Borderlands Wiki
For the film, see Borderlands (film).

Borderlands is a science fiction first-person shooter game with RPG elements created by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Mac OS X. The game was revealed in the September 2007 issue of Game Informer magazine as the first of a planned series. It was released on October 20th, 2009.

An enhanced re-release was later released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 3rd, 2019: Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced.


In the distant future, several colonization ships head to a planet on the edge of the galaxy: Pandora. The colonists are drawn there in search of a better life as well as vast mineral resources that are said to be on the planet, free for the taking.

Some time after settling, the colonists discover that the planet offers little aside from decrepit alien ruins. When the companies mining the planet leave, they let loose the criminals they had employed as forced labor and left any other colonists there. Some of the settlers seek to get rich quick by discovering alien technology, most others are just trying to survive. After seven Earth years, the planet's slow orbit brings a transition from winter to spring, and many dangerous, horrifying creatures begin to emerge from hibernation, making Pandora even more dangerous.

A beacon of hope for the remaining colonists emerges in the form of a mysterious alien Vault carved in the side of a mountain. This Vault is said to contain vast stores of alien technology and secrets. The only problem is that the people who discovered the Vault were completely wiped out by some sort of protective force, with the only evidence of their discovery being a scattered radio transmission, proclaiming the Vault's majesty, but not its location. The stories of this wealth has sparked renewed interest in Pandora, and corporations and treasure hunters have begun to return to the wastelands to try and claim the treasures of the Vault.


In addition to its single player mode, Borderlands prominently features four player 'drop-in, drop-out' cooperative online play and two player split-screen play for consoles (expanded to four players for its enhanced release). Much of the gameplay consists of traditional first person shooter elements, combining a vast selection of weapons to use and enemies to battle. Players also have access to color customizable vehicles for vehicular combat. Defeated enemies drop random equipment, which is available to pick up and use.


Main article: Missions

Like traditional RPGs, much of the players' time will be taken up by missions. There are 127 missions of varying length and complexity, 47 of these being part of the story and the other 80 as side missions. Many of these missions can be completed together. Gearbox's aim was to encourage players to push themselves to complete the next mission on their list. Each mission reveals a new piece of story and/or world-building, and carries its own rewards, such as money and new weapons or items.


The game features a gun generator similar to Diablo's random item generation system. This generation system can produce over 17,000,000 different weapons. Nearly everything can be randomized with each weapon - including barrel length, projectile type and size, firing pattern, iron-sights/scope, color and material, and even the possibility of various elemental damage types.

"'We saw a ridiculous amount of guns, but perhaps the strangest was a revolver that fired shotgun shells (similar to .38/.357 shotshells). Gearbox is constantly surprised with what the system comes up with. They've seen rifles shoot everything from homing darts to rockets. 'One of the guns tracks onto something and locks, and after three seconds, [the target] suddenly explodes,' director Matthew Armstrong says."
However, some of these features (such as tracking projectiles) are not featured in the completed game.

Player vs. Player

Main article: Arena

At any time or place, a player can melee another player to issue a challenge. If the melee is returned, a one-on-one duel starts. Players can also travel to arenas located at various locations in the game world. These arenas are specifically made for competitive play, where players can face off in both free-for-all games or team-based games. Completing duels or arenas are solely for the purpose of fun - no items are awarded or lost.

Multiple Playthroughs

After completing the game's story, players are free to roam the world to complete any side missions left unfinished, drop the Vault Key off to Patricia Tannis to collect a hefty reward or wander around to fight enemies and gather more loot. Upon returning to the title screen, selecting the same character to continue play also provides the option to begin Playthrough 2.

At the beginning of Playthrough 2, characters keep all of the gear, skills, levels, and money that they ended Playthrough 1 with and the level of all of the game's enemies scale up, beginning at level 34 and ascending from there. The names of enemies also adjust to reflect the difficulty setting; i.e. from Psycho to Maniac-lunatic, Midget to Little-stunted and Bruiser to Brute-Bully.

After completion of the story missions in Playthrough 2, all of the enemies scale again, ranging from 48 to 52, and are again renamed; i.e from Maniac to Lunatic, Little to Stunted and Brute to Bully. Players can revisit and battle the game's enemies and most bosses for better gear, participate in cooperative play, and fight in the arenas.
Colloquially referred to as Playthrough 2.5 (though not in-game itself), this marks the end of Playthrough 2's storyline. Any side missions that have not been accepted will continue to scale to the player character's level until they are accepted (already started missions remain at the level they were when accepted). This also carries over to DLCs, significantly increasing their difficulty.

Pop culture references

Main article: Borderlands pop culture references

Borderlands and its DLC feature large amounts of references to other works and pop culture both as part of its sense of humor and as homages.

Character Classes

Main article: Classes

The four classes in Borderlands

Borderlands includes four character classes. Each class has a unique Action Skill to use, three Skill Trees to develop, and elemental accessories that are found and earned throughout gameplay. As characters level up, they gain increases to their maximum health and melee damage, and as they utilize each weapon type, they gain accuracy, reload and damage bonuses for each.
The four classes and their Action Skills are:


Site Score Date Reviewer Notes

&+00 8.5 (Xbox)

8.5 (PC)

8.0 (PS3)

2009-10-21 Chris Watters
1Up &+80B+ 2009-10-19 Thierry Nguyen
IGN &+888.8 2009-10-19 Charles Onyett Editor's Choice Award
Playstation University &+00 2009-10-18 The Dean
Just Push Start &+804/5 2009-10-18 Jon Christopher
Team Xbox 9/10 2009-10-19 Editor's Choice Award
Planet Xbox 360 8.6/10 2009-10-19
Giant Bomb 4/5 2009-10-18 Jeff Gerstmann


8.4/10 2009/10/19
G4 4/5 2009/10/19 Brian leahy

PC requirements

  • 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 Processor or equivalent
  • AMD K7 processors require a patch available here: gbxforums
  • NVIDIA Geforce 8600 GS/ATI Radeon X850 Series
    • Requires Pixel shader version 3.0 or better (ONLY required to activate certain high-level graphics features)
  • DVD-ROM drive (Not required if game is purchased from an online store.)
  • 8 GB of hard disk space
    • 4 GB of hard disk space needed for the complete DLC Pack.


  • The intro song of Borderlands is "Ain't no Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant.
  • The end credits song is "No Heaven" by DJ Champion.
  • Awarded Guinness Book of World Records (Gaming) world record for most guns in a video game: 17,750,000

External Links