The Borderlands video game series has featured a wide variety of playable characters, from Sirens with magical powers, to a sword-wielding assassin, and even Claptrap the overenthusiastic robot. Your character choice determines what special abilities you’ll be able to use throughout the game, so it can make the gameplay feel different enough for multiple playthroughs.
In the main games, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands 3, the playable characters are Vault Hunters who were originally created for the game they are playable in. In Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel, however, the four playable characters were all ones we’ve met before in previous games. It was an interesting way to see a different side to those characters and to see part of the story from the point of view of those close to Handsome Jack.
If Gearbox Software ever releases another Borderlands game similar to the Pre-Sequel that uses previously-introduced NPCs as the playable characters, it’ll be interesting to see who they choose to go with. Here are NPCs that could make that lineup especially fun.
Tiny Tina (who’s not-so tiny anymore) is an explosives expert and is now a major member of the Crimson Raiders. Having a playable character who focuses on explosions and A.O.E. as their special abilities would add an extra layer of chaos to the battlefield. Obviously, Mr. Torgue would fit this exceptionally well too, but Tina is a little more of a fan-favorite.
Tina, who’s one of the most popular NPCs in all of Borderlands, is known for her hilariously witty dialogue, which would make her especially fun to play as. Imagine the creative quips she’d shout after blowing up a group of bandits.
The big-game hunter known as Sir Hammerlock is perhaps one of the most interesting and beloved Borderlands NPCs. His fascination with strange and rare creatures could be used for his special abilities as a playable character, similar to Mordecai in the first game or Fl4k in Borderlands 3. He could either send these creatures into battle, ride them, or control creatures found wandering the world. Take your pick, Gearbox.
His relationship with Wainwright Jacobs would allow the player to follow an interesting story and could potentially allow for an advantage when using Jakobs weapons. His Victorian-era speech would provide for fun dialogue as he hunts down enemies.
Sirens are a staple of Borderlands, as the Siren class is the only one to carry over to all three main games. In Borderlands 3, we see Ava become a Siren just like Maya had predicted. Where there can only be six Sirens in existence at a given time, she’d be the most likely candidate for a new playable Siren. Plus, we know that she wants to be a Vault Hunter more than anything, so it only makes sense that she’ll become a Vault-hunting Siren like her late mentor.
She may have gotten Maya’s powers which we’ve already gotten to use in Borderlands 2, but as Troy demonstrates throughout Borderlands 3, there are more to those powers than we originally thought. Whether she’s able to grab enemies from afar, throw them, transform them, turn invisible, teleport, or perform some other crazy, magical ability we have yet to see, playing as a Siren is always fun.
Janey Springs is probably one of the most underrated NPCs in the Borderlands canon. She’s a junk dealer and seems pretty tech-savvy, as she’s the one who provides the Vault Hunters with their Oz kits and Moon Zoomies in Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel. Her skill with tech could prove useful for special abilities as a playable character. Perhaps she could build turrets or robots like we’ve seen Roland, Axton, and Moze do, or summon vehicles that other characters don’t have access to. This could change up the battlefield in a moment’s notice and create some versatility.
As of Tales from the Borderlands, Springs is in a relationship with Athena, so seeing her love go on dangerous missions could inspire her to go on an adventure of her own. Her passion for writing children’s books could also lead her on to a Vault-hunting adventure if she’s looking for good material to write about. Hearing what goofy stories she wants to turn into writing, plus using her tech or vehicles in combat, would be enough payoff for anyone to want to play as her.
Borderlands is full of countless memorable and lovable NPCs. Some are thought of as the best characters in the series, while others are enjoyable one-hit wonders like Face McShooty. Most are fleshed out with well-written stories of their own, and it’s always fun seeing how they develop. If Gearbox Software ever wants to return to the idea of using pre-existing NPCs as playable characters in Borderlands, they certainly have a lot to choose from. Who among them would you want to play as if given the opportunity?