Borderlands 3 is all about guns, guns, and more guns. During your planet-jumping journey, you’ll encounter countless projectile-spewing devices of mayhem. That said, finding the best ones can be tough. There are literally over 1 billion weapons in Borderlands 3, so searching for the best ones through brute force is a fool’s errand. Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the 10 best weapons in Borderlands 3, and where to find them.
A legendary primer
Before getting to the best weapons in Borderlands 3, you need to understand how weapons are generated in the game. If you’re unaware, the vast majority of weapons in Borderlands 3 are procedurally generated, just like previous games. When you ravage loot chests or blow enemies to bits, you can find something great. However, you can also find another stock weapon that offers nothing more than a spray of bullets.
That said, there are some weapons that aren’t procedurally generated. There are legendary weapons, typically the best in the game, that have set effects. Additionally, there are unique weapons, which have set characteristics, too.
So, all you need to do is find all the legendary and unique weapons, right? Well, you could, but it won’t be very effective. There are over 200 unique weapons in the base game alone, plus another 100 or so from DLC, VIP prizes, and in-game events. Worse, the majority of legendary weapons are random world drops. That means there’s no concrete strategy for obtaining them. You simply need to play the game.
If you want to find every unique weapon in Borderlands 3, we recommend bookmarking this awesome spreadsheet from Reddit user “Amara.” It features every unique weapon in the game, going as far as to list references for each bit of flavor text. It’s a labor of the Borderlands 3 community, and an excellent resource to have on hand. Furthermore, it lists the best locations for finding weapons that are world drops.
Our list features weapons that come from certain places, as well as random world drops. We recommend holding off on finding these weapons until you’re sufficiently leveled, though. Gear in Borderlands 3 scales with your level, and you can obtain some of these weapons early on. If you do, note that they’ll quickly become outclassed as you level up, even with normal gear.
QPQ System is an assault rifle that’s highly versatile. It’s a legendary weapon with the special weapon effect “B.Y.O.B.B.,” which offers increased stats across the board. Additionally, the weapon fires two shots for each bullet you spend. Although the weapon doesn’t carry any elemental effects, it has a chance to cause a shock explosion whenever you hit an enemy, which will spread to others.
At the time of writing, you can obtain the QPQ System from enemies in Revenge of the Cartels, a seasonal Borderlands 3 event that runs until June 4. You can obtain it by killing Josie Byte, Franco Firewall, or Joey Ultraviolet, though it has an increased drop rate in Villa Ultraviolet, where you find Joey Ultraviolet.
The Lob is a legendary shotgun that comes from Torque. It can kill basically anything with a shot or two, and it can drop with cryo, corrosive, radiation, shock, or incendiary elemental damage. The special weapon effect is “everything has to be magical,” meaning the gun always deals some form of elemental damage and has an increased magazine capacity. It doesn’t spray pellets, though. Instead, The Lob fires a large orb that slowly moves through the battlefield and explodes on impact, dealing massive AoE damage.
It’s a random world drop, though the best strategy for obtaining it is farming Graveward. You can find Graveward in the end of chapter 16, Cold as the Grave.
Reflux is another legendary shotgun, though it’s manufactured by Hyperion. The special weapon effect is “that’s gotta burn,” which means it always drops with corrosive elemental damage. Like the Lob, Reflux has huge potential to wipe out a mob of enemies quickly. It fires seven projectiles in the shape of a biohazard symbol, and whenever a projectile hits an enemy, it has the chance to spawn corrosive bolts. These chain together and damage nearby enemies.
You won’t find Reflux until after you’ve beaten the game, though. You can obtain it from GenIVIV when playing on Mayhem level six or above. GenIVIV is located on Eden-6 in Voracious Canopy.
Crossroad is a legendary SMG that, like Reflux, comes from Hyperion. It can drop with cryo, shock, corrosive, incendiary, or radiation elemental damage, and fires three projectile with each shot. That comes from the special weapon effect “open the fate for me.” Crossroad shoots in bursts of six shots and fires three projectiles per shot. That said, it only consumes two ammo per shot, allowing you to pile on damage with each burst.
Unfortunately, it’s a random world drop. That said, Katagawa Jr. has a high chance of dropping it. You’ll encounter this early game boss in chapter 3 in Atlas HQ, though he won’t drop Crossroad just yet. The best strategy is to wait until you reach level 57 (the current level cap) and farm Katagawa Jr. from there.
