Act 1 of Baldur’s Gate 3 has no shortage of secret areas. And the Zhentarim Hideout is one that goes well out of its way to stay secret. But failing to find it means you’ll be cut off from two different quests. So, here’s how to find the Zhentarim Hideout in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Find the Entrance of Zhentarim Hideout in Baldur’s Gate 3
I’ll be honest. I completely missed the Zhentarim Hideout in my first playthrough, which led to me missing out on an interesting quest in Act 3. I write this guide so you don’t suffer my same mistakes.
In Act 1, you’ll likely find yourself at Waukeen’s Rest, a manor with a large courtyard that happens to be on fire. I highly recommend you help the people inside immediately, as it has a very harsh quest timer. But once you’re done with that, head east from Waukeen’s Rest towards the stables.
You’ll see several ox, including a dead one. But beside the dead ox is also a shack. There are several stacked boxes in front of the shed’s door. Destroy or move the boxes, then enter the shed.
Inside, you might notice that there are a lot of Firewine barrels. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s also a mage who’s very prepared to use Fireball on you if you don’t pass a skill check.
If you have high dexterity, approach the wall to your character’s left when entering. Through the shelves, you can see a man. If you try to speak to him, you’ll have to pass a 10-roll Dexterity Check.
Fail, and the mage will set the entire place on fire, including himself. This netted me an immediate game over because those Firewine barrels don’t mess around.
If you prefer a persuasion check, don’t look at the man through the shelves. Instead, continue through the shed until he confronts you. You’ll then have to persuade him not to set the room on fire.
If you have Detect Thoughts, you can also just read his mind and learn the passcode. Repeat the code back to him, and he’ll be relieved and send you right down to the cellar through the hatch further in the shed.
Enter the Cellar and Find the Secret Entrance to the Zhentarim Hideout in Baldur’s Gate 3
The cellar will look like a normal cellar. There are a few boxes with some mundane goods and camp supplies. But the real entrance to the Zhentarim Hideout is hidden in a wardrobe.
Head towards the back of the cellar. Examine the crate near the desk, and you’ll find an Engraved Key.
This Engraved Key should then be used on the locked wardrobe against the far back wall in the Northwestern corner of the cellar.
This will give you access to the Hidden Stairs… and the Zhentarim Hideout.
Once you’re in the Hideout, you’ll be confronted by Zarys. And while you can be aggressive and confrontational, leading to her and the rest of her gang fighting you, I highly recommend you pick the peaceful option. This will let you preserve two quests, Free the Artist and The Missing Shipment.