Baldur's Gate 3 Combat Explained - How to Fight in Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)

Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat Explained – How to Fight in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the latest role-playing game developed by none other than Larian Studios. If you are new to the game or genre like this, then you are basically going to have a ton of trouble understanding things around. Don’t worry, here we have our Explanation Guide on Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat. Where we show you How to Fight in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3). So, let’s get started with it.

More BG3 Content Below;

About Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the latest and greatest in Baldur’s Gate series, being the successor to the decades-old Baldur’s Gate. The game is a classic RPS that you can enjoy with your friends or control multiple characters yourself.

Being quite like any other MMORPG, you have various classes, archetypes, and then that fantasy mixed onto them. Each one you choose will pave a different path onwards that you can enjoy with those crispy, jaw-dropping cinematics.

There is that main quest that slowly gets you around and furthers the side quests to help you stay in touch with your spiritual side as well. First of all, you start off as the main character, who is also termed the Origin Character. He/She has his/her very own unique background and story, also dialogues and cinematics.

Now, as you proceed with the game, you will find your character becoming stronger with those levels, equipment, skills, and special abilities. Yes, you are also further delving deep into the story of Baldur’s Gate 3 as well.

Now the fun part begins with the Combat or Fighting Mechanics of the game. There is a ton of complexity here, just like other role-playing Legendary Games including Pathfinder, as well as your favorite DnD (Dungeon and Dragons).

You get your own turn that you have to utilize and each step you take onwards will pave a different path for you or your characters. All the Turn-Based games are heavily dependent on the decisions you are going to take. This includes your path, present, and future, and that makes them so much more complex or fun.

Finally, there is a whole villain arc as well, where you get to experience the villain’s history. You get to slowly progress and fight her/him in the game.

Baldur's Gate 3 Combat Explained - How to Fight in Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)

Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat Basics

For starters, Baldur’s Gate 3 uses the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (DND5e) Rule Sets. As we all know that DND5e is by far the most popular and spectacular role-playing game to exist… ever. This makes the Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat even more fun.

On top of all of this, the rule sets are quite simple here and approachable for players who are new to these types of games. If you don’t know math very well, then this particularly might be a great starting point for you. This takes us to our first point, which is the in-game math.

Math in Baldur’s Gate 3!

Nearly all of us are afraid of Math, and that might stop us from playing role-playing Dungeons and Dragons or similar games. Fortunately, in Baldur’s Gate 3, there is nothing to worry about because the game does the Math for you.

Baldur’s Gate 3 AI will automatically add things up and help you with individual mechanics. You will just have to take the steps and the final decision will be yours. In short, just decide on which one of the two decisions is better and the AI will calculate every other thing.

Again, all of this combined makes Baldur’s Gate 3 a pretty approachable and simple system in contrast to other games like these.

Role-Play in Baldur’s Gate 3

Now, taking you onwards, Baldur’s Gate 3 is quite heavy on the Role-Play side of things. Yes, this is the exact reason why there is no match to be done in Baldur’s Gate 3 because the developers went straight to the role-play.

This does seem kind of dependent, which is unlikely for a role-play DND game, but this goes exceptionally well for a game like BG3. Reasons? Well, there is a ton of story that you have to explore here for each of the characters in the game.

On top of that, there are spots left open that you have to explore yourself through Role-Play or the steps you take in the game. Each individual decision makes the game go on a different track in particular if you want it in easier wordings.

Difficulties in Baldur’s Gate 3

As of right now, there are only three difficulty levels in Baldur’s Gate 3;

  • Easy; For those new to the game mechanics
  • Normal; Gamers looking forward to Baldur’s Gate 3 as something new
  • Hard; Die-hard fans of Role-Playing RPG Games like DND and Pathfinder known for the mechanics of Baldur’s Gate Lovers

Can you turn the difficulty down? Well, yes the game provides you with the option if you want to enjoy the game to its full extent because, as we already mentioned, there is a ton of story here to explore. If you are on hard, it becomes your priority to finish the game instead of enjoying it.

