Looking to understand item drop level mechanics

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading here recently which has greatly benefited my knowledge of the game. One thing I have not found is a discussion on the mechanics that determine the level a weapon drops at. For example

I have been farming in TVHM, with Lvl 54 and a Lvl 61 characters, for Lvl 50 legendary items. I’ve noticed that some bosses fairly consistently drop Lvl 50 while others rarely drop Lvl 50 and usually drop Lvl 48 or 49.

Again for example, one of the items I’m farming is for a good Hellfire from Scorch. I’ve acquired 5 Lvl 49s and 2 Lvl 48s and no Lvl 50.

I’ve read a number of the guides including Vaulthunter 101’s guide to RNG and Loot but did not see a discussion about what determines the Lvl an item drops at.

Any help on where to find this is much appreciated.

1 Like

It’s possible that the user patch guys would know specifics but as far as I know any item that drops basically rolls RNG on whether it spawns at level or 1/2 levels below.

There’s not really been any discussion on it as most just accepted that it happens and no evidence has been brought forward that shows that there is any real variance to it.

If you want a detailed mechanics break down you’ll probably have to ask somewhere like Discord as I don’t think the knowledge would have been obtained through methods that Gearbox allows discussion of on these forums.

1 Like

Until max level , RNG will “roll” its level to be -2 to +1 your current. At max level it can be -2 to current.

At level 50 (which is obviously TVHM’s max level), you get gear randomly at levels 48-50. I’m not sure if anyone knows the chances of each of the levels : 25% each below max level? or 33.3% each at max level? @VaultHunter101 may know that particular detail as I didn’t see it in his guide.

There should be no external factors such as drop source. Your experience should be strictly based on RNG. This is similar to people complaining that they farmed “x” 40 times without a drop and that this particular target must be an exception to the 10% rule.


@Jefe, Thanks for the reply. I figured the primary determiner was RNG but thought there may be other factors. I’m not complaining, just trying to understand the mechanics of the game. I’ve played it for several years mindless of anything but the basics and only recently began to explore the nuances. Thanks again.


Once you’ve beaten and handed in the final story mission (so everything is max level at 50 in TVHM), what @Jefe said applies. And no, I have no idea what the actual odds of -2, -1 or at level chances are, but if anyone want to spend a bit farming the same boss say, 500 times, we’d have a better idea!


I can’t and don’t want to see the value in that. My curiosity is satisfied with RNG. I’ve never farmed until a few weeks ago and I’m ready to forget it till necessary again.

PS: your @VaultHunter101 guides and posts here have been a huge help Thanks