Battleborn: everything we know – release date, system requirements, and characters

Battleborn characters

Battleborn is Gearbox’s massive new shooter, and it’s clearly from the studio that brought you Borderlands. There’s a solid sense of humour underpinning it all, along with a heavily stylised cartoony look that makes it stand out from the gritty realism of other FPS games. 

Battleborn is competing against plenty of other shooters in this year’s upcoming PC games. Will it be the star of 2016? 

But while Borderlands was loot obsessed, Battleborn has something else on the brain: skills. Yes, there’s a co-op story campaign to play, but it’s no RPG. Instead the clear inspiration here is MOBAs, with a huge collection of heroes to play as, each sporting a well-defined set of abilities for use in multiplayer battles. 

Seeking more intel? Well read on to discover everything we know about Battleborn.  


Battleborn release date

Battleborn’s release date is May 3rd. It’s slipped back before, but Gearbox look right on track to hit this new target.

Despite having a bit of MOBA in its DNA, this is no free-to-play shooter. Come May, you’ll need to pay to play, old-school style. There’s even a season pass, which adds new characters and chapters to the story campaign in the months after release.

Battleborn beta

Before Battleborn releases, Gearbox are holding an open beta, commencing April 13th. The beta will let anyone play the three competitive multiplayer modes, with all 25 heroes and their respective skills.

Alongside the multiplayer modes, the beta will also allow players to try the story campaign. Two missions will be available: Void’s Edge and The Algorithm. Each of Battleborn’s story missions are self-contained ‘episodes’, with one of the heroes as the ‘star’ of the show. The episodes can be played solo or in co-op with a friend.


Battleborn multiplayer modes

Battleborn’s centrepiece is multiplayer, which is made up from three different 5v5 game types.

Incursion sees teams defend their bases from waves of AI-controlled minions. At the same time, they must work with their own minions to assault the enemy team’s base. Think classic MOBA-style play, but with an FPS twist.

Capture draws more influence from shooters, with teams duking it out to capture and hold objectives on the map to win.

Meltdown requires teams to guard their AI minions as they march to an incinerator at the center of the map. There, the minions will throw themselves into the flames, with points awarded for every minion who roasts. The team with the most points wins.

Battleborn progression

Taking inspiration from MOBAs, Battleborn has both in-match leveling and a meta progression system.

In a multiplayer match or episode of the story campaign, your hero will progress through their ‘Helix’ ladder, which provides ten different levels, each with new powers or buffs. This is temporary, and starts from scratch with each new match or episode.

Characters can each rank up to level 15, which is a permanent progression, and helps unlock new abilities for the Helix ladder as well as hero skins.

Finally, the Command Rank applies permanently to the player, and advancing it unlocks badges and titles to be used as bragging tools, as well as loot that can be applied to any hero.


Battleborn system requirements

Almost certainly thanks to favouring a bright, cartoony look over high-fidelity realism, Battleborn won’t be a heavy tax on your PC. Check out the modest system requirements below to see if your machine will be ready to lock-n-load.

Minimum System Requirements:
OS: Windows 7 x64-Bit or Later
CPU: Intel i5-750 / AMD Phenom IIx4 945
Hard Drive: 30GB free
Video Memory: 1GB
Minimum Required Video Card: AMD HD 6870/ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or better, PhysX support

Recommended System Requirements:
OS: Windows 7 x64-Bit or Later
CPU: Intel i5-750 / AMD Phenom IIx4 945
Hard Drive: 50GB free
Video Memory: 2GB
Recommended Video Card: AMD HD 7850/ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or better, PhysX support

Battleborn gameplay

As mentioned before, Battleborn has a big MOBA influence, but it is very much a shooter first-and-foremost. You’ll be running around in first person, clicking to make guns go bang or swords go swish, and killing enemies by throwing deadly things at them.

That core shooting gameplay is augmented by skills, which make combat more complex, and differentiate each of the heroes. To discover how these characters feel to play as, take a look at our Battleborn PvP hands-on, and give the trailer below a watch.