Baldur's Gate 3 Combat Basics - Math, Role Play, and Difficulty

Baldur’s Gate 3 Ability Scores Explained – Modifiers, Proficiency, and Saving

After you are done creating your character, including the race and the class, then you are introduced to the Ability Scores. These are the essentials that make a difference in the game for good.

Each Ability Score basically does different things for you. But it does depend heavily on the class you chose to create your very own character in the game.

So, Ability Scores in Baldur’s Gate 3 range from 1 to 20. While 1 is the lowest and 20 is the highest, 10 or 11 is considered the average human being. Every 2 points above 10, meaning 12, 14, 16, 18, and finally 20, you will be getting plus 1 to the modifier for that Ability Score.

If you drop below 10, you start getting penalties for that modifier. What are modifiers, you might ask?

Modifier in BG3

These are essentials related to the Ability Scores, used for relevant skills, saving, throws, and so on. You will get to understand them as you proceed in the game. Furthermore, these Modifiers are used to modify various roles based on the Ability Scores.

If you want to make a Strength-Based Attack using the Strength Modifier in appropriate places is the right thing to go for.

  • Strength is most of your melee weapons, including your carry capability, athleticism, and movement.
  • Dexterity is for the finessed-based weapons on top of ranged attacks. It further includes lock picking, stealth, bonus to initiative, and armor class. You will also move earlier in turn-based combat.
  • Constitution indicates the general health of your character in the game. It affects hit point maximum, spell casting, concentration checks, and so on.
  • Mental Attribute Intelligence indicates recalling, learning, nature, and investigation, and it is also a spell-casting ability for wizards.
  • Wisdom is the reflection of perceptiveness, natural intuition, and understanding of things. Specifically, it is for the saving throws and spells casting for clerics, druids, and rangers.
  • Charisma is the direct relation of your personality, confidence, and eloquence, and is termed a commanding aura. You can better lie to people, intimidate them, and spell casting ability for Paladins, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Bards


Proficiencies and Savings

Proficiency is the mechanism in the game that indicates the factor of what your character knows how to do and what to do extremely well than others. It is reflected through the Proficiency Bonus.

It will start as a Plus +2 Bonus and then after every 4 Levels, it increases by One. At Level 5, it becomes Plus +3, and at Level 9, it becomes Plus +4. Having a Level cap of 12, this is the highest you can go with the Proficiency Bonus in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Now, considering the Ability Scores, certain classes will be proficient with various throws from those ability scores. But, in every form or shape, saving throws in particular.

Every skill is already using that ability score as the base modifier so the skill you are proficient in will give you a little bit extra on top. In simple words, saving throws proficiency is for saving throws, and so on. In return, you will have much more resistance against spells or effects that can harm your character otherwise.

  • Just like that if you are proficient with the weapon you are using, then you can add a proficiency bonus to that on top.
  • When it comes to your armor, it will allow you to use that armor without taking a penalty instead of giving you a bonus.
  • If the spellcaster isn’t proficient in their spells, they can’t cast that spell, which is something to look out for as well.

Therefore, you need to use the equipment you are proficient in, limiting your equipment altogether. This also doesn’t mean you can’t use the things in which you are not proficient, but they are not usually recommended.

Baldur's Gate 3 Ability Scores Explained - Modifiers, Proficiency, and Saving

Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat – How to Fight in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Now, getting to the actual combat system that shows you How to Fight in Baldur’s Gate 3 starts with Initiative and Surprise. Let’s get to the details below;

Initiative (Turn Order) and Surprise

The first thing that you will notice just before actual combat is the Turn Order. This is a tabletop Turn Based game and the turn order is defined by the Initiative Mechanism. At the start of the Combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, everybody is Roll Initiative.

It is a D20 plus your Dexterity Modifier. The higher your roll, the earlier you get to go in Baldur’s Gate 3. Basically, the highest to lowest determines your roll owner. The highest gets to go first, while the lowest gets to take the final turn. 

