Difficulty Options BG3
Image via Larian Studios.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Difficulty Settings Explained

Choose the right one for you.

Baldur’s Gate 3 offers different difficulty settings that can change the way you approach the game entirely, and choosing one can be a big jump. Before you get into your first character, read more on the BG3 difficulty differences and the difficulty settings.

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Which Difficulty Setting Should You Pick in Baldur’s Gate 3?

There are three difficulty settings in Baldur’s Gate 3: Explorer, Balanced, and Tactician. These aren’t just small increments of enemy HP, either. Each one can drastically change how you approach BG3, and there are tradeoffs. If you are new to CRPGs or just want to focus on the story, then Explorer is for you. We recommend Balanced for nearly everyone else.

Only a select group of players will want to get through Baldur’s Gate 3 on Tactician difficulty. The mode is incredibly challenging, even when you play your cards right. With positioning, strategy, and random dice rolls being so important, the room for error is tiny at that difficulty. And even then, the random nature of some aspects of the game will certainly get you killed.

Explorer Difficulty in BG3

The easiest option is meant for players who want to focus on the story. It still has some challenges, but the main drawback is that Multiclass use isn’t allowed.

This mode caters to those who prefer a relaxed pace to savor the story without the frustrations often encountered in RPGs. If you find conventional RPG challenges daunting, Explorer Mode provides a comfortable fit. Enemy damage and health take a significant downturn, making most combat encounters a breeze. Your companions also boast increased HP. That doesn’t mean the challenge of BG3 has gone away, so effort will still be required to complete it.

Additionally, you gain +2 proficiency points for your abilities, a substantial boost that enhances your character’s power and improves your rolls. Merchant prices are more affordable, and you receive higher payouts for selling items.

Balanced Difficulty in BG3

This is the best mode for players who want a mix of story and challenge. But be warned; it’s not easy by any means.

Considered the intended experience, Balanced Mode lives up to its name by offering a middle ground between accessibility and challenge. Opt for this mode if you possess a solid understanding of RPG mechanics. Balanced Mode presents increased difficulty compared to Explorer Mode, with enemies sporting regular health and dealing more formidable attacks. You also don’t receive the additional +2 proficiency points at the outset, like you do in the Explorer difficulty. Merchant prices are higher, and your items sell for less.

Unlike Explorer Mode, you have the freedom to multiclass to your heart’s content. Multiclassing in BG3 allows you to delve into multiple classes, leveraging their respective abilities and traits. However, there are trade-offs, as you won’t reach the full potential of either class nor access their entire skill tree. If you seek an experience closest to the BG3 developers’ intent, Balanced Mode is the ideal choice.

Tactician Difficulty in BG3

Tactician is an unforgiving difficulty for players with plenty of experience in this genre.

Prepare to be challenged in Tactician Mode, Baldur’s Gate 3’s hard mode that leaves no room for complacency. This mode is not for the faint of heart. Enemies and bosses are high level: They possess higher HP (a 30% increase), deliver more potent attacks, and exhibit overall heightened intelligence. Enemies strategically target vulnerable party members and expertly leverage environmental cues.

In Tactician Mode, enemies utilize shove more frequently, exploit barrels regularly, and take advantage of any missteps on your part. If you dare to embark on this mode, brace yourself for a formidable challenge.

How to Change BG3 Difficulty Settings

Even after you choose your difficulty, you can still go back into the menu of your save and change the settings. However, if you are playing on Balanced and decide to move down to Explorer, you will lose the option to use Multiclass specs on your characters. There is always a tradeoff in these choices.

As you jump into Baldur’s Gate 3, you also need to know how to hide your helmet. Fashion is always the most important.


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Author
Daniel Wenerowicz
Dan has been writing gaming guides, news, and features for three years after graduating with a BA in writing . You can find him covering Call of Duty for eternity, action-adventure games, and nearly any other major release.