Borderlands 3 has no shortage of guns. By piecing together different components for various manufacturers, Borderlands 3 has over a billion weapons. Each manufacturer comes with its own flare, from the engine-driven weapons of the COV to the clean, futuristic guns of Hyperion. With Borderlands 3‘s fourth DLC pack rapidly approaching, we decided to update our list of the 10 best weapons in Borderlands 3 and where to find them.
We spread out our picks to as many manufacturers and weapon types as possible to provide some variety. It’s impossible for us to definitively rank the best guns in Borderlands 3, so if you find a weapon we didn’t mention that you like, use it. The 10 below are just our favorites.
A legendary primer
Before getting to the best weapons in Borderlands 3, you need to understand how weapons are generated in the game. If you’re unaware, the vast majority of weapons in Borderlands 3 are procedurally generated, just like previous games. When you ravage loot chests or blow enemies to bits, you can find something great. However, you can also find another stock weapon that offers nothing more than a spray of bullets.
That said, there are some weapons that aren’t procedurally generated. There are legendary weapons, typically the best in the game, that have set effects. Additionally, there are unique weapons, which have set characteristics, too.
So, all you need to do is find all the legendary and unique weapons, right? Well, you could, but it won’t be very effective. There are over 200 unique weapons in the base game alone, plus another 100 or so from DLC, VIP prizes, and in-game events. Worse, the majority of legendary weapons are random world drops. That means there’s no concrete strategy for obtaining them. You simply need to play the game.
If you want to find every unique weapon in Borderlands 3, we recommend bookmarking this awesome spreadsheet from Reddit user “Amara.” It features every unique weapon in the game, going as far as to list references for each bit of flavor text. It’s a labor of the Borderlands 3 community, and an excellent resource to have on hand. Furthermore, it lists the best locations for finding weapons that are world drops.
Our list features weapons that come from certain places, as well as random world drops. We recommend holding off on finding these weapons until you’re sufficiently leveled, though. Gear in Borderlands 3 scales with your level, and you can obtain some of these weapons early on. If you do, note that they’ll quickly become outclassed as you level up, even with normal gear.
Some of our weapons require Mayhem 6 or above. Mayhem Mode unlocks after you beat the main campaign of Borderlands 3. If you haven’t made it there yet, it’s best to finish the story and hit the level cap before going after any of these weapons.
The Monarch is our first and only weapon from Vladof. As the name implies, it’s a ritzy legendary assault rifle that’s only obtainable on Mayhem 6 or above. Its special weapon effect is “the deadly sting of the monarch!” The Monarch can spawn with any of the five elemental damage types in Borderlands 3, but that’s not what the gun is all about. The special weapon effect deals increased damage and fires between three and 10 bullets at the cost of a single assault rifle round. The Monarch also spawns with a bipod attachment, and it deals double damage when mounted. It can spawn without elemental damage, too.
Accuracy is a weak point for The Monarch, with a wide spread that forms into a square shape. You can reduce the spread by using the bipod, but The Monarch is still at its best in short- to mid-range encounters. As mentioned, you’ll need to have Mayhem level six or above enabled to find the weapon. The only way to get it is by taking down Killavolt in Lectra City on Promethea.
The Lob is a legendary shotgun that comes from Torque. It can kill basically anything with a shot or two, and it can drop with cryo, corrosive, radiation, shock, or incendiary elemental damage. The special weapon effect is “everything has to be magical,” meaning the gun always deals some form of elemental damage and has an increased magazine capacity. It doesn’t spray pellets, though. Instead, The Lob fires a large orb that slowly moves through the battlefield and explodes on impact, dealing massive AoE damage.
It’s a random world drop, though the best strategy for obtaining it is farming Graveward. You can find Graveward in the end of chapter 16, Cold as the Grave.
Reflux is another legendary shotgun, though it’s manufactured by Hyperion. The special weapon effect is “that’s gotta burn,” which means it always drops with corrosive elemental damage. Like the Lob, Reflux has huge potential to wipe out a mob of enemies quickly. It fires seven projectiles in the shape of a biohazard symbol, and whenever a projectile hits an enemy, it has the chance to spawn corrosive bolts. These chain together and damage nearby enemies.
You won’t find Reflux until after you’ve beaten the game, though. You can obtain it from GenIVIV when playing on Mayhem level six or above. GenIVIV is located on Eden-6 in Voracious Canopy.
Crossroad is a legendary SMG that, like Reflux, comes from Hyperion. It can drop with cryo, shock, corrosive, incendiary, or radiation elemental damage, and fires three projectile with each shot. That comes from the special weapon effect “open the fate for me.” Crossroad shoots in bursts of six shots and fires three projectiles per shot. That said, it only consumes two ammo per shot, allowing you to pile on damage with each burst.
