Problem with new Skag noises/sounds

As a quick preface, I know that this will most certainly not affect everyone and is strictly a personal thing, not a technical one.

This is in regards to the new sounds/noises that Skags have. In all of the other games, the Skags were just aggressive, alien monsters that were there as cannon fodder, no problem. However, suddenly and unnecessarily, they have been updated with additional noises mixed in that make them sound like dogs/puppies realistically screaming and crying when they die, instead of the semi-generic monster noises they made before. My wife and I are long-time fans of the series and played the hell out of them together in multiplayer, but she is an avid animal lover (volunteers at animal shelters and such) and these new noises ‘empathize’ the Skags to a point that basically makes you feel bad for wiping them out. As a result, she now feels uncomfortable playing the game. I personally am indifferent to this change (I definitely don’t enjoy or prefer it), but I understand where she is coming from and how it may affect others with similar feelings toward animals. This was a game that we were greatly looking forward to and it’s strange how such a small and unnecessary change can completely take that away. It is really disheartening.

I understand that this will probably go unaddressed, but I wanted to get it out there. The best end result for us, if this were to be changed, would be a patch that simply removed those aspects of the sounds, or a setting to choose between the standard sounds and the older style ones.

Later edit: Further questions that were brought up are why was this done in the first place? What is the point of this change? What reasoning was put forth during development that resulted in ‘yes this is a good idea’? Worse, how were these sounds developed? Were they developed in house by Gearbox or were they sourced from outside the company? If they are done in house, are they human actors making noises or Foley specialists that are later edited to sound that way or are they real? If they are real, is the dog trained to make those kinds of noises on command or is it… the other alternative? If they were sourced outside the company, can Gearbox provide proof that they were not the result of animal abuse? I believe that all these questions are worth discussing.


only noise my skags made was ‘splat’

gotta love em shotguns :stuck_out_tongue:

on a totally unrelated note, have u tried enabling the profanity filter? it makes the game les gorey and perhaps changes the noises as well

Unfortunately they do have a considerably wider ‘vocabulary’ if you don’t one-shot them. Including the reaction of one last night when I stepped into Iron Bear right in front of it. It was kind of funny and sad at the same time.

@Area88 - have you tried playing with the volume on the different audio channels? I haven’t gone through them all, but there are quite a few sliders there.

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That’s actually what we had to do during our first play session, we started exclusively using explosives and such to deal with skags to try to avoid those sounds, but that is obviously not a viable permanent solution.

She did eventually just turn off the sound slider, but that kills all sounds of combat, making it difficult for her to play properly without knowing where everything is.

We will try the censored option in the menus tonight and see if that does anything.

i think its under gameplay settings when u launch the game

is it bad that I like hearing them whine since they effing attacked me?

Speaking only for myself, and I am unanimous in this, I suspect this change has everything to do with the fact that FL4K has a skag as a pet. The sound files are probably a shared resource that is also used for your pet skag if you’re playing as FL4K. :man_shrugging:

That makes sense.

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My two dogs were quite startled at first hearing it…is a bit real.


To be honest, being a dog lover myself, I completely agree that the sound is unnecessary.

My partner has also commented that it makes him feel uncomfortable hearing what sounds like a dog suffer.


i dont have the skag tough still whiny

So glad to see I’m not alone in this feeling. The sound engineering is a step above and I really have to hand it to the engineers and artists involved, but their success has made it too real. I doubt many players these days like hurting video game animals, entirely fictional or based on real life, but the sounds of dogs/skags crying out in BL3 is too much for me to stomach. Especially as a dog owner whose shih tzu is very sensitive to these types of sounds, well…any sounds really. So I’ll be playing with headphones and avoiding skag pups like the plague.

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I agree with this. For me it adds no positives to the game, and I’m also quite uncomfortable with it owning dogs myself. Not a game breaker, but a change for the worse in my opinion.

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I was coming to the board with the intention of writing the exact smae thing. To me this is unnacceptable. And no i will not turn on a filter to keep me from hearing other enjoyable stuff in the game. They should simply patch it out of the game or put the same alien sounds from the previous 3 games


Another long-time fan here. I’ve played all the previous games multiple times, my partner and I both invested in the super deluxe preorder, and I got a new gaming rig solely for this game (though I have a handful of other games I’m excited to purchase, now.)

I have been so friggen excited for this game, and these sounds make it almost unplayable. Even with making my own loud vocalizations to try and drown out the sounds (yes, I’m that weird), this has been enough that I haven’t played it since my initial foray into the game. Turning down the combat noises may help, but I’ve relied on the immersive combat sound effects to be fully aware of incoming threats in the other games.

Fallout 4 has a mod called NMDD (No More Dead Dogs) that turns off their aggression. I don’t need that big of a change, though I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I’d really like to be able to play this game that I just invested a sizable chunk of change into.

(And yes, I’ve tried just running from them. Their aggro range makes this almost impossible when you first encounter them in the Droughts. I can’t bring myself to play past that point.)

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There is a slight chance people will think I sound like a heartless ■■■■■ for saying it like this, but here we go.

Wolves and other animals also make sounds that humans can interpret as “whining” and/or other sad sounds that may trigger some amount of sympathy. However, if a wolf that just bit through your leg makes a “sad noise” when you bash it in the skull to get it off you… are you REALLY gonna feel that bad about it? The skag is a wild animal that wants to murder and eat you. Maybe not even in that order.

The sound team went above and beyond with a vast majority of this game. I applaud them and wouldn’t be surprised if BL3 got an award for sound design.

EDIT: Also, do you feel bad when you hear the humans scream in pain and agony? Do their anguish and pain not make you feel bad?


Cannibalism = Awesome!
Human Self-Sacrifice/Maiming = This Is The ■■■■!
Human Torture = Fantastic!
Exploding Bodies = Ohh It Got On My Face! Woohooo!
Heads On A Spike/In A Jar = Hilarious!
Dog Noises = I’m done with this horrible game…


I’m glad this thread exists and I’m not the only person who feels this way.
I’m not a particularly sensitive person but as an animal lover it did bother me when I first heard the Skag pups yelping as I shot them.
I’m sure people will counter argue any requested change by making the point that you no one feels bad when you kill the countless human enemies, but its not comparable in my opinion.
The game has an over the top sense of humor, and the vast majority of audio from human enemies you injure or kill follow that theme. Even when the sounds aren’t as humorous, they are tame.
The skag pup noises don’t really fit the tone of the game, sure they’re realistic but the Borderlands series isn’t intended to be realistic. Seems like it would be a simple fix, I don’t particularly like getting reminded of real life animals being hurt, so changing the audio to something a little less visceral in the case of an enemy that closely resembles a dog would be appreciated.