I seem to always find weapons with great stats except for one that completely nerfs the weapon. A sniper with a great critical rate, but 3 rounds and terrible reload speed or a shotgun that does great damage with only one shot.

Am I just getting unlucky or do weapons that roll super stats always come with some drawbacks? If so at higher levels does the chance of drawbacks decrease?

4 Answers 4


Weapons that can be found on Pandora belongs to 11 different manufactures; by design, as described by Borderlands Wikia, each manufacturer favor different weapon attributes:

  • Atlas - Above-average balanced attributes
  • Dahl - High recoil reduction
  • Eridians - Energy-based alien weapons, with no reload, only a recharge time (giving them infinite ammo)
  • Hyperion - Highest accuracy, good recoil reduction, marginally increased damage
  • Jakobs - Highest damage, low rate of fire, heavy recoil, non-elemental
  • Maliwan - Elemental weapons, lower base damage
  • S&S Munitions - Largest magazine capacity, slower reload speeds
  • Tediore - Fastest reload speed, mediocre stats, regeneration
  • Torgue - Balanced attributes, good damage, decreased accuracy and heavy recoil
  • Vladof - Highest rates of fire, lower accuracy
  • Gearbox - Special, most rare by far

This is the main reason because there is no perfect weapon. If you like balanced stats you should probably look for an Atlas weapon.

"Buy an Atlas, and you too will know what it is like to hold the power of the gods in your hands!" - quote by Markus Kinkaid

In conclusion, according to developers there are 17,750,000 different variations of weapons available, therefore luck is an attribute to be taken into account in "Diablo-style" games like Borderlands. And this is also the reason why many players like them a lot.

You should definitively invest 1 or 2 points into luck at your next (real-life) level up. :D


I've played through it a few times now and most weapons have a balance, something really good, but some drawbacks as well. Otherwise a weapon would be particularly overpowered. You have skills that offset the drawbacks.

Personally, the 3 round sniper rifle thing annoys me too, but with the hunter talents, you can increase it to 6 (normal for most other sniper rifles). Faster reload skills, bullets doing extra damage, other talents (depending on class) can make up for the weapon shortcomings.

So through experience I would say that they always come with some drawbacks.

  • That's been my experience as well, I was mainly looking for 'science'
    – Rapida
    May 24, 2011 at 20:12
  • 1
    Well your question got me curious, so I looked around. Here's a wiki article about the weapons: borderlands.wikia.com/wiki/Weapons Even some of the best weapons: borderlands.wikia.com/wiki/Cyclops have drawbacks. So it looks like there are drawbacks to even the best weapons (in this case, low ammo capacity, but it can vary). But it's a sloooooow gun overall.
    – Sorean
    May 24, 2011 at 20:56

I think it is more of a balancing thing. If they just gave you an amazing weapon with all good stats then what incentive would there be to look at any of the other 100,000 weapons?


3 rounds of ammo is actually a buff, not a penalty.

In borderlands, there are several type of weapon components per weapon that alters stats such as spread, damage, reload, clip size, etc, but comes at a tradeoff of lowering another part of the weapon.

For the sniper rifle in particular, the component that reduces clip size to 3 also drastically improves damage. The trick is to offset this with skills, as Sorean suggested, or just use more sniper rifles, switch to other ones with the full clip. Hunters, who specialize in sniper rifles, can increase their clip size and reload speed, making them even deadlier with the sniper rifle. If you take a look at the component effects, you'll see that a lot of them boost one or two factors and take away from something else.

My favorite kind of sniper rifle in borderlands is the semi-automatic ones. Those typically come with a much larger clip size and firing rate at the cost of damage. The Orion, in particular, is awesome because its shot splits into three and ricochets, you can easily spam this at the feet of a group of enemies to take them all out.

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