×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The biggest unanswered questions we have about Borderlands 3

Beneath all the legendary loot and ridiculous weapons, Borderlands 3 takes you to five planets along your journey to stop the Calypso Twins from opening the Great Vault. You'll meet new friends along the way, and Gearbox has packed more than a few plot twists into its newest adventure. After the story settles, you're free to shoot and loot to your heart's content, thanks to the well implemented endgame.

But after dozens of hours sorting through purple and orange guns, you have to wonder: Did the story neatly tie up all the loose ends? Were there any plot threads left unfinished for us to ponder, possibly until some DLC or a sequel? If you feel the same way, you're in the right place. We've gathered some of the biggest unanswered questions we have about Borderlands 3.

Needless to say, we're going to assume you know everything that happens throughout the story of Borderlands 3. If you haven't completed the game yet, head back to a New-U Station and topple the Calypso Twins before you spoil yourself!

Is Ava the best choice for successor?

If there's anything the Borderlands 3 community seems to agree on, it's the near universal hatred of Ava, Maya's apprentice. She comes off as a hot-headed, self-serving idealist who glorifies heroism without considering the consequences. As much as Maya tries to temper her, Ava continues to disobey, leading to her master's untimely death.

Yet the narrative rewards her by giving her Maya's powers. At that point, Ava becomes a slightly more measured person, but not enough to say she deserves to succeed Lilith as the next leader of the Crimson Raiders. So far, she's mostly demonstrated a selfish motivation behind her decisions, and she has a history of attachment issues. Let's not forget that her bad decision-making skills — something a leader needs — got Maya killed.

So what gave Lilith the idea to put Ava in charge? She hasn't proved herself worthy to lead a group of interplanetary Vault Hunters, and there are so many others who have seniority in the organization. Tannis, Ellie, or any of the Vault Hunters from the previous game would have made more sense. Even the protagonists from Borderlands 3 have a better resume than Ava.

Will we see Gaige in future content?

For those who didn't play the DLC characters in Borderlands 2, Gaige the Mechromancer is a child genius who built Deathtrap, her powerful robot companion. Audio logs explain her background, but long story short, she accidentally murdered her intellectual rival, Marcie Holloway, at a high school science fair. It's not all Gaige's fault, though: Marcie stole her intellectual property, so Deathtrap just "protected" its master.

Gaige escaped to Pandora to become a Vault Hunter, but we don't see much of her after Borderlands 2. She doesn't show up in Borderlands 3, either in person or in an audio log. However, on Promethea, you can find an ECHO log featuring an interview with the president of Holloway Robotics. His company has become wildly successful thanks to their line of Crime Buster Bots. In the interview, he says he vows to use this new success to avenge his daughter.

That means while we were out saving the universe from Tyreen the Destroyer, a squad of Crime Buster Bots could be out there, looking for Gaige the Mechromancer. Could we see her show up in future DLC?

What will Krieg do about Maya?

Avid fans of Krieg and Maya believe that there's something between them. Ever since Gearbox released "Krieg: A Meat Bicycle Built for Two," fans had an idea that there was a strong bond between the two. Everyone's favorite Psycho doesn't physically show up in Borderlands 3, but quite a few audio logs give us an update on what he's been up to.

There's an ECHO log that showcases what's likely the last conversation Krieg will ever have with Maya. In it, Maya says she needs to leave for Athenas for something important. Krieg expresses what we can only assume is Psycho-speak for sadness, but Maya promises she'll be back.

While she's gone, other audio logs reveal that Krieg isolated himself so he could tame the voice in his head. He wants to be in control before he sees Maya again, and he wants to ensure that he saves "NECKSNAP SONGS" for "GARBAGE PEOPLE" only, not the innocent.

Of course, the audience knows he'll never see Maya again. What does that mean for Krieg? Will he relapse and go insane? And how does a Psycho grieve? Hopefully we find out in future content.

Where's the rest of the Borderlands 2 crew?

Borderlands 3 pays homage to the Vault Hunters of the past in a selective way. The surviving members of the first title appear, along with fan-favorite explosion master Tiny Tina. Unfortunately, the showing isn't as strong for the Borderlands 2 crew.

Maya plays a central role to the plot of Borderlands 3, and Zer0 acts as Rhys' right-hand man. That's the extent of in-person appearances, though. Krieg's voice shows up on audio logs, and Gaige is passingly referenced in a single ECHO log. What about Salvador or Axton? We hear nothing from them, despite them playing leading roles in a previous game.

It's an odd thing to see, considering the epilogue of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, the last shooter-based title before Borderlands 3. In that epilogue, an Eridian called The Watcher warns Lilith of an oncoming war. They say that the Crimson Raiders will need all the help they can get. Surely Axton and Sal would count under the umbrella term "all the help." Even if Lilith didn't contact them, a universe-ending threat like The Destroyer would be reason enough for Axton and Sal to do something.

How did Lilith get an Eridian chest in her room?

After the credits roll, you're left with a lot of emotions. Maybe you're sad about Lilith's sacrifice. Maybe the Firehawk emblem on the moon overwhelmed you with a sense of awe. Or, just maybe, you were blinded by rage because Ava would be the next leader of the Crimson Raiders. No matter how you're feeling, Gearbox still rewards you for beating the story.

Tannis calls you back to Sanctuary and asks you to look at something in Lilith's room. You open the door to a somber room, with Ava lamenting the loss of the two leading Sirens. But then you notice something in the back of the room: a red Eridian chest. These things could only be found in distinctly Eridian places, like Vaults or on Nekrotafeyo. So how did Lilith get one in her room? And how long has it been there?

