Borderlands 3 Shift codes: How they'll work

Borderlands 3 Shift codes
(Image credit: Gearbox Software)

Shift codes are back in Borderlands 3. There's all kinds of loot in Gearbox's sci-fi shooter series. You'll find guns in chests. You'll find guns in the chests of enemies when you shoot them. You'll find guns just lying around all over the dang place. But to get the really rare guns, alongside shields and class mods and other special items, you'll want to keep your eye out for Borderlands 3 Shift codes, which will help you unlock the good stuff.

Here's what we know about Borderlands 3's Shift codes plans, as well as Gearbox's new "VIP Codes," and what they'll both unlock in the new game.

If you don't want to wait for Borderlands 3 to get your Shift on, head over here for our collection of Borderlands 2 Shift Codes.

Borderlands 3 Shift codes: How will they work?

When asked at the PC Gaming Show at E3 2019, creative director Paul Sage said Golden Keys and Shift codes will "absolutely" be back in Borderlands 3. That means, much like in past games, the codes will come in a couple forms:

  • Golden Keys will unlock a special chest that is guaranteed to give you an item (usually a gun) of a high rarity. Shift codes often grant a batch of a few golden keys to use. It's sort of like playing a free slot machine, except you're guaranteed to get a rare item—just not necessarily one that you want.
  • Cosmetics: Some Shift codes will likely unlock special skins for Borderlands 3's vault hunters. In the past, these were often tied to special events, and getting a Shift code was the only way to unlock the skin.

Gearbox may even have more plans for what you unlock with Shift codes this time around, but the way you redeem them should be the same. There should be a couple easy ways to redeem shift codes:

  • Online with a free account at, which lets you link a Steam, console, Epic Games, or social media account. Remember that Borderlands 3 is an Epic Store exclusive at launch.
  • In-game through the menu. You'll copy the 25-digit Shift code, tab into your game and paste it in. Voila, guns or cosmetics for you!

Borderlands 3 VIP codes

(Image credit: Gearbox Software)

What are Borderlands VIP codes?

Gearbox has started a "Vault Insider" program which involves "Vault Codes," which are, confusingly, different than Shift codes. You can redeem vault codes for vault points, and earn vault points by doing other things, like filling out your profile, signing up to a 2K newsletter, and so on. It's basically a big promotional campaign, but if you don't mind being bombarded with advertising, you can unlock some new stuff for Borderlands games, including Borderlands 3.

Sign up on the Borderlands 3 VIP site to earn an "Early Adopter pack" for Borderlands 3, which includes "a Children of the Vault weapon, an Echo Device skin, and five Gold Keys used to unlock chests in Borderlands 3." You can also earn some special Vault Hunter skins and heads only available to VIPs.