Question about mission reward levels/scaling

So I completed Warrior on story mode. My character is level 30. My plan was to pick up a few of the more desirable mission rewards in story mode before switching to TVHM…which allows me to use them for at least a good while into TVHM without having to waste my TVHM versions.

The question is…some of these missions I picked up at lower levels. If I complete the missions in story mode at 30 or 31 will the rewards be the level of the mission or my character? I also read that there is some scaling and if you completed the story the items would be 35 (50 if TVHM).

So I’m really confused what level the items will be if I complete them. Level of the mission (19)? Level of my character (30)? Or scaled to some max level for story (35)? Or maybe something else entirely?

1 Like

No, they’ll be at a fixed level in Normal and True which will be around the level that you are when it comes available. In Ultimate, they’re at the level at which to accepted the quest - so you can delay accepting the quest so you can get a higher level version.

DLC items can be 35. Not vanilla.
Pretty sure.

Thanks for the response but I think I’m still confused. What does "around the level you are when available? Is that basically the mission level? So a level 19 mission (Rakkaholic Anonymous for example) completed at 30 will just be level 19 so is a waste of time to complete?

Also, if DLC items can be 35 what does that mean exactly? For instance, I was going to progress the DLC story enough to get the Pimpernel and my character is 30. It might be 31 or so by the time I get to the quest so what level would that item be? Scaled to my level or 35 because the story was completed or something else?

This is what I found online but not sure it’s accurate…as it’s just someone on Steam forums:

on normal and tvhm all areas scale to lvl 35 normal and tvhm lvl 50 after u kill warrior items like lady fist.fibber.dlc wepons pimp sandhawk is best to save after u scale game

Really not even sure what he means by “scale the game”.

Effectively yes. In Normal and True, the mission comes up with a specified level attached to it. You’re likely to be at or near that level. So, you may end up being level 18,19 or 20 when Raak Anon comes up but the mission level and mission reward is 19.


I really don’t either :joy:

Anyways. For fear of saying you’re overthinking this, you’re overthinking this. Normal mode gear is useless. Maybe you could keep a slag Rubi from Normal but that’s literally it. I’d grab an Orphan Maker if I was playing Sal though.

As for items level 30-35, I’ll have to defer to @RavenOfArisia and @VaultHunter101 since I haven’t done a normal mode DLC in years.

By the way, this :

I’m not so sure the first sentence is accurate. I honestly can’t remember but it seems to me the reward is given at the level the mission was accepted. Again…defer to the aforementioned…

1 Like

OK, fair enough. I guess I am overthinking it. lol. I’ll just progress into TVHM and be done with it. I thought if I could get a few of these items around my level they would be worthwhile for a while into TVHM but I guess that isn’t really possible.

1 Like

The Master Post for how DLCs scale is this reddit post from 7 years ago, I’ll put the link cuz he covers it better than I could;


So I found this other info that seems more credible and sort of gives some credence to what that other thread said even if it works a bit different than what it sounded like was being implied.

Source link:

OK, it’s a bit complicated. :slight_smile:

In Normal Mode (first playthrough), completing the story missions in the main game has no effect on the levels in the DLC, so it doesn’t matter if you beat the Warrior first.

The DLC has a range of possible levels in each mode.

Normal Mode:
Headhunter packs – 15 - 35
Pirate and Torgue DLC – 15 - 30
Hammerlock and Tina DLC – 30 - 35
Digistruct Peak – 35

TVHM (second playthrough):
Headhunter packs – 30 - 50
Pirate and Torgue DLC – 30 - 50
Hammerlock and Tina DLC – 35 - 50
Digistruct Peak – 50

Within those ranges, the DLC maps generally seem to scale to your level when you first enter them, and, in Normal Mode, the map levels don’t change after that. So, for example, if you had started the Pirate DLC when you were level 15 (or below), the first map would still be level 15, but new maps after that would probably be level 30 (the limit for that DLC in Normal Mode). If you start the Tina DLC now, the first map will be scaled to level 34 (your current level), but if you reach level 35 while playing it, later maps (and the missions in them) should be scaled to level 35.

In TVHM, the DLC map levels work basically the same way, until you complete the story missions in the main game (beat the Warrior). After that, most maps and unaccepted missions in the main game and the DLC will scale to level 50. However, if you started any of the HH packs at a lower level (eg. 40), they will probably stay at that lower level.

