Will melee combat be viable in Borderlands 3?

Hello. :slight_smile:

In my opinion, melee combat was borderline viable in Borderlands 2. It was almost impossible to use against most bosses, but at least it was viable against trash encounters. There somewhat was a feeling of risk/reward.

From what I have seen in Borderlands 3, melee seems to be even more underwhelming and less supported.
Amara the Siren, who seems to be the only character with an affinity for melee damage, has 2 lousy 1 point melee passives, which both grant very low damage values. Like 40% I believe.

And then they also nerfed melee weapons. In Borderlands 2, the base melee damage for blades weapons was 50%, which appearently has been reduced to 40% in Borderlands 3. On top of that, melee attacks seem to have pitiful base damage to begin with.

So what do you folks think ? :slight_smile: Is it a waste of time trying to build a melee character, when even the main melee character is already lacking in that regard ?


Don’t forget, Borderlands 3 is a different game from Borderlands 2.
The scaling, leveling, and combat mechanics will undoubtedly all be changed. My guess, enemies take a bit less damage to go down so our damage modifiers don’t need to be massive all the time


I think it is going TPS way, where melee are included in hybrid builds where gunplay/AS/Cryo provided support to It.
So, less dedicated playstyles like Ninja Zer0 or Badass Psycho Krieg and more Bladerush Athena and welcome to the punch city Wilhelm.

What I actually prefer.


I definately understand that. :slight_smile:
Yet I like it when several ways of playing are viable. I always loved playing melee oriented in Borderlands. I just often prefer it over shooting.

But so far, it seems that melee doesn’t really have a place in Borderlands 3. At least the option look unimpressive.

Amara gets to attach element of your choice (fire, shock or corrosive) to her melee attack through two abilities: Blitz, and another in the Fist of The Elements tree which I forgot it’s name. So her melee damage will be indirectly increased by elemental damage buffs. Also, the addition of an elemental component is a buff on it’s own, because matching elements to the enemies weakness can be a huge damage multiplier.

True. Yet you can’t really switch these things when you are in combat. I mean multiplayer combat which will not be paused when you open your inventory. So when there are multiple enemy types, you will ever be very ineffective or very annoyed, as you have to open your skill tree every minute.

I think Amara and the others will be able to melee just fine.
Amara’s entire Brawl tree revolves around getting her in enemies’ faces and destroying them with melee and spirit fists, with some occasional gunfire or elemental effects. It’s not all banking on massive melee damage percent

I think you actually can switch your skills. @Derch can correct me If Im wrong

You could always go with corrosive as a “neutral” element since it is effective on both flesh (just less effective than fire) and armor. And most areas will probably have a major enemy type anyways so hitting with fire attacks on the occasional armored target won’t be a major issue in my opinion.
Amara might not be able to reach the same damage outbursts as Zer0 did but that what’s made him unique, the heavy use of elemental damage in melee combat will make Amara unique in her own right and potentially very powerful when combined with all her boosts to elemental damage and effects.

Action skill and augments can be equiped and un equiped in the menu like a grenade or shield, skill points still need to be reset.

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Corrosive has always taken a penalty vs flesh, not neutral at all.

It seems to me that shock would be the best option for a neutral element. Because Amara gets more benefits when using shock and you would actually spare an augmentation slot, since shock is the default element.

I still think being forced to enter your menu between encounters to restructure your ability would quickly end the fun and flow of battle.

I probably should have been more clear but I tried to say that flesh targets don’t resist corrosive damage as much as armored targets resist fire and could still be effective.

That Augment slot, when not filled with cor or fire, is default filled by Shock. It’s an elemental affect slot

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I know. I just thought maybe there are other augments that can fit inside this slot instead.

But it seems not.

In the end Borderlands is a gun game. To expect the ability to make your gun superfluous is unreasonable. Amara has some of the best designed melee integration into play thus far. With the Jab Cross talent she brings the strongest damage buff we have seen in a single talent. With the dash punch capstone she can reliably trigger that damage buff as well. Give her a good shotgun, perhaps a hyperion one with a shield to better support the danger being in melee generally brings and a melee style is clearly supported.


I am actually very curious how they will do a melee build. I think the poster a few above me got it correct where there is not a pure melee character anymore and everything is hybrid to do both a bit at the same time.

I am playing B1 again and doing a solo melee Brick build. The only gun I am using is a melee dmg+ gun for the bonuses but other than that I just wait for my action skill cooldown then go to town punching everything. My playstyle is 99% punching and only shooting while in fight for my life or like flying guys or guys who I can’t physically get to (like the guys on high rises or rooftops)

I played 100% melee build in BL2 using a Moxxi weapon on Zero for the bonus health on hit but other than that just solo melee (using his shurikens if you consider that gunny/ranged). I also did the same with Krieg. Using only his Badass Axe Rampage and melee the whole game (though I did cheat because I used a fastball explosive grenade when I finally got one). So while not 100% I would say a good 90+% of the time I only used melee hits/strikes. For full context this was before OP levels became a thing because my xbox crashed before that came out so I never played OP levels.

For TPS I don’t remember ever doing a full melee build because it just didn’t seem possible. I’m sure there are challenges or records for doing a full melee Athena, for example, build but in B1 and B2 it was just so much easier with the characters we had. I could easily not use any guns on my B1 Brick (again I’m just using it for the dmg buff and fight for your life) and I actually did not use any guns for Krieg because you can get a skill that lets you explode in fight for your life and run around. (Zero melee does need a moxxi weapon or grog though IMHO. I can’t see how you would do it without it)

For B3 even though Amara is toted as the “melee character” I just don’t see how it is possible. Anything is possible I guess but it’s more akin to a personal challenge or maybe for an achievement. It would be a niche thing where as in B1&B2 it was an actual route you could go doing nothing but 90+% melee damage. My only last note is maybe we are looking at this the wrong way and maybe the pet class (Flak?) could be a viable 100% melee class route akin to Gaige and Deathtrap. You could spec DT out to be 100% melee damage only and you could crush most of the game. Maybe Flak’s pets can be a pure melee build and you order them to fight on your behalf. Not as fun as running up and punching something in the face but it will have to do.

Simply too early to tell.
Keep in mind:

  • there might be more than one kind of melee attachment, @Derch mentioned seeing a +60% one, for instance.
  • Cryo is returning. This is could be a pretty huge multiplier.
  • We haven’t seen Moze’s or Fl4ak’s skill trees.

I have a feeling we will be getting a really good siren this year with amara melee/ Elemental will be pretty fun . And from what ive seen she can do elemental damage with her melee attacks so it will be fun to see

I wonder if Amara’s elemental melee attacks will still work with bladed weapons. Because if you have such a weapon equipped, you attack with the weapon instead of your hand. So it could be, that both don’t synergize and if there are weapons like The Law or the Captains Rapier, it might not even be worth using amaras melee attacks.

Because I wager 100-200% melee damage is much more important to have.

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