We'll take you through all the endgame activities you can take on in Borderlands 3 once you've finished the campaign.
If you’ve beaten the Borderlands 3 campaign, you might be wondering what the next logical step is. Well, the game morphs into a Diablo-esque loot chase, in which you’ll farm various modes for powerful gear drops in order to tackle even tougher versions of these challenges.
Let’s not forget that Borderlands 3 will also be home to Raids - and possibly more - sometime in the near future, so it’s worth getting on the endgame loot grind before these updates drop.
Borderlands 3: Endgame content explained
Here’s a quick overview of all the endgame content currently available in Borderlands 3. As time goes by, we’ll update this article with all the latest - stay tuned.
True Vault Hunter Mode
True Vault Hunter Mode is Borderlands 3’s equivalent of new game plus.
Choose True Vault Hunter Mode and you’ll start a fresh playthrough with your existing character and carry over all of your existing skill points, gear and cosmetic unlocks - you won’t lose a smidgen of character progression.
Every quest will reset and you’ll even unlock some new quests and challenges to complete which will be significantly tougher than any from the previous playthrough. The enemies you face will also scale with your level, meaning they’ll be tougher to defeat but drop better loot.
You’ll also encounter a much greater variety of Badass creatures, including plenty of exclusive varieties which you wouldn’t have found in the vanilla campaign.
Mayhem Mode is a difficulty modifier for Borderlands 3 which, well, makes the game much harder.
You’ll unlock Mayhem Mode once you’ve beaten the campaign. There will be a new terminal aboard Sanctuary where you can activate Mayhem Mode 1, 2 or 3.
Each of these Mayhem Modes will increase loot quality as well as experience and eridium and cash drop gains too. However, enemies become far tougher to kill, with their health, armour and shields all gaining hefty percentage bonuses.
Mayhem Modes also introduce special gameplay mods whenever you load into a new area. These are randomised and could increase the damage you deal with specific elements, to making your attack speed ridiculously fast, or even completely rendering your shields useless - it’s not always positive.
Circle of Slaughter
In Circle of Slaughter, you’ll face off against five rounds of enemies, with each round containing progressively harder foes. The objective of each wave is to eliminate all the enemies and survive, however there are optional objectives which can be completed for greater loot rewards.
If your entire squad is eliminated, you’ll have to start the Circle of Slaughter from scratch, so it’s best to play it safe if you’re struggling.
To access Circle of Slaughter, you can find them in three locations across the game or join a squad via matchmaking. We’d highly recommend getting a premade team together for maximum chance of success.
Here are the three Circle of Slaughter locations:
- Cistern of Slaughter - In the centre of the Meridian Metroplex on Promethea.
- The Slaughter Shaft - Near the end of Konrad’s Hold on Pandora.
- Slaughterstar 3000 - You’ll need to accept the side quest “Slaughterstar 3000” which you’ll need to find at the northwestern tip of Nekrotafeyo. Once you’ve done so, return to Sanctuary, interact with the console and select it as a destination.
Proving Grounds are races against the clock, in which you’ll fight through three areas filled with enemies and attempt to beat a tough boss in 30 minutes or less. Once you’ve defeated the final boss, a chest will spawn and it’ll drop you some lovely loot.
Just like the Circle of Slaughter, there are also optional objectives to complete within the time limit if you’re after extra rewards. For example, “Complete Trial without dying”, “Kill boss with 25:00 remaining”, “Find Fallen Guardian” and more.
There are a grand total of six Proving Grounds across the map, and in order to unlock them you’ll need to find their activation beacons. You’ll then go back to Sanctuary, look at your map and fast travel to these newly unlocked destinations.
It’s best to take on the Proving Grounds with a premade group as the enemies will scale up in difficulty with more players. You can also matchmake with a random party but you won’t have control over which Trial you take on, so bear this in mind.
We’ve linked a video by Arekkz Gaming below which’ll take you through how to unlock the Proving Grounds and where each of them are located:
Do consider giving the video a thumbs up and subscribing if you find it helpful!
In Borderlands 2, you earn Badass Tokens for completing challenges while progressing through the game. You can invest them in various Badass bonuses which increase your stats and your overall Badass Rank. Unfortunately, it’s a very thin progression system where you don’t feel the merits of your hard work.
Borderlands 3’s Guardian Rank system is a more fleshed out version of its predecessor which kicks in once you’ve completed the game. It also works a little differently, which we’ll explain below.
As you progress through your second playthrough of Borderlands 3, you’ll level up a separate Guardian Rank bar - separate from your EXP bar - which will reward you with Guardian Tokens once you’ve dinged.
You can then spend these Guardian Tokens in the Guardian Rank screen, either on incremental bonuses to stats or on special Guardian Rewards/Perks.
Guardian Rewards are unique perks which you can purchase with a lump sum of Guardian Tokens. They are actually pretty powerful and almost act as an extension of the three class specific skill trees.
For an in-depth look at Guardian Ranks, Tokens and Rewards, make sure you head on over to our Guardian Ranks guide.
Borderlands 3 has four story campaign add-ons scheduled to release between now and September 2020.
These four story campaign add-ons will feature new missions and challenges too.
On top of these four DLC releases, there will be free content updates hitting the game as well. The first of these is a Halloween-themed event called Bloody Harvest. It’ll introduce spooky side missions, activities and unique loot.
After this, Maliwan Takedown will release. This expansion will add a whole new map to Borderlands 3, new enemies, a new boss and plenty of powerful new rewards.