Baldur’s Gate 3: Top 10 Best Permanent Bonuses

There are a lot of hidden benefits you can unlock in Baldur’s Gate 3, here is our list of the Top 10 Best Permanent Bonuses!

Baldur's Gate 3 Top 10 Best Permanent Bonuses

Baldur’s Gate 3 is well known for having lots of hidden loot, gear, side story quests, and more hidden away throughout Faerun. Furthermore, there are lots of additional bonuses that can boost your character’s power or increase their survivability. Some of these are easier to unlock than others, but many of them require the player to go off the beaten path in order to find them. The following guide will rank the Top 10 best permanent bonuses in Baldur’s Gate 3, along with information on where to find them and how to unlock them!

Top 10 Best Permanent Bonuses in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here are the Top 10 Best Permanent Bonuses in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  1. Auntie Ethel’s Hair – Gain +1 to an Ability Score (Act 1)
  2. Mirror of Loss – Gain +2 to an Ability Score (Act 3)
  3. Awakened – Use Illithid powers as a Bonus Action (Act 1)
  4. Potion of Everlasting Vigor – Gain +2 Strength (Act 2)
  5. The Tharchiate Codex – Gain 20 temporary hit points after a long rest (Act 3)
  6. Partial Ceremorphosis – Access to tier 3 Illithid Powers (Act 3)
  7. Volo’s Erstaz Eye – Grants See Invisibility (Act 1)
  8. Sweet Stone Features – Permanent Bless condition (Act 3)
  9. Statue of the Gods – +2 to Saving Throws (Act 3)
  10. Scratch – Gain Find Familiar: Scratch (Act 1)

Finally, be aware that these bonuses unlock at different points throughout the game. Consequently, explaining where to find them, what they do, and how to unlock them will require revealing some spoilers.


Baldur’s Gate 3 Checklist – Act 1, Act 2, Act 3

10. Scratch

Baldur's Gate 3 Invite Scratch to your Camp

Scratch Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Gain the spell Find Familiar: Scratch
  • Unlocks In: Act 1
  • Where to Find: In the Forest area to the west of Emerald Grove
  • How to Unlock: Use the Speak with Animals spell, don’t antagonize him, let him get your scent so he can find your camp later
Baldur's Gate 3 Act 1 Forest location map Scratch Owlbear Silver Pendant Tadpole

Our canine friend Scratch isn’t just the ‘best boy’ in Baldur’s Gate 3, he can also be a helpful summon ally. Especially in the early game when you are at low levels, having a bit of extra help from faithful Scratch can make Act 1 a bit easier. Although Scratch’s bite attack doesn’t do a lot of damage, you can still use him strategically on the battlefield to maneuver your enemies into Attack of Opportunity range.

To find Scratch in BG3 you will need to head west from the Emerald Grove, across the creek, and into the forest area northeast of the Blighted Village. There you will find a white dog standing guard over his obviously dead master. If you can, cast the Speak with Animals spell or consume a potion of Animal Speaking first. You can try to gently tell him his master is gone, but Scratch won’t be willing to leave yet. Reassure him you mean no harm, and when given the chance let him sniff you. After he has your scent, he’ll be able to find your camp later.

Once Scratch is at your camp you will then gain access to the Find Familiar: Scratch spell. Always cast to bring Scratch along on your adventure. He can find treasure and even detect traps, too! Moreover, should he fall in battle, don’t worry. That wasn’t the real Scratch, just a projection. He will always be safely in your camp when you visit again.

9. Statue of the Gods

BG3 How to Get +2 Saving Throws Permanently

Statue of the Gods Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Gain +2 to Saving Throws
  • Unlocks In: Act 3
  • Where to Find: Stormshore Tabernacle in Baldur’s Gate Lower City
  • How to Unlock: Make a one-time gold offering to the Statue of the Gods
BG3 Statue of the Gods Location

The Statue of the Gods bonus unfortunately isn’t technically permanent, but it’s such a good boost to survivability that we decided to keep it on the list. At any of the statues in the Stormshore Tabernacle, you can make a one-time offering of gold in exchange for gaining the Anointed in Splendour condition. The Anointed in Splendour condition gives your character a +2 bonus to all Saving Throws.

