Baldur's Gate 3: 10 SECRETS To Get You Playing Again - Gameranx (2024)

Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
  • #1 The Blessing of BOOAL
  • #2 The Dark Urge
  • #3 Leave No One Behind
  • #4 Summoning Secret Buddies
  • #5 Getting The Most Out of Shape Change
  • #6 Help The Strange Ox
  • #7 Min/Maxing With OP Items
  • #8 Swashbuckle With The Bard
  • #9 Recruit Minthara The Drow
  • #10 Discovering Hidden Fail-Safes

We’ve come to accept the simple fact that seeing everything in Baldur’s Gate 3 is impossible. We’ll never see every moment of Karlach’s romance, we’ll never drink all those gross potions in the Hag’s Den, and we’ll probably never kiss a squidman. But that doesn’t mean we won’t try to dig up every little detail in the year’s biggest RPG. When you’re ready for another playthrough, here are 10 secrets you owe it to yourself to check out.

#1 The Blessing of BOOAL

One of the silliest secrets in Baldur’s Gate 3 is located in the Act 1 Underdark. By finding a very suspicious representation of the murderous dead god Baahl, you too can claim a permanent boon. You’ll just have to make a simple choice – which of your companions to murder. This sounds like the sort of thing you’d do in a Dark Urge Playthrough, and it is! But we’ll talk about that later.

The fake god is located in the Festering Cove, an unmarked location near Auntie Ethel’s secret path into the Underdark. In the area full of mushrooms, you can find a climbable cliff leading down into the cove. There, you’ll find a cult of fish-people worshipping a bloody gnome that claims to be BOOAL. Of course, this isn’t the Baahl we all know and love. The God of Murder is usually more intimidating than this, but you can still choose to worship him in exchange for the Sickle of BOOAL.

This goofy weapon isn’t that useful – but you can use it to sacrifice one of your party members. Why do this? Because you’ll get a permanent buff that gives advantage against bleeding enemies! Okay, that’s actually really not that useful in the grand scheme of things. It’s actually pretty lame. But, if you want to get in on the murder cult action early, this is how to do it. And no, you can’t revive your murdered allies even with a True Scroll of Resurrection.

#2 The Dark Urge

Speaking of murder, the Dark Urge is one of the most famous features in Baldur’s Gate 3 – and this is one urge even the staunched good guy players shouldn’t resist. Playing a character with the Dark Urge is sick, insane and darkly hilarious. The Dark Urge is one of the player origins and one of the most elaborate, changing almost every interaction and giving you totally unique player choices. This isn’t just an evil run. This is an evil run on murder steroids. Nothing is safe. You’ll murder useful NPCs in your sleep. You’ll be forced to follow your basest, most twisted instincts – only extremely high dice rolls can break you out of your violent tendencies.

And yes, if you’re playing the Dark Urge origin you’ll be able to join BOOAL from our first entry. I guess the Dark Urge has a sense of humor.

By now, everyone knows all about The Dark Urge. But there are some secret wrinkles to this origin – for one, you can unlock a powerful Slayer Form in combat, but only if you fulfill your darkest urges. There are two ways we know to do that – you can purposefully kill Isobell in the Last Light Inn, the one holding up the barrier against the curse. If she falls, all the innocent people – including children – will die horribly. Apparently, wiping out an entire encampment is enough to satisfy your urge and unlock your new powerful form.

While wiping out villages is pretty nasty, there’s nothing nastier than betraying the people closest to you. In a truly twisted turn, the Dark Urge can even execute your allies. After successfully romancing a partner in Act 3, you can choose to murder them instead – look, killing an entire settlement is one thing, but hurting one of our precious baby companions? That’s too messed up to even consider.

There are even secret cutscenes. Casting the Level 6 Heal spell on a Dark Urge character will trigger a long-dormant memory that’s important to the unfolding unique quest for these wackos. Look, there’s so much to discover in this single Origin, we could be here all day. So let’s talk about the exact opposite. Instead of killing everyone, why not try helping everyone.

#3 Leave No One Behind

One of the toughest challenges in Baldur’s Gate 3 is seemingly simple – but becomes unbelievably complicated as you progress further and further in the game. Early on in Act 1, you’ll encounter a traveling caravan of Tiefling refugees in the Druid’s Grove.These poor refugees can’t catch a break. And if you want to really earn your heroic stripes, you’ll need to save every single Tiefling refugee… at least, all the ones that are possible to save. Earning the “Leave No One Behind” achievement is a legendary accomplishment, even for an experienced Baldur’s Gate 3 hero. If you want to save everyone, you’ll need to save often, check everyone, and make all the right choices. These Tieflings really do run into a lot of problems.

In Act 1 alone, the Tieflings can be murdered in the grove itself by assassin bugbears, harpies and other random threats. That’s not even counting the initial goblin raid which can cause multiple Tieflings to die if you don’t interrupt the attack. Act 2 makes things even worse, with multiple scattered Tieflings that will die instantly if you progress the story too far. If you don’t rescue the gang of Tieflings in Moonrise Towers early by staging a daring prison break, they won’t make it out alive. There are even more Tieflings just wandering the Shadow-Cursed Lands, vulnerable if you don’t rush out and make sure they’re okay.

