Baldur’s Gate 3 Tips And Tricks For Beginners
Our Baldur’s Gate 3 beginners tips and tricks guide helps ease you into the D&D RPG and get the most out of it.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a dense game with hundreds of ways to approach every situation. Battles unfold based on half a dozen variables, some of which you can’t control. The world is ripe for manipulation if you realize you can actually manipulate it, and playing nice with your party members rewards you with some of the most useful bonuses in the game.
The problem is that it’s happy to let you bumble about in the dark until you learn how it works the hard way. Our Baldur’s Gate 3 beginner tips and tricks guide is here to help ease you into things and get the most out of your time in Faerun.
Save a lot
They say curiosity killed the cat, but in Baldur’s Gate 3, there’s a decent chance it’ll kill an innocent bystander, set something on fire, or turn an entire village against you, sometimes all at once. The results of your actions are often wildly unpredictable.
In just the first two hours, you can accidentally get a child attacked by a giant snake or make Gale so angry with one seemingly innocent choice that he leaves your party for good. Autosave is fine, but it doesn’t pop up that often. Keeping a handful of saves to fall back on in case of disaster just makes it easier to enjoy the game.
You might find yourself separated from the rest of the party by accident, and it probably happened for one of two reasons. The first is that when you clicked on the party member’s icon on the left of the screen, you accidentally moved it, which breaks the party and makes them act independently of everyone else. They won’t follow commands or show up in battle until you drag the portrait back in line with the rest.
The second possibility is that they stayed behind. Companions will sometimes refuse to walk through dangerous areas or hazards such as fire, which is sensible of them, but not so great for you. Find a different path, or just control them directly to get them back where they need to be.
There’s also a small handful of occasions when they just get stuck on a ledge or some other obstacle. You can usually rejoin them and set off again to fix the pathfinding problem.
Plan your companions
You can’t make everyone happy in Baldur’s Gate 3, and you really shouldn’t try. In most situations, whether you’re deciding which faction to align yourself with or whether to be nice to an owlbear, your choice will probably make at least one companion happy and another angry. While you should strive for a bit of balance in your actions to keep companions from flat-out abandoning you, it’s also a good idea to just stick with three or four who you really want to get closer to.
If you’re determined to do a moral and ethical run, for example, you’ll want to keep Gale, Wyll, and Shadowheart around. Being nice tends to put Lae’zel and Astarion in a foul mood.
Inspiration lets you reroll when you fail a skill check. Characters become inspired when you complete actions or make choices that align with their background in some way. Urchins, for instance, become inspired when you make choices that favor the poor and downtrodden, while nobles get a kick out of being snobby and supercilious.
These inspiration moments are separate from approval. Inspiration (seemingly) doesn’t affect approval, and approval has no bearing on inspiration.
Experiment with classes
You can change your class fairly early in the game and can multiclass as soon as you level up the first time. If you want to see how other classes or subclasses play, don’t hesitate to switch things around and find what suits you the best. It costs you nothing aside from a small fee in gold coins, and while you start at level one again, you can immediately level up to where you were before the change.
Chat by the campfire
Taking a long rest automatically sends your party to the campsite, and while you might be tempted to sleep and leave as soon as you can, you really should stick around and chat with everyone. Sometimes, party members will have an exclamation mark over their head that indicates they have something important to say.
On other occasions, depending on your approval rating, you might have new conversation options that lead to deeper relationships. There’s no symbol that alerts you to these changes, so it’s worth talking to everyone before turning in for the night.
If you’re playing a magic class, you need to think carefully about your spell choices and when you use them. Most wizard spells and some other powerful incantations are only usable again after a long rest. If, for example, you have two Level 1 spell slots unlocked and bring Thunderwave into battle, you can only use Thunderwave twice before having to rest and recharge those spell slots. Spell slots are shared with all your prepared spells., so in that Thunderwave scenario, you wouldn't be able to use any other Level 1 spells before resting.
The situation is easier to deal with at higher levels, when you have more spell slots to work with, but planning ahead is still a wise idea if you want to set up combos or get the most out of your party. Your warlock might have water, thunder, and ice spells to take advantage of the environment, which lets you stack damage and status effect spells on your Arcane Trickster or even your Cleric.
TL;DR: Let your characters specialize in a certain kind of magic instead of trying to do everything at once.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Using the environment to your advantage is key in Baldur’s Gate 3. See an enemy on a ledge? Shove them to their death. Make a water puddle and electrocute everyone in it with a wizard’s spell or hide out of sight behind a pillar to launch a surprise attack and deal extra damage. Keep an eye out for useful items around you, as well. You can move things such as braziers or furniture by interacting with them during turn-based mode and using them as makeshift barricades or barriers that force enemies down a certain path.
Don’t overlook status effects
You can get by in most RPGs without inflicting status conditions, but they’re your best friends in Baldur’s Gate 3. A frightened enemy deals less damage and won’t come near you, while charming a foe gives you extra Charisma, which makes your Charisma-based skills stronger. Approaching a foe that uses ranged attacks makes them feel threatened and creates a disadvantage that lowers their accuracy and attack power.
Spells and potions are the easiest way to inflict status conditions. Some melee attacks cause them as well, including the Fighter's Battle Master subclass, which has a suite of skills that inflict effects such as intimidation and can even disarm foes, weakening their next attack.
Loot everything--corpses, boxes, coffins, bags, and especially magic chests, though expect some enchanted explosions if you try the latter without the right tools. The obvious rewards are things like gold or weapons, but you’ll also find scrolls, potions, key items, and, most importantly, resources you can use for long rests. Those initial camp packs you have don’t last forever.
Do crimes, quietly
Stealing is bad in Baldur’s Gate 3, unless you can get away with it. A red outline around people and objects tells you that they’re out of bounds, so taking what they have will turn everyone nearby against you. If you’re sneaky, though, you can pull off some heists and even help undesirables like Sazza the goblin without anyone realizing. Stealing with no one around has no consequences, and if you use the Hide option and remain out of sightlines, you can carry out other crimes and get away consequence-free.
Read your skill descriptions
Baldur’s Gate 3 skills work differently than you might be used to. Skills and class abilities scale on stats, but which stat depends on what kind of skill you’re using. Strength and Intelligence are self-explanatory to an extent. Bard skills scale on Charisma, though, as do some warlock spells. Double check what works best for the skills you pick, and then you can reallocate your stat points with Withers if need be.
The damage you deal is still determined with an element of randomness, though. There’s a small, invisible die roll when you execute the move that determines how hard your attack hits.
Drag and Drop
Inventory management has that cumbersome classic CRPG feel to it, where it takes half a dozen clicks just to move an item around. However, you can also easily transfer items and gear between party members by dragging the item over to their character portrait on the side of the screen. Make sure you’re giving them items such as potions and scrolls frequently as well. They make a handy way to heal or attack using a bonus action, without taking up a spell slot.
Turn your Karmic Dice on
This setting is probably active already, but double-check in the options menu to be sure. Karmic Dice balances your dice rolls so you don’t end up with a string of failures--or successes. That might sound like a bad thing. Everyone wants a long run of successful rolls, after all. When I had Karmic Dice off, though, my rolls frequently ended up being a 1 or a 2.
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