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10 Baldur’s Gate 3 tips and tricks I wish I knew

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t worry too much about character creation — choose what you find interesting and rely on party members to cover weaknesses.
  • Consider turning off the Karmic Dice setting for a truly random experience during dice rolls.
  • Save frequently, even for mundane encounters, to avoid accidents or terrible decisions and reload as needed.

With Baldur’s Gate 3 having been crowned game of the year by many, it’s only natural that many gamers find themselves flocking to the game to see what’s being hyped up as one of the best games in recent history. However, for those who have never played a tabletop RPG or an older CRPG such as either of the first two Baldur’s Gate games, there may be a bit of a learning curve to the game.

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Now that the game is finally out on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, in addition to the PlayStation 5 and PC, it is more accessible than ever. If you find yourself as one of those players who’s decided to check out Baldur’s Gate 3 amidst all of the hype the game has received over the past year, there are some things you’ll want to know heading in. Likewise, if you’ve clocked some time into the game, there may still be some tips and tricks that’ll make your experience that much more fun.

Baldur's Gate 3 1

Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a party-based RPG set in the universe of Dungeons & Dragons.

1 Quickly make your character

Don’t sweat it

Baldur's Gate 3 review-in-progress: Another sprawling epic? photo 1

The first decision you’ll be making in Baldur’s Gate 3 is what kind of character you are going to play. If you’re familiar with Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition or have played a few D&D-based CRPGs, the options presented to you may not seem all that daunting. However, if you’re completely new to the kind of character creation the game presents to you, it can be downright daunting.

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The important thing to remember is, don’t worry too much. Do whatever you want, and don’t spend too much time wondering what will be optimal. Think about a character you think would be interesting to play, decide what kind of person they are, and stick to what you’ve decided. With all of the skills and classes presented before you, just remember that you’ll have plenty of party members by your side throughout the game that will help to account for your weaknesses and play off of your strengths.

2 Bad luck with Karmic Dice

Consider turning them off

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Throughout Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll be engaging in many dice rolls, both manually and automatically. As it goes with actually rolling physical die, there is nothing preventing you from having the absolute worst luck in existence. All the same, there’s nothing to stop the exact opposite from happening either. At least that would be the case if not for the Karmic Dice setting.

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What Karmic Dice does is minimize your chances of going on huge success or failure streaks while still keeping the dice rolls mostly random, and the setting is enabled by default. For those who prefer a truly random experience, and are willing to find the humor in missing ten 80% chance attacks in a row, it may be worth turning off Karmic Dice.

3 Save your progress

Again and again

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An RPG as in-depth as Baldur’s Gate 3 will let you do just about anything. Sometimes those things are absolutely horrible, or maybe even accidental. Did you accidentally use the wrong spell and hit your own party member with an area-of-effect spell? Or maybe you tried something you thought was clever, but now suddenly find yourself in the worst scenario? Whatever the case, there will absolutely be times throughout Baldur’s Gate 3 that you want to reload.

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It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and unless you want to do a hardcore kind of roleplay, there’s no sense in punishing yourself too much for an accident or a generally terrible decision. So whenever you’re heading into uncharted waters, save. Even if you’re heading into a fairly mundane combat encounter, save. You never know when you’re going to accidentally kill Astarion and promptly have to load back an hour.

4 Line up proficiencies

And keep an eye on them

Baldur's Gate 3 5

Larian Studios

Your character as well as your party members will all be tooled for different things, and that includes being more proficient with certain types of weapons and armor. Throughout the game, you’ll always want to be sure you have these proficiencies lined up with what you have equipped.

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Weapon proficiencies in particular can be very helpful to keep an eye on. In combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll be able to take a main action and a bonus action. When using weapons you are proficient with, you’ll have access to extra main actions you can take using your weapon. These attacks will usually be able to deal about the same damage, but will have bonus effects they can apply to enemies.

