Borderlands 3 True Vault Hunter & Mayhem endgame modes revealed

Following on from their Gamescom announcements, Gearbox have revealed yet more of the endgame loop for Borderlands 3, including Mayhem Mode, True Vault Hunter Mode and Guardian Rank progression system.

So what does all of this mean? Let’s find out!


True Vault Hunter is your typical New Game+ mode, with tougher enemies and better loot. You character progression through a campaign is distinct between Normal and True Vault Hunter, but your stats and equipment are shared between both modes.

Meanwhile, Mayhem Mode also appears at the end of the campaign within either a Normal or True Vault Hunter campaign, and can be found through a terminal on the Sanctuary III. It enables three difficulty levels – Mayhem 1, 2 and 3 – and also bumps up the difficulties, shields, health, damage etc. etc. Beyond that, Mayhem Mods are also applied to the planets you visit. For example, there’s Savage, where enemies deal more weapon damage, or Wizard, where normal bullet damage is reduced, while elemental damage is bumped up. Mods that can appear depend on the Mayhem level you choose.

Guardian Rank is also revealed once you’ve beaten the main campaign, and is an extension of the Badass Rank in previous games. You still keep playing to get stat boosts for your Vault Hunters, but Guardian Rank has bigger buffs on top of the smaller bonuses. A Guardian Rank bar fills up as you work your way to earning a Guardian Token. That can then be spent to unlock bonus stats in three trees, giving you a choice of six randomly selected skills each time, taken from a list of seventeen:


  • Critical Damage
  • Grenade Damage
  • Gun Damage
  • Gun Fire Rate
  • Melee Damage
  • Vehicle Damage


  • FFYL (Fight For Your Life) Duration
  • FFYL Movement Speed
  • Max Health
  • Shield Capacity
  • Shield Recharge Delay
  • Shield Recharge Rate


  • Accuracy
  • Action Skill Cooldown
  • Luck (Rare Drop Rate)
  • Recoil Reduction
  • Reload Speed

The bigger bonuses come when you’ve spent 10, 15, 25, 35, 50 and 75 tokens in each respective category, with Guardian Rewards including weapons and Vault Hunter skins, as well as passive buffs. Gearbox gave an example of this:

The second tier Guardian Rewards will grant additional gun damage to all shots while in Fight For Your Life (the Inner Fury buff in the Enforcer tree), make you recover from FFYL with full health and shields (Resilient in the Survivor tree), or grant extra ammo from all ammo pickups (Bullet Collector in the Hunter tree).

And finally, Gearbox showed off a rough plan for the game’s growth through the rest of the year. The Bloody Harvest event and Maliwan Takedown will both be free events, leading up to the DLC1 that’s part of the paid Season Pass.

So basically, there’s a shed load of Borderlands 3 to play, and even more on the way. Excited?

Source: press release

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