Baldur's Gate 3's next patch will fix the game thinking so hard about your crimes it breaks the fabric of existence

The Dark Urge, from Baldur's Gate 3, looks towards his accursed claws with self-disdain.
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Baldur's Gate 3's next major patch is on its way—scheduled to release this week, according to Larian Studios' director of publishing, Michael Douse. Announced in a Twitter post yesterday, Douse reassures players: "we caught the nasty bug causing slowdowns and the good news is: it’s fixed in Patch 5!"

For context, Patch 4 tackled a few things, adding colourblind filters, fixing storyline hiccups, and tweaking kiss scenes, leading to some adorable head-bumps with Karlach while leaving poor Astarion lovers feeling like they were about to be broken up with whenever they went in for a smooch. 

It also introduced a game-breaking bug that caused some massive slowdowns in Act 3, as highlighted in this thread from the game's subreddit. "Companions do not follow Tav, NPCs walk in place or completely vanish, unable to interact with anyone or anything, unable to select different companions, [I] cannot save, and cannot reload."

A thread on the official Larian forums also called the game "profoundly broken" as a result, with many players reporting the issue on PS5 specifically. Turns out, that's due to an intended fix forcing the game to eternally think about your crimes, according to a statement from the team shared by community manager Salo.

"In Patch 4 we introduced a fix that would prevent the Scrying Eyes in Moonrise Towers from immediately calling the guards on you when stealing, even if you were sneaking, or invisible for example," which in itself is a good fix. It's thoroughly immersion breaking and game-y to trip an alarm because of some cheating all-seeing eyes.

However, as with a lot of things in game development, dropping a pebble into the code can cause a tsunami elsewhere. "This fix had the unintended consequence of causing unnoticed thefts and acts of vandalism to remain stuck forever within the ‘did anyone see me’ pipeline, rather than timing out and moving on, as is intended. Essentially, your ‘DM’—in a real-world sense—constantly thinks about the acts of theft & violence the player keeps doing, without ever moving on or verbalising them. Mulling on it ad infinitum."

This means that it's not Act 3 itself that's bugged—it's the crime system. It just turns out you're far more likely to have done enough stealing to break everything by the time you reach the game's third act. Correlation, not causation. "The more a player commits those acts, the more the game is trying to keep that all up to date and in memory, and so the more slowdowns start happening."

Fortunately, Larian's found the culprit, and it'll be fixed before the week is through. Now you can pickpocket, steal, and cheat your way through the Sword Coast without your exhausted DM bluescreening like they would in real life.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.