Zane, The Operative Skill Builds in Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 Zane Build

The Operative, Zane is a specialist who was a hitman previously and uses his skills as well as his gadgets and trickery to deceive enemies and give himself an advantage in battles.

He is greatly known for being able to use multiple abilities which allow you to make use of two skills to create a strategic playstyle giving you an edge against your foes.

Under Cover Build


The Under Cover build focuses on mostly on a playstyle which make good use of Zane’s Barrier skill and his ability to slow enemies with critical hits and take advantage of them being slowed.

Adrenaline is a good passive for you to start out with as this can allow you to use the Barrier skill more often with its reduction to the action skill cooldowns.

Zane is a bit squishy at first but with the Hearty Stock, he can increase his maximum amount of shields and if you find a good shield mod to equip him with he can end up being very durable later on.

This build requires you to learn the Brain Freeze passive which will allow you to slow enemies down and even freeze them which will allow you to take advantage of the status of enemies related to your other skill tree passives.

We add one point to Rise The Occasion to give Zane a small amount of health regeneration as it is better than having none at all since we conserve the points to fit the whole build.

With the Confident Competence passive Zane gets a boost in gun damage and accuracy based on the amount of shield he has, making Barrier good for helping him stay undamaged to maintain a higher boost.

Really Expensive Jacket will improve Zane’s survivability by reducing the time he is affected by status effects while Futility Belt gives him damage to physical damage and allows him to change all elemental damage taken to non-elemental giving a reduction to the overall damage.

The Refreshment passive adds a good amount of life steal when he damages a frozen enemy which goes well with his Brain Freeze passive.

Calm, Cool and Collected is a good passive skill for replenishing shields, health and making Zane’s active abilities cool down faster.

Distributed Denialallows you to utilize Barrier to gain additional effects as well as bolster you allies which helps a lot during hard fights.


The Barrier skill allows Zane to deploy a shield that blocks projectiles while the Digi-Clone skill is good for repositioning Zane as well as keeping enemies from focusing on him which is good for keeping Zane free of damage to maintain his other passives.

Using the Charged Relay augment buff will grant Zane and his allies a boost in movement speed and reload speed when they come in contact with the Barrier while the All-Rounder augment causes the barrier to become a dome, protecting all sides.

In order to further help Zane maintain his shields, we use the Schadenfreude augment which causes his shields to be restored when the clone takes damage.

To reduce the chances of Zane being the target of enemies we equip the Which One’s Real augment which has a high chance of causing enemies to target the clone when being spawned or when Zane swaps places with it.


Part of this build relies on Zane being able to deal critical hits on enemies so that the effects from Brain Freeze may occur.

By damaging enemies that are frozen, Zane will be able to utilize life steal from his weapons which will replenish his health.

When shields and health are full, Calm, Cool and Collected will cause his active skill to reset which allows him to use his active skills more often.

This build is great for keeping Zane safe from enemies majority of the time and by being able to use his Barrier often, he not only gains defense but a boost in movement speed and reload speed as well as the bonus damage from firing through the barrier.

The usage of Digi-Clone in this build is essential for keeping enemies off of Zane so that he can maintain his health and shields to make sure Calm, Cool and Collected takes effect more often.

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Doubled Agent Build


Our Doubled Agent Build is made to allow you to continuously deal large amounts of damage while also shouldering a bit of recklessness so that you can dive into fights with better chances of surviving.

Syncrhonicity is a very important part of this build as it adds a huge bonus to Zane’s damage by increasing his gun damage for each action skill that is active meaning this can stack twice.

To further increase the damage that Zane can deal as well as giving him health regeneration, we level up the Donnybrook passive which activates when he kills an enemy.

Fractal Frags is a great way to deal extra damage every now and then as it causes your clone to throw a grenade when spawned as well as giving it the chance to throw a grenade when you kill an enemy.

With the Duct Tape Mod passive, Zane will fire a grenade by chance when firing his first shot which can help kill enemies much quicker and making clearing areas easier to do.

Zane can sometimes rely on his shields not only to stay alive but to also work with others skill trees which make sit important to add Quick Breather to the build for the purpose of forcing your shields to recharge when you swap places with your clone.

We add the Old-U passive to the build so you may use the clone to save your life during Fight For Your life which destroys the clone and immediately revives Zane, making it a good option for saving your life when falling in battle.

