How to Save Your Game in Borderlands 3

If you’re googling “Borderlands 3” and “save” right about now, you’re probably wondering whether the inevitable success of Borderlands 3 launch can “save” Randy Pitchford’s reputation after months of scandals and missteps… You won’t find those answers here, friend! What you will find, however, is a quick explanation, which the game never provides, of how to save your progress in Gearbox Software’s long-awaited loot-shooter.

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How to Save Your Progress Manually in Borderlands 3

Unfortunately, Borderlands 3 does not include a manual save option. Scour the menus all you want — they look sleek and shiny and some of them even rotate — you won’t find an option to save your progress. Instead, Borderlands 3 retains the series’ penchant for Chaotic Evil design by forcing you to quit the game to record your progress (without any text box assurances that the game is saving).

Even this isn’t a real manual save. The game is just preserving your most recent autosave. It’s a weird, stressful, and harrowing process that will test your intestinal fortitude as you just hit “quit game.” I have never in my life just hit “quit game” without the boiling, existential dread that I’m just deleting my last 45 minutes of progress. Yet this is what Gearbox chose to implement. At least Halo — another classic series that maintains its odd save game system years later — calls this button “save and quit.” Yeah. Now that’s the kind of definitive statement us true gamers can truly rely on.

How Do Autosaves Work in Borderlands 3?

As in the previous games in the series, Borderlands 3 records your progress whenever you finish a section of a mission or pass a New-U station (the checkpoint robots that pop out of the ground when you pass by). After dying or quitting the game, you’ll respawn next to the most recently-passed Fast Travel location or New-U. That means you’re always auto-saving whenever those things happen. That’s convenient, but it would be nice to have options, no?

I have occasionally seen the Borderlands Eridian V icon pop up in the top-right corner of the screen, which, I assumed, was the game auto-saving. But the vast majority of the time, when I know the game has recorded my progress, it gives no indication… If you absolutely need to quit, and can’t just put the game into suspend mode, try to wait until after you complete a mission objective.

Would it be nice to have a manual save option to make sure you don’t lose progress, no matter how minute? Yes. Would it be nice to have some indication that the game is saving your progress automatically? Yes. Is this another way that Borderlands 3 is more Borderlands, for better and absolutely for worse? Also yes. It’s odd how this series just can’t give up on even its most minor (and sometimes annoying) design quirks.

While you’re here, check out the rest of our Borderlands 3 coverage, including character guides and more.