What is Honour Mode in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)? Explained

More challenging than ever before
Baldur's Gate 3 screenshot of Honour Mode on the difficulty selection menu.
Screenshot by Prima Games

With Baldur’s Gate 3’s fifth major patch came new epilogue scenes, numerous bug fixes, and two new modes: honour and custom. Let’s talk about Baldur’s Gate 3’s Honour Mode difficulty.

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What is Honour Mode in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Honour Mode is the most challenging difficulty you can play in the game. After Tactician, Honour Mode is designed to provide more challenges to the game by making BG3 more complex both in and out of combat. It also adds over 30 changes to boss fights and a Legendary Action system to ramp up the difficulty.

It also takes place over one single save file. You can’t reload your save if you fail a dice roll or lose half of your party in a battle.

By completing the game in Honour Mode, you’ll also get golden dice in-game to show your skill and dedication to finishing BG3’s hardest difficulty. Depending on your gaming platform, you can also get an achievement for it.

All Changes in BG3’s Honour Mode

Here are all the changes you can expect from Honour Mode in BG3:

  • Legendary Actions: these are extra actions a boss will be able to use at the end of the player’s turn. Modeled after Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, these Legendary Actions serve to balance the turn economy to ensure you won’t be able to just swat a big enemy away in a single turn. This should massively improve the difficulty of bosses like Orin the Red.
  • Permadeath: Your Honour Mode campaign will come to an end if your whole party is wiped out during a combat encounter. You can still resurrect any individual downed companion, but if no one in the party is alive to resurrect, the game will come to an end, and you’ll be presented with a stat summary and an option to continue in the new Custom Mode difficulty.
  • Single Save File: Honour Mode has only one available save slot that is continuously overwritten, meaning you won’t be able to reload for a different outcome. You’ll have to commit to decisions and accept the results you’re given.
  • Stricter Rules: Honour Mode takes the rules from the Tactician difficulty (increased enemy level, health, action variety, and intelligence) and makes them even stricter. You can expect stricter rules on action economy and damage bonuses.
  • Golden D20: If you manage to complete Honour Mode from start to finish, you’ll be rewarded with a new golden D20 dice skin to be used in any future playthroughs.
  • Foehammer Achievement: Upon completing the game on Honour Mode, you’ll earn a console/PC achievement dubbed “Foehammer.”

Honour Mode is available from the start, meaning you can immediately choose it upon first booting up the game. You won’t need to unlock it. But be advised: Honour Mode is not going to be the friendliest for newcomers, being a difficulty that’s harder than hard and requiring a deep knowledge of BG3’s mechanics. Being familiar with D&D 5e may also help for some of Honour Mode’s new additions, like Legendary Actions.

Should I Try Honour Mode in BG3?

Honour Mode is for anyone who thought Tactician was too easy or wants to get their hands on an exclusive set of in-game dice. Honour Mode is a worthwhile challenge if you enjoy optimizing your party’s build to be as powerful as possible and want to feel rewarded for the time you put into this.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more casual playthrough, avoid playing Honour Mode at all costs.

Below is a quick summary of some pros and cons of starting an Honour Mode playthrough:

Pros of Honour Mode

  • Honour Mode adds excitement for those who like a challenge.
  • Revamps boss fights by adding over 30 tweaks and changes to their mechanics.
  • Rewards exclusive golden dice for completing the mode.

Cons of Honour Mode

  • Honour Mode requires mastery of the game’s mechanics, including near-perfect character optimization and knowledge of abilities.
  • Changes to boss fights and out-of-combat mechanics may deter people who prefer the game’s traditional style.
  • You’ll have to replay the entire game again from start to finish.

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Honour Mode is a game mode designed to up the ante for those who have completed the game and want a reason to return. While a mode like Custom allows you to lower the game’s difficulty or modify its mechanics, Honour Mode takes its most challenging difficulty and intensifies nearly every part.

Are you interested in learning more about the BG3’s bosses in preparation for your next Honour Mode battle? Check out how to beat Grym in BG3, or click the tag below to browse our growing content collection.

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Author
Madison Benson
Madison was a staff writer at Prima Games who has played video games for over twenty years and written about them for over two years. Her love for video games started with turn-based strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic and has since extended to casual farming sims, MMORPGs, and action-adventure RPGs.