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Which Borderlands 3 DLC are free?

To directly answer the question – none of the Borderlands 3 DLCs are available for free. Only the base Borderlands 3 game has been given away for free temporarily by Epic Games Store. All additional DLCs need to be purchased separately.

Let‘s dive deeper into all the Borderlands 3 DLCs, which ones you should get as a gamer, and how you can potentially get some of them without spending money!

An Introduction to Borderlands 3

For those unaware, Borderlands 3 is a popular looter shooter game developed by Gearbox Software and published in 2019 by 2K Games. It is a sequel to the hit 2012 game Borderlands 2 and continues the franchise‘s signature blend of FPS action, RPG mechanics, tons of loot, and zany characters.

Here are some key features that make Borderlands 3 such an addictive and enjoyable shooter:

  • Satisfying gunplay – Shooting guns in BL3 feels visceral and powerful, especially when scoring critical hits or elemential effects.

  • RPG Progression – Leveling up, unlocking skills, finding better loot and gear provides deep progression.

  • Looter shooter appeal – Satisfying loop of shooting enemies, getting tons of loot drops, and constantly upgrading gear.

  • Co-op action – Playing with friends makes combat chaotic and fun. Reviving teammates and synergizing builds adds depth.

  • Wacky humor and style – Borderlands has its own unique flavor of humor and visual style that fans love.

  • Endgame content – Multiple playthroughs, Mayhem modes, proving grounds provide hundreds of hours of replayability.

These factors combine to make Borderlands 3 a worthy addition to the legendary looter shooter franchise. At launch, it sold over 5 million copies in five days!

Post-Launch DLC Model for Games

Borderlands 3 – like many popular AAA games these days – has adopted a post-launch DLC model. This means new content, expansions, missions are added regularly over months and years after launch.

There are some benefits of post-launch DLCs:

  • Keep the game active and engaging for players over a long period.
  • Allow developers to experiment with new ideas outside base game.
  • Provide revenue for continued support and updates.
  • Cater to loyal fans who want more content.

Of course, there are downsides too:

  • Can feel like content cut out from main game to sell later.
  • Causes player fatigue if too many DLCs released frequently.
  • Fragmentation if some players only own certain DLCs.
  • Buyers can feel nickel and dimed by constant DLC purchases.

But overall, quality post-launch DLCs add a lot of value and longevity for multiplayer games like Borderlands 3 if done right.

All Borderlands 3 DLCs Explained

Since its launch in 2019, Borderlands 3 has seen 6 major DLC expansions released:

1. Moxxi‘s Heist of The Handsome Jackpot

  • Released: December 2019
  • Summary: This DLC brings players to a giant casino space station to pull off a big heist for Moxxi and take down Handsome Jack again.
  • New Content: New environments, campaign, side missions, crew challenges, enemies like deathtrap, fresh legendaries like Scoville, Lucky 7.
  • PlayTime: ~5 hours

2. Guns, Love, and Tentacles

  • Released: March 2020
  • Summary: Set on an icy Lovecraftian planet of Xylourgos. Shoot tentacles and find supernatural love!
  • New Content: Full campaign, haunted mansion, occult enemies, Hamlet marriage mechanic, new legendaries like Lob, Anarchy.
  • PlayTime: ~10 hours

3. Bounty of Blood

  • Released: June 2020
  • Summary: Wild west themed DLC set on dusty planet of Gehenna. Hunt down devilish gang boss.
  • New Content: Western environments, full narrative campaign, new vehicles like jetbeasts, fresh gear like The Chalice, The Beast.
  • PlayTime: ~8 hours

4. Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck

  • Released: September 2020
  • Summary: Journey into the mind of iconic psycho Krieg. Experience his inner psyche via unique environments.
  • New Content: New areas like Vaulthalla, narrative content focused on Krieg, new legendaries like Contained Blast.
  • PlayTime: ~5 hours

5. Designer‘s Cut

  • Released: November 2020
  • Summary: Increase level cap, unlock new skill trees for each Vault Hunter. Also includes Arms Race roguelike mode.
  • New Content: Fourth skill tree for each character, Arms Race mode, level cap increased to 65.
  • PlayTime: 10+ hours

6. Director‘s Cut

  • Released: March 2021
  • Summary: Raid boss, quality-of-life upgrades, behind-the-scenes content.
  • New Content: Raid Boss, vault card systems, cross-play support, melee buffs, skill scaling.
  • PlayTime: 5+ hours

That covers all the major DLC expansions released so far. There are also few smaller DLCs like cosmetic packs and bonuses.

But these 6 DLCs add substantial narrative content, gear, progression, environments, and quality-of-life features to enhance Borderlands 3.

Are the DLCs Worth Getting?

