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Gaige Base Informations and Skill Guide

Table of Contents

Basic Information

This document contains important and reliable information about skill trees, general builds, and useful information for Gaige. This list was compiled and put together by the members of the BL2 chat in the Borderlands community discord. While not all of the builds listed will tackle all of the content in the game (looking at you, Voracidous), they will work for general play and be useful throughout all levels of the game. All of the gear and general information listed in this guide is up-to-date with the Fight For Sanctuary DLC, and is fine tuned to show the best gear and data for Gaige

Gaige is the Mechromancer class of Borderlands 2. Her kit is very different compared to the entire rest of the game, with some odd skills (That don’t seem so great at first) as well as an untraditional playstyle. She’s not very beginner friendly, as she almost makes BL2 into an entirely different game. That said, she is very powerful, and very versatile as well. Her Action Skill is Deathtrap (DT), her pet robot. DT serves as a good distraction, and a powerful ally if you spec properly. Gaige has great shield usage and ridiculously high gun damage.

Skill Overview and Guide

Deathtrap: For her Action Skill, Gaige summons a robotic ally that will attack enemies. DT is a great way to overt enemy attention, having them lay into the giant metal death machine trying to eviscerate them. DT also does some good damage, able to clear out hordes of mobs if specced correctly.

Values on skills are not mentioned unless they are crucial to explaining how impactful a certain skill is. Feel free to look at the values in-game or by visiting Lootlemon.com

Best Friends Forever Tree

Gaige’s leftmost tree, with a lot of shield-based skills, as well as great boosts for Deathtrap. Focused on general survivability for Gaige, with some choice DPS skills throughout to make it a very good tree in general for all Gaige specs.

Close Enough: Gives Gaige’s bullets a chance to ricochet, dealing 50% reduced damage but homing in on enemies. At 5/5, your bullets have a 50% chance to ricochet. One of the skills that should always be picked up, there is no reason to not want to have this skill (works amazing in conjunction with Anarchy). Note that the Fibber Pistol and Pimpernel Sniper Rifle extra Bullets do NOT suffer the damage penalty from this skill. Also, the splash damage from weapons do NOT suffer this damage penalty either.

Cooking Up Trouble: While your magazine is full, Gaige regenerates health. At 5/5, it gives 2% Health / Sec. This is great for healing in between combat, and can make you a little less reliant on Moxxi weapons.

Fancy Mathematics: You gain a bonus to your Shield’s Recharge Rate and Recharge Delay based on how low your current HP is. The bonuses themselves would be powerful, but the condition makes it not worth it to spend points in this skill over others (such as Blood Soaked Shields, mentioned later in the skill guide).

Buck up: Deathtrap restores the shields of one ally. Great for when u dont have kill skills, although it can work in some buggy ways such as giving enemies shields instead of Gaige. This skill is mostly personal preference.

The Better Half: Gaige gains increased Fire Rate when her mag is past half-empty. 60% at 5/5. Best used on weapons with high mag (letting the bonus be active for a long time) or weapons with low mag (to get down to the bonus more often). An amazing skill that should be picked up in pretty much every Gaige build.

Unstoppable Force: Kill Skill. Upon killing an enemy, Gaige will regen Shield and gain Movement Speed. This is fantastic when paired with an Anarchist COM that boosts the Skill, allowing you to fly through the battlefield.

Upshot Robot: While Deathtrap is active, kills you or DT get will grant a Stack of Upshot Robot. Each Stack gives an extra 5 seconds onto DT’s duration, and gives DT and Gaige both 4% Melee Damage. All Stacks are lost when Deathtrap’s duration ends.

Potent as a Pony: Increases Max Health. You can do some cool things with Health Stacking, via this Skill.

Made of Sterner Stuff: Gives a small amount of Damage Reduction to you and DT, and gives Melee Damage to DT. It is not listed on the card, but a SINGLE POINT gives Gaige 50% Damage Reduction on Incendiary Damage over Times.

Explosive Clap: Deathtrap does a long windup animation, before clapping and dealing a hefty chunk of damage, as well as knocking back and staggering enemies. This skill is only really picked up for its staggering ability, which is very useful – and is worth the 1 point investment.

