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Borderlands 3 walkthrough, guide and tips for completing the main story chapters

Our walkthrough for Borderlands 3 on the PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Borderlands 3 has brought Pandora back to the PC, Xbox One and PS4.

This time round you're helping Lilith and the Crimson Raiders fight the Calypso Twins - cult leaders, who have plans for the vaults hidden across the Borderlands galaxy. It's a race against time, which means you're going to need a really good gun.

There are four new Vault Hunters for you to play as - Amara the Siren, Fl4k the Beastmaster, Moze the Gunner and Zane the Operative.

Our Borderlands 3 walkthrough will give you an idea of what each story chapter will contain, including side missions you may encounter and an ideal level for your Vault Hunter to be at.

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Borderlands 3's Flak Was Inspired By Pokémon AND World of Warcraft?!

How Borderlands 3's story works and how many chapters in Borderlands 3 explained

Borderlands 3 is divided into 23 different story chapters.

Each one will take you to a new location - be it a new planet or area you haven't been able to visit before - on your quest to stop the Calypso Twins and their cult. You'll also have your hands full fighting robots, cultists and even a mega corporation.

Every chapter in Borderlands 3 is made up of a series of objectives for you to complete. On your map, you'll find a waypoint marker, which will tell you where to go next to complete your current objective.

Story chapters flow in one and other; every time you finish one, the next will automatically begin. This means you don't have to worry about tracking down the next chapter giver.

You'll also find a collection of side missions during your journey through the stars.

Side missions appear as yellow exclamation points (!) on your map. Talk to the person or interact with the object that belongs to that exclamation point to begin the side mission.

Borderlands 3 walkthrough and chapter list

Below you'll find a list of all the story chapters in Borderlands 3.

We've included a brief synopsis of what each chapter involves, the rewards you receive, any side missions you may encounter and an ideal level for you to be at when completing this chapter.

Chapter One - Children of the Vault

  • Help Claptrap gain control of the COV propaganda centre
  • Shiv - Level 2
  • Reward: $268 / Common grenade mod

Chapter Two - From the Ground Up

  • Ideal Level - 3
  • Assist Lilith in finding the Sun Smasher clan chief
  • Side Missions:
    • Powerful Connections
  • Reward: $301 / Rare Vault Hunter skin

Chapter Three - Cult Following

  • Ideal Level - 5
  • Infiltrate the Holy Broadcast Center to find the Vault Map
  • Mouthpiece - Level 8
  • Side Missions unlocked:
    • Golden Calves
    • Dump on Dumptruck
    • Bad Reception
    • Under Taker
    • Skag Dog Days
    • Head Case
  • Reward: $422 / Rare Vault Hunter Head

Chapter Four - Taking Flight

  • Ideal Level - 9
  • Collect Tannis and ready Sanctuary for her maiden voyage through the stars
  • Reward: Third Weapon Slot / $530 / Epic level weapon

Chapter Five - Sanctuary

  • Ideal Level - 10
  • Make sure that the good ship Sanctuary is running smoothly
  • Reward: $594 / Rare level Shield

Chapter Six - Hostile Takeover

  • Ideal Level - 12
  • Make contact with the Atlas Corporation during the hostile invasion by Maliwan
  • Defeat Gigamind - Level 13
  • Unlocks Promethea and Meridian Spillways
  • Side Missions unlocked:
    • Healers and Dealers (On Promethea)
    • Mailwannabees (On Promethea)
    • Rise and Grind (On Promethea)
    • Just a Prick (On Sanctuary)
  • Reward: $935 / Uncommon Class Mod

Chapter Seven - The Impending Storm

  • Ideal Level - 14
  • Find the Vault Key fragment on Athenas
  • Unlocks Athenas
  • Captain Traunt - Level 14
  • Side Missions unlocked:
    • Holy Spirits (On Athenas)
  • Reward: $1,047 / Rare level weapon

