2020 is over, but Borderlands 3 still lives on. After 5 major DLC expansions, with more on the way thanks to the Season 2 pass, Borderlands 3 is still up and running. Why? Because it’s still fun to team up with people and loot-and-shoot bad guys & skags for that dopamine rush for bigger and better guns.
Now that the game is fully updated (until the next hotfix later in January), we can determine what the best Legendary guns are with a simple tier list from S (the best) to D (the worst). Just some ground rules:
- We are factoring in updates and hotfixes for weapons that are done up until 17th December. In other words, what was useless back in September 2019 may not be as such in December 2020.
- Weapons up until Designer Cut will be included in this updated tier list.
- Vault Hunter-specific weapons will be demoted to A-Tier. All-purpose damage-savvy weapons automatically go to S-Tier.
- We’ll be referring each expansion with its DLC number. Handsome Jackpot = DLC 1, Guns Love Tentacles = DLC 2, Bounty of Blood = DLC 3, Krieg & Fantastic Fustercluck = DLC 4. Arms Race is still Arms Race.
- Some guns here have better support abilities than damage-dealing abilities, so we’re classifying these under Support Tier.
- If there’s a gun missing, let us know. There’s a heckaton of them in Borderlands 3, so we’re bound to forget one or two.
With that out of the way, let’s begin!
Light Show – Fast firing rate, great at close to mid-range, and perfect for most builds. What’s not to love about 2020’s most-beloved elemental pistol in Borderlands 3? Found in DLC 3.
Gargoyle – Elemental-locked, but still deals great damage super-fast. Found in DLC 3.
Tizzy – It’s one of the best boss melters in the game with most builds, bar none. Just switch out if you’re mobbing; you’ll run out of ammo quick if you do. Found in Arms Race.
Free Radical – From the Director’s Cut DLC comes this funky rapid-fire pistol that shoots out additional rockets without the need for alt-fire nonsense. All Vault Hunters can benefit from the perks of this pistol and its generous firing rate.
Blood-Starved Beast – Another tough-to-farm gun, but it’s worth it just for its damage and output. Found in DLC 4 via Evil Lilith.
Plasma Coil – One of the best reasons to farm in Arms Race. This SMG kills things really, really fast even though it’s Shock elemental-locked. Even if it fires in a burst rate, this is one weapon that will get you through most of the harder content, regardless of the Vault Hunter you’re using. Found in Arms Race.
Flipper – We love the Flipper’s damage output, elemental prowess, and firing rate after its charge. It’s way better on Moze, but it’s great on other Vault Hunters too. Available from the Minosaur and as a World Drop from DLC 3.
SMOG – This SMG is significantly better in the hands of a tanky Amara build that doesn’t mind shooting enemies in a stationary manner; you need to put up the SMOG’s weapon shields to get the best damage (ie: use iron sights). It’s also great with other classes, just so you know.
Get this from the final boss in the Guardian Takedown.
OPQ – This Assault Rifle is really good because of its damage output and decent splash damage. The only fault it has is that it does cause splash damage, which can FFYL you quickly if you don’t fire it at the correct distance. Moreso with Moze and Amara. Found in the Cartel limited event, which you can now toggle on and off in the main menu screen.
The Monarch – Hardest weapon to farm, but it’s worth it especially since it comes in many elemental flavours and deals great damage for all Vault Hunter builds. Farmed from Killavolt at Mayhem 6 and above difficulty.
Clairvoyance – The high amounts of damage and Cryo effect this gun features saved many Vault Hunter builds since its debut in Guns, Love, & Tentacles. Definitely a high-priority gun to farm in DLC 2.
Soulrender – Thanks to the 17th December update, the skulls that shoot out of this gun deals more damage, and can be amplified from Vault Hunter passive skills like Moze’s Fire in the Skag Den. Speaking of which, this assault rifle is best on Moze and Zane, though Amara and Fl4k can use them too with their respective builds. Found in DLC 2.
Hellwalker – This ode to Doom went from chump to champ within a year plus thanks to its damage buff. Even if it’s Incendiary-locked, this shotgun still shreds all enemies regardless of their resistances. Keep this one close if you’re planning a heavy damage build with shotguns. World drop, but found on Road Dog on Splinterlands, Pandora.
