There’s One Thing Fans May Already Know About Borderlands 4 – GameRant


  • Gearbox’s recent approach to post-launch content, as seen in Borderlands 3 and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, suggests that playable character DLCs may not be a focus in Borderlands 4.
  • The developer has chosen to prioritize story and gameplay additions over introducing new playable characters, based on players’ limited engagement with DLC characters in previous games.
  • The consistency in Gearbox’s decision-making over the past few years indicates that Borderlands 4 is likely to continue the trend of no playable character DLCs, opting for a smaller yet more detailed set of playable options.

With Gearbox giving very little information concerning the development of the next mainline entry in the Borderlands franchise, rumors have been making the rounds about Borderlands 4 to guess the series’ plan of action. Guesses regarding the release date, plot, and characters have been circulating for some time, but unofficial information should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Fans had speculated that some news on Borderlands 4‘s development would be available by last year, but there was nothing but radio silence from Gearbox and 2K, which disappointed players. However, the fan base wasn’t simply left to dry, as the release of the spin-off title Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands gave potential clues about Borderlands 4‘s development.

From Borderlands 3‘s DLCs and the release of Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, players might already be sure of one thing concerning Borderlands 4. Some fans were disappointed when Gearbox announced there would be no playable character DLC for Borderlands 3 in 2019 since adding new characters has long been a staple of the Borderlands post-launch experience. However, Gearbox stuck to its guns again in 2022, launching Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands with no core playable characters and no plans for a cast expansion through a DLC. This consistency over the past few years indicates that Gearbox may take a similar approach in Borderlands 4.

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Gearbox’s Recent Developmental Patterns Hint at No Playable Characters in DLCs

For Borderlands 3, Gearbox focused on the four base playable Vault Hunters rather than spreading its resources thin on additional characters. The developer cited data to support this decision, showing players rarely spent significant time with DLC characters before returning to their favorites from the base game. Gearbox wanted to optimize development for the core Vault Hunters gamers had come to know and love, and so it adorned the characters with new skill trees to further their mechanics. In the designer’s cut update of Borderlands 3, the main characters — FL4K, Amara, Moze, and Zane — got new skill trees with novel action skills and abilities.

With the update, FL4K got the Beastmaster Trapper skill tree and the Gravity Snare ability, which allowed players to toss out a trap that lifts enemies in the air, along with the Hyperion Loaderbot mechanical pet. Amara’s skill tree granted her cryo-element upgrades, and her new action skill, Phaseflare, allowed players to deal constant elemental damage to enemies using a summoned Orb of Elemental Energy. Moze’s skill tree was the Bear Mother, replacing her Iron Bear mech with the Iron Cub. The smaller mech uses two of whatever weapons are equipped in the remaining Action Skill Slot, following Moze and attacking enemies while deployed. Lastly, Zane had access to the MNTIS Shoulder Cannon with his Professional skill tree, letting him fire his cannon at his crosshairs, consuming one charge and stunning enemies.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, in a way, follows this same philosophy with no character options at launch, replacing it with a character creator section that allows gamers the freedom to customize their characters and the ability to choose from six character classes. Although the Blightcaller class debuted with the Shattering Spectreglass DLC, there were no core playable characters, departing even further from the Borderlands tradition. However, it is important to note that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is only a spin-off, and its mechanics might not impact the main series.

With Gearbox keeping its cards close to its chest concerning Borderlands 4, its approach with the last games suggests it now prioritizes story and gameplay additions over playable characters in post-launch content. While no DLC characters would be a departure from pre-Borderlands 3 games, Gearbox’s consistency over the past few years indicates it is comfortable with a smaller, more detailed set of playable options. So, for now, it looks like Borderlands 4 will stick with the no-character DLC approach the developer has established recently.

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