5 things you really shouldn't miss in the first 5 hours of Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 characters - Mol looking mischeviously at the viewer
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Baldur's Gate 3 is a big game (and a really good game, at least so far) and stepping into it for the first time is both exciting and intimidating. With so much to see and do (and kill) (and loot) (and so on) it's hard not to get distracted.

Not that there's anything wrong with getting distracted, mind you—but if you set out boldly seeking adventure in far-flung locations you're bound to miss a little something closer to home. You might even miss something in the game's opening sequence. If you want to be sure you're not skipping over something important—or maybe just something cool and interesting—we've gathered together five things you shouldn't miss during the first handful of hours to sink into Baldur's Gate 3.

Hell of a weapon: Get a cool flaming sword before you finish the prologue

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Where: The nautiloid

The end of the prologue is a race against time to reach the mind flayer ship's controls and teleport it elsewhere before devils and dragons overwhelm you. Except, as it turns out, you actually have quite a bit of time—and there is a reward for dawdling just a bit.

During the sequence you'll see a big devil commander being held at bay by a mind flayer. You're supposed to just leave them to it, but if you help the mind flayer kill him, you can loot his body and get a magic greatsword with +d4 fire damage—great for upping Lae'zel's damage and setting off oil pools in the early going. It looks badass too. 

You do have to be a bit careful, though—once the devil is dead, if the mind flayer is still alive it will turn hostile, and the cambion reinforcements will probably catch up to your position. At that point you need to get out of there fast. The sneaky approach is to send one party member ahead so they're already at the console ready to go once you've got your loot. And no, it's not worth sticking around even longer to kill the mind flayer too—I checked, they only have a single gem. 

Shrewd undead dude: Add a highly useful character to your camp

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Where: Dank Crypt, just north of the beach you crashed on

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(Image credit: Larian)

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Every party has problems. Maybe you wind up hating someone, possibly even yourself. Or maybe someone dies a horrible agonizing death and it's all your fault. Luckily there's a character who can help with these issues, and for an affordable price.

Withers is an ancient corpse who's still got a lot of life left in him, and he'll be more than happy to spend time at your camp, resurrecting your fallen comrades for 200 gold a pop or summoning hirelings to fill gaps in your crew for an even hundie. He's also the only one who can also respec you if you want to switch classes. And he's just sort of a cool, weird guy to have around in general.

North of the beach where the ship crashed you'll find Shadowheart trying to enter an ancient ruin. If you can't pick that lock (it's quite hard) there are other entrances nearby. Once you're inside the Dank Crypt be mindful of gas and fire traps that can turn one chamber into a barbecue pit, and through some heavy oak doors to the north you'll find a room with a statue. Pass a perception check on the side of the statue and you'll see a button. Push it (and kill the undead in the room who pop back to life) and you'll find the sarcophagus containing Withers. 

After a quick chat, he'll bounce, and you'll find him stationed at your camp from then on. Don't forget to loot his sarcophagus after. He doesn't seem to mind.

Oliver Grift: Bring your rogue to the tiefling party 

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Where: Emerald Grove

It's worth having a rogue (like Astarion, unless you're playing a custom character) take point when you talk to the kids among the tiefling refugees at Emerald Grove. They will, in the manner of Artful Dodgers everywhere, try to pull a fast one on you. If you're a rogue you'll get a bunch of unique dialogue options throughout as you spot their attempted scams and call them out. 

It's a fun scene, turning things around on the cleverclogs kids, and if you play it right you can befriend these amateur guttersnipes. They really just need someone to step in and play a parental role. Instead, they'll get you.

Lump's War Horn: Your own ogre strike squad  

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Where: Near the back of the Blighted Village

As we've learned, there are often ways around some of Baldur's Gate 3's trickier fights, but for any you simply can't get out of you'll be glad to have Lump's War Horn in your back pocket. In the goblin-controlled Blighted Village, visit the three ogres hanging out in a house near the back. With the right skill checks, Lump the Enlightened will agree to give you a war horn that, when sounded, will call him and his two friends to fight by your side. They're three level 4 ogres with about 60 health each, so they're no joke. The catch is that they'll kill everything around. They'll make an effort to spare your party, but keep your allies and innocents out of the crossfire.

Start off by convincing Lump not to eat you by passing a moderate deception check. Sealing the deal for the horn is more difficult. I was able to attempt a DC 20 roll in either persuasion or intimidation. You can also take the easier DC 10 roll in deception to offer Lump 1,000 gold to fight for you, but that's not a hook I wanted to put myself on.

Investigate Kagha: That mean druid is up to no good 

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Where: Emerald Grove

When I first made it to the Grove and got my bearings, I figured all I had to do was find Halsin the archdruid to bring an end to his #2 Kagha's reign of terror, but there's actually a lot more to it. Kagha's doing some shady dealings under the table, and I'm willing to bet you need to finish this quest to get the happiest possible ending for the druids' home.

It's pretty well-hidden, but there's a secret chest in the Silvanus Grove servants' quarters just off the main entrance where you first meet Kagha. In it, you'll find secret correspondence and a quest marker to investigate the interim archdruid. I'll avoid spoiling too much about what happens, but I will say that when you reach the quest marker in the swamp, burn the glowing green brambles by the tree if you're having trouble seeing your objective.


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Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.

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