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Borderlands 3 weapons manufacturers and weapon rarity explained

Everything you need to know about the new, and returning, weapon manufacturers in Borderlands 3.

Borderlands 3 will continue the series tradition of having a range of different weapon manufacturers all competing for your business. From shotguns to assault rifles to rocket launchers, they have the guns - as long as you have the money.

With over one billion guns available, you'll be able to pick and choose from both new manufacturers, such Altas, and old favourites, including Hyperion and Maliwan.

Each manufacturer builds their guns with a special feature that is unique to their company. For example, Torgue ensures that each of their weapons has the ability to deal out explosive damage, while Tediore turns your gun into a grenade when thrown.

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Confirmed new and returning Weapon Manufacturers in Borderlands 3

Nine weapon manufacturers have been confirmed for Borderlands 3 - this is a mixture of new companies and returning favourites. Unless, of course, your favourite manufacturer was Bandit from Borderlands 2 - sorry Bandit fans.

The seven returning weapon manufacturers are:

  • Dahl
  • Hyperion
  • Jakobs
  • Maliwan
  • Tediore
  • Torgue
  • Vladof

This leaves us with two new weapon manufacturers, with a range of new weapons for you to experiment with:

  • Atlas

Technically Atlas weaponry made an appearance in Borderlands, but they've been absent from the series since this game. Mostly thanks to their defeat at the hands of the original Vault Hunter team at the end of this game.

Now Atlas are back and under new management, making their weapon design quite different from what it originally was.

  • COV

COV sounds suspiciously like an acronym for Children of the Vault - the cult that will serve as the villains for Borderlands 3.

Cover image for YouTube video4 Secrets Hidden in Borderlands 3 (And 3 Answers We Need!) - Borderlands 3 trailer questions

Possible Shield Manufacturers in Borderlands 3

You wouldn't make it very far on Pandora if you didn't have a good shield keeping you safe from harm (at least for a little while).

Most gun manufacturers in the Borderlands series also produce shields - they don't want all their customers to die!

While we don't know which manufacturers will be producing shields in Borderlands 3, thanks to the previous games we can make some good guesses:

  • Dahl
  • Hyperion
  • Maliwan
  • Tediore
  • Torgue
  • Vladof

We don't know whether Atlas or COV will be producing shields yet.

There are, however, two specialist shield manufacturers in the Borderlands series. Whether they're appearance in Borderlands 3 still needs to be confirmed, but we wouldn't be surprised to find their wears being sold at the nearest medical vending machine.

These shield specialists are:

  • Anshin
    • Anshin shields can increase your maximum health.
    • They can also resist elemental damage depending on what kind of elemental damage you received last. If you took fire damage last, for example, then the shield will make you resistance to fire damage, until the next elemental attack you experience.
  • Pangolin
    • Pangolin shields have a highly increased shield capacity, but lowers your maximum health.
Not only will Maliwan be offering you new weapons in Borderlands 3, but they're also involved in the storyline.

Weapon Rarity explained in Borderlands 3

Before we delve into the manufacturers themselves, it's worth explaining the Borderlands weapon rarity.

Weapon rarity is divided into a set of ranks - the higher ranking your weapon, the more powerful it will be. It's also more likely to have a special feature, such as having an elemental effect or consuming more ammo per shot.

Each rank is assigned a colour, allowing you to quickly establish how rare each gun is.

The six main ranks that could appear in Borderlands 3, judging from Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel are:

  • Level 1 - Colour: White - Rank: Common
  • Level 2 - Colour: Green - Rank : Uncommon
  • Level 3 - Colour: Blue - Rank: Rare
  • Level 4 - Colour: Purple - Rank: Epic
  • Level 5 - Colour: Orange - Rank: Legendary
  • Level 6 - Colour: Magenta - Rank: E-Tech (unconfirmed for Borderlands 3)

More weapon level and rank have appeared in the Borderlands series, but their appearance has been tied to DLC, so we don't know yet whether they'll appear in Borderlands 3.

Each weapon also has a requirement level to use. This level increases alongside your Vault Hunter's level, meaning if your Vault Hunter is at level 20, then you're more likely to find a gun that require level 20 to use it.

A selection of uncommon and rare weapons.

Borderlands 3 has arrived! Check out our skill tree guides for Amara, Fl4k, Moze and Zane.

If you're looking for more challenges to complete, check out our guides on the Dead Claptraps, Broadcast Towers, Eridian Writing,Hijack Targets, Legendary Hunts and Typhon Logs and Typhon Dead Drops. If you want some easy rewards, consult our Borderlands 3 Shift Codes and VIP Codes page.

When you've finished Borderlands 3, visit our guides on Guardian Rank and Rewards, Mayhem Mode and True Vault Hunter mode to learn more about what you unlock in the post-game.

What we know about Atlas weapons in Borderlands 3

Atlas returns after being absent from Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Their absence probably has something to do with their failure to raid the vault in the original Borderlands game, but they're under new management now and are ready to sell you some guns.

In Borderlands 3, the new and improved Atlas invites you to try smart bullets. All you have to do is hit your foe with a tracker tag and then release a wave of smart bullet, which track down your enemy and do the killing for you.

While we don't know what kind of guns Atlas is producing in Borderlands 3 yet, we do know what they sold in Borderlands:

  • Shotguns
  • Pistols (Originally divided into Revolver and Repeaters in Borderlands)
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Machine Guns (Replaced with Assault Rifles in Borderlands 2)

What we know about COV weapons in Borderlands 3

We don't know much about COV yet, other than that they are a completely new weapon manufacturer in the Borderlands universe and that their name is suspiciously similar to Children of the Vault - the cult villains of Borderlands 3.

