Welcome back to our continuing coverage of Borderlands The Pre-Sequel. Yesterday, we discussed some of the basics, as well as how to make the most of co-op. Today, we go more in-depth, talking more about the Skill Trees, along with other components that will make you a better player.

Build out those Skill Trees

As with previous Borderlands games, The Pre-Sequel allows you to develop better skills for your character using trees that branch out by purchasing items. These really open up your character’s abilities and make him or her better down the line against tougher odds. Let's take a look at how each one breaks down.

Starting off with Athena, there are several areas to rank up. The Phalanx Tree allows you to work on increased movement speed and gun damage, as well as increased range and power for the thrown Aspis.  If you prefer better kill skills and damage all around (instead of just projectile), you can level up your Xiphos Tree, which has several areas where you can bulk up the strength of your weaponry, and absorb more damage in the process. Finally, there's Ceraunic Storm, which can give you better power for your weapons overall, between increased magazine and reload speed, as well as the ability to Storm Weave, which gives you a better overall fire rate and elemental effect.

Next up is Wilhelm, and his Skill Tree is somewhat different since it revolves around the growth of his cyborg augmentation. However, it will make you a better soldier in the long run, as you can increase skills in the Cyber Commando Skill Tree to include better robotic parts for speed, accuracy and power, as well as the ability to use the Vengeance Cannon, which packs a punch when it comes to laying out larger enemies. As you might expect, its ammunition is limited, so save it for when it really counts.

Nisha has her own set of skills to expand, mainly with the strength of her melee weapon and quick shooting skills with the Showdown ability. Here, you can increase a number of areas, such as gun damage, fire rate, reload speed, accuracy, bullet speed and recoil reduction. Gun damage is probably the best area to start, although bullet speed can be useful, especially against quicker enemies. Make sure to give her melee attack a boost as well, as the whip deters enemies long enough to do some heavy damage. The Law & Order Tree should be filled up first, and then move on to the Fan the Hammer and Riflewoman skills, or if you prefer balance, fill each one a little at a time.

Finally, though he may be the weakest of the group, Claptrapstill has plenty of areas where you can properly level up. His main Skill Tree is the Doomtrap, which increases fire rate and reload speed, as well as the ability to restore health when you kill enemies (though you'll lose shields in the process). He can also boost his melee attack with a Blastwave that can push an enemy back, an ability you shouldn't be without considering his lack of strength. The I Love You Guys! Tree (that's what it's really called) increases his ability to regenerate health for teammates and gain a better chance for Status Effect, while Fragmented Fragtrap's Tree has plenty to offer with offensive and defensive subroutines. Fill out the Doomtrap Tree first (and get that Blastwave), and work from there.

In addition, don't forget to work your way towards a Badass Rank. Be the best you can be in each battle and you'll be able to level up quicker, as well as earn additional rewards like a speed boost and other little bonuses in your overall statistics. Don't be afraid to get out there and fight.

Hidden challenges and other items

Along with the main missions featured in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, there are various hidden challenges you can enter, identified by little Borderlands insignias in special spots on the ground. These add challenges to your current mission, and completing them lets you'll build up your Badass rank and earn more stuff.

Just make sure you're a seasoned player before taking these on. Some of them can be downright brutal, particularly having to beat bosses without using jump pads – which can be nearly impossible. Make sure you have a good co-op squad as well, as they can bring you that much closer to completion.

Finally, if you're looking for a boost, make sure you stop by Moxxi's bar every once in a while. She provides you with a number of drinks (at a price, of course) that can help you buff up in certain areas. The effects usually last for 30 minutes, but sometimes that's all you need to beat that one pain in the neck enemy.

Good luck, and we'll see you on Elpis!

Get the complete, official guide to Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, available now.

Borderlands the Pre-Sequel Guide