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Borderlands 3 Vaulter Hunter Skill Trees And Action Skills Explained

Every time a new Borderlands game is on the way, one of the most exciting things to look forward to is meeting the new cast of characters. Previous installments in the series have introduced us to such powerhouses as Gaige the Mechromancer, Zer0 the Assassin, and Athena the Gladiator. Borderlands 3 looks to be following in the footsteps of those wild and colorful characters, bringing us four new heroes to join the battle against against the Children of the Vault.

Though Gearbox has said that there are no plans to include extra DLC Vault Hunters after the release of the game, we've still learned plenty of exciting details on our new characters. Each has extensive skill trees that can be leveled up for maximum efficiency in battle, as well as special rechargeable Action Skills that can help to level the playing field. With all of that in mind, let's take a look at the latest Vault Hunters to blast their way into the Borderlands franchise. If this info is anything to go by, none of the bandits on Pandora stand a chance.

Zane the Hitman (and his best friend)

Zane is a killer for hire who fancies himself a bit of a lone wolf, as his character spotlight trailer tells us. The trailer shows us some of the tricks he has up his sleeves, including a memorable moment when he activates a force shield to protect him from an angry mob of gunmen. We also see that he has a holographic duplicate of himself that he confides in, sharing a drink with his double before unloading on a pack of enemies.

What's even more interesting is that Zane has a familial connection to a few former Borderlands villains: the shotgun-toting Baron Flynt from the first game and the pyromaniac Captain Flynt from from Borderlands 2. An Echo recorder recovered during the DLC Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary reveals that Zane is Captain Flynt's younger brother. At some point, Zane left his family behind to join an unnamed "black ops outfit." 

Seeing as how Zane is a loner at the time of Borderlands 3's story, it should be interesting to discover what events led him away from being more of a team player.

Zane's skill trees

Two of Zane's three skill trees are focused on making him a more effective killer. The Hitman tree includes several abilities that increase Zane's speed after killing enemies, like Violent Speed, which increases Zane's rate of movement, and Cool Hand, which increases reload times. There are also a few skills that give Zane more ammo to work with, like the Playing Dirty skill that occasionally fires extra projectiles after killing an enemy.

The Doubled Agent tree takes advantage of Zane's holographic twin seen in the trailer. One of the most intriguing skills from this tree is Old-U, which allows Zane to sacrifice his Digi-Clone for a Second Wind and full health when he's near death.

The third skill tree, Under Cover, is much more focused on defense. Some of these skills should make it much harder for enemies to put him down, like Ready for Action, which improves Zane's shield recharge rate, and Stiff Upper Lip, which grants extra damage resistance against the last weapon type that injured Zane. Meanwhile, the skill Confident Competence grants Zane higher gun damage and accuracy based on how much shield capacity he has. This tree keeps him safe and shooting.

Zane's Action Skills

Whether you're more into defense or offense, Zane's Action Skills seem to make the character suitable for any playing style. Under the Doubled Agent tree, Zane can use the Action Skill Digi-Clone, which deploys Zane's holographic duplicate. The Digi-Clone can be upgraded with various augments from that skill tree, including higher gun damage and shield recharges. Even better, Zane can instantaneously swap places with his Digi-Clone during battle.

The Hitman tree allows Zane to send out SNTNL, a drone with machine guns that can likewise be augmented with elemental effects and some kind of "radiation beam."

Finally, the Under Cover tree comes with an Action Skill that's all about defense: a Barrier that blocks enemy fire and powers up the weaponry carried by Zane and his teammates, allowing them to rain hot death from behind the comfort of a shield.

Zane has an extra trick up his sleeve that separates him from his fellow Vault Hunters: he can equip two Action Skills at the same time. This comes at the trade-off of not being able to use grenades, but the extra Action Skill should more than make up for that in destructive power.

Amara the Siren (and her magic fists)

Amara fancies herself a "hero of the people," as we see in her character trailer. It seems that she's built up quite a reputation for herself, seeing as how a couple of muggers run away at the very sight of her. In fact, thanks to an Echo log that can be found in Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, we know that Amara has been operating as a vigilante for some time, taking down major crime bosses. She seems to have stepped out of the shadows since then, basking in the love of her adoring public.

