Borderlands 2 Best Characters to Play (Ranked)

Borderlands 2 Best Characters
More Vault Hunters, more loot, and billions of guns.

Pandora isn’t how you remembered it, and Handsome Jack’s out to “civilize” the planet for personal gain. This means new rules, new Vault Hunters, and the skill trees have grown twice their size. This ranked list starts from good to best, giving you tips on character builds to survive a planet that wasn’t as fully discovered as you thought.

6. Krieg -- The Psycho


A class Psycho…with a conscience? His Action Skill is Buzz Axe Rampage, increasing his melee damage and movement speed. Killing an enemy instantly refills his health and taking damage accelerates cooldown recharge.

Kreig’s Strengths 

  • Pull The Pin – You may as well go out with a bang and gain double XP when you die so you can level up faster. After death, you leave a grenade behind before respawning at your nearest checkpoint.
  • Thrill Of The Kill – Math with Krieg. A percentage of Overkill Damage (the damage done being way more than was needed to kill an enemy) comes back to you as health. The lower your health, the higher the regen. 
  • Release The Beast – If you activate Buzz Axe Rampage when your health is 33% or lower, it becomes instantly refilled and turns you into a Badass Psycho Mutant. The melee damage is bananas and you receive incredible damage reduction during this frenzy. After timing out, your Action Skill is immediately recharged. 
  • Hellfire Halitosis – You can press your melee button and breathe fire through a cone in front of you. Cooldown is 15 seconds, but I’d take that for the chance to bounce between Blood Axe Rampage and my new favorite circus trick.
  • Meat – An excellent class mod for speedy health regen. You do add more time to your Shield recharge delay, but Krieg is all about trading blows for safety anyway.
  • Reaper – The whole team gets a Kill Skill Duration boost. This could end battles faster so you waste less resources for tougher enemies down the road. 

Play Krieg if you like

Being your team’s wasteland bouncer, and engaging in frenetic melee action sequences.

5. Salvador -- The Gunzerker

Seeing double is actually a good thing, in this case.

A class Gunzerker, Salvador’s Action Skill is dual-wielding any two weapons in the game for a brief time period. He can also gain damage reduction, regain 50% health, and constantly regenerate health and ammo when he’s garnered enough XP.  More than a rage machine, Salvador is a great Hunter to have on your side in the heat of battle. 

Salvador’s Strengths 

  • Hoarder – This mod supports team bullet regeneration, keeping everyone trigger-happy and fancy-free.
  • Auto-Loader – Salvador’s a multi-tasker, so every time he makes a kill his ammo is reloaded into equipped guns not in his hands. This skill is handy when loot chests are sad and supply posts are few and far between.
  • Down Not Out – This skill lets you Gunzerk during Fight For Your Life, increasing your chance for a Second Wind to rejoin the fight.
  • Keep It Piping Hot – This skill is an excellent buffer during Gunzerking’s cooldown rate. You get a boost in gun damage, melee damage, and grenade damage.
  • Double Your Fun – This charming little twofer lets you lob two grenades while Gunzerking, but the second grenade doesn’t cost you ammo. We love a discount.
  • Get Some – If you want less Action Skill delay, this is your branch to boost. Shooting enemies decreases your cooldown, and only happens every 3 seconds. A quick trigger finger will have your enemies seeing double the barrels in no time.

Play Salvador if you like

Guns, guns…more guns. 

4. Zero -- The Assassin

Do you like haikus? Zer0 shares...almost too much. But he has a sword.

If your brand is controlled chaos, look no further than the Assassin class. Zer0’s special ability is Decepti0n, distracting enemies with a hologram of yourself while you invisibly decimate them. Sniper, sword master, and a magician all rolled into one.

Zer0’s Strengths 

  • Deathmark – Death by a thousand papercuts. Melee attacks mark the enemy for death for a short duration, taking additional damage from multiple sources. It is an excellent skill for co-op boss battles if you’re tasked with weakening enemies from the side. 
  • Killing Blow – Pick up the pace with this skill by dealing epic levels of melee damage against enemies already low on health.
  • Many Must Fall – How many Zer0s do you wanna add to that kill bill? You can boost Decepti0n by adding holograms for every kill and extending your Action Skill duration by a few seconds. Make it last as long as you can swing for! 
  • Legendary Hunter – This gem of a class mod makes the list for its balanced boost across your skill branches. 10% health boost every time you use Decepti0n, increased Action Skill cooldown rate, increased reload rate, and increased critical damage. 
  • Resurgence – Listen, Zer0’s sword is money. Maxing this skill branch means you get health restored for every melee kill made. The lower your health, the higher the regen.

Play Zero if you like

Channeling your inner ninja, light teamwork, and heavy solo-player glory.

