Borderlands 3: Who Are the Villains?

borderlands 3 villains

Borderlands 3 was just recently announced, and while the full unveiling of Gearbox's looter shooter forthcoming on April 3 there's still a surprising amount of information available. The two Borderlands 3 trailers currently available, the Mask of Mayhem teaser trailer and the announcement trailer, are rich with fine detail. One aspect of Borderlands 3 that's of particular focus in both trailers, that being the game's villains and enemies.

Those who watched Borderlands 3's announcement are likely now familiar with the game's two antagonists, a pair of villains Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford himself confirmed to be the "big baddies." The trailers, as well as a leak that's proven reliable, lend insight into who these two villains are. Given that they'll be following up the act of Handsome Jack, Gearbox has its work cut out for itself.

In addition to the main villains, however, there are also several factions that have been teased to be included in Borderlands 3. Even the notorious Bandits faction has been transformed between the past games and now, though Psychos appear to be in similar form. Between the new Children of the Vault cult, an array of creatures big and small, and a weapons manufacturer turned nefarious that isn't named Hyperion, Atlas, or Torgue.

There's likely many more villainous elements in Borderlands 3 than what's been hinted at so far by Gearbox. After all, Borderlands 3 takes place across several different worlds. There's a whole universe of enemies left to discover.

borderlands 3 calypsos


The majority of what's known about Borderlands 3's villains is drawn from environmental scenes from the Borderlands 3 announcement trailer. The two villains don't speak themselves, but they don't have to. The world of Pandora is apparently littered with propaganda for a cult named the Children of the Vault and these two are positioned at the head of the cult. It's on these propaganda signs that the two villains' names are found: Troy and Tyreen.

Troy and Tyreen are immediately recognizable as exceptional individuals. Both feature the distinct glowing tattoos associated with being a Siren, mystical beings with incredible power, of which only six can exist at a time. Also, up until Borderlands 3 Sirens could only be women, meaning Troy's powers imply a shake-up in the known lore of the Borderlands universe.

Regarding their physical descriptions, Troy is tall and lanky, with spikey black hair. His right arm is an overly-long robotic prosthetic and he wears two vials of an orange substance as a necklace. Tyreen is shorter, with the sides of her head shaved and otherwise white hair, and several slashing scars across her nose. They're both referred to as the "Calypsos" in Children of the Vault propaganda, with Troy featuring "Calypso" tattooed on his stomach.

What Troy and Tyreen are planning to do remains unclear, though the trailer does offer a hint. The two have an encounter with original Borderlands protagonist Lilith as well as with an Eridian artifact. Whether it's Lilith or the artifact that is the two's focus is unclear. Given the name of the cult, the Children of the Vault, and the multi-planet structure of Borderlands 3, it's safe to say these two have large goals.

borderlands 3 maliwan


The most prominent faction in Borderlands 3 appears to be the Children of the Vault, led by the game's two main villains. Borderlands 3's announcement trailer starts with a psycho leaving their mask behind and walking towards one of the cult's camps, implying that the Children of the Vault will replace the previous Borderlands games' Bandit faction. That said, the trailer is also filled with regular looking psychos (and all-new women psychos) so either the Children of the Vault aren't too different than the Bandits or the Bandits continue to exist apart from the COV.

While not necessarily a faction in and of itself, a wide variety of creature types await Vault Hunters in Borderlands 3. Given that there are multiple planets to visit, a range of fauna is understandable. Fire-breathing dinosaur creatures is something else altogether. There's also ape-like creatures that hang from signs, flying bug creatures, and even a skag. To be fair, the skag was new character Flak the Beastmaster's pet, but it's probably indicative of much of Pandora's monstrous creatures returning in some form or another.

In addition to the more wild variety of creatures in Borderlands 3, there's also another type of monster worth mentioning that doesn't fit alongside the others. Briefly shown twice in the trailer are two different demon-like monsters. One's a green-yellowish creature that leaps into the sky and ground pounds, causing large spark-like power to erupt around them. Another is a red, winged and firey version with protruding bones. These demons could be mutants or another type of strong enemy, but either way they're worth acknowledging.

The next faction worth mentioning is only glimpsed in two clear moments from Borderlands 3's announcement trailer. There's a brief shot of several futuristic enemies either wearing impressive combat suits or mech armor, as well as a shot showing a very large enemy in much larger padded armor with a large freezing gun. These enemies all have the same logo from the Maliwan weapons manufacturer adorning their armor. Maliwan gear is characterized by a futuristic look and elemental damage.

Finally, and this is a brief appearance even compared to Maliwan, but the Crimson Lance is shown in just a single scene behind Atlas CEO Rhys. They definitely have a part to play in Borderlands 3, but what it is remains to be seen.

borderlands 3 rhys


There are three big unknowns worth mentioning to close out this summary of Borderlands 3's villainous element: Rhys of Atlas, the Eridians, and Handsome Jack.

Rhys was the protagonist of Tales from the Borderlands, the most recent Borderlands game. While he was a hero (of sorts) in that story, Rhys appears to have grown into a position of power that Borderlands fans will associate with corruption. Rhy is now the CEO of weapons manufacturer Atlas. The one scene he's shown in has him with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel player-character Zero by his side and the Crimson Lance behind him. Even more suspicious is the return of his cyber ECHO eye, previously inhabited by an AI version of Handsome Jack himself.

The Eridians are an ancient race that's left any number of powerful technology behind on Pandora, and assumedly across the entire universe. They were the people that created The Warrior superweapon from Borderlands 2 and ultimately sacrificed their civilization to imprison The Destroyer from the original Borderlands. Eridian technology appears to be a focus once more in Borderlands 3 and that could mean the race will reappear in a more substantial form.

Handsome Jack is a name permanently tied to the Borderlands franchise. He stole the spotlight in Borderlands 2 and starred prominently in both Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Tales from the Borderlands as well. Gearbox can say that Handsome Jack is dead all it wants, but the shattered mask is shown in the Mask of Mayhem trailer and Rhys' ECHO eye returning proves that dead doesn't necessarily mean Handsome Jack won't be back.

borderlands 3 handsome jack

So much remains to be shared by Gearbox about Borderlands 3 and the next opportunity find out more is just a day away, with an April 3 release date announcement event planned. That said, there's no promise that more information regarding the game's villains will be shared. Who the Calypso twins really are, what their goals are, and what awaits the players in the galaxy beyond Pandora are all exciting mysteries. Odds are players won't have to wait for too long before experiencing Borderlands 3 for themselves.

Borderlands 3 is currently without an announced release date or supported platforms.

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