by: Simon Hill
; edited by: Bill Fulks
; updated: 5/12/2012
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There are thousands and thousands of weapons in Borderlands because they are procedurally generated. In this article we offer up a guide to the vast array of weaponry on show.
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Borderlands has Millions of Guns
Most first-person shooter games have a fairly modest line-up of weaponry. There are standard classes of weapons which you expect to appear in every release and Borderlands is no exception in this regard. Where it breaks with tradition is in the ridiculous amount of variation within each weapon class. Developer Gearbox managed to create a system whereby the weapons are procedurally generated. This in effect means they can be invented on the fly by pulling in a random set of possible permutations. They estimate that there are currently over 17 million variations so I’m not going to list them all here.
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Basic Weapon Types
This huge amount of weapon choice sounds daunting but in effect it simply means you’ll encounter lots of new and interesting weaponry as you progress. As a scavenger you’ll sell most of it along the way and only hang on to your best four or five guns. The variation is also slight and the weapons are broken down into distinctive groups which you’ll recognise as standard FPS fare. You can choose to use any weapon regardless of your skill specialization and you’ll build up proficiency with various categories of weapon by using them a lot.
The basic weapon categories are divided up as follows:
Sub Machine Guns
Eridian Weapons (alien technology)
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Each weapon has the following information attached. Handily, the pertinent info pops up in a window when you hover your view over a weapon, so you can decide what is worth picking up. Each weapon in the game has the following ratings:
They take different types of ammunition and can do a vast array of different types of damage from explosive and corrosive to electric and incendiary. This leads to a high degree of specialization and certain weapons are ideal for a specific job. Many of the weapons have bonus abilities, so the rarer they are, the more likely they do a bunch of extra funky things like ammo regeneration. In addition to the guns, you can also use explosives in the game and there are a number of modifications available for grenades.
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Color Coded Rarity in Borderlands
You can find ammunition scattered liberally throughout the world and you’ll also pick up a lot of it from the corpses of your enemies. Make sure you search every area as you progress and open boxes or smash those weird green dung heaps to reveal goodies. There are also vending machines where you can buy or sell weapons and ammo. You’ll commonly find more guns than you can carry so make sure you cherry pick the valuable ones so you can sell them later. Sifting the good stuff is made a lot easier thanks to a color coding system which goes from lowest to highest like this:
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Shields in Borderlands
Just as important as your offensive equipment is your defensive equipment and you can buy shield systems in Borderlands. They work like the typical Halo variety in that once depleted they take a few seconds to fully recharge. The difference here is that there is a huge choice of shield systems and they range from cheap to breaking the bank expensive. When attacking opponents with a shield it is worth remembering that electric weapons which do shock damage are especially effective at taking shields down. A good technique is to use a shock weapon to kill the shield and then switch to something solid to waste your now vulnerable enemy.
There are so many guns in Borderlands that you will eventually find the perfect blend of weaponry for you.