How to level up quickly in Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 has arrived, and its lengthy campaign features dozens of quests, plenty of new enemies to fight, and several worlds to explore. All of this means that if you're a player that likes to race for max level as soon as you can, you aren't going to be able to do it overnight with Borderlands 3, as the game is designed to give you level ups at a somewhat controlled pace as you progress through the story and side content. However, there are still some ways that you can speed up your leveling process. Here's our guide to leveling up fast in Borderlands 3.

Save side quests for later

Borderlands 3 the Calypso Twins

Borderlands 3 the Calypso Twins

It may seem counter-intuitive to deprive yourself of the extra experience that side missions offer, but it is, in fact, an efficient way of handling side quest experience farming. The side quests aren't going anywhere, and once you get through the main story, you can go back to those unfinished missions and blow through most of them easily since they were balanced for when your character was weaker.

The only downside to this method is the side missions won't be much fun later on since the enemies will be pathetically easy to kill, but when all is said and done, you'll have gotten the same amount of experience as you would have gotten if you did the side content while doing the main story, but at a quicker pace.

Complete all optional objectives

Borderlands 3 Eden-6

Borderlands 3 Eden-6 (Image credit: Gearbox)

Many of the main and side quests of Borderlands 3 will have optional objectives that you can complete. These can range from killing an enemy in a certain way to grabbing a series of items littered around the objective path, and everything between. Doing these optional objectives is worth your time because they add a sizable amount of experience to the amount that you receive for completing the quest that they're attached to.

On top of that, many optional objectives will give you access to otherwise unobtainable loot stashes if you complete them. These don't directly increase your experience, but if you're lucky and get a really good weapon from them, that gun can help you tear through the bad guys at a faster pace moving forward, which does help you level faster.

Kill (almost) everything

psycho mask from Borderlands 3

psycho mask from Borderlands 3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

This is perhaps the most obvious tip we can offer. When playing through Borderlands 3 and exploring its locations, make an effort to try and kill every enemy you can find that's within a few levels of your own. You won't want to hunt down enemies with significantly lower levels than yours because they won't offer much experience, but pretty much every other foe on the battlefield is worth putting bullets into. It may not seem like killing the one or two stragglers that always seem to survive your rampage is worth it, but those extra experience points build up over the hours, and all it will take from you is an extra few seconds of shooting.

Play with pals

Another great way to increase your experience gain is to play through the game with some friends. With each player in the gameplay session, Borderlands 3 ups the power, loot drop chances, and (you guessed it) experience points obtained from every enemy in the game. This will undoubtedly make the game more intense and challenging, but if you and your friends are seasoned Vault Hunters with past Borderlands experience under your belt, you shouldn't have too much trouble, and the rewards are very worth it.

As an added bonus, reviving a downed teammate will net you 100 experience points that you otherwise wouldn't be able to get if you played through the game solo. Every little bit helps!

Get carried

Borderlands 3 zane clone

Borderlands 3 zane clone (Image credit: Gearbox)

If you've got a high-level friend and you just started a low-level character, you can join their session and profit off of their questing and killing like the little experience parasite you are. Because experience is given flatly to everyone in a party, you can get tons of experience by simply hiding and letting your friend do the hard work. Depending on how high of a level your friend is at and how low of a level you are, you can potentially level up so fast that you can literally outpace the level up pop-up and sound effect.

Be aware, though, that you'll level up slower and slower as you get closer to your friends' level. Because of this, this is more of a strategy to get a lower level character off to a strong start, instead of a long-term strategy for hitting max level. Still, when implemented alongside the other tactics we suggested in this guide, it can be very helpful.

Your thoughts

What do you think of the leveling process in Borderlands 3? Have you come up with any strategies to level up quicker? Let me know down below.

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.