Borderlands Pre Sequel Beginner’s Guide: Tips for Conquering Elphis

Check out this extensive guide to get you started in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel!

Borderlands is back with Borderlands The Pre-Sequel and this time, you’re on Pandora’s moon, Elphis. This adds several new features that even veterans of the series have to learn.

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There is low gravity, slam attacks, Oz kits that give oxygen, double jumping, cryo weapons, laser weapons, and more! Things are confusing/frustrating at first, but when you get the hang of it, you’ll be exploring Elphis like a pro, just like Pandora.

I’m here to give you everything you need to know to get you started in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel.

This guide will cover the basics of Borderlands The Pre-Sequel including:


Most of the controls are like your basic shooter. Fire, jump, zoom in, melee, grenades, reload, switch weapons, and crouch.

This series gives each character their own Action Skill as well and Borderlands The Pre-Sequel adds a few more controls.

After reaching level 3, you’ll get a skill point to put into your character’s action skill. This has a cooldown, but lets you use a unique ability for a limited time. I’ll go over each ability later.

Once you get to the moon and get an Oz kit, you’ll have 2 more controls, double jumping and Gravity Butt Slam. Simply jump twice to float over a short distance for the double jump.

While in the air, hold the crouch button to slam down to the ground, causing area damage to nearby enemies.

Both of these abilities use O2/Oxygen. If you do not have any, you cannot complete these abilities. You can get oxygen back easily by going over the areas that shoot it out of the ground, or by going into an area or bubble with O2 in it.

When you lose all your health, you don’t die immediately. Instead, you go into Fight for your Life mode. During this mode, you can continue to shoot and melee, but you crawl on the ground slowly. 

If you get a kill, or get revived by a teammate, you return to the fight. Go up to a fallen teammate and use the on-screen prompts to revive.


Currently, there are 4 characters to choose from:

  • Nisha – Pistol-wielding Lawbringer
  • Wilhelm – Cybernetic soldier/enforcer
  • Athena – Gladiator with a sword and shield
  • Claptrap – Random guy and/or mistake (He’s actually very fun/good)

Each of these characters have their own unique action skill and skill trees. At level 3 you get your action skill and every level after that, up to 50, you get a skill point.

Nisha uses Showdown. During this time, shooting will automatically lock on to the enemies in the area and shoot incredibly fast.

Her skill trees can either focus on melee abilities and living life on the edge, or focus on shooting and even giving her a copy of the pistol she’s using in her other hand.

Wilhelm has Wolf and Saint, helpful drones. Wolf has health and goes around shooting enemies. Saint stays back to restore Wilhelm’s shields or even health if you choose the right skills.

His skill trees can buff up Wolf and/or Saint, or give Wilhelm cybernetic enhancements to make himself stronger.

Athena has a Kinetic Aspis. This is a shield that absorbs damage for a limited time, then launches at the enemy dealing damage based on how much was absorbed.

Her skill trees can make the shield do more damage, give health and shield bonuses to allies, and even revive them instantly. She can also focus on doing elemental damage, or make enemies bleed with her sword.

Claptrap uses Vaulthunter.Exe. This skill selects a random action package that gives Claptrap a special feature and sometimes gives buffs to teammates. For example, one of his skills is called Funzerker. This gives him two guns and he fires non-stop. This also causes all teammates to automatically fire weapons for the full duration of the skill.

His skills trees can focus on being supportive in groups, causing explosions, or being even more random with bonuses to random guns and elements.

Check out the official interactive skill trees to find out exactly what each character can do.


There are 7 types of guns in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel:

  • Assault Rifle – All-around weapon
  • Sniper Rifle – Long-range, high damage
  • Sub-Machine Gun – Fast firing, low damage
  • Pistol – Mid-range, moderate damage
  • Shotgun – Short-range, high damage
  • Rocket Launcher – Extreme damage
  • Laser – Varied damage, comes in beam, blaster, and railgun forms

They also come in different qualities. The colors indicate how good they are.

  • White – Lowest
  • Green – Low
  • Blue – Good
  • Purple – Better
  • Orange – Best

For the most part, you can choose whichever gun you like the most. Some characters get bonus damage to certain types, such as Lasers for Wilhem and Pistols for Nisha.

