The first major Baldur's Gate 3 patch is absolutely massive, making it easier to friendzone Gale and letting short kings smooch Karlach

Baldur's Gate 3 - Karlach the red horned half devil smiles while carrying an axe
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

The first major patch for Baldur's Gate 3 has dropped—and it's a doozy, so much so that it can't even fit on the Steam page: "Patch 1 is too big for our usual patch notes due to Steam’s character limit". 

It's an all-around tune-up to Larian's hit RPG—which was already pretty damn good on release, with our Baldur's Gate 3 review knighting it with one of PC Gamer's highest scores. That said, any new release has problems—especially a game of this scope and size. I myself noticed an uptick in performance problems and story weirdness in Act 3, even if it wasn't enough to spoil the experience, so I'm pleased to see Larian rolling out fixes in relatively short order.

First off, the patch addresses a whole goblin horde of animation bugs, glitches, and dialogue issues—such as Shadowheart talking about a fight with Lae'zel she's never had. Here are some of my favourites pulled from my initial scroll-through:

  • "Lae'zel no longer floats up and down during your dialogue where you discuss dating."
  • "Fixed some cameras that couldn't contain the force that is Astarion in a dialogue with him at night at camp."
  • "Fixed meenlocks T-posing when killed."
  • "Made sure bears close their eyes when they sleep."
  • "Made companions face the squirrel properly when talking to it."
  • "Fixed Gale's 'paddle hands' in his default dialogue. Paddles are for astral boats only."

Speaking of our resident wizard, some fixes address problems players were having with him being a touch keen on the romance side of things. This was due to some dialogues leaning too heavily towards romance. Reddit user Rogahar highlighted one scene earlier this week related to Gale's cat familiar, in which the only non-flirtatious option was to tell him you hate talking about cats. Which isn't true—I love talking about cats, I just don't want to kiss a wizard.

Larian has made it "less ambiguous that you're starting a romance with Gale", as well as making adjustments to a later scene where he teaches you how to cast some basic spells. "During Gale's spell-teaching scene, you now have the option to picture a future with Gale that falls somewhere in between kissing him and kicking him in the head."

Gnomes, halflings and dwarves who are romancing everyone's favourite tiefling war machine now also get their due justice. Previously, the animation would simply leave Karlach smooching the air, with your character making out with her navel. "We’re bringing back Short King Summer with better kissing contact for short races!" declares the update post, followed by a gif of the updated animation.

Karlach kisses a gnome character in Baldur's Gate 3 by kneeling down to bestow them with a smooch.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

A later note also reads: "Fixed Karlach wearing a bra that wasn't hers", which is something I didn't know could happen. Maybe she patched up her heart a little earlier than anticipated, got lucky, and was just being polite about it.

The patch also has some combat tweaks—including a buff from 50% extra HP to 100% extra HP on explorer difficulty. Lore Bards are eating well, with a whole new host of spells added to their Magical Secrets feature such as Animate Dead and Sanctuary. There've been tweaks to spell flavour, too. For example: "Invoke Duplicity now works as an identical copy of your character. And they're not naked."

The whole list of improvements was too long for a Steam news post—so I'm certainly not able to talk about all of them here. You can read the full update via the official write-up on Larian's forums. If you're keen for more performance upgrades, though, you won't have to wait long, as Larian says it's "right around the corner. [Patch 2] will feature significant performance improvements - but we'll go into more detail about that closer to its release."

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.