Best Character to Choose When You Start Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is a game that takes some time to get into, but once you do, you will be spending a very long time in it because of all the content. That is why it is very important to choose the character that you want because if you don’t like the one you chose, you need to restart the entire game just to pick another character. Just be ready to sacrifice a lot of time to this game because it is huge!

There are a total of six different characters to choose from and 2 of them are DLC only characters. The other 4 are the basic launch characters. Each of them has their own specific abilities and skill trees to go down and takes some time to fully understand how everything works. Remember that the max level is Level 72 so keep in mind that you will be spending a lot of time using one single character.

Each of them has their own story, but that is not what I am here to tell you today. I am going to tell you about all the character’s abilities and their skill trees you can place your upgrade points into. Don’t rush to choose your character in the beginning because you might choose a character that you don’t necessarily like.

Here are the six characters you can play as in Borderlands 2:

  • Axton (Commando)
  • Maya (Siren)
  • Salvador (Gunzerker)
  • Zer0 (Assassin)
  • Gaige (Mechromancer)
  • Krieg (Psycho)

Related: Here’s Why You’re so Weak in BL2

Axton (Commando)

Axton is a very good character to choose because of how easy his ability is to use. His ability is called the Sabre Turret in which he can deploy a special Dahl Sabre Turret that is a mounted gun with a 360° rotation. It has many upgrades as we will see later and you are able to deploy it basically anywhere. The turret lasts about 20 seconds and its cooldown is about 42 seconds.

His melee weapon is a tomahawk and does a little more damage than the other characters melee. His class mod is represented as the device on his right shoulder and changes as your class mod changes. He had previously been a Dahl soldier, but went AWOL and became a mercenary. Here are the three skill trees that Axton has:

Guerrilla tree – This is his first skill tree. It focuses on getting him into the fight quicker and it also improves his Sabre Turret’s ability to do continuous high damage attacks. There are 6 Tiers that the Guerrilla tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Gunpowder tree – This is his second skill tree. It focuses on medium-range explosives and weapon damage. It also aids in using the turret to distract enemies and helps increase his combat stats in the long-run. There are 6 Tiers that the Gunpowder tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Survival tree – This is his third and final skill tree. It focuses on boosting his defenses and his main abilities and also aids in healing him at very low health. It also helps make the Sabre Turret’s cooldown quicker so you can spawn it more often. There are 6 Tiers that the Survival tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Maya (Siren)

Maya is the Siren of the group of Vault Hunters and is also very fun to use because of all the powers she has. Her main ability is to use her powers as a Siren and suspend an enemy in another dimension. Basically, she can freeze an enemy and do damage during the process. The freezing does have the ability to be upgraded so it does more damage while still frozen.

Her ability is actually called Phaselock and it is extremely useful for crowd control in co-op and solo. Because she and Lilith are the only Sirens that Handsome Jack knows of, that is why he is after them both. That is why Maya was on the train to Pandora at the very beginning of the game. Here are the three skill trees that Maya has:

Motion tree – This is her first skill tree. It focuses on improving her Phaselock ability for crowd control and defense and also lets her brainwash enemies into fighting with one another. There are 6 Tiers that the Motion tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Harmony tree – This is her second skill tree. It focuses on improving her healing abilities on her and her teammates and also helping her damage per second go up. There are 6 Tiers that the Harmony tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Cataclysm tree – This is her third and final skill tree. It focuses on all of the elemental effects that she has like fire, acid, slag, and electrocution. There are 6 Tiers that the Cataclysm tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Salvador (Gunzerker)

Salvador is probably my favorite of all the characters just because of his Gunzerker ability. He is the Rambo of all the classes because he has the ability to use two weapons at once for a short amount of time. While he is in this state of Gunzerking, he has the chance to regen health and ammo, and his stats are boosted.

He is actually the only Vault Hunter in Borderlands 2 to be born and raised on Pandora. The base cooldown for the Gunzerker ability is 42 seconds while the duration is 20 seconds. He is also wanted for a number of crimes like cannibalism, public indecency, theft, and arson. Here are the three skill trees that Salvador has:

Gun Lust tree – This is his first skill tree. It focuses on the ability to swap to and from certain guns and aids in the reloading process. It also gives him various gun abilities. There are 6 Tiers that the Gun Lust tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Rampage tree – This is his second skill tree. It focuses on adding extra ammunition to his weapons and also helps increase the stats of the Gunzerking ability. It also lowers the cooldown rates for certain abilities. There are 6 Tiers that the Rampage tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Brawn tree – This is his third and final skill tree. It focuses on the physical damage absorption for him and his teammates and helps in his health regeneration. It also gives him some physical abilities to use in battle. There are 6 Tiers that the Brawn tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Zer0 (Assassin)

Zero is a very secretive but very cool character that Gearbox put into Borderlands 2. No one really knows who he is or what he looks like under the mask. All we know is that he is an assassin that gets paid to complete missions and ended up helping the Vault Hunters in their search for the Vault. He isn’t just in Borderlands 2, he is in other games in the series as an NPC.

