I'm late to the Borderlands 2 party, but I picked up the Season Pass for a steal. I'm still only in the teens as far as my level is concerned. However, there are now 3 DLC packs out and I've got them all installed. Sometimes it's tempting to go away from the main quest and just jump into something new and potentially interesting.

In BL1, I played through the DLC between playthroughs of the game, treating the add-ons like continuations of the game post-final-boss. I'm not sure if this is a good idea in BL2 (or even if it was smart in BL1, honestly...)

Is there a recommended level for starting the DLCs? Will I encounter enemies that are too hard if I go early, or too easy if I go late? Are there some weapons or quest rewards that I really can't get the most of until after I'm a certain level?

2 Answers 2


TL;DR: On Normal, Scarlett's and Torgue's campaigns are supposed to be taken alongside the main quest, at any point since level 15. Hammerlock's and Tina's - after the main quest. On TVHM and UVHM - any campaign at any point.

Campaign DLCs scale to player's level when you first visit them, but with restrictions in Normal and TVHM. These are:

  • Normal:
    • Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty - levels 15 to 30.
    • Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage - levels 15 to 30.
    • Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt - levels 30 to 35.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep - levels 30 to 35.
  • True Vault Hunter Mode: all DLC scales up to level 50.

Upper bounds is what I observe when returning my level 50 from TVHM. Lower bounds are what I see when jumping there with a level 8 character.

Big Game Hunt and Dragon Keep are the ones definitely designed to be taken after the main quest - other two are actually a breeze if you are level 33-34 after the main quest, and especially when you complete them at 36-38.

Side note: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is NOT similar to Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot - it is not a ladder of lots of rounds on a few arenas. It is what Underdome should have been - a full-sized quest line built around a tournament and several arena (and non-arena) battles (and non-battles).

  • The level ranges are different for playthrough 2, they appear to effectively scale from 30+ to 50 even without playing through the main story. Not sure about Hammerlock's DLC though
    – Ben Brocka
    Jan 16, 2013 at 21:31
  • @kalina The lower bounds do exist. I've just jumped to Pirates with a level 8, and pirates were level 14-16. Nothing impossible, of course, but definitely not something to recommend.
    – Orc JMR
    Jan 17, 2013 at 1:16
  • @BenBrocka Italicized, ho! :-)
    – Orc JMR
    Jan 17, 2013 at 1:25
  • If you have the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack, will enemies in TVHM / Playthrough 2 hit a level cap at around level 50, or will they also scale with you until level 61? Also, do you have any info for the recently released 'Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep' DLC? Jun 26, 2013 at 13:09
  • @galacticninja Added TTAODK. Regarding UVHM I did not test yet, and doubtfully will today - my highest char is just level 50.6, and I have loads of work today.
    – Orc JMR
    Jun 26, 2013 at 13:47

The Mechromancer DLC, if you have it, is active from the start - but to get any benefit out of it is dependant on you choosing the Mechromancer class and doesn't really have any level requirement of game experience requirements. If you only have the season pass it is unlikely that you will have this DLC.

Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty can be played at any point during the game, the contents of the DLC will of course scale up to your level if you play it late on but it's pretty easy to tackle regardless of what level you attempt it at.

Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is an Arena/Horde style DLC similar to Moxxi's Battledome in Borderlands 1 - this again scales up to whatever your level is and can be completed very early in the game as well.

Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt is recommended once you've completed the first playthrough of the game and once you've reached at least level 30. In comparison to the other DLCs it is pretty tough.

  • I believe Big Game Hunt won't unlock until you've completed the main story. Which means that It's not that great for level 50 characters because it doesn't include an increase to the level cap.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 16, 2013 at 16:38
  • The Big Game Hunt DLC, is it recommended to play it in the first playthrough, after you've beat the final boss, or to do it at the start of your second playthrough? What I mean is, does it make a difference, difficulty-wise? Jan 16, 2013 at 19:49
  • 2
    Don't forget the 3rd DLC has some spoilers for the game's ending
    – Ben Brocka
    Jan 16, 2013 at 21:36
  • @MBraedley No, I've just tested, you can jump to Hunter's Grotto at will at level 8. Stuff is still level 30, though.
    – Orc JMR
    Jan 17, 2013 at 1:26
  • @OrcJMR: Then maybe the DLC story is just locked until you complete the main story.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 17, 2013 at 3:14

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