Guardian Rank is an alternate progression system introduced in Borderlands 3 that allows you to continue leveling up and earning bonus stats after reaching the max Vault Hunter level cap. By accumulating Guardian Experience (GXP), you can increase your Guardian Rank and unlock permanent passive buffs across all your Vault Hunter characters.
Reaching Rank 9 Guardian is a major milestone that requires a significant time investment. At Rank 9, you unlock access to all 3 slots in the Guardian Rank skill tree, allowing you to select from a wide array of bonuses to customize your build.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about leveling up your Guardian Rank to 9, including:
- An Overview of the Guardian Rank System
- Guardian Rank Perks and Bonuses
- How to Earn Guardian Experience
- Fastest Ways to Level Up Guardian Rank
- Tips and Strategies for Guardian Rank Progression
- Guardian Rank 9 Unlocks and Perks
- Is Reaching Max Guardian Rank Worth It?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Guardian Rank
Let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of reaching the coveted Rank 9 in Borderlands 3’s Guardian Rank progression system!
An Overview of Guardian Rank
Guardian Rank is an alternative experience system that kicks in once you hit the max Vault Hunter level cap of 50 in Borderlands 3. Any experience you earn past level 50 begins accumulating into Guardian Experience (GXP) rather than regular XP.
Your total Guardian Rank level increases as you earn GXP. Each Guardian Rank level awards you 1 Guardian Token that can be redeemed in the Guardian Rank skill tree to unlock bonuses that apply globally to all characters on your account.
The Guardian Rank system allows you to continue meaningful progression and growth beyond the standard level cap. You can keep earning more power and fine-tuning your Vault Hunters even after you’ve maxed out your regular level.
Guardian Rank Perks and Bonuses
The Guardian Rank skill tree offers a variety of impactful bonuses that can be unlocked with Guardian Tokens earned each Guardian Rank:
- Guardian Stats – Increase one of 4 core stats – Health, Shield, Damage, Luck
- Enforcer – Gun damage, fire rate, reload speed, action skill damage
- Survivor – Max health, max shields, health regen, shield regen
- Hunter – Critical hit damage, gun scopes, vehicle damage, environmental damage
- Protector – Melee damage, elemental damage resistance, radiation damage, irradiate chance
- Warden – Fight For Your Life time, FFYL movement speed, second wind kill skills, FFYL damage
You can spend tokens to invest in bonuses that complement your Vault Hunter’s build and playstyle. Since the bonuses are account-wide unlocks, they provide huge value in strengthening all your characters.
How to Earn Guardian Experience
The primary method of earning Guardian Experience is simply gaining regular XP from any activity in the game after you’ve reached max level. XP converts to GXP at a 1:1 ratio once you hit level 50.
Here are some of the most efficient ways to farm GXP:
- Slaughter Arenas – Circle of Slaughter and Proving Grounds offer tons of enemies to defeat.
- Boss Runs – Defeat bosses rapidly with good mobbing builds.
- Mayhem Mode – Higher Mayhem levels award more XP per kill.
- Scraptraps – Marcus’ firing range has easily farmable Scraptraps.
- Trial of Cunning – Speedrun this Proving Grounds for quick XP.
- Trials and Takedowns – These endgame challenges provide huge XP payouts.
Focus on activities where you can rapidly defeat large volumes of enemies if you want to max out your GXP gains.
Fastest Ways to Level Up Guardian Rank
Here are a few meta strategies to optimize your Guardian Rank progression:
- Activate Mayhem Mode to multiply XP gains. Mayhem 11 yields the most efficient gains.
- Use XP boosting artifacts like Loaded Dice and Moxxi’s Endowment.
- Play in a full party to benefit from shared party XP bonuses.
- Equip the Eridian Skag Plate armor for a 20% XP boost.
- Complete all one-time challenge rewards for lump XP payouts.
- Farm bosses like Graveward who are quick and easy to defeat.
