Taking themes, ideas and stories from classic Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur’s Gate 3 released into early access in October with a generous helping of difficulty to top it off. It can be a little daunting getting started, even after building a great character, so here are some of our best tips for getting started.
Understanding Baldur's Gate 3 Skill Checks
Baldur’s Gate 3 relies on a d20 system like in Dungeon & Dragons. Even if you are great at one stat, it’s never a guarantee you will succeed. This means you must always be prepared to lose with a critical fail. Sometimes, part of your progression in Baldur’s Gate is understanding you can’t always get your way. If you don’t want to save scum every time you join a conversation, be aware of the slight risks you are always taking.
While upgrading necessary stats is a good way of avoiding those repercussions, never get too cocky with decisions and be prepared for a workaround. If a fight would be too taxing on your health, don’t engage until you’ve healed and are ready for a possible fight if things go sour.
Pick Your Baldur's Gate 3 Build Early
You certainly aren’t doomed if you don’t like your current build but planning it out, somewhat, in advance is a great way of both having a better character and a better time with the game. I’d advise checking out all our character guides before deciding what fits your playstyle.
If you really like healing, probably go for a cleric. If you love to get up close and personal and bash away, you probably want a fighter. It's all about understanding which build works best for you. This is also important for subclasses, weapons, companions, and even items. Have a rough idea of what you want out of Baldur’s Gate 3 and work towards that.
Understand Your Baldur's Gate 3 Companions
Stats are very important for your time with Baldur's Gate 3. Larian have made it with certain playstyles and characters in mind. Each companion offers different things, and so do class types. When deciding how you will go about advancing in Baldur's Gate 3, it is important to understand who your companions are and what they can offer you.
They all have different stats that affect certain types of combat and some confrontations. They also respond organically to the actions you take. Having companions who act and feel different is important but not so much so that you lose out on the synergy of a really good team. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; make sure to understand what they are.
Experiment with the Environment
The world of Baldur’s Gate 3 is one that is built to be messed around with. If you think that puddle of oil can be set on fire, it can. If you think you can make that jump, you can. If you think pushing someone into a barrel will knock over the barrel and crush someone else, it is probably possible. This is part of the charm Larian’s world is infused with.
Try and mess around with all the systems you can and you will end up with some pretty good results. The shove mechanic, for instance, is a surprisingly great one that doesn’t require an action to do. If someone is near a cliff, it’s often a free instant kill. This is only the tip of the iceberg
Don't Underestimate Your Opponent
It is very easy to die in Baldur's Gate 3. All you need is a few unlucky hits and it’s game over. Try and treat most battles with more effort than you might otherwise need and you will be able to deal with them easily. Just because there’s only one enemy on screen doesn’t mean there aren’t more lying in wait. Just because he’s alone doesn’t mean he can’t do something explosive.
Baldur's Gate 3 (and the enemies in it) are not to be underestimated or you might find yourself on the bad end of a particularly nasty push.
Manually Save Often
Baldur’s Gate 3’s save system is a slight bit lacking on launch. While it does have an autosave system, it isn’t quite as thorough as one might want. One unlucky death reset an hour's worth of work early game, and I have manually saved ever since.
Not only is this a good way to avoid a lack of autosaves, but it is also a nice way of putting yourself in a slightly better position before a hard fight. If the autosave is just before you levelled and healed up, save after to avoid having to repeat those steps each time you fail.
Loot Everything You Find
You and your companions have a lot of inventory space, so use it. You never know when an odd piece of food or tablespoon might come in handy during your quests. Luckily, Baldur’s Gate 3 is pretty generous with inventory and loot, meaning you can find and hold a lot throughout your time.
This is a good way of building up gold, food, and everything else you might need. There are items that might not have an apparent use that are worth picking up anyway, just in case. It is worth keeping in mind the locations of items you do forget or stockpiling items of the same kind. You have to be quite versatile in Baldur’s Gate, and this is a good way of doing it.
And those are some tips for starting Baldur’s Gate 3. If you're looking to get into multiplayer with some friends, check out our multiplayer guide.