Baldur's Gate 3 red dragon screenshot Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3: Gameplay and Everything We Know

What is Gameplay like in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a story and character rich role-playing game developed and published by Larian Studios. As the name suggests it is the third game in the Balder’s Gate series, and the story structure and gameplay mechanics are all based on the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop RPG system.

It is a game played from an isometric view, with players able to rotate and zoom in the camera from all directions in order to get a complete view of their surroundings. Exploration and puzzle-solving happen in real time, but when engaged in fighting the game slows into turn based combat.

Baldur's Gate 3 red dragon screenshot Larian Studios
Source: Larian Studios

Release Date

Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently available in early access via Steam, with players able to purchase the game digitally and experience a limited portion of the story. The game will release in full on August 31, 2023.

More information on System Requirements can be found HERE.

Release Platforms

Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently available in early access via Steam, with players able to purchase the game digitally and experience a limited portion of the story. The game will release in full for PC/Mac players on August 31, 2023.

Additionally, the game will also release on Playstation 5 at the same time. An Xbox Series port is currently in development, but no announcement of an official release date of the console has been made.

There are no plans to release the game on Playstation 4 or the Xbox One.


Baldur’s Gate 3 is not an MMO game, however, it will offer players a chance to play with friends through a split-screen co-cop. What this means is that you and up to three friends can play together. However, you’ll only be able to advance one person’s game file. That person will play the protagonist, while the accompanying friends will each have to choose one of the party members.

The split screen feature of Multiplayer hasn’t been implemented yet in Early Access, but we expect to see it when the game launches in August.


The choice of race for your protagonist character in Baldur’s Gate 3 will effect not only their physical appearance, but also has the potential to affect how world NPCs perceive them. Each race also has bonuses to certain abilities, access to particular racial features and possible subraces.

For the sake of brevity here, we’ll just be covering the basics of each of the currently available races in early access. It is rumored that additional races may become available at release, but nothing yet has been confirmed.

  • Drow
    • +1 Charisma and +2 Dexterity
    • Subraces: Lolth-Sworn Drow and Seldarine Drow
  • Dwarf
    • +2 Constitution
    • Subraces: Gold Dwarf and Shield Dwarf
  • Elf
    • +2 Dexterity
    • Subraces: High Elf and Wood Elf
  • Gnome
    • +2 Intelligence
    • Subraces: Deep Gnome, Forest Gnome, and Rock Gnome
  • Githyanki
    • +1 Intelligence and +2 Strength
    • No subraces
  • Half-Elf
    • +2 Charisma and +2 Ability score points
    • Subraces: High Half-Elf, Wood Half-Elf, and Drow Half-Elf
  • Halfling
    • +2 Dexterity
    • Subraces: Lightfoot Halfling and Strongheart Halfling
  • Human
    • +1 Strength, + 1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom, and  +1 Charisma
    • No subraces
  • Tiefling
    • +2 Charisma
    • Subraces: Asmodeus Tiefling, Mephistopheles Tiefling and Zariel Tiefling
Baldur’s Gate 3 Criminal - Background and Inspiration Goals
Seldarine Drow with Criminal Background


As the game stands now in early access, there are 11 classes available to choose from. Additionally, there are 24 subclasses in the game. More of both are expected to be added when Baldur’s Gate 3 releases, and we’ll add that information in as it becomes available.

  • Barbarian
    • The strong embrace the wild that hides inside – keen instincts, primal physicality, and most of all, an unbridled, unquenchable rage.
  • Bard
    • You know music is more than a fancy – it is power. Through study and adventure, you have mastered song, speech, and the magic within.
  • Cleric
    • Clerics are representatives of the gods they worship, wielding potent divine magic for good or ill.
  • Druid
    • Druids channel the elemental forces of nature and share a deep kinship with animals. Mastery of Wild Shape allows them to transform into beasts from all over the Realms.
  • Fighter
    • Fighters have mastered the art of combat, wielding weapons with unmatched skill and wearing armor like a second skin.
  • Paladin
    • Fuelled by the Oaths you swore to uphold justice and righteousness, you are a beacon of hope in dark times.
  • Ranger
    • Rangers are unrivaled scouts and trackers, honing a deep connection with nature in order to hunt their favored prey.
  • Rogue
    • With stealth, skill and uncanny reflexes, a rogue’s versatility lets them get the upper hand in almost any situation.
  • Sorceror
    • Sorcerers are natural spellcasters, drawing on inherent magic from a gift or bloodline.
  • Warlock
    • Bound by a pact to an all-powerful patron, warlocks trade their loyalty for supernatural abilities and unique magic.
  • Wizard
    • Wizards master the arcane by specializing in individual schools of magic, combining ancient spells with modern research.

Companions/Party Members

Baldur’s Gate 3 companions are NPCs whom you will meet along your way in the early game, who will all have the potential to become members of your party. Depending on your character, race, and class, some companions may have a harder time being convinced to join your group than others.

Each of the companions will have the same ability modifiers and skills of one of the main classes and subclasses they belong to.

As you move through the story and your protaganists makes decisions during gameplay, quests and dialogue, companions will often approve or disapprove choice. This can effect your relationship with them and choosing who to bring along with you and who to leave at camp (you can only have three active party members at a time) can get complicated.

  • Lae’zel the Githyanki Fighter
  • Shadowheart the High Half-Elf Trickster
  • Gale the Human Wizard
  • Astarion the High Elf Rogue
  • Wyll the Human Warlock
Baldur's Gate 3 Shadowheart


Yes, it has been confirmed that is it possible to start romatic relasionships with all of the companion characters so far. Additionally, there is one other non-party NPC named Minthara who can be romanced, and it is likely that other romanceable characters may be found later in the game than Early Access allows.

The developers at Larian Studios have worked hard at developing a robust relationship system within the game, where companion characters will react to your choices of dialogue, what sides you choose in quests, what factions you ally with and more. Even choosing to romance one character can cause a reaction (positive or negative) from other party members.

Story and Setting

The story of Baldur’s Gate 3 is not a direct continuation of the first two games, though its setting is in the same world of the Forgotten Realms. It takes place almost a century after the events of the previous installments.

From what we’ve seen so far, the main story thread of the game appears to revolve around the player protagonist searching for something to heal them after being infected by a “mind flayer”.

These mind flayers, also known as Illithids, are seeking to leave the Underdark and restore their empire in the mortal realm. There are hints that something deeper may be going on, but nothing concrete has been shown to players yet.

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