When you're just getting your bearings in Borderlands 3 as a brave new Vault Hunter, some of the boss fights you encounter early on in the main campaign may throw you for a loop. No judgments here! The quick tips below should help you conquer any of the early Borderlands 3 boss fights that are giving you trouble.
As with the general Borderlands 3 tips, these pointers should prove useful no matter which Vault Hunter class, build, or weapon loadout you're using. Once you've taken down all the bosses encountered during the Pandora, Athenas, and Promethea portions of the early game, you'll have the confidence to take on the many fearsome bosses you'll meet later on!
GENERAL TIPS FOR BOSS FIGHTS
- Make sure to keep moving during battle. Most bosses will make quick work of you if you're fighting at a standstill, so constant strafing is crucial to your survival.
- Remember that certain elemental damage types correspond to color-coded health bars, including those of bosses. Incendiary damage roasts a fleshy red health bar, Shock will short-circuit a blue shield, and Corrosive melts through yellow armor. Try to keep at least one weapon of these elemental damage types in your inventory so that you've always got the most effective element at the ready if you need it.
- Many boss fights incorporate lesser enemies who will enter the fray from time to time. Your natural instinct will be to kill them on sight, but you should consider ignoring them in case you need to easily kill one for a Second Wind after a boss knocks you down into a Fight For Your Life state.
- If you're running low on health or ammo, keep an eye out for supply crates dotted around the outskirts of a boss' domain; they can help you restock and turn around a seemingly hopeless fight.
- Should a boss fight be giving you trouble to the point of frustration, it could be that you're slightly underleveled for this particular fight. An easy way to level up and even the odds is to take on some Side Missions scattered throughout the galaxy—keep on the lookout for those yellow exclamation points on your map.
- Finding the vulnerable Critical Hit weak point on any boss is crucial to taking them down quickly and efficiently, but their weak spot won't always be something obvious like their head. If you're not seeing Critical Hit indicators when firing at a boss, keep experimenting with different areas until you find that highly damaging sweet spot, then blast it whenever you get the chance.
- While taking aim at Shiv, be sure to keep strafing so you have the best chance of avoiding his thrown axes and the path of his ground slam attack.
- You can lure Shiv next to nearby environmental hazards—like the generators crackling with electricity or the explosive barrels that you can push around with melee attacks—then shoot them when he's nearby. You'll deal some extra damage, and in the case of giving Shiv an electrical shock, you can get some more shots in while he's stunned.
- Mouthpiece's shield doesn't protect his head, so be sure to take aim at his badass helmet for critical-hit headshots even while he's in a defensive stance.
- Whenever Mouthpiece activates his giant speakers for a sonic shockwave attack, the cables on the ground will glow as they build up energy to fire, so make sure to get out of the way quickly. If you've got a keen ear amidst the chaos of the fight, you can also rely on audio cues to help you dodge impending attacks.
- Mouthpiece seemingly values his music over his life, as he'll often stop attacking to do an arrogant dance when the bass drops. Take that as an opportunity to rack up critical hits before he snaps out of it.
- The Tinks that Mouthpiece calls down onto the battlefield aren't much of a threat, so don't feel like you have to kill them all unless you're getting overwhelmed. Most of the time, they'll be grooving to the rhythm of Mouthpiece's beats, seemingly forgetting about you altogether.
- It's crucial that you deal a steady stream of damage to Gigamind so that its shields don't recharge. Pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, and SMGs work perfectly for pumping Gigamind full of lead at close range.
- When Gigamind uses its drones to create a frontal shield, quickly sprint around it and start blasting the glowing weak point on Gigamind's back. That should make short work of this glorified brain in a jar.
- The obnoxious Captain "TRAAAAAAUNT!" will be the toughest enemy you've faced yet, so don't get discouraged if it takes multiple tries to take him down. Like the other Maliwan heavy troops you've faced on Athenas, Captain Traunt's weak spot is the elemental canister mounted behind his head.
- It can be tempting to run for cover and shoot at Captain Traunt from the temple's upper level, but you'll quickly find it's a deathtrap when Traunt creates a huge ball of fire or ice that circles the edges of the map and can't always be easily dodged. Instead, take the fight to Traunt at ground level, making sure to keep your distance from his flamethrower without straying into the path of the elemental orb.
