Best 13 Shooter Games Like Borderlands

We’re looking for action-RPG first-person shooter looters experiences. Our aim is the best games like Borderlands, one of the top entries in the shooter looter genre.

The series includes four main games, plus several DLCs for each entry. There’s also a spinoff Telltale adventure game. Still, we’re not considering it, as it is an entirely different type of game.

Regardless, we’re talking about the series that pioneered the loot-driven co-op genre. But you can’t play it forever, so we’re looking for other games like Borderlands. 

Selecting Games Like Borderlands

selecting games like borderlands

The Borderlands formula is easy to see after a couple of hours of playtime. Still, we want to be thorough.

We’re listing the significant elements across the Borderlands main series. We believe its fans would like games featuring a mix or a twist of these aspects:

  • Genre: Borderlands offers first-person looting-shooting experiences, a semi-open-world, and RPG elements. 
  • Co-op: You can play these games in co-op with up to 4 people. The challenge and loot will increase to match the number of players in the party.
  • Settings: These games happen on alien planets and moons. The sci-fi setting is full of ships, advanced weaponry, and over-the-top stories.
  • Humor: Similarly, these games are humorous, often absurd, explosive, and full of one-liners. 
  • Semi-open-world: You have access to a few areas, plus a hub town, at any time. You need to complete quests to unlock new areas.
  • Linear Stories: The stories are linear. There’re no decisions or branching paths. On Borderlands 3, you have more freedom regarding where to go next. 
  • Story-driven: You play as Vault Hunters, searching for alien treasures. However, there’s always a bigger focus on the story and the villains.
  • Itemization: Each game features millions of items you repeatedly loot as you level. These include weapons, grenades, shields, mods, and other gadgets.
  • Weapons: Weapons come from different fictional manufacturers. Each features unique functionalities and perks.
  • Weapon Randomization: Each weapon’s names, stats, and functions are mostly randomized.
  • Item Rarity: As the game procedurally generated items, it also randomizes item rarity, such as in games like WoW or Diablo. 
  • Damage: The damage you and your weapons deal raises every time you level. Enemy damage raises as well.
  • Leveling Up: As you level, you increase damage and HP. You also get a skill point to unlock an ability on one of the three skill trees.
  • Skill Trees: Each character has three skill trees. There’s no chance to unlock all skills, though, so you need to consider character builds carefully.
  • Classes: Each game also introduces up to six classes. Each features unique skill trees, an active ability, and a preference for a weapon type. 
  • Active Ability: The active ability has a cooldown. You can modify it or enhance it further with the skill trees. 
  • Melee Ability: Characters also have a melee punch. Some classes can modify it or enhance it further.
  • Extra Progression: Completing in-game challenges rewards tokens you can expend to unlock small boosts for all of your characters. 
  • Vehicles: Some maps allow you to drive a vehicle to traverse large areas. 
  • Visuals: The unique style uses cell-shaded visuals to imitate the looks of a comic book.
  • New Game Plus: The replay mode lets you keep your level and gear and go towards new, challenging gameplay.

Overall, Borderlands offers an impressive procedural generation of guns plus a smooth but frenetic shooting. Then, it mixes a fully-fledged story, a linear progression, and an absurd and humorous tone. 

Games Like Borderlands

Destiny 2

destiny 2
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Publisher: Bungie
  • Release Date: September 2017
  • Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Google Stadia

Destiny 2 is a free-to-play, first-person shooter looter with RPG elements and a semi-open world. It’s also an online-only MMO, where you see other people on the world’s hub and maps. Still, you can play solo or co-op. 

The free bundle packs about 50 hours of playtime. It’s the base game plus various expansions. You have to buy several expansions separately, each one unlocking new areas, classes, and multiplayer modes. Bear in mind the expansions and seasons keep evolving the game.

