Looking for the Baldur’s Gate 3 release date? The latest installment in the classic D&D adaptation has been sitting in early access for a few years now, and at this point, you might be wondering when we can expect the full launch. Well, wonder no more, because we’ve compiled everything we know into one handy guide, which contains all the latest updates you need to know ahead of launch.
It’s been a whopping two decades since Baldur’s Gate 2 was released, and we’re more than ready to step back into the Forgotten Realms. Baldur’s Gate 3 launched in early access back in 2020 – and with Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios at the helm, it’s already considered by many to be one of the best traditional RPG games around. Here’s everything you need to know about the Baldur’s Gate 3 release date, including its story, romance options, and launch editions.
Baldur’s Gate 3 release date
Baldur’s Gate 3 is set for full release on Thursday, August 31, 2023 on PC, Mac OS X, and Playstation. It’s available to purchase via Steam and GoG, respectively.
If you tend to flit from PC to console, you’ll be pleased to know that Baldur’s Gate 3 supports cross-save progression, with full controller support at your disposal. It also includes Steam Deck compatibility, so you can always take your band of heroes on the go with you. However, before you take the leap into the Forgotten Realms, we highly recommend brushing up on the Baldur’s Gate 3 system requirements ahead of time, since they’re a touch more demanding than they were in early access.
Baldur’s Gate 3 trailers
Larian Studios has released a treasure trove of trailers and previews throughout Baldur’s Gate 3’s early access period, but we’ve collected all the best ones for you. The release date reveal trailer is the latest of the bunch and features J.K. Simmons as General Ketheric Thorm, a powerful necromancer that demands your servitude. It also contains a snapshot of the various locations that await you, from craggy beaches and dilapidated castles to glistening flesh caves and inhospitable lava chasms. We also get a brief look at Baldur’s Gate 3’s character creator and the wide scope of customization on offer.
Baldur’s Gate 3 story
The Baldur’s Gate 3 story is established via its opening cinematic. A betentacled mind flayer plucks a squirming tadpole from his pool of brine and brings it to a captive Githyanki – who we know is Lae’zel, a potential player character or companion. The wormlike creature slithers up her cheek, opens its leech-like mouth wide, and slides over and behind her eyeball – shudder. As if that’s not bad enough, the mind flayer then approaches the camera with another psychic grub, forces us to turn and face him, and lets the tadpole sink its teeth into our eye cavity.
The mind flayer then ascends into the cockpit of his Nautiloid ship to commence an invasion of a nearby city. Tentacles thrash out at the fleeing citizens, evaporating them on contact and transporting them instantly into the containment chambers within the ship. However, our evil octopus overlord’s rampage is abruptly cut short. A portal opens in the sky, and three red dragons and their Githyanki riders emerge in pursuit. Though the Nautiloid teleports through realms in an attempt to escape, the dragon riders follow, eventually managing to damage the hull of the ship and incinerate the brine pool full of worms. Good riddance, though certainly not the last we’ll see of Baldur’s Gate 3’s main antagonist on our quest to rid ourselves of the parasitic worm implanted within us.
Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay
We’ve seen a substantial amount of gameplay ahead of Baldur’s Gate 3’s release date thanks to our experience with the early access launch. We went hands-on in our own Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay preview, which is sure to assuage any fears that fans of the series may have going into this latest installment – yes, you can change the camera angle from a third-person to an isometric view.
As you might expect, Baldur’s Gate 3’s turn-based combat follows its predecessors by using Dungeons and Dragons as a template, with all the cantrips and saving throws you’d expect. While it ostensibly resembles Divinity Original Sin 2, it’s got far more tools in its kit, including throwing your shoes at enemies, summoning a mage hand to shove them off a ledge, or casting Feather Fall on yourself and jumping from above onto their heads. Outside of battle, you’re free to enter turn-based mode whenever you want, allowing you to control specifically how and when you enter combat. You’ll also be able to hover over the combat log to peek behind the curtain at the dice rolls that determine your damage.