Anarchy – One of the best shotguns in the game, as long as you get the stacks going. Farm in DLC 2.
Reflux – Hard to farm due to its low drop rate, but worth it because of its high damage output. It’s essentially a better version of Brainstormer and Conference Call, but Corrosive. Found on Gen-IVI on Mayhem 6 and above difficulty.
Face-Puncher – Hands-down the best and highest damage-dealing shotgun thanks to the Groundbreaker Guardian rank perk.
Boogeyman – A Vladof sniper rifle that will mess enemies up with its high rate of fire and a chance to return bullets back at you? And comes in multiple elements & splash damage? This sniper rifle is another chief reason to keep farming for guns in Arms Race.
Complex Root – While nerfed due to the ASE changes in projectiles, this unique one-shot sniper rifle is still a beast for most builds, especially for Fl4k. Found in DLC 3.
Sandhawk – A rifle that is unwieldy unless you are familiar with its firing rate and projectile trajectory. However, it is a one-hit kill weapon in the hands of a Zane clone. Rare drop from Katagawa Jr (on Mayhem 6 and above); worth the farm if you focus on Zane clone or if you’re willing to handle a tough weapon. The damage is worth it.
Backburner – You have to learn how to fire and get max damage out of this rocket launcher properly. But once you get the hang of it, you will basically kill anything within its AoE. Farm from Agonizer-9000 on Carnivora’s Guts (Mayhem 6 and above).
Globetrotter – Thanks to recent buffs in 28th April 2021’s hotfix, this super-spread rocket launcher is now godlike in the damage-dealing department. Best on splash damage-immune build vault hunters like Moze.
Plaguebearer – Hard to get good anoints for, given its low drop rate. But this rocket launcher is great for all builds and awesome for mobbing. Get this gun from the Warden in The Anvil on Eden-6 (Mayhem 6 and above).
Ion Cannon – The best FFYL weapon to pull out. Also deals great one-shot damage even with the nerfs as of late. Found in DLC 1.
Beacon – A superior Hellshock. Turbo-shots, different elemental flavours, great nova effect when reloading, and fast charge time. Can be farmed in DLC 3.
Prompt Critical – Remember Unkempt Harold in Borderlands 2? This is the Borderlands 3 equivalent. Amazingly, it’s even better than BL3’s Unkempt Harold. Farm from Evil Lilith in DLC 4.
Craps – The “fire four additional projectiles for each shot” bonus gets a buff in late 2020, so Craps is worth keeping. Found in DLC 1.
Hornet – This Corrosive pistol got a late 2020 damage buff, and it’s revered for it if you want a nice Corrosive sidearm. World drop.
Lucky 7 – If you put the work in with certain builds, Lucky 7’s reload bonuses can really rack in the damage. Farm in DLC 1.
Dastardly Maggie – The former king of 2019’s Borderlands rapid-fire pistols is now taken down a couple of notches. It’s still worth keeping if you’re starting out since it’s a World Drop.
Moonfire – Getting headshots on this thing delivers. Thanks to its fire rate buff, this gun is a decent hand cannon for your Vault Hunters. Farm from Maliwan Takedown; higher chance drop from Wotan The Invincible.
Pestilence – Great for Fl4k radiation builds with the Red Suit shield, especially the nova effect that pops up when you reload your pistol. It’s not S-tier because you need a bit of planning around it. The nova deals damage to you, so handle with care.
Scoville – A great pistol primarily for Moze users, but also decent for other Vault Hunters. A Crew Challenge reward on DLC 1.
Ember’s Purge – Better with Zane’s clone. The puddle damage this gun does scales well with Mayhem levels. This can be acquired in a mission on DLC 1 (Handsome Jackpot).
Cutsman – While not an S-Tier weapon back in 2019 and early 2020, this weapon is still pretty good with most Vault Hunter builds. World Drop.
Kaoson – Great damage still, even with the nerf. It’s just hard to farm, since it’s a rare drop from Captain Traunt at the end of Athenas.
Pat Mk III – Don’t use its direct fire, since its Tediore raptors when you reload the gun are more useful. Found on DLC 4.