20% Cooler: Increases Action Skill Cooldown Rate. Generally a useful skill to spec if you are this far down in the tree, more uptime for Deathtrap to further increase survivability through aggro relief, and is very useful for Deathtrap centric builds

Sharing is Caring: Gives Deathtrap an exact copy of your equipped Shield at activation, with all bonuses. This means DT will get Roid Damage, that does apply to any Melee Attacks he does. Swapping your shield after summoning DT will not affect the shield DT is using.

Little Big Trouble Tree

Gaige’s middle tree, focused a lot on dealing shock damage and status effects in general

Do note that status effect builds in BL2’s endgame generally don’t do too well. They will definitely work, especially if you are playing at Overpowered Level 0, but do not expect to get the highest damage out of them.

More Pep: Increases Status Effect Chance. The increase is doubled for Shock Damage. This increase is based on the already existing Status Effect Chance (so a 40% chance turns into a 44% chance at 5/5, or 48% if it’s shock).  Not that impactful of a skill, but with an abundance of points you are free to spend a few points in the skill.

Myelin: Increases Shield Capacity, and gives Shock Resistance. A great skill to always pick up, grants more capacity that works amazing with the other shield survival skills that Gaige has.

Shock Storm: When scoring a Critical Kill, a tesla-like Electric Storm will spawn where the dead enemy was, dealing solid Shock Damage over time to nearby enemies and stripping Shields. This is also nice for Life Steal with Moxxi Weapons. The tesla is also created when Deathtrap kills an enemy.

The Stare: Grants the ability for Deathtrap to shoot a laser that sweeps across the battlefield. It’s generally seen as a mediocre skill due to low damage, and spending the point in the skill can also mean that it takes up space from some of the other, better Deathtrap abilities.

Strength of Five Gorillas: Increases Melee Damage for both you and Deathtrap. Good skill to have in general use if you are playing a more Deathtrap focused build, but otherwise the value you get from this skill is pretty minor. Even for a melee Gaige build, With Claws (mentioned later in this guide) overshadows it pretty heavily. However, anything helps.

Electrical Burn: When your Electrocute Status Effects deal damage to enemies, there is a 4% (per level) chance they will burst into flames and take Burn Damage. The amount of Burn Damage is based on the Electrocute damage dealt. Can be used to offset enemy health regen.

Shock and “AAAGGGGHHH”: Reloading your gun causes an Electrical Explosion, damaging nearby enemies. Only really taken with the excess skill points given at level 80, as it is only a 1 point skill. This can destroy elemental barrels so be aware of that.

Evil Enchantress: Kill Skill. Killing an enemy increases the damage that your Burn, Electrocute, or Corrode status effects deal by 6% per level for a short period of time.

One Two Boom: Deathtrap occasionally shoots a slow-moving shock projectile which explodes when you shoot at it, dealing shock damage. It is very awkward to play around effectively and can do lackluster damage, so it is not recommended. And like with The Stare, this can take up space from Deathtrap’s other abilities.

Wires Don’t Talk: Increases all Shock and Electrocute damage you inflict by 3% per level. Great skill to pick up if you are this far down into the tree, as elemental damage boosts are multiplicative with other damage bonuses (mainly Anarchy’s gun damage). Stacks additively with shock elemental relics, however.

Interspersed Outburst: Not shooting an enemy for a short time grants you a stack of Interspersed Outburst (up to 5 stacks). The next time you shoot an enemy, all stacks of Interspersed Outburst are consumed, dealing a little bit of slag damage. The more stacks are consumed, the greater the chance of slagging the target (it also says that it increases damage, but it doesn’t. Only slag chance). Good skill in general, and is picked up rather frequently – although the chance to slag is on the low side, with no swap speed, Gaige has problems slagging – which this skill helps with. Note that on some platforms and for some people, this skill will cause your game to crash because of excess particles.

Make it Sparkle: Shooting Deathtrap with an elemental weapon charges him with that element, causing his melee attacks to do a massive amount of additional damage of that element. 

Ordered Chaos Tree

The core of Gaige as a whole, and what people think of when they think of Gaige. A majority of your damage boosts are in this tree, as well as a lot of other defining skills

It is mandatory to spend points in both Smaller, Lighter, Faster and Anarchy to move down further into the tree.

