HOW TO... USE GUNS EFFECTIVELY
The importance of headshots cannot be overstated in Borderlands 2, and you should aim for these wherever possible. Scoring a direct impact on an enemy noggin will display a 'Critical' hit on screen and cause significantly more damage, which certain weapons will increase still further, leading to faster takedowns and conserving ammo.
When choosing which gun to use, consider the accuracy rating for it against the range you are firing from. There's no point in trying to hit a distant enemy with a low accuracy weapon as most of your bullets will stray off course and be wasted. Ideally you should hold in your inventory a sniper rifle and assault rifle for longer ranged attacks, along with a shotgun and pistol for when you move in for close combat.
Another good way to improve accuracy is to turn on Aim Assist from the gameplay options. With this enabled you can move your reticule into the general area of an enemy and your aim will snap to them when you look down the sights. By releasing the aim trigger then pulling it again between each shot, you can effectively track the enemy's movement and keep landing shots on them.
The brand of gun will also have an effect on how it behaves, for example Jakobs weapons will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger and Torgue shooters pack an explosive effect with every shot. Tediore guns are so cheap and disposable that instead of reloading them you simply throw them away, which causes a useful explosion on impact at the expense of any ammo that was left in the chamber.
HOW TO... STAY ALIVE IN COMBAT
The key to staying alive in combat is being aware of your surroundings, so you know where areas of cover are that can be retreated to when your shield is low or depleted. Keep an eye out for explosive tanks, incendiary barrels etc which can be shot to cause significant damage to multiple enemies, and don't be afraid to run away and compose yourself at a safe distance if you feel like you're being overwhelmed.
This is particularly important during boss fights, as manoeuvring into the right position can make things much easier for you. For example, when facing off against the Big Bertha cannon you can move behind it and be out of its firing range whilst still able to target the gunner on top. Moving on to the battle with Captain Flynt, you can jump out of the arena and back down to the lower level, then pick off Flynt and his henchmen from a safe distance.
If you do end up losing all your health and entering Fight For Your Life mode, you can still revive yourself by getting a kill. You only have a short time to do this so aim for the weakest enemy you can target and give them everything you've got. If you manage to score a kill and get a Second Wind you will only have a small amount of health remaining, so try and run for cover to save yourself as soon as possible.
HOW TO... PICK THE RIGHT SHIELD
There are three stats to consider when choosing which shield to use, which are displayed against each item. These are:
- Capacity: Maximum shield energy
- Recharge Rate: Amount of shield energy recovered per second
- Recharge Delay: Time in seconds after last damage taken before shield begins recharging
Certain shields have additional effects, such as high capacity at the cost of reducing your max health, or damage to enemies who perform melee attacks on you.
Deciding which shield is right for you should be based on your play style. If you mainly use close combat then you'll want a short recharge delay time to keep you going in the thick of the action, whereas if you prefer to snipe from distance then you can afford to sacrifice recharge delay for higher capacity.
HOW TO... USE VEHICLES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Vehicles can be spawned from Catch-A-Ride points found throughout the game, and although handy for getting from A to B they're much more effective as a weapon. There are Rocket Launcher and Machine Gun turret variants available, but as they both have front mounted machine guns you should take the version with rockets for the biggest impact.
Vehicles are heavily armoured and have infinite ammo, which makes them ideal for clearing areas of enemies. When you encounter them hold down L2/LT to launch a continuous barrage of rockets, while using R2/RT to pepper them with machine gun fire. While driving along you can also ram enemies to cause significant damage, which is useful against Bullymongs and Skags.