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How to unlock additional weapon slots in Borderlands 3

Here’s how you unlock additional weapon slots in Borderlands 3. (Hint: it’s a bit of a waiting game).

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Borderlands 3 weapons

Here’s how you unlock additional weapon slots in Borderlands 3. (Hint: it’s a bit of a waiting game).

When you start Borderlands 3, regardless of which character class you pick, you’ll have just two weapon slots available. While any character can use any weapon type in the Borderlands universe (there are no class restrictions on guns, just abilities) and you can swap weapons at any time in your inventory, being able to equip just two is, frankly, a pain in the arse. Jumping into your inventory to make changes in the middle of a firefight is likely to get a vault hunter killed.

Most players will keep weapons of different types in their slots. Something with a scope for long-range. A shotgun for close quarters. Perhaps an SMG or assault rifle for general use. And if you run out of ammo in one, you can switch to another and keep firing. Quantity over quality – it’s the Borderlands way.

But Borderlands has some additional variables. Different elemental effects. Varying styles depending on the manufacturer. It’s entirely possible to have four “identical” guns equipped that all handle in completely different ways, or to be used against different enemy types. You need a lot of different types of weapon.

So how do you unlock additional weapon slots in Borderlands 3? It’s a simple equation, really:

time + persistence = weapon slots

You’ll start Borderlands 3, on the series’ homeworld, Pandora, with just the two weapon slots. It’s much the same way you’d start off any other Borderlands game. Then as you progress through the game’s main storyline, you’ll unlock additional weapon slots as you go along. It… takes a while. At least, to get all four.

Unlocking the third weapon slot in Borderlands 3

The first additional weapon slot in Borderlands 3 – the third slot overall – comes a couple of hours into the game. After you’ve completed the opening missions, that function as something of a prologue and tutorial, you’ll pack up on the Sanctuary 3 (Borderlands 2’s hub town, reborn as a spaceship) and leave Pandora for the first time. In doing that, you’ll get that additional weapon slot.

Unlocking the fourth weapon slot in Borderlands 3

The second additional weapon slot – the fourth and final slot – doesn’t come until a lot later in the game. You’ll probably have been playing at least 10 hours, maybe more, by the time you unlock the second additional weapon slot in Borderlands 3. Like the previous one, you’ll be granted it after completing a specific story mission. We won’t give the details away, but it again comes when the Sanctuary 3 makes a departure – from Promethea this time, the large city-planet seen in the game’s trailers.

And that’s it. You’re fully stocked on weapon slots. Congratulations, vault hunter!


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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