Borderlands 3: Complete Controls Guide for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Tips for Beginners

Here is your complete controls guide with tips for beginners for Borderlands 3.


Borderlands 3: Complete Controls Guide for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Tips for Beginners

Borderlands 3 is a role-playing first-person shooter available for free in the Epic Games Store. The sequel to Borderlands 2, the game is set in an open world environment with the option to play single or multiplayer. Complete quests and side missions to progress through the story while upgrading your characters and unlocking new abilities.

Below, you will find your complete controls guide for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Following the controls will be gameplay tips that are geared toward beginners or those who haven’t played Borderlands in a while. Still, the tips should prove useful even to veterans of the series.


All Borderlands 3 PC Controls 

Borderlands 3 PC controls explained
  • Forward:
  • Backward:
  • Strafe Left:
  • Strafe Right:
  • Jump: Space 
  • Sprint: Left Shift 
  • Crouch/Slide: Left Ctrl 
  • Fire/Primary Weapon: Left Mouse Button 
  • Melee:
  • Reload:
  • Action Skill:
  • Throw Grenade:
  • Next Weapon:
  • Previous Weapon:
  • Weapon 1: Num 1 
  • Weapon 2: Num 2 
  • Weapon 3: Num 3 
  • Weapon 4: Num 4 
  • Secondary Use:
  • Primary Use:
  • Weapon Mode:
  • ADS(Aim) / Secondary Weapon: Right Mouse Button 
  • Photo Mode:
  • Previous Tracked Mission:
  • Next Tracked Mission:
  • Mark Target: X
Borderlands 3 PC keyboard controls explained
  • E-Brake/Wheel Ability: Space 
  • Horn:
  • Exit Vehicle:
  • Swap Seats:
  • Air Control Up:
  • Air Control Down:
  • Air Control Left:
  • Air Control Right:

All Borderlands 3 Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S Controls

Borderlands 3 Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S controls guide
  • Character Menus & Context Prompt (HOLD): Window Button 
  • Action Skill: Left Button 
  • ADS (Aim): Left Trigger 
  • Forward-Backward & Strafe: Left Stick 
  • Sprint (HOLD):  Left Stick 
  • Pause & Quick Menu (HOLD): Menu Button 
  • Throw Grenade: Right Button 
  • Fire Weapon: Right Trigger 
  • Primary Use & Give Up & Reload:
  • Crouch & Slide & Ground Slam:
  • Jump:
  • Look Up-Down & Turn: Right Stick 
  • Melee (Hold): Right Stick 
  • Mark Target: D-Pad Up 
  • Toggle Firing Mode: D-Pad Down 
  • Previous Active Mission: D-Pad Left 
  • Next Active Mission: D-Pad Right 
Borderlands 3 all Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S controls
  • Boost: Left Button 
  • Secondary Weapon: Left Trigger 
  • Air Control: Left Stick 
  • Accelerate & Reverse: Left Stick 
  • Horn (HOLD):  Left Stick 
  • Wheel Ability: Right Button 
  • Primary Weapon: Right Trigger 
  • Primary Use:
  • Swap Seats:
  • Exit Vehicle:
  • Look & Steer: Right Stick 
  • Mark Target: D-Pad Up 
  • Previous Active Mission: D-Pad Left 
  • Next Active Mission: D-Pad Right 

Below are gameplay tips for playing Borderlands 3. These are geared toward beginners to the game and series.

1. Diversify your weapon loadout

Borderlands 3 diversify your weapon loadout

There are six different types of ammunition used in Borderlands 3: Assault, Pistol, SMG, Shotgun, Sniper, and Heavy. You start off with two weapons slots and can upgrade to a total of four. Weapons of the same type use the same stock of ammo. To prevent getting stuck with multiple empty weapons, select weapons with different ammo types for each weapon slot.  

Keep in mind that Pistol and SMG do not use the same ammo. You can carry both without the worry of depleting the other weapons stock. There is some flexibility with this method as you can be in a situation where you have two powerful weapons that share the same ammo, but have different elemental attributes that may be needed for certain bosses or powerful enemies (more below).

2. How to fast travel

Borderlands 3 fast travel guide

Borderlands 3 has expanded fast travel to make it easier to travel from almost anywhere. You can only go to places where you have already discovered and unlocked the Fast Travel Station. You can either pull up the map in your ECHO device or you can fast travel by interacting with a Fast Travel Station.  


Borderlands 3 also allows you to travel to different planets. If you need to go back to a previous region, put the map into galaxy view and select the planet you want to travel. If you are on Athenas, it will only show you the Fast Travel Stations for that planet. Vehicles can also be used as a fast travel point. If you enter an area where you can’t drive your vehicle then park it, complete your mission, and teleport back to your vehicle. You can even fast travel while in combat.

3. Manage your inventory

Borderlands 3 inventory management guide

There are eight different types of items that you can carry in Borderlands 3. Storage fills up very fast as you only start with 16 inventory slots. Visit Marcus in the Sanctuary to buy Storage Deck Upgrades (SDUs) to increase inventory space. Each SDU type has eight upgrades available and increases in price for each level. Inventory management becomes less tedious once you unlock all slots, but the amount of loot that is available is endless. 

Selling items at vending machines is another way to free up space. This serves two purposes. Money is needed for upgrades to buy storage space and selling the items frees up storage slots. Access is granted to the bank after you unlock the Sanctuary. The bank has limited space and can be upgraded with SDUs as well. Fast Travel makes it easy to unload or sell items as needed.  


4. Expose enemies’ weaknesses against elemental damage

Borderlands 3 expose enemies' weaknesses against elemental damage
The Binary Terminator can toggle between Corrosive and Radiation elemental damage.

Having the highest scored weapon in a fight is not always the most important factor in Borderlands 3. The best way to prepare yourself is by equipping elemental weapons and action skills. Stacking elemental items gives you even more of an advantage. You can have your weapon, shield, and grenade enhanced with different elements. The environment also provides opportunities to inflict elemental damage. Some barrels contain hazardous material that spreads upon exploding. Look for fuel tanks and faulty electric panels as well and shoot these objects when enemies are in proximity of them. 

Flesh, Shield, and Armor are the three different types of health meters in the game. Radiation, Shock, Incendiary, Corrosive, and Cryo are the five different types of elemental damage. Normal weapons produce Kinetic damage which has no special advantages, but is weak against armor. Flesh takes less damage from Shock and Corrosive attacks, but is weak against Incendiary attacks. Shield takes half damage from Shock attacks, but is weak against Incendiary, Corrosive, and Cryo damage. Armor is strong against elemental attacks except for Corrosive and Cryo which are very effective against armor. 

Try to keep a mix so that you’re equipped for any situation.

5. Revisit regions to farm loot

Borderlands 3 revisit regions to farm loot

There is an endless amount of loot in Borderlands 3. Upgrading your player requires money and XP. Loot respawns each time you return to a previously discovered area, so revisit the places that have the best loot as often as you want to rack up money to buy upgrades as well as weapons to sell for money. 

Boss Fights are great for farming loot as well. Boss fights reset indefinitely. Repeatedly fight the boss you feel the most confident against and that also drops great loot. Bosses drop a large amount of loot with some items scoring as high as legendary. Reserve as many inventory slots as possible before fighting a boss so you don’t miss out on either keeping or selling rare items.   

Now you have the controls and some starting tips for Borderlands 3. Proper inventory management is extremely important for your success. The key is to not carry any deadweight while remaining as diverse as possible. Refer to the tips above to help you create a winning strategy in Borderlands 3.


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