The Destiny 2 world features a large solar system plus a city hub. You talk to the NPCs in the hub to get quests and then select where to go (planets, ships, and similar) from an interface. The story makes you a part of a battle to defend the Last City of humanity in the stars.

You start the game by picking one of the classes. Each one features an active ability. Then, you can level up to improve damage and HP and loot weapons, armor, and gear endlessly as you fight. 

At first, the amount of content may feel overwhelming, so we recommend playing it with friends. Some activities also require matchmaking, so you can’t be a solo player all the time. Destiny 2 is better with your friends goofing around and fighting at your side. 


  • Developer: Digital Extremes
  • Publisher: Digital Extremes
  • Release Date: March 2013
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch

Warframe is a massive third-person action-adventure sci-fi MMO. But it shares significant elements with Borderlands. See, you pick a class, each class features active abilities, you level up, and you loot.

As an online-only game, you can play solo or play co-op. There’s a great focus on the story here, but many in-game activities, such as interstellar battles, require you to have a team of real players.

The gameplay is fast and offers a mix of melee, acrobatics, technological skills, and shooting. You play through a series of open-world maps across a massive galaxy as you become a part of an endless battle. 

Character classes come through “Warframes,” which are different armors to wear. You find these armors and customize them with thousands of pieces to alter and modify your skills as you play. Additionally, it changes the Warframe’s passive and active abilities. 

Lastly, the content included for free is massive. It’s about 100 hours of free play, but there’re extra expansions to buy to access new areas and end-game content, instances, and game modes.

Tom Clancey’s The Division

the division 2
  • Developer: Massive Entertainment
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: March 2016
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One

The Division 2 is a co-op third-person cover shooter with RPG elements. Loot is a key part of the experience, as you’ll improve your gear endlessly as you fight through a post-apocalyptic New York.

You can play the entire campaign solo or go as part of a 4-player party. Either way, you’ll be exploring a dynamic event to take back the city from enemy factions.

Enemy NPCs populate the city. You’ll get quests from NPCs to defeat bosses, take positions, retrieve items, and similar. You’ll level up, loot, and craft weapons and gear as you fight. Additionally, you’ll customize your Agent’s gear and passives. 

After finishing the campaign, you’ll unlock a new difficulty level for a New Game+. Moreover, you’ll get access to evolving end-game content. The game is already challenging from the get-go, but the higher the challenge, the better the reward. 

Lastly, the game features diverse activities other than exploring and fighting the world. These modes include Incursions, Survival, Underground, the Dark Zone, and others. 


  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Release Date: May 2017
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One

Prey is an immersive sci-fi action RPG with an open-world setting and sandbox mechanics. You’re a survivor of the Talos I ship, and your mission is to help other survivors escape. Lurking in hallways and rooms is your enemy, the alien invaders. 

The title features both a story-driven and a character driven-focus. Your character is at the center of a disastrous experiment, and Talos I hides many secrets. Discovering the truth about both these elements is the way to escape.

You play from a first-person perspective. You loot a wide arsenal of sci-fi weapons, armor, and gadgets. Moreover, you learn abilities from imitating the aliens. Then, you combine your abilities, arsenal, and devices for exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving.

Then., the game features almost no interfaces. Most mechanics happen in-game and in real-time, like crafting. You can craft almost anything you see on the ship, offering tools for puzzle-solving and combat.

Lastly, the entire map is open, but you need to find items or unlock abilities to access areas, like a Metroidvania. Either way, you can have entirely different playthroughs depending on your chosen abilities.

Remnants: From The Ashes

Remnants: From The Ashes
  • Developer: Gunfire Games
  • Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series

I would describe From the Ashes as a shooter looter action RPG with souls-like mechanics and Diablo-like instances. Dodging, bossers, serious difficulty, and third-person combat are core game elements. 

You play through a series of procedurally generated maze-like areas in seven Chapters. Each chapter ends with a boss. You have various opportunities to decide which path to take and which boss to challenge. 