Chapter Eight - Space-Laser Tag

  • Ideal Level - 17
  • Help Rhys retrieve the Vault Key from Maliwan
  • Unlock Skywell-27
  • Unlock Side Missions:
    • Opposition Research
  • Katagawa Ball - Level 18
  • Reward: $1,647 / Rare level weapon

Chapter Nine - Atlas, At Last

  • Ideal Level - 19 to 21
  • Retrieve the Vault Key from Rhys
  • Unlock Atlas HQ
  • Katagawa Jr. - Level 21
  • Reward: $1,845 / Rare Vault Hunter head / Rare Weapon Trinket

Chapter Ten - Beneath the Meridian

  • Ideal Level - 21 to 22
  • It's time to unlock the vault on Promethea
  • Unlock Neon Arterail and The Forgotten Basilica
  • Unlocks Side Missions:
    • Ratch'd Up
  • The Rampager - Level 20
  • Reward: Fourth Weapon Slot unlocked / $2,067
  • Book of the Storm Weapon Trinket - optional reward from talking to Ava

Chapter Eleven - Hammerlocked

  • Ideal Level 22 to 23
  • Rescue Hammerlock from The Anvil
  • Unlocks Eden-6, Floodmoor Basin and The Anvil
  • Unlocks Side Missions:
    • Don't Truck With Eden-6
    • Get Quick, Slick
    • On the Blood Path
  • Warden - Level 21, 22 and 23
  • Reward: $2,592 / Epic Level Weapon

Chapter Twelve - Lair of the Harpy

  • Ideal Level - 24
  • Take back the Jakobs Cooperation from Aurelia
  • Unlocks Jakobs Estate
  • Unlocks Side Missions:
    • Witch's Brew
    • Sacked
  • Billy the Anointed - Level 23
  • Reward: $2,904 / Epic Level Grenade Mod

Chapter Thirteen - The Guns of Reliance

  • Ideal Level - 24
  • Help Clay take back the town of Reliance
  • Unlock Side Mission:
    • Malevolent Practice
    • Irregular Customers
  • Muldock The Anointed - Level 25
  • Rewards: $5,464 / Common Vault Hunter head

Chapter Fourteen - The Family Jewel

  • Ideal Level - 25 to 27
  • Find the Vault key fragment on the Jakobs Family Jewel
  • Unlock Voracious Canopy
  • Unlock Side Missions:
    • Capture the Flag
    • Swamp Bro
    • Rumble in The Jungle
  • GenIVIV - Level 27
  • Rewards: $3,060 / Rare level Weapon

Chapter Fifteen - Going Rogue

  • Ideal Level - 27
  • Help Clay find the second Vault Key fragment
  • Unlock Ambermire
  • Unlock Side Mission:
    • Sell Out
  • Archimedes the Anointed - Level 27
  • Rewards: $4,569 / Epic level Weapon

Chapter Sixteen - Cold as the Grave

  • Ideal Level - 28 to 29
  • Unlock the Vault on Eden-6
  • Unlock Blackbarrel Cellars and The Floating Tomb
  • Unlock Side Mission:
    • Raider of the Lost Rock
  • Aurelia - Level 28
  • Graveward - Level 29
  • Rewards: Ability to equip Artifact/ $5,732

Chapter Seventeen - Blood Drive

  • Ideal Level - 31 to 32
  • Save Tanis from Pain and Terror
  • Unlock Devil's Razor, The Splinterlands and Carnivora
  • Unlock Side Missions:
    • Pandora's Next Top Mouthpiece
    • Boom Boom Boomtown
    • Buff Film Buff
    • ECHOnet Neutrality
    • The Feeble and the Furious
    • The Homestead
    • The Homestead (Part Two)
    • The Homestead (Part Three)
    • Just Desserts
    • Let's Get It Vaughn
  • Agonizer 9000 - Level 31
  • Rewards: $7,190 / Epic level Artifact