- Traunt is a master of fire and ice, with some elusive elemental attacks that can quickly melt you if you're not careful. When Traunt launches a spiky ice ball into the air, blast it apart quickly before it slows you to a crawl. And when he lobs a pool of molten lava onto the ground, make sure not to stand in the flames while you're firing.
- KillaVolt is an optional boss fight you'll encounter at the end of Moxxi's side mission "Kill KillaVolt" on Promothea. He's surprisingly tough, so if you're determined to beat him we recommend taking him on when you're at least level 16.
- Whenever the tiles on the ground of KillaVolt's arena start to glow yellow, that's your cue to move before that section of the floor is electrified. If you can't get to safety in time, make sure to keep jumping so you minimize your time on the damaging tiles.
- With that voltage-slinging suit of his, KillaVolt breaks the rule of elemental damage in that he's always immune to Shock damage, despite the fact that he has a blue health bar indicating a Shock-vulnerable shield.
- KillaVolt's sizable shield keeps him well protected, and it can be difficult to get around KillaVolt for a clear shot if he's got a bead on you. Take the opportunity to shoot his back if he presents it, but otherwise, try firing at his exposed feet instead of wasting bullets on his sturdy shield.
- The charged-up generator on KillaVolt's back is his primary weak point, but he's also got another sensitive spot. If you heed Moxxi's advice and shoot KillaVolt in the crotch, you can deal a special kind of critical hit that's presumably quite painful. Don't feel bad about blasting KillaVolt's groin to bits—he had it coming.
- A surefire method to defeating the speedy Katagawa Ball is to keep your distance and constantly stay on the move while firing back, making laps along the outer walls of the facility. The area where you encounter the Katagawa Ball is huge, so you have plenty of space to play with—just make sure you don't get stuck in one spot by inadvertently strafing into a solid object.
- Corrosive and Shock weapons work great against Katagawa Ball's yellow armor and blue shield health bars respectively, though they're not absolutely necessary if you don't have any elemental weapons handy.
- If you need a breather during the fight, try luring Katagawa Ball to the upper section of the room, then dive down to the bottom floor and take cover underneath the large overhang in the center. This is also a great time to restock your ammo and grab a health hypo or two.
- True to his deceitful nature, Katagawa Jr. will constantly try to trick you by summoning holographic Digi-Clones that will snipe at you from the perches located in the corners of his arena. If firing at one of the multiple Kawagawas doesn't make a dent in the big Katagawa Jr. health bar displayed at the top of the screen, you're shooting at a clone and should redirect your fire to one of the other Katagawa targets. If you can't tell which positions you're getting sniped from, a quick glance at the minimap will reveal your attackers' locations.
- It's a good idea to equip at least one scoped weapon and one shotgun for this fight, as Katagawa Jr. will frequently teleport towards you for a close-range sword slash. Provided you have enough ammo and some decent aim, a scoped pistol can be equally effective for the short- and long-range distances required for this particular fight.
- Katagawa Jr. will foolishly taunt you while standing next to volatile power generators, so make sure to shoot those exposed blue coils when he's near one to deal a damaging dose of electricity.
- This fearsome Vault guardian has three forms, with its weak points all based around the open mouth of its mutated skull. In the first form, simply shoot into The Rampager's mouth when it's charging a corrosive blast. In its second and third forms, that skull will sink into The Rampager's chest cavity, so remember to blast it in the chest rather than the head when you've got a clean shot.
- See those blue wisps floating in the air on opposite ends of the chamber? Shooting those is your means of resupplying ammo and health, but you should definitely leave some up as insurance. Whenever you're downed by The Rampager, hit one of the wisps to get a Second Wind with a single shot.
- The hostile Eridians that spawn into the room during this fight are dangerous mainly for the way they obscure your vision with close-up attacks. Fortunately, you can clear them out when they spawn in with a few well-placed grenades.
- When The Rampager is in its third, dragon-like form, make sure you aren't underneath it while it's diving across the room and raining down fireballs.