Zane or Fl4k? Starting a new game

So I’m starting a new game in borderlands 3, I already played through as Amara on console and I’m not really a fan of Moze so I’m stuck between Fl4k and Zane. What do you guys like and what’s there downfalls and strong points and just overall performance ?

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Both are really a lot of fun. My favorite though is Fl4k.

Zane is easier to learn and to play, however he is stuck with the seing dead class mod (dlc 1 needed)as most of his class mods are really bad.

Fl4k is more difficult to master but has the best build diversity of all vh, almost all their com work too.

So maybe start with Zane and then Fl4k,leave the best for last :laughing:

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All characters are good, so far as you click with their gameplay and specific tweaks.

Fl4k has constantly a pet following him, providing various bonuses.
He can turn invisible, get a timed buff, or send (waves of) rakk bombs on enemies.
These are short AS, you may repeatedly use, rather close to what you experienced with Amara.
You may use different builds, most are viable on top level.

Zane can have 2 action skills, sacrificing his ability to throw grenades.
He can have a turret-drone flying around, a turret-clone to swap places, and/or a barrier that blocks almost everything that you may drop and pick up.
These are rather long AS, and you may extend their duration to last full combat time.
You would have limited builds - as the “Seeing dead” COM from DLC1 is really above others.
His best damage is only reached by moving constantly and using the skills that make him move faster - that can be a problem if you’re not good at aiming, especially at full speed.

Also note (even if you’re not a fan of her) that Moze can be built to extensively use her ironbear tank, or almost not use him, just triggering annointments.
She’s the only VH that can’t use her weapons while having active AS, and she may provide unmatched team damage buff (up to 60% gun damage and 15% fire damage from skills, and 15% traget softening damage with rocket pods) if you fancy coop.

I started with Zane, Moze 2nd, Amara 3rd, Fl4k 4th.
Maybe I have not given enough time to Fl4k, but he’s the one I’m having the most trouble with.

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Depends. Do you prefer survivability or burst damage? Do you like running really fast? Do you like experimenting around with a lot of different builds?

I’d say Zane comes with the advantages of

  • Objectively the best voicelines in the game, don’t @ me
  • The option of picking a second action skill instead of the ability to manually throw grenades is quite enjoyable and just makes for a nice change
  • A good Zane build is borderline unkillable
  • His high movement speed run and gun style gameplay can be quite fun
  • Clone offers rather interesting playstyle options

Zane does however also have the disadvantages of

  • You are basically limited to one truly viable class mod in the endgame and that class mod requires DLC because Zane is overly reliant on his kill skills
  • Optimizing Zanes damage can be a bit of a pain as he has all of the v1 gun damage in his skilltrees and basically nothing else, meaning regular gun damage bonuses scale really poorly with him and you always need to be on the lookout for other damage type bonuses
  • Zane’s damage, whilst not bad, pales in comparison to the things you can do on Fl4k and Moze
  • Zane currently doesn’t have any instant action skills that allow him to properly benefit from ASE anointments (other than the option to run your Clone with Doppelbanger, but the question is whether a few seconds of bonus elements are worth killing off your clone), though from the looks of it he’s gonna get one when the new skill trees are introduced later this year

Fl4k’s advantages are:

  • Still great voicelines, courtesy of ProZD
  • Quite possibly the highest burst damage potential out of any Vault Hunter
  • Great build variety, depending on what action skill you decide to go with
  • You can pet the dog (well… “dog”)
  • Good selection of viable late game class mods

Flak’s disadvantages are:

  • Poor survivability outside of very specific builds
  • In spite of Fl4k being the “Beastmaster”, the pets are neither strong nor smart enough to be worth building around in the late game which also kind of ruins one of Fl4k’s action skills
  • Kind of bad mobility compared to Amara and Zane

Mind you, I haven’t played Fl4k nearly as much as Zane, so there’s probably some more both in favour and against them.


Zane … hands down for me.

Welcome to the forums VH! Coming from an inexperienced Fl4k user hes really fun but expect some heavy research to master him. Zane on the other hand requires a little bit more specific gear which you need to do the first dlc {seeing dead mod} and maliwan takedown {redistributor smg} to acquire but once you have them its all over. If you use a certain build. BTW a level 50 smg will carry you a LONG way. Good luck and dont forget about the trade sections if hit a wall farming. Really great community willing to help.

