Ok, don't panic. Breathe. We have a new Borderlands trailer, and there is plenty to find hidden in a whole one minute and 16 seconds of glorious footage. From the time leap between Borderlands 2 and what is almost definitely Borderlands 3 (opens in new tab) to whether Lilith could actually be a villain, in our new Borderlands trailer breakdown we've found a grand total of 20 things in what's almost definitely a new Borderlands teaser trailer (opens in new tab) (although 2K and Gearbox aren't calling it that quite yet) that could tell us quite a bit about the game. There's also a video above with almost all of these secrets in if you'd rather watch things with your eyes than read (hey, it's up to you), but if the latter is more your style just look below to see all the 20 secrets we found in the trailer!
1. Those two at the top are almost definitely the baddies
There's a Borderlands 3 code (opens in new tab) hidden in the teaser trailer - but what does it mean?
The trailer kicks off with two characters at the centre: a woman with cropped hair and angel wings, holding the Vault symbol aloft, and a man crouching at her feet with what looks like a withered arm and the same hairstyle, but mirrored. They’ve both totally got the whole evil-big-collar vibe going on, so I’m guessing that these two are the main villains of Borderlands 3. Considering that they’re positioned closely together in the trailer, it’s anyone’s guess whether they’re siblings, husband and wife, or just a boss and minion who share a similar taste in fashion. However, there are roses around them in the last couple of frames of the trailer, which implies romance to me. But I’m going for siblings - although now, of course, if they’re actually in a relationship I’m going to need a shower. Because the last thing we need is another Cersei/Jaime pairing, thank you very much.
2. The baddies are being worshipped by Psychos, so they might be their army
As the camera pulls out we can see that those two characters are being worshipped by Borderlands’ famous Psychos. Uh oh. Arguably this could just be some artistic licence, but if you ask me it looks like the main foes might have somehow recruited Pandora’s entire bandit population to be their own army. I have a vague idea of how this could happen (just look below to see how Atlas could be involved), as the fact that the bandits are bowing on their knees might imply that there’s some kind of religious element behind it… shudder. If you thought the Psychos were bad in previous games, just wait until they’ve got some religious fervour egging them on...
3. Atlas is probably behind the baddies - and it has delusions of godhood
Pay attention to the right hand side of the screen and you can see an Atlas logo appear. That’s not good, as the megacorporation Atlas has some pretty severe delusions about how close its guns come to godhood. See, it was the first company to use alien tech in its weapons, which - of course - granted those guns immense power with relatively little setbacks, and in its marketing material Atlas always refers to how godly its guns are. Atlas’ propaganda from the Secret Armory of General Knoxx mentions how it will return and “restore order and security to your planet”... which doesn’t sound good. Atlas is probably the one behind the new baddies, and its emphasis on the godly power of its guns would explain why the psychos are worshipping that evil pair. Plus if the events of Tales from the Borderlands are canon, Rhys might still have control over the Atlas corporation… potentially making him the third, unseen big bad in Borderlands 3.
4. Handsome Jack’s mask briefly appears and could be the Mask of Mayhem
Blink and you’ll miss it, but Handsome Jack’s mask pops up 12 seconds in as the camera zooms upwards. It’s broken, with a slash across the left side and a small break on the right. I bet if you were to look at those slashes carefully they’d line up with the Vault scar given to him by his Siren daughter, Angel. But why is his mask featured at all? There’s a good chance it’s the Mask of Mayhem mentioned in the title to the teaser. Perhaps the two central baddies are avenging his memory after finding his mask… or maybe they’re even his children. Ew.