Check out my How to get Legendaries guide for the best weapons.

Elemental Types 

There are 5 elemental types that can be on your weapons:

  • Shock – Lightning damage that takes shields down fast
  • Incendiary – Fire damage that takes down flesh enemies fast
  • Corrosive – Acid damage that takes down armored enemies fast
  • Explosive – Explosions!
  • Cryo – Ice damage that freezes enemies in place


Besides guns, there are 4 more things your characters can equip:

  • Shield – Grants shields.
  • Class Mod – Grants various buffs and sometimes extra skill points to certain skills.
  • Grenade Mod – Enhances mods by giving them elemental/special effects. Also increases damage.
  • Oz Kit – Gives you O2 to use for multiple functions. Can also give various bonuses and add an element to your Slam attacks.


Moonstones are a type of currency. You can spend them in several ways:

  • Black Market – Buy inventory or ammo expansions for a certain gun type.
  • Bar Drinks – These give buffs for a limited time.
  • Grinder – Use moonstones to get the best possible item of the combination you use. More on this later.

I suggest first getting Backpack upgrades as well as ammo upgrades for the guns you like to use. After getting a decent assortment of guns, use the Grinder and use moonstone grind to get the best items.

The Bar Drinks are not worth it in my opinion, unless you have plenty of moonstones and just need to spend them.


The Grinder is a new feature that lets you put in 3 items of the same quality, and get another item back of a higher quality. 

To unlock the grinder, progress through the story until Janey Springs is in Concordia. Complete the mission “Grinders” to unlock the grinder. If on True Vault Hunter mode, you don’t need to do the mission to unlock.

Visit my How to Use the Grinder guide for full details on using the Grinder.


There are 3 kinds of shops in the game:

  • Bullets – Buys ammo for your guns as well as grenade mods.
  • Health – Buy health when you’re low as well as shields and class mods.
  • Guns – Several guns to choose from.

For the most part you should need to buy bullets and health much. If you constantly open containers, you can get plenty of bullets. You can also get back up from dying easily by killing enemies in Fight for your Life mode.

If you find yourself running low on bullets, even after opening containers, or not being able to kill people fast enough, then be sure to stock up at these shops.

Guns are the big things to save money for. I’ve seen multiple purple and higher weapons at the gun shops and they cost a lot of money. If you don’t need anything else, save up for these, they are only available for a limited time.

There are also slot machines in the bar. You can use money to play the slots in hopes of something good. You can get several nice items this way if you’re lucky and have a lot of money to spend. I wouldn’t spend much time here unless you don’t need to spend money on anything else.

Storing Items

Concordia, the big city on the moon, has 2 places to store items.

The first is the Safe. This allows you to store items to free up space in your backpack. Just go back here to store and retrieve items. Only works on your current character.

The second is the Customs Locker. This has less space, but items in here can be retrieved from other character that you make. Great for transferring lower level items you may need on another character, or Legendary items you’d like to try on someone else.

Badass Rank

By completing challenges, you raise your “Badass Rank”. Doing this gives you tokens to redeem for bonus stats. There are many and you can only choose from certain stats at a time. Here are what’s possible:

  • Melee Damage – Increases damage done with melee attacks.
  • Max Health – Increases maximum health.
  • Shield Capacity – Increases maximum shields
  • Shield Recharge Delay – Decreases amount of time for shield to start recharging after being fully depleted.
  • Shield Recharge Rate – Decreases amount of time it takes for shields to fully recharge after the recharge starts.
  • Gun Damage – Increases damage done by guns.
  • Grenade Damage – Increases damage done by grenades.
  • Recoil Reduction – Reduces recoil on guns.
  • Reload Speed – Makes reloading faster.
  • Elemental Effect Chance – Increases the % of an elemental effect happening.
  • Elemental Effect Damage – Increases the damage done by elemental effects.
  • Critical Hit Damage – Increases damage done by critical hits.

Upgrades to the shield stats are a good starting point for better survivability.

That’s it for my Borderlands Pre Sequel Beginner’s Guide. There is much to tell about this game, so let me know if I missed something or if you have further questions.

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After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel ( and Twitch (