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Feature Article

Borderlands 3 Character Guide: Skill Trees For All Four Playable Vault Hunters

Meet the four Vault Hunters--the gunner, the Siren, the beastmaster, and the operative.

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As is customary for the franchise, Borderlands 3 introduces a brand-new set of four playable Vault Hunters--with each offering their own distinct skill trees and unique perks. If you're trying to figure out which of Borderlands 3's new characters--Amara, Zane, Moze, or FL4K--is right for you, read below for our overview of each one and their skills, or check out our video guide above.

Borderlands 3's four Vault Hunters aren't built like their predecessors. Instead, each one possesses three distinct active skills (as opposed to the tradition of having just one). This does provide a bit more freedom in how you can build your chosen Vault Hunter, which makes Borderlands 3 a bit easier to play through on your own in comparison to previous games in the franchise. You may want to plan multiple playthroughs with more than one character as well, as each Vault Hunter brings their own distinct flavor to Borderlands 3's campaign.

In GameSpot's Borderlands 3 review, Jordan Ramée wrote, "Borderlands 3 has a few stumbling blocks when it comes to bosses, but these fights are overshadowed by the game's rewarding gunplay and over-the-top humor. The game's character-driven narrative acts as a satisfying finale for the loot-shooter franchise, and the new mechanics and features--especially the reworked skill trees and weapon manufacturer effects--give you plenty of agency in how you want to play through it. If you've never been a fan of the franchise, it's unlikely Borderlands 3 does enough things differently to change your mind, as the game best excels at continuing what the series has always done: deliver a humorous tall tale of misfits looting and shooting their way to heroism."

Moze the Gunner

With her active skill, Moze the Gunner summons a powerful mech, Iron Bear. Each of her skill trees include different types of weapons you can add to Iron Bear, ranging from flamethrowers and rocket launchers to a force field and rail gun. You can even add another seat for a companion to climb into and shoot from.

Because Iron Bear has legs, Moze is far more mobile than previous gunner-type classes, who had to cater their strategies around stationary turrets. This may come as little surprise, but Moze's skills make her the tank of Borderlands 3's Vault Hunters. If you like shrugging off damage and demolishing foes with giant explosive attacks, then Moze is the character for you. She also seems to be the youngest of the four Vault Hunters, sounding off with repeated pop culture references and making silly jokes while crushing foes beneath Iron Bear's massive paws.

Amara the Siren

It wouldn't be a new Borderlands game without the presence of the Sirens, a group of mysterious women with incredible powers who are distinguishable by the tattoos that adorn half their bodies. Amara is one of the new Sirens introduced in Borderlands 3; though, it's unclear how long she has existed in the Borderlands universe or where she comes from.

Unlike the mid-range support specialists Lilith and Maya, Amara is a close-range powerhouse with melee-focused skills. If you enjoyed playing as Kreig in Borderlands 2, chances are you'll also like Amara. Just instead of swinging an ax around, though, you'll crush enemies with ethereal arms, swat bandits on their butts with psychic powers, and transform into a spider-like Siren creature that shoots concentrated elemental energy. Amara can also change the elemental damage her active skill and melee attacks do at any time, making her one of the best characters to have on hand for dealing with shielded and armored targets. With the added emphasis on Sirens in Borderlands 3's campaign, Amara has plenty of interesting things to say about the events in the game's story.

FL4K the Beastmaster

FL4K is essentially the hunter class of Borderlands 3. Like the other Vault Hunters, they have three distinct skill trees and active skills to choose from. However, FL4K also has three different pets they can switch between at any time, giving them a companion that constantly assists in battle.

For this reason, FL4K is the best character for those who want to play through Borderlands 3 on their own. Though any of the four Vault Hunters can succeed on their own, FL4K has the added benefit of never actually being alone--they can even train his pets to pick him up in battle. Whether you play with a group or not, FL4K is ideal for those who enjoy long-range pistols, assault rifles, and snipers as they have a lot of perks that increase attack power when landing critical shots or attacking enemies from a long-distance. FL4K is also a bit of a flirt and enjoys insulting others with humor, so if you enjoy listening to a sassy AI talk down to their allies and constantly refer to the hunt--both in battle and in love--then go with FL4K.

Zane the Operative

If you're a fan of Borderlands 2's Zer0, then Zane is likely the Vault Hunter you'll want to choose in Borderlands 3. We're not just saying that because both their names start with a "Z" and they were classmates at the same school, but because of Zane utilizes a holographic decoy device--just like Zer0--to aggro enemies away from him.

But to say Zane is a straight copy of Zer0 would be a great disservice to this fascinating character. Zane has the ability to sacrifice his use of grenades to equip two of his three active skills at once. As a result, you're able to mix and match his assortment of abilities to create decoys, summon a drone, and put up a force field to constantly confuse enemies and attack them from all sides. Zane is one of the oldest characters we've seen in the Borderlands franchise, and thus has more to say about the history of the planets you visit.

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Matt Espineli

Matt Espineli is an Editor at GameSpot. He loves MGS, film noir, and westerns, but he very much loves YOU too.
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