While Borderlands 3 was controversial due to certain narrative decisions and a lack of traditional raid bosses, Gearbox has done a fine job of winning back fans since then. The DLC for Borderlands 3 was excellent overall, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands proved to be a massive hit upon release - even if its own DLC has left something to be desired. After the fan-requested Tales from the Borderlands 2 releases, it can be assumed that Borderlands 4will be next, giving gamers another major story within the mainline series to enjoy.
Fortunately for Gearbox, Borderlands 4has a clear direction to go in when it comes to its narrative, with a few potential side stories to touch on as well. While fans will surely learn more about the game and its plot once it is officially announced and trailers are released, some theorizing can already be done in regard to the sequel’s story. Obviously, this is just speculation based on previous story moments, as no official details have been released about Borderlands 4.
Lilith and Ava Will Likely Be at The Heart of Borderlands 4’s Story
As anyone that finished Borderlands 3 will know, Lilith sacrificed herself immediately after getting her powers back, with the main story framing this act as fatal. However, with gamers not actually seeing her die, there was hope in the community that she was still alive. Sure enough, the Director’s Cut DLC seems to have confirmed the fan theories, with Ava learning that Lilith was still alive through a conversation she had with The Seer.
As Borderlands 3’s Murder Mystery missions come to an end, Ava promises that the Crimson Raiders will find Lilith. With Ava having the keys to Sanctuary and essentially being told to lead the group by Lilith, it can be assumed that Borderlands 4 will focus partially on her leadership role. If she is still young, it may show how hard being in charge can be, with the responsibility being a lot for Ava to handle. If another time skip happens, and she is older, fans may see her as a more mature leader and someone skilled in using her powers. Regardless, fans can expect the main quests to focus closely on Ava’s search for Lilith.
Potential Side Stories Borderlands 4 Could Tackle
While the Lilith mystery may be the main focus of Borderlands 4, there are other topics Gearbox can focus on. One very interesting side story to weave into the main plot could be that of Zer0 and FL4K. How the two robots are connected, why they were built, and where they came from has often been discussed by the Borderlands community, with fans hoping to finally get some answers in Borderlands 4. Players could need to find Zer0 and FL4K's point of origin to get some kind of tracker to locate Lilith, and could get a lot of lore about the machines in the process. Teaming up with Zer0 or FL4K during this mission could be exciting, too.
Further setup for The Watcher’s War is a possibility. Gearbox confirmed that it wanted to expand the universe before diving back into this Pre-Sequel concept, and Borderlands 3’s multiple planets can be seen as the start of that process. The hunt for Lilith could take Borderlands 4 players to new planets, further growing the universe and allowing for multiple battlegrounds when this war begins. When it is finally about to happen, players will likely be made aware that it is imminent, meaning it will likely not be featured in Borderlands 4’s main story. It could be touched on, though, with Lilith possibly disappearing to gather more Vault Hunters like The Watcher suggested.
Some smaller stories with other Borderlands characters have been set up, too. Timothy’s Jack-like behavior at the end of the Handsome Jackpot DLC is something to keep an eye on, while Rhys is still looking for Fiona. If Fiona’s whereabouts are not touched upon during the story of Tales from the Borderlands 2, it could serve as another good plot point for Borderlands 4. While revealing more details about the Zer0 and FL4K mystery would be worthwhile, and a search for Lilith is essentially confirmed, there are plenty of stories that can be told with the next major Borderlands title.