X marks the spot.

I'm playing Borderlands 2's effortfully-titled new DLC Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty for a lot of reasons, I guess. I'm playing it for the colorful new locations, for the goofy new pirate enemies, for the sweet new sand skiff (though boo on Gearbox for not unlocking it across the entire game). But really, as with all things Borderlands, I'm playing for the loot.

There is a lot of good loot in the new DLC, which I guess makes sense, as "loot" is actually a word I associate more with pirates than any other subgenre of enemy. See, I'm probably about 2/3rds of the way through the story missions in Borderlands 2, and I'd started to feel a bit stuck with my current weapon loadout. I had a decent assault rifle, a middling sniper rifle, and a really good shotgun. Every weapon I found was in some way inferior to what I had—I hadn't had that somewhat sad somewhat awesome "Oh eff yes, this amazing shiny thing completes me" feeling for too long.

Right off the bat in Captain Scarlett, I snagged an $8,000 corrosive assault rifle. Nice. Shortly afterwards, I found my first message in a bottle. As it turns out, the bottle-message missions are the easiest way to get a crapload of great loot—but they're a little bit trickier than they seem.


First you have to find the bottle—easy, since they're always marked as orange exclamation marks on your map. After finding the bottle, you have to head to the treasure site and find the treasure. At first I thought this would be easy, but on the second one, I got a bit stumped—don't judge! Environmental puzzling isn't something I'm used to doing in Borderlands.

So, in the interest of helping out anyone else who's gotten stuck, let me give you this piece of advice: X marks the spot. Makes sense, no? These are pirates we're talking about!


When you come upon that second treasure location, and think, "Hmm, maybe that crate with the shields in it was the treasure…" It wasn't. You've gotta find the X, and then you've gotta do what treasure hunters have been doing since time immemorial: You've gotta dig.