8 Tips To Get Started in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldurs Gate Featured Ecran partage

*This post contains no spoilers.

Since its release on PC on August 3, 2023, Baldur’s Gate 3 has earned an extraordinary rating of 96/100 on the aggregator Metacritic, becoming the highest-rated computer game of all time on this platform. Larian Studios’ game also received scores between 95% and 100% from both print and digital presses, a feat that few games have accomplished.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is full of details, secrets, and technical aspects that take hours to master, whether you’re familiar with Dungeons & Dragons mechanics or not! With a recent release on PlayStation 5 in September 2023 and a release on Xbox Series still to be announced, Baldur’s Gate 3 still has a host of new players every day. Here are some tips to get the most out of your gaming experience!

1. Create your character with care

It’s important to read up on the advantages that each race brings and to pay close attention when selecting your skills during character creation. Knowing your skills, attributes, and abilities is essential in order to progress in the game and be effective in battles. This is also a good time to choose role-playing elements that will allow you to camp your character and feel strong emotions throughout your adventure, such as their background and proficiency with musical instruments, for example. In fact, Baldur’s Gate 3 features a special background called The Dark Urge, which unlocks completely unique dialogue options, companions, and avenues.

Note: Choosing The Dark Urge doesn’t require you to choose a particular race or class, you can still customize your character as you see fit.

You will be able to change the appearance and class of your character during the game, and even multiclass your character if you wish; However, you won’t be able to change your character’s race once you exit Create Mode. So choose wisely!

Baldurs Gate Laezel Shared Screen
Image from a cinematic

2. Talk to your companions often

Knowing your character and the companions you’ll recruit during your adventure is crucial: it will allow you to take advantage of each person’s unique skills and form a well-balanced team according to the contexts and quests. Your companions usually have things to say whenever you progress through an important quest or when a decision affects another companion. These interactions with them allow you to develop deeper relationships with them and understand their agreements and disagreements with your decisions.

The relationships you have with your companions are an important facet of the game and can lead to heartbreaking decisions, conflicts, or romantic/intimate relationships that will affect the course of the story. For example, a companion who values you particularly is more likely to be persuaded, while a companion who constantly disagrees with your decisions is less likely to trust you. Your companions are also grateful when you remember your conversations and show compassion towards them. It is therefore to your advantage to try to understand your companions and discover their history as the game progresses.

Please note: you can consult the inventory, the character sheet, and the relationship gauge of the different companions in your party. You can even access the spell book of wizard class characters, such as Gale, change their prepared spells, and even pay to learn new spells! A significant advantage that many players have unfortunately discovered late in their gaming experience.

3. Always use your bonus actions

In turn-based combat, everything can escalate quickly, especially when there are many enemies! Every action counts, and that’s why it’s strategic to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Bonus actions may seem innocuous and easily forgotten, but they can be a game-changer quickly if used well.

A bonus action can usually be used to drink a potion, double one’s movement speed, dip one’s weapon in poison, jump over an obstacle, or shove an enemy. However, some classes can benefit from different bonus actions, such as an extra attack, the ability to disengage from an enemy without suffering an opportunity attack, or even recover a spell slot. Some weapons or armor can also give you unique bonus actions. When a playable character is away from enemies and seems to have “nothing immediate to do,” think again: Is your rogue stuck in the middle of a horde of enemies? Is your barbarian injured and unable to cast a healing spell? Can your ranger or paladin use a bonus action to improve the effectiveness of other companions? Think of your bonus actions!

Note: Shoving an enemy is a feature that will quickly become your favorite if you’re playing a character with a high strength attribute, as it often allows you to get rid of enemies in a single turn, by pushing them into molten lava or off a cliff, for example. On the other hand, if the enemy’s body disappears, you will also lose the ability to loot their inventory; An aspect not to be overlooked!

4. Save your game (very) often

Some dialogues are unavoidable and lead to important choices that can change the course of the story. Battles can also quickly come to a tragic end. What’s more, like most games, Baldur’s Gate 3 is not spared from bugs and corrupted files that can occur at any time, which is especially upsetting when hundreds of hours are invested in the game. That’s why it’s essential to back up often, and, most importantly, multiply backup files! Don’t skimp on backups; The game doesn’t do a lot of automatic saves and a strategic save can save you a lot of grief!

Bonus Exclusive PC Tips!