The downside to this is that it only lasts until your next Long Rest. However, it’s more of an inconvenience, because you can reapply the buff by visiting the same altar each day and praying again. This time for free!

Additionally, the amount you need to donate to get the buff will depend on your current level. If you are a Level 12, then it will cost 5,000 gold to get the buff! You can cheat this, however, by respecing at Withers and leaving your character at Level 1. Then, you will only need to make an offer of 400 gold.

8. Sweet Stone Features

Baldur's Gate 3 Sweet Stone Features character statue in camp

Sweet Stone Features Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Permanent Bless condition
  • Unlocks In: Act 3
  • Where to Find: Find Boney at the Circus of the Last Days
  • How to Unlock: Pay to have his partner Stoney create a statue likeness of you for 5,000 gold
Boney Location - BG3

The Sweet Stone Features bonus is another one that will cost you a chunk of gold, and this time you can’t game the system to get it cheaper. To get this permanent bonus you will need to find the merchant stand ‘Stoney and Boney’s Bespoke Creations’ at the Circus of the Last Days. The Circus is easy to find as soon as you get into Act 3, as it is just to the southwest of the Rivington waypoint. Stoney and Boney are in the back left-hand corner of the circus and you’ll need to speak with Boney to order your statue.

After the statue has been delivered to camp, whichever character whose likeness is depicted will gain the Sweet Stone Features bonus after a long rest. This bonus works exactly like the Bless spell and grants you a +1d4 bonus to Attack Rolls and Saving Throws.

7. Volo’s Erstaz Eye

BG3 Volo's Ersatz Eye

Volo’s Erstaz Eye Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Grants See Invisibility
  • Unlocks In: Act 1
  • Where to Find: Meet Volo first in the Emerald Grove, then again at the Goblin Camp/Shattered Sanctum
  • How to Unlock: Save him from the goblins and then speak with him at camp. Agree to let him attempt to remove the tadpole.
Baldur's Gate 3 Find Volo in Shattered Sanctum

Getting the Volo’s Erstaz Eye Permanent Bonus is a bit fraught and will change your character’s appearance somewhat. However, it will grant you the See Invisibility condition, which will allow you to see all invisible creatures within 9 meters. This can be very helpful during various battles during Acts 2 and 3, where disappearing enemies can cause a lot of frustration for melee party members.

You should first encounter Volo near the Sacred Pool in the Emerald Grove. He will be interviewing a bear, ask to interview you, and mention he’s traveling to the Goblin Camp. That’s where you’ll find him next, this time as a prisoner of the goblins. Interact with him at their outside feast and then follow him into the Shattered Sanctum. You can find him in the interior temple in the last room on the right. You’ll have to convince his goblin guard to let him go, and then later on he’ll be in your camp.

Speak to him there and tell Volo about your tadpole problem. He’ll offer to attempt surgery to remove it, and if you agree he’ll take an ice pick to your eye. It’s not pretty. The result will permanently blind you in one eye, and to try and make up for this he gives you his Erstaz Eye.

6. Partial Ceremorphosis

Baldur's Gate 3 Partial Ceremorphosis permanent bonus

Partial Ceremorphosis Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Access to additional Illithid Powers
  • Unlocks In: Between Act 2 and Act 3
  • Where to Find: Automatically given during the main story cutscene
  • How to Unlock: Consume the Astral-Touched Tadpole given to you by the Emperor
BG3 Astral Touched Tadpole

To get the benefits of the partial ceremorphosis in Baldur’s Gate 3 you need to consume the Astral-Touched Tadpole given to you by the Emperor. This is an event you can not miss in the game, as it happens during the bridge between Acts 2 and 3. After you leave the Shadow-Cursed Lands your party will spend the night outside the city before moving on to Baldur’s Gate. During the night, you will be attacked. You will NOT get the benefits of a Long Rest before this happens, so heal up before clicking the bed roll.

