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I want to play Borderlands 3 with a friend using an Xbox One with Xbox Live. I have a PC. I see Borderlands 3 on sale via Steam's site for $59, but I also see Borderlands being sold as a hard copy for $30 new.

First, can I play with my friend online at all?

Secondly, if it's possible, do I have to buy the Borderlands 3 from Steam directly, or can I purchase a physical copy of the game?

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No you can't, Borderlands 3 does not support cross play between PC and console.

Whether the copy of the game is physical or digital makes no difference, what matters is the platform. So any players on PC can play with each other but not with Xbox or PS4 and each of the those consoles can play with other players on there respective platforms only.

Cross platform play can be added via software update so worth checking occasionally to see if this has changed.

All the information about cross play is available on the offical website FAQ, linked below.

https://borderlands.com/en-US/news/2020-03-05-borderlands-3-steam-faq/

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  • Thank you so much - you wouldn't believe how much I tried to research this question before finally giving up. Too bad that there's no cross-play between PC and a console though. – Tony DiNitto May 28 at 23:00

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