The trailer immediately gives us a feel for how confident and capable Amara is. After being led into a trap and surrounded by bandits, she stares down this horde and smiles, right before she tears into them with her Siren abilities.

As a Siren, we know how important Amara may turn out to be to the overall storyline of Borderlands 3. For some reason, only six Sirens can exist in the universe at the same time, and this game has introduced two new ones: Amara and Tyreen Calypso, one of the main antagonists of the game. 

Amara's skill trees

Each of Amara's skill trees are designed to bring the pain to her enemies in different ways. The Brawl tree has a few different skills, such as One With Nature and Root to Rise, that increase her maximum health. There's also the interestingly named Guardian Angel skill, which grants Amara an immediate Second Wind and an enemy-damaging shockwave upon being drained of her health. This skill's name brings to mind another Siren who fell during the events of Borderlands 2. Coincidence?

The Mystical Assault tree is built upon stacking effects. Each time Amara kills and enemy, she's rewarded with stacks of "Rush," which have different effects as the skill tree is leveled up, like enhanced weapon damage and reload speeds. Essentially, the more Amara kills, the stronger she gets.

Finally, there's the Fist of the Element tree, which is pretty much all about the elemental effects. This skill tree grants Amara stronger and more frequent elemental damage, but there are a few flashier skills, like Indiscriminate, which makes Amara's rounds ricochet between enemies for maximum bullet efficiency.

Amara's Action Skills

For players who just want to lay an everlasting smackdown on their enemies, Amara's Action Skills seem to be the way to go; they're just downright brutal. The Fist of the Elements tree grants her the Phasegrasp Skill, which conjures up a fist made of energy to hold enemies in place while Amara and company light them up. Phasegrasp can also be augmented with incendiary effects, burning up enemies on contact.

The Mystical Assault tree brings the Phasecast Skill with it, which is less about using those astral fists for holding and more for punching. Phasecast "bombards everything in its path with a flurry of fists," which has got to be mighty satisfying when you're sneaking up on a group of baddies.

The Brawl skill tree takes that methodology even further with the Phaseslam Action Skill, which brings those astral fists down in a mighty slam that knocks enemies up into the air, giving Amara an opening to unleash hell.

These Action Skills essentially make Amara the first Siren to feel more like a tank and less like a strategic character class. It's a really interesting change of pace for this type of Vault Hunter.

Moze the Gunner (and the Iron Bear)

Moze is a former soldier who was essentially sent on a suicide mission by her former commanding officer. While the rest of her squadron was killed in the battle, Moze managed to survive thanks to the intervention of her mech suit, the Iron Bear. The two are seen to have a close friendship, with Iron Bear cooking Moze's dinner with its flamethrower attachment and standing watch over her while she sleeps. Even so, Moze can quickly dispatch a group of attackers even without the suit.

We also get to see how formidable these two BFFs can be, staring down a gang of enemies and unloading twin machine guns into the baddies without flinching. An Echo log recovered during Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary also gives us a glimpse of how people view the capabilities of the Iron Bear mechs, as a counterintelligence officer exclaims that Moze and her squad "are badasses" (among other hilarious expletives). 

Moze's skill trees

Two of Moze's skill trees are all focused on maximum damage and weapon efficiency. The Demolition Woman tree is focused on splash damage, increasing the range and explosive radius of Moze and Iron Bear's artillery and also adding bonus effects like incendiary damage or occasionally granting Moze extra ammo after a successful kill.

The Bottomless Mags skill tree does just what it says on the tin: the skills here will help to ensure that Moze never runs low on ammo, with skills like Redistribution creating more ammo for Moze and The Iron Bank increasing Moze's magazine size. 

That leaves the Shield of Retribution skill tree, which kind of dares you to live dangerously. For example, the skill called Desperate Measures will continue to increase her gun damage the lower her health drops. Basically, if you're confident enough to run into a hail of bullets and survive, you'll be able to trade all that hurtin' for extra-strength firepower. For gamers who loved playing as Salvador the Gunzerker in Borderlands 2, Moze and Iron Bear might be your new best friends. 

