Best vault hunters and character builds for solo play in Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 is a game designed with cooperative team play in mind, as all four of its available characters have synergy with one another and work incredibly well together in battle. However, if you don't want to play through the game with friends and would prefer to save the universe all on your own, don't worry. In truth, all of the different Vault Hunters in Borderlands 3 are very competent in solo play — but some of them will better suit lone wolf players than others. Here's our breakdown about which playable characters in Borderlands 3 are the best for solo play and why.

So, who does it come down to?

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The best Vault Hunters for solo play in Borderlands 3 are FL4K the Beastmaster and Moze the Gunner. Zane the Operative and Amara the Siren both have builds that you can work towards over the course of the game that will perform strongly in solo play, but both FL4K and Moze fit into solo play naturally right out of the gate. In addition, like Zane and Amara, they also have builds that work incredibly well in a single-player context.

Now that we've established the two Vault Hunters we're going to be looking at, let's evaluate the strengths of both of them.

FL4K the Beastmaster

Solo players should consider choosing FL4K if they like the idea of having a constant pet at their side. Not only does this furry friend do extra damage to enemies, but they also distract them and take enemy fire, which can be very helpful for the player and will allow them to recover their shielding and health easier. Your pet can die just like you can, but FL4K's Master skill tree has plenty of skills that allow you and your pet to heal each other by doing damage. In this way, you can indefinitely keep your pet alive, provided that you do enough damage and don't let your pet wander into the sights of a foe it can't contend with. In turn, your pet will keep you alive as it rips bad guys to shreds. It's a win-win! You can also redirect your pet's attention by holding down your Action Skill button. This will allow you to order them to fight a specific target you want them to focus on, or save them from a heavy attack from a dangerous enemy.

Another great solo-friendly skill that FL4K can obtain in the later stages of the game is Dominance, which is the final one in the Master skill tree. This skill causes FL4K's melee attack to turn enemies it hits into allies for 12 seconds, giving you two pets on the field. This duration is doubled if you use it on an animal enemy. Once you've maxed out the Master skill tree, the Stalker tree has some skills that also lend well to solo play, such as one that lets your pet revive you when you get knocked down, and a few others that boost your damage when you have high health ⁠— perfect for someone playing defensively, which most lone wolf players should do.

In conclusion, FL4K brings robust health regeneration and a devastating NPC ally to the table for solo players.

Moze the Gunner

If you like the idea of having a gigantic armored mech that will give you an absurd amount of health, Moze should be your Vault Hunter of choice. Unlike FL4K, who heavily leans into health regeneration and distracting foes with a pet ally, Moze approaches combat much more bluntly, throwing a wall of thousands of hit points in the enemy's face and fighting them head-on. The most important skill tree for a solo Moze player will be Shield of Retribution, as it gives you the ability to boost your shield health to ridiculous levels at the cost of some of your regular "flesh" health (the red bar). Your Iron Bear mech, which already has a huge amount of armor health, can also be given a shield of its own thanks to a skill in this tree. Lastly, you can eventually unlock a railgun and rocket pods for the Iron Bear, which are great burst damage weapons. Just because you're using a defensive build doesn't mean you can't dish out some pain!

Once you max out the Shield of Retribution tree, it's a good idea to invest some points into the Demolition Woman tree as well, as several of the first few skills available in it increase the amount of time you can spend in the Iron Bear, as well as reducing the length of the cooldown between Iron Bear uses. The Shield of Retribution tree ensures that you'll be tanky even outside of the mech, but it's still a great idea to maximize the amount of time you can spend inside of the Iron Bear.

In conclusion, Moze is a Vault Hunter that will suit solo players who like to charge into combat head-on and headstrong. Thanks to her crazy high shield health and near-impenetrable Iron Bear mech, only the strongest of foes will even have a chance at breaking through your defenses.

Your thoughts

Who do you think the best Vault Hunter is for solo play in Borderlands 3? Let me know.

Borderlands 3 is available now for $60 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.