Borderlands 3: How loot instancing and level balancing work


One of the most anticipated details of Borderlands 3 that players were wanting to know from the gameplay reveal was how Gearbox intended to handle loot in the game when playing with other players. Other looter shooter games have their own unique way of handling it, while in the previous Borderlands games it was seen as a more competitive element, where the best guns would appear as a free-for-all and it was down to you to grab it. This was arguably not a great approach to the game as it meant that friends would argue over who needed what, and terrible when playing with random players online as it encouraged ninja looting higher level weapons.

For Borderlands 3 however, things will work slightly differently. When joining another player’s session, any loot that is obtained while playing together appears for both players, each able to pick up their own version of that loot.

The new level balancing system also comes into play here. Let’s say you are level 25 and you join a friend who is level 10. When loot drops, the weapon will correspond with your loot level, meaning that each player will pick up a version of the gun suitable for their level.

The game will also balance the guns and the health of enemies depending on the session joined, so even if you are further into the game than your friend, it will automatically adjust the damage output of your weapons to keep the game even and fun for both players, rather than the higher level player to rip through the weaker enemies.

The system is similar to how The Division 2 works when joining a friends session. However, it was announced that this feature is optional, and instead players looking to play the game in the previous manner can do so by playing the “Classic Mode”.

This all bodes well for those looking to play with friends without making the game too easy when dropping into a friends session to help them catch up. We cannot wait to give the game a try!