5. Brick and Mordecai are returning
Huzzah! Yep, in one brief section of the trailer you can see that Brick and Mordecai are returning to Borderlands 3. Brick has donned a bandana, Mordecai looks pretty similar to Borderlands 2, and they appear to be reaching up to something. Brick also has more paws strung around his neck, so he might have gone through some more dogs in the interval between Borderlands 2 and 3. Poor Brick. But they’re not alone. Alongside them is a rather unmistakable, bunny-eared face. Which leads me onto…
6. Tiny Tina is all grown up, and Borderlands 3 is set at least five years after Borderlands 2
One of the best new characters to be introduced to the world of Borderlands, Tiny Tina, is back. And look how she’s grown! Instead of wearing a psycho’s mask she has rabbit ears (her trademark animal) attached to her headband, but look at her belt and you’ll see a stuffed bunny tied to it too, confirming that our favourite explosive expert is appearing in Borderlands 3. She was 13 in Borderlands 2, and by the looks of it, she's a young adult now (possibly 18 - 22). So Borderlands 3 is set about five - nine years after Borderlands 2, and I can’t wait to see the eccentric but vengeful not-so-Tiny Tina again.
7. But what’s up with Lilith?
Ok, Mordecai, Brick, and Tiny Tina are back, but where’s Lilith? You have to hold on a bit longer to find her, but she’s in the trailer… with angel wings and a much cleaner costume than she had in Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel. Now, this worries me. Because the short-haired girl from the beginning is also seen with angel wings. In the Pre-Sequel Lilith became someone quite different, almost consumed with the need to avenge Roland’s death. Could she possibly be one of the villains in Borderlands 3? She’s not seen alongside her former friends and her Siren powers are certainly godly, making her the kind of person Atlas might be eager to have on their side. I don’t like that thought… yet it could be a real possibility. Sad face.
8. These people by the car are probably your four playable Vault Hunters
Looks like these people by the flying car (more on that later) are your four main playable Vault Hunters. So…
9. There’s a Siren with serious pistol skills…
Her tattoos might not be visible in the teaser, but as there’s almost always a Siren to play as in Borderlands (except for in the Pre-Sequel), I’m betting that it’s her. She seems to be wearing an Eridian relic as a necklace too, which might strengthen her Siren powers similarly to Eridium’s effect on Lilith. The scar over her left eye implies she’s seen quite a few fights, and if she’s anything like Lilith or Maya she’s going to be one heck of a force on the battlefield.
10. … A girl with the minigun is either jumping or flying out of the car...
What’s better than shooting from a driver’s seat? Flying beside the car, of course! It looks like that’s what this helmeted girl is doing, who is presumably the second playable character in Borderlands 3. The fact that she’s firing what looks like some seriously heavy miniguns implies that she could be the military character Borderlands games have always had in some way or another (i.e. Axton, Roland, Wilhelm). Plus she might have some kind of jetpack if she’s soaring beside that flying car. Can I get a ‘hell yes’?
11. … A hooded sniper robot…
Now I’m not saying hoods always mean a sniper, but like Ana from Overwatch this robot is wielding a sniper rifle in one hand, plus when the camera pulls out at the end of the trailer they’re also seen using one on the right hand side. Perhaps the robot is even related to the enigmatic high-tech Zero in some way. Either way, as it looks like this is the long-range class, it probably puts them in the leagues of characters like Mordecai and Gaige, both of whom fought from a distance. Come to think of it, I do miss Deathtrap. Maybe this robot is some distant relation?
12. … And a grizzled guy with an eyepatch
Lastly there’s a bearded man with an eyepatch (what’s the betting he’s called Odin?) who looks like he fits in with the tank characters like Brick and Salvador. Although we couldn’t see any sign of his military rank above his left eye, this could even be an older version of Axton.
13. There’s no sign of Maya, Axton, Zero, Gaige, or Salvador
But if we’ve seen the playable characters from the first Borderlands, where are our Vault Hunters from Borderlands 2? There’s no obvious signs of them in the trailer, so maybe they’re just taking a well-earned break. Or they might have just decided that after fighting The Warrior at the end of Borderlands 2, they’re ok with living out the rest of their years in quiet seclusion. Which I honestly don’t blame them for.