If narrative is more your thing, you can get a glimpse at Battleborn’s co-op campaign in this video.

Battleborn characters

Battleborn has a massive roster of 25 characters, each with their own gear and special skills. They’re split into three different types – Attackers, Defenders, and Supporters – across a few different factions: Rogues, LLC, Jennerit, Peacekeepers, and Eldrid.


Shayne and Aurox

Battleborn characters Shayne Aurox

Class: Rogue Attacker
Gear: Explosive boomerang, Aurox (a protective djinn companion)
Stealth Strike: An invisibility cloak for Shayne. When the cloak expires, Aurox crash-lands and causes area-of-effect damage around Shayne.
Tag Team: Summons Aurox at a targeted area, where he deals damage for several seconds. Enemies are knocked skywards.
Fetch: Aurox grabs the first enemy he encounters and brings it back to Shayne, dealing damage.
Fleet Footed: When Aurox is disabled, Shayne moves faster.

Shayne is a 16-year-old punk continually accompanied by a massive, horrifying djinn. Together they create a brawler team with a focus on infiltrating enemy areas and attacking from concealment.

Whiskey Foxtrot

Battleborn characters Whiskey Foxtrot

Class: Rogue Attacker
Gear: UPR-SL3 Tactical burst-fire rifle, UPR-RDC combat armor
Sticky Bomb: An explosive that sticks to surfaces and enemies, exploding for area-of-effect damage after several seconds.
Scrap Cannon: A wide-spread blast of shrapnel from Whiskey Foxtrot’s rifle.
Overdrive: Loads Whiskey Foxtrot’s rifle with a magazine of ammo that can be fired on full auto.
Combat Rhythm: Each new kill increases attack damage.

A clone trooper that was deemed defective, Whiskey Foxtrot is the last surviving member of his line. A versatile assassin able to attack from range with his rifle, he is one of Battleborn’s easiest characters to master.


Battleborn characters Orendi

Class: Rogue Attacker
Gear: Chaos Bolts, Chaos Magic
Nullify: Creates a burst of energy that pushes Orendi backwards and deals 75-147 damage.
Shadowfire Pillar: Summons a pillar of shadow and flame at a target location, inflicting 208-280 damage.
Paradigm Shift: An energy blast that deals 525-750 damage to all enemies caught in the explosion.
Gnosis: With Gnosis active, using Nullify lowers the cooldown of Shadowfire Pillar by eight seconds.

A four-armed agent of chaos, Orendi is a witch who darts around the battlefield with incredible speed, casting spells that launch flame and dark energy at opponents. With a focus on simply dealing out massive damage as quickly as possible, Orendi is one of Battleborn’s easier heroes to play as.

El Dragon

Battleborn characters El Dragon

Class: LLC Attacker
Gear: M-RBX cybernetic arms, CWF Championship belt
En Fuego: El Dragon explodes, dealing damage to enemies closeby, and changing the properties of his main skills for a short duration.
Clothesline: A forward charge with outstretched arms, hitting enemies to either side. The En Fuego variation is a leap forward that causes damage on landing.
Dragon Splash: A leap into the air that causes big damage when crashing back down. The En Fuego variation stuns all affected enemies.
Undisputed Champ: Each new enemy kill stacks a damage boost for El Dragon’s melee attacks.

An agile skirmisher, El Dragon punches and drop-kicks his way through enemy hordes in search of victory. His arms are cybernetic replacements, meaning his fists are definitely something you’ll want to introduce to your enemies.


Battleborn characters Marquis

Class: LLC Attacker
Gear: Bindlebane sniper rifle, Titanium Dandy MK VI chassis
Temporal Distortion: Slows time in a targeted area for six seconds, slowing all enemies trapped in the warp area.
Predatory Strike: Deploys a Hoodini owl minion to a target location to reveal enemies and collide with them, causing up to 280 damage. Up to three owls can be deployed at once.
Bindleblast: A powerful shot dealing 525-750 damage, which increases the longer the bullet is in flight.
Ein, Zwei, Die: Each shot with the sniper rifle marks targets. The third shot on the same target adds 50% bonus damage.