With the highest turn order (Initiative), you get to take others by surprise as well. This is where Surprise in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) comes into consideration. Either you can Ambush someone or someone can Ambush you.

There are sometimes specific routes that you can take in the game. These routes are meant for the ones who take their turns first. This results in a surprise attack in BG3. 

Each game takes place in rounds. Each round further takes place over intervals of 6 seconds. A round ends when each player has taken their turn. This indicates that 10 turns mean 1 minute in total.

You don’t have to take into account or do the match here actually. We talked about this at the beginning of our guide, where we mention that there is no Math involved in Baldur’s Gate 3. This is one of the instances because the game keeps track of everything.

Baldur's Gate 3 Combat - How to Fight in Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3) - Initiative, Turn and Surprise Attack

Move and Action System

The Combat in Baldur’s Gate 3 is spread across Move and Actions. When you want to know How to Fight in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3), you have to figure out how Move and Actions work. 

In simple terms, you are generally using your turn and in that period, you move around, taking actions. But, this is not specifically how it works in Baldur’s Gate 3. In your turn, you can move around and that movement is basically 30 feet at the base, and can further be modified by multiple things.

This includes your race, effects, modifier, and so on. Necessarily, you don’t have to move around and take your movement. How much you need to move is completely up to you, but we can take action as well.

Actions in Baldur’s Gate 3 are involved in attacking, but again, it doesn’t necessarily need to be attacked. You can also use the action function of BG3 to perform the dash function in the game. You can also spend your action on doubling the movement in the game as well.

During that turn, you won’t be able to attack, but you will be able to move twice as far. Or, you can take the Dodge action and your chances of getting hit are going to decrease considerably. But, most of the time, you will be attacking Baldur’s Gate 3 in the Action System of the game.

In addition to moving, there are two other actions as well in the game. These include;

  • Bonus Actions; These are very quick actions in the game and include drinking potions or doing certain similar things you require instantly. Outside bonus, you will get 1 Bonus Action per turn.
  • Reactions; It is similar to the Bonus Action but the difference is that you don’t take Reaction when you are in control of your character. The reason is that you are reacting to something another character does. Many abilities can be activated as a reaction, but you can do that once till rolls back around to your turn. 
Baldur's Gate 3 Combat - How to Fight in Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3) - Move and Action System

Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls, and AC

To attack you will have to make an attack roll, but that further requires you to be in the range. When you are in range and you attack someone, you have a percentage chance of succession. You are going to roll a D20 and then add an ability modifier plus your proficiency bonus when appropriate. 

You are always going to roll a D20 and then the type of weapon you are using symbolizes your modifier. If you are melee, then it is Strength and in case you are in a finesse or a bow or something similar, then it is going to be a dexterity.

If you are proficient with the weapon you are attacking with, then you are going to add up the proficiency bonus on top as well. The total number you get after adding up everything needs to be more than the enemy armor class. In simple words, we are talking about the armor here.

On top of that, it also includes the enemy’s ability to dodge or absorb the damage. This is where AC comes into its play. For normal humans there is Armor, but for monsters, there is natural AC. The higher amount of AC they have, the harder they are going to be hit with. 

 After everything is calculated behind, by the game itself, you are going to deliver an attack on the enemy. How much damage are you going to deal with? This is indicated by the Damage Roll in Baldur’s Gate 3.

This is a function of the weapon you are using and all the damage depends on that specifically. On top of the Damage Dice from your weapon, you are also adding up the appropriate ability modifier. For melee, it is a strength modifier, and then for finesse, bow, or something similar, there is going to be a dexterity modifier.

Baldur's Gate 3 Combat - How to Fight in Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3) - Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls, and AC

Rolling 1 or 20 In Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat

On top of the normal damage you are dealing with, there is a chance that you might do extra damage as well. To attack an enemy you roll a natural 20 on the D20 Roll, you are going to critically hit that target, dealing extra damage on top.

In case you go the reverse of that and roll a natural 1 on that dice, you are going to get the critical mass. In a perfect scenario, there is a 5 percent chance that you are going to miss.

