Borderlands 3 Zane Guide – Skill Tree, Action Skills, Perks & Abilities

Borderlands 3 has a lot that separates it from the previous games — if you know where to look. One such new feature is the the ability to equip any Action Skill right from the start of the game. That means you no longer need to spend time leveling up to unlock them! Although every Action Skill is still very different from class to class. Which is why we’ve put together guides to each of the skill trees in Borderlands 3. We’re starting things off with Zane in our very first Borderlands 3 guide. Let’s take a look!

Special thanks to Arekkz Gaming, who originally published much of this information.

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Source: Arekkz Gaming YouTube Channel

Zane is unique a very unique class among Borderlands heroes. Instead of just one Action Skill, he can actually equip up to two of them at any time. This level of variety comes with a cost, however. Doing so will remove his ability to throw grenades. Given that grenades can do some truly wacky stuff in Borderlands 3, that might mean a lot more than losing some convenient crowd control. Just keep that in mind as you kit out this very unique character!

Before we start, though, you should also know how skill trees break down in Borderlands 3. And they work a lot like in the previous two games! You have three total trees to choose from per character class. You then pump skill points into each ability, improving them as you go, an unlocking further tiers along the tree. Generally speaking, the higher the tier, the flashier the ability. So it pays to see what each tree has going for it further down the line!

Hitman Skill Tree

SNTNL (Action Skill)

Send into battle an automated SNTNL drone that continually flies through the environment and attacks enemies with its Machine Guns. Pressing LB or RB while SNTNL is active causes it to attack the enemy under Zane’s crosshairs, if any.

Machine Gun Damage: 10
Duration: 24 seconds
Cooldown: 36 seconds

Action Skill Augments

Winter’s Drone (Tier 2) 

Converts SNTNL’s primary weapons to cryo damage.

Bad Dose (Tier 3)

SNTNL occasionally shoots out a beam of radiation that weakens enemies and buffs Zane. For every weakened enemy, Zane’s movement speed and fire rate are increased. Weakened enemies have decreased movement speed and attack speed.

Rate of Fire: +3% per enemy
Movement Speed: +6% per enemy
Damage: 2
Duration: 12 seconds
Cooldown: 8 seconds

Static Field (Tier 3)

SNTNL emits a static field that sends a shock beam to nearby enemies, draining their shields and replenishing Zane’s.

Shield Damage: 2 per second
Cooldown: 2 seconds

Boomsday (Tier 4)

SNTNL adds a rocket pod to its primary weapons, allowing it to shoot rockets as well as machine guns.

Rocket Damage: 50

Almighty Ordnance (Tier 4)

Hold down LB or RB while SNTNL is deployed to paint a target area. SNTNL fires a missile barrage at that area, and if an enemy is killed, Almighty Ordnance’s duration is reset. This can only be used once per action skill use.

Missile Damage: 25
Missiles per Barrage: 5

Passive Abilities

Tier 1

Violent Speed (0/5)

After killing an enemy, Zane gains increased Movement Speed for a few seconds.

Movement Speed: +4%
Duration: 8 seconds

Cold Bore (0/5)

Zane gains increased weapon swap speed. The next shot fired after swapping weapons deals bonus cryo damage.

Weapon Swap Speed: +15%
Bonus Cryo Damage: 6%

Violent Momentum (0/5)

Zane’s gun damage is increased while moving. The quicker he moves, the greater the gun damage bonus.

Gun Damage: +6% at default walk speed

Tier 2

Cool Hand (0/5)

Zane gains increased reload speed. After killing an enemy, Zane’s reload speed is increased for a few seconds.

Reload Speed: +2%
Reload Speed After Kill: +3%
Duration: 8 Seconds

Drone Delivery (0/1)

SNTRY will occasionally drop a free grenade based on your current grenade mod while attacking enemies

Cooldown: 15 seconds

Salvation (0/5)

After killing an enemy, Zane’s weapons gain Life Steal for a few seconds.

Life Steal: 4% of damage dealt
Duration: 8 seconds

Tier 3

Seein’ Red (0/1)

Activating an action skill automatically activates all of zane’s kill skills.

Tier 4

Violent Violence (0/5)

After killing an enemy, Zane gains increased fire rate for a few seconds.

Fire Rate: +4%
Duration: 8 seconds

Playing Dirty (0/5) 

After killing an enemy, Zane’s next five shots all have a chance to fire an additional projectile.

