Borderlands 3 will get its first level cap increase later this week

Valentine's Day will soon be upon us, and for Borderlands 3 players that means it will soon be time to celebrate Broken Hearts Day—and by "celebrate" I mean shoot at the hearts that will be floating around enemies, who you will be shooting at anyway.

There will be different kinds of hearts to shoot at, and they will go down in different ways: Some will just fall and blow up, while others will drop loot or even turn enemies into temporary allies. Along with the sense of satisfaction that comes from a job well done, shooting hearts will also net you some in-game rewards:

  • 10 – "ECHOcardiogram" ECHO Skin
  • 25 – "Cosmic Romance" Weapon Trinket
  • 50 – "Terminal Polyaimorous" Legendary Maliwan SMG
  • 75 – "Heartbreaker" Vault Hunter Skin
  • 100 – "Wedding Invitation" Legendary Jakobs Sniper Rifle

The Broken Hearts Day event will begin when the February patch goes live on February 13 and will run until 8:59 am PT/11:59 am ET on February 20. And if the whole thing seems a bit silly to you, or you just don't like free skins and guns, you can choose to opt out of the event, unless you're playing in an online game, in which case the host's preference will make the call.

Whether or not you're interested in breaking hearts with heavy weaponry, the February update itself is worth paying attention to, as it will increase the level cap from 50 to 53, giving players three more skill points to play with. That doesn't sound like much, but Borderlands 3 lead level designer said during today's Borderlands Show that point-to-point increases in Borderlands 3's skill trees are "way more impactful" than in the previous games, and Gearbox wants to avoid throwing the game out of balance.

"Just handing out the same number of levels and skill points [as in previous games] would really actually just kind of destroy the game in terms of balance, and also homogenize everyone's build. Once everyone has everything, it's all the same, and you can't express yourself through your character and their gear," he said. 

"In Borderlands 3, we're looking at it a lot differently based on that. In this first one we're going to do just the three levels. Long term, we're exploring some other ways to encourage further player growth that might not be completely tied to skill points."

Other changes coming in the February update include skippable cutscenes, Guardian Rank toggling that will enable players to disable some or all Guardian Rank Perks, and the ability to opt out of events like Broken Hearts Day, while "Fight For Your Life" improvements and Mayhem 2.0 are expected to arrive in March. More information about the future of Borderlands 3 will be revealed during the Gearbox panel at PAX East, which will be livestreamed on Twitch, beginning at 11:30 am PT/2:30 pm ET on February 27.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.