BG3 difficulty - Baldur's Gate 3 difficulty settings and differences explained (2024)

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What are Baldur’s Gate 3 difficulty settings? Larian Studios’ latest D&D game will take a while for players to finish. And considering how punishing some encounters can get, players wonder if the Dungeons & Dragons game features difficulty settings.

The world of Faerun is rich in lore thanks to Baldur’s Gate 3 races offering a wide variety of playable characters. And remember to track the various Baldur’s Gate 3 feats you can unlock at level 4. Here are the difficulty settings in Baldur’s Gate 3.

BG3 difficulty - Baldur's Gate 3 difficulty settings and differences explained (1)

Difficulty settings in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 has five difficulty settings: Explorer, Balanced, Tactician, Honour, and Custom. Players in the Early Access mode got access to the medium Balanced setting. It offers ‘a bit of a challenge but not too much,’ according to senior combat designer Matt Holland. His team ensured that players don’t get too caught up in combat as they explore the Forgotten Realms.

Explorer difficulty in Baldur’s Gate 3

Explorer mode makes things even easier for players looking for a good time. It makes friendly NPCs harder to kill, making them more reliable allies. Traders also offer a 20% discount so that your wallet won’t take a beating whenever you enter a new town. Your characters also have a +2 bonus to proficiency. This is on top of the default +2 proficiency bonus, bringing it up to +4. DnD players know how overpowered this is, letting them handily clear most skill checks. Characters in Dungeons and Dragons usually need to get to level nine to gain these kinds of ability scores. This means that characters proficient at a certain skill (depending on Baldur’s Gate 3 abilities) can succeed at those skill checks far more frequently.

While this might sound like a good thing, Baldur’s Gate 3 allows for failure to influence the game in interesting ways. And with multiple options to achieve success in BG3, failing a skill check is far from the end. If anything, it nudges players towards finding a solution that isn’t by the book. The game’s environments are also designed to enable this kind of thinking. For instance, while you can disarm poison traps, you can also choose to set fire to them before dousing the area in water. I’d recommend players try out Balanced before dialing down the difficulty to experience the story.

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Tactician difficulty in Baldur’s Gate 3

Tactician mode is for the RPG veterans looking for a hardcore challenge. Enemy AI will target weaker party members like Wizards, Sorcerers, and Bards over your frontline Fighters, Barbarians, and Paladins. Thinking tactically will be the only way to outwit these foes. And tougher enemies don’t just mean more enemy health (HP) and armour. The game’s combat designer noted that this just forms the base layer of combat. At higher difficulties, enemy weapons and ammo types can receive bonuses, forcing you to play by their rules. For instance, fire arrows could replace regular ones, forcing you to use magic or armour to contend with the role-playing game and its creatures.

Players will have to keep track of BG3 element resistances, explosive barrels, and the terrain to come out on top. While these layers add little bits of spice to encounters, exploiting these advantages could mean the difference between victory and defeat. We aren’t sure if this will grant you bonus XP to level up faster or if any other perks will be offered to players. Senior combat designer Matt Holland described their Brutal AI in hard mode as though it was meant to replace a real Dungeon Master (DM) at a tabletop round of D&D. You’ll need to have contingency plans for nearly every encounter to outwit the game and its core rules.

Honour difficulty in Baldur’s Gate 3

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Honour mode is very similar to tactician with more difficult enemies, and even tougher bosses, oh, and you are limited to only one save file. If you screw anything up, you will feel the effect of the decision throughout the game. This game mode is meant for experienced players who want a real challenge.

Did you know?

Those who manage to complete the entire game on Honour Mode will receive a golden D20 to use in-game. This skin can be seen every time you make a check or saving throw.

Custom difficulty in Baldur’s Gate 3

Custom difficult is exactly as it sounds. Added with a recent update, this mode allows you to fully customize your experience by selecting how difficult combat mechanics are such as enemy aggression, character power, and whether or not foes can get critical hits. You can even go so far as to turn off multiclassing and even modify the price of trade goods.

That covers the difficulty settings in Baldur’s Gate 3. Those struggling with the game’s enemies should check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 armour guide. Check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Dank Crypt guide if the early game is testing your patience. The game has released on PC and PlayStation 5.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Difficulty – FAQ

What difficulty should I play BG3?

Start with the Balanced difficulty in BG3.

Is Baldur’s Gate 3 too hard?

Baldur’s Gate 3 can be challenging for beginners.

BG3 difficulty - Baldur's Gate 3 difficulty settings and differences explained (2024)

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