Beating the campaign unlocks a crucial component of Borderlands 3’s endgame: Guardian Rank. If you’re familiar with previous Borderlands’ Badass Rank system, the basic idea is the same: you can unlock incremental stat improvements that apply to all your Vault Hunters.
But Guardian Rank reinvents this mechanic by providing the opportunity for some powerful buffs atop all the smaller bonuses. The Guardian Rank bar sits above your usual XP bar on all your Vault Hunters and is leveled up via experience points; every bar you fill unlocks a Guardian Token, which you can spend to unlock bonus stats across three distinct trees.
Borderlands 3 End Game Content
Spending a Guardian Token lets you choose one option from a total of six randomly selected stats, two from each tree, from a total list of 17 helpful varieties:
- Critical Damage
- Grenade Damage
- Gun Damage
- Gun Fire Rate
- Melee Damage
- Vehicle Damage
- FFYL (Fight For Your Life) Duration
- FFYL Movement Speed
- Max Health
- Shield Capacity
- Shield Recharge Delay
- Shield Recharge Rate
- Action Skill Cooldown
- Luck (Rare Drop Rate)
- Recoil Reduction
- Reload Speed
These stat bonuses are nothing to sneeze at on their own, but the real prizes lie in the Guardian Rewards trees. By investing a certain number of tokens, you’ll unlock Guardian Rewards specific to the Enforcer, Survivor, and Hunter categories.
There are six tiers across all three trees, unlocked by spending 10, 15, 25, 35, 50, or 75 tokens in their respective category. These Guardian Rewards include weapon and Vault Hunter skins to help show off your commitment to vault hunting, as well as passive buffs that can seriously boost your overall power.
For instance, the second tier Guardian Rewards will grant additional gun damage to all shots while in Fight For Your Life (the Inner Fury buff in the Enforcer tree), make you recover from FFYL with full health and shields (Resilient in the Survivor tree), or grant extra ammo from all ammo pickups (Bullet Collector in the Hunter tree).
Unlocking Guardian Rewards takes serious dedication, but the payoffs will be felt across all your playthroughs from that moment on.