Borderlands Strategy Guide – Basics of Classes and Skills

Choosing a Class

There are only four different characters and classes that you can choose from in Borderlands – Roland the Soldier, Moredecai the Hunter, Brick the Berserker, and Lilith the Siren – but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy decision. Each class has different skills and favors different weapons.

Each character has an action skill. This is a special skill (or power) that you learn as soon as you hit level five. Every character’s action skill is radically different. The Soldier can plant a turret to help him in battle. The hunter has a pet bird, a bloodwing, that will attack enemies for him. Each action skill has a cooldown period after use. This period varies based on class and other skills. During the course of the game, you’ll come across artifacts that add different elemental powers to your action skill.

In addition to the varying action skills, each character’s skill tree is unique. You can start pouring points into your three skill trees as level five. Each tree encourages a certain style of play, such as medic, tank, and numerous others. It’s important to note that your skillset is never permanent. At any time during the game, you can visit a New-U terminal and reset your skill points for a fee. There’s no limit to how many times you can do this, so it’s a good idea to experiment and find the build that’s right for you.

Each character favors a specific type of weapon. You’re by no means limited to this weapon type, but it will be showing up in your game more frequently than others. There are chests in the game that will usually contain a mod for your class and a weapon of the character’s preferred type. This is something to consider when choosing your character, as you aren’t going to come across a lot of weapons of a type that your character doesn’t favor.

Purchasing Skills


Like I said above, you can start putting points into skills at level five. There are a total of 21 unique skills for each class, and that’s not counting the action skill. Each skill tree, of which there are three, contains seven different skills. At first, you can only put points into the top two skills, but as put more points into a given tree, you’ll unlock more options, and eventually the ultimate skill of that tree. You receive one point for each level after five, and the max level is fifty, meaning you’ll be able to unlock two of the three ultimate skills by the time you max out.

Just because you can unlock two ultimate skills, doesn’t mean that you should. You should definitely spread your points across the board at first to experiment with all the different powers. Once you figure out what you excel at, it’s wise to respec and put all of your points into that tree. You can put a total of five points into a single skill, maximizing its efficiency. Even after you’ve put the maximum amount of points into a skill that you’re allowed, you can possibly go beyond level five with certain class mods.

Class Mods

You’ll receive your first class mod once you complete the final story mission in Fyrestone. Class mods grant you a special stat boost and can have a wide variety of other effects, such as increased XP gain. With the appropriate stat boost, you can take a skill beyond where level five takes it. If you’re got one of your skills maxed out, but a class mod grants a bonus, that skill will become even more powerful. However, if a class mod gives you a bonus to a skill that you haven’t even unlocked yet, it will have no effect whatsoever.

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