Extra Shot Chance: 10%

Tier 5

Good Misfortune (0/3)

Killing an enemy increases Zane’s action skill duration. This skill has diminishing returns.

Duration Return: Up to 5% max duration

Tier 6

Death Follows Close (0/1)

All of Zane’s kill skills gain increased effect and duration

Kill Skill Bonus: 40%
Kill Skill Duration: +4 seconds

Source: Arekkz Gaming YouTube Channel

Doubled Agent Skill Tree

Digi-Clone (Action Skill)

Spawn a Digi-Clone of Zane. This clone stays in place, but distracts and fires at enemies. Pressing LB or RB while the clone is active causes Zane and the clone to swap places.

Duration: 18 seconds
Cooldown: 26 seconds

Action Skill Augments

Binary System (Tier 2) 

Whenever Zane swaps places with his clone, a cryo nova is triggered around Zane and his clone.

Nova Damage: 66

Schadenfreude (Tier 3)

Whenever the clone takes damage, Zane’s shield is restored by a portion of that damage.

Shields Restored: +11% of Digi-Clone damage

Which One’s Real? (Tier 3)

Enemies are more likely to target the clone for a few seconds after it’s summoned and after swapping places.

Duration: 2 seconds

Doppelbanger (Tier 4)

Hold down LB or RB to end the action skill early. When Zane’s action skill is ended, the clone explodes, dealing fire damage to all nearby enemies. The more action skill time remaining, the greater the damage.

Damage: Up to 1326

Digital Distribution (Tier 4)

If Zane takes health damage while the clone is active, a portion of that damage is shared to his clone instead.

Shared Health Damage: +75%

Passive Abilities

Tier 1

Synchronicity (0/5)

Whenever one or more of Zane’s action skills are active, he gains increased gun damage for each active action skill.

Gun Damage: +2% per active action skills

Praemunitus (0/3)

Zane and his Digi-Clone gain increased magazine size.

Magazine Size: +4%

Borrowed Time (0/5)

Zane gains increased action skill duration for every active action skill.

Active Skill Duration: +4% per active action skill

Tier 2

Donnybrook (0/5)

Whenever Zane kills an enemy, he and his Digi-Clone receive increased gun damage and gain health regeneration for a few seconds.

Gun Damage: +2%
Health Regeneration: +0.5% of missing health per second
Duration: 8 Seconds

Fractal Frags (0/1)

The Digi-Clone throws a copy of Zane’s current grenade mod when it is first activated. If the Digi-Clone is killed, it drops a free grenade. Killing an enemy while the Digi-Clone is active gives the clone a chance to throw a grenade.

Grenade Chance: 30%

Duct Tape Mod (0/5)

The first shot fired from Zane’s gun has a chance to also fire a grenade. The more grenades in his capacity, the higher the chance.

Grenade Chance: Up to 5%

Tier 3

Quick Breather (0/1)

Whenever Zane swaps places with his clone, his shield immediately begins recharging.

Tier 4

Pocket Full of Grenades (0/3)

After killing an enemy, Zane gains grenade regeneration for a few seconds.

Grenade Regeneration: +5%
Duration: 8 seconds

Old-U (0/1) 

Press LB or RB during fight for your life if Digi-Clone is active to destroy the clone and immediately gain a second wind with full health.

Supersonic Man (0/3)

Whenever one or more of Zane’s action skills are active, he gains increased movement speed for each active skill.

Movement Speed: +4% per active action skill

Tier 5

Like a Ghost (0/3)

Zane and his Digi-Clone gain a chance to ignore bullets. This chance is increased for a few seconds after activating an action skill. This effect stacks.

Ignore Bullet Chance: +4%
Additional Ignore Bullet Chance: +1%
Duration: 8 seconds

Boom. Enhance. (0/3)

Whenever Zane summons his Digi-Clone, it consumes up to 3 grenades. For every grenade consumed, the Digi-Clone gains increased gun damage, max health, fire rate, and reload speed.

Gun Damage: +11% per grenade
Max Health: +17% per grenade
Fire Rate: +17% per grenade
Reload Speed: +12% per grenade

Trick of the Light (0/3)

Zane deals bonus shock damage to enemies that aren’t targeting him.

Bonus Damage: 6% of damage dealt

Tier 6

Double Barrel (0/1)

The clone is equipped with a copy of Zane’s current weapon activated. Swapping places with the clone causes Zane and his clone to gain increased gun damage.

