Borderlands 2 released over 7 years ago, yet it still has a healthy player base. This can be attributed to how much replay value you can get. Each character plays their own way, and the three different skill trees add their own dynamic. This means that every playthrough can be a new experience based on the class and build you choose. The bazillion guns you get also help of course.
Borderlands 2 has so many skills, with some being absolutely useless, to others being stupidly overpowered. The skills on this list are here for multiple reasons. They can either be used for strategy, co-op assistance, or their damage potential. Here are the top 10 skills in Borderlands 2 you should immediately invest in.
10 Converge - Maya
Compared to all the other skills on this list, Converge may not seem all that unique. While it doesn’t have some ridiculously overpowered effect, it’s actually quite useful for dominating the battlefield in solo play. This can be credited to the Converge skill since her Phaselock will now pull in nearby enemies.
As you get into higher difficulties, swarms of enemies will begin to surface. Being able to constantly put a group of enemies in one place will really help with the overall crowd control. In Ultimate Vault Hunter mode (UVMH), you’ll also want to couple this with the Ruin skill since it brings out an explosion of slag. If you can Converge all enemies, and then they get slagged right after, UVHM will be a cake walk.
9 Res - Maya
Res is the best co-op skill in Borderlands 2. Being able to automatically revive other players from a distance is something any co-op game would want.
Instead of Phaselocking an enemy, you can use it on a downed player instead, which will instantly revive them in seconds. Obviously, this skill is only useful in co-op play, as it’s completely useless in solo. If you are playing with another Siren player, and they aren’t willing to spend 1 point on Res, feel free to ninja their loot. They don’t know how to be a team player.
8 Grit - Axton
The Commando may not be everyone’s favorite class to play as, but Axton has one of the best defensive skills in the entire game. Grit allows Axton a chance to completely ignore damage that would otherwise kill him. At 5/5 points, this chance goes up to 20%. Pair this with a Pointman Class Mod, and you can get this up to almost 45%.
Essentially this means that you have almost a 1 in 2 chance of ignoring the hit that was going to kill you. Axton may not have the most memorable skills, but his entire Survival skill tree is great at keeping you alive, with Grit being the reason to utilize it.
7 Cloud Kill - Maya
The irony of this skill is that at the initial Borderlands 2 launch, Cloud Kill was deemed one of the worst skills in the game. Gearbox later buffed it, and now it’s known as one of the best. The way Cloud Kill works is that after you shoot an enemy, a corrosive cloud will form around them. This will damage not just the enemy, but also the ones around them.
You can only have one Cloud Kill active at a time, but it will last a good 5 seconds each time. What’s great about this skill is that there is no strategy needed to activate it. You will get so many kills with Cloud Kill in both Normal and True Vault Hunter mode without even trying.
6 Keep Firing - Salvador
Salvador’s Keep Firing skill is the main reason the Gunzerker is known for having the highest DPS of all the vault hunters. This capstone skill is simple, you gain an increased fire rate of 88% while Gunzerking, with an added 25% reload speed.
Not every gun in Borderlands 2 has a great fire rate, but Salvador can change that. Just about every gun immediately benefits from Keep Firing, even launchers. You’d think that dual wielding 2 sniper rifles is a stupid idea, but Salvador can basically turn them into assault rifles with how fast they’ll shoot.
5 Anarchy - Gaige
What makes Gaige such a unique character is how her skills cause you to play differently compared to everyone else. This is most apparent when it comes her to Anarchy skill. Anarchy is simple to use, but be difficult to get in the habit of. Every time you kill an enemy or empty your magazine, you’ll gain a stack of Anarchy (stacks will go away if you manually reload).
Each stack grants a damage bonus of 1.75%, with a starting maximum of 150 stacks. The catch is, however, you’ll lose 1.75% accuracy with each stack as well. Obviously, this is not a skill you want to use a sniper rifle for. It’s recommended that you use a shotgun or any gun with multiple projectiles when using Anarchy. Yes, the accuracy decrease is a huge disadvantage, but it becomes worth it for the absurd amount of damage you can do.
4 Bore - Zero
On the surface, Zero’s Bore skill doesn’t seem all that attractive. However, like the Assassin class in general, it just requires a lot of skill to get the full potential. If you can master the skills, Zero might be the best offensive character in the game. With Bore, you’ll see a bunch of red circles on an enemy once you enter Deception.
If you shoot directly at one of the circles, the bullets may pierce through the enemy. If they end up hitting another enemy, those extra hits will get a massive damage boost. With Bore, Zero is able to actually one-shot multiple bosses, including Hyperius.
3 Release The Beast - Krieg
Krieg’s Mania skill tree is primarily melee based, but it’s also the one where he’s the most un-killable. The capstone skill, Release The Beast, is useful for a number of reasons. It gives you a way more powerful version of Buzz Axe Rampage since you’re now a Badass Pyscho Mutant.
Additionally, it’s great for staying alive. While the Light The Fuse skill is great for getting a second wind, Release The Beast will keep you from going down at all. Activating it requires you to wait until your health reaches a critical level, symbolized by a “!” symbol. Upon activating it, you become invincible for the couple seconds where Krieg is transforming. The added bonus is that your Action Skill cooldown will automatically recharge. In theory, you could use Release The Beast for an entire playthrough, making you less gear dependent.
2 Money Shot - Salvador
Money Shot is Salvador’s most powerful skill, and it’s almost a requirement for taking down raid bosses. Money Shot gives the last shot of your magazine a damage bonus, with 5/5 giving that last shot 500% more damage. 500% is already a huge bonus, but if you can find a Chaotic Neutral class mod, this can give you 10/5 on the skill, which amounts to a 1000% damage bonus.
This skill speaks for itself on just how powerful it can be. You should pair this with the Inconceivable skill, where your shots have a chance to not consume ammo, to get the most potential from this skill.
1 Bloodsplosion - Krieg
Krieg’s Bloodsplosion skill is probably the most broken skill in Borderlands 2 (but in a good way). Whenever you kill an enemy, they will immediately explode.
This explosion can also vary based on the element you killed them with. The added bonus is that any overkill damage you did will go into the explosion. If an enemy is killed by that explosion, they too will blow up. This can cause a chain reaction where you can just sit back and watch all the dominos fall in front of you. This doesn’t need any more explanation as to why it’s awesome.