In UVHM, everything (except already accepted missions) always scales to your current level.

FYI, the main game is going to start around level 31 in TVHM, so, at level 34, you’re already a bit over-leveled for the main game, but it will catch up eventually (you get less XP when your level is above the enemy/mission level, so you’ll level up more slowly in the main game, until the levels start to even out).

Another basic issue to keep in mind is that you probably don’t want to be too much above level 50 before you start UVHM. UVHM always scales to your level, but any gear that you find in TVHM (except in the Golden chest) will be limited to level 50, so if you level up too much from farming or playing the DLC, you could have a really hard time when you start UVHM.

Having said that, feel free to play any of the DLC in Normal Mode, but any gear you get in them will be limited to around level 30 or 35, depending on the DLC, so most of it won’t be useful for long once you start TVHM. One thing that might be worth going for is the Magic Missile grenade mod in the Tina DLC. It’s one of the 3 “magic” grenade mods in that DLC. They all slowly regenerate grenade ammo, and the MM sends out homing slag balls. It’s one of the more popular methods for applying slag. Then again, you may not be using slag much yet, so you may not have much use for the MM now, but it’s something to keep in mind. You’ll be needing slag sooner or later. :slight_smile:

As for the 3 specific items you mentioned, the Grog Nozzle, Unkempt Harold and Rough Rider:

The GN is kind of a non-issue. As someone else mentioned, the regular GN is a mission gun, so you’ll only have it in the mode/playthrough where that mission is active (and you can’t trade it or put it in the Stash). Accepting that mission in Normal Mode only gives you a GN in that mode.

However, during the “Loot Hunt” event, Gearbox had the game drop non-mission versions of the GN that are just normal guns (can be used in any mode, etc.). You can probably get some of those from people in the In-Game Trading sub-forum. FWIW, the level is kind of unimportant (as long as it’s not above your level, of course), because the level only alters the damage, and you shouldn’t be using the GN for damage (it’s just a fraction of what you get from a regular elemental gun). The healing factor and other special effects are the same, regardless of the level.

You can get the Unkempt Harold from Torgue vendors (in the Torgue DLC), or Savage Lee, or just as a random find. The Torgue vendors will be limited by the DLC level limits, so you won’t get one above level 30 from them in Normal Mode. You can try them in TVHM, but you’ll need to get Torgue tokens first. Or just farm Savage Lee once you start TVHM (in Normal Mode, he’s going to be a very low level).

You kill a specific enemy in the Hammerlock DLC to get the Rough Rider. You can do that now in Normal Mode and get one around level 34 (your current level), or wait until you’re level 35 (the max level (more or less) for that DLC). You could wait until you start TVHM and then go there at level 35 to get one, but that will set the level for that map and it will stay that way until you complete TVHM in the main game, so you won’t be able to get a higher level one until then. So, if you want a Rough Rider now, I’d go after one in Normal Mode. Then, some time later, maybe when your level is in the 40’s, you can go after one in TVHM. Then go back and get a level 50 version at the end of TVHM.

However, I think some people prefer a lower level Rough Rider, because it adds less health (making health gating easier), so you might actually prefer a lower level version. Your call.


Nice. Thanks for posting that. I guess I have more to read. Who knew leveling in BL was so complicated? lol.

Complicated and only about 10% of us players actually care about it :slight_smile: Heck, just looking at Xbox stats and only 20% of all the people who played BL2 on Xbox even defeated Jack once.

So you’re in rarified air with the rest of us remaining addicts.


So I read the reddit post and it was somewhat helpful but also not exactly clear on the most important part IMO.

You need to be a bit careful in TVHM, especially in Playthrough 2.5 (after you beat the final boss again and hit Level 50) because trying to keep all sidequests and DLC quests for when you hit level 50 is a recipe for disaster. XP gain is nerfed once you hit 50, to minimise your ability to level up thereafter. This is (in practise) to prevent you grinding to level 61 and entering UVHM only to fight level 63 badasses with you level 50 legendary weapons you’ve farmed. I guarantee you will be struggling to a Dark Souls/Demon Souls degree. The difference between a level 50 DPUH (a specific, powerful, and desirable variant of the [Unkempt Harold], which can do 15145x2 damage (item card damage, from [wiki] and a level 61 version which coud deal 58923x2 is incredible. Your level 50 gear is worthless at L61, with the possible exception of the Slagga, and that’s only if you just use it for slagging. This was kind of ranty but UVHM is a free DLC so I decided to include it. The point is you should really only do the side quests from the main game and the DLC main/side quests that give you gear your character would need for UVHM.

