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Borderlands 2: eight secrets, Easter eggs and locations you absolutely must find

Taking your first steps on Pandora? Here are some tips

There's a lot to see and do in Borderlands 2, so it's worth drawing up a list of priority targets well in advance. Here are a few of the secrets, Easter eggs and hotspots we've discovered, with a bit of help from the citizens of the Internet.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Bandits
This Turtles-inspired mission begins with you picking up a pizza from Moxie's, and taking it into a base you've visited before. Don't follow the map around - look left for a sewer system early on in the map. After you've defeated the four colour-coded bodacious thugs, you'll find a room with a TV, and a number of switches. Look at the wall, and use the various switches to get them all green for a secret bonus boss. He dropped some nice purple guns for us...

2. Getting into Buzzard
In The Dust, you can get into the Buzzard camp by driving at speed up a huge rocky outcrop. Don't use your boost, or you'll end up in an area which immediately spawns a lot of enemies. Driving at a normal speed drops you in a relatively safe starting area.

3. Secrets of Caustic Caverns (mild spoilers)
Been to Sanctuary yet? It's not your average hub city. At some point in the campaign, the entire place will take to the skies, leaving a massive crater. Explore that crater and you'll discover the Caustic Caverns, an optional side area filled with esoteric enemies and nasty acid pools. Near the bottom are some dirt blocks which will be familiar if you're a fan of Minecraft. Melee attack the blocks to enter a cavern filled with Creepers and Minecraft character skins.

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4. Meet Michael Mamaril
Michael Mamaril was Borderlands fan who passed away from cancer at the age of 22. Gearbox's David Eddings - voice of Claptrap - recorded a eulogy for Michael last November, and the studio has also immortalised him as a Borderlands 2 NPC. You'll find the man at random locations in Sanctuary. Speak to him to get free guns and an Achievement, "Tribute to a Vault Hunter".

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5. Find Hyperion's Energising Bane
Fancy winding yourself up to no good purpose? Complete the "Bane" quest series in Wild Western town Lynchwood. You'll be rewarded with an SMG that... well, it's simplest if you just watch the video. Bear in mind that it reduces your sprint speed too. Thanks, PC Gamer?

6. Chubby Loot
Deep in the Highlands, not far from Blake Bridge, there's a rare critter known as Chubby which bestows an Achievement and special loot when slain. Head down the tunnel to your left after fast-travelling to the area to find the bridge. The Chubby only comes out at night, and isn't guaranteed to appear every time. If in doubt, leave and complete a few missions, then try again.

7. Infinite Eridium
Eridium is your best friend, traveller - it's a currency, key to getting hold of high level weapons, that you can also use to augment other elements. Fancy securing an unlimited supply? Head to Three Horns valley and head north to the hideout where you fight the Bad Maw boss, right next to the entrance to Bloodshot Stronghold. Kill Bad Maw and pick up the Eridium he drops. Then, enter the Bloodshot Stronghold, save and quit, return to Three Horns Valley and kill Bad Maw again to get more Eridium. Repeat ad nauseam.

8. Get hold of the Nova Shield
One of our favourite shield effects is Nova damage, and there's a unique Level 9 shield that's good for all the Nova damage you can eat. Finish Lilith's Firehawk mission chain (it begins in Sanctuary, but mostly takes place in Frostburn Cavern), and you'll get an Orange Shield that, when depleted, emits bursts of fire that will frequently ignite people, causing a later death that'll give you a Second Wind if you get knocked down. (Warning: the blast can also wipe out the last of your enemies, leaving you with no-one to get your Second Wind from.)

An extra bonus is that the "Death By Nova Damage" Badass rank is one of the easiest to level up. Keep Lilith's shield equipped, and you'll have 100 Badass points for no work at all.

Read more about how Borderlands 2 improves on Borderlands 1 in Matt's feature, and check out his ultimate Borderlands 2 skills guide for video tutorials to each and every class.

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