You’ll end up in the Astral Prism and find out the secret of your Guardian. They will eventually offer you the tadpole, so you can further evolve and gain stronger powers. Doing so will grant you the following Illithid Powers: Fly, Concentrated Blast, Force Tunnel, Favourable Beginnings, Psionic Overload, and Transfuse Health. Additionally, this partial transformation will change the look of your character. Your skin will become lined with black veins, and the skin around the eyes gives a hooded look.

5. The Tharchiate Codex

BG3 The Tharchiate Codex

The Tharchiate Codex Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Gain 20 temporary hit points after a long rest
  • Unlocks In: Act 3
  • Where to Find: In the Sorcerous Sundries Vault
  • How to Unlock: Read the book, then cleanse the curse placed on you
BG3 he Tharchiate Codex Blessing

To get the Tharchiate Codex Permanent Bonus you must find the book in the Elminster section of the Sourcerous Sundries Vault. To get inside the Elminster section go through the doors in this order: Silverhand, Evocation, Wish. Then, use the lever and exit the Wish room. Use the Invulnerability door to return to start. Finally, you can go through the Elmister door.

Inside will be a display case with The Tharchiate Codex. Smash the case with a hammer or break into it with a high Slight of Hand character. Next, read the book. It will immediately place a curse on you that lowers your Constitution score. However, you can easily remove it by casting either Remove Curse or Greater Restoration. Consequently, this will then grant you The Tharchiate Codex: Blessing passive feature. You will be given an additional 20 temporary hit points, and they will also reapply with every Long Rest.

4. Potion of Everlasting Vigor

Baldur's Gate 3 Araj Oblodra Merchant Trader

Potion of Everlasting Vigor Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Gain +2 Strength
  • Unlocks In: Act 2
  • Where to Find: Moonrise Towers main floor
  • How to Unlock: Speak to Araj Oblodra and tell Astarion to let her bite him
Baldur's Gate 3 Moonrise Towers Main Floor location Minthara Lann Tarv Roah Moonglow

To get the Potion of Everlasting Vigor in Baldur’s Gate 3 you need to enter Moonrise Towers and find the Drow trader on the main floor named Araj Oblodra. She is a blood-focused alchemist, who will offer you unique items in exchange for samples of blood. You and others in your party can offer some of their True Soul Blood in exchange for race-specific elixirs.

However, getting the Potion of Everlasting Vigor requires Astarion. If you have recruited him but left him at camp, she will ask you to bring him to her. Then, she will request that he bite her, because she has always wanted to study the effects of a bite. Astarion will not want to, but you can insist on it. After he does, Araj will give you the Potion of Everlasting Vigor, which will permanently increase the Strength score of whoever drinks it by +2.

Gaining the Potion of Everlasting Vigor will have consequences for your relationship with Astarion, however. It will cost a -3 disapproval at the very least. Moreover, if you are in a relationship with Astarion this can harm it and he may very well break up with you.

3. Awakened

The Most Broken Illithid Power - BG3

Awakened Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Use Illithid powers as a Bonus Action
  • Unlocks In: Act 1
  • Where to Find: In the Crèche Y’llek Infirmary
  • How to Unlock: Use the Zaith’isk Chair first, and pass three high DC rolls
Baldur's Gate 3 Creche Y'llek location Awakened Bonus Githyanki Egg Soulbreaker Greatsword Quartermaster

The Awakened permanent bonus will allow you to use any of your Illithid powers as a bonus action, and you can get it by visiting Crèche Y’llek in Act 1. However, don’t try to go there too early in the game, or you may lock out other quest lines such as the Emerald Grove vs Goblin Camp story. Eventually, you can find it by going through the Mountain Pass and following the Rosymorn Monastery Trail to the destroyed monastery. Underneath it you will find the entrance to Crèche Y’llek.