This paragraph doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I bolded the two parts that seem contradictory. First he says saving side quests for when you hit 50 is a recipe for disaster but then at the end says you should only really do side missions that give you gear your character would need for UVHM? The last line sounds like he is suggesting you do what he said would be a recipe for disaster in the first line.

When BL2 was published level 50 was the level cap. So once one reached that, it was not possible to get loot above said level. Back then it was plausible to avoid TVHM sidequests until level 50 in order to get the mission reward at maximum level.

The 2 Ultimate Vault Hunter Packs raised the level cap to 61 and then to 72 respectively. From then on, level 50 wasn’t the Borderlands endgame, but just somewhere around the middle in terms of playtime.

I do not concur. The point is simply that one gets diminished XP for underleveled enemies. This isn’t to drastic at one level difference, but at 4 and more levels difference mobs do barely net any XP. But that is something one can observe in NVHM when one returns to the Southern Shelf for the Matchstick mission.

It’s not completely contradictory. Point is, one should aim to start UVHM as close to level 50 as possible. If one does all sidequests and DLCs in TVHM that isn’t achievable. And from experience, going up against level 56 enemies with level 50 equipment is no fun. At all.

So one should pick and choose the quests a little. For example, I always do Uncle Teddy for the Lady Fist (or the Tidal Wave, should mention the Tidal Wave or @jefe may be cross with me), the A Real Boy quests for a Fibber (as a Mechromancer), but tend to skip Statuesque, because it’s tedious and one got the head customisation anyway in NVHM…

TL;DR: if you’re over level 50 anyway, proceed into UVHM, if you’re below or on 50, do some sidequests or kill the Warrior a few times for XP and Eridium.


This is correct. Accepting any mission locks the reward level at that point, and there’s no way to change it.

I mentioned this before, but all the information about what range specific DLC, quests, and side quests can be in NVHM and TVHM is right here:

Just click on the internal link to the last section.


As mentioned previously, that list is very very small : a good slag weapon (so do Clan Wars and side with the Zafords so you can farm a Slagga OR slog through Scarlett’s for a slag Pimp OR just look out for a Maliwan slag SMG) and a Moxxi (Rubi normally and slag normally).

You get mountains of good blue and purple gear from the Warrior. All you need.


Thanks for all the info all. I think the biggest mistake I have made in the past is collecting all missions as I see them. That seems to be a bad idea because it locks in the mission at the lowest level.

I think my TVHM strat will be to ignore all but the story missions in the main game and if I need additional XP to stay on level hit some of the DLC story missions until I get back on track. Then once I get near end of TVHM I can pick a few good side missions to complete for specific items and complete the warrior at that point.


I agree with that strategy, though you don’t (in my opinion) need to pick up a lot.
The only mission item I’d wait for (for lvl 50 prior to UVHM) is a Pimpernel from the Scarlett DLC. A good slag pimpernel at lvl 50 will be a very useful slag option for all of UVHM.
Of course, doing the Snowman/Marcus dlc at lvl 49-50 gives you the loot train where you can absolutely stock up on all the purple grenades, shields, relics, and probably great snipers you’ll need in one place.

1 Like

not if you want to torture yourself, we finished uvhm level 72 with only level 50 and below guns here


I usually grab the side quests that give eridium and also coincide with story progression through specific maps. That way I’m doing pretty well for storage and ammo by the end of TVHM.

1 Like

This is mostly what I was doing in story mode. I have upgraded most of my SDUs to the 50 Eridium level. It also made me wonder if there is a list of these missions somewhere to know where to find them. In story mode I grabbed all missions so it was easy to find but now I’m not doing that since it locks in mission levels.

Reminds me that I’d originally been going to summarize the rewards in the table of mission levels. Oh well!

You should be able to find what does what by looking up the quest names on the Borderlands wiki. You’ll also see the potential rewards when you view the quest details on the bounty board or from the quest giver - as long as you don’t actually accept the quest, that won’t affect reward level.

Yeah but if you are just skipping them you would have to run around the whole game world to look at them and I assume you would need to know the name of the mission to look them up on the wiki. Was just sort of hoping the quests were cataloged somewhere by rewards so you could just run directly to them and complete them. Maybe I’ll do some google searching to see if anyone did that.