Smaller, Lighter, Faster: Increases your reload speed +6% but decreases your mag size -1% per level. A nice reload speed boost, and the magazine size penalty isn’t noticable unless you are using guns with very low magazine sizes (guaranteed to always reduce your mag size by at least 1 unless you have another way of boosting your mag size higher)

Anarchy: Killing an enemy or fully emptying your guns magazine while in combat grants you a stack of Anarchy (up to 150 stacks without skill boosts). For every stack of Anarchy you have, you gain +1.75% bonus gun damage, but your accuracy is decreased by -1.75%. Prematurely reloading your gun or dying removes all stacks of Anarchy. Anarchy stacks are quickly lost while in Fight For Your Life.

This is by far Gaige’s strongest skill, and what defines Gaige’s general playstyle, where you play around Close Enough ricocheting missed shots back to enemies due your inaccuracy. However, it is also possible to play at lower anarchy stacks, if you want to try something different.

That being said, it’s still recommended to try to get close to enemies so your bullets end up hitting enemies directly so you get the full damage bonus instead of being reduced by Close Enough. Shotguns work well with this skill because of that, because of their spread of pellets and tendency to want to go close to enemies to begin with.

Preshrunk Cyberpunk: Increases the maximum amount of Anarchy stacks you can have by +50 per level. Great skill to have and to take, it’s always taken in any build using Anarchy (so all builds). Grants the ability to go up to 400 stacks (although not needed outside bossing).
Using a Slayer of Terramorphous class mod boosts this skill allowing you to get to up to 600 stacks, if you unequip the class mod (for example to get another that boosts your damage) you will stay at 600 stacks until you perform an action that would change your Anarchy stacks again, this is sometimes used for Raiding.

Blood Soaked Shields: Killing an enemy immediately restores 20%(per point) of your shields per level, but you lose 1%(per point) of your current health per level (the skill says maximum health, but it is actually based on current health. This makes the health loss very negligible).  One of the best survivability skills in the game, and thus also one of Gaige’s best skills and should always be taken with no exceptions. After getting one kill, your shield immediately recharges to full, granting insane survivability methods through chaining kills. Also means that it synergizes massively with certain types of shields that require your shield to be active or even full.

Discord: Prematurely reloading activates Discord granting you +65% accuracy, +25% fire rate, and +3% per second health regeneration. You constantly lose Anarchy stacks while Discord is active. Discord can be shut off by prematurely reloading again. Always should be picked up, if for nothing more but utility, so you aren’t scared of reloading and losing all of your Anarchy stacks. Has a great build tied to constantly looping Discord.

(Discord looping is a playstyle that is based around getting the stacks from rational anarchist for example and then activating discord for the accuracy fire rate and hp regen buff and then u keep repeating/looping those movements in a low anarchy esque playstyle).

Typecast Iconoclast: Whenever you get a stack of Anarchy there is a 6% per level chance you gain another stack. Useful for stacking Anarchy.

Rational Anarchist: If you have 0 stacks of Anarchy, the next time you would gain an Anarchy stack you instead gain 25 stacks.

The Nth Degree: Every Nth bullet that hits an enemy will ricochet towards another nearby enemy. (This skill cannot be activated on weapons that don’t fire bullets (rocket launchers, Carnage, Torpedo, KerBlaster etc.)). This skill has immediate diminishing returns for every point you put in after the first, so 1 point is generally enough. But you are also welcome to fully max the skill out for even better mob clearing.

Gear Guide

The highlighted colors match the rarities of the items in-game. Effervescent/rainbow rarity is highlighted with this color, and non-uniques with this color.


Assault RiflesHail, Bekah, Kitten, Peak Opener
Honorable Mentions: Vladof Rifle/Spinigun, Jakobs Gatling Gun, Sawbar, Lead Storm, Ogre, Seeker

Shotguns: Twister, Conference Call, Heartbreaker, Torgue Ravager, Striker, Orphan Maker, Flakker, Omen
Honorable MentionsInterfacer, Blockhead, Butcher, Hyperion Thinking, Jakobs Quad, Hydra, Unicornsplosion / Swordsplosion, Jolly Roger, Dog, Carnage

Pistols: Fibber, Lady Fist
Honorable Mentions: Unkempt Harold, Maliwan Dart, Vladof Anarchist, Little Evie, Maggie, Stinger, Hornet, Hector’s Paradise

SMGs: Tattler
Honorable Mentions: Sand Hawk, Bitch, Florentine, Lascaux, Good Touch, Bad Touch, Hyperion Plasma Casters, Orc, Crit, Actualizer