Battleborn’s sniper character is a German steampunk robot, because who else is going to have steady enough hands to score headshot after headshot? His sniper rifle is collapsable, shrinking into a tiny gold-plated pistol for when things get a little too close for comfort.


Battleborn characters Phoebe

Class: LLC Attacker
Gear: Five Virtues, Technocracy
Phasegate: A teleport skill, instantly moving Phoebe to a target location.
Blade Rush: Launches a barrage of four swords at a target, dealing 52-70 damage.
Blade Cascade: A storm of falling swords that deal up to 730 damage over time to a wide area.
True Strike: A swipe with a sword propels Phoebe in any direction required.

Phoebe is an aristocrat with engineering experience. As such, she commands five rapiers telekinetically, and her fancy gown contains a rig of teleport circuits that allows her to phase around the battlefield. Why be a peasant when you can be in charge of flying swords?


Battleborn characters Deande

Class: Jennerit Attacker
Gear: Tessurim War Fans, Diplomat’s Battle Garb
Holotwin: Makes Deande invisible and deploys a decoy to fight for eight seconds before exploding for 200 damage.
The Element of Surprise: After uncloaking, all Deande’s skills and attacks inflict 25% extra damage.
Burst Dash: A charge forward that deals 200 damage and pushes back enemies. Enemies affected have their attack damage reduced by 30%.
Blink Storm: A flurry of ten strikes, which deal 50 damage per hit and can stun up to five enemies.

Battleborn’s femme fatale, Deande is an assassin designed to stealth her way behind enemy lines and unleash swift, strong attacks against unaware enemies. Since Deande demands a sneakier approach, she’s considered one of the game’s more advanced characters.


Battleborn characters Caldarius

Class: Jennerit Attacker
Gear: TMP and Energy Blade, J-HTX Assault Frame
Gravitic Burst: A forwards dash dealing up to 214 damage on impact with an enemy.
Flashbang: A blinding grenade that deals up to 94 damage.
Aerial Assault: Fires Caldarius into the air. Using the skill again will cause him to land at the target location and inflict 200-425 damage.
Gravitic Manipulators: A double-jump thruster that can propel Caldarius in any direction mid-leap.

A shock-trooper clad in sleek, futuristic armour, Caldarius swifty dominates the battlefield by blasting through the sky before raining hot lead down on his enemies. He’s a significant damage dealer, but has no defensive abilities whatsoever, so you’ll need to be confident with swifty striking and tactically fleeing from danger to use him effectively.


Battleborn characters Rath

Class: Jennerit Attacker
Gear: Axiom and Order, Bladekeeper’s Vestment
Crossblade: Throws energy blades forward, which deal 208-280 damage.
Catalytic Smash: Creates a shockwave directly ahead, dealing 139-187 damage to those caught in it.
Dreadwind: Rath spins around for four seconds, causing 41-68 damage per hit to enemies surrounding him.
Genetic Syphon: Whenever damage is dealt via melee and skill attacks, Rath absorbs 10% back as health.

A brutal assassin wielding three energy swords, Rath is a vampiric force as he devastates enemies in melee before absorbing their life force to heal himself. You may catch him licking blood from his blades after a swift kill. Gross.


Battleborn characters Ghalt

Class: Peacekeeper Attacker
Gear: UPR M8-R Revolver Shotgun, URP-EC Technician’s Rig
The Hook: An energy grappling hook that attaches to enemies and reels them in.
Scraptrap: A deployed trap that stuns enemies for two seconds and then explodes, dealing 133 damage. Two traps can be used at any one time.
Dual Wield: For ten seconds Ghalt uses a shotgun in each hand, doubling damage output.
Tactical Shells: The last four shots in Ghalt’s revolver deal 25% extra damage.

Ghat was the first Battleborn, and he’s certainly ready for battle thanks to his military experience and punchy shotguns. He’s a disruptor; designed to get in the way and prevent the enemy for achieving their goals.