For hardcore Borderlands fans who thoroughly enjoyed the base game, the DLCs are absolutely recommended buys. Here‘s a quick rundown of why they add so much value:

Massive content addition

  • 30-50+ hours of gameplay
  • New planets, areas to explore
  • Full narrative campaigns
  • Dozens of side missions
  • Raid bosses, crew challenges

Innovative themes and ideas

  • Enjoyable themes like Lovecraft horror, wild west, mind psyches
  • Creative new enemy designs and fight mechanics
  • Interesting narrative set pieces and concepts

Progression extensions

  • Increased level cap for continued advancement
  • New skill trees to allow new builds
  • Tons of new legendary gear and anointments

Endgame content

  • Endgame raid bosses
  • Roguelike Arms Race mode
  • Mayhem mode updates
  • Vault card reward system

Quality of life improvements

  • Bug fixes and gameplay balancing
  • Quality of life enhancement
  • Features like cross-play support

Considering the hundreds of hours of content, gear, progression, and quality additions, the DLCs are very worthwhile pickups for most Borderlands 3 players.

Should You Buy DLCs Individually or via Season Pass?

There are two main ways to purchase the Borderlands 3 DLC content:

1. Buy Individual DLCs Separately

  • Pick and choose only the DLCs you want
  • Wait for sales on specific DLCs
  • Smaller upfront cost

2. Buy Season Pass Bundle

  • Get all major expansions included (except Director‘s Cut)
  • Big savings compared to buying individually
  • Currently on sale on Xbox/PlayStation stores
  • Automatic access to all current and future DLCs

Season Passes go on sale often and offer the complete DLC package (minus Director‘s Cut) at a discounted bundled price. This saves a lot compared to buying each DLC individually at full price.

But buying separately allows targeting only the DLCs you‘re interested in, especially during sales. Ultimately its a tradeoff between the convenience of a full DLC bundle vs getting select cheaper individual DLCs.

Which Borderlands 3 DLC Should You Get?

Since getting all 6 DLCs is a big investment, some tips on which ones to prioritize based on your gameplay interests:

For story lovers:

  • Guns, Love and Tentacles – Genuinely great narrative, interesting themes, memorable characters. The best story DLC for BL3.

For endgame content:

  • Designer‘s Cut – Increases level cap, adds raid boss, roguelike Arms Race mode. Great for progression.

For casual gamers:

  • Moxxi‘s Heist – Most affordable standalone DLC. Compact 5 hour campaign.

For completionists:

  • Season Pass 1 – Get first 4 big expansions for a discounted bundle price.

For max content:

  • Ultimate Edition – Includes all DLCs along with bonus cosmetics. Complete package.

Evaluate your own interests as a gamer and pick the DLC(s) that align with your priorities. This lets you maximize value from the Borderlands 3 add-ons.

Should You Play Borderlands 3 Without DLC?

Borderlands 3 is still very much worth playing even without any DLC purchases. Here‘s a quick rundown of what you get with just the base game:

  • Full narrative campaign ~25 hours long
  • 4 diverse worlds and environments to explore
  • Hundreds of guns, gear, and anointed legendaries
  • Ton of missions, bosses enemies, secrets to discover
  • Four playable Vault Hunters with skill trees
  • Mayhem modes, True Vault Hunter playthroughs for endgame
  • Matchmaking for co-op with randoms or friends locally or online

The core looter shooter gameplay loop is incredibly addictive and fun even in the base game. You get tons of content, loot, progression, and replayability for your money.

The DLCs just build on an already solid foundation and are optional add-ons. So definitely don‘t skip Borderlands 3 if you don‘t want to buy the DLCs.

Can You Get DLCs Without Paying?

Officially, all Borderlands 3 DLCs have to be purchased with real money to access them. There is no way to earn them for free just by playing.

However, here are some potential options to get DLCs without directly paying money:

  • Gift from a friend – Friends who own DLCs can gift it to you
  • Borrow disc from library – Many libraries rent out games now with all DLCs included
  • Buy used copy – Used discs often have DLC codes unused you can redeem
  • Online giveaways – Very rarely, developers provide community giveaways

Ultimately though, the only guaranteed way to get access to Borderlands 3 DLCs is to buy them officially. But the options above provide some alternative avenues depending on your situation.

How Many Hours Does Borderlands 3 Provide?

Here‘s a quick estimate of how long it takes to beat Borderlands 3 and all its content:

  • Main Story (1 playthrough): ~25 hours
  • Completing Side quests: ~40 hours
  • 100% Base Game: ~70-80 hours
  • Each DLC Campaign: ~5-10 hours
  • All DLCs for Completion: ~40 hours
  • Borderlands 3 Total Completion: ~120+ hours

So in total, Borderlands 3 offers a massive 120+ hours of content to keep looter shooter fans hooked for ages.

Even if you ignore all DLCs, the base game alone provides 70-80 hours of missions, loot hunting, vaulting hunting, mayhem grinding and more. Tons of bang for your buck!

Final Thoughts

While the Borderlands 3 DLCs are not free, they provide incredible value by expanding an already meaty base game with tons of extra content. Hardcore fans will easily get 100+ hours from all the DLCs combined.

However, you can certainly just play the base Borderlands 3 game without DLC and still get a complete looter shooter experience. Then optionally buy select DLCs that appeal based on your gameplay interests and financial situation.

At its core, Borderlands 3 is a stellar example of the addictive and rewarding looter shooter genre. The free base game giveaway from Epic Games is the perfect chance to jump in and try this acclaimed FPS RPG franchise.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.