Gearbox Software not only iterated on the way Borderlands 3 plays but also how you play it. The Borderlands series always had an emphasis on co-op play, however, the control scheme was never optimized for that. With Borderlands 3, Gearbox seems to improve the co-op gameplay experience with a control scheme that focuses on the coöprative side of the game.
To quick select our to not quick select
During my play sessions at the Borderlands reveal event, I noticed that the control scheme wasn’t the same as previous games. I didn’t understand why the d-pad received new functionalities like mission swapping. I prefer a weapon quick select there. Swapping between 4 weapons with just the ‘Y’ button on the Xbox controller felt like Russian roulette. Not knowing which weapon I would get next. I was happy to see the Eden-6 gameplay during E3. Here you could spot the return of the weapon quick select on the d-pad buttons.
Rethinking about the control configuration from the reveal event. The ability to quickly swap between missions makes it easier the take on multiple missions especially when your buddies obtain new quests when you are both going your separate ways. In previous games, you had to bring up the map by going into the menu. This takes you out of the action.
During my recent play session at the 2K office, I stumbled on a new feature. The up button on the d-pad had no function during the reveal event, which was something I found really weird at the time. This time around the button enabled me to ping locations and items in the world. This way you can highlight specific things for your buddy. I remember when I used to play Borderlands 2 with my brother and a friend. When I found something, I literally had to wait at a location so they knew where to find it. Having this ping feature really helps out the communication in-game. But this doesn’t just have to apply for finding loot and hidden collectibles. This could also come in place with those more challenging boss fights.
I believe Randy Pitchford mentioned this in one of his tweets. But button remapping is one of those things that gearbox is implementing to make their games more accessible. This also allows you to set a control scheme that fits your play style. So it doesn’t matter if you will be playing solo or cooperative, there is a setup for you.