Borderlands 3 won’t be out until fall, but developer Gearbox Software is giving fans an early opportunity to collect guns and gear. On May 1, you’ll be able to watch popular streamers on Twitch play the cooperative shooter for the first time and collect loot alongside them.
This all part of the new Echocast Twitch extension. If you enable it (via clicking on the Borderlands vault icon on Twitch’s video player), you can inspect the streamers’ weapon loadouts, skill tree abilities, and inventories while they’re live. But the extension has another layer of interaction if you link your Gearbox Shift account to Twitch: Whenever the streamer opens up a rare treasure chest, you’ll have a chance to get some of that loot for yourself.
You’ll only have 30 seconds to join these rare chest events when the streamer finds them, and once you opt-in, you’ll be entered into a randomized drawing with all the other viewers. The winner will have a chance to select one item from the chest, and it’ll go directly into their in-game mailbox in Borderlands 3.
Gearbox released a video that demonstrates how the Echocast extension works.
Twitch has had a major impact on multiplayer games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, so it makes sense for Gearbox to try to make a huge splash on the streaming platform for the big gameplay reveal of Borderlands 3. The new extension is a smart way of ensuring that people flock to Twitch on May 1, potentially watching Borderlands 3 content for hours in the hopes of winning some loot.
But it also may invite even more unwanted criticisms from the community — especially if they use it to “judge the crap out of the streamer’s build” as Claptrap says in the video. I’m personally not looking forward to someone arguing with me about why my level 2 shotgun isn’t as good as another level 2 shotgun in my inventory because of some minute stat bonus.