  1. Hold the Shift key to see the range of view of NPCs around you and check your stealth before committing a crime, such as unlocking a guarded door or stealing an item. It can also prevent you from losing an action in combat, knowing that there’s no point in trying to hide while you’re in an enemy’s sight!
  2. Hold the ALT key to highlight and identify all objects and characters you can interact with around you. This is extremely useful for seeing bodies in darker dungeons, plants you can pick for potions, and small items like keys or jewelry.

5. Examine enemies, obstacles, and animals

Feel free to select the different enemies and obstacles (right-click on PC) and choose the “Examine” option. It’s a feature that reveals a lot of important information, such as the entities’ resistance and immunity to certain types of damage, the active effects of their weapons and armor, and their vulnerabilities. This also applies to objects you can interact with, such as fragile walls, doors, light fixtures, cages, and chests. This could prevent you from losing valuable turns in combat by going after an enemy who has resistance to a certain type of weapon or damage when a vulnerability could have been exploited instead. These are valuable clues that can also help you establish your strategy in combat to compensate for the active effects on the enemy, by changing your armor or using an appropriate protection spell, for example. Once you’ve established this habit, you won’t be able to do without it!

If you have the spell Speak with animals (there are also potions, scrolls, and equipment that allow you to use this skill), feel free to use it! Animals often have a lot to say and can enhance your experience. Some animals are not at all what they seem, and can surprise you, help you find clues during your quests, or even… sell you stuff. Similarly, Speak with Dead is also a very useful spell in some quests. However, a dead person will always refuse to respond to their murderer, so choose your moments wisely… Don’t forget to use those accumulating scrolls!

Baldurs Gate Emperor Shared Screen
Image from a promotional trailer

6. Keep your inventory in order

With clues, books, notes, scrolls, weapons, and all the items you accumulate along the way, it’s important to sort through your inventory regularly. This way, you stay in control of the weight you carry, make sure your companions and character have the best possible gear at all times, and make sure you use your tools to their full potential in battle! We suggest that you take advantage of your long rests to sort out what you want to keep and what you want to sell. Keep the equipment you want to assign to your companions in the traveler’s chest in the camp when they are not carrying it. You can identify the items (mark as wares) you want to sell, and the next time you meet with a seller, you can simply use the “sell all wares” button to quickly get rid of the items you don’t want to keep.

Don’t forget to regularly open the bags, chests, keyrings, and pouches you accumulate: they unnecessarily divide your inventory and can hide important resources, including gold or potion-making ingredients! These item stacks also can’t be opened when interacting with merchants, so you may be missing out on a great deal if you haven’t sorted your inventory first.

7. Read the documents you find

The documents, letters, books, and diaries scattered throughout the game are full of extremely relevant information. Those who have played the other games in the Baldur’s Gate franchise will delight in the references and additional information, but those who are new to this universe will also enjoy the lore. Note that adding a document to your inventory is not enough to trigger the event that will progress a quest, as is the case in some games. You need to read, or at least open the documents to view them in order to trigger progress. Books are rarely more than one or two short pages long and can contain interesting information, such as the location of treasures or caches and clues for riddles and puzzles, and they can even start new quests.

Reading documents as soon as you add them to your inventory is also a good way to keep your inventory in order. All you have to do is mark the unimportant documents as wares as soon as you have read them and keep the ones that seem essential to your quests.

8. Don’t skimp on exploration

Exploration is paramount to any experience with an open-world game. Unlock the doors, open all the hatches, climb the cliffs, pull the levers, and press the buttons. Jump or fly on accessible rooftops or ledges. Believe me, if you can make it someplace, it’s because there’s usually something to see! Wells often allow you to descend into hidden dungeons, while openings in cliffs and buildings allow some smaller beings to sneak into secret locations or take shortcuts. The game is full of interesting side quests for story and character development. It’s easy to miss an opportunity if you’re speeding from one place to another without digressing.

Surrounding yourself with companions who have high survival and perception skills and good dexterity is usually a good idea since traps and buried treasures abound. Don’t forget to replenish your inventory of thieves’ tools and trap-disarming kits to avoid unpleasant surprises.

About Myriam Baulne

Traductrice agréée aussi détentrice d'un DEC en animation 3D et synthèse d'images, Myriam est constamment à la recherche d'opportunités afin d'allier ses passions pour les jeux vidéo, les TTRPG et la rédaction. Armée d'un solide bagage journalistique, elle est outillée pour vous rapporter toute l'actualité et l'information sur vos jeux favoris.

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