In a game like Borderlands 3, finding something that doesn't make sense is like looking for a needle in a haystack—except the haystack is full of fake needles and you're stuck searching for the real one. Yup, in a games like Borderlands 3, there's plenty of things made wrong on purpose. Still, like most open-world roleplaying games (RPGs), Borderlands 3 is not devoid of design choices that don't always blend logically with other aspects of the game.
Certain in-game mechanics, narrative proceedings, and gameplay elements don't always add up and these things become more apparent as you progress in the game. By no means are they game-breaking, of course. They're just questionable enough to fire up the meme-generator in your brain. Here are 10 things in the game that no amount of guns, guns that explode, or guns with legs can distract us from taking notice.
10 THE WHOLE OPEN WORLD SETUP
The "open-world-to-urgency" harmony ratio of Borderlands games has never been the best and it hasn't gotten any better in Borderlands 3. The story supposedly gives you the critical task of finding a Vault and stopping those annoying YouTuber Siren twins from basically taking over the whole universe.
In hindsight, how that ties to the gameplay is problematic, as with any open-world games with urgent main quests. The Crimson Raiders simply cannot—and will not—rush finding the Vault until you've accumulated enough skill points to get that skill build you want or that level-restricted gun you've been eyeing. The universe will simply have to wait for your shenanigans, and it seems that the Calypso twins can also wait, thankfully.
9 CHECKPOINTS IN THE VAULT
A Vault is supposedly an area where no one else has ventured before and nobody has seen. At least, that's how it's always been in all Borderlands games. That's why it's extremely puzzling that a Hyperion checkpoint exists in the area where the Vault is. They're even strategically placed there for your convenience.
Of course, without Hyperion's checkpoints, you'd be pulling your hairs out in frustration; you basically owe them millions of your lives and the game would have been harder than Dark Souls without them. Still, it doesn't even remotely make sense how and why they would have checkpoints in Vaults or in places that are supposedly super-secret.
8 THE WHOLE SANCTUARY COMMUNITY
It's kind enough of Lilith to include the whole Pandora gang in the mobile spaceship Sanctuary, it gives you unlimited supplies and a more versatile sense of "home base" compared to the previous games. Nevertheless, you have to consider that many of the denizens of Pandora are actually merchants. By bringing them along, Lilith basically uprooted their lives and livelihoods.
Having them situated in a perpetually moving spaceship that jumps from planet-to-planet on a moment's notice can be bad for business. The fact is, you're most likely the only customer they've seen since you're doing all the work and buying up their guns, shields, and grenade mods. Any other potential customer won't be able to find them; it's sort of like running a fine dining restaurant out of your mother's closet.
7 YOU'RE EVERYONE'S ERRAND BOY
Speaking of doing all the work, this is something most players will notice within the first few hours of the game. Lilith not helping in the groundwork and heavy lifting is excused since she basically lost her Siren powers, but Maya, Zer0, Claptrap, Ellie, and many other able-bodied freeloaders in Sanctuary are just lazing around while you waddle knee-deep in muck.
The whole main storyline of finding a Vault first before the Calypso Twins do would have been half as long if only you had a mini-army aboard the Sanctuary ship. Oh wait, you actually do—they simply don't want to help you! Even worse, they won't hesitate to ask you for help with measly tasks like recovering a diary... looking at you Ava.
6 GRENADE GUNS
Torgue guns are some of the handiest firearms in Borderlands 3 since they also function as unlimited grenades when you reload them. How that works was never explained and for good reason: this gun-making business model is hideously bad. Having your guns explode and getting a new one instead of reloading is not only weird, it's wasteful.
Moreover, they're just impractical to use in conventional warfare. Seriously, who throws a gun? It's great for over-the-top comedic purposes, but that doesn't mean it's logical or practical in any way... unless you're dealing with badass-level enemies—those things are beasts! Anyway, discarding the whole gun is just a terrible idea, someone please tell the CEO of Torgue.
5 MALIWAN STAYING IN TERRITORIES THEY'VE LOST
Throughout most of the Borderlands games, there's always that one gun manufacturer that goes full evil. In Borderlands 2, it was Hyperion; in Borderlands 3, that title goes to Maliwan who, like all greedy douchebags, allies themselves with the Calypso Twins, which might explain why they keep losing battle after battle.
These guys lost in Promethea, Athenas, and many other planets. One would expect them to withdraw, especially after that crushing defeat in Promethea but, for reasons unknown, their troops are still there. They even lingered in Athenas where they didn't have any goal anymore because you took the Vault key fragment. On a gameplay perspective, that's awesome—more enemies to shoot; lore-wise, it's just immersion-breaking.
4 MALIWAN BEING AN ENEMY
Maliwan being an enemy is another questionable aspect of Borderlands 3. It's similar to when Hyperion were the bad guys in the second game yet their checkpoints keep reviving you. Maliwan makes guns, some of which are quite powerful and you'll surely be including in your arsenal.
One would think that they would at least deny their juicy guns to you since you're in their way and are killing them with their own weapons. There's also the idea that they could have laced one of their guns with a trap since they know you'll get it eventually and have it explode in your face, outright killing you or everyone in Sanctuary. That's just poor strategic thinking on their part.
3 ERIDIUM LYING AROUND
Eridium is by far the most precious resource in Borderlands 3. Sirens can consume them to become godlike, you can use them to purchase some sweet Black Market weapons, and they only exist because of previous Vault Hunters opening Vaults. Turns out, they're not so rare after all—you'll find plenty of them in the trash.
Sometimes even the lowly ratch or skag you kill drops some Eridium. Just be your genocidal shooty self in Borderlands 3 and it won't be long before you're swimming in Eridium and you start looking like a Vault yourself. But we're willing to let this one slide, since the game wouldn't be as fun if the Eridium drop rates were nerfed.
2 ANIMALS DROPPING GUNS
When the Borderlands 3 developers promised quintillions of guns in the game, they weren't kidding. Not an hour goes by in Borderlands 3 where you don't see a new and unique gun. Most of them are garbage and are not worth your inventory space. At times, even the game looks like it's struggling to figure out where to cram the guns.
This becomes more evident when the baby ratches and skags start dropping sniper rifles and bazookas. How those things can swallow guns bigger than they are is one of the biggest mysteries in Borderlands 3. Even so, you'd probably not question that logic if they started dropping rare or unique guns. Sadly, that doesn't happen very often.
1 YOU CAN'T USE HIGHER-LEVEL GUNS
It literally takes no training to use guns. You squeeze the trigger and bam—fireworks! Anyone could do it, which is why it's confounding when your character refuses to use a gun that's not their level. For sword and board RPGs, this limitation is understandable: can't wield a greatsword if your strength is too low. Now, for guns, there's simply no physical reason why your assassin or military veteran character can't pull the trigger.
Yes, we're aware that the limitation is there for balancing reasons. It's just that it could've been handled better, like gun drops or rewards automatically adjusting to your character level. The same thing goes for shields. In any case, it doesn't detract from the fun you're going to have with guns in Borderlands 3.