You “unlock” passive skills by doing specific actions. For example, shooting a shotgun repeatedly unlocks the shotgun passive. Then, as you level up, you can invest a skill point into one of the many passives you have unlocked or found.

The other progression is finding better guns, armor, accessories, and armor sets. Each weapon features unique functionalities, and you can improve them up to level 20 by expanding an in-game currency.

Lastly, you have various classes to choose from, each featuring a unique passive skill and a weapon preference. Then, you can find loot modifiers and place them in weapons, and these modifiers are your single active skill.

Deep Rock Galactic

deep rock galactic
  • Developer: Ghost Ship Games
  • Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Release Date: May 2020
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5

Deep Rock Galactic is a first-person shooter looter. The difference is most of the loot is resources, and that all characters are loud-talking space Dwarves. Naturally, the title features a sci-fi setting.

You select one of the available Dwarve classes to start your game. Then, you go through randomized quests on a procedurally generated cave system. The goal is to retrieve resources and go back to base, but alien insectoids can attack you at any moment.

You explore caves and dig your way through the environment, as everything you see is destructible. And you can mine resources from rocks, and you can use these resources to improve your character.

Then, combat relies on heavy weapons, swarming enemies, and a few active abilities. Fighting as part of a 4-player party feels much better than going alone. This is because different skills match very well together.

Lastly, enemies often travel in hordes, but combat is not the main part of the experience. Instead, you’ll expend most of your time mining, managing resources, and chilling around with other players.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

warhammer vermintide 2
  • Developer: Fatshark
  • Publisher: Fatshark
  • Release Date:  March 2018
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series

Vermintide 2 is a first-person dark fantasy action game with character progression and plenty of loot. You fight across maze-like linear scenarios as you level up, loot, and explode monster hordes.

You can play the entire campaign solo, which comes via 3 acts. Or you can play as part of a 4-player team. As Borderlands, challenges, and loot rise to match the number of players traveling together.

Then, you can choose one of the three characters, each one featuring 3 branching careers. There’re hundreds of spells and skills and dozens of skill trees to explore and master. The overall result is deep, broad, and creative.

As for the action, it’s fast-paced, chaotic, and extremely fun, either alone or solo. It’s one of the best action games, excelling in its co-op features. Moreover, enemy AI is tough and fighting against monster hordes and waves is common. 

Lastly, the story uses the expansive Warhammer lore, but you can follow it as a newcomer. You’re a warrior for the Empire, and your mission is fighting against the Chaos army and the Skaven horde. 

Path of Exile

path of exile
  • Developer: Grinding Gear Games
  • Publisher: Grinding Gear Games
  • Release Date: October 2013
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, macOS 

Path of Exile is a free-to-play MMO. It’s an action RPG with combat that mixes hack and slash and dungeon-crawling. The title is increasingly complex, and it only becomes more difficult with every passing season.

You’re an Exile, and your mission is traveling across the Wraeclast continent to defeat dark gods. Exiles are the “classes,” but each class simply starts at a different part of a massive and interconnected passive tree. 

You get a skill point for the passive tree as you level up. You can also loot gear and loot skills. Skills are “gems” you slot into proper “gem slots” on the gear. You can further modify the skills by slotting additional slots and leveling up gems as you use them.

The complexity grows when considering passive talents, subclasses (Ascendancies), skills, skill modifiers, and gear. It grants endless possibilities for character builds. That makes it very easy to mess up a character without proper guidance. 

Lastly, you go through nine acts featuring procedurally-generated instances. After finishing the campaign, you’ll enter end-gamer content. These are procedurally generated maps you can loot and modify. 

Payday 2

payday 2
  • Developer: Overkill Software
  • Publisher: 505 Games
  • Release Date: October 2013
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, Nintendo switch, macOS, Linux 

Payday 2 is a co-op shooter looter. You play with your friends on heists and crimes you select from an interface and reap the rewards in the form of currency and gear.