His special ability called Decepti0n grants him the ability to put down a holographic decoy of himself to distract enemies. While this decoy is deployed, he turns invisible and that makes a mean to escape danger. During his time while invisible, his damage is boosted and helps to take out harder enemies. Here are the three skill trees that Zer0 has:

Sniping tree – This is his first skill tree. It focuses on weapons like sniper rifles to do more damage if an enemy is shot in the head or in a critical spot. It also helps in doing more damage to critical hits on enemies. There are 6 Tiers that the Sniping tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Cunning tree – This is his second skill tree. It focuses on improving his main ability and the abilities that aid in ranged and melee combat. It also helps in reload speed for weapons. There are 6 Tiers that the Cunning tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Bloodshed tree – This is his third and final tree. It focuses on mainly melee weapons and stealth. This tree is definitely not for the run-and-gun kind of people. It also aids in the regeneration of your shield to help your health stay up. There are 6 Tiers that the Bloodshed tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Gaige (Mechromancer)

Gaige is the first character to be released as DLC for the Borderlands franchise, and the only way you get to use her is to have the GOTY edition or buy her. Her main ability is called Deathtrap in which a robot by the name of D374-TP comes and helps her fight. According to many players, she is the easiest and also the most difficult to play because of all the variations the skill trees add.

Deathtrap only stays with Gaige for 60 seconds and has a cooldown of 60 seconds. She has the longest base time limit for her main ability than any other Vault Hunter in-game. Gaige likes cupcakes and hot chocolate, and her favorite color is purple. Here are the three skill trees that Gaige has:

Best Friends Forever tree – This is her first skill tree. It focuses on survival and the damage and defense increase for Deathtrap. It also gives you boosts if you have a full magazine in your weapon. There are 6 Tiers that the Best Friends Forever tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Little Big Trouble tree – This is her second skill tree. It focuses on elemental effects from you and Deathtrap, and also gives Deathtrap a new type of weapon called heat-beams. It also allows for Deathtrap to mimic any element that he comes in contact with. There are 6 Tiers that the Little Big Trouble tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Ordered Chaos tree – This is her third and final skill tree. It focuses on an ability called Anarchy, which increases the damage of all weapons but also drops the accuracy over-time. It also helps reload your weapon faster. There are 6 Tiers that the Ordered Chaos tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Krieg (Psycho)

Krieg is the second character to be released as DLC for the Borderlands franchise, and the only way you get to use him is to have the GOTY edition or buy him. Krieg seems to suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as he argues with an “inner voice” that was created as a result of traumatic experiences, although his case differs significantly from the typical diagnosis.

His main ability is called Buzz Axe Rampage. It basically has you swing your buzz ax very fast while it deals massive damage to enemies. You can also throw the ax if you wanted to hit someone from a distance as well. He also deals 500% more melee damage than any other Vault Hunter and he has 33% more movement speed as well.

Bloodlust tree – This is his first skill tree. It focuses on ranged combat with guns and it also improves upon his skills like melee damage and health. It also gives boosts for getting kills with weapons. There are 6 Tiers that the Bloodlust tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Mania tree – This is his second skill tree. It focuses on melee combat damage and improvements. This is basically a high risk/ high reward skill tree because you have to take damage from enemies for your Buzz Axe Rampage to regenerate faster. There are 6 Tiers that the Mania tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Hellborn tree – This is his third and final tree. It focuses on the elemental effects like fire. With this skill tree, you basically set yourself on fire to deal more damage to enemies. It also helps increase weapon and melee damage and can be a very good skill tree to go down. There are 6 Tiers that the Hellborn tree has, and each of them adds at least one upgrade slot that can fit a couple of upgrade points in each.

Which would be best for Solo play?

Axton – He is probably the best character to choose if you are going to go solo in Borderlands 2 because he doesn’t need to rely on the help of his teammates to survive. All of his abilities can be used all by himself.

Maya – She is also a very good character to choose when playing solo just because her ability allows her to freeze enemies and control the mobs of enemies trying to kill her.

Gaige – She is another great choice for solo players because Deathtrap lasts for a whole minute. Because her ability lasts for a long time, it makes her a good choice to use when being overrun by enemies.

Which would be best for co-op play?

Salvador – He is not good for solo players at all because he only has the Gunzerking ability. The best thing that the ability does is help out a teammate if they need saving. That makes him the perfect character to play if you want to play with friends.

Zer0 – He is not a good character for solo players because his ability to turn invisible is very useful to help aid a friend who is downed or in trouble. I would highly recommend using Zer0 with friends because he is not very good when you lone wolf with him.

Krieg – He is the worst choice for using solo just because he can die very easily. As I said before, his skill trees are very high risk/high reward so if you have friends to help you, I would then recommend to use him.

Explainer Video

In case you need more explanation than the article, here is a great video I found talking about the same topic.

Conclusion

Borderlands 2 is a very large game and it takes some sacrifice to try and play through the whole thing. That is why it is crucial to understanding what character you should use. All 6 characters that you can choose from all have their own stories to tell and dialogue you can listen to. So if you ever beat the game with one character, try the game again with another because it changes the gameplay in a major way.

Caleb Simmons

I first started playing video games on my Nintendo Gameboy Advance, and I have not stopped playing ever since. My goal is to help others with questions about their favorite video games.

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