Borderlands 2 Co-Op Builds Strategy Guide – Gunzerker, Assassin, Maya and Commando

By   /   Sep 29, 2012


Borderlands 2 is a four-player co-op game, and co-op games have been known to ruin many friendships (or perhaps that’s just me). So we’ve decided to write a small guide in which we offer some simple tips and tricks to optimize your gameplay to benefit the team as a whole rather than just you.

Choose your Hero class based on your game-style and follow these simple tips to help your team get the Pandora back!

Axton, the Commando

Axton’s action skill deploys a versatile Dahl Sabre Turret, a veritable arsenal with 360° rotation and a weapons complement that can be upgraded to include multi-rocket launcher and a portable nuke. The turret’s flat cool down is 42 seconds, the same as Salvador’s Gunzerking skill.

His three skill trees are the guerrilla tree, the Gunpowder tree, and the Survival tree. The guerrilla tree focuses on getting the most out of your Sabre Turret, and by the end of it, your turret is a force to be reckoned with.

The Gunpowder tree focuses on making Axton himself a better fighter by buffing your damage with guns, increasing the size of your clips and giving you bonuses on enemy kills.

The Survival Tree makes Axton pretty beefy, making him pretty difficult to kill by boosting his maximum health and shield capacity as well as reducing the effects of harmful status conditions.

For more detailed information about the skill trees, read our Axton Commando Builds.

Axton Commando Co-op Strategy
Sabre Turret is a godsend in a firefight, as it not only has a pretty massive arsenal when upgraded through the Guerilla tree, but provides another target to shoot at for the enemies, something your team mates will appreciate.

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Try to use it as often as possible, and position it in places where it has a clear line of fire at the bad guys. There are two strategies you can implement once the turret is deployed.

You can either proceed defensively by staying near the turret, keeping it from getting swarmed and focusing fire on targets the turret picks. Alternatively, you can deploy the turret as a distraction and run off to flank the enemy.

It’s almost always a good idea to build into Double Up, as the Slag bonus damage effect will greatly assist your team. However, if your team happens to already have a significant slag presence, such as a Scorn or Ruin build Siren or a Gunzerker with a Slag weapon, you might want to spec into getting Gemini or Nuke for the additional damage.

Gemini and Phalanx Shields combined are invaluable in situations like boss fights and arena battles.

Zer0, the Assassin

Zer0’s action skill is called Deception, and it launches a hologram of him forward to distract enemies while he himself turns invisible for a short period of time.

During this time, he cannot be seen (though explosions and other area of effect abilities can damage him), and if he breaks his stealth prematurely with an attack it deals increased damage. The attack deals more damage the longer he was stealthed.

Zer0s three skill trees consist of the Sniping tree, the Cunning tree and the Bloodshed tree. The Sniping tree makes Zer0 a god at a long range single-target destruction; it increases his critical hit damage, accuracy, as well as amping the amount of damage dealt over consecutive crits.

His Bloodshed tree, on the other hand, focuses on boosting the potency of his melee attacks to absolutely ridiculous extremes as well as the ability to automatically refresh Deception upon a killing blow from stealth.

His Cunning tree is sort of a mixture of the two, by increasing your utility to the team with some AoE and debuffs. For more detailed information about the skill trees, read our Zero Assassin Builds.

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Zero Assassin Co-op Strategy
Zer0 is amazing fun with an all out bloodshed build, but remember two things about him; Firstly, his play style requires you to be both smart and patient.

You can’t match Salvador in terms of sustained DPS. Zer0 is meant to be played like an assassin/nuker, by striking for one devastating blow at a time.

Secondly, remember that a lot of his skills in that tree are kill-skills, meaning that he doesn’t get to use them, unless he gets the killing blow on an enemy.

This is no problem in single player, but loses effectiveness in co-op when the kills are distributed among the players. This doesn’t mean Zer0 is useless in Co-op, perish the thought; it just means that some skills lose their value, and the points would be better placed elsewhere.

