, simply enter without depositing moonstones.

The Super Secret Raid Boss

Yes, there is such a thing. No, I’m not going to tell you where it is! Well, not without spoiler tags anyway.

Are you sure you want to read about:

Iwajira, the monster Kraggon who lives in a cave Serenity’s Waste? If so, read on…

The cave is entered from the tunnel at the top of the lava fall that is immediately west of Janey’s garage at Ozless Harbor. You can either go on foot or use a Stingray.

  • On foot: exit from the upper level and work your way up, over, and along the building roof and cliff edge in a north-westerly direction until you can see the top of the lava falls. From there, you can drop down and boost across the lava to the west side of the tunnel entrance.

  • On Stingray, hang a right out of the garage and follow the cliff on your right in a north-westerly direction until you are close to the lava falls. A careful boost up and you should be able to get your Stingray on to the top of the falls; jump off onto the rocks on the west side of the tunnel entrance.

Continue back through the tunnel until you find an opening, then drop down. Once all players in your party are down the hole, Iwajira will emerge from the red hot lava. Note that the entire cave is a vacuum, although there are plenty of oxygen vents dotted around the cave.

Assuming you are victorious, an oxygen geyser will erupt which you can use to get back up out of the cave, or you can just save-quit and restart whenever you’re ready back in Ozless Harbor.

The Super Secret Not-Quite-A-Raid Boss

There’s one more, who is more boss than raid boss level. This one involves a little parkour.

Read on to find out about...

This boss is actually a version of the NPC you encounter if you do the Last Requests optional side quest sequence in Regolith Range. So, if you didn’t pick up that side quest (look for a ! in the north-west corner of the map) you’ll need to do that first.

Once completed, you can grab a couple of billboard letters from the top of the two tower structures either side of the lava ravine and insult the target one more time by placing them on the side of the tower facing Nel (just below the room you get the final side quest reward from).

Nel will jump down to the area near the Moon Zoomy station and summon a couple of waves of scavs before turning into a boss himself. On defeat, he has a chance to drop the sniper rifle The Skullmasher.

If you need help figuring out how to get to the letters, this video shows you the locations and the route up to both. Note the red chests at the top by each letter too!

Back to table of contents

What Next?

Turning in the final story mission to Jack in his office unlocks a second play-through, True Vault Hunter Mode (TVHM) This replays the entire story (minus selected extended cut-scenes) and allows you to level your character up to 50. You start with all the gear, skill points, and BAR perks you had previously. Some of the mission rewards change (for example, you no longer get additional equipment slots) but otherwise the game is the same except for higher damage scaling.

Note that, if there are any side quests you didn’t complete during NVHM you can still switch back and forth between modes and pick up where you left off in each one. Just hit the character select button at the main game menu and chose your character (even if it is already selected or you only have one) from the list; you’ll then be able to select the mode you want to play in. One significant difference between BL2 and TPS is that your location is now saved separately for each mode. So you can be in Concordia in NVHM but Serenity’s Waste in TVHM.

The other thing you can do is tackle the two DLCs - the Holodome (a very large, five-round combat arena with a repeatable badass round at the end) and the Claptastic Voyage - a further mission-orientated trip into the back-story of the Borderlands universe that takes you into the mind of Claptrap. This includes multiple maps, brand new enemies and bosses, multiple side quests, and a new weapon category. It also includes a shooting range with three different types of targets, perfect for those who want to do in-depth weapons tests. You can complete these in NVHM (like the last two DLCs in BL2, Claptastic Voyage will scale up to level 35) or in TVHM, or both.

And then there’s a third play-through, Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode (UVHM), which lets you take your character all the way to level 70. You might want to try different characters out and get them through at least one mode first, though - the XP scaling in UVHM means it can be a bit of grind, so some variety is always welcome.

And that’s it! You’ve now unlocked all sorts of back-story and Borderlands lore. If you’ve also completed Borderlands 1 and 2, you’ll be perfectly ready for Borderlands 3 when it finall appears!

What did you do in TPS during your most recent session?


(quoted because one is in Part 5, the other in Part 6). Otherwise it looks like your keyboard is behaving itself. :slight_smile:

I’ve never found RK5 to be troublesome, particularly in NVHM. Blue corrosive TMP for the win, I guess! :stuck_out_tongue:

It might be worth mentioning that the door to Tycho’s Ribs is one-way, in case players have the bright idea of popping in there to fast travel to Concordia and grind all the drops. Excess to one’s inventory is best carted up the elevator and sold, unless one wants to run all the way back from the Vorago Solitude fast travel and hope the drops are still there. I seem to recall that they weren’t and that RK5 was back to be farmed, but it’s been a while and my memory is not the best…

Do Zarpedon and the Eternals really use slag? I didn’t know that was implemented in TPS. Interesting!

