Borderlands 3 has been out since September 13th, and it’s already huge, selling 5 million units in its first five days, making it one of the fastest-selling games in history (though that claim by 2K has been disputed.) The franchise, now 10 years old, is one of the most successful around, with sales of over $1 billion.
There are over a billion weapon options and builds (no joke) compared to the multi-million from Borderlands 2, and we’re here to narrow down 13 of the best. These guns are great at ruining mobs, burning bosses, or for special uses. They’re mostly legendary weapons, with specific drop rates that consist of killing bosses, farming baddies, or getting random loot drops.
Here are 13 Borderlands 3 guns that are too broken, and 2 that are useless.
15 Broken: Flakker
Paul Tassi, a games writer for Forbes, calls this the best weapon in Borderlands 3, by a long shot. GameWith.net also called it the best shotgun, so there’s probably something to the praise it’s getting. Essentially, the Flakker fires explosions from close- to mid-range that hits enemies multiple times and deals massive splash damage with a huge radius, meaning it absolutely destroys anything in close vicinity. Tassi said he stopped using it because he got bored of one-shotting every enemy in Mayhem difficulty.
14 Broken: Queen’s Call/King’s Call
GameWith called this the #1 pistol in the game, and Paul Tassi named it the #5 overall best legendary weapon. It recently had nerfs that reduced its fire rate and damage, but these Jakobs revolvers still only sunk from #2 to #5 on Tassi’s list. He calls them the ultimate boss burning weapon because they send loads of elemental rounds into enemies on crits. Its magazine size (6) isn’t an issue even though it consumes 3 bullets per shot, because 3 bullets are returned when it crits.
13 Useless: Maliwan Pistols
While Maliwan was loved in BL2, and there are still some quality weapons (such as the Compressing Superball legendary weapon that shoots fireballs at enemies), their quality has dramatically decreased in BL3, so much so that Redditors and bloggers have made memes and jokes about how useless Maliwan guns are now. The main issue here is the charging time that was added to nerf the guns, and it did the job. These went from great guns to useless ones in a hurry.
12 Broken: Rowan’s Call
GameWith has declared this the #2 assault rifle, despite it hitting harder than the #1 on their list, Lucian’s Call. It was ranked lower because the recoil is worse, which can affect accuracy. Paul Tassi called this Jakobs elemental AR the #9 best legendary weapon because of its capabilities to clear mobs. It’s great for non-boss FL4K builds, because crits return two shots to the magazine and split two shots to the enemies, which means you can have elemental rounds firing all over the place without having to reload often.
11 Broken: Speedloadin' Hellwalker
Right below the Flakker on GameWith’s list is the Hellwalker, and it’s also #7 overall on the Forbes list. This double-barrel shotgun (another Jakobs) is always anointed with the Speedloading fire elemental variant, and each shot fires 10 bullets in a pentagram shape. Those bullets also are able to ricochet to multiple enemies, which means it’s a great mob dropper.
10 Broken: Lyuda
The #1 sniper rifle according to GameWith and Forbes (and the #6 overall best legendary gun in the game according to Forbes) is the Lyuda, a Vladof fully automatic sniper rifle. It’s one of the best boss burners in the game when its clip hits a crit spot, or when used with FL4K. It might not be great for moment to moment combat, but its rapid-fire rate can spawn 2 or more bullets after the initial shot has traveled a certain distance, which is awesome and makes it incredibly useful for dispatching targets from afar.
9 Broken: One Pump Chump
Depending on who you ask, this rare shotgun is either one of the best in the game, because of its massive damage, or one of the worst because of its single-shot capability. But it has the potential not to use up the shot you fired,. It’s #10 of 10 on Forbes’ list. It isn’t very good for FL4K, supposedly, because FL4K can make every pellet a crit, so you’re better off using a Hellwalker or other 10-clip shotgun instead of this one— but the One-Pump still deals horrible damage.
8 Broken: Ruby’s Wrath
GameWith considers this the best rocket launcher in the game. It fires a vortex grenade with a singularity effect that catches all enemies in an area in the blast. Those affected in the blast will be temporarily immobilized and become marked, meaning they’ll be easier to take out. On top of that, the Wrath then fires up to 7 micro missiles that home in on those marked targets, making it a real killer.
7 Broken: Firesale Long Musket
This SMG placed #4 on Paul Tassi’s list of best legendary weapons so far, even though it’s not really an SMG at all: it’s a flamethrower that, when thrown, creates other, smaller short-range flamethrowers. It doesn’t have great range, but that’s literally its only disadvantage. When you’re up close, it absolutely devours anyone in range, and its damage is monstrous.
6 Broken: Night Hawkin
Right behind the Flakker on Forbes’ list, coming in at #2 is the Night Hawkin, a Stranger Things-themed SMG that does huge damage, seemingly inexplicably. Its burst fire in particular does tons of damage, and it outclassed almost every other weapon that Tassi used in the game (including hundreds of weapons.) It's supposed to do more damage at night, but even during the day, its output is insane.
5 Broken: Laser-Sploder
#3 on the Forbes list by Paul Tassi is the Laser-Sploder. This Torgue gun is like firing two guns at the same time, and it allows you to shoot a medium-range elemental laser stream and a bunch of explosive rounds at the same time. This is a great gun for any class, and Tassi’s favorite assault rifle, despite others ranking higher on other lists. This one seems more broken than the rest.
4 Broken: Infinity Pistol
This Vladof pistol is one of the favored legendary weapons for clearing waves of enemies, and it’s great in boss battles when you want to constantly fire without needing to pause for ammo. Its claim to fame is having unlimited ammo, and it also has a high fire rate. The Beastmaster FL4K can pick up an anointed version that gains Gamma Burst, giving you 65% bonus damage. This punchy little gun is totally worth it.
3 Broken: Lucian’s Call
This broken AR from Vladof is GameWith’s #1 assault rifle thanks to its awesome damage, its ability to return 2 bullets to your magazine with a crit, and the ability to ricochet 2 bullets at nearby enemies. It also slows your enemies. Lucian’s Call packs quite a wallop, and with its extremely fast fire rate and unique features, you can melt through enemies. The fast fire rate is balanced by its high recoil, so be sure to actively control your aim when holding down the trigger.
2 Broken: The Butcher
Right behind the Hellwalker and Flakker, in terms of shotguns, is The Butcher, which certainly lives up to its name. It’s a Hyperion legendary weapon that does tremendous damage and has a 10-shell magazine size. Best of all, it’s probably one of the fastest firing shotguns in the game, and it can even spawn as any of the 5 elemental types. One magazine is enough to rip through bosses and roomfuls of enemies all at once.
1 Useless: Maliwan Sniper Rifles
Most people still enjoy the Maliwan shotguns, and say they are the go-to for mini-bosses and mobs, but the sniper rifles and pistols are loathed, for the most part. The return for charging one of these sniper rifles isn’t worth it over other weapons, and their already low damage is hurt if you don’t charge them, effectively making them 5 levels below your other guns. Just try charging your SR for each shot when trying to take on 10 or more enemies at range!
Sources: gamewith.net, forbes.com, gamespot.com, forums.gearboxsoftware.com