Borderlands 3: Release date, characters, trailer, and everything we know so far

(Image credit: Gearbox)

Although E3 2019 is over we have plenty more information about Borderlands 3: we got a new Borderlands 3 trailer  (which you can watch below) that showed Lilith giving everyone a recap of what's at stake in the game (the evil Calypso Twins are trying to brainwash everyone, basically), as well as showing off the fact that - wait for it - Lilith isn't a Siren anymore. Tyreen might have had something to do with that, given her Siren power is to steal the life from her victims. Perhaps she tried the same thing on Lilith and stole her power instead... which does not bode well at all. Borderlands 3 is due to reinvent the franchise, and with the new Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC we're all being thoroughly prepared for some major changes. Look below for everything we know about Borderlands 3 so far, and keep an eye out for it on September 13 when it comes out for real! 

Fast Facts

  • Borderlands 3 release date: September 13, 2019
  • Borderlands 3 characters: Amara the Siren, Moze the Bot Jock, Zane the Operative, and Fl4k the Beastmaster
  • Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Epic Games Store 6-month exclusive)
  • Developer: Gearbox

Warning: there are spoilers below for Borderlands and Borderlands 2, so if you haven’t finished the games read ahead at your own risk!

The Borderlands 3 trailer is just as awesome as you'd hope

Borderlands 3 was one of the E3 2019 games to be shown off this year, and you can watch the full-length trailer above that got shown off during the show. Here's the small details you might have missed in it, which picks out things like the homage to the very first time we saw Lilith's as well as new details about vehicles, enemies, and Flak's pets. Is it September yet?

The first full Borderlands 3 trailer is fantastic. We've watched it so, so many times that we can give you hundreds of tidbits that we've gleaned from the glorious three minutes and 40 seconds of footage. Prepare yourself for familiar characters, brand new ones, a return of most of the Vault Hunters from the Borderlands series so far, Pyschos, Skags, Sirens, billions of guns and even a saxophone solo from Brick. Oh, and tongue-in-cheek captions galore, as you'd hope. 

If you want more (because of course you do), you need to check out our Borderlands 3 trailer breakdown, which goes through the 36 little things you probably missed. We'll warn you though, it's not for the fainthearted. Plus there was a more recent announcement Borderlands 3 trailer which gave us the hallowed September 13 release date, which you can watch for yourself below!

The Borderlands 3 teaser trailer set the tone right

Ok, so technically our first Borderlands 3 teaser trailer wasn't branded as belonging to Borderlands 3, as the tagline at the end merely reads 'Mayhem is coming', but we now know for sure that it was for Borderlands 3. Told ya so! Feast your eyes on the trailer above, and we've also done a new Borderlands trailer breakdown so you can take a look at the 20 small things you might have missed. Be right back, just going to go do a whoop of joy somewhere soundproof as I can't believe the waiting is  over and that Borderlands 3 is actually happening. 

Borderlands 3 release date is sooner than you think

Despite the fact that Borderlands 3 feels like it was only just announced, we already know when it's coming out. The Borderlands 3 release date is set as September 13, 2019, so in less than four months' time you're going to be playing it. Holy. Moly. 

Borderlands 3 characters are Amara, Moze, Zane, and Fl4k

You'll be pleased to hear that there are four new Borderlands 3 Vault Hunters on their way, which means new characters for you to play as as you explore its exotic locales, because with Borderlands 3 we're going off-world. But for now, here are the four new Borderlands 3 characters that you'll be able to play as:

- Moze, The Gunner: When Moze needs backup, she creates her mech, known as the Iron Bear, for a sucker punch of additional firepower

- Amara, The Siren: As you can probably tell by all those muscles, Amara is a confident, and incredibly capable brawler who's capable of summoning ethereal fists

- FL4K, The Beastmaster: FL4K is all about the hunt, so all his loyal beasts submit to him, and you know they love chomping on bandits

- Zane, The Operative: Zane is all about specialised battlefield gadgetry, particularly those that allow him to slip into combat, create chaos and sneak back out again

Borderlands 3 split-screen co-op is happening

Oh, split screen. I knew thee well. And I'm about to know you again because Borderlands 3 split-screen multiplayer is happening. Wahoo! Our local co-op prayers have been answered, and that sound you can hear is gamers everywhere cheering. Plus there's also level-scaling for co-op play, so you'll always be able to dip into a gaming session with buddies even if they've just started out and you happen to be able to make worlds shake with Amara's ground-shaking Siren punch. Yay!