They boost that their guns have "infinite" ammo magazines, allowing you to go about your damage-dealing in peace. Except for when the gun overheats of course.

What we know about Dahl weapons in Borderlands 3

Dahl has been selling its wares throughout the Borderlands series. Militaristic in nature, Dahl markets its guns towards soldiers and mercenaries.

Starting in Borderlands 2, all Dahl guns were given the ability to burst fire ammo while zoomed in on a target. This is both a blessing and a curse, because, while burst firing can rip your enemy to shreds, it will also eat its way through your ammo. It's an ideal feature for assault rifles and SMGs, but Dahl sniper rifles are only useful for wasting ammunition.

In Borderlands 3, Dahl will offer you the ability to toggle between different fire modes depending on your play style, your situation and your desire to cause harm.

Dhal has previously sold:

  • Assault Rifles
  • Pistols
  • SMGs (Submachine guns)
  • Sniper Rifles

What we know about Hyperion weapons in Borderlands 3

Despite suffering major losses in both Borderlands 2 and Tales from the Borderlands, Hyperion is still managing to keep up with the competition. Even if they lost their leader Handsome Jack.

The key feature of all Hyperion weapons is that they always start off with a low level of accuracy, but, the longer you hold the trigger down, the more accurate they become. Depending on the type of gun you're using, this can either be a really annoying feature or quite useful. Hyperion submachine guns, for example, can easily mow down enemies, while the sniper rifles require almost too much patience.

In Borderlands 3, Hyperion will keep this key feature of holding the trigger down for increased accuracy, but they will also have mounted shields to help protect you on the battlefield.

Previously, Hyperion has sold:

  • Pistols
  • Shotguns
  • SMGs (Submachine guns)
  • Sniper Rifles

What we know about Jakobs weapons in Borderlands 3

Jakobs brings a feeling of old wild west to the deserts of Pandora, with their cowboy-inspired designed and fancy sniper scopes.

Jakobs guns are known for their high fire rates and high overall weapon stats, but are let down by their slow reload speed. Jakobs sniper rifles tend to be some of the best in each Borderlands game, thanks to their high damage-per-hit rate.

In Borderlands 3, Jakobs guns will be able to deliver critical hits to your enemies and their bullets can ricochet towards other enemies.

In the past Jakobs have produced:

  • Pistols
  • Shotguns
  • Assault Rifles
  • Sniper Rifles

What we know about Maliwan weapons in Borderlands 3

If you're looking for an elemental weapon, then Maliwan is the best manufacturer for you.

Maliwan focuses exclusively on creating elemental weapons, which means their guns have the highest chance of inflicting an elemental effect upon your foes. They also tend to have a quick reload speed. The downsides are that their guns tend to have smaller magazine size and low damage-per hit ratios.

In Borderlands 3, Maliwan weapons will allow you to toggle between two different elements. You will also be able to charge your gun to guarantee dealing elemental damage on your enemies through the power of rapid firing.

In previous Borderlands games, Maliwan have sold:

  • Pistols
  • SMGs (Submachine guns)
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Rocket Launchers

What we know about Tediore weapons in Borderlands 3

Reloading can be such a hassle - slowing switching out the ammo, while your enemies try to shoot you in the head.Well, Tediore has the solution for you!

To reload your weapon, simply throw it away and a new, re-loaded, version will 'digistruct' in your hand. Plus, the abandoned weapon will explode like a grenade.

This special ability gives Tediore the quickest reload speed out of all the manufacturers. The downside is that if you prematurely reload your gun, you will lose any of the spare ammo left inside.

Tediore will continue its tradition of turning thrown guns into grenades in Borderlands 3.

Tediore has previously sold:

  • Pistols
  • SMGs (Submachine guns)
  • Shotguns
  • Rocket Launchers

What we know about Torgue weapons in Borderlands 3

Do you like explosions? Like lots and lots of explosions? Then Torgue is just want you are looking for.

Mister Torgue High-Five Flexington, owner of Torgue, ensures that every Torgue gun has the ability to cause explosive elemental damage. Torgue guns also deal area-of-effect damage, allowing you to damage more than one enemy. Unfortunately, Torgue guns don't have the best accuracy.

Torgue promises to bring even more explosions in Borderlands 3. You will have the ability to switch between regular and sticky projectile fire modes. If you chose to go with sticky projectiles, then make sure you hit your target multiple times, because they'll all explode at once.

Previous, explosion inspired, Torgun gun types include:

  • Pistols
  • Shotguns
  • Assault Rifles
  • Rocket Launchers

What we know about Vladof weapons in Borderlands 3

Vladof guns allow you to release a rainstorm of bullets down upon your enemies and they allow you to do it fast.

Vladof weapons are all about that high rate-of-fire, sadly, compared to the other companies, their guns have some of the lowest stats. To combat this, however, some of their guns do have elemental effects, which can help turn the tide of a battle.

In Borderlands 3, Vladof is staying true to its commitment to bring you rapid-firing, ammo guzzling, guns. An added bonus comes in the form of under-barrel attachments that will add new effects to your Vladof gun, including tasers, rocket tubes and additional gun barrels.

In the past Vladof have sold:

  • Assault Rifles
  • Pistols
  • Rocket Launchers
  • Sniper Rifles

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Lottie Lynn

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Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.