Gearbox has laid out the necessary steps for players to bring their old saves forward to current consoles for The Handsome Collection. Though the official Gearbox explanation digs into the nitty-gritty details of transferring the save data, the overall process shouldn’t be terribly hard for most players.
In order to transfer old saves forward, all that’s needed is the patches which enable cross-save functionality in Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel – as well as the day-one patch for The Handsome Collection. After that, it should be a fairly simple process of uploading and downloading saves using the in-game menus.
There are, however, a few caveats to keep in mind. Gearbox only supports one save upload at a time, which means players will have to go back and forth between versions if they want to transfer all their characters. Unlike Sony systems, for which saves can be universally transferred, the Xbox versions of the games can only transfer forward to Xbox One. Uploading a save also doesn’t remove it from the original system.
Not everything will transfer along with the saves though. Character level, mission progress, Badass Points, current inventory, weapon slot, money, eridium, moonstones, unlocked character customizations, and items store in the bank in Sanctuary will all transfer. However, items stored in Claptrap’s stash from Borderlands 2 will not transfer, nor will trophies and achievements.
The transfer also leaves behind golden keys, which act as a currency for the game's variable-level random loot generator. Gearbox is hoping to make up for that by handing out 75 golden keys, “a healthy chuck of Badass Rank,” and bonus customization items for people who played previous versions of the games.
For an idea of what to expect from the games in The Handsome Collection, check out our review of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. For more information on the collection itself, check out our in-depth preview. If you're confused or curious about the transfer process, Gearbox's official explanation has more detailed information.
It's likely no small annoyance for fans that Gearbox couldn't work out a way to transfer more than one save at a time, but they also didn't have to do it at all. It would have been easy to cite technological difficulty as a reason for making players start over again, and not doing so shows they're still committed to the series' longevity.