Borderlands 3's radiation element is replacing for slag 

Elemental types are an important part of maximizing your damage in any Borderlands game, as stacking up different effects can have a huge impact on your DPS. If you're a Borderlands 2 veteran, you no doubt know slag as an incredibly effective tool: hitting an enemy with this elemental type doubled the damage taken from a different element. This became essential at high-level play - but it's being tossed out in Borderlands 3 in favor of a new elemental type: radiation. On Twitter, Randy Pitchford said that radiation "has a similar effect to slag (increased vulnerability by those affected) and also has a damage-over-time component." Sounds good to us - few things could be cooler than radioactive isotope bullets. 

What's left on our Borderlands 3 wishlist?

Below you'll find everything we really want to see in Borderlands 3. Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel did a great job at expanding the core Borderlands gameplay while also staying true to its winning FPS-RPG formula, and although the recent trailers are jaw-dropping, there's still a lot that we want to see in our return to Pandora. 

1. Bases where you can store your many, many, many guns in display cabinets 

One of the biggest things that made Borderlands 1 and 2 stand out when they were released is the absolutely astounding numbers of guns you can find throughout the world. They’re procedurally generated in Borderlands 2, meaning there’s a grand total of about 17 million to find, so if Borderlands 3 is going to continue this craze (which is practically a given), then we need display cabinets to show off our prized weapons. It could expand on the HQ you had in Borderlands 2, complete with its vault storage facility, as the idea of throwing away a gun that’s been with us since the beginning is something I still shrink from now. We Vault Hunters can get peculiarly attached to our favourite guns, so just give us a way to display them!

2. More different costumes, not just colour palettes 

Getting to change the colour palette of your character was cool, but there wasn’t much choice when it came to different heads or skins in the previous Borderlands games. Including full-body skins like the creative ones you can get in Overwatch would be a great way to customise your character, plus I really want to see a Siren in a mermaid outfit. 

3. Photo mode 

Photo mode is pretty much a given in games now, so I’d be surprised if it wasn’t in Borderlands 3. Because Borderlands doesn’t do things by halves, it should have some really obnoxious poses and filters, or let you pose with enemies (dead or alive). Plus I’m imagining a ton of frames too, hopefully with Marcus or Dr Zed’s trademark slogans. Come on, tell me you can’t see “catch a ride!” emblazoned on a shot of you running a skag over. Speaking of skags...

4. Open with another crazy cutscene to (somehow) top the last three

In the original Borderlands, it was the folksy tune of Cage the Elephant’s Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked. Borderlands 2’s opening banger was Short Change Hero by The Heavy. Heck, even the Pre-Sequel kicked off with a rousing performance of Black Dragon by The Vines. It’s a Borderlands tradition, then, to begin the campaign with a mad, slapstick opening cutscene that introduces our main characters in heroic style to the backdrop of a catchy musical number. I’m certain Gearbox already has a cinematic set piece in the works for Borderlands 3, but can it up the ante of its predecessors? I’m crossing all nine toes. 

5. Tell us more about the Eridian aliens

Borderlands’ aliens have been part of the series since the very first game, as they’re the ones who created Sirens (somehow), the Guardians that protect their Vaults, and have access to catastrophically powerful technology and telekinetic abilities. One of these aliens named The Watcher ended up preventing Athena from getting executed at the end of Borderlands 2, and warned Colonel Zarpedon about Hyperion and Handsome Jack before telling the Vault Hunters about an oncoming war. So obviously they have the ability to see the future. But why do they care about what we smelly humans do? Borderlands 3 had better give us some answers about their mysterious motivations.