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Borderlands Soldier Builds: Offensive and Defensive

by: Simon Hill ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This is a guide for the Soldier character, Roland, in Borderlands. In this guide we’ll suggest two builds which will help you get the best out of your skill upgrades.

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    Borderlands is an excellent FPS and RPG hybrid. For more information, read my Borderlands review. There are four characters to choose from and each one has a specific set of skills which can be developed in their skill tree. Like any typical RPG you can level up periodically by building up experience and earning skill points. Those skill points can unlock new abilities but the maximum cap is 50. This means no player can go above level 50 (you only get 45 to spend in the original game and 47 with the add on pack). It also limits your possible choices within the skills tree so you have to specialize and choose the skills you find more appealing.

    Any character can wield any weapon, although specific weapons will probably suit your character better than others. You can check out our Borderlands Weapon Guide for more on the vast array of guns in the game. Here we are going to focus on two builds for the Soldier, offensive and defensive. The Soldier is a good support character with potential medic abilities and some devastating offensive skills.

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    Mandatory Skill

    Borderlands skills   Whatever direction you choose, you’ll have to start out by getting the Scorpio Turret. This skill allows you to deploy a turret which automatically fires at enemies. It lasts for a few seconds and has a cool down period of 100 seconds after which you can spawn another one. It also has a shield. I’d recommend maxing out each skill suggested and you should still have some room for maneuver.

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    Offensive Soldier Build

    As an offensive force, the soldier is a fearsome warrior. We’ll start with the Infantry Tree:

    • First Tier - Impact – Increases bullet damage with all weapon types (+3% for each point up to a maximum of 5).
    • Second Tier - Metal Storm – Killing an enemy will increase your fire rate and reduce recoil for a few seconds (+6% fire rate, 15% recoil reduction).
    • Third Tier - Assault – Increases magazine size and reduces recoil for combat rifles (+9% magazine size, 15% recoil reduction).
    • Fourth Tier - Guided Missile – Your Scorpio Turret can also fire guided missiles (starts at rate of 1 missile every 8 seconds).

    From the Support Tree you should go for the following:

    • First Tier - Defense – Increases your shield recharge rate (+4% per skill point).
    • Second Tier - Quick Charge – Killing an enemy quickly causes your shield to regenerate for a few seconds (+2% per second to start with).
    • Third Tier - Grenadier – Killing an enemy increases your grenade damage rate and lets you regenerate grenades for a few seconds (+2 grenades per minute, +3% damage rate to start with).

    From the Medic Tree you should just choose this:

    • First Tier - Fitness – Increase maximum hit points (+5% to start with).
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    Defensive Soldier Build

    Borderlands map   The soldier also potentially makes a terrific support character and medic. If you want to go that route then this is the build for you, starting with the Medic Tree:

    • First Tier - Aid Station – Allies near your Scorpio Turret regenerate health (1% per second to start with).
    • Second Tier - Cauterize – Shooting your allies heals them and it even works with grenades and rockets (+6% damage to health to start with).
    • Third Tier - Revive – Your Scorpio Turret can sometimes instantly revive nearby allies (+14% revival chance to start with).
    • Fourth Tier - Stat – Killing enemies increases health regeneration for you and any nearby allies for a few seconds (+1% per second to start with).

    From the Support Tree you should choose the following:

    • First Tier - Stockpile – Allies near the Scorpio Turret regenerate ammunition for their currently equipped weapon (+1 to start with).
    • Second Tier - Barrage – Increases the fire rate of your Scorpio Turret (+1 shot per burst to start with).
    • Third Tier - Deplore – Reduces the cool down period for your Scorpio Turret (+20% to start with).
    • Fourth Tier - Supply Drop – Your Scorpio Turret periodically fires out pick ups for you and your allies (every 7 seconds to start with).

Borderlands Character Build Guides

This is a series of guides for the four character classes in Borderlands. You'll find specialised builds listed here to help you make the most of your skill points.
  1. Borderlands Soldier Builds: Offensive and Defensive
  2. Borderlands Berserker Builds: Melee and Explosive
  3. Borderlands Hunter Builds: Sniper and Gunslinger
  4. Borderlands Siren Builds: Melee and Gunslinger