Baldur's Gate 3 - How To Improve Initiative In Combat

Going first can make the world of a difference in Baldur's Gate 3, and improving Initiative can make sure that happens for your party.

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When you're going into a fight in Baldur's Gate 3, a dice roll determines who makes the first move. More often than not, attacking first can affect how the rest of an engagement plays out. Your party can deal some serious damage against enemies who haven't gotten a chance to reposition or buff themselves in any way. Rogues, for example, can use a melee or ranged sneak attack against enemies who have yet to take a turn yet, which is far easier to do if those characters go first in a fight.

While it might seem like the attack order in Baldur's Gate 3 is based on a random dice roll, that's not the case. Each character's Initiative determines the order, i.e. the higher a character's Initiative, the sooner they get to attack. As this is such an important mechanic in the game, you might be curious about how it works and, more crucially, how to improve your party's Initiative so you can always go first in combat.

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Improving Initiative in Baldur's Gate 3

Initiative is mostly based on a character's Dexterity stat in Baldur's Gate 3. At the start of a fight, every participant will have the word "Initiative" and then a number appear over their heads. This number is determined by the roll of a d20 dice and then adds each participant's Dexterity modifier to that number.

Usually, the character with the highest Dexterity stat will go first in a fight. However, sometimes a character with a lower Dexterity stat will simply get a higher dice roll, allowing them to go first. Naturally, if you want to have the best odds of earning the highest Initiative, kitting your party out with more points in Dexterity will be the safest bet. While it's not foolproof, this will almost always result in one of your characters getting the first slot in the attack order after an engagement has begun.

The attack order is vital to the outcome of a fight in Baldur's Gate 3.
The attack order is vital to the outcome of a fight in Baldur's Gate 3.

To increase your Dexterity, all you really need to do is put points into it when creating or respeccing your character. You can also choose certain Feats upon leveling up that allow you to put points into a specific stat or Dexterity itself. The best Feat for this is called Ability Improvement. Finally, there are plenty of gear items you can equip on characters that will add Dexterity points or even increase your Dexterity modifier.

The last bit of intel you should have on Initiative revolves around the surprise effect in Baldur's Gate 3. If you sneak up behind an enemy with a single character or your entire party and then attack them, you will give that enemy the "Surprised" effect. What this does is force them to skip a turn and allows you to deal some free damage onto that enemy. This effectively negates the Initiative dice roll, as you will get to attack first for free.

We have many more guides to help you through Baldur's Gate 3, including romance options, quest guidance, build suggestions, and more. Find everything in our Baldur's Gate 3 hub.

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