The act of save scumming is nothing new in video games, but Baldur’s Gate 3 has already reached a massive audience, and many of these players a likely new to CRPGs in general. In most other games, failing typically means you lost, and you may be tempted to the save scum like Frodo to the One Ring.
But Baldur’s Gate 3 is different in nearly every sense, and if you are new to the genre, I can’t stress enough how important it is to at least give the game a shot without saving or reloading at every speed bump.
Failure Does Not Mean Loss in Baldur’s Gate 3
If you’re someone who likes to play BG3 with some save scum, there is nothing wrong with that. But there is no denying that it’s a substantially different game when you don’t trust the dice and when you don’t let failure run its course. Some veterans of the CRPG genre know exactly what they want, and that’s fine. However, if Baldur’s Gate 3 is a fresh experience, you are doing yourself a disservice by removing the consequences.
When you fail a dice roll in BG3, that doesn’t automatically mean you “lost” in a normal sense. Sometimes even getting a successful roll in dialogue can mean you “lost” the overall scenario. CRPGs are all about branching consequences from decisions that you might not expect. Simply failing to see a hidden button, lockpick a door, or pass a persuasion check can lead you down an entirely different path.
Much of the fun in Baldur’s Gate 3 comes from the idea of the dice deciding your fate. You never truly know where your journey will take you, and most other games don’t give you that experience. Save scumming will ensure that your playthrough is just as linear as any other RPGs. If you like that, then more power to you, but this is an opportunity for new players, especially on PS5, to make the most of this kind of CRPG.
Not All Save Scum is Equal in Baldur’s Gate 3
Every single reload and save isn’t necessarily save scumming. If you’re losing a fight and you’re going to die, just reload the game. Sometimes you might get a critical failure on an easy lock, and this time you’re not just going to walk away. You will find that most players go through without ever reloading part of the game.
When most players talk about save scum, they typically mean watching all scenarios play out in dialogue and then reloading to the one they like. This can also include reloading until you get the perception or persuasion check you want.
Whether you like to play like this or not, it absolutely changes the game. I’ve done it myself when a certain catastrophic event takes place in the Shadow Cursed Lands and I realized I made a horrible mistake. My character isn’t always the sharpest tool in the shed.
But some of my best moments so far have come from trusting the dice in Baldur’s Gate 3 and accepting my fate. I was welcomed with outcomes I wouldn’t expect or loot that I wasn’t looking for. All I’m saying is to at least try without relying on reloads. Accept that failure is just part of the game and isn’t a loss. If you don’t like it, then you can always change the way you play.
Make sure to check out our full review of Baldur’s Gate 3 before you jump in if you haven’t already.