The rewards are huge in Act 3. By saving everyone – or as many as you can – you’ll get special cutscenes with different NPCs, and some of them even join you at your camp. Saving everyone that you can is easily one of the most personally rewarding tasks you can take in Baldur’s Gate 3, and also one of the most difficult.

#4 Summoning Secret Buddies

Early in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll be able to recruit a dog to help you in battle. This dog is essentially a fifth party member – too bad it isn’t that useful early in the game. The dog is friendly and a great nose for sniffing out treasure, but less useful for big battles. Luckily, the dog can never permanently perish and always bounces back even after a defeat.

This is just one of multiple summons that are incredibly useful. One of the best bunch of allies you can find are the trio of Ogres in the Blighted Village of Act 1. These thugs can overcome basically any battle on their own with very little extra input from you, and if you manage to sign up their services, they’ll work for you three times. The only downside is that they can only be summoned in an outdoors environment where they’ll hear the horn. Maybe they’re just too OP for anything else.

But, there’s one more summon you’ll want to get. Located in the Alchemist’s Basem*nt in the the Blighted Village, you can acquire the Scroll of Summon Quasit. Find the scroll in one of the moldering caskets in the secret underground chamber past the mirror. This is a totally unique, named imp named Shovel – which you can rename to Fork or Basket. While this is a scroll, Wizards can permanently memorize it. Don’t waste this scroll! A fourth little ally is always a useful addition, and you can even talk to it!

And when it comes to even more useful ally features, you can summon Hirelings to give you any buffs you need. Any magic that buffs a character (or the party) and lasts until a Long Rest? Just swap in the camp, activate the buff, then leave with the party you actually want. This works for Companions and Hirelings – a trick that’s so obvious, I’m kicking myself I didn’t think of it two playthroughs ago.

#5 Getting The Most Out of Shape Change

Shapeshift is secretly one of the most impressive abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3 – and one we slept on for our first run. On your second playthrough, it’s worth checking out everything Shape Change can do for you. While Shape Change is most effective for Rogues, there’s plenty even a bog-standard Fighter can do to take advantage of the world with Shapeshifting. There are some truly hilarious details built into shapeshifting.

And the Mask of the Shapeshifter is one of the pre-order bonus armor pieces. That means many of us will have this item sitting in the camp inventory collecting dust. Bust this thing out and start going hog wild with hilarious tricks.

For one, Shapeshifting into a gnome lets you enter small spaces. Ever wondering why you can’t crawl into a little hole? Turn into a Gnome and those holes are easy to traverse.

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Want those racial buffs on specific weapons or armor? If your gear says you need to be a Gith to get a bonus, you can Shape Change into a Gith. Yes, you’ll acquire those buffs.

You can rob from a vendor, then use Shape Change to escape. Your target won’t recognize you while they’re searching for their missing stuff. Or, you can kill an NPC and then use Speak to the Dead – normally, your victims won’t talk to you. But if you use Shape Change, they’ll gladly tell you everything you need to know.

And that’s just a few uses for the shapeshift trick. You can also pass through goblin checkpoints by pretending to be a Drow. There are dozens of tiny unique interactions you can access with the Shapeshifter’s Mask or the Disguise Self spell.

#6 Help The Strange Ox

Animal lovers can rejoice in Baldur’s Gate 3, because Speak With Animals is one of the most in-depth and useful spells in the game. You can learn so much by talking to random rats, oxen, dogs or whatever animals are in a dangerous area. Some of these discussions unlock entirely new quests or reveal secret locations you’d never find otherwise – some of the cats in Act 3 will gossip and reveal secrets you’ll really want to know ahead of time.

But one of the weirdest animals is the Strange Ox. One of the oxen traveling with the Tiefling refugees is instantly suspicious, but even if you use Speak With Animals, it isn’t entirely clear what is going on. You’ll also want to be very gentle with how you handle it – startling it leads to a battle against a magically-infused cow.

It doesn’t have to be this way. As long as you help the Tiefling Refugees reach Rivington, the Strange Ox will survive. Talking to it outside of Baldur’s Gate will also begin the actual quest – somewhere we absolutely missed multiple times. To see what the deal is with the ox, you’ll need to keep it alive until Act 3 and chat it up with Speak With Animals. This is probably the most involved quest you can unlock with this spell – but there are plenty of silly, fun interactions to discover. Especially in the Lower City.

And yes, there’s a lost cat you can help get adopted. This is one of the most heartwarming non-quests in the game. Talk to the lost cat outside the apothecary and you’ll be able to help with the adoption process.

#7 Min/Maxing With OP Items

One of the great joys of replaying Baldur’s Gate 3 is getting the best items possible as early as possible and absolutely destroying everything. While there are plenty of great, instantly enjoyable items to acquire while progressing through the Sword Coast, our favorites give an instant bonus to stats. Items like the Club of Hill Strength, the Warped Headband of Intellect and the Gloves of Dexterity. All three of these items can completely change your builds for the better.