Oscar Mike

Battleborn characters Oscar Mike

Class: Peacekeeper Attacker
Gear: UPR-AR7 Assault Rifle, UPR-RDC Combat Armor
Frag Grenade: An explosive with a blast radius dealing up to 280 damage, the grenade can be toggled to explode after three seconds, or just after impact.
Stealth Generator: A nine-second invisibility cloak that hides Oscar Mike from enemy view and radar. Attacking or using a skill cancels the effect.
Airstrike: 28 guided missiles bombard a target area, dealing 141-282 damage each.
Tactical Rounds: A magazine of ammo for the assault rifle, the first fifteen rounds cause additional damage.

From the same line of clones as Whiskey Foxtrot, Oscar Mike is a similarly versatile soldier-style character with access to some punishing military hardware. With missiles, grenades, and bullets, his entire style is based on killing, and then killing a bit more.


Battleborn characters Melka

Class: Eldrid Attacker
Gear: Custom Machine Pistol, Eldrid Operative’s Garb
Venom: A debuff that causes enemies afflicted to take increased damage from Melka’s melee attacks.
Claw Lunge: A short dash forward to strike a locked-on target with a claw for 187 damage.
Spike: A burst of charged energy that deals 280 damage to close enemies, and throws Melka into the air.
Blade Launcher: A barrage of blades that inflict Venom on targets and deal 233 damage.

A speedy assassin character, Melka specialises in poisoning her targets with a venom that makes them especially susceptible to her melee attacks. She’s one of the simpler characters to get to grips with.


Battleborn characters Thorn

Class: Eldrid Attacker
Gear: Kreshek longbow, Eldrid Vitality
Volley: A shot of five arrows, dealing 42-56 damage each, which can ricochet off the environment.
Blight: A six-second corruption field that deals 32-42 damage every half a second to any enemy caught inside.
Wrath of the Wild: An energy bomb that explodes for up to 750 damage, knocking back enemies caught in the blast.
Nature’s Judgement: A charged arrow that curses enemies for eight seconds. Skills and charged arrows inflict 35% extra damage against cursed targets.

Battleborn’s elven archer character, Thorn is an efficient sniper with the ability to corrupt and curse enemies with debuff skills, while dealing significant damage with skill shots. She has very little armour to protect her, but her vitality stats grant rapid health regeneration.



Battleborn characters Toby

Class: Rogue Defender
Gear: UPR H8-MS Custom Railgun, Mech
Arc Mine: Fires a mine that arms after a short delay. Enemies stepping on it receive 60 damage per second for eight seconds, before the mine explodes for 90 damage.
Force Field: An energy shield that blocks 750 damage before expiring. Railgun ammo fired through it has increased velocity.
Core Discharge: A powerful laser attack from the mech that deals 120 damage per second for six seconds.
Boosters: Thrusters that offer a double-jump skill. Boosters can be used three times before needing to recharge for eight seconds.

Toby is an adorable little penguin strapped into a deadly mech battle suit. His great strength and defensive capabilities mean he’s best suited to keeping friendly territory out of the hands of enemies.


Battleborn characters ISIC

Class: LLC Defender
Gear: Charge Canon, Energy Aegis
Overcharge: The Charge Cannon can be charged for greater damage to multiple targets, as well as altering the effects of ISIC’s other skills.
Rotating Wards: Raises five protective wards that surround ISIC for eight seconds, blocking up to 315 damage each. With Overcharge, damage blocked is 365.
Plasma Dash: Run to a target location, dealing 280 damage to enemies on the way. Overcharge increases damage dealt to 325.
Omega Strike: Toggles a turret mode, which replaces the standard attacks with weapons that deal 24 and 140 per shot. Overcharge provides a shield that can absorb 787 damage.

ISIC is a walking tank, and so exceptionally adept at soaking up damage and being a shield for the team. He’s pretty skilled at dealing damage too though, thanks to his ability to transform into a turret that fires dangerous shells.


