Borderlands 3 tips
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Borderlands 3 leveling guide: maximum levels, maximum fun

Borderlands 3 might be a ridiculously OTT shooter, but it's also an RPG. We can help make the grind a little easier.
Written by Jason Coles
Published on
Thanks to the RPG elements within this looter-shooter, you’re going to want to level up as fast as possible if you're going to get the most out of Borderlands 3.
Getting to the current level cap of 50 not only feels good, but it means that you can really start farming for the best gear, and also gives you full access to your skill tree and builds. So, if you want to know how to level up as quickly as possible, then you’ve come to the right place.
Follow our top tips and you'll be hitting max level in no time at all.

1. Farm the bosses

Moze is a force to be reckoned with when in her mech
Moze is a force to be reckoned with when in her mech
Bosses are a good source of experience as you progress throughout the story. It’s nearly always worth fighting them at least one more time after you’ve defeated them.
This serves two purposes: one, you get that sweet XP dump they are kind enough to give you upon dying, and two, you get an extra chance at getting some great loot. Keep in mind this is only really worth doing immediately after you’ve fought them. Otherwise, you’ll be too high a level until you reach the endgame and they scale up.

2. Complete the story

Contrary to what you might assume, you’re actually best off just blitzing the story and ignoring the side quests.
Ignore your inner completionist: doing this will ensure you’re around level 30 when you finish the story, but it will also unlock Mayhem Mode. This is probably the most crucial factor in leveling up quickly, so you’ll want to do this before even looking at the side quests.

3. Equip the right gear

Borderlands 3's leveling artifact will help you speed to level 50
Borderlands 3's leveling artifact will help you speed to level 50
There are a few items that will help you gain extra XP. For the most part, these are going to be Artifacts.
Artifacts are unique bits of equipment that you unlock as you go through the story, they’re one of the few pieces of equipment that remain good no matter what level you are. Instead, it’s all about what benefits they can offer.
Some of them will have beneficial effects for the speed-leveller with their eyes on the prize, like boosting the amount of experience you get from killing enemies; these are the ones you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

4. Take it to Mayhem 3

Leveling is a breeze with Borderlands 3's Mayhem mode
Leveling is a breeze with Borderlands 3's Mayhem mode
Mayhem Mode is a way of altering the gameplay to make it more difficult. There are technically three stages to this, but you’re going to want to put it straight up to Mayhem 3 if you want to level up fast. Doing so will increase your loot quality by 500%, your experience by 50%, and buff your enemies massively. It will also make the chances of meeting badass enemies much higher, and they give extra experience too. On top of this, it also boosts all of the remaining side quests to your level. You should be able to see where we’re going with this.

5. Plow through the side quests

Once you've hit end game, it's side quest time!
Once you've hit end game, it's side quest time!
That’s right, it’s time to go back and do all of the side quests. It’s best to work your way through the maps as you did in the story. That means starting at Pandora and going from there.
Each side quests will give you a huge chunk of XP, and every enemy you fight within them will also help level you up. It’s a simple way of getting the most out of the side quests, and it also guarantees that the rewards you get from the quests will be more useful.

6. Complete crew challenges

Every map has a bunch of challenges to complete. These include the logs from the first vault hunter, the hunts from both ZER0 and Hammerlock, and usually a Claptrap body to find. These all grant a surprising amount of XP, and doing them will help boost you up even more.
Once again, doing these after you’ve finished the story is an excellent way to maximise the rewards they give you. It’s all about that min-maxing, baby.

7. Take part in the proving grounds

Borderlands 3 includes plenty of ways to prove yourself
Borderlands 3 includes plenty of ways to prove yourself
The proving grounds are another endgame activity. As you go through the worlds of Borderlands 3, you’ll come across strange plinths that you can’t initially interact with.
Once you’ve finished the game, you’ll be able to revisit these in order to activate special trials to undertake. These trials are chock full of enemies to kill, but they’re also repeatable quests that allow you to farm for XP. It’s one of the more interesting ways of farming for XP outside of just doing all the side quests.

8. Play with friends

Amara packs a lot of firepower
Amara packs a lot of firepower
The game gets much harder the more people there are playing. You also all share in the experience points earned whenever an enemy dies.
This means that one of the most effective ways to level up quickly is to play with friends.
Ideally, you want to play in a group of four, but if that’s not possible, then even one extra person in your game can make a massive difference to the speed at which you level up. This stacks with all of the other things mentioned in the article too.
If you can get a group of four people together while playing in Mayhem 3 and completing the Proving Grounds trials, you’ll hit level 50 in no time. Just be prepared for the challenge that brings with it, controllers could be broken.