Proprietary License – A good if inconsistent weapon for all Vault Hunters. Farm from DLC 3.
Sleeping Giant – Formerly crap, but now a great damage-dealing SMG thanks to the recent buffs in 2020. Even if the buffs you get from Sleeping GIant is random, it’s definitely better than what it was.
Dark Army – If you want a Tediore gun-spawning build, this is the gun you need.
Kaos – Who knew a Dahl weapon would be capable of “smallhands” explosions that can benefit most of the Vault Hunters? This weapon has seen some neglect until recently thanks to recent buffs in 2020. World Drop.
Shreddifier – Still good even if you’re not using Moze (for unlimited fire builds). High rate of fire and good damage, but eats up bullets super-quick. World Drop.
Boom Sickle (Elemental) – The normal version sucks. Go for the elemental versions if possible. World Drop.
No Pew Pew – This Cartel event gun has been given a mid-2021 buff. It deals a bit more damage and is better if you can pass it to someone who has great aim and a no-miss firing record. Like, oh say, a Zane Clone. Seriously, putting this on a Zane Clone will make you score quick kills arguably better than with a Sandhawk.
Thug – As long as you hit your shots, its ricochet will deal a lot of damage to mobs. Definitely a keeper and a chief reason to farm Arms Race.
Brainstormer – Previously a top-tier weapon, but now relegated here due to nerfs and the Reflux being better. Easier to find, though. World Drop.
Conference Call – Similar to Brainstormer. World Drop.
Convergence – A great shotgun that features “converging” pellets on a target. Ideal for killing bosses. World Drop.
Flakker – This shotgun has been nerfed a while back, but somehow got upgraded back again in late 2020. Definitely worth keeping for high-damage situational builds. World Drop.
One Pump Chump – High-damage shotgun with decent range. Get this from One Punch in Lectra City, Promethea.
Redline – Fast fire rate and great damage all-around. Farm from Road Dog in The Splinterlands, Pandora.
Robin’s Call – One of the best Jakobs shotguns out there. Farm this in DLC 3.
The Lob – Formerly an S-Tier weapon, but bumped down a bit thanks to recent buffs on other shotguns. Still worth hanging onto and can still mobs & bosses up-close. World Drop.
Wedding Invitation – Even at a low-level cap (it’s fixed at level 53), this sniper rifle still does more damage than the other incendiary-based sniper rifles. And also the best Jakobs sniper rifle. Valentine’s Day event weapon, usually on February.
Skullmasher – Great burst damage for a sniper rifle. Goes well with FL4K Fade Away and Zane Clone builds. World Drop in DLC 2, so it’s a bit of a chore to farm.
Major Kong – Better on Zane and Amara, because it’s pretty hard to use if you aren’t aware of how it fires and how to utilize its damage.
Yellowcake – This rocket launcher was hit the hardest with the post-Cartel nerfs, but still worth using.
King’s Call, Queen’s Call – One of the better pistols in the game, though it’s best on specific builds like for Fl4k or Zane.
Hydrafrost – Fancy Legendary cryo ability that’s practical too. From DLC 2.
Bangarang – Can only deal a lot of damage with specific builds.
Bloom – Nice charge mechanic, but it deals OK damage. From DLC 3.
Unkempt Harold – A good pistol, but outclassed by Prompt Critical. Farm in DLC 3.
Thunderball Fist – Still a decent weapon even until now. Great for Shock and splash damage.
Hellshock – A previously top-tier Maliwan pistol in 2019 and early 2020 before the Beacon came into play. Still has its uses, since it’s a world drop.
Little Yeeti – Better than the sum of its parts, especially if you like knocking enemies off of cliffs. Farm from Yeti in DLC 2.
Multi-Tap – Two bullets for the cost of one; can’t go wrong with this. Farm from Katagawa Ball.
Nemesis – A decent pistol, though outclassed by Hornet.
Skeksil – The pre-Gargoyle weapon. Still has a place in most Vault Hunter’s arsenals.
Wagon Wheel – Inconsistent, but works with certain crit builds.