(Today, everything was fine in Opportunity and nothing bad happened.) #69

Possible things you may want to mention re: Lost Legion Eternals:

  • a bit of cryo can go a long way towards keeping them from leveling up!
  • there is an achievement tied to letting one of the Eternals blow up a few of its own buddies, as I find NVHM the easiest difficulty on which to achieve this.

(Is this thing on?) #70

Thanks @Worblehat and @farsight37 - I’d forgotten that door was one way, and I just finished the achievement with my Nisha. I think I might add something in about that, although I tend to come back to NVHM from TVHM for it since it’s much easier to tank out the damage while completing the challenge.

(Is this thing on?) #71

Well, it’s purple. And it obviously has an elemental effect. Plus, it seems to be a result of the purple vapours emanating from the shaft that affected Z. and a number of her troops. So I’m calling it slag! Not sure if it carries a debuff - I don’t remember there being a status effect associated with being hit by the novas etc. - but then in BL2 it’s the slag resulting from Hyperion eridium refinement, so there are likely some differences. (Can you tell that I’m a bit of a lore nerd?)

(I’m Nat and just a Number.) #72

I love the sound of popping ammo crates, so i do not turn them on, plus the contents of it i auto pick up eventually when they came flying after popping.


Yeah, that’s really what I was getting at. I can buy “it’s slag” as flavor/lore, but am I taking extra damage because of it? :slight_smile:

I tried for the Collateral Damage achievement a few times but never got anywhere. Now that Jack is in the 50s he might be able to grind it out with the method you describe. I’d tried to do it close to “for realsies” (low 30s I think?) looking for an Instability. The few I found did not live up to the wiki’s description of “large” blast radius. Your Magus method looks plausible; I’ll try that out next time I fire up TPS.

A couple of code glitches in the Tycho’s Ribs section, btw.

(Is this thing on?) #74

Do they mean the ones that fly through the air surrounded by that large sphere with the elemental discharges? If so, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one do any meaningful damage to other Legion forces. Certainly not on XB1 anyway.

Well, that section of the game was pretty glitchy at launch!


Instability is the one that explodes. Damaging a “large” radius, for wiki definitions of the word “large”. You’re thinking of the Tempest.

(Is this thing on?) #76

In that case, I think I’ve only ever encountered one of those once. Then again, I’m usually trying to NOT let them evolve!


Not really. If you fail the first time (and I always do), quit, reload, try again until you get it. If you keep going, finish NVHM, then decide to come back some other time, then it might be missable, I’m not sure. But if you want to get it you can keep on trying until you do, so it’s not missable the way Poop Deck is missable. :slight_smile:

typo, “thrid”

Sentinel fight - when this was actually difficult (TVHM) the advice I got was to keep circling around the arena, trying to stay out of the front arc where the Sentinel turns the ground to acid (it was only acid phase that was bad, IIRC) but still have an angle on the face.

I’d say Iwajira is a secret boss, not a secret raid boss. Fighting a raid boss involves significant risk of death when soloing, whereas Iwa is just a really big kraggon. Even in UVHM it just doesn’t do very much damage.

I’ll have to try that foot route you describe. Thanks!

According to the wiki, Nel is also an end-of-playthrough secret boss. I’ve never bothered with him, but if you’re telling people about Iwajira it seems fair to also mention Nel. :slight_smile:

(Is this thing on?) #78

On the challenge: i count them as missable if you would need to quit and restart for a second attempt. (For Poop Deck I guess you’d have to dashboard/force quit?)

The reason for mentioning Iwajira is because his cave is one of the areas you have to discover for the map challenge. I’ll have to think about Nel - I’ve never actually done that one!

(Selling England by the Pound) #79

Something about workmen and tools :slight_smile:

(I’m Nat and just a Number.) #80

Awesome work. Just some points below.

Except for Tediore Weapons

Can we say to not drop the personal log since it might be useful to skip in-game dialogues.

Extra “N”

New Players might have difficulty making the jump using the stingray going to the Outlands Canyon, maybe a guide or video tutorial might do. Even I, still have difficulty jumping over it.

Be wary that if you beat the Napykins, Lunestalker Sr. will be aggro every time you are near the vicinity in triton flats.

We can say, that if ever you feel underlevelled, the Darksiders Camp is a good way to gain XP.

minor spelling error

In PS4 or xbox one?, this can be done via 4 player splitscreen.

If you are going for a melee character, the Lost Legion Powersuit Noob drops a legendary Roid Shield.

Wait for the weapons chest to spawn. Also, not sure if this is patch but before you can farm those chest by saving and quitting and you’ll be back on top where you fought zarpedon.

No link in the table contents in Parts 1 to 5.

IMO, this should be disclosed in part 1 during the Serenity’s waste discussion since some people who explored the area will found this Super Secret Raid Boss early on but will die eventually due to him being Level 30+.