Rolling 1 or 20 In Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat

Health (HP) and Dying (Death)

Let’s talk about the fact when the turn ends and the enemy turn appears. They are going to attack you as well. If they manage to lay their hands on you, then again your armor, modifier, and everything add up here.

This is basically the same thing here but from the enemy side. All the factors that were considered for you are now considered for the enemy. The most important thing that is taken into consideration here is basically your class.

After your health is depleted, you are at Zero. There is no death at Zero, but rather you become unconscious. You enter the Dying State here and here your character will start making the Death Saving Throws. They are either pass or fail, there is no in-between.

Everything above 10 on a D20 Roll is a pass, but everything below that is considered a fail. Either your character has passed 3 rolls or failed 3 rolls, they will completely stabilize, or on the other side, they are going to die or bleed out. 

If they roll a 1 that is two failures and if they roll a 20, they are going to immediately regain life, being able to take turns like before. There is a help action in the game as well. This enables you to consider your teammates in the action while you are in that state of Dying or Living. 

There is a chance that once you get a big enough damage, you might not go into the Dying State, but rather just get done. If you take damage equal to the maximum health below zero, you instantly die, there is no Dying State here. Don’t worry, you can use scrolls to revive your character and play the game again. 

Damage Type and Resistances in Baldur’s Gate 3

Now that you have a bit of an understanding of what the concept of Combat in Baldur’s Gate 3 is and how you need to fight in BG3, we can go onwards with our guide. Let’s talk about the Damage Types and Residences in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Just like other MMOs, there are various types of damage. Some of these damage types are in their favor, meaning they are resistant to those, while some are their weakness. You can check that out in their details. 

In case you have a damage type that others are resistant to, then basically, your attacks are going to deal zero damage or they are going to completely ignore that. 

Being resistant doesn’t mean they are going to take zero, but rather they are going to take around half the damage on whatever you are going to roll.

On the other hand, when they are weak or vulnerable to a specific type of damage and you have that, then that damage is going to be double for them. This is a typical concept in MMO Games or MMORPGs. 

Just keep in mind that these same details work for you as well. If you are resistant, you are going to take half the damage, whereas when you are vulnerable to that damage, you are going to take double that.

Damage Type and Resistances in Baldur’s Gate 3

Advantage and Disadvantage

Now, this is something that wasn’t present before and neither available in the DND5e or Pathfinder. This system is what makes Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) quite simplistic when it comes to math. 

Through the use of skills or situational advantage, you might have a better chance to hit or a better chance to simply fail in case of a disadvantage. This is reflected through the dice rolls in the game. 

Behind the scenes is something like this. You roll an extra D20 in case of advantage, you will roll an extra roll twice and take the higher number. In case of a disadvantage, you will roll twice and take the lower number.

In simpler wording, if you are wearing Metal Plate armor, then you are going to have a disadvantage to your Stealth Checks. This indicates that you might have an advantage when on higher ground with a bow/arrow while having a disadvantage when you get close to the enemy.

Advantage and Disadvantage in Baldur's Gate 3 Combat

Spellcasting in Baldur’s Gate 3 – How to Use Spells!

Spells are one of the major concepts of Fighting in Baldur’s Gate 3 as well. Therefore, we are going to dig deeper than some other mechanics we have in our guide to Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat System. 

When you want to cast spells in Baldur’s Gate 3, you need to first make sure you are playing a class that knows spellcasting. These are represented onwards by the spell slots. 

You are either a full caster in the category of wizards or a half caster. This also determines the power level of the spells you are going to be casting in the game, also the accessibility of spells.

  • The half-caster only can cast around or lower than level 5 spells at a maximum. 
  • On the other hand, the full casters will have the entirety of spells available at their disposal. They get better spells faster, in case you are looking for a simpler interpretation.

To cast a spell in Baldur’s Gate 3, you will have to gain the required resources. In BG3, this is known as the spell slots and has levels associated with them. Thye is equal to the level of spells you are using in Baldur’s Gate 3.

