While no official announcement of Borderlands 4 has been made public, there is plenty to dive into about the game's potential release.
Selling over 77 million total copies across the series, Borderlands has evolved into one of the biggest names in gaming, even being adapted for the big screen with a Borderlands movie set to debut sometime in 2024.
When Will Borderlands 4 Be Released?
Borderlands 4 has yet to be officially announced, so the release timing for the title remains unclear.
However, there is reason to believe it could be coming sooner than later.
In May 2021, Gearbox head Randy Pitchford teased on X (formerly Twitter) that the Borderlands team is "working on the big one," assumedly referencing Borderlands 4:
"We are definitely working on some amazing stuff that, I hope, will surprise and delight you. Plug: if anyone out there has Skills-To-Pay-Bills and wants to get in on some 'Borderlands' action, we're working on the big one."
This came after rumors that Gearbox was only assisting on the next mainline Borderlands title, which Pitchford shot down, remarking, "These rumors are NOT accurate" in another post online:
"I am told of rumors that Gearbox is 'assisting' or 'co-developing' another 'Borderlands' game (or a new spin-off game). These rumors are NOT accurate. Gearbox is lead dev of any future games in the 'Borderlands' franchise (or any 'Borderlands' adjacent games) with no co-development."
The existence of the game was further reported upon when the name Borderlands 4 appeared in a LinkedIn profile spotted in 2023.
As spotted by Eurogamer, a collection of unannounced projects - including a fourth mainline Borderlands - appeared in the LinkedIn resume of someone employed at a support studio for Gearbox Software, seemingly confirming the existence of the game.
Seeing as Randy Pitchford alluded to Gearbox recruiting for its next title back in 2021, one can assume this next game (presumably Borderlands 4) was actively ramping up production on the title at the time.
This would mean, nearly three years later, it is getting to be about time that fans hear about that next project from the team.
Roughly five years passed between the release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (2014) and Borderlands 3 (2019).
Seeing as it has been another half-decade since that third mainline Borderlands game hit consoles, a Borderlands 4 announcement could happen at any minute.
If the game were to get a 2024 announcement, there is a very real possibility it could also come out this year. Borderlands 3 was first announced in March 2019 before coming out in September of the same year.
So, were Gearbox to pull the curtain back on its next title this year, fans could be playing it before the end of 2024.
Expected Gameplay Changes Coming to Borderlands 4
Seeing as the game has not yet been officially unveiled, no gameplay details are known about Borderlands 4.
Seeing as the formula has largely remained the same since Borderlands in 2007, mixing RPG leveling and gear chasing with frenetic first-person shooter gameplay, fans can likely expect the same for Borderlands 4.
There have been some innovations to the Borderlands formula over the years though. Borderlands 3 introduced modernized traversal, allowing gamers to slide and mantle like in Apex: Legends or the modern Call of Duty titles.
Surely, there will be some changes made to level up the Borderlands experience for a potential fourth game.
As Randy Pitchford teased in his 2021 tweet, this is being called "the big one" internally.
While that could just mean it will be the biggest Borderlands title to date for the studio, it could also allude to even more sweeping changes coming to the game.
One massive step the game could take would be releasing Borderlands 4 as a platform instead of a single game. In the past, the Borderlands titles have been fairly confined to what was on the disc with DLC drops being the only major way to expand on the experience.
Perhaps Pitchford is hinting at the looter-shooter going BIG. What if it went massively multiplayer ongoing game big?
Games like Bungie's Destiny franchise have thrived as ongoing shooter RPGs, and Borderlands feels like it could be the perfect series to make that jump next if the studio were to want to make that investment.
This would allow gamers to return to Borderlands 4 day after day for years, with a constant drop of content being fed to them, as opposed to playing through the story once and being done with it.
While an MMO-esque Borderlands would be a huge step - and would not work without the proper buy-in from Gearbox - it could be the breath of fresh air the franchise needs.
What Is Going To Happen in Borderlands 4?
When it comes to its story, there is no telling where Borderlands 4 could go.
Borderlands has traditionally had a very simple setup. Gamers take control of a vault hunter, an intergalactic treasure hunter looking to find the best loot they possibly can and pumping lead into anything that gets in their way.
While the story has diverged from that in the past, as the vault hunters have taken on megalomaniac corporate magnates, violent cults, and even a Dungeon & Dragons-style campaign at one point, the story almost always comes down to shooting things to find treasure.
Borderlands 3 saw fan-favorite vault hunter Lillith sacrifice herself for the team, leading many to believe it was the last time fans would see the iconic Siren.
However, it was then teased in that game's Director's Cut DLC that Lillith was still alive, but not much more was shared beyond that.
This sets up a perfect jumping-off point for Borderlands 4's story.
Perhaps the title will see players searching the galaxy for Lillith, potentially having to leave their home of Pandora to do so.
Borderlands 4 has no official release date.