We won't be huge sticklers about this chest, since it gave us some legendary items, but it's still a bit suspicious. Maybe there's more to Lilith's story than we thought.

Were Troy and Tyreen really close?

If you've ever had a brother or sister, you'll know that siblings occasionally get into fights. It's inevitable, and the same is true for Troy and Tyreen. Partway through the story, you start noticing some resentment in Troy. It's not unwarranted, considering Tyreen characterizes her own brother as a literal parasite. Their relationship doesn't seem like the healthiest, and throughout the story, it seems like Gearbox is setting up a bit of a sibling coup d'état.

This is most apparent during Troy's boss fight. In it, he leeches power from Tyreen to defeat you. The longer the fight goes on, the more power he takes, and it starts to hurt Tyreen. He keeps pushing her, though, and you almost wonder if he's going to kill her. Of course, the Vault Hunters eventually put Troy down.

At this point, Tyreen just takes Troy's powers, seemingly unphased by the attempted murder. Sure, familial love and forgiveness is good and all, but the story suddenly drops that sibling rivalry narrative. Did the two really love each other? Or did they see each other as necessary to their own plans? We might never know.

How exactly do the Calypsos' powers work?

We learn that both of the Calypso twins are Sirens, with Troy leeching off Tyreen's power. Tyreen's abilities let her take the power from other living creatures, and she makes an example of Lilith early in the story. Via a chokehold, she takes the Siren powers away from our hero, who loses all her tattoos.

However, just a bit before that, Tyreen shows off her powers on a random Psycho. She didn't need to touch him, and furthermore, his body turned into a purple, crystal-laden husk. Why didn't that happen to Lilith? And why did Tyreen need to physically grab Lilith to steal her powers?

The questions get weirder, too. Troy does something similar to Maya partway through the game, as he absorbs her powers through direct contact. This process ends up killing her, but she doesn't turn into a husk. Instead, she just dissipates into the ether. Do Troy's and Tyreen's powers differ slightly? If they don't, they why didn't Maya turn into a husk or survive? 

What happened to Rhys after Tales from the Borderlands?

Tales from the Borderlands might be the least Borderlands-like game in the franchise. Still, it sets up the building blocks for Rhys' eventual rise to power as the new Atlas CEO. Throughout the game, he searches for the Vault of the Traveler with his companions, Fiona chief among them. The two eventually reach the Vault, and in the final moments of the game, they open a chest. The screen flashes a bright white light, and they disappear.

What happens next? Well, we don't know. It was a cliffhanger ending back in 2015, and it hasn't been expanded upon since. Next time we see Rhys, he's the CEO of Atlas, with a mustache that's definitely compensating for something. He doesn't mention the Vault or what it did to him.

It's no stretch to say an ambitious, ex-Hyperian employee like Rhys could revitalize the then-defunct Atlas. But the lack of explanation surrounding Tales from the Borderlands' ending raises more questions than answers. What was the light? What did it do to (or for) Rhys? What was in that chest?

How did the Vault Hunters kill Tyreen the Destroyer?

At the end of the day, Borderlands 3 is a video game. If the player can't overcome its challenges and feel good about it, then what's the point in playing it, right? However, that doesn't excuse the fact that from a narrative point of view, the final boss doesn't quite make sense.

The Destroyer is an intergalactic embodiment of absolute annihilation. The Eridians feared it would destroy the entire universe, so they sealed it in the Great Vault. Meanwhile, Tyreen had absorbed a Vault Guardian and a couple Sirens, so she's a formidable force in her own right. She fuses with The Destroyer, fulfilling Tyreen's desire to become a god-queen.

So with all that in mind, how did an eight-armed Siren, a sneaky operative, a robotic beastmaster, and a soldier with a mech take down a universe-ending threat? Sure, the Borderlands 3 squad of Vault Hunters would put up a great fight, but we aren't convinced any of them have universe-ending capabilities. This is a video game, so the protagonists win, of course. We just wish the narrative was a bit more convincing.

Why didn't Typhon already have Nekrotafeyo's key?

While The Destroyer is breaking free of its prison, Typhon DeLeon, the first Vault Hunter, asks you to come to the Eridians' homeworld. On Nekrotafeyo, he shows you a machine that can reseal The Destroyer back into the Great Vault. It just needs the power of four Vault Keys. Luckily, you already have three with you, and Typhon knows where to get the pieces of the fourth one: right there on Nektrotafeyo.

But hold on a second. He's known about Nekrotafeyo's key for years. He opened the planet's Vault years ago with his wife, and one of the pieces even lays on the headstone of his wife's grave. If the Vault Key would be such an important part of stopping a universe-ending threat, why would it be scattered around the planet? If the whole universe is at risk, you'd think time would be of the essence. Instead, you're sent on a wild goose chase just because Typhon wasn't prepared. It's not like holding onto a Vault Key would've been hard for him.

Why is Claptrap still a thing?

We couldn't talk about Borderlands without discussing the series' punching bag. Yes, Claptrap is still around, and he's been the butt of many jokes. That's no different in Borderlands 3, where you can adorn him with a spork or an umbrella for the entire game just because.

However, this time around, he might have pushed things a little too far. After you first board Sanctuary 3, you prepare it for interplanetary travel. Ellie's been working hard to make sure it goes without fail, but she still warns everyone on the bridge to be careful. One false move could mean the end for everybody on the ship. Naturally, everyone should exercise care.

Claptrap, of course, throws caution to the wind. He presses some buttons with reckless abandon, and instantly, everything breaks. There's even a crack in the window of the bridge, which you really don't want in space. He saves everyone by covering the crack with his rear end, so he's literally the butt of this joke, too. But this joke went too far, risking the lives of everyone else. Why isn't he considered an actual liability at this point?