To cast a spell, you need to have at least one spell slot of the level similar to the spell you are going to use. This is the actual minimum we are talking about here because you can have a higher-level slot available for a lower-level spell. 

This will also enhance your spell effectiveness in the game. But, one more thing to keep in mind here is that this occurs only for the powerful spells in the game. For the Melee and Ranged attacks, we mentioned Strength and Dexterity Modifiers.

But, for the spells, you are interested in the others like Carisma. For Wizards, you will be using Intelligence, but for Sorcerers, you will be using the Charisma Modifier. This is a basic concept and you will get a hang of it after learning the other mechanics.

Spellcasting in Baldur’s Gate 3 - How to Use Spells!

Casting Spells Out of Spell Slots – Baldur’s Gate 3 Spell Cantraps

What if you are out of the spell slots? In that scenario, there are cantrips. These are the level zero spells in the game. When you are out of slots, you can cast these basic spells every turn in your action. 

When you increase in level, you will basically also make these cantraps stronger as a result. But, one thing to keep in mind is that they won’t perform exceptionally well in contrast to the leveled spells.

Types of Spellcasters

There are further two types of Spellcasters depending on the things we mentioned;

Spontaneous Casters; They can cast every spell you throw at them without having scenarios like resting. There are fewer spells here but you won’t have to prepare.

Prepared Casters; You can’t cast every spell that you know right out of the gate. For these, you will first have to prepare your spells like resting before being able to use them for the day.

Also, one more thing to mention here in our guide is that the other things like Bonus Actions, Reactions, and every mechanism applies to spells in the same manner they do to other things.

Spellcasting in Baldur’s Gate 3 - Types of Spellcasters

Area Of Effect (AOE) Spells

Now, the simple target spells are like other attacks, but what about the spells that are based on the Area and not individual targets? Here, there is no concept of Attack Rolls, and simply affects everything in the area.

Everyone in that area will receive a chance to roll a save in their favor. Then, they can also mitigate some of the damage that you have dealt to them. It is usually dexterity here for the most part, but they will have to clear the spell DC. 

Armor Proficiency and Spellcasting

As a final note, you need to understand one simple concept. If you want to have the effect of your spell on the target or cast it, you will have to get the Armor Proficiency equal to that spell you are casting. If you don’t have that proficiency, you won’t be able to cast spells anymore.

This is how Paladins will cast spells with their Heavy Armor in the game. This is one basic example of the build.

Spellcasting in Baldur’s Gate 3 - Armor Proficiency and Spellcasting

Resting Mechanism In Baldur’s Gate 3

Now you understand everything about Combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, along with everything you need to learn to Fight in the game. Well, now as a final mechanism, you will need to understand the concept of Resting in BG3.

Most of the time when you use spells or attacks, or take any other turn, then you are going to have them restored or recharged through a process of Resting.

It can be a short time Rest or a long time Rest depending on the need of the ability you cast. A full Rest in Baldur’s Gate 3 is like an 8 Hours Long Sleep, in contrast to a short Rest that is like an hour’s Nap. 

A Long Hour’s Rest will typically restore your Health and other things as well including Spell Slots, and Resources. You do require supplies to rest, but there is nothing too complex about it. 

In short, the Full Rest is required for you to restore most of your stuff, but takes a ton of time. On the other hand, you can use the Short Rest to get through some stuff without having to waste long hours on the Full Rest.

The Verdict

So, here we have all the Details on Baldur’s Gate 3 Combat Explained for you. All of this information combined in one lets you understand How to Fight in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3). One more thing that we mentioned earlier is that the game handles most of this stuff on its own, you just have to make the decision. But, a Table Top Role Playing Game similar to the DND5e or Pathfinder requires background knowledge to dominate it. Either in the early segments of the game or in the late game, you are going to have to learn the background mechanics. But don’t worry, the game will handle most of the math for you, just focus on what’s happening in the foreground.

Dawer Iqbal, an electrical engineer, is the visionary behind ThePantherTech. His passion for technology and commitment to demystifying it are at the heart of this platform.