Unfortunately, it’s a random world drop. That said, Katagawa Jr. has a high chance of dropping it. You’ll encounter this early game boss in chapter 3 in Atlas HQ, though he won’t drop Crossroad just yet. The best strategy is to wait until you reach level 60 (the current level cap) and farm Katagawa Jr. from there.
Calling the Eridian Fabricator a “gun” is a bit reductive. It’s a weapon that shoots projectiles, sure, but those projectiles are other guns. It’s easily the coolest weapon in Borderlands 3, and we can’t go without mentioning it. Each time you fire the weapon, it’ll spawn 10 guns ranging from Green to Purple rarity. However, it requires 10 Eridium for each shot, so you can’t go too crazy.
Thankfully, obtaining the Eridian Fabricator is straightforward. It’s a quest reward for completing chapter 21, Footsteps of Giants. Simply complete the chapter and the weapon will be yours. Note that the Eridian Fabricator doesn’t take an inventory slot and can’t be sold to Marcus. Once you have it, it’s yours forever, all without any burden on your backpack.
Hellshock is a legendary pistol that’s manufactured by Maliwan. It comes with the special weapon effect “I had not thought death had undone so many,” which grants incendiary and shock elemental damage. When you fire the gun, the projectile will start with one elemental type and bounce off the target once. Once the projectile bounces, it’ll switch to the other elemental type. Although it doesn’t have the AoE damage potential of something like The Lob, Hellshock can still take down mobs of enemies with ease.
It’s a random world drop, though the best strategy for finding it is by farming Gigamind. You can find Gigamind in chapter 6 of the game, Hostile Takeover. That said, Gigamind won’t drop Hellshock until you’ve reached the level cap. If you’ve been out farming other enemies, you can find Gigamind on Promethea in the Meridian Metroplex.
Kaoson is a legendary SMG that comes from Dahl. Although it’s a powerful weapon in any form, there’s a lot of variance involved when trying to obtain Kaoson. It can have any of the five elemental damage types in the game, but unlike the previously mentioned elemental weapons, it can also spawn without any elemental effect. The special weapon effect is “small but packs a punch,” which offers increased accuracy and sticky projectiles. These projectiles explode and cause splash damage whenever you reload the gun.
Finding Kaoson is simple. It can drop from Captain Traunt on Mayhem level six or higher. You’ll fight Captain Traunt in chapter 7 of the main story, though you’ll need to come back later with Mayhem enabled to find Kaoson. Captain Traunt is located on Athenas near the courtyard.
One Pump Chump
One Pump Chump is a legendary shotgun. It’s the first weapon on our list that comes from Jakobs, and like other Jakobs weapons, trades elemental damage for raw power. It comes with the special weapon effect “I swear, that has never happened before.” One Pump Chump can only fire one shot before you need to reload it. However, with the special weapon effect, that one shot deals massive damage. There’s also a 50% chance that the shot doesn’t consume any ammo.
The only way to obtain One Pump Chump is from One Punch. One Punch is a secret boss on Promethea that you can find in Lectra City. You’ll need to solve a puzzle involving TVs before he’ll spawn, and One Pump Chump isn’t a guaranteed drop when you defeat him. You’ll likely need to defeat him a few times before Jakobs’ legendary shotgun is yours.
Hellwalker is both an awesome weapon and an Easter egg. It’s a legendary shotgun from Jakobs with the special weapon effect, “So, my demons. Your time has come.” Hellwalker always spawns with incendiary damage, and it uses two shotgun ammo with each shot. Doom fans already know what’s going on with Hellwalker. It’s a supercharged shotgun with high damage and a short reload time, but pitiful accuracy. It’s best for getting up close and blowing enemies back with its high kickback rate.
You probably noticed that Hellwalker is a reference to the Super Shotgun in Doom. Each time you fire it, you’ll hear a guitar note from Doom’s BFG Division. You’ll be mesmerized by the transformation the shotgun projectiles take on as you fire them into the air, forming the shape of a pentagon before they reach their target. Hellwalker is a random world drop, but Road Dog has an increased drop rate. You can find Road Dog in The Splinterlands on Pandora.
You’ll be familiar with the Sand Hawk, manufactured by Dahl, if you’ve played other Borderlands games. This legendary sniper rifle has a unique weapon effect called “wedge a pig,” which increases accuracy and splits projectiles into nine pieces. As the pellets shoot out of the rifle, their grouping forms the image of a bird in flight, soaring ominously over the combat zone and looking for its next victim It packs a lot of punch on its own, but the gun has elemental damage on top of its base damage. It can drop with any one of the five elemental types in the game.
You won’t have any issues figuring out Sand Hawk if your goal is to master the more complex Crossroad game. It drops from Katagawa Jr. on Mayhem level six or higher.