borderlands 3 zane

THE BEST Borderlands 3 Zane Build for Endgame

If you’re playing Borderlands 3 as Zane, you’re going to want to know what the best Borderlands 3 Zane build is whether you’re leveling and going through the story or trying to take on the most difficult encounters in Mayhem Mode. This guide will walk you through the best possible Borderlands 3 Zane build for endgame endgame and explain which skills are most important and why.

This Borderlands 3 Zane Build guide has been updated for level 65, which allows you to get the capstone skill in Doubled Agent as well as Trick of the Light for a big damage increase.

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The Build – Borderlands 3 Zane Build

borderlands 3 zane build

As you can see, we’re putting points into multiple trees. There’s no reason whatsoever to take the cap skill in the Hitman tree, even though that’s our main tree, because with Zane’s Seein’ Dead class mod, it’s totally obsolete.

This Borderlands 3 Zane build offers incredible survivability, massive bonus damage, the ability to keep your action skills up almost indefinitely, and the potential to freeze as many enemies as possible. Let’s take a look at the skills we’re taking here, from left to right.

Under Cover Tree – Borderlands 3 Zane Build

Adrenaline – Action skill cooldown rate increased by 35% at full shields. This is the obvious choice in this tree. Action skills are super important on Zane.

Ready for Action – This increases your shield recharge delay and recharge rate. You basically just want points here to unlock the next tier, but it synergizes well with Adrenaline and Confident Competence. We’re mostly just taking it as filler to unlock Confident Competence and All-Rounder.

Confident Competence – Increases Gun Damage by 35% and Accuracy by 33% at full shields. This is a massive damage increase and it’s the main reason for going into this tree.

Now, you may ask yourself why we’re going into the green tree at all. The reason is mostly because we want Confident Competence.

Hitman Tree – Borderlands 3 Zane Build

Violent Speed – +20% movespeed after a kill, stacking twice. So, +40% movespeed. Get ready to zoom across the battlefield. This is mostly worthwhile because you’re also taking…

Violent Momentum – +20% damage scaling with movespeed. +20% damage at default walk speed. So even if you’re just walking and strafing around this is a straight 20% damage increase, which is actually 28% with the bonus from Violent Speed.

Drone Delivery – This makes your Drone drop grenades. You want this. It’s your only way to throw grenades in this Borderlands 3 Zane build.

Salvation – Gives lifesteal for 8 seconds on kill. Very useful, especially at higher difficulties.

Cool Hand – This is pretty convenient, but not incredibly necessary. Still, you don’t need to max out salvation. You just need one or two points in it. Since you need more points to unlock the later tiers, dump them here.

Death Follows Close – Buffs all your kill skills, which is basically every skill in the blue tree. Very worthwhile for a single point.

Violent Violence – Increases fire rate by 15% on kill, stacking twice. So, if you’re using a weapon with a fairly decent magazine, this is pretty much a 30% damage increase. With this, you tend to want to use ARs and SMGs on Zane over, say, Rocket Launchers or Shotguns. On a weapon like Rowan’s Call, this is huge.

Playing Dirty – After kills, gives a chance to shoot twice for 5 shots. You only want exactly 7 points in this, because any more goes to waste. With Death Follows Close and the Seein’ Dead mod, with 7 points you’ll have a 105% chance to shoot twice. So if you have a +3 mod you can take a point from here and put it somewhere else instead.

Good Misfortune – Only 1 point in this, but it’s a very important point. Every time you kill an enemy you get more action skill uptime. Since you have the Seein’ Dead mod, this is going to increase your action skill uptime every few shots.

Doubled Agent Tree – Borderlands 3 Zane Build

Synchronicity – This is just 40% free gun damage for a tier one skill. You’d be stupid not to take this skill.

Donnybrook – +15% gun damage on kill, stacking twice. So another 30% gun damage. Goes along with all your other kill skills.

Borrowed Time – This is actually pretty convenient. It increases the base duration of your action skills by 30%. Trust me, the difference between having this and not having it is night and day. If you don’t take this skill, you’ll miss it.

Supersonic Man – A little bit extra movespeed to convert to damage. Not a bad skill.

Duct Tape Mod This skill allows Zane an opportunity to make use of his grenade mod by giving a chance to fire a grenade every time you take a shot after reloading your clips. You don’t have enough points left to max it, but you’ll want to put 2 points into it so it has a chance to proc.

Pocket Full of Grenades – Since you’re going to be using Duct Tape Mod now with the level 65 Borderlands 3 Zane build, you’ll want to put a point into Pocket Full of Grenades so you always have grenades available. 1 point should be more than enough to keep your grenades full since it’ll be active at all times due to the Seein’ Dead mod.