Sniper RiflesPimpernel, Pitchfork, Longbow
Honorable MentionsHot Mama, Elemental Vladof Droogs / Lyuda, Amigo Sincero

Launchers: Vladof Topneaa, Norfleet, Hive
Honorable MentionsMaliwan PBFG , Creamer, Nukem, World Burn, Badaboom


Grenades: Crossfire/Bouncing Bonny, Magic Missile x4, Chain Lightning, Fastball, Electric Chair, Storm Front
Honorable Mentions: Quasar, Transfusions

Shields: Black Hole, Antagonist, Blockade, Bee, Evolution
Honorable Mentions: Turtle Shields

Class Mods: Necromancer , Legendary Anarchist, Prodigy
Honorable Mentions: Legendary Catalyst, Slayer Of Terramorphous, Jill Of All Trades, Legendary Roboteer, Punk

Relics: Bone Of The Ancients, Deputy Badge
Honorable Mentions: Sheriff Badge, Blood Of The Ancients, Elemental Relic, Shadow Of The Seraphs


These are items that can be very useful in gameplay, but should be treated as things that support your build rather than something you will be using at all times.

Slagga (SMG)
The Sham (Shield) + Logan’s Gun (Pistol) (Rocket Ammo regeneration)
Trespasser (Sniper Rifle) (hitting Pyro Pete’s mask off of his face. Amigo Sinceiro also works for this)
Grog Nozzle (Pistol) (Healing)

Gameplay Guide

Playstyle: Gaige has a playstyle that is unique to her alone – she is vastly different from the other characters in the game. She can either play around with high or low Anarchy, or no Anarchy at all – she is not as reliant on high stacks as most people say. She can play point blank to the enemies similar to Krieg (generally with lower Anarchy stacks and a Black Hole), or at a longer range with a more Bee centric playstyle. Due to skills such as Blood Soaked Shields, Gaige has some of the best survivability in game – granted you don’t use a Rough Rider.

Action Skill: Gaige’s action skill is to summon her robot, Deathtrap. In terms of raw effectiveness, Deathtrap does not deal much damage towards enemies without really going for a spec that increases said damage (as a side note, Deathtrap’s AI is also quite bad). However, Deathtrap on PC is inferior to Deathtrap on other consoles due to a different scaling, where the PC Deathtrap is a lot worse in comparison. Deathtrap, outside Deathtrap centric builds, is generally used for the aggro relief that he provides (much like Axton’s turret, only mobile).

Basic Mobbing: Gaige excels as a mobbing character, due to her high damage output from skills such as Close Enough, The Better Half and Anarchy, her movability from Unstoppable Force, and her survivability from Blood Soaked Shields, aggro relief from Deathtrap, Made of Sterner Stuff, and Fancy Mathematics. In UVHM, Gaige still mostly requires the use of slag to deal a large portion more of damage. In general, Gaige is rather excellent in terms of her mobbing – able to use a lot of different gear in order to dominate the battlefield. Contrary to popular belief, Gaige does not need 300+ stacks of Anarchy for mobbing, nor does she need to prestack before mobbing – she can run fine with ~150.

Raiding: In general, Gaige is rather dependent on the raid boss in question for her raiding. For almost all raids, prestacking Anarchy is an unofficial requirement for this. She is good in most raids, but the setup takes a majority of the time in order to do the raids. Getting to high stacks for the setup is the major predicament that limits her replayability of raiding, especially for bosses such as Terramorphus that require a save quit to respawn. Basically, her raiding is overall rather good – but time consuming and gear dependent.

Leveling Guide

Simple Leveling Info: Gaige has a rather easy time in her leveling, as she has an easy way out for damage in the early game from skills such as The Better Half and Anarchy, while also being able to fall back onto Deathtrap for damage. She has good survivability from either Blood Soaked Shields or Fancy Mathematics, and isn’t reliant on capstone or tier 5 skills to have a functioning playstyle. Note: Take these guides with a grain of salt. They are only recommendations and templates for levelling and are completely subject to change depending on your own preferences.

Chaos start: LVL 5-31 (NORMAL MODE)

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

This type of setup maximizes the damage you could get from anarchy, while also grabbing Blood Soaked Shields for a good source of early survivability as long as you can keep killing enemies.