3. Axton -- The Commando

With guns like these, who fears the enemy?

A class Commando, Axton is what I would consider “The Closer” when it comes to wrapping up story missions. His action skill is the Sabre Turret, a stationary external gun used to cover more territory. It’s almost unfair this guy has so many fun tools at his disposal…but is it, though?

Axton’s Strengths 

  • Able – This skill buys you more time by letting your health regenerate for a few seconds every time you damage an enemy. Score.
  • Double Up – You can add a second gun to your Sabre Turret, firing slag rounds to deal additional damage to your enemy from non-slag attacks. Ouch.
  • Do Or Die – You can throw grenades during Fight For Your Life. That’s it. That’s the whole story.
  • Mag-Lock – Ammo Spiderman. You can deploy your Sabre Turret on walls and ceilings. Incredibly handy in weird boss fight spaces.
  • Gemini – The ability to have two Sabre Turrets seals the deal for me. Tap your Action Skill button once for one, twice for two. With a 42-second cooldown, this perk makes recharge worth the wait. 
  • Tactician – This class mod boosts the team’s shield recharge rate and reduces their delay. Teammates can even hide behind the Phalanx Shield you added to your turret(s) and stay in the heat of battle as they recover. 

Play Axton if you like

Being a master strategist, being in three places at once, and cruising through the game with special health and shield bonuses. 

2. Maya -- The Siren

Little Miss Steal-Your-Health.

There’s a reason the Siren class calls us back to run missions on Pandora. Maya’s elemental damage is solid, and her Action Skill, Phaselock, is top of the list. With the ability to suspend enemies in mid-air to get extra crit hits in, you want Maya on your team to even the playing field. 

Maya’s Strengths 

  • Res – You can use Phaselock to instantly revive your teammates during Fight For Your Life. If you’re positioned correctly, it can leave you less exposed to enemy fire than the normal Revival method.
  • Binder – This class mod speeds up Action Skill cooldown rate for the team. A great boost for boss battles and when you’re being overrun by enemies. 
  • Thoughtlock – Quite possibly the coolest motivation to max out your Motion skill tree. This causes enemies to turn on each other using Phaselock.
  • Sweet Release – You should max out this skill first as you level up since you can’t carry health vials into battle. If an enemy you’ve Phaselocked is killed, it generates life orbs that heal you and your friends. 
  • Cloud Kill – While Phaselock is recharging, you can shoot your enemies and create a lingering acid cloud dealing corrosive damage to other nearby threats. This generates a nice cycle of chaos bouncing between your Cloud Kill cooldown and your Action Skill cooldown if you time it right. 

Play Maya if you like

A Swiss army knife Action Skill, constant health regen, and being an elemental menace.

1. Gaige -- The Mechromancer

Who needs friends when you can build 'em? 

A class Mechromancer, Gaige’s Action Skill is Summon Deathtrap, a robot designed to defend our young genius creator against impending threats. Gaige’s strong suit is efficiency, a necessary quality for surviving Pandora. Unlike Axton’s stationary Sabre Turrets, Deathrap is free range, smashing enemies into little bitty pieces.

Gaige’s Strengths 

  • Sharing is Caring – This skill branch copies whatever shield you have over to Deathtrap. Meaning, any badass shield you’re equipped with carries double the oomph if you and your bestie are out there knocking heads together with matching accessories.
  • Upshot Robot – Deathrap gets five more seconds of playtime for every kill made by either you or your robot. Every kill made also stacks melee bonus points, which stop when your Action Skill times out. Luckily, you can enable this skill every time your cooldown rate finishes. 
  • Shock and “AAAGGGGHHH!!” – Every time you reload you create an electrical explosion damaging nearby enemies. 
  • Sweetheart – As though having a robot bestie wasn’t enough, this mod boosts your team’s maximum health. 
  • Make It Sparkle – You can shoot Deathtrap with an elemental gun. It absorbs and deals that same elemental damage to an enemy within range. 
  • 20% Cooler – Maxing out this skill branch shaves 18 seconds off your beastly 60-second cooldown for Deathtrap. Every second counts when you’re dancing around a boss battle and need to buy as much survival time as possible. 

Play Gaige if you like

Modding toys with all the bells and whistles, and being an all-around tech savant.

You May Also Like

[Top 3] Borderlands 2 Best Builds For Maya
[Top 3] Borderlands 2 Best Builds for Zer0
[Top 10] Borderlands 2 Best Weapons And How To Get Them

More on this topic:

Be it a bounty or an odd soup, Teresa is that sniper who will gear up and haul out into arid deserts and muggy jungles for a good time. They also like noodles, kittens, and polymer clay models.
Top 3 Favorite Games:Borderlands 2, Torchlight II,

More Top Stories