A half-orc Fighter with blue hair smiling with confidence to a Goblin in Baldur's Gate 3
Screenshot by Prima Games

What happens if you use Illithid Powers in BG3?

Will you use the tadpoles?

The tadpole shoved into your eye at the beginning of Baldur’s Gate 3 plays a massive part in your decision-making. While it may seem threatening, it grants you valuable Illithid Powers that first manifest themselves through dialogue and later as actual Spells and Actions. The game makes you feel like you should get rid of the tadpole, which makes using Illithid Powers seem wrong and a choice leading you to a bad ending, especially because you don’t know straight away what happens after you use them.

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Understanding what happens when you use Illithid Powers is straightforward, and deciding if you will use them or not depends on how you view the world, your character, and your companions in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Illithid Powers consequences in Baldur’s Gate 3

Using Illithid Powers has no immediate downsides or negative gameplay consequences, only minor narrative implications. In the long run, the only consequences are:

  • Black veins will show up in your character’s face and body if you consume enough tadpoles to become Partial-Illithid.
  • Some companions may dislike choices made using Illithid Powers, worsening your relationship with them.

In terms of game mechanics, the Illithid Powers you unlock are new Actions and Features like that of any other class. They become a separate skill tree you must enable after seeing your Guardian in your dreams when you take a Long Rest after using the Illidith Wisdom dialogue option seven times. You can only use Illidith Wisdom in dialogues once per Long Rest.

A good moment to use the powers in dialogues is during the Goblin quests. You have multiple chances to use them, for example, against Goblin Booyahg at the gates of Blighted Village and Sentinel Olak while looking for Halsin at the Golbin Camp.

A screenshot of the Illithid Powers skill tree in Baldur's Gate 3.
You must let the tadpoles enter your brain individually—screenshot by Prima Games.

Do Illithid Powers give you a bad ending?

Illithid Powers don’t give you a bad ending and do not affect the final outcome of your campaign. Only quest and dialogue choices have. You are free to use Illithid Powers as you want if your only concern is ruining an attempt at a good-alignment ending.

It seems from a lore perspective that using these powers would take you down an evil route. But you have to remember your Guardian, or Dream Visitor, is protecting you from turning into a Mind Flayer, which explains why you can use Illithid Powers without significant implications.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3: How to Fix UI Disappearing Bug in BG3

Should you use Illithid Powers?

You should always use Illithid Powers because they add new Actions and Features to your character that can make fights and exploration easier. Just make sure:

  • You don’t mind visual changes on your character
  • You want new, strong actions.
  • The Illithid powers with the lore you want for your character.

Aside from that, avoiding the powers is only reasonable from a lore and roleplaying perspective. It is reasonable to play a character with good alignment and still use Illithid Powers if you feel like you’re using them at the correct time against the right creatures.

How to get more Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3

You get more Illithid Powers by collecting tadpoles from the world, either from characters that they have already infected or that you find in the environment. Interact with them and make sure you connect with the tadpole and let its influence wash over you.

A screenshot of the in-game description of the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen item in Baldur's Gate 3.
You want to collect as many specimens as you can find—screenshot by Prima Games.

The tadpole will turn into a Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen in your inventory, which you can consume to get a new point to invest in your Illithid Power skill tree. If you’re avoiding the Illithid Powers route, you can still look for the specimens and sell them to vendors for a solid 100 gold a piece.

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Bhernardo Viana
Esports and gaming specialist and strategist working in the industry for over 8 years. A fan of Pokémon since I was 6 and an avid Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch player. Also, I'm sure Slay the Spire is the best game ever.