Playing Borderlands 3 Can Help Scientists With Actual Research

Illustration for article titled Playing Borderlands 3 Can Help Scientists With Actual Research
Screenshot: Gearbox

Ever felt guilty about playing video games while the world crumbles around you? Well, you’re in luck, because Borderlands 3 now includes a special mini-game that lets you contribute to real-world scientific research while earning in-game rewards.


Borderlands Science can be found in the infirmary of Sanctuary III, the spaceship that acts as the game’s hub area, after downloading the latest Borderlands 3 update. Upon first activating the arcade cabinet, you’ll see a brief introduction by neuroscientist (and The Big Bang Theory actor) Mayim Bialik about the mini-game’s potential real-world benefits.

While it may look like a standard puzzle game, Borderlands Science actually contributes to scientific research. By simply completing levels in the mini-game you’ll help correct millions of small computer errors that arise as scientists try to map the microbiome of the human gut. This will lead to a better understanding of the human body, which in turn benefits research into conditions like obesity, diabetes, and even depression.

Not interested in helping humanity? Borderlands Science has something for you too. Completing levels will net you new heads and skins for your Vault Hunters, as well as special coins that can purchase limited-time buffs like boosted experience, better loot drops, increased damage, and more.

It’s unclear whether this will be a permanent fixture in Borderlands 3 moving forward, or if the mini-game has a shelf life. You can find more information on the research Borderlands Science was developed to support by visiting The Microsetta Initiative.

Staff Writer, Kotaku


There’s no real skill involved, it’s all about gut feelings.