Chapter Eighteen - Angels and Speed Demons

  • Ideal Level - 32
  • Unlock Konrad's Hold and Sandblast Scar
  • Unlock Side Missions:
    • The Demon in the Dark
    • Childhood's End
  • Brayden the Anointed - Level 30
  • Rewards: $8,053 / Legendary Level shield / New vehicle parts

Chapter Nineteen - The Great Vault

  • Ideal Level - 34
  • Stop the Calypsos from opening the Great Vault
  • Unlock Cathedral of the Twin Gods and The Great Vault
  • Troy - Level 34
  • Rewards: $6,419 / Rare Vault Hunter head

Chapter Twenty - The First Vault Hunter

  • Ideal Level - 34
  • It's time to meet the very first Vault Hunter.
  • Unlock Nekrotafeyo, Desolation's Edge
  • Unlock Side Missions:
    • Discover the Trail of Supremacy
    • Transaction-Packed
  • Rewards: $7,190 / Rare level skin

Chapter Twenty-One - Footsteps of Giants

  • Ideal Level - 35
  • Find the Nekrotafeyo Vault Key
  • Unlock Tazendeer Ruins
  • Unlock Side Missions:
    • Cannonization
    • Homeopathological
    • Welcome to Slaughterstar 3000
  • General Traunt - Level 35
  • Rewards: Eridian Fabricator - a Legendary level weapon that fires guns / $9,010

Chapter Twenty-Two - In the Shadow of Starlight

  • Ideal Level - 36
  • Get the machine of Nekrotafeyo working
  • Unlock The Pyre of Stars
  • Rewards: $19.007

Chapter Twenty-Three - Divine Retribution

  • Ideal Level - 37 to 38
  • The final showdown with Tyreen
  • Unlock Destroyer's Rift
  • Tyreen the Destroyer - Level 37
  • Rewards: unlocks Mayhem Mode, Guardian Rank and True Vault Hunter playthrough / $31,791

Other Borderlands 3 guides

As well as the above Borderlands 3 walkthrough, here are other Borderlands 3 guides to help you as you play:

Vault Hunters:




Shift Codes:

Tips and tricks for Borderlands 3

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you travel from the barren wasteland of Pandora to the serene hills of Athenas:

  • Check out those broken Claptrap units! Claptrap wants some spare robot parts for what I'm sure is a perfectly normal reason. Finding these parts will not only give you a nice amount of EXP, but also some Eridium you can send at Earl's.
  • Don't forget about side missions. Now that Borderlands 3 is set across multiple planets, it may be hard to keep track of all the side missions. Try your best to complete them all though, because they reward you both EXP and some very unique weapons.
  • You can respec your Skill Trees. Don't let the direction that your character build is heading in? Then take yourself to the nearest Quick Change Station and, for a small fee, you can reset your Skill Trees.
  • Put those spare guns in the bank! Borderlands 3 is full of gun and we mean full. Sadly you can only carry so many, even after you've fully upgraded your inventory. If find a gun that you want to use, but is above your current level, or one you don't have the heart to sell, then put them in your bank in Sanctuary.
  • Listen to the Typhon logs. Throughout your journeys you'll come across small orange pillars. These are Typhon logs, the records of the very first Vault Hunter. Listening to these records will allow you to find a Typhon Dead Drop. These contain weapons, shields and cosmetic items, like room decorations.
  • Upgrade your ammo and inventory by visiting Marcus on Sanctuary. Do you always find yourself running out of ammo for sniper rifles? Then visit Marcus on Sanctuary and, for a price, he'll upgrade any of your ammo, allowing you to carry more. You can also upgrade your bank and inventory.
  • Visit Earl and spend that Eriduim. Earl has set up his black market again in the cargo hold of Sanctuary. This time he's selling cosmetic items, including new Vault Hunter skins, emotes and room decorations.

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Borderlands 3

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Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.