Here is everything you'll need to know to excel in Baldur's Gate 3 Combat!
Baldur's Gate 3 is one of the biggest titles of the year and one of the most important RPGs of the past 10 years. Using Larian Studio's expertise in crafting reactive worlds that players can poke and prod away at while also making use of both Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Ruleset and its infamous Forgotten Realms setting.
To put it short, it's an amazing game. But its combat can sometimes feel equal parts cryptic and unfathomable or eventually let you pull off feats of epic heroism. Here we've gathered everything we learned in 100+ hours of gameplay.
Baldur's Gate 3 Combat Tips To Get You Started
Combat in Baldur's Gate 3 can be rather difficult to wrap your head around. The game will often punish you directly attacking everything with melee attacks and rewards smart play. So here are a few tips to get help you on your journey.
Baldur's Gate 3 Actions, Extra Action, and Reactions Explained
If you have no idea how Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition works, the terms Action, Extra Action, and Reaction can be confusing. So here is a quick explanation.
Action: An Action is something like a spell being cast, a weapon ability used, etc. You can use these on top of moving.
Extra Action: An Extra Action is an additional Action a character can use in their turn. This includes drinking Potions and Jumping and Shove ability. There are also some combat abilities such as Flourish and some healing spells you can use as an Extra Action.
Reaction: Reactions are special abilities that trigger when certain conditions are met. Rogues can opt for a sneak attack should they exit someone's field of view when it isn't their turn or counterspells. Some of these have special conditions and or can only be used a limited number of times, so you want to make sure the game always asks you if you want to execute them.
Advanced Potion Usage
We all know that you can drink Potions with your Extra Actions but you can also use an action to throw them. Most Potions have splash effects that either increase their potency or can affect multiple targets at once. This is especially useful when your party is all grouped up and you don't want to waste a healing spell.
Study Your Environment
This should go without saying but Baldur's Gate 3 features terrain that is very interactable. Often in unexpected ways. And this does not just go for exploding barrels of inflammable oil pits.
You can often shoot down lanterns, and destroy bridges or statures to either gain an advantage or deal massive damage. Just keep in mind that everything you can do to an enemy, that enemy can do to you if you're not careful.
We often see players walk right into combat encounters which means they usually have to suffer a round of enemy attacks before their turn comes up. You can quickly and easily avoid that from happening by attacking first. Hovering above an enemy before combat starts will usually tell you if you can strike up a conversation with them or if they're out for trouble.
If the latter is the case, attack them first. You can enter turn-based mode before combat starts to slow things down. And then getting your party into the right positions and avoiding sight lines by using stealth. Once the initial strike has been dealt, everyone will roll for initiative and you might even get to attack again.
Using this tactic is also great if you can spy a setup or set things up so the initial strike deals massive damage. Having one or two characters out of combat is also really useful if you plan a pincer attack.
Occasionally your party members will fall, forcing you to make the long tack over to them before their untimely demise to pick them back up. The only problem is that they will be raised with only 1 HP and without any actions in their next turn.
You can mitigate some of that by throwing a Potion of Healing at them or using any kind of healing spell. Picking up your team by the usual means is especially in combat a bad idea.
You also should avoid using Scrolls of Revivify to buck up downed allies. Keep these for when they are truly dead and you don't want to pay the revival fee back at camp.
Diversify your Party
While Baldur's Gate 3 features an impressive cast of characters, most of which can also hold their own in a fight. Only picking your favorites for adventuring might not be a great idea. You want to make sure to have a healthy mix of ranged, physical and magical classes with you to cover all bases, after all, you never know what you'll get into.
Having at least one or two characters with dedicated healing abilities either via their class or equipment is therefore highly recommended.
If you worry that some characters might fall behind, don't. Everyone levels up equally fast so you don't have to worry about there being a difference in levels between characters. If you think you might've messed up somewhere along the way, you can always reset your character's skills back at camp.
Spend your Resources
Might be both the best and worth advice on this list. While Baldur's Gate 3 is a game that promotes clever usage of the environment it also forces you to make you of your abilities and inventory. (You can learn everything there is to know about Potions here).
With limited Spell Slots and daily limits on abilities, it can sometimes feel like you have to rest after every single combat encounter. This is bad because some quests will fail or complete themselves on their own after some time has passed which can make you miss out on rewards.
So how remedy that? The answer lies in Alchemy and Spell Scrolls. Equipping your entire party with enough resources that spells and abilities only need to be used as a last resort is generally a good idea. Scrolls don't use up any valuable Spell Slots and potions and arrows with special properties can make your life that much easier.
Explore and Find Alternative
This is the most important thing you'll learn in this piece. You don't have to fight in Baldur's Gate 3. There are many times when you can talk yourself out of a situation, turn foes against each other or solve one problem with another.
Battle should always be seen as your last resort. Many of your spells and abilities have properties outside of combat, be it kicking in doors or setting up schemes. Sometimes you can even turn traps or beasts against foes by just using the right ability at the right time.
So whenever you're faced with a task, explore your options and explore the environment before chasing after the next objective on your quest log. Talking to everyone will usually give you a hint of where to look and who knows, maybe you'll find a solution no one else has thought of yet.
And if you're struggling with the assassination of someone. Quick saving and then shoving them off a cliff while they're in dialog with another character is a valid strategy. Just saying.