Calling the Eridian Fabricator a “gun” is a bit reductive. It’s a weapon that shoots projectiles, sure, but those projectiles are other guns. It’s not the best at taking down bosses, and you’ll rarely use it against high-level enemies. That said, it’s easily the coolest weapon in Borderlands 3, and we can’t go without mentioning it. Each time you fire the weapon, it’ll spawn 10 guns ranging from Green to Purple rarity. However, it requires 10 Eridium for each shot, so you can’t go too crazy.
Thankfully, obtaining the Eridian Fabricator is straightforward. It’s a quest reward for completing chapter 21, Footsteps of Giants. Simply complete the chapter and the weapon will be yours. Note that the Eridian Fabricator doesn’t take an inventory slot and can’t be sold to Marcus. Once you have it, it’s yours forever, all without any burden on your backpack.
Hellshock is a legendary pistol that’s manufactured by Maliwan. It comes with the special weapon effect “I had not thought death had undone so many,” which grants incendiary and shock elemental damage. When you fire the gun, the projectile will start with one elemental type and bounce off the target once. Once the projectile bounces, it’ll switch to the other elemental type. Although it doesn’t have the AoE damage potential of something like The Lob, Hellshock can still take down mobs of enemies with ease.
It’s a random world drop, though the best strategy for finding it is by farming Gigamind. You can find Gigamind in the sixth chapter of the game, Hostile Takeover. That said, Gigamind won’t drop Hellshock until you’ve reached the level cap. If you’ve been out farming other enemies, you can find Gigamind on Promethea in the Meridian Metroplex.
Kaoson is a legendary SMG that comes from Dahl. Although it’s a powerful weapon in any form, there’s a lot of variance involved when trying to obtain Kaoson. It can have any of the five elemental damage types in the game, but unlike the previously mentioned elemental weapons, it can also spawn without any elemental effect. The special weapon effect is “small but packs a punch,” which offers increased accuracy and sticky projectiles. These projectiles explode and cause splash damage whenever you reload the gun.
Finding Kaoson is simple. It can drop from Captain Traunt on Mayhem level six or higher. You’ll fight Captain Traunt in chapter seven of the main story, though you’ll need to come back later with Mayhem enabled to find Kaoson. Captain Traunt is located on Athenas near the courtyard.
One Pump Chump
One Pump Chump is a legendary shotgun. It’s the first weapon on our list that comes from Jakobs, and like other Jakobs weapons, trades elemental damage for raw power. It comes with the special weapon effect “I swear, that has never happened before.” One Pump Chump can only fire one shot before you need to reload it. However, with the special weapon effect, that one shot deals massive damage. There’s also a 50% chance that the shot doesn’t consume any ammo.
The only way to obtain One Pump Chump is from One Punch. One Punch is a secret boss on Promethea that you can find in Lectra City. You’ll need to solve a puzzle involving TVs before he’ll spawn, and One Pump Chump isn’t a guaranteed drop when you defeat him. You’ll likely need to defeat him a few times before Jakobs’ legendary shotgun is yours.
The first rocket launcher on our list, Yellowcake is a legendary weapon that comes from COV. The special weapon effect “I’m really more of a pie person” means the gun will always drop with radiation elemental damage. When you fire the gun, it’ll shoot a central projectile that will explode and split multiple times, totaling eight projectiles. Like other rocket launchers, Yellowcake deals massive AoE damage, so you don’t need a direct hit to take down most enemies.
It’s a random world drop that, like QPQ System, comes from enemies in the Revenge of the Cartels world event. The best place to look for this weapon is in Villa Ultraviolet. Although it can drop anywhere, FISH SLAP!!!, Tyrone Smallums, and Joey Ultraviolet have a higher chance of dropping it.
If you’ve played all of the Borderlands games, this one should look familiar. Sand Hawk is a legendary sniper rifle that’s manufactured by Dahl. It has the special weapon effect “wedge a pig,” which increases accuracy and splits projectiles into nine pieces. Those projectiles take the shape of a bird, with the wings slowly expanding as they travel through the battlefield. It packs a lot of punch on its own, but the gun has elemental damage on top of its base damage. It can drop with any one of the five elemental types in the game.
Thankfully, obtaining Sand Hawk is simple, so long as you’re already going for Crossroad. It drops from Katagawa Jr. on Mayhem level six or higher.