Borderlands 3 is due out in September, and we’ve just had an incredible amount of information drop about the game, alongside our full hands-on impressions on how it is to actually play. There’s going to be a lot to see and do in the game, and one of the most exciting parts is the ability to visit other planets. To do so you’ll need a spaceship, and that’s where the new Borderlands 3 starship hub comes in.
The new hub area in Borderlands 3 is the Sanctuary III starship, which you can use to travel between planets, stock up on items, and meet up with familiar faces from the series. But what do we actually know about it? Are there any customization options? What stores are available? What characters make a home there? How do we go about visiting other planets? Here’s everything we know about the Sanctuary III.
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | What is the Sanctuary III?
The Sanctuary III is so named because it’s the third sanctuary hub area in a Borderlands game, with Borderlands 2‘s Sanctuary II turned airborne and transported away by Lilith. Sanctuary III is the starship you’ll use as your main base of operations in the new release, which you’ll return to between planets. You can travel between worlds using it, talk to all the various characters you meet on your journeys (who will be hanging around the ship), shop for new items and weapons, and just explore in general. It’s like a funny version of the Normandy from BioWare’s Mass Effect games.
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | Will we be able to customize the ship?
The Sanctuary III ship is pretty big, but is it static? Can we actually add some element of personalization to any part of the starship? Actually yes, there is at least one area which players will be allowed to customize: Their quarters. We don’t know the full extent with which we’ll be able to change our own personal room on the Sanctuary III, but there were a couple of points raised in the recent gameplay presentation.
For one, they will be character-specific quarters, so they will change depending on which class you’re playing as. The gameplay Gearbox showed off was the room for Amara the Siren, which was purple and had the word “Zen” embedded in the wall. It will look a little different for Moze, Fl4k, and Zane, and it’s possible they may all get separate quarters. Players can also mount items on the walls, such as guns, which can be claimed at any time. There will be further modifications possible, and we’re really hoping for a fishtank…
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | Hammerlock and head collection
Another area that will change as you go through the game, as a result of your actions, is the room of the hunter Lord Hammerlock, a returning character from the series. Hammerlock tasks the player (or players) with hunting specific dangerous creatures on all the various planets, and when you’ve killed them, you can return their heads to him to mount them in his trophy room. They’ll be there the whole game, too. Presumably these hunting quests will be extremely challenging, and the rewards will be high too.
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | Ellie, Marcus, and Crazy Earl shopping
There are multiple vendors on the Sanctuary starship, and most of them are familiar faces. Yes, there are vending machines of various types, but where’s the fun in that? You want to go to Marcus, Ellie, or even Crazy Earl for the best weapons, upgrades and items around. Marcus Munitions has most of the upgrades for your weapons, equipment, and armaments, which you can buy with cash. He also has a shooting range if you want to test your weapons out.
Ellie is the ship’s mechanic (and daughter of Mad Moxxxi, who’s also on the ship), and while she doesn’t have a specific store, she is in charge of all the various vehicles you find in the game. Presumably there will be upgrades to unlock, and new vehicle blueprints to purchase from Ellie. In the middle of Ellie’s hangar is a locked door, behind which is the unhinged Crazy Earl (voiced by Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford) who has some of the game’s rarest weapons to sell.
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | What other characters can we interact with?
One of the best parts of having a hub area in Borderlands games is having a single place where you can visit and talk to all the wonderful characters in the series. We’ve mentioned some above, but there are a number of other significant names too, and more will probably be revealed. For starters, Moxxxi is back in Borderlands 3, and once again she’s running a bar in the place. You can tip her for $100 or $1,000, although we’re not yet sure for what reason. You can also play the slot machines there.
The slightly unhinged Vault expert Tannis can be found in the ship’s infirmary, and we initially meet her taking a nap in the corpse of a monster. It’s possible we’ll be able to get health upgrades from there. Maya, the Siren character from Borderlands 2, is hanging around too. Claptrap (or “General Claptrap” as he calls himself) has his own room, and er, he’s busy making a girlfriend. You’ll be able to help him out too, and scavenge Claptrap parts you find.
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | How do we visit other planets?
In our opinion, the coolest part about having a spaceship in Borderlands 3 is that you can use it to visit other planets in real-time. Yes, for the first time in the series, players can leave Pandora behind and travel to other star systems. Only one other planet has been officially revealed so far, the industrial city-planet of Promethea, but the star map on the Sanctuary III suggests we’ll be able to visit many new locations. We’ll be very surprised if there aren’t more as DLC, too.
Visiting other planets in the Borderlands 3 starship hub couldn’t be simpler, either. First you have to head up to the bridge, where you can meet the captain Lilith, the Siren player character from the first Borderlands (and now a major character in the series). She’s head of both the Crimson Raiders faction and the ship, but she’ll step aside and allow you access to the map. Simply use the console and choose a planet to visit, and from the bridge you can watch the ship head into hyperspace and arrive at your destination in real-time. Pretty cool, right? From there, just head down to the launch bay and access a drop pod to go down to the planet.
Borderlands 3 Starship Hub | What other useful features are available on Sanctuary III?
There are a number of useful additions to the Sanctuary hub, including some that weren’t in other Borderlands games. One of the most useful is the Lost Loot machine featured in the image above. It’s entirely possible that, while exploring Borderlands 3, you may have discovered some cool weapons or items and just failed to pick it up for some reason. Maybe you didn’t notice it, or maybe you got pulled away by a co-op partner. All that special loot, like purple legendary items and more, can be retrieved by going to this machine.
We’ll undoubtedly find out more about the Sanctuary III in the coming months up until the release of Borderlands 3, but we’re sure it will remain one of the most exciting new features in the game. We can’t wait to explore it, and to at last travel between worlds in Borderlands.