Baldur’s Gate is one of those classic, iconic series that easily stands the test of time, so it makes sense that the upcoming third entry is hotly awaited. The game is being developed by Larian Studios, known for the Divinity: Original Sin duology of games.
With that said, here’s everything we know about Baldur’s Gate and everything you can expect from the coming updates and eventual release.
Baldur’s Gate 3 being in Early Access means that much of the information provided below may end up out-of-date. For your reference, the information presented was true as of the publication date and works from Patch 9 of the game.
When Does Baldur’s Gate 3 Release?
As mentioned, Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently in Early Access. This is something that Larian has done with previous games to get feedback about the presentation and mechanics of its games. There is a significant amount of content in the Early Access, but it does not include the full game.
It was revealed at the 2022 Game Awards that Baldur’s Gate 3 is expected to release in August 2023. We do not have a specific date yet, but it’s nice to finally know the release window.
The Size Of Early Access
If you purchase Baldur’s Gate 3 right now, you’ll get access to around 25 hours’ worth of content that encompasses Act One of the game. Of course, this figure may be higher or lower – especially if you decide to do multiple playthroughs. More areas have been added to Act One in the past, so we’re not sure if this is the entire scope of this part of the game.
As for the content available in Baldur’s Gate 3 thus far, we have a few guides on the currently-available character options:
There are also a number of companions that you can recruit and interact with. In the future, you will be able to make these characters your main playable character, instead of having to create one yourself – but this feature is not part of Early Access.
In addition to these characters, we now know that classic Baldur’s Gate 3 characters will end up joining you in the game: Minsc and Jaheira. We don’t know much about their stats yet, but in the original games, they were a Human Ranger and a Half-Elf Fighter/Druid, respectively.
Minsc and Jaheira are not available in Early Access.
While traditional alignments aren’t shown in the game, it’s worth pointing out that the majority of these companions veer toward the evil end of the good/evil spectrum. This is something Larian did on purpose, as they wanted more feedback on the evil-aligned companions.
How Regular Are Updates?
Baldur’s Gate 3 has regular updates. There are two ‘types’ of updates, in general – patches and hotfixes.
- Patches are the landmark updates to the game, the ones that add a significant amount of content, such as visual upgrades and new classes to play with, etc.
- Hotfixes are regularly pushed between patches to solve bugs or address significant balance issues.
Currently, Baldur’s Gate 3 is on Patch 9, which added the Paladin class, raised the level cap to five, and introduced a reworked reaction system. Patch 9 will be the final landmark patch before the final release, with only hotfixes expected before August.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Uses Dungeons & Dragons Rules
Like its predecessors, Baldur’s Gate 3 uses a Dungeons & Dragons ruleset adapted for computer gameplay. There are some key differences, though:
- While the first two Baldur’s Gate games have RTWP (real-time with pause) combat, Baldur’s Gate 3 uses turn-based combat to more closely simulate tabletop rules.
- While the first two Baldur’s Gate games used Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2 as the source of their rules, Baldur’s Gate 3 uses 5e.
The combat system is still being tweaked throughout Early Access. A major point of contention, for example, is how the Reactions system will look in the future.
Is There Multiplayer?
There is multiplayer in Baldur’s Gate 3. The game allows you and up to three other players to take control of a character, with recruited companions being split between you however you like. The way Baldur’s Gate 3 handles multiplayer gameplay is quite smooth:
- Each player can travel independently – dialogue, most cutscenes, and even combat encounters can be handled alone. Some cutscenes and any camping require the whole party, however. These will interrupt all players’ gameplay at once.
- Each player character tracks relationships and choices independently. This means more than one character can be romanced, for example.
- In combat, multiple players can take their turns at the same time if their initiative aligns so that their characters take turns successively.
- As of Patch 9, it is possible to ping your location to other players while in a multiplayer game.
Note that it is likely that any bugs encountered in multiplayer will likely be more problematic than they usually would be, and Baldur’s Gate 3 has quite a few bugs at this moment in time. In addition, you will require a very strong and stable internet connection to prevent disconnects.