Redistributor – Better with Zane and Seein’ Dead mod build; doesn’t work for any other Vault Hunter build.
The Bitch – A solid weapon when you’re starting out. World drop.
Boomer – Explosions! You can’t go wrong with great AoE from an SMG. Farm from DLC 1.
Kyb’s Worth – A formerly great SMG that’s outclassed by DLC 3 and DLC 4’s SMG offerings. Still a keeper.
Cheap Tips – Unless you have a Vault Hunter build that can take advantage of its damage-boosting abilities, this SMG isn’t that straightforward to use.
Destructo Spinner – Still useful in some circumstances if you like laying out spinners for mobs to trip onto.
Polyaimourous – A cool damage-dealer weapon that uses up too much ammo. Valentine’s Day weapon.
Lucian’s Call – A former top tier weapon on the base game, only made redundant because of new weapons in the DLCs that came out in 2020.
Rowan’s Call – Same as Lucian’s Call.
Good Juju – Fun mechanic for niche builds. But as a general damage dealer, it might be lacking.
Lasersploder – Laser + Rockets + Elemental flavours = good weapon.
Breath of the Undying – The gun’s corrosive explosion effect is useful, but it can backfire if you aren’t careful.
Barrage – Not as good as Kaos, but still has its uses.
Faisor – It’s got a few good buffs, so it’s worth keeping for a bit.
Bekah – A lovely mission reward weapon, though it has been superseded by other Assault Rifles in later DLCs.
Insider – A decent shotgun when you’re starting out in DLC 2.
Trevonator – A strong weapon that just eats up too much ammo. World Drop.
Recursion – Thanks to the projectile nerf, this high-tier shotgun is now a few tiers lower. It’s still good for certain Vault Hunter builds, but it has lost its luster.
Mind-Killer – Another shotgun that deals OK damage.
Tigg’s Boom – A great shotgun to farm from Maliwan Takedown, but you need a decent roll to make the pellets do a lot of damage.
Headsplosion – A Jakobs rifle with explosive rounds. Can’t go wrong if you can consistently land headshots.
Unseen Threat – Heavily nerfed by the ASE projectile update; this former one-shot boss weapon has gone down a few tiers.
Cocky Bastard –
Monocle – Thanks to the 2020 buff, it’s a good mob killer.
Krakatoa – A sniper rifle that summons tiny volcanos and deals decent AoE is A-OK in our book. Also has great rate-of-fire too.
Lyuda – A formerly S-tier sniper rifle back in 2019, this gun is outclassed by DLC 3, DLC 4, and Arms Race’s offerings.
Septimator Prime – Cool abilities, but not enough damage output to sit alongside guns like Sandhawk and Complex Root.
Tankman’s Shield – A decent sniper that will kill most mobs and bosses quick if you have the right Vault Hunter build, like Fl4k Fade Away and Moze’s Bottomless Mag tree.
Nukem – Works only with overkill properties.
Scourge – A weaker Plaguebearer, but still worth using.
Devastator – It’s loud and has a cool name, but it’s a pretty standard Torgue legendary.
Firefly – A decent Vladof pistol that’s outclassed by A and S tier pistols that are easier to farm.
Infinity – A Borderlands staple; it’s better on a Zane + Seein’ Dead build, but pretty crappy on other Vault Hunters.
Linoage – Meant for melee builds, but not so efficient for anything else.
Psycho Stabber – Meant for melee builds, but not so efficient for anything else.
Miscreant – Ammo consumption on this gun is terrible, but it’s good on Moze builds that highlights splash damage. Found in DLC 3.
Love Drill – Nothing special.
Seventh Sense – Thanks to the projectile ASE nerf, this formerly great pistol isn’t so hot.
Blanc – Features a cool mechanic to stack up damage, but isn’t practical in the long run.
Companion – Has some uses.
Duc – Also has some uses.
Gunerang – Too unwieldy to properly use damage-wise.
Occultist – A pretty weapon with pretty firing, but otherwise it’s unremarkable.
Night Hawkin – Not as good as Kyb and Kaoson, but still decent.
Dictator – The lesser Monarch. Ditch it as soon as you get your first few Monarchs.