Finally, the Baldur’s Gate 3 gameplay demo showcased at D&D Live in June 2020 gave prospective players a little more insight into what exactly that worm in our protagonist’s head can do for – or to – us. Alongside the conversation options that make use of our Deception, Intimidation and Persuasion stats, we can claim to be a ‘True Soul’ to get NPCs to do our bidding. However, whenever we invoke this benefit, we ‘feel that something is being taken away from [us]’. Spooky. Whether we’re losing a little piece of our soul, our will to resist, or just our integrity, it’s probably not worth it for a discount on a cool pair of shoes. Although, that does depend on the shoes.
Baldur’s Gate 3 races
There are nine Baldur’s Gate 3 races you can choose, from the milquetoast Human to the wholly alien Githyanki. Some races split into distinct subraces, such as the distinction between Wood Elves and High Elves, or the variety of inherited powers that define the Tieflings. Whichever race you choose, you can expect a number of perks and bonus stats at your disposal that can assist you on your adventure.
Baldur’s Gate 3 classes
It wouldn’t be a D&D campaign without a plethora of classes to choose from, and we’re delighted to say that there are 11 Baldur’s Gate 3 classes on offer, each with a range of unique features and actions. However, this initial choice is only the beginning; as your character grows in strength, you can choose a specialized subclass that determines your primary abilities and proficiencies at higher levels.
Baldur’s Gate 3 companions
Baldur’s Gate 3 companions form the basis of your party, and your friendship circle. While you do have the option to play as one of these distinct characters during character creation, it’s more likely that you’ll be recruiting them over the course of your journey through the open-world game.
The best companions are likely to come down to personal preference, but we have a particular affinity for Lae’zel, a Githyanki fighter; Gale, an ambitious human wizard with a ‘Netherese Destruction Orb’ in his chest; Wyll, a human warlock who made a pact with the devil he regrets; and Astarion, a High Elf Rogue who is a vampire spawn with excellent hair. The bulk of companion interaction occurs in camp after nightfall – including ‘relationship building’. Mhm. Romance aficionados (please never refer to yourselves as such) will be pleased to hear that theoretically, all of your companions will be boinkable.
Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer
Baldur’s Gate 3 co-op is sure to appeal to any traditional D&D fans that prefer to share their adventures with friends. Online multiplayer can accommodate up to four players, whereas local co-op is restricted to just two.
However, partnering up with a pal on your couch gives you the option to go old-school with a split-screen mode. Not only is it a throwback to the golden years of LAN parties, it also means you don’t have to be joined at the hip – instead, you can get yourself into all kinds of secret shenanigans as the rest of your party adventure without you.
Baldur’s Gate 3 launch editions
Players who purchased Baldur’s Gate 3 in early access are set to be rewarded for their support with a free upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition at launch. One content pack is guaranteed to pique the interest of fans of Divinity Original Sin, Larian’s other well-known series.
The Baldur’s Gate 3 Digital Deluxe Edition includes:
- Exclusive dice skin
- Divinity Bard Song pack
- Treasures of Rivellon pack
- Adventurer’s pouch
- Digital OST
- Digital artbook
- Digital character sheets
The free upgrade also extends to the Baldur’s Gate 3 Collector’s Edition, which includes all of the goodies bundled in with the Digital Deluxe Edition as well as an exclusive Collector’s Edition dice skin.
The Baldur’s Gate 3 Collector’s Edition includes:
- Mindflayer versus Drow battle diorama
- 32 stickers
- Game certificate
- Magic The Gathering Battle for Baldur’s Gate booster packs
- Oversized metal D20
- Tadpole keyring
- Cloth map
- Origin character sheets
- 160-page artbook
- Collector’s Edition box
That’s everything you need to know ahead of the long-awaited Baldur’s Gate 3 release date, but we recommend checking back for all the latest news and updates before launch. In the meantime, we’ve picked out the best Dungeons and Dragons games to tide you over until then. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something even more enormous in scope, our compilation of the best MMOs should be your next stop.
Original contributions by Jen Rothery.