What loot to look for?

I’ve finally got Craw down to a reasonably repeatable exercise after improvements to my gear and tactics. So now what do I do with all this loot? What’s worth picking up, especially among all the purple drops? I know the various Legendaries well enough to identify which ones are generally considered useful. (Still haven’t found a Pearl after about 20 Craw runs.) But there are so many purple drops that I have a hard time identifying which ones are of more than theoretical interest. I have a Lilith, a Roland, and a Mordecai that have finished everything, following fairly typical paths: Mercenary Lilith, Heavy Gunner Roland, and Gunslinger Mordecai. I’ve barely played Brick at all. If I want to explore a particular COM strategy, I’m more likely to restart a character and play it through all the way, so Craw-level gear is not very relevant. But if there’s some endgame-level loadout that’s especially fun to go murdering with, I’d like to keep the gear available to try it out if I find it. So I welcome any guidance for identifying rare and interesting drops I might not be aware of. Here are my thoughts so far…

SMG’s - It seems like Lilith is the only that would care about most of the SMG’s that drop. Hellfires and Anarchies are strong enough that other characters could use them too, but good ones will be good for anyone. There don’t seem to be niche SMG’s anyone other than Lilith wants.

Combat Rifles - Does anyone really use these besides Roland? Mordecai and Lilith both seem to have other weapon types that serve a similar purpose and fit their trees better. Would Brick want Explosive types? And even for Roland, elemental types don’t proc terribly well, right? I don’t really know what to look for here other than strong, fast, accurate burst-firing guns for Roland. Pounder-types don’t seem very good for anyone.

Support Machine Guns - I’ve yet to find these useful, though I can see how they’d be OK for a Roland that was built for them. Seems like Brick could make use of them too. But again, they’re not generally good elemental weapons, right? Outside of a good Draco or Ogre, is there anything to look for beyond a solid flat-damage AR type?

Repeaters - Firehawks are obviously useful for various characters. But Corrosive Repeaters seem like they’re going to be worse than a good Defiler for anyone, right? And lightning is of limited value in the game. I don’t remember using flat-damage Repeaters much with my Mordecai - would he ever want one in preference to a good Revolver?

Machine Pistols - A good Thanatos can clearly be useful as a close combat weapon for various characters. But are there worthwhile purple ones? The same elemental considerations seem to apply as with Repeaters - Firehawks and Defilers seem better in general, and lightning just isn’t useful very often.

Revolvers - Here’s where I feel like I’m missing opportunities. I like revolvers for lots of characters and they’re good elemental weapons, but I’m just not sure what to look for. Mashers are obviously interesting, but what else? I feel like 2-shot revolvers are awkward except for Roland with his mag size bonuses. So he might want AX10’s and similar, maybe including good incendiary ones. Gunslinger Mordecai will like good flat damage six-shooters with decent scopes for times he doesn’t want to break out a sniper rifle. Good six shot Defilers are universally useful. Maybe Explosive ones for Brick? Anything else?

Sniper Rifles - There are quite a few Legendaries here with specialized purposes - Orion, Penetrators, Volcanos, etc. - that many characters can use. But how to judge all the various purples? It seems like Mordecai’s and Roland’s mag size bonuses lend themselves to the models with smaller, more powerful mags while Brick and Lilith probably want larger mags at the cost of power to the extent they want a sniper rifle at all. Bolt action vs semi-auto? I feel like semi-auto with a moderate scope is more useful than bolt action at the vast majority of engagement ranges, though I can see how a powerful, accurate, high-magnification bolt action rifle could be useful in some situations for Mordecai especially and maybe a Firefly or Plaguebearer Lilith. Are Gambles good anywhere? I don’t know… I feel like I see way more sniper rifles than I know what to do with.

Shotguns - I have no idea. ZPR’s seem like the best all-around. Maybe Brick would like some crazy damage, low-accuracy type? As with combat rifles, elemental types don’t seem compelling outside of the Crux.

Rocket Launchers - I’ve never found these remotely useful on any character. But I guess Brick can use them reasonably well. Does he just want high-damage, reasonably accurate ones?

Anyway… sorry for the long post. If you’ve got any items that you passed up early on when farming and eventually regretted not picking up, please let me know.

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–There are “weapon archetypes”, so I suggest to take gun from every “archetype” for a spin. Done it myself and the only weapon type that I don’t know how/where to use is Thumper.
–Also, you can explore the infamous “Your item find(s) of the day” thread.
–Borderlands wiki(a) is kinda helpful.

(I cannot rememeber everything in detail, haven’t played BL1 for a while, haha).

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Get a barrel_5 shotgun. They’re extremely precise and satisfying when you line up every pellet into an enemy’s crit spot for massive damage. As I like to say:

“Once you go accurate, you never go backcurate”


Well, when it comes to identifying what’s good or not, I’d advise checking out Gearcalc. I’ve learned half of what I know about the loot system through this.

There’s also the Part Spotter’s Guide for figuring out what the hell a “SMG barrel3” looks like, so when you find one you know what the hell you’re looking at.

And of course the Beginner’s Guide to BL’s Weapon Gen System. There is so much in here. Probably more than you’re looking for right now. If you’re interested in what the hell “TCH330.3 Glorious Massacre” is, this is the place to start.

My personal advice? I don’t find Combat Rifles particularly useful, but everything else has it’s place in the game. Depends on character and build of course too(I use a lot of SupportMGs on Roland compared to everybody else), but each gun class has a place on each character. Just play around with anything that looks interesting. If you find it works and you like how it works, keep using it until you find something that replaces it.

That said, Revolvers are amazing, and work on almost any general build. Good elemental weapons, high damage, high accuracy, you name it, they probably have it(just don’t name rate of fire).
As you noticed, most explosives don’t quite feel satisfying. Depends on terrain often, but my approach when using them is usually quantity over quality.
Repeaters make surprisingly good elemental weapons if you care to check them out, most don’t though.

That’s most of what I got. Any questions?


If you’re looking for some examples to weapon cards, then check this site out: http://www.borderlandsbestgear.com/

Now, if you want specific gear (non unique) to look out for, then I can help a little…

SMGS: In my experience, try to find a good Maliwan Stinger, With a preferable x4 elemental multiplier. These can wreck in hands other than a Merc Lilith. Also, Torgue Anarchies and Stingers do a good job of killing.

CR’s: Dahl Pounders and Hyperion Cobras dispatch well in the hands of a Ranger Mordecai/ Heavy Gunner Roland.
Watch out for these, and kudos if you get an element with it.

Support MG’s: My least favorite class of arms. An Atlas/S&S MG works for me… Vladof ones have high FR, But I don’t like the playstyle associated with them.

Repeaters: I choose Needlers, mostly because they have High FR, Low recoil, and easier to use in medium-range combat. Oh, and the suffix is entertaining to hear. Repeaters also have a good proc rate, so keep an eye out on that.

MP’s: Some may prefer the Thanatos for mag size, but a good Vladof Fury is a better contendeer, IMO.

Revolvers: Most of these are pretty damn good, and for a reason. Look out for AX10 Mashers and AX300 Revolvers. Imo, I pick Mag 5 for increased damage, but limits your mag to two shots. I’ll let you decide on this one.

SR’s: Not a lot to say about this, just go with an Orion/ Penetrator. Pretty sure they have synergy with every character.

Shotguns: My favorite class of arms. I go with a Vladof/Hyperion Brute, but for Combat shotties, I use an Atlas Matador or Torgue Matador.

RL’s: Never really experienced these, so i’ll pass.

And notice that I said I’ll help a little in weapon choice… I’m not VERY knowledgeable about the game.