Musket – The close-ranged flamethrower SMG has seen better days. It got nerfed and outclassed by other better SMG choices.
Hyperfocus – Not as good as its 2019 debut version, but still a keeper.
Alchemist – Its drawback far outweighs its usefulness. This used to be a decent weapon at launch, but subsequent buffs to other assault rifles put this one back on the gun rack.
Dowsing Rod – A decent rocket launcher assault rifle that’s better on Moze than any other Vault Hunter.
Damned – A poor man’s Legendary Vladof gun, but at least it has its uses damage-wise.
Gatling – Outclassed by Shreddifier and its pals.
Webslinger – More a trophy from Guardian Takedown than a practical weapon. It deals decent damage, but there are better weapons to farm.
Brightside – Nothing special about it, though it has some tricks with some builds.
Fearmonger – You could do worse than this Halloween terror-inducing weapon.
Spade – It’s got decent penetration and sticky bomb power.
Frequency – A shotgun built for Amara & her Ties That Bind build. Not much else, though.
Nimble Jack – Only effective if you’re bunny-hopping.
Shocker – A worst version of The Lob.
Kill O The Wisps
ASMD – Not as good as it used to be back in 2019.
AutoAime – There are better sniper rifles out there, even with its homing properties.
Firestorm – An OK gun if you’re into Incendiary snipers.
Storm – An OK gun if you’re into Shock damage sniper rifles.
Masterworks Crossbow – Deals good damage, but can be hard to land headshots with to get consistent damage.
Stalker – Terror weapons aren’t as hot for most builds. This sniper rifle isn’t going to cut the mustard in B-tier and above.
Woodblocker – Not as terrible as you would think. It has its uses damage-wise.
Amazing Grace – The quest that gives you this gun is great and all. But after many buffs on other pistols, this gun didn’t bother catching up with the rest of the pack.
Magnificent – Terrible to use.
Roisen’s Thorn – A pretty gun, but does little else.
Scorpio – A terrible tribute pistol to a great Borderlands Vault Hunter.
Night Flyer – The gun we don’t need. And deserve.
Superball – A meme weapon; nothing more.
DNA – While it shoots out a cool bullet pattern, this SMG is a lesser Cutsman. Just go for the real deal.
Crossroads – This SMG is nerfed to high hell since its September 2019 debut. Skip it.
Hellfire – How the mighty has fallen. This BL2 top tier weapon gets the shaft in part 3. Skip it.
Mother Too – A crappy SMG.
Nail Gun – Not so good.
10 Gallon – Sucky SMG. Don’t bother.
Vanquisher – No one likes sliding to get damage buffs in BL3.
Bearcat – So not worth your time, despite its splash potential.
Carrier – A previously top-tier assault rifle that’s heavily nerfed by the new projectile debuff in the game.
Hand of Glory – A non-essential mission weapon. Hang it up on your Vault Hunter wall.
Flame Diddle – One of the worst shotguns to own.
Sage – Not worth the effort.
Chandelier – Terrible shotgun; just use the Recursion.
Creeping Death – Don’t bother.
Garcia – A crappy version of the Robin’s Call.
Iceburger – Arguably a POS shotgun from the Cartel mini-event.
T.K’s Wave – Et tu, T.K.?
Butcher – A formerly great weapon in 2019, but it’s not so hot now.
Boring Gun – Not worth the effort in using its saws.
Malak’s Bane – Useless in both its sniper and shotgun form.
NARP – Don’t bother. It’s too specific and unwieldy to use.
Operator – Why would you want this gun?
Creamer – A crappy rocket launcher with healing properties. There are better ways to heal in this game than with this.
Support Tier (Weapons that are used mostly for their non-damage properties)
EMP 5 – You’re using this SMG to boost speed and character movement; nothing more.
Clockwork Res – Meant to bring allies out of FFYL mode.
Zheitev’s Eruption – A weapon that debuffs enemies than deals damage. Once you do this, immediately switch to your main damage dealer for effective damage.
S3RV-80S-EXECUTE – One of the best utility weapons against bosses. Make sure to equip your best high-damage weapon after applying its effect.
Unforgiven – A crit-boost weapon, meant for the next gun you’ll switch to.