Battleborn characters Attikus

Class: Jennerit Defender
Gear: Bare fists
Hedronic Collector: One charge is gained per kill, up to a maximum of five. When Fully Charged, the next skill used consumes all charge in exchange for added bonus effects.
Pounce: A leap to a target that deals 67 damage. Also knocks back enemies. The Fully Charged variation deals 100 damage to shields.
Hedronic Arc: For eight seconds, any enemies hit with a melee attack are shocked, causing them to take eight damage over four seconds. The Fully Charged variation also shocks nearby enemies.
Hedronic Eruption: Fires ten shockwaves over five seconds that each deal 84 damage. The Fully Charged variation also knocks enemies into the air.

A giant, cloven-hooved menace, Attikus was experimented on with shard-powered tech that now runs a current through his body. He can charge up those circuits to unleash hell upon his enemies, delivered by his bare knuckles.


Battleborn characters Galilea

Class: Peacekeeper Defender
Gear: Wraith’s Greatsword, Sentinel’s Greatshield
Shield Throw: Hurls Galilea’s shield, dealing 200 damage stunning the target for two seconds.
Desecrate: A curse that increases damage to all enemies within the area around Galilea for eight seconds.
Abyssal Form: Transforms Galilea into a new form that deals 125 initial damage, reduces incoming damage, and regenerates 250 health.
Corruption: Using skills and attacks increases corruption, which deals up to 20 damage per second and steals enemy health.

A close-combat knight focussed on defending the team’s ground, Galilea was warped by dark energy and now possesses the power to take on new forms and curse her enemies.


Battleborn characters Benedict

Class: Peacekeepers Defender
Gear: UPR-SM23 Rocket Launcher, Aviant Exosuit
Hawkeye: A rocket that deals 187 damage and targets the enemy for three seconds to allow subsequent rockets to home in.
Liftoff: A tall jump to allow quick entry/exit from combat.
Boomsday: A player-guided missile that deals 750 damage on impact.
Flyboy: A double-jump ability, that if held allows Benedict to glide.

Yes, Benedict is a hawk/man hybrid. A hawk/man hybrid obsessed with rockets, no less. While his skills are some of Battleborn’s more stripped back ideas, Benedict is considered an advanced character thanks to the emphasis on heavy pushing and being constantly in the fight.


Battleborn characters Montana

Class: Peacekeepers Defender
Gear: Minigun, Hearty Constitution
Heatwave: Firing the minigun increases its heat. The hotter it gets, the more bonus damage it deals.
Lumberjack Dash: Run into an enemy, causing 208-280 damage on collision and a knock-back. If the enemy hits an object or ally, they are stunned for a second.
Hailstorm: A special ammunition for the minigun that slows enemies and uses less heat per shot. Buffs Montana with an armour value to reduce incoming damage.
Mansformation: A ground stomp that deals 525-750 damage and throws nearby enemies into the air. Buffs Montana to reduce damage for eight seconds.

Essentially Battleborn’s answer to TF2’s Heavy, Montana is a huge, high-health character that swings around a hefty minigun. The sheer amount of ammunition Montana can fire means he’s great for suppressing enemies and holding the line.


Battleborn characters Kelvin

Class: Eldrid Defender
Gear: Ice fists, Ice form
Sublimate: Kelvin evaporates into a cloud of cold air, increasing movement speed for a brief time. Touching enemies damages and stuns them.
Chomp: A bite attack that deals big damage. If the enemy dies, Kelvin gains a permanent health boost.
Ice Wall: Creates a temporary, impassable wall of ice that stuns enemies upon deployment.
Permafrost: A temporary shield boost is applied after using a skill.

Kelvin is an ice golem: a hulking great creature made of pure frozen water. He’s an up-close-and-personal brawler with a focus on controlling the map, and one of Battleborn’s more advanced characters.