5 Start shoving people

Just try it

Baldur's Gate 3 4

Larian Studios

One of the bonus actions available to you in the very dynamic combat system of Baldur’s Gate 3 is shoving. Shove is exactly what it says on the tin, a quick little dice roll to determine if you can shove someone over. At its least effective upon success, you may just end up shoving someone a little way backward, which can be a great help for disrupting any potential attacks of opportunity.

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However, at the most effective shove can be, you may just find a very powerful NPC near a very tall ledge. Your success at shoving someone will be based on your and the target’s athletics stat, and the distance you can potentially shove someone is based on your strength stat. The best piece of the equation is that shoving is a bonus action, meaning if you’ve already taken your main action, you can still shove someone aside for good measure. While your party will soon be decked out with all the potential bonus actions you could ever want, shoving is a great bonus action for early-game hijinks.

6 Play with non-damaging spells

Don’t discount them

Baldur's Gate 3 2

Larian Studios

If you’re playing as a character that uses magic at all, they’ll likely know some spells that don’t do any damage at all. Two of the most prominent examples of such spells are Disguise Self and Talk with Animals. What both of these spells have in common is that they are extremely powerful if you’re willing to play around with them.

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Both spells do exactly what they say, one letting you disguise yourself as any of the game’s races, and the other allowing you to speak with animals. Disguise Self in particular is a physical shape shift, so bear in mind all of the physical attributes that could possibly benefit you by disguising as a different race. Meanwhile, Talk with Animals’ biggest limitation is your own imagination. Any given animal you come across, friendly or not, can be worth talking to.

7 Dip your weapons

A huge boon in combat

Baldur's Gate 3 review-in-progress: Another sprawling epic? photo 5

Another bonus action available to you that has great potential is dipping. Dipping allows you to dip your weapons in something nearby. While that sounds simple enough, there are many instances where dipping your weapon in something nearby can be a huge boon to you in combat.

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Is there a fire nearby? Try lighting your weapon on fire to add some fire damage to your attacks. Is there poison around? Don’t be afraid to dip your blade in it to give your attacks a bit more sting. And that’s only two examples of many potential instances where you can add something extra to your weapon in the midst of combat.

8 Watch your long rests

Don’t sleep too long

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Larian Studios

Going to your camp and resting is something you’ll be doing a lot of throughout the game. Long rests in particular end a day, and allow you to potentially fully heal and restore your abilities. However, time does march on despite the sleeping schedule of you and your party.

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If you find yourself in the midst of an urgent matter, there will be consequences for sleeping days away. So while it is good to return to your camp and keep your health up and your abilities replenished, don’t get too heavy-handed and accidentally fail a time-sensitive quest.

9 Pay attention to doors

Useful during combat

Baldur's Gate 3 4

Larian Studios

Doors can be an incredibly useful tool to you in combat scenarios. Opening and closing doors is a free action in combat, so it’s not exactly going to stop an enemy using a melee weapon in their path. However, the usefulness of doors can be very useful for countering enemies with ranged attacks.

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If you find yourself with a door between your party and enemies, closing it before ending your turn can potentially stop a mage or archer from being able to hit you. While not the most frequent situation you’ll find yourself in, doors can be your best friend when dealing with enemies that just can’t seem to miss their ranged attacks.

10 Try anything

Don’t be afraid

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If there was only one distilled, succinct tip to offer, it’s this: if you have an idea, try it. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a dizzyingly dynamic game that is absolutely bustling with possibility. Whatever absurd, split-second ideas pop into your head throughout your journey in Faerûn, try it. Worst case scenario, you die and reload. Alternatively, your absolutely bonkers idea could work and you’ll have an insane story from it.

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Once you’ve truly become acquainted with the rules of the game, the sky truly is the limit. One of the most fun things to do in Baldur’s Gate 3 is discovering an absolutely ludicrous solution to a problem, and no matter what kind of character you’re roleplaying as, there will come a time when you are perfectly tooled to a hyperspecific scenario. So no matter what it is you want to try, give it a try and see what happens.

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