Another boost that relies on having action skills active is the Supersonic Man passive which increases the movement speed of Zane and stacks for each action skill that active, granting you more mobility.

To improve the chances of Zane surviving fights, the Like A Ghost passive is added so Zane as well as his clone have a chance to dodge bullets which has an even higher chance if an action skill is active.

Since the Digi-Clone can deal damage but also be destroyed we add Boom.Enhance. to the build so that his clone gains more gun damage, health and more.

Double Barrel allows your clone to wield the same weapon you are wielding and will also add additional gun damage after swapping places with the clone.


Similar to the previous build we use both the Digi-Clone and Barrier skills with the only exception of using the Dopplebanger augment instead of the Schadenfreude augment.

The Dopplebanger augment is adds a large amount of damage to the build and can be used to easily annihilate a group of enemies or deal a large amount of damage to enemies that hard difficult to kill.

Barrier remains the same, using both the Charged Relay and All-Rounder mod which can be used for mobility as well as defense when attacking enemies so you gain a period of time where you are safe and have the freedom to deal a large amount of damage.


This build contains passives that increase Zane’s damage and using them as an advantage can boost his damage very high which makes it easy for him to kill off enemies.

Zane can use his Digi-Clone to get him out of trouble or to add to the amount of damage he deals by either summoning the clone before he rushes into a fight or using it when he is about to die.

Upon getting downed, he can instantly revive himself or before this happens, he may swap positions with the clone.

The usage of Barrier is a great way for him to protect himself while rushing into fights and he can also use this along with the Digi-Clone skill to protect him and his clone while they fire at enemies. 

Hitman Build 


The Hitman Build focuses on mobility and damage, allowing Zane to run around the field killing enemies and dashing through areas.

This build requires good movement and allows you to kite enemies and deal damage while running around so they have a hard time catching you while you pick them off one by one.

Violent Speed and Violent Momentum go hand in hand as Violent Speed causes Zane to move faster after a kill while Violent Momentum modifies his damage the faster, he is moving.

We add Cool Hand for a faster reload speed but only level it up to level 4 so that we can make room for some passives from the other trees.

Death Follows Close is very important as it increases the effects and durations of kill skills which makes it very effective fore Violent Speed and Violent Momentum as any other kill skills that have been added.

Violent Violence helps improve Zane’s damage per second by increase his fire rate after he kills an enemy which goes well with Cool Hand to quickly unload clips onto enemies.

Playing Dirty will help you take enemies down quickly as each time you kill an enemy, there is a chance that your next 5 shots will fire an extra projectile which makes it easy to take enemies out one at a time.

Seein’ Red will activate all of your kill skills which become very useful when your in a fight so you can make use of all your kill skills if ever you do not have any active while rushing into a group of enemies.


We use Zane’s drone, the SNTNL as our first ability to help fight enemies so that Zane can be mobile while his drone is also dealing damage to enemies.

The drone is equipped with the Bad Dose augment which allows the drone to weaken enemies and boost Zane’s fire rate and movement speed making it also add to the damage with Violent Momentum.

Barrier is our second ability as it helps Zane stay protected and adds to the movement speed as well giving him along with his other skills very good mobility which modifies his damage output.

The usage of Barrier also gives him protect and bonus damage and he can pick this up and keep it with him while running around to avoid unnecessary damage.


As Zane fights enemies, he will use his SNTNL skill to trigger his kill skills so he gets all the bonuses from them and this can also be done with Barrier since its good to use whatever is more situational at the time.

Zane will be running around a lot, maintaining speed and taking down enemies and so will the drone so while enemies are getting killed and get distracted from Zane, his drone will also be taking them out and buffing him at the same time.

While running around, Zane can still get hit so its good to make use of Barrier to stay protected most of the time and make use of its speed boost to add to his damage aside from the Barrier’s projectile damage increase.



Zane is a very mobile character to play and he is capable of dealing a lot of damage and taking advantage of the foolishness of his enemies.

Unlike most characters, Zane is able to use two of his skills where one skill replaces his ability to use grenades which is the choice of the user if they want to swap out the grenades for an extra ability.

You can mix and match 2 different skills to use together with Zane which is highly advised since he has some passives that are affected by each active passive skill, granted two time the benefits.

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Michael James

Michael James has been an avid gamer since he was young. He loves to play video games and enjoys writing about it to share his experience and ideas with others. Aside from playing, he also enjoys helping other gamers both ingame and on-site.

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