Respec from Grim, Followthough, Resurgence and Many Must Fall and put those points to use in the Cunning tree to unlock Unforseen, Rising Shot, and Innervate.

If you focus on the Sniping Tree and like working from a long range, you won’t have many problems. Zer0 is not really intended to add much in terms of utility to the team, he’s not tanky and he only has one or two debuffs in his Cunning Tree.

His resume reads, ‘I Kill Stuff’, and he’s damn good at it. If you want someone who’s more supportive try Axton or Maya.

Salvador, the Gunzerker

Salvador’s action skill is called Gunzerking, and it allows him to dual wield any two weapons for a short time, while giving him greatly increased damage and damage reduction. Gunzerking’s flat cooldown is 42 seconds, the same as Axton’s Sabre Turret.

Salvador’s three skill trees are called Gun Lust, Rampage and Brawn. Gun Lust focuses on improving his swapping and reloading of guns, by giving him increased damage on swaps and reloads and automatically reloading all of his unequipped weapons whenever he gets a kill.

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Rampage is all about ammo replenishment and weapon rate of fire improvements, while Brawn is the tree, you go to when you want to build tanky. Brawn lets you soak up insane amounts of damage by boosting your maximum health, damage reduction and giving you a taunt.

For more detailed information about the skill trees, read our Gunzerker Salvador Builds.

Gunzerker Co-op Strategy
Salvador can be a destructive tidal wave of lead or a nigh-invincible tank wading among the bad guys when played with friends.

The Brawn Tree gives you absolutely bonkers survivability, as well as a very useful taunt that simultaneously makes you even more durable.

Keep in mind though that Super Badasses will probably be able to destroy you despite this, so you’ll want to keep a finger on that action skill button.

Although you can work together with your team effectively enough by building into the Gun-Lust and Rampage trees, if you really want to help out your team, you’ll build Brawn, with a couple of skills taken from the Rampage tree to boost your damage output.

Don’t bother taking Out of Bubblegum, Fistful of Hurt, Bus That Can’t Slow Down, or I’m The Juggernaut. Instead put those points into I’m Ready Already, Steady As She Goes, Last Longer and Inconceivable.

Feel free to play around and try different combinations, though I strongly recommend at least taking Hard To Kill, Ain’t Got Time to Bleed and Incite for some survivability.

Maya, the Siren

Maya’s action skill is called Phaselock and gives her the ability to suspend foes in a bubble of energy. This can lock an opponent in a stasis, and can be upgraded to provide various damaging effects.

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This skill is useful for crowd control in both co-op and single player mode. Repeatedly, Phaselocking the same enemy results in diminishing returns. Phaselocking has the lowest cooldown of all the action skills with 13 seconds.

Her three skill trees are called Motion, Harmony and Cataclysm. The Motion tree revolves around modifying her Phaselock to provide crowd control and increased defenses.

It lets you reflect enemy bullets, disrupt multiple enemies at once and even brainwash bad guys into fighting for you.

The Harmony tree is pure support, practically making Maya the second coming of Roland, letting her revive at range and adding a powerful aoe slag attack. Maya’s Cataclysm tree lets her apply powerful status effects to all her enemies, making her a force in co-op.

For more detailed information about the skill trees, read Maya Siren Builds.

Maya Siren Co-op Strategy
Maya changes a lot when you switch from solo to co-op. Her harmony tree becomes one of her most valuable assets while it’s rather useless in solo play.

Being able to revive an ally at range is a skill too valuable to pass up. Remember though, Maya is not a passive character, once you’ve got Res (and maybe Sweet Release) you might want to pick one of the other trees for additional team benefits.

The motion tree will make you very useful at keeping the enemy tied down and useless, while the Cataclysm tree will enable huge amounts of status damage.

You can still cap out the Harmony tree with Scorn, which lets Maya take over Slag duty as well as medic responsibilities.