Hitting things with a sword is the easiest part about navigating your way through Baldur’s Gate 3. Larian’s sprawling RPG is packed with fascinating places and systems to explore. But whether you know its D&D systems or haven’t tossed a D20 in your life, several tricks of the roleplaying trade are easy to miss for newcomers. And we don’t just mean hints toward the series’ past lore and storylines. If you’re fresh off the boat in Faerûn, here are nine Baldur’s Gate 3 tips and tricks beginners are likely to have missed.
Baldur’s Gate 3 tips and tricks for beginners
1. You can throw potions to heal
Healing is immensely important in Baldur’s Gate 3. Especially early on, healing options are limited. Ways to heal at range even more so. One trick you might have missed that could absolutely save a companion’s life is throwing potions. Instead of downing the magical juice yourself, right click the healing potion in your inventory and you can have the current character throw one of their potions instead. If the splash radius from its impact zone covers an ally, it’ll heal them.
This is an especially important trick for party members who've been downed. Death Saving Throws mean you may have limited time to aid them, but most allies will need to be in melee range to offer a helping hand. If that’s not possible, a well-tossed potion will more than suffice, getting them back on their feet without any need to risk provoking attacks of opportunity. Just make sure you don’t aim directly at NPCs or you may incur their wrath with the impact damage from the throw.
2. Jump is invaluable for exploration
Those boots were made for walking, but the feet inside them can do an awful lot more than that in Baldur’s Gate 3. Jump is one of the first abilities you’ll learn, but it’s all too easy to forget about it afterwards. Don’t make that mistake. Some of the most useful early-game items require you to jump up to places or across gaps that would otherwise be inaccessible.
If you’ve got Lae’zel in your party or are playing a githyanki, you’ve got even more options. Githyanki can imbue an ally with a psionic jump that’ll take them even further, spanning gaps most characters simply couldn’t cross alone. If you see a ledge that looks accessible but doesn’t have a clear path, test your jump range and you might just be rewarded.
Jump is also handy in combat. It’s a bonus action and doesn’t detract from your overall movement per turn. As such, you can use it to travel even further than your basic movement distance. Just be aware that it'll still trigger attacks of opportunity if you're next to an enemy. For some classes, Jump is an incredible asset. Monks using Step of Wind, for example, can jump without consuming a bonus action, massively increasing their mobility mid-fight.
3. Make use of Left Alt and Shift
There are many handy features hidden under various keys in Baldur’s Gate 3, but Left Alt and Shift are two of the best.
Left Alt is probably the key you’ll use most if you’re playing Baldur’s Gate 3 right. Holding this down will highlight all important interactable objects your character can currently see. It won’t show everything and it won’t always reveal items hidden underneath things or that your character doesn’t have the Perception to spot. What it will do is help you identify loot or crafting materials you might otherwise miss. As you explore inside or out, use Left Alt periodically to check for any nearby goods you might have missed.
Holding Shift will bring up the sight lines of all nearby NPCs. This happens automatically when you enter stealth, but it’s really handy to know where people are looking before you start trying to do the sneaky stuff. Keep an eye on what patches patrol routes cover, then make your move when you know you’ll be safe.
4. Let party members lead
Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t just your story. Your companions are far more than supporting acts, so let them take charge from time to time. Barring certain key beats, any decisions, conversations, and actions taken are done so by the currently selected character. As such, it pays to swap who you’re controlling to suit the task at hand.
If you’re playing a mage and need to do something that requires a lot of strength, swap to a companion like Lae’zel or Karlath. Need to sweet talk your way past some guards? Wyll’s charisma will serve you well. Each companion has their own set of skills. Don’t miss out on using them to your advantage.
5. Not everyone needs armor
If you don’t pay attention when equipping gear, you might accidentally make your characters worse. Beyond pure proficiencies – which let you equip different classes of armor – certain classes come with features that encourage you to ditch armor entirely. Monks, for example, use their Dexterity and Wisdom modifiers to determine AC when unarmored. Tiefling companion Karlach uses her Constitution modifier. Armor can still prove superior, but it’s always best to check your character’s current AC and what’s contributing to it before you equip anything new.
6. Upgrade your real-life gear with HyperX
For an adventure as vast and immersive as Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s well worth upgrading your real-life gear as well as what your in-game party is wielding. A high-end gaming headset like the HyperX Cloud III will bring you closer to Faerûn than ever before. Its 53mm angled drivers have been tailored for gaming, letting you truly appreciate Baldur’s Gate 3’s impeccable soundtrack and the crackling energy of each spell cast. And with memory foam in the headband and ear cups? The Cloud III guarantees comfort even when your party is stuck in a stressful andd sticky boss fight against a giant spider.
7. Creativity is rewarded (in and outside of combat)
Don’t just think outside the box, think about how you can use the box to knock a goblin off a cliff. In and outside of combat, creativity will get you ahead in Baldur’s Gate 3. There’s the small stuff, like standing on higher ground granting advantage on attack rolls. And then there’s setting up an unreasonable number of explosive barrels in advance so that you can detonate them right as a conversation turns south.
It pays to prepare before a fight, and that includes separating your team up to take advantage of the terrain. Rogues can sneak through for a surprise opening strike, and melee fighters can use their strength to knock enemy archers from their perch. If the foe tumbles into a river or worse, all the better – provided you don’t mind missing out on their loot, of course.
Outside of combat, the same process applies. Need to get your druid to a higher position? Transform them into a smaller animal and have your berserker throw them up! Need to make noise while sneaking? Cast Silence to dull any sounds made within its sphere. The more time you spend with your party, the better you’ll get a grasp of their abilities. But with each level you gain, it pays to consider how any new skills might combine with your party’s existing toolkit.
8. Concentration is key for spellcasters
If you’re new to D&D, getting used to spell slots and unique class systems is already confusing. So much so that you might have missed how certain spells work. Concentration is a key descriptor you’re going to want to pay attention to. Most spells are simple fire and forget, but anything with “Concentration” in its description must be sustained.
Concentration spells grant lasting effects that either boost your allies or hamper your enemies. Each spellcaster can only have one active at a time and, crucially, can lose concentration. Any time a spellcaster using a concentration spell is damaged, they must roll a Constitution saving throw to maintain the spell’s effect. If incapacitated or killed, concentration will be lost immediately.
Spellcasters typically tend to have lower constitution, so when casting a concentration spell such as Hold Person, you’ll want to keep them out of harm’s way as much as possible. If you think a wizard or sorcerer is about to take damage, casting a concentration spell probably isn’t a good idea.
9. Turn-based mode can help you sneak around
You can manually enter turn-based mode outside of combat by clicking on the big button at the bottom right of the screen or pressing Shift + Space. This is especially useful anytime you plan to start sneaking around. Turn-based mode will allow you to easily react to movements of patrolling NPCs or set up an ambush on a group of unwitting foes.
Looking to learn more as a Baldur's Gate 3 beginner? Read our guide to securing some useful early-game items that'll grant your party a boost!