Boom. Enhance. – This skill increases the power of Zane’s clone dramatically. Now that you’re able to get this skill at level 65 without losing access to Confident Competence, Clone/Drone is a much more viable. Grenades shouldn’t be a problem due to Seein’ Dead’s effect on Pocket Full of Grenades.

Trick of the Light – 36% additional cryo damage? A nice damage increase for your Borderlands 3 Zane build. Yes please.

Double Barrel – This is the second skill that turns your clone into a beast, in addition to providing you with increased gun damage. There’s a lot of flexibility here, but one popular thing to do is to equip a powerful rocket launcher before unleashing the clone because it has infinite ammo and near-perfect AI accuracy.

Some quick notes here. There’s a little flexibility here. You could take some points out of Violent Violence to get more in Playing Dirty. You could take some points out of Violent Violence or Playing Dirty to put into Duct Tape Mod, which is a very good skill.

Now, since you’re going to be using that Seein’ Dead mod I keep mentioning, your kill skills are going to be active all the time, so let’s take a look at all our bonuses:

Gun Damage: +165.5% (25% from Barrier, 35% from Confident Competence, 40% from Synchronicity, 37.5% from Donnybrook with Death Follows Close, 28% from Violent Momentum + Violent Speed)
Fire Rate: +37.5%
Lifesteal: 7.5%
Movespeed: +40%
Accuracy: +33%
Damage Reduction: +15%
Shield Recharge Rate: +24%
Shield Recharge Delay -28%
Action Skill Cooldown: -35%

Action Skills – Borderlands 3 Zane Build

Now that you can reach level 65 and pick up the major Doubled Agent skills, you’re going to want to use the Drone and the Clone as your action skills.

As for the skill augmentations, what you’re going to want is:

Binary System – A cryo nova occurs every time you swap places with your clone. Since you’re going to be swapping places regularly to maintain the gun damage buff from Double Barrel, this is a nice extra damage bonus.

Which One’s Real? – Makes your clone taunt when it’s summoned and when you swap places. Makes it a good button for getting out of a bad situation.

Winter’s Drone – Converts SNTNL damage to Cryo damage. Just good stuff.

Bad Dose – Increases Zane’s movespeed and fire rate while damage enemies. It’s pretty good.

Weapons – Best Borderlands 3 Zane Build

For the best Borderlands 3 Zane build, you’re going to want guns with a high rate of fire and big clip sizes like assault rifles and SMGs. Rowan’s Call is good. Cutsman is good. Just examples. You’ll almost certainly want a Redistributor as it synergizes very well with Zane. The special effect of the Redistributor is that amped shots chain to multiple enemies, and if you’re using Zane’s barrier, every shot is amped. So this thing turns Zane into a crowd clearing machine. Here are Zane’s best guns.

The main thing you want, though, is the anointment “While SNTNL is active – 100% of dealt damage is added as cryo damage.” This is a huuuuuge damage increase on anything not immune to cryo damage.

Other Equipment – Borderlands 3 Zane Build

I mean, the main thing to point out is this Borderlands 3 Zane build is totally reliant on the Seein’ Dead mod, which you find in the Moxxi DLC. Without that, you just don’t have access to Zane’s best build. You’ll have to come up with something else. Brief aside, it’s actually kind of sad. I mean, it’s very clear that Zane’s capstone skill in the Hitman tree should do what the Seein’ Dead mod does and the Seein’ Dead mod should do… something else, but, alas, here we are. Anyway, you’re obviously going to want that mod.

As for your shield, The Transformer tends to be the shield of choice for most builds for most characters and Zane is no different. You want this anointment: “While SNTNL is active – 15% increased movement speed.” It drops from Killavolt in Lectric City on Promethea.

For the Relic, Victory Rush is the way to go. +18% damage and movespeed after killing a badass. Otto Idol is also pretty good (gives health regen on kill). Up to you if you want more damage or more survivability. It drops from Sloth in Konrad’s Hold on Pandora.

For the Grenade, you want a Hex grenade, which shoots lasers all over the place and is pretty much guaranteed to set off your kill skills. It drops from the Sky Bullies in The Anvil on Eden-6.

Anyway, that about does it for the best Borderlands 3 Zane Build. Be sure to check out the Games Section for more content like this and also check out the Borderlands 3 Section for game guides for Borderlands including builds, tips, best guns, character reviews and more.


  • Ryan Night

    Ryan Night is an ex-game industry producer with over a decade of experience writing guides for RPGs. Previously an early contributor at, Ryan has been serving the RPG community with video game guides since 2001. As the owner of Bright Rock Media, Ryan has written over 600 guides for RPGs of all kinds, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Tales of Arise.

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