The gameplay offers a first-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on stealth and strategy. Teamwork is also a must to successfully complete your criminal activities.

You play as part of a four-player team. The crew progresses on increasingly bigger and more complex heists as you level up. It goes from stealing from a local shop to massive bank robberies on skyscrapers.

The gunplay and mechanics are smooth and refined. You shoot, hide, crawl, jump, rob, zip line, and more. Your need to combine all of your tools to go through the dynamic scenarios and rising challenges.

Lastly, characters level up, offering progression in five different skill trees. It grants you deep customization options on top of hundreds of equipment. You’re to mix gear and skills to create the ultimate criminal.

Bioshock: Infinite

bioshock infinite
  • Developer: Irrational Games
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Release Date: March 2013
  • Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch

Bioshock Infinite is the latest part of the Bioshock series, but it features a stand-alone story. Still, it keeps the franchise’s formula: a linear and immersive FPS with supernatural powers. 

You play as former detective Booker DeWitt exploring the topic of the airborne city of Columbia in 1912. Your mission is to find Elizabeth captive in the floating city. Your discoveries take you deeper into the place’s conflict, and your choices alter its destiny. 

Like previous Bioshock games, the title features immersive elements, impressive storytelling, and top-tier sound design. But it introduces new elements like Elizabeth can alter the space-time continuum with her hidden powers. 

Then, the gameplay is slow and tactical. It’s about mixing your weapons and skills to exploit the enemies’ weaknesses. Also, you don’t loot anything, but you can improve your powers and gain powerful passives. 

Lastly, Elizabeth joins your quest and travels with you. You can use her powers against the hostiles, which help you alter and control the battlefield creatively. Yet, enemies are quite tough, come in various “rarity” levels, and hail from various factions.

Dishonored 1

dishonored 1
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Release Date: October 2012
  • Platform: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One 

Dishonored 1 is not a shooter looter, but its mechanics are right up the alley. It’s a first-person action RPG focusing on stealth, supernatural abilities, and decision-making. 

You play as Corto Attano in a highly immersive steam-punk scenario. You’re the empress’s loyal bodyguard, but she dies after a violent coup. With newly-found supernatural powers, you’re on a quest to save princess Emily and restore the kingdom. 

Gameplay happens from a first-person perspective. You can use a loud pistol, a silent crossbow, various gadgets, sword slashes, sword blocks, stealth takedowns, and supernatural abilities. As you level up, you unlock more skills and improve your gear.

Then, you go through a series of semi-open missions. Most are about saving someone, retrieving special time, or eliminating a target. You can go in and go out as violently or stealthily as possible. That said, traversal includes jumping, climbing, teleporting, and turning into a rat. 

However, the game will measure your violence and change how the last three levels play out. If you’ve been non-lethal, final missions can become a cakewalk, as guards become complacent or allies. If you’ve had a chaotic run, you’ll enjoy the freedom the game grants to combine tools, weapons, and abilities.

Dishonored 2

dishonored 2
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Release Date: November 2016
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One

Dishonored 2 is a direct continuation of the original game. Many years later, another coup d’etat takes Emily away from power. At the start of the game, you can play as either Corvo or Emily to take back the throne.

The decision comes with the unique perks and weapons each character has. They use pistols, gadgets, crossbows, swords, and special supernatural abilities. You improve and unlock skills as you level, but you can also find collectibles to further enhance the character.

Then, you go through a series of semi-open levels, and the mission is always assassinating a character. The game won’t punish you for violence so much this time around. Instead, your actions would only influence the attitude of enemies of that particular level.

So, you can be as sneaky or as bloody as you’d like. Combat seems the most entertaining option, as abilities offer significant advantages. However, the enemy AI is clever, always ready to pick your scent and find you.

Lastly, each level is moderately open, which offers you multiple ways to achieve a goal or reach places. There’re also side objectives, hidden power-ups, and lore information to discover as you explore. 

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