If you're looking for a Baldur's Gate 3 guide to help see you though the first 20-or-so hours of the Early Access build, you've come to the right place. Finally, after 20 years we’ve got Baldur’s Gate 3. Even if it doesn't feel like it, that's how long it's been since Baldur’s Gate 2 came out, so some people have been waiting a long time. Hell, that’s old enough to drink—in the UK, at least.
That length of time means that you might be feeling a little rusty, and that’s why I’ve put together some of my top Baldur’s Gate 3 tips to help you get started in this wonderful new world, from choosing the right friends with whom to adventure tag on your journey, to saving all the time. Seriously, this game is hard.
Don't stress about your starting character
Ultimately you'll want a properly min-maxed character, but while Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in Early Access, that means we don’t have all of the options there yet. As such, I thoroughly recommend that you don't put too much time into your first couple of characters and just skip forward to the fun.
Save all the time
Baldur’s Gate 3 is hard. You’re almost certainly going to die a lot. So, make sure you save regularly to avoid losing progress if your team gets wiped by anything untoward. The autosave system in the game keep you covered to an extent, but it won’t always be as up to date as you might like. Having a range of regularly updated save files will just help you feel better about life, trust me.
Choose your companions wisely
There are five companions in Baldur’s Gate 3. Each of them has their own likes and dislikes, and they all fit a different role in battle. As you can only have a party of four at any given time, make sure you’re choosing ones that help you cover your own weaknesses. So, if you’re a ranged character, try to have a couple of characters who can rush in to take aggro. Also, always have a healer on your team, and that’s usually Shadowheart.
Play Baldur’s Gate 3 like a curious toddler. Pick up everything—just don't put them all in your mouth. It’s natural to wonder if you really need that thirteenth spoon, but the answer is almost definitely yes—that spoon and all of the other spoons in this world.
Naturally this is so you can sell what you've pilfered, but there may be other advantages that aren't immediately obvious. Take an early section full of dead bodies that don't appear to have been in battle. We won't spoil why, but loot them especially.
Keep an eye on your resources in battle
Every character has access to movement, an action, and a bonus action. On top of that, spellcasters have spell slots, and some characters have even more resources to manage on top of that. Make sure you know which resources you’re spending whenever you cast a skill or initiate an action. If you don’t, you may end up unable to do what you want because you intended. It’s also very important to rest often to keep these points up between battles.
Exploit the map's verticality
There are a lot of differences in this revamped version of the Divinity engine, but the biggest one is that we now have true verticality. That means you can be above and below enemies, giving you the opportunity to set up some astoundingly funny events.
There are some ruins early on where the floor is cracked: If you look up, you’ll see a rather heavy-looking block held up by some rope. You know what to do. This area also has someone on top of a box overlooking a ledge: Please see my advice in the previous tip for an idea of what to do to this unfortunate soldier.
Experiment, experiment, experiment
It’s important to keep two things in mind here. One, this game is made by Larian, who is perfectly happy for you to do pretty much anything, like pick up a big old heavy chest and just launch it at people. Two, it’s based on D&D, where, well, anything is possible. That means you can and should experiment with everything.
The two new skills we recommend messing around with are Throw and Shove. You really can throw an awful lot of stuff: For instance, I finished one fight by throwing the body of a dead imp into another out of range. Pretty satisfying.