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What are the Borderlands 3 character classes, and which should you pick?

Need help figuring out which Borderlands 3 character classes you should pick? Let’s get you rollin’.

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Borderlands 3 character classes

Need help figuring out which Borderlands 3 character classes you should pick? Let’s get you rollin’.

The character classes in Borderlands 3 are, broadly speaking, similar to the classes in the first game. There’s a soldier, Siren, hunter, and a big tank-looking slab. But in Borderlands 3, there’s a twist. Well, to some of them.

The soldier is basically just a solider, but the Siren is also a hand-to-hand brawler? The hunter can keep their helpful pet in the field at all times, while the big tank type is actually a giant mech suit for its pilot. (Nobody, alas, gets the Fragtrap’s Vaulthunter.exe subroutine. It’s probably for the best.)

That’s all as clear as mud, then. Here’s what you need to know about the Borderlands 3 character classes.

Amara – The Siren

Amara, on the one hand, is the traditional Borderlands Siren. Where Amara differs from the traditional Siren class in Borderlands 3, however – who tend to be cast in the archetypal D&D magic-user role – is that she’s an absolute unit.

Her other action skills make use of her phase abilities to sprout multiple arms like the Hindu goddess, Shiva, and pummel her way around the battlefield. She can use the phasegrasp ability – almost exactly the same as Maya’s phaselock ability in Borderlands 2, but with her massive blue arms – to lift enemies in the air and freeze them in place. She also has a phaseslam ability, which is a traditional ground pound, and a phasecast ability, where Amara creates a projection of herself that damages everything in its path.

Absolute. Beast.

FL4K – The Beastmaster (Hunter)

FL4K is outwardly similar to Mordecai in the first Borderlands. (And to a lesser extent, Gaige from Borderlands 2.) But where previous character classes in the series can only summon their helpers for short bursts, and subject to a cooldown period, FL4K’s pets are with them at all times. Well, until you get them killed. You can have one of three pet types at any time – a jabber, spiderant, and skag – and they’ll respawn after a cooldown period if you lose them. (You can also bypass the cooldown period if you befriend an enemy of the same type as your equipped pet.)

As for action skills, FL4K can turn themselves invisible with a cloaking ability, can command flying rakk to dive-bomb enemies, and has a gamma burst ability, where FL4K opens a rift at a target location and transports their active pet through to deal damage to enemies. (This has the bonus of potentially making your pet bigger, more dangerous, and can even revive them if they’re recently-downed.)

Moze – The Gunner (Tank)

Moze is a character who’s passive skills confer improvements in gunplay and explosives. In open play, she’s just like any other character, and is probably closest to the soldier classes from the previous Borderlands games. But Moze can summon the Iron Bear, a giant, hulking mech suit, and her action skills are focused on the Iron Bear’s destructive abilities.

The action skills that Moze has selected determine which weapons are equipped on the Iron Bear, and she can have two action skills active at once. The weapon choices are a minigun, which fires rapidly, but in true video game fashion, overheats under heavy use; a railgun, which fires electrified projectiles accurately and at long range; and a semi-automatic grenade launcher. One neat extra trick of the Iron Bear is that one of your vault-hunting comrades can climb onto the back and hitch a ride onto the battlefield.

Zane – The Operative (Soldier)

Like the solider and commando character classes of the previous Borderlands games, Zane – the operative – has the ability to deploy a gadget for one of his action skills. In Borderlands 3, however, the operative has the opportunity to equip more than one device to different action skills, with different effects.

Zane has three action skills: a flying drone, to deal damage to enemies; a shield, which is fairly self-explanatory; and a clone, which he can swap positions with. (Think of it like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wristwatch gizmo in Total Recall, but with the ability to switch places on command.) So pick two from the three, but keep in mind that if you equip more than one of these action skills, you’ll have to sacrifice the grenade slot.

Which Borderlands 3 character class should you pick?

Well, that’s really up to you. If you’re an old hand, you might want to try and match your character class in Borderlands 3 with your old favourites.

Some of the choices in Borderlands 3 are pretty obvious in that regard. If you favoured Mordecai or Gaige, you’ll like FL4K, the beastmaster. If you mained the solider types – Roland, Axton, and Wilhelm – then you’ll easily feel comfortable with Zane, the operative.

However, if you played as the Sirens, Lilith and Maya, in the previous games, Amara will handle differently. You’ll still get the benefits of rapid movement and enemy holding, but you’ll be going toe-to-toe with enemies and using those skills far more offensively, in a hybrid between a Siren and Brick from the first game,

And Moze? Well, everybody loves a giant mech, but keep in mind you won’t be a permanent tank.

The good news is there’s so much character customisation in Borderlands 3, while there are no restrictions on which classes can use which guns, so you can have a good time playing as anyone. Maybe just pick based on who you like the look of, in that case.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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