Six years in the making and Baldur’s Gate 3 is here. Larian Studios has delivered the most authentic Dungeons and Dragons video game creation we could have ever asked for. But Baldur’s Gate 3 can be overwhelming to those who have never played any previous entries in the series. That’s why this guide is here. If you’re jumping into the game for the first time, here are some beginner tips to get you going.
The most important tip I can give you above everything else below is that this is a Dungeons and Dragons video game. This means Baldur’s Gate 3 has layers and layers of intertwining mechanics at work at every moment of the game. It means that just like the board game, a simple dice roll can determine the fate of a character or a path in the story.
Baldur’s Gate 3 also requires patience. You need to go into the game knowing that you’ll spend a lot of time reading, listening to dialogue and exploring the world. It isn’t an action RPG where you dash through areas with dual-wielding axes as you spin through enemies. This is a slow-paced adventure so take your time, pay attention to everything and enjoy it.
Save, Save and Save Again
You need to save. Save your game as much as humanly possible. If you just walked into a room and are about to start a conversation with a character, save before that. If you’re about to start a hoe-down with a bunch of goblins, save before that too.
The thing about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that the game will screw you over if you make the wrong decisions and your luck is low on that day. The game’s dice roll mechanic plays out just as any Dungeon and Dragons campaign. If you are about to perform an action, you’ll need to roll a die to see whether or not that action will be successful. If it isn’t, you can always load up your game.
Saving also comes in handy before combat. Even if the battle looks easy, just save to be safe. Often, I would go into a fight thinking I was about to wipe the floor with the enemy. Meanwhile, I spent a few hours reloading the fight over and over again trying to get the best outcome. Saving definitely comes in handy.
Unfortunately, Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t autosave as much as it should. So you’ll need to keep your finger on that save button.
Don’t be Intimidated – Let it Go!
This is one of the hardest things to digest when it comes to Baldur’s Gate 3 – let it go. As a hardcore roleplaying game, Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t meant to be the perfect playthrough. Bad shit is going to happen to you, your story, your companions and your gear. There’s no way to avoid this. The game relies on luck and a vast stat system which determines the outcomes of your decisions.
I know this sounds intimidating but the sooner you just let it go and enjoy what happens, the better Baldur’s Gate 3 will be. Sure, you can spend your life saving your game and reloading whenever things don’t go your way but the joy of this game is to experience both the good and the bad.
When a throw of the die prevents you from performing a certain action, just move on. Sure, the inner control freak would want to know what the outcome would be of that action but the game will offer hundreds of similar opportunities ahead.
This also covers party management. While Baldur’s Gate 3 allows you to create a character and form a party, the management side of things shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There’s nothing wrong with picking what sounds cool and winging the rest of the way.
If you can’t perform an action, don’t feel like you’ve made the wrong decision. There will be other decisions you can make later down the line.
A great tip here is to also enable Karmic Dice. This is a feature in Baldur’s Gate 3 which detects if you have had too many bad or good rolls. The game will then balance your next rolls to prevent a sting of failures and successes. Of course, this is completely optional.
Experiment With New Builds
There’s nothing wrong with feeling useless in Baldur’s Gate 3 and wanting to restart your build. In the early game especially, you can easily swap classes and experiment with multiclass by paying a little gold to reset your character.
If you aren’t too far into your campaign, you can also restart with a whole new character if you want to. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a deep RPG and it is going to take a few hours to complete. So be sure you’re happy before investing too much time into your campaign.
Choose Magic Wisely
Magic is a fun path to choose in Baldur’s Gate 3 because it is just so cool to use. However, magic can also require patience because not all spells are available to spam over and over again. In fact, some spells require a rest before being able to cast again. So in this case, don’t equip your character with spells that lock you out of combat until you rest.
It is wiser to choose a range of spells that have lower cooldown rates as well as those more powerful but require a rest. It is better to specialise in a smaller selection of spells than to try to master everything.
Get to Know Your Party
Speaking of resting, the campfire is a great opportunity to get to know your party. Take the time to chat with each party member when you’re sitting down for a rest. Party members might have an exclamation mark on their heads which indicate an important chat. These discussions will often lead to new quests and friendship goals.
These chats can also alert you to deeper relationship opportunities and as a result, intimacy. At times, these chats can also give you insight into a party member’s dislikes and faction alignment. So when the time comes for you to make tough decisions, you’ll be able to foresee which party member will dislike a decision you make. In short, don’t just sleep, be social.
Be Wary of Your Environments
Baldur’s Gate 3 spans beautifully designed locations littered with detail. This benefits both combat and exploration. Be sure to loot everything. Open every barrel, lift every rock, break every possible wreckage and sneak through every small gap. You never know what you’ll find along the way.
When it comes to combat, environmental effects help a lot here too. You can kick enemies off ledges, electrify water to damage your surroundings, blow up barrels and much more. The environment is just as deadly as your sword but be warned, what hurts the enemy can also hurt you.