After completing the main campaign in Borderlands 3 you’ll likely want to test your skills in True Vault Hunter Mode. TVHM is basically this game’s version of New Game + and it can be very challenging, even when you’re prepared.
If you want to tackle this harder version of the game then there are some tips you can implement to get on better footing before going in, some mechanics you need to be aware of, and how to make the most of this awesome challenge.
10 Hit 50 First
It’s highly recommended that before you tackle TVHM you spend some time in Normal to get your character up to level 50. Not only does it make you stronger and more capable of handling the tougher enemies, but it’ll make your experience in TVHM more rewarding.
By starting out TVHM on level 50 all of the level-based rewards will be maxed out, that way you don’t have to micromanage when you complete quests or worry if you need to put any off until later.
9 Finish All Side Quests
A great way to level up to your max is to complete all of the side quests you left unfinished or didn’t get to. TVHM will completely restart your quest progress meaning even if you complete everything in Normal you’ll have those missions fresh and waiting for you in the new mode.
Also pay attention to any that you have trouble with and make some notes for when you have to tackle the much harder version in TVHM. Even knowing the strategies and tactics to use can remove headaches you might have later.
8 Gear Up
As long as you’re grinding up to level 50 make sure that your gear is up to snuff as well. You don’t need top of the line in everything as that’s what your tackling TVHM for, but if you barely squeaked past the last boss then consider getting a few upgrades.
Odds are, some of those side quests will get you some nice rewards, but consider a round or two in endgame content like Circle of Slaughter or Proving Grounds. Again, don't go crazy and spend too long grinding, just get a better gun or two if you found yourself struggling towards the end.
7 Raiders Of The Lost Rock
One mission you should definitely hit up before making the switch to TVHM is the Raiders Of The Lost Rock. The quest is rather unremarkable and the XP and cash rewards aren’t all that exciting. But what does make it worth doing is the Grenade Mod you receive.
You may have heard of the infamous Porcelain Pipe Bomb as it was used to instantly kill bosses via a glitch before patches fixed it. Even then it’s still a powerful tool in your arsenal and should be on your checklist before leaving Normal behind.
6 Know Your Build
It’s possible you might have coasted along in Normal with your haphazard build of random skills. While you can beat the Normal game this way you will get crushed in TVHM. Knowing your character, and more importantly, the build you're using, is key to succeeding in TVHM.
Keep in mind you don’t have to use an overpowered build if you don’t want to, and despite what players say there is more than one way to play any given character. Just spend some time asking yourself why you have certain skills chosen and if those points could be better spent elsewhere.
5 Normal Is Not True
TVHM changes the game by giving your enemies better health and better damage. What may have worked for you in Normal might not be feasible in TVHM given these changes. This can apply to your own character build or even boss strategies.
Because of this be prepared for some experimentation. Once easy fights might suddenly become brutal, don’t get frustrated. Upgrade your gear, try a new tactic, tweak your build, and try again. Half the fun of this new mode is feeling like you’re playing a brand new game, so don’t be surprised if you need to learn how to play again, in a manner of speaking.
4 Power Lies In Your Gear
Once you hit level 50 there’s very little you can do to improve your character directly. The key to continued growth and power is through their gear. Better weapons, class mods, grenade mods, and shields are how you grow stronger.
It can be a little jarring if you utilized leveling to beat difficult bosses in Normal. The only way to progress if you’re struggling is to get your hands on better items and tweak your strategy.
3 Elemental Weaknesses Are Key
It’s also important to keep in mind that Elemental weaknesses have a much greater impact in TVHM. You are much more vulnerable to elemental effects, but so are your enemies. Playing this game of rock, paper, scissors by wielding weapons strong to whatever you're facing is a game-changer in TVHM.
It’s safe to say you’ll want a general loadout that can handle any situation and other loadouts based around particular elements. Then when you know you’re facing mostly humans you can pull out your fire setup and start roasting foes.
2 Grind Some Loot
If you haven’t noticed by now this game is largely about accumulating better loot so you can find better loot. You will be spending a lot of time grinding for better gear by farming sites and slaying bosses.
Fortunately, TVHM is the golden mode to be in as loot rates and rarity chances are much better. The stronger bosses and enemies are offset by higher odds of a legendary item dropping. Find your favorite farming spots as you progress and start grinding when you feel yourself struggling.
1 Mayhem As Soon As You Can
Because grinding is so important to your success in TVHM, you should strongly consider applying Mayhem as soon as you can. Having Mayhem added onto your TVHM run will increase the drop and rarity rates even further than they are in TVHM mode.
Be warned, however, that Mayhem on top of TVHM is the most difficult way to play this game. The enemies will be a lot more brutal and you’ll have to play at the top of your game. But if you find things are getting too easy in TVHM, or you want to maximize your efficiency during farming runs, then get Mayhem up and running.
A feat only a true Dovahkiin could pull off.