Borderlands 3 Gameplay Breakdown – Everything You Might’ve Missed!

Borderlands 3 just had a showing of its new features and we’ve got a tonne to discuss as far as the gameplay goes. Let’s try to breakdown the new gameplay of Borderlands 3, its loot system, pre-order bonuses, microtransactions, and other details that might’ve evaded you.

Borderlands 3 Gameplay Breakdown

Before anything else, let’s get rid of the confusion surrounding microtransactions because, frankly speaking, we don’t want another Star Wars: Battlefront 2 on our hands.

The good news is that there’s nothing in Borderlands 3 that you can purchase that will put you ahead of other hard-working players. Both Gearbox CEO, Randy Pitchford, and Creative Director, Paul Sage, have confirmed this.

With that said, players who’re obsessed with the Borderlands universe can still spend real-life money to buy cosmetic items in the game – nothing that’s associated with progress or player level.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s focus on the different features of Borderlands 3 itself when it comes to the gameplay department.

First, the movement system has received some tweaks so that it’s now more fluid. By sliding and climbing high platforms, the combat feels more dynamic and frenzy.

Loot Instancing

The loot system for the game received a change, with the new feature called “Loot Instancing”. By making it fair for both high-level and low-level co-op companions, your experience isn’t hindered in goal for finding the best loot.

What it basically means is that the randomized loot will be upscaled or downscaled, depending on the player level.

This ensures that every Treasure Chest is worth opening, regardless of your player level or the difficulty of the region you’ll be roaming in since you’ll get the appropriate loot anyways.

With such a feature, any damage dealt by a high-level player is also balanced and scaled so his low-player-level partner can also deliver some hits and feel like he also put in some effort.

The “Loot Instancing” feature thus levels the playing field in terms of loot and enemy encounters, providing every player with the best experience. If you, for some reason, aren’t a fan of the feature, then you can turn it off in the settings.


In the combat department, guns have alternative firing modes. As observed in the showcased demo, a pistol was able to switch from regular rounds to micro-missiles.

When it comes to defensive options, the cover isn’t always a safe bet since some environments, obstacles are destructible and this would hinder remaining in cover for too long. On the other hand, this will also let you shoot hiding enemies out of cover.

In the unfortunate case of being down by taking too much damage, certain NPCs will be able to revive you. This works both ways, as you can also revive the AI so you continue to receive aid in a heated battle.


Like the previous installments in the series, skill trees play a major role when it comes to strengthening your character and progressing in the game.

Some Vault Hunters will be able to equip more than one ability (in place of grenades) whereas usually only one slot is reserved for abilities.

Skills can also be augmented/altered so sometimes two vault hunters won’t work similarly when it comes to the abilities. You can learn all about skills by heading over to the link.

Campaign Length

The Borderlands games have always been one that you could invest a tonne of hours into, being a vast open sandbox with multiple activities to carry out. Borderlands 3 is no different in that regard since even rushing the campaign will contribute to around 30 hours.

This doesn’t take into account additional Side Quests that are also quite abundant and prevalent in Borderlands 3, as it’s been in any previous game in the series.

Pre-Order Bonuses

Pre-ordering any edition of Borderlands 3 will grant you with Gold Weapon Skins and a pack of Weapon Trinket.

The Standard Edition priced at $60 USD comes with only the base game while the Deluxe Edition ($80) comes with the following add-on content:

  • The Retro Cosmetic Pack, Neon Cosmetic Pack, and the Gearbox Cosmetic Pack of Apparel, Echo Device, and Weapon Skins for the Vault Hunter.
  • The Toy Box Weapon Pack which includes 2 Toy Guns, a Grenade Mod, and finally a Weapon Trinket.
  • Mods for increased XP and loot drop.

The Super Deluxe Edition, costing $100 USD, will get you everything from the Deluxe Edition as well as the Season Pass that includes four DLC episodes and the Butt Stallion cosmetic items.

Here’s a good visual breakdown of the three editions for Borderlands 3:

Borderlands 3 Pre-Order Bonuses

Lastly, there’s another version called the Diamond Loot Chest Collector’s Edition that comes with exactly that: a real chest where you can store your items for $250 USD. That’s not all!

You also get the preorder bonuses, all the items from the Super Deluxe Edition as well as the goodies mentioned in the official picture:

Borderlands 3 Collector Edition

Whether that’s $250 price is justified or not depends on how much you like the series, characters, and setting. We know we’ll be getting that Collector’s Edition on Day-1.

This is so far everything we know about Borderlands 3 gameplay and things we learned from breaking it down. If you’ve anything else that you’d like to add, be sure to let us know!