Weapon Rarity Color Codes
All weapons in Borderlands 2 have color-coded titles indicating how rare the weapon is which also corelates to how much better its stats are compared to other weapons of the same level. The color code rarity system is ordered as follows:
- White - Common
- Green - Uncommon
- Blue - Rare
- Purple - Very Rare
- Orange - Legendary
The most sought after weapons in Borderlands 2 are orange legendary. Some boss enemies have a 1-in-20 chance of dropping a legendary weapon after killing them and they can be farmed for those legendaries if you have the patience. Farming involves killing the boss enemy to see if it drops a legendary, if not, quit the game and restart to get the boss enemy to respawn, go kill him again to see if it drops a legendary, rinse and repeat until you get one. For example, you could try repeatedly killing Gettle in the side mission, The Good, The Bad and The Mordecai for a chance at getting a legendary sniper rifle.
In a special group of its own outside of the color-coded rarity system listed above are E-Tech weapons which are color-coded magenta. E-Tech weapons use energy bolts for ammunition producing some unusual effects, some of which are useful, others just plain silly. Everyone can acquire an E-Tech weapon by killing Dr. Mercy in the Medical Mystery side mission.
More Weapon Strategies
Here are a few quick tips to follow with regards to weaponry in Borderlands 2:
- Don't get caught short — Always try to carry one of each weapon type with you at all times, even if you can't muster up a good weapon in a particular type. That is, as soon as they become available, always carry at least one pistol, one shotgun, one SMG, one assault rifle, one sniper rifle, one rocket launcher. This way, you'll always have enough spare ammunition to defend yourself in case you run out of ammo for a favorite weapon type. Even if you don't like using a particular weapon type, it's better than nothing.
- Prepare for the worst — As soon as they become available and you can spare a weapon slot, equip a rocket launcher during difficult missions as they are great for emergency situations where you need a guaranteed second wind.
- Fire in short controlled bursts — Many weapons with automatic fire, e.g., SMGs and assault rifles, have a heavy recoil causing the muzzle of the weapon to rise during continuous firing. Learn to fire in short controlled bursts to offset the recoil to keep your aim true and save ammunition.
To Scope or Not to Scope
Scoping or aiming down the sights of your weapons will increase accuracy and make a tighter bullet spread which will translate into killing enemies quicker. However, don't get too religious about this as there are some distinct disadvantages to aiming down the sights such as:
- A narrower field of view
- Reduced mobility
- Slower reaction time
Some close combat situations are simply much better handled shooting from the hip. This also goes for flying enemies which —unless they're coming straight at you— tend to easily fly out of your narrow field of view if you try to target them while aiming down the sights of your gun.
Certain weapon types naturally lend themselves to aiming down the sights while others are more suited to shooting from the hip. You should, of course, always scope your sniper rifles while shooting from the hip seems much more natural when using shotguns.