Gun Damage: +10%
Item Duping: +100%

Source: Arekkz Gaming YouTube Channel

Under Cover Skill Tree

Barrier (Action Skill)

Drop a deployable barrier that blocks incoming projectiles. Zane and his allies can shoot through the barrier, dealing increased gun damage. Pressing LB or RB while barrier is active picks up and holds the barrier, but the size and bonuses are decreased.

Duration: 9 seconds
Cooldown: 18 seconds
Damage Amp: +20%

Action Skill Augments

Charged Relay (Tier 2) 

Whenever Zane or an ally touches the barrier, they gain increased movement speed and fire rate for a few seconds.

Fire Rate: +13%
Movement Speed: +11%
Duration: 8 seconds after moving away from barrier.

Nanites or Some Shite (Tier 3)

Zane and his allies gain health regeneration, increased reload speed, and greatly improved shield recharge delay while near his barrier. The lower their health, the more health is regenerated.

Health Regeneration: Up to 4% of max health per second while near barrier
Shield Recharge Delay: -33%
Reload Speed: +11%

All-rounder (Tier 3)

Zane’s barrier becomes a dome, covering all sides.

Cooldown: +20%

Redistribution (Tier 4)

Zane and allies near the barrier gain increased gun damage for a few seconds after the barrier takes damage.

Gun Damage: +9%
Duration: 3 seconds

Deterrence Field (Tier 4)

Enemies that touch the barrier take shock damage and are staggered.

Shock Damage: 18

Passive Abilities

Tier 1

Adrenaline (0/5)

Zane gains increased action skill cooldown rate. This bonus is based on the amount of shields he has. The more percent full, the greater the bonus.

Action Skill Cooldown Rate: Up to +4%

Hearty Stock (0/3)

Zane gains increased maximum shield capacity.

Max Shields: +6%

Ready for Action (0/5)

Zane gains improved shield recharge rate and shield recharge delay.

Shield Recharge Rate: +6%
Shield Recharge Delay: -8%

Tier 2

Brainfreeze (0/5)

Whenever Zane scores a critical hit on an enemy, there’s a chance they will be slowed.

Slow Chance: +2.5%

Stiff Upper Lip (0/3)

Whenever Zane is damaged, he gains damage resistance against that damage type.

Damage Resistance: +5%

Rise to the Occasion (0/5)

Zane gains health regeneration. The lower his shield is, the higher the bonus. While Zane’s shields are full, he does not receive any health regeneration.

Health Regeneration: Up to +1% of Max Health per second.

Tier 3

Confident Competence (0/1)

While Zane’s shields are active, he gains increased gun damage and accuracy. This bonus is based on the amount of shields he has. The more percent full, the greater the bonus.

Gun Damage: Up to +10%
Accuracy: Up to +22%

Tier 4

Really Expensive Jacket (0/1)

Elemental damage over time effects applied to Zane have reduced duration.

Elemental Effect Duration: -50%

Best Served Cold (0/5) 

Whenever Zane kills an enemy, they create a cryo nova, dealing damage to all nearby enemies. This skill has a short cooldown.

Damage: 3
Cooldown: 3 seconds

Futility Belt (0/1)

Zane gains resistance to non-elemental damage. All elemental damage Zane takes is converted to non-elemental damage for a short duration after a kill.

Damage Reduction: +22%
Duration: 8 seconds

Tier 5

Refreshment (0/3)

Whenever Zane damages a frozen enemy with his weapon, he gains some of that damage back as health.

Life Steal: 8% of damage dealt

Calm, Cool, Collected (0/1)

Whenever Zane freezes an enemy, his shield instantly begins recharging. If Zane’s shields are already full, he regenerates health for a few seconds. If Zane’s health is already full, his action skill cooldowns and durations are immediately reset.

Health Regeneration: Up to 4% max health per second
Regeneration Duration: 3 seconds

Nerves of Steel (0/3)

Zane gains increasing accuracy and handling. The longer his shield is full, the greater the bonus.

Accuracy: +2% per second
Handling: +2.5% per second
Max Stacks: 99

Tier 6

Distributed Denial (0/1)

Zane’s barrier gains the effects of his currently equipped shield mod. Additionally, shield effects are applied to all allies near the barrier. Bonuses to Zane are reduced.