BFFS start: LVL 5-32 (NORMAL MODE)

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

A starting skill tree that is more Deathtrap oriented than going down Ordered Chaos, and along with the more constant mitigation you get from BFFs creates a slightly more passive Gaige playstyle.

General Purpose Build: 31-51 (TVHM)

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

Largely combines aspects of the 2 normal mode builds listed above.

Start of UVHM: (UVHM 50 to ~64)

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link


Note: There is no true single best build, every build has its strengths, weaknesses and role. Builds are fairly subjective and boil down to how you want to play. That being said, these are some Gaige builds to try out. Feel free to change these builds around to your liking. (All of these builds are level 80). build/following one here.

Vi’s Generalist Gaige

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

Highly recommended if you just want to play a very traditional Gaige build, focusing entirely on the Anarchy side of Gaige.

This build can also be used for the Discord Looping playstyle mentioned earlier in the guide. This revolves around staying at lower Anarchy stacks and having the buff from Discord active at all times by letting your stacks run out but then regaining them via the Rational Anarchist skill. This can give you the ability to play around with weapons that benefit much more from accuracy as it lets you critically hit enemies much more easily.

Note pt.2: A lot of Gaige’s build diversity doesn’t come from the spec that she runs, but rather, the gear that she uses. She does not have much in terms of skill points that vary, but she has a lot of weapons/shields/etc that can vary drastically. Keep this as a reminder when making your own Gaige build/following one here.

Hybrid (Gun and DT)

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

A build that focuses more on buffing up Deathtrap to work alongside you. For this build you’d want to go down and get the Make It Sparkle capstone from the Little Big Trouble tree, but otherwise is very similar to the Generalist Gaige.

You also want to have some kind of Roid shield (purple-rarity non-uniques, Order, Pun-chee and Hide of Terramorphous all work well) which you give to Deathtrap with the Sharing is Caring skill. Do note that once you have given Deathtrap a particular shield, you are able to switch to another shield without changing the one that is on Deathtrap, so you can switch to a more defensive shield.

You may also spec into the Explosive Clap skill if you want, but it can send enemies flying away too far.

Make It Sparkle allows DT to benefit from elemental health type multipliers, but also simply increases Deathtrap’s damage to begin with by a large amount.

pure melee

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

This build revolves around the With Claws skill, granting Gaige melee damage based on her Anarchy stacks. It is generally not recommended since getting to high Anarchy stacks and maintaining it can be difficult on a melee build, and the final amount of damage you get from the skill even at maximum stacks is not the greatest when you compare it to dedicated melee characters. But! it is absolutely possible if you simply want to experiment with stuff.

As it is a melee build you want a Roid shield of some kind as well as the Rapier and a bladed Rubi (or Grog Nozzle if you don’t mind save editing), and a Roboteer class mod (preferrably legendary) for the extra melee damage boost from both the class mod and the skill boost to Strength of Five Gorillas.

Damage over Time (DoT)

Lootlemon Skill Tree Link

Note: Does not perform the best at OP10, more of a level 80 build.

This build maxes out Evil Enchantress, goes down to Make It Sparkle and spend points in Electrical Burn. Entirely focused on trying to max out status effect damage.

Recommended Items:
Legendary Catalyst class mod (pretty much mandatory. standard one works until you get legendary)
Guns: Infection, Storm
Grenades: Storm Front

Against fire-weak enemies, Electrical Burn is a good source of damage.

Do note that the Storm’s status effect damage from the small shock orbs actually benefit from gun damage increases, and thus are increased by Anarchy.

Extra Information

Derchlands’ Gaige Skill and Gear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L8ED81i750&ab_channel=Derchlands 

Pt.2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0NAwKizZjQ&ab_channel=Derchlands 

Sniper Gaige – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na7K5Xp_PuA&ab_channel=Derchlands 

Giant Fly’s OP10 Vorac on Gaige – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9wnA-eQiRw&ab_channel=GiantFly 

Giant Fly’s Youtube (Gaige speedkill guy very good yes) – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChzGdBBayW6OLJeHuBuCw9A

General BL2 Information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WRECqt1fRNuXYGDZ8Nr05ZeY2HBnSLIwkTkB92XY2Bs/edit

Managed by Discord members:
angst.#5207 (Angst), Vi🌈#7748 (Vi), temmmmy#1010 and IceMagma#3233

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