The Club of Hill Giant Strength gives 19 Strength to the wielder instantly and can be found by smashing a weird stool at the top of the Arcane Tower in the Underdark. Smashing the Stool of Hill Giant Strength, located in the corner of the top floor, reveals this hidden club that’s magically extremely powerful. There’s an even better version of this club found in Act 3, but getting that requires raiding the House of Hope – the home of a certain devil you’ll encounter often throughout the story.

The Warped Headband of Intellect is even easier to get. Found in the Blighted Village in Act 1, the headband is being worn by Lump the intelligent Ogre. You can quite easily talk him into joining you if you’ve been branded with the Absolute’s Symbol. After that, you can summon him into battle and kill him yourself without making his two ogre buddies angry. This one increases Intelligence to 17 when worn.

And finally the Gloves of Dexterity – another item found in Act 1. Located in the Githyanki Creche under Rosymorn Abbey, this item can be purchased from the merchant Jeera. Seriously. Just buy the gloves and you’ll become a master Rogue. Respec at the camp and dump all those points in every other stat. Same goes for all these items. They’re basically free stat points!

#8 Swashbuckle With The Bard

The most overlooked class on the Sword Coast. The humble Bard sounds more like a joke class than a real contender for best – but like previous Baldur’s Gate games, the Bard is extremely powerful in the right hands. Because the Bard Class isn’t represented by any of the companions, most of us are going to miss out on the all-powerful fun of the Bard. The best way to experience them without starting a fresh campaign is creating your own Hireling – but playing as one? That’s the best way to go.

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Bards are also versatile – whether you go with a Sword Bard or a Lore Bard, you’re uniquely suited to buff your allies with Bardic Inspiration while casting spells or swashbuckling with a sword. Bards are powered by Charisma, so you’ll always have the right words when you’re talking through quests or out of combat encounters.

Bards are best when buffing allies and taking control of the battlefield with spells like Hypnotize, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter or Irresistible Dance. Protect yourself with Armor of Agathys, Shield of Fire or Spirit Guardians to stay alive – and don’t leave CounterSpell off the table. Hunger of Hadar is another incredible spell that just wrecks everyone in the AOE. The more spells you can counter per turn the better. The Bard is just an extremely fun protagonist class that gives you options you won’t find anywhere else.

#9 Recruit Minthara The Drow

The Dark Urge is the premier evil playthrough in Baldur’s Gate 3 – the one where you snap necks, kill in your sleep, and go on psychopathic rampages whenever you sense weakness. That’s the most obviously evil – and most action-packed – method for smashing all that’s good in the Sword Coast. But if you’re looking for a more structured path of destruction, you can always side with the Cult of the Absolute.

In Act 1, if you invade the Goblin Camp and defeat the three leaders, you’ll never even notice that there’s a fully-fledged party member to recruit inside. The Drow leader Minthara can be wooed into your camp and even romanced, but you’ll need to pull some pretty dark deeds to get her on your side. First of all, you’ll need to infiltrate the Goblin Camp and agree to help Minthara raid the Druid’s Emerald Grove. Doing this naturally wipes out all the Tiefling Refugees. It’s a big battle, but pulling it off can be a thrill.

On top of that, you can work even closer with the Cult of the Absolute in Act 2. Minthara will accompany you into the Shadow-Cursed Lands and become a full character you can control with the rest of your party. There are other optional party members to collect in Baldur’s Gate 3, but none force you into a totally different narrative path. You might lose some friends – but you’ll have a cool Drow to keep you company.

And speaking of wrecking the Tiefling Refugees, there’s one last bunch of weird secrets you can indulge on your second playthrough. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game where you can kill practically everyone – so what happens when you try your very hardest to sever every plot connection possible. Well, the developers actually thought of that. They came up with a series of hidden fail-safes to ensure the game story can continue. And discovering those fail-safes is its own fun challenge.

There are multiple characters most players will just never see. There’s a Kobold named Koll The Red that only appears if you have no other Trader NPC to help you when gathering allies – whether you’re good or evil, Koll seems to be a final fail-safe to give you someone to trade with at the end of the game. There are handfuls of fail-safe Tieflings in the Emerald Grove – for each one that dies, another will replace them at the big party, and you can even encounter multiple different Tiefling Leaders depending on how many have died. That’s a lot of detail and unique voice actors with their own conversations to include that almost no one will encounter. Mix this with your Dark Urge run and you’ll be meeting NPCs you didn’t even know existed.

That’s just a few reasons why you’ll want to return for a second heaping helping of Baldur’s Gate 3 goodness. The developers at Larian Studios chose to include secrets only .01% of players will ever see. That means there’s always something new to discover here – and even more reasons to return for future runs.

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Baldur's Gate 3: 10 SECRETS To Get You Playing Again - Gameranx (2024)

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