How to unlock the Artifact slot in Borderlands 3

Learn how to unlock and use Artifacts for the fourth slot in your inventory in Borderlands 3.

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There are a lot of ways to increase your power in Borderlands 3, and unlocking the Artifact slot is one of them. While leveling up your class is tied to XP and levels, unlocking your entire inventory is linked to story progression.


How to unlock the Artifact slot (last slot)

The fourth and last slot in your inventory is called the Artifact slot. This empty little box is going to remain unavailable for a long time, which can cause a bit of confusion for players. It’s fairly early on in the campaign that you unlock the class mod slot and a bit after that the final weapon slot – but this final slot seems to remain locked for ages.

Borderlands 3 unlock artifact slot
You will unlock the Artifact slot during the main story mission, Cold as the Grave.

As mentioned above, unlocking the Artifact slot is tied to story progression. You must finish the main story mission, Cold as the Grave, which is Chapter 16. After completing this mission, you will finally be able to equip any Artifacts you may have collected. 

It’s highly likely you’ll start encountering Artifacts while on Eden-6 or even from boss drops and those locked chests hidden around Borderlands 3. If you do manage to find one before unlocking the Artifact slot, hold on to it. Chances are you won’t be finding too many before you reach the right chapter, which makes it all the more valuable.

The slot itself is extremely useful. These Artifacts offer even more build variety and can add some truly unique effects to the gameplay. One Artifact we managed to find increased incendiary damage when sliding and left a magma trail behind our character.


Unlocking the final inventory slot, the Artifact slot, in Borderlands 3 is simple - all you need to do is play through the story. Complete the mission in Chapter 16 and you'll be able to boost your stats! Check out the Shacknews Borderlands 3 guide for more unlock explanations and collectibles guides.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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  • reply
    September 22, 2019 7:00 AM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, How to unlock the Artifact slot in Borderlands 3

    • reply
      September 22, 2019 8:23 AM

      Power farmed Truant for a couple hours and I’m super set to keep on truckin

      Still need the doom shotgun tho :(

      • reply
        September 22, 2019 5:44 PM

        I'm in the same boat, I really want that shotgun, but also, story progression and more side quests. I managed to get the Porcelain Pipe Bomb last night (can add my own image to the guide now). Whenever I use it my mate's game drops to single-digit frames. You can bet your bottom dollar I'm trying to crash his game from now on.

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          September 22, 2019 5:54 PM

          I now have oranges for days, no doom shotgun, and redid my siren build to be worth a shit. At least I can just quest onward!

          got one artifact that gave me hope - an eridian elemental boost. doesn't do much, but it does really feed the siren shit, I think... but when I watch any of the other 3 classes go in full "kill everything" mode, the siren seems so so so far behind in raw DPS output.

          • reply
            September 22, 2019 6:33 PM

            Hmm. I might need to look into Siren builds then. My mate is focusing on the elemental side of things. Not too sure whether he's happy with the damage output. What are you focusing on?

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