For some players, Baldur’s Gate 3’s combat is a rewarding challenge that requires a lot of planning and preparation. For others, it’s an absolute roadblock that makes it hard to progress in the game. We’ve given some general tips to help you excel in combat, but honestly, Baldur’s Gate 3 has enough options that let you circumvent combat entirely that you can make it through entire swaths of the game without raising your blade. Whether you’re avoiding conflict because it’s challenging or you’re trying to run a pacifist run, if you’re looking for a way to fight less, here are some strategies you can employ to avoid combat.
Part of the initial friction people might face in Baldur’s Gate 3 is feeling like, because it’s an RPG, you need to be fighting your way through your problems so you can grind levels and be strong enough to fight the next big bad. This isn’t that kind of game, and reframing combat as only one of your tools to move forward is key to avoiding unnecessary fighting. Don’t view it as an inevitability you’ll have to push through every time you want to accomplish something. That’s the first step in avoiding fights when you’d rather not pick one.
I played a Charisma-based character who specialized in Performance and Deception in my first Baldur’s Gate 3 run. As a result, I was able to talk my way out of a lot of situations that would have otherwise devolved into bloodshed. Depending on how you’re choosing to roleplay your character, you can also branch off into Intimidation or Persuasion, which will color your dialogue options but still have the ultimate effect of letting you resolve situations using your words rather than your sword. You will, of course, have to pass dice rolls each time you want to use these dialogue options, but speccing into Charisma is a surefire way to lower the tension in a room.
Every character in your party has the Hide option that lets them crouch down and sneak about even the most populated battlefield. If you’re sticking to the shadows, this is one way to avoid combat on its own, but knowing how best to take advantage of it is key to making it work.
Even if your entire party is practically planking in the shadows to avoid being detected, having a group of four well-armed mind flayer tadpole vessels sneaking around in a cluster is much more likely to get noticed than if that group splits up. Using Ungroup, which lets you move your team separately without them all following your active character, will let you move them individually, rather than in a cluster of armor and noise. This is the most resource-light way to sneak past enemy forces, but if you’re willing to use some spell slots, there are other ways.
Having a high-level Wizard in Gale who knew Invisibility and had high-enough-level spell slots to use it on my entire party saved me from dealing with some exceptionally difficult fights in Baldur’s Gate 3’s final act. As the name suggests, the spell allows you to turn the user invisible and walk right past enemies, but the higher level the spell slots you’ve unlocked, the more allies you can target with it. I walked my entire party past a tyrant’s armed forces and into his safe house. I skipped chunks of combat and was able to save resources just by having this one spell. You might forgo the experience points, but these can be pretty easily made up by non-violent means by completing quests and passing stat checks.
But even if you don’t have a strong enough spell slot to use it on everyone, having Invisible for just one character can still help you skip some challenging fights. In the game’s final act, I was unable to enter a city checkpoint without having to stab my way through its corrupt law enforcement. After a few failed attempts to fight through, I ended up using my Warlock character’s Invisible spell to sneak past the guards alone, then reach a fast-travel point to just bring everyone else through. Work smarter, not harder.
If you don’t have Invisible, there are other abilities that can help you just zip past people who want to kill you. Misty Step and Dimension Door are teleporting abilities that can transport you some pretty significant distance without having to engage in combat. Always think of your abilities as unorthodox ways to potentially circumvent fights, rather than just as an extension of your combat arsenal.
Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t quite as big as an open-world RPG, but it’s not lacking in multiple ways to reach your destinations, whether it be going through a manhole to the sewers where things are less populated, or just turning to the left on a path instead of taking a straight shot to where you need to go. If you’re having trouble taking the most straightforward path, going through the wilderness to find a less-populated one where fewer things trying to kill you, but you might be able to more easily teleport to your destination, is often an option. Baldur’s Gate 3 rewards you for finding alternate ways forward, and sometimes it’s the best way to avoid combat entirely.
For some of us, we get attached to a specific party setup and don’t like to change it. I ran with Gale, Karlach, and Shadowheart most of the game because their abilities seemed to complement my Warlock’s the most. But bringing Lae’zel to areas that involved her Githyanki brethren helped smooth over some conversations that could have become heated, and eventually violent. This won’t work out every time, as some characters like Astarion are more likely to incite violence on related quests than they are to quell it, but having someone who can speak to the conflicts at hand is usually a good call, because they might not have to pass a stat check to talk their way out of things.