14. Sir Hammerlock, Ellie, and Moxxi are returning too
Although the second lot of Vault Hunters might be hiding away somewhere, there are a handful of other returning characters. Mad Moxxi, Ellie, Sir Hammerlock, and Lady Aurelia Hammerlock are back and can be glimpsed in the background of the trailer, but I’m ever so slightly worried that I can’t see Scooter anywhere. I swear to god, if he’s dead…
15. New vehicles almost definitely include flying cars, hoverboards, and circular motorbikes
So we’ve already seen what is possibly the next lot of playable Vault Hunters in a flying car, but that’s not the end of the new vehicles in Borderlands 3. Right near the end of the trailer there’s a circular motorbike being ridden by the woman driving the flying car. Come on, you know what I mean: one of those futuristic bikes where the wheel extends all the way over your head. Behind her there’s the sniper robot sailing along on a hoverboard, implying that we’ll be able to fly and shoot simultaneously in Borderlands 3, which is sure as hell going to push my hand-eye-sky coordination to the very limit. Uh oh.
16. Other characters include a helmeted girl and a female robot
There are a handful of other characters in the trailer that frankly look way too strange to be random NPCs, like a girl with a facemask and what looks like feather wings and a sword, and a woman with an astronaut/robot head. I don’t know who they are at the moment, but boy do I have questions.
17. This shirtless guy in skin-tight leggings isn’t to be messed with
Look, wear what you want, but you bet I’m going to need to know who this shirtless, cloaked, legging-wearing, hiking boots-clad guy is because he clearly a) has killer eyebrows b) is confident enough to go without armor while gunfighting and c) is standing on a mountain of dead psychos. So could he be one of your main allies in Borderlands 3? I sure hope so, because at the moment I don’t think I have particularly high chances of surviving a fight with him. Anyone who shuns armor and broods like him is definitely not someone you should mess with.
18. There’s a shift code hidden in plain sight
Keep your eyes peeled (not literally, ew) when you watch the trailer and you’ll be able to spot a hidden code in the background. We were able to spot 25 digits, and in order they read C35TB-WS6ST-TXBRK-TTTJT-JJH6H. That's right, it's a Shift code! Redeeming it on PC via either Borderlands 2 or the Pre-Sequel gets you this message (opens in new tab):
"Thank you for being excited enough to dissect the new bandit mask with the grace of Dr. Zed! As a reward, you have been granted Salvador's Community Day skin and 5 Golden Keys! There are more skins to be granted, so good luck out there, Vault Hunter!"
So what are you waiting for? Go and grab that loot!
19. There is also some morse code hiding away
You might have noticed a strange flashing light in the top left of the trailer that appears at around 16 seconds in and disappears about 10 seconds later. But this isn’t just random light - it’s actually morse code. Slowing the trailer down we’ve managed to decode it into “Count the Sirens”. You can spot a siren in the Borderlands universe due to their tattoo running down one half of their body, although it’s hard to see just how many are in this trailer. But remember: Handsome Jack has told us only six sirens can exist at any time. So far we know of two that are alive, Lilith and Maya. Commandant Steele and Angel, the other two Sirens, are both dead. With the tagline for Borderlands 3 being ‘Mayhem is coming’ and this cryptic clue suggesting we count them, could this be a sign that a seventh is about to throw the world into Chaos? Or is Mayhem simply the name of a character you’ll meet or even play as?
20. Braille code in the corner reads something pretty ominous
If two hidden codes weren't enough for you, I have good news! There's also some braille in the bottom right-hand (opens in new tab) corner that reads 'Like, Follow, and Obey'. Now, that could just be referring to Twitter, but if Atlas really are the bad guys then it would make sense for them to try and rule over everyone like tyrants. Hence their commanding anyone watching the trailer to like them, follow them, and obey them...ugh. A shiver just went through my spine.
Here’s the best FPS games (opens in new tab) you can play if all this talk of Borderlands 3 has got you thirsting to return to a stellar shooter!