If you’ve recruited Lae’zel, bring her along because it will make getting inside much easier. When ready, head down the western hallway and to the left to reach the Infirmary. In the back room, you will find the healer Ghustil Stornugoss in her office with the Zaith’isk Chair. Tell her of your infection with the tadpoles and she will direct you to use the chair.

Lae’zel will want to use the chair first, but you must refuse her to get the bonus. Once the chair begins to work you will have to pass three separate checks. First, a 12 DC Intelligence Saving Throw, second, a 15 DC Wisdom Saving Throw 15, and finally either an 18 DC Charisma or Constitution Saving Throw or an 18 DC Intelligence Saving Throw. The chair will break, but you will have earned the Awakened permanent bonus.

2. Mirror of Loss

How Do You Activate The Mirror Of Loss in Baldur's Gate 3

Mirror of Loss Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Gain +2 to an Ability Score
  • Unlocks In: Act 3
  • Where to Find: House of Grief, inside the Cloister of Sombre Embrace
  • How to Unlock: Pass either an Arcana or Religion check at 25 DC, then pass a second Religion 25 DC roll
Baldur's Gate 3 Cloister of Sombre Embrace location map Mirror of Loss Nocturne Viconia De Vir

Getting the Mirror of Loss permanent bonus is difficult because it requires that you pass a high Religion check to receive the +2 to an Ability Score benefit. To find the Mirror you will have to visit the House of Grief in Act 3, which is a continuation of Shadowheart’s companion storyline. The House of Grief can be found in the far northwestern corner of the Lower City map. Visit with Shadowheart in your party and you will be shown a secret passage to the Cloister of Sombre Embrace. Inside, you will have to face the Sharran leader, Viconia DeVir, and her followers.

After the battle, there is more of Shadowheart’s backstory to reconcile within the Chamber of Loss. This is the room where you will also find the Mirror of Loss When you first approach the Mirror, you’ll have to pass a 25 DC Arcana or Religion check in order to recognize what it is. Then, each character can have a chance to interact with the Mirror to earn the perk. You will have to pass a 25 DC Religion check to offer a prayer to Shar.

Finally, if you’re successful you will gain the +2 to any Ability Score of your choosing. Moreover, when you choose a memory to sacrifice you will be forced to take a -2 nerf to that ability score. However, this is only a temporary curse and can be removed with a Long Rest or the Remove Curse spell.

1. Auntie Ethel’s Hair

Baldur's Gate 3 Auntie Ethel Hag thumbnail

Auntie Ethel’s Hair Permanent Bonus in BG3:

  • Bonus Effect: Gain +1 to an Ability Score
  • Unlocks In: Act 1
  • Where to Find: In the Hag’s Lair found underneath the Riverside Teahouse
  • How to Unlock: Challenge the hag to a fight, when her HP is low she will offer you a deal to let her go
Baldur's Gate 3 Sunlit Wetlands location Auntie Ethel Hag Hair Kagha Letter Gandrel

The Auntie Ethel’s Hair permanent bonus is at the top of our Baldur’s Gate 3 10 Best Permanent Bonuses list because it’s such a powerful boost and you can get it so early on in the game. However, you don’t want to challenge this strong boss too soon because she’ll wipe the floor with you. We highly recommend that you be at least a Level 5 before fighting her.

You’ll find Auntie Ethel in the Riverside Teahouse in the Sunlit Wetlands area at the southwest corner of the main Act 1 map. While there, you can first speak with Auntie Ethel if you’d like to gain the Paid the Price bonus. However, what you really want is to find the entrance to the Hag’s lair at the back of the fireplace. Make your way down inside following this guide for the Staff of Crones, which is a great early-game quarterstaff.

Then, during your fight with the hag, once her health bar is low enough she will stop the fight. In exchange for letting you go, she will give you a piece of her hair. Using this item will grant you a +1 bonus to any Ability Score of your choice!

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