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How To Play Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Like A Professional

by Jeff Marchiafava on Oct 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Pandora is a deadly vacation destination for amateur vault hunters, and the planet's moon, Elpis, isn't any better. While Borderlands fans will feel right at home in The Pre-Sequel, the low-gravity environment, new enemy types, and downright annoying boss battles may prove vexing for new players and veterans alike. Unless, of course, you were to have a handful of incredible, life-saving tips from a professional gamer.

If you're like me, you don't just simply play games for fun – you play them for a living, and your knowledge and expertise are in hot demand. But let's be real: You're not like me, and that's okay. In order for there to be an upper echelon of professional gamers like me, there has to be hordes of unremarkable amateurs like yourself for us to loom over.

Lucky for you, I'm not the looming type. Instead, I've used my amazing gifts to help confounded players understand the dangerous open worlds of SkyrimFar Cry 3, and GTA V, and to survive their harrowing journeys in Tomb RaiderThe Last of Us, and Dark Souls II. Today I'm back with more tips to help you survive some dire situations you may encounter in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

For each entry, I detail how an amateur player might react to the situation. If these descriptions sound familiar, don't fret; the first step to not sucking is to acknowledge just how much you actually suck.

Following each amateur entry is a pro description. These outline how I personally handled each situation. Study them hard and you'll be on your way to playing video games like a professional.

Situation: You're a few hours into the game and you've got a backpack full of loot.
How an amateur handles it: Find the nearest vending machine, sell off your unwanted items, and peruse the available goods to see if there's anything worth buying.
How a pro handles it: Unwittingly sell off your shield while comparing it to the ones on sale. Decide none of them are better than the one you (no longer) own, then gleefully wade off into battle. Wonder why you're suddenly dying so fast in combat, but push on into a new area, relying heavily on the Second Wind mechanic to stave off death. Finally realize your mistake, then overpay for a mediocre shield instead of using the vending machine's buy-back function to regain your original, better shield at the cost you accidentally sold it for.

Situation: The location of your next objective requires jumping over a large canyon.
How an amateur handles it: Hit the nearby ramp with your moon buggy, making sure to start far enough back to achieve maximum speed via the vehicle's thrusters.
How a pro handles it: Lackadaisically hit the ramp, figuring that it only exists to get you to the other side, so it's not going to be that difficult of a jump. Crash and burn in the chasm. Respawn and drive all the way back, then hit the booster at the top of the ramp. Fly a little further, only to once again crash into the side of the canyon and die. Head back a third time and boost all the way to the ramp. Instinctively press the jump button at the top of the ramp, causing your character to jump out of driver's seat and into the roof-mounted turret. Lose momentum and fall to your death as you impotently fire off rockets. Head back again, cursing the entire way, then jump out of your vehicle and glide to the other side using your oxygen boost instead. Make the long trek to the next objective on foot while continuing to curse.

Situation: After hours of play, your favorite gun is no longer powerful enough to contend with your higher-level enemies.
How an amateur handles it: Sell the gun off at vending machine and switch to a new and more powerful firearm.
How a pro handles it: Stubbornly hang onto the gun for purely sentimental reasons, despite the fact that whittling down the health of even the most unintimidating enemies takes forever. Switch it out after another hour, but keep the beloved firearm in your backpack like a security blanket, even though it takes up an inventory slot that could be devoted to something that's actually useful. Finally convince yourself to let it go, then deposit in the bank instead, because sometimes the bond between a man and a gun is unbreakable.

Situation: You've got lots of money and a backpack full of loot – time to hit a vending machine.
How an amateur handles it: Are there enemies around? You should probably shoot them before you start shopping...
How a pro handles it: Ignore the bandits – that's what your shields are for! Sift through the endless menus comparing your inventory with what's on sale while your enemies slowly deplete your shield. Spot a shiny new sniper rifle that you can just barely afford. Jump as a particularly crafty bandit sneaks up behind you and shoots you at pointblank range with a shotgun, incapacitating you. Accidentally press the button to instantly respawn in the confusion, then make your way back to the vending machine, only to find out you can no longer afford the coveted gun due to the respawn fee.

Coming Up Next: How to tackle boss battles like a pro...

Situation: You're being swarmed by alien insects in a small room.
How an amateur handles it: Switch to a shotgun and blast everything that moves, then pick up the dropped loot and move on.
How a pro handles it: Blindly spray the bugs with your machine gun until there's only one enemy left. Throw a grenade at the remaining enemy, even though it's the kind that splinters into ten smaller yet equally deadly grenades. Shoot the last bug before the fuse the runs out because it's just sitting there and this is a shooter after all. Get blown to bits when the grenade finally detonates, then spin around on the ground in vain looking for an enemy to kill for a second wind before finally dying.

Situation: Wait, you can kill yourself with your own grenades?
How an amateur handles it: Yes, the previous situation just proved without a doubt that you take damage from your own grenades...
How a pro handles it: ...or did one of the bugs do some last-minute damage to you? Throw a grenade at your feet after respawning to test it out. Blow yourself up – again! – and then spin around on the ground in vain – again! – because the game doesn't put enemies that close to the respawn station. Convince yourself that the second death (and respawn fee) were worth it because you're a man of science and there's no substitute for empirical evidence.

Situation: You are making your way back through an empty area because you can't seem to stop killing yourself with grenades.
How an amateur handles it: Run through area while picking up any stray loot and ammo you come across. Also, seriously consider changing out your grenades with something less dangerous.
How a pro handles it: Bound through the air like majestic gazelle. Buttslam down right next to cryo barrel, like a slightly less majestic gazelle. Freeze to death. Spin around in vain yet again while wondering if you've actually killed yourself more than your enemies have.

Situation: You're in an intense boss battle with Tungsteena Zarpedon, who is kicking your ass with her massive electric shock attacks.
How an amateur handles it: Take advantage of the power cores that pop up in the arena by hiding behind them while your shield recharges.
How a pro handles it: Hide behind the power cores, because even amateurs sometimes accidentally get things right. Press the button to reload your gun while hiding, which coincidentally is also the button that overcharges said power cores. Remain oblivious to their ominous red glow as you hug closer to them in anticipation of Zarpedon's next attack. Pick your favorite swear word and say it ten times in a row as the power cores blow up in your face, killing you.

Situation: You collected some sweet, high-level guns after finally beating another dumb boss.
How an amateur handles it: Test them out and see how they stack up to your current guns!
How a pro handles it: Make the long trek back to a fast travel location, then warp to Concordia. Visit the bank and store some of your old guns, then sell off the remaining ones. Equip your fancy new weapons and warp to the next area. Make your way through the environment while fighting bad guys and slowly coming to the realization that you liked your old guns better. Head all the way back to Concordia and switch them out again, then sell your newer, supposedly better loot.

Situation: Oh hey, you're in another annoying boss fight, and this one is several levels higher than you.
How an amateur handles it: Experiment with different elemental weapons until you find out what does the most damage. If the boss is still too hard, leave, perform a few side missions and grind until you level up a few times, and restock your supplies before returning.
How a pro handles it: Stubbornly butt up against the difficulty curve and fight the boss over and over again. Get stuck in a punitive loop of buying more replacement ammo while also getting penalized money every time you die. Continue until you are completely broke, then follow the amateur entry and beat the boss on the first try when you come back. Repeat the entire process on the next boss because if you wanted to learn a lesson you'd go back to school.

Have any humorous tips for your fellow readers? Share your experiences in the comments below!