What Makes Top Gear, Top Gear?

A thread to discuss the pros and cons of top gear lists, what criteria are relevant, etc. Taken from a side track in the Top Gear for Axton thread.

So, what does make an item “Top Gear” for a character, what make for good selection criteria, and is it important that such lists actually show differentiation between characters given that some gear is just unequivocally good?


Relevant threads:

Edit: How did I ever miss this? I even posted in this thread!

(@Ganjamira or someone - can we merge some posts from the Axton thread into here? Would start at [Guide] Top Gear for Axton posts 962 through to 975) - NVM, a bit late now!


uncounted pellets. /thread.


I don’t know much about the things on here but I think the important factors in saying a piece of equipment is top gear for a specific character is it’s synergy with their skills, etc. As an example, i’ve been running a Psycho through UVHM recently on PS4 and it leads me to remember that the Fastball (post buff), for example, is almost made for him in the right build. That’s just one example, but I do think it’s important for it to be explained why certain things are better for certain vault hunters.


There are guns that are just good all over the board cough Sandhawk,DPUH,Pimpernel etc. cough

However these guns aside the main criteria for a Top Gear to be Top Gear is the individual synergy with said character an example:

-The Cobra for Maya is a good weapon because its splash gets boosted by Reaper

-or the Big Boom Blaster on Axton because he has a heavy granade dependant playstyle but lacks
the “ammo survival for granades” that Krieg has with Bloodbath


To add just one more thing:
Like do you guys get that idea that if you know top gear for one character you kinda know it for all of them…of course there are exceptions but about 80-90% of the gear is the same all across the “Top Gear” threads… just a thought tho.

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That’s kind of the purpose for this thread: is there a way to break things up a bit so that it’s not simply the same across all the threads?

Or, at least, point out what it is about a particular top gear item that works so well with this character for most builds.

Also, why do I keep wanting to write “Top Gun” instead of “Top Gear”?!


The main problem i guess is the fact that some guns are just so stupidly powerful they work well with LITERALLY EVERY GODDAMN BUILD OR LACK THEREOF!
so the solution may be
making a completely diffrent category for just guns that work well with everyone that would be either a separate thread or column in the "Top Gear"
that would make the rest focus more on the synergy of the gun instead of the pure power it brings.


I’ll use the sandhawk as an example.

Imo it’s just a standard dahl smg with a unique spread. It’s average at best without the bee.

Taking that into account should the sandhawk only be top gear for maya and zero? Or do axton’s shield skills which make the bee great, which in turn makes the sandhawk great justify it being top gear for axton?

OT: synergy and effectiveness combo together to make top gear. Pimpernel has synergy with every character.


Good example. Add to that the wrinkle that getting the requisite shock and fire versions with the desirable “Flying” prefix is a huge enormous PITA but, without that prefix, you really need a character with active fire rate buffs if you want to do more than strip shields… And the spread means it’s not actually that great for some tasks.

Maybe ease of obtaining a given item with the preferred parts should be factored in to “Top Gear” somewhat?


In discussions about top gear I think the difficulty of farming should be irrelevant. We are talking about the gear that is among the absolute best in class. This is the gear the community considers applicable to cookie cutter builds and to be part of end game setups.

In a discussion on the best guns to level with or what gear to climb the peak with then farming is one of the biggest considerations, however as top gear we should be focusing on what people work towards to make their final builds.

This does open the consideration that possibly we need to have a Top Gear thread and a Best Gear for Leveling as the two aren’t as closely related as one would think.


We have one or more of those already, but I’m not sure we have them for all characters? I’ll have to go look…

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Clarkson, May and Hammond


I don’t think Borderlands 2 needs it this late in it’s life cycle, those who still play already know what they like to use and those that pick up the game are quickly introduced to it. The next Borderlands however I think could benefit from it. I expect after seeing how weapons progressed from BL2 to TPS and the way they created a more diverse top gear pool that BL3 will likely have more variety, in BL2 the best gear for leveling is basically the top gear minus Bekah, Butcher and Interfacer etc…


It’s almost as if these guides need to start with the character first. Explain why certain skills affect certain gear.
For example : Axton and Krieg. Both have grenade damage boosting skills. Explain what types of gear are affected by this and make the list from there.
Or Gaige, Maya, Zer0 : which guns are ideal candidates for Nth Degree, Chain Reaction, B0re.

This makes a top gear list a bit messy and onerous though ; and I like the existing format. Are those guides to omit the Lady Fist and the Borefleet just because they don’t have any specific synergy with any specific character? Uh no.

The authors of the guides have all done a very good job of explaining the choices.

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Iceman: “You can be my wingman any time.” :sunglasses:


Edit: quoted the wrong thing

That’s actually a good idea, i may do that. Just a few sentences or something


That’s all @Jefe has. Good ideas. :wink:


I would like opinions on this, if possible


It’s hard to justify omitting the most powerful weapons in the game from Top Gear lists just because that character doesn’t have any skills to crank it up to 11.

I think it would simply be wise to state that fact ( as in, the only way that Axton can abuse the Sand Hawk is by that fact that his shield skills do a damn good job of keeping a Bee recharged ).

That’s sometimes missing from TG lists : exactly why is it there?


I disagree with that statement the Sandhawk is still the most powerful smg in the game with or without the bee.

Hmm tricky… should we judge the weapon based on its individual power or combo with other items?
does the fact that axton boosts shields so much which makes the bee mega powerful makes all the bee guns good on axton and worthy of a “top gear” spot?