We’ve been covering Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel all week, pointing out strategies for picking your class, beginner and advanced tips and even some advice when it comes to playing as Claptrap. Now we have tips for dealing with the game’s tricky bosses, starting with the first.
For good measure, we also listed a way for you to unlock a secret boss battle, although it requires a bit of profanity. Good luck!
How to beat Red Belly
The first boss you’ll encounter are two characters that join to form Red Belly, one of which is a dwarf that hurls explosives.
When dealing with Red Belly, it’s important to keep two things in mind. First, you’ll probably want to take the top half, or Red, out first. If Belly dies first, Red becomes harder to hit, as he flies around and drops explosives on you from above.
They’ll separate anyway, so concentrate your fire on crucial points when they’re together. In this case, Red’s legs – which allow him to move around quickly – and Belly’s head, which connect to form the two-in-one villain. Try to remember these weak points, because blasting away with critical hits will eventually bring them down – and it’s a lot easier dealing with Belly alone than it is Red.
In addition, keep an eye open for weapon drops. A special sub-machine gun known as Red Belly’s Black Snake may appear, giving you additional firepower for the missions ahead.
How To Defeat Deadlift
To get to Deadlift, you’ll have to make your way into a makeshift fortress, dealing with all sorts of Scurvs (smaller soldiers) in the process. Once you do get to him, you’ll find an overconfident spaceman in a jacked-up suit, packing all sorts of devastating laser attacks.
When you deal with Deadlift, you’ll want to arm some form of sniper rifle. This is because you can set up shots from a distance (namely his head, his weak spot), while still dealing with his laser and orb attacks, which will come right often. The key here at first is to stick and move, and avoid getting directly hit by his attacks – and that isn’t easy. If you’re going co-op, try to have at least two people with sniper rifles, and maybe have the other two serve as distractions with other powerful weaponry. That won’t stop him, but at least you’ll chip away at him.
Watch out for Scurvs as well! They’ll pop out of the sides and take pot shots at you. Maybe have one of your ground troops keep an eye out for them and kill them before they can severely hurt you.
Once you chip away at Deadlift enough, use the jump pads to find more ammunition, then keep using your sniper rifle and power weapons. A couple more minutes’ worth of damage, and he should be finished.
As a result, you’ll receive the Vandergraften, a special weapon with incredible shock element power.
How To Defeat Flame Knuckle
Flame Knuckle is a slow-moving but powerful boss, a guy in a robot suit that really, really, really likes to shoot flames at everyone. He’s got good range with his flame throwers, so, like with Deadlift, the best tactic is to stick and move.
Deadlift has two weak spots. The first is the head of the guy piloting Flame Knuckle, who sits firmly in the middle in the front (in a surprisingly vulnerable spot – ever hear of armor?), while the second is the oxygen tank strapped to his back. You’ll want to keep firing at these spots with a precision weapon, such as a rocket launcher (if you have the ammunition) or a sniper rifle.
While slow and sturdy, Flame Knuckle is capable of charging along with shooting his flames, so you’ll want to avoid close range attacking if you can, as he’s likely to mow you down quickly. Use the surrounding crates as sort of a guideline as to what kind of distance to keep from him. Keep chipping away, and eventually he’ll be scrap metal.
Once he’s finished, you’ll access the Nukem, a superb Legendary Rocket Launcher. Have fun fighting over that one.
The Secret Boss Battle
Finally, if you want to add an extra little boss challenge to your to-do list, here are some tips on how to unlock it. It requires you to be a little rude, though.
At the start of the game, you’ll run across a side quest where you meet a Scav named Nel, and have the honor of calling him a “Dick” (per a dead man’s final request). He’ll drop to the ground and let out a cry, but that’s about it. However, you can take it a step further.
Nel is right across from a building within his sight, and you’ll be able to assemble letters on it. Look for the “IC 57” stamp and carefully place the letters around the “IC”, namely the “D” and the “K” to spell “DICK”. The video below, posted by Prestige’r MadLuigi, shows you how it’s done.
Once you do that, he’ll go nuts, and you’ll have an all-new boss battle on your hands. When it comes to beating him, you’ll want to try jumping around and hitting him, as detailed in the video above. He’s got a lot of ammunition, so this could take some work, but after a few rounds, you should be able to bring him down to size.
For good measure, you’ll snag a legendary sniper rifle called the Chikamin Skullmasher for your trouble.
There are other bosses you’ll face later on, but these should give you an idea of what tactics to use against them. Good luck, and pack that ammo!
Be sure to get the complete, official guide to Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, available now.