Battleborn characters Boldur

Class: Eldrid Defender
Gear: Runic Axe, Ekkuni Greatshield
Runes of Power: Increases axe damage when attacking, or health regeneration when blocking with the shield. Changes effects of Boldurdash and Axe Toss.
Boldurdash: A forwards leap into enemies that deals up to 213 damage and causes a knockback effect. With Rune Power applied, the dash explodes on contact and deals up to 534 damage.
Axe Toss: Throws an axe through multiple enemies, dealing up to 280 damage to each. With Rune Power, the axe explodes on impact, dealing up to 700 damage to anyone nearby.
Rage: Killing enemies increases melee attack speed for a short duration.

He’s got a beard, and axe, and a shield, so of course Boldur is a dwarf. An angry one at that: he’s looking to smash people up in defence of his territory. A tanky brawler, Boldur soaks up damage with his shield and causes explosive results with his melee attacks and magical runes.



Battleborn characters Reyna

Class: Rogue Supporter
Gear: Laser Pistol, Plasma Pulse
Shield Booster: An overshield for an ally that blocks 315 damage for eight seconds. The Plasma Pulse can be used to charge the shield.
Priority Target: A homing blast that inflicts 81 damage and reveals the target’s position to allies. The target then takes 116% damage for the next six seconds.
Photonic Ward: An energy dome that kicks enemies out of the area and blocks enemy fire for six seconds.
Failsafe: When placing an overshield on an ally, Reyna receives one too.

Shields keep everyone safe in battle, and that’s Reyna’s number one concern. She’s a rescuer, and playing as her will require you to attend to your allies just in time to ensure they’re sufficiently protected from enemy fire. It’s a demanding role, and that’s why she’s one of Battleborn’s ‘advanced’ characters.


Battleborn characters Kleese

Class: LLC Supporter
Gear: Wrist Cannon, Shock Taser
Energy Rift: Opens up a rift that restores friendly shields and deals damage to enemies.
Energy Mortar: Fires a barrage of mortar shells that deal bonus damage against shields.
Black Hole: Opens up a black hole that drags enemies towards it to cause damage.
Tactical Battle Chair: A mech/wheelchair hybrid, using the chair increases maximum shield capacity and boosts jumps.

A character based on holding territory and boosting the team’s defences, Kleese is an old, cantankerous chap who rolls around the map in his “Battle Throne”.


Battleborn characters Ambra

Class: Jennerit Supporter
Gear: Staff of Radiance, Flame Shield
Scorching Strikes: A series of melee strikes that are powered up by Heat generated by attacks, causing up to 38 extra damage per hit.
Sunspot: Summons a sunspot that inflicts 56 damage per second to nearby enemies, draining its 750 health as it does. Explodes when touched. Two can be active at once.
Solar Wind: Creates a wave of flaming wind that lasts up to three seconds, doing 84 damage per second.
Extinction Event: Strikes a target location with a meteor that does 450 damage, leaving a scorching effect that deals 300 damage over five seconds.

Dancing like an Egyptian, Ambra shuffles into the Battleborn roster wielding her vampiric staff that returns 30% of damage dealt back to her health pool. It’s enough to earn her the characteristic of ‘healer’, although typically such types are not this selfish. Still, why worry about other people’s vitals when you can be setting things on fire?


Battleborn characters Miko

Class: Eldrid Supporter
Gear: Combat Botany poison daggers, Healing Beam
Cloud of Spores: A spore sack that explodes when thrown, dealing up to 187 damage and leaving behind a cloud for four seconds that slows enemies who enter it.
Biosynthesis: Heals 260-350 health over a five second duration. Also boosts Miko’s healing beam by 35%.
Fungus Among Us: A mushroom bomb that creates a 45-second area-of-effect zone where allies can gain 83-150 health regeneration per second. The mushroom can be destroyed by enemies,
Molecular Mycology: Causes thrown poison daggers to deal 50-68 damage over two seconds.

Miko’s a mix of devastating poison damage and heavy healing. The best medic in Battleborn’s roster, she has a healing beam that restores health to target allies, while her own health regenerates quickly. Most of her skills are based on aiding others, but her spore cloud is a devastating slow to help trap and defeat enemies.

And that’s your lot! Which character do you think you’ll be playing as most in Battleborn?