Moze's Action Skills

Moze is also likely to encourage multiple playing styles, since her many Action Skills "are actually weapons mounted onto each of Iron Bear's arms, so you can mix and match Iron Bear's loadout across multiple skill trees or even equip two of the same weapon if you're all about symmetry."

The Shield of Retribution Skill Tree offers the Railgun, which fires off electrified rounds, and the Bear Fist, which does just what you'd imagine: Iron Bear goes all "clobberin' time" on some unfortunate bandits, beating them into the ground. Even cooler, the Bear Fist can be augmented to fire out and pull enemies closer, like Bionic Commando on steroids.

The Demolition Woman tree ups Moze's arsenal with the V-35 Grenade Launcher and Vanquisher Rocket Pod Action Skills, both of which are explosive attacks that can be augmented with effects like a spray of shrapnel or homing rockets that lock onto targets.

The Bottomless Mags tree brings with it a Minigun, which can be augmented with explosive rounds, and an awesome flamethrower called the Salamander, which can have its flames replaced by acid for maximum bandit-melting grossness.

FL4K the Beastmaster (and their pets)

As the Beastmaster title would imply, FL4K has several different creatures at their beck and call. We get to see these critters at work in FL4K's character trailer, including a Spiderant, a Skag, and a new addition to the creatures of the Borderlands universe, a Jabber. FL4K has been described by Gearbox as an "emergent AI," and the character is in fact gender neutral, a first in the long-running game series. 

While we don't learn too much about FL4K from an Echo log in Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary (other than the fact that FL4K is cool), the trailer shows off their abilities. We see FL4K and their pets fending off an ambush in a scrapyard belonging to longtime Borderlands supporting character Ellie. FL4K's Spiderant shows off some kind of drilling apparatus attached to one of its arms, while the Jabber and the Skag just seem to enjoy beating up and chewing on the bandits the old fashioned way. FL4K's ominous final line in the trailer, "The hunt is never-ending," seems to spell doom for anyone who would cross them. Let's see if FL4K's abilities can back that up.

FL4K's skill trees

Each of FL4K's skill trees comes complete with a loyal pet that will lay waste to any enemies FL4K sends them toward. The Hunter skill tree gives FL4K a Spiderant Centurion, which will attack enemies and recharge FL4K's health while it's deployed. The rest of the Hunter tree is mostly focused on improving FL4K's weapons, granting them enhanced reload speed and critical hit damage. Some bonuses are based on what type of enemy FL4K faces. For example, the skill Hunter's Eye grants +6% armor damage against robotic foes.

The Master tree comes with an acid-vomiting Guard Skag, which will pounce on enemies and melt their faces off. This tree offers several enhancements for FL4K's pet, giving it heightened damage or, in the case of the Who Rescued Who? skill, regenerating FL4K's health every time their Pet lands an attack on an enemy.

Finally, there's the Stalker skill tree, which overall improves FL4K's quality of life and gives them a gun-toting Jabber to terrorize their enemies. Several skills on this tree are based around health regeneration, while some others, like Furious Attack, are all about making FL4K a quicker draw and better shot.

FL4K's Action Skills

Two of FL4K's skill trees grant them an Action Skill of their own, while the other one gives their Pets an explosive advantage. The Hunter tree allows FL4K to call in the previously mentioned dive-bombing Rakks with the Action Skill called Rakk Attack! This skill can be augmented with extra Rakks and different elemental effects.

Meanwhile, the Stalker tree comes with the Action Skill called Fade Away, which "will facilitate a quick getaway by instantly cloaking [FL4K] and affording them increased movement speed and health regeneration." Not only that, but it gives FL4K three guaranteed Critical Hits while cloaked, essentially making this Action Skill into the ideal run and gun technique.

FL4K's other skill tree, Master, grants the AI badass an Action Skill called Gamma Burst that allows them to teleport their Pet toward the enemy, complete with a lovely burst of radiation to knock them off their feet. This Action Skill is somewhat reminiscent of Mordecai deploying his trusty Bloodwing in the first game, if Bloodwing could warp space and give off Incredible Hulk-style radiation. Who would have thought that we'd eventually be able to frag our enemies with a Skag of our very own?