Zane doesn’t have any V1, most VH don’t except for FL4K. All of Zane’s skills are simply gun damage, V1 is a separate multiplier.

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Guess I confused the terminology then. But the point itself still stands, Zane doesn’t benefit a lot from what’s one of the most common damage boosts in the game, meaning you instead need to find something that either gives you splash, crit, weapon type specific boosts or elemental damage boosts if you want to make the most out of your character.

the answer is easily fl4k unless you want to be tortured by constantly thinking of movement speed and using only 1 class mod in endgame


Jokes aside this is a downside. You look at loot, it walks its butt in your face and instead of interacting with loot you are now scratching the dog.

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I have played both to at least level 60.
I prefer FL4K for a couple of reasons.

One, fully built out, the Fade Away skill is reminiscent of Lilith’s BL1 skill set, with the ability to hide, disappear, or quickly move by enemies undetected. The extra punch of weapons used during same is appreciated. Two, while pets are less appreciated, the Jabber selection will heal you when you are down. It adds a whole new dimension to Fight for Life, especially if you have that damn death head chasing you in Mayhem 10.

On Zane’s side, I would appreciate him a bit more if the deployable shield was easily picked up by just passing over it, as opposed to another “while in battle” keystroke.

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Choose both


Yup - try them both out. All valuable advice given above aside, in the end it’s your preference, who knows what you will like…

Also, I would probably discount the argument of “Zane only has one viable class mod” somewhat - perhaps for end game, but EVERYTHING is viable in a normal playthrough.

I also think that Fl4k and Zane have best dialogue in the game, so you should do it just for that. :slight_smile:


Also Flak and Zane have better skins than Moze in my opinion. I play Moze and I cant figure out why Moze’s skins are ugly

The biggest fun thing about Zane- Going through the level up process.
The least fun thing- Completing the level up process.
The playstyle I use (clone and drone, can’t be bothered to use the shield as DPS matters!) relies on movement speed like mentioned above.
While this is fun initially, it gets old after awhile. 4 DLCs and I realized all I was doing was zooming around mobs just shooting. That’s it. You’re moving too fast to really aim for crit spots so you’re essentially a bullet hell boss for the mobs.
I started a fl4k and haven’t finished leveling him yet but it seems a lot more diverse than zane is, so I would say Fl4k.
Unless you really just love the idea of shooting things while moving super fast. I mean it’s fun but I would have a Zane as a secondary, not a main character.

I find fl4k funnier yes zane is hilarious but for me that’s kind of the problem you expect awesome all the time humor wise from zane but fl4k feels more naturally hilarious as he just delivers the funniest lines with out expecting it and like the others have said fl4k is just superior when it comes to item and build diversity zane only has one com in the entire game unless they rework his ultimate talent in the blue tree and rework all of his coms every single build you ever want to try will have only one com option seeing dead is just that good

It depends partly on your platform as I’d say Zane is the least console-friendly. Many of his best play styles revolve around speed and constant nimble repositioning: moving as fast as possible, shooting while jumping/falling/sliding, teleporting all around the map to constantly flank enemies.

For this reason, I find Zane the most enjoyable but the most mentally exhausting. If I had to play him with a gamepad I’d hate it. Not only do you have to be good at aiming while moving fast, but you have to be able to accurately swivel around on a dime after each teleport.

This is one of the reasons people think Zane is reliant on Seein’ Dead (which more or less amounts to a large passive DPS boost). He’s not, but to make him shine without it you’ll have to work for it and master your playstyle.

I also find Zane’s personality the most entertaining and likeable. I find most of fl4k’s lines a bit adolescent. It also needs to be mentioned that his pets are a nuisance that block doorways and loot (the jabber least so, so use the jabber)

On console zane isn’t harder to use as how you often play a fps on console actually makes him easier to use on console than pc fl4k is harder to use on console for the same reason it comes down to more often than not moving to line up you’re cross hair you aim obviously but you also move to help with aiming think like a tank you have the elevation right you just need to aim the turret to the left to line up the shot well on console you normally in more assault rifle styled gun play just move yourself to the left

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I dunno if I entirely agree with this. Seein dead certainly is powerful and makes him easy to play but there are good coms if you can adjust your playstyle. I am using the infiltrator to great effect on my melee zane, and I reckon with the right build others can work. It depends on the skills they boost and how you want to play him.