Combining XP boosting gear, partying up, and utilizing Mayhem Mode will accelerate your Guardian Rank progression dramatically compared to just casual play.
Tips and Strategies for Guardian Rank Progression
Here are some additional tips to help maximize your Guardian Rank growth:
- Optimize your build for speed – Mobbing builds clear enemies quicker for faster XP.
- Swap to low level gear before turning in quests – You’ll earn significantly more XP this way.
- Turn on Mayhem during endgame cleanup – This will convert leftover side quests into big GXP payouts.
- Buy XP boosts from Maurice’s Black Market – These provide 1 hour boosts to supplement artifacts.
- Join online XP farming communities – Find groups explicitly for dedicated power leveling.
With a purposeful approach centered around XP boosting, mobbing, and Mayhem Mode, you can reach Guardian Rank 9 much faster than playing casually.
Guardian Rank 9 Unlocks and Perks
Reaching Guardian Rank 9 unlocks the third rank in each Guardian skill, providing your choice of 3 powerful perks. Here are some of the most notable Rank 9 bonuses:
- 15% Gun Damage
- 10% Max Health
- 10% Melee Damage
- 10% Max Shields
- 10% Elemental Damage Resistance
- 5% Weapon Handling
- 10% Action Skill Damage
- 10% Fight For Your Life Time
- 7.5% Luck
- 10% Environmental Damage
With three Rank 9 perks equipped, you can truly customize your build to amplify your strengths. This creates very potent synergies and noticeably stronger Vault Hunter performance.
You can also continue leveling past Rank 9 to rack up additional perks and incremental bonuses to Guardian Stats if you wish. But Rank 9 is a major benchmark for unlocking the triple-equip capability.
Is Reaching Max Guardian Rank Worth It?
For most players, pursuing Guardian Rank is well worth the time and effort required. The permanent bonuses provide huge value in strengthening all your Vault Hunters for all content.
The benefits of maxing out Guardian Rank include:
- Dramatically improved build performance and efficiency
- Options to hybridize builds by balancing bonuses
- Greater viability for off-meta playstyles
- Easier time handling Mayhem Mode difficulty
- Account-wide power growth beyond max level cap
Casual players or those uninterested in grinding may not need max Guardian Rank. But for those pursuing optimally powerful endgame builds, the cumulative advantages of high Guardian Rank are extremely beneficial.
Think of advancing Guardian Rank as turbo-charging the potency of your Vault Hunters. The bonuses add up to make you noticeably stronger versus all types of enemies and challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much Guardian XP is needed per rank?
It takes 6,000 GXP to progress each Guardian Rank level from Rank 1 onwards. So getting to Rank 9 requires accumulating 54,000 GXP.
What is the max Guardian Rank?
There is no limit to Guardian Rank. You can continue accumulating it indefinitely. But Rank 9 is a major milestone for unlocking the 3 equip slots.
Can Guardian Rank be earned before level 50?
No, you have to reach max Vault Hunter level first for XP to convert to Guardian XP. Guardian Rank progression is only available at endgame.
Do Guardian Rank bonuses apply to all characters?
Yes, the tokens unlock shared account-wide bonuses regardless of which Vault Hunter redeems them.
Can I respec my Guardian Rank bonuses?
Yes, you can reset your Guardian Rank at any time from the menu to reassign your tokens and skill points from scratch.
Is Guardian XP lost on death?
No, Guardian XP is permanent progress that cannot be lost or dropped. You retain all GXP gained even if you die.
Can I earn Guardian XP in True Vault Hunter Mode?
Yes, Guardian XP carries over across all playthroughs as it is an account-wide endgame progression system.
And that covers everything you need to know about supercharging your Vault Hunters by reaching Rank 9 Guardian! With enough dedication, smart farming strategies, and optimized XP boosting, you’ll unlock access to top-tier bonuses in no time. So get out there and start grinding, Vault Hunter!
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