Updated at September 7, 6:08 a.m. (GMT+8): Updated to post launch.

With Baldur’s Gate 3 officially launched to the public, many are looking to figure out how exactly they’ll be able to play with friends or strangers.

That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll be going over Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer, sharing all the details of how you can play and how the systems around it work.

Is Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer? How does it work?

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer
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Larian Studios, the Belgium-based game developer behind the hit Divinity: Original Sin series is behind BG3 and has made something fans are drooling over.

This, of course, means tons of people are hoping to play the game and a good portion of those folks want to do so with others via Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer.

Does Baldur’s Gate 3 have multiplayer?

Cutting right to the chase, yes, Baldur’s Gate 3 is playable with others. Here’s a small blurb in the FAQ section of the official BG3 website regarding whether or not there’s multiplayer in the game:

“Yes, the game offers a multiplayer mode that focuses on cooperative gameplay. You can team up with your friends or other players online and embark on exciting co-op adventures, tackle challenging quests together, and strategize as a team to overcome formidable foes. Experience the game’s immersive world in a collaborative multiplayer setting”

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With that out of the way, let’s dive into what exactly Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer is all about.

You don’t have to play multiplayer

First things first, the game is not an outright open-world online game. This means you will never be forced to interact with other players. You can 100% go through the game completely on your own without in a single-player format.

If you choose to, however, you can choose to play with random players or your friends in Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer when it comes to online play.

Baldur's Gate 3 critical success dice roll
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Random multiplayer

If you have no friends making the plunge (convince them!), but you still want to enjoy the experience with other people, you can do that.

You can either host a game and turn on the option to allow players to join, or you can find a lobby that someone else is hosting.

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If you’re the host, players will be able to jump into your ongoing game and join you at your current point in the story. The random player will take over one of your companions. This means if you join a game, you won’t get to be playing your own unique character.

Also important to note is that the host will be the one who ultimately decides on dialogue options. Other players can vote, but it will, in the end, be up to the host to decide how things move forward.

Playing with friends

This section will be about more of a static group of players that begin their journey together. This is probably the most common way that folks want to play. The group can be up to four players total, including the host, but doesn’t have to be four.

This method will allow each player to decide if they wish to create a character from scratch or choose one of the origin characters available.

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Don’t worry if one person is going to miss your session, however, as you can fill the spot with one of the in-game companions. The only time you won’t be able to play is if the host is missing, as they will be the one with the save file.

In this game, everyone can run around as their character and engage in dialogue on their own. They can even make their own choices, however, everyone else will be able to see this dialogue. All players in the party will be able to cast a vote for the dialogue option they want, however, the person who initiated the dialogue will be able to have the final say.

You don’t have to stick together

While you are beholden to the world and the choices you and your party members make in the world, you aren’t tied at the hip.

You can, if you choose, run off and check out other areas, dungeons, and monsters, all on your own. We wouldn’t recommend the last two, but you could!

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Each player will have the ability to move around freely, engaging with objects, creatures, and non-player characters (see dialogue portion above), without needing to have the rest of the party along for the ride.

This also means you can run back to town and go shopping while the rest of the party continues on if you’d like, or go off on a side quest the rest of the group has decided against. Some may not fare well for you, but you have the option either way.

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer combat
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Multiplayer combat

Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer will function just as the regular game, and by that I mean it’s essentially Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules.

The combat will begin with a dice roll plus each character’s initiative modifier. The highest total will go first, and the lowest will go last.

As it comes around to each player’s turn, they will be the person controlling their character. They will have complete agency to attack, run, cast a defensive spell, throw a vial of poison, or just about anything really so long as you have the resources to do so (actions, bonus actions, etc.).

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The one caveat here is that if you and another player are directly next to each other in the initiative, you can actually take your turns simultaneously, leading to some fun possibilities.

The turn-based style means you can strategize with your teammates between each turn or round. If you communicate and coordinate well with the rest of the party, you can have some pretty unique encounters and get out of some tough situations.

If you don’t, however, fights could become much more frustrating given your inability to make decisions for each character. Multiplayer combat means a lot of stuff is out of your hands.

Loot in multiplayer

Baldur's Gate 3 shop inventory
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Now it’s time for the most important question. How does looting work in Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer?

Looting in BG3 will work just like their previous title, Divinity: Original Sin 2, did. This means all loot is party loot, not individual.

Essentially that means that when an item drops, it is only one item, and not multiples so that everyone can have one. This means the party will have to make the decision as to who will receive and use the loot or if they wish to sell it.

If you have two fights that would love to use that super-powerful sword that just dropped, a decision will have to be made because there’s only one sword to go around.

The other option is that someone is just selfish and decides to grab the loot before other players and hoard it for themselves. Don’t be that person. Well, I guess you could just blame it on your “character” if you do.

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