Romance in Baldur's Gate 3 sees developer Larian Studios pride themselves on moving away from the BioWare model when it comes to in-game relationships.
Instead of just shoving cake into your companion's willing face, you're going to have to really listen to your companions and figure out what they value.
There's no rolls of the dice, or chances, or just simply picking the 'right option' unlike previous Baldur's Gate games. And what better way to do that than try out Early Access and get in the practice for when version 1.0 comes out in the future?
This page explains the Baldur's Gate 3 companions and characters you can romance, how, what they are like, and where they can be found.
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How does romance work in Baldur's Gate 3?
Romance in Baldur's Gate 3 works differently from how you may expect it to in games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
For one thing, it doesn't matter if you don't bring your companions with you to a specific quest, they still have their thoughts and feelings about what you did. So that means no, you won't be able to pick and choose companions in order to get them to all like you.
Some of them will, some of them won't - it's important to get an idea of who you want to romance early on so you can adjust your choices if need be. If your companion doesn't have a high approval of you, then romance is out of the question!
- To see a character's approval of you, head into the character sheet. You'll be able to see your companion's stats, as well as their approval of you - just below their proficiency bonus scores. Here's an example of what it looks like:
- Approval and disapproval happens the moment you start the game - if you have companions you like and want to know more, make sure you invest in actions that you know they'll approve of.
- You'll be able to tell if a companion approves by the 'Shadowheart approves'/'Lae'zel disapproves' etc, that appears at the top left hand corner of the screen.
- Some characters are polyamorous - Astarion and Lae'zel seem interested in others outside of you - but outside of Lae'zel (due to her Githyanki origins) there has been no confirmation on who.
- Companions are interested in you regardless of your gender, though Astarion has hinted that he likes both men and women, making him explicitly bisexual.
- You can flirt with more than one companion, but during the romance scene after the 'Rescue Halsin' questline, you can only pick one person to share the night with. This doesn't seem to lock you into one, specific romance, however.
- That said, companions can get jealous. For example, flirting with Shadowheart with Lae'zel right there isn't going to do you any favours!
- Your character's race and class will affect how some of your companions react to you, but it does not restrict who you can and can't romance.
- As of the initial early access launch, you can only romance one NPC that isn't a companion - more of this in our romance list later in the page.
When can you romance you companions in Baldur's Gate 3?
You can technically romance your companions the moment you meet and recruit them.
In the camp you can get to know more about them, and doing so improves your chances at romance. That said, the only companion that is remotely flirty in any way is Astarion.
That doesn't mean your companions aren't interested in you (remember, you can always check through their character sheets) but that, as of now, your companions may simply not be the flirty type.
As for when you can participate in a romantic cutscene with your chosen companion, your Baldur's Gate 3 romance only comes to fruition after completing a certain quest: Rescue Druid Halsin.
You're able to do this quest almost straight away if you ignore mostly everything else, but we don't recommend that at all. There's a lot of enemies in the game, and some of your best abilities start to appear at level 3.
If you do decide to wait and play the game naturally, the Rescue Druid Halsin quest can be completed about 15 to 20 hours in.
It's with this quest that a celebration happens at your camp and with celebration comes an opportunity for you to get to know your companions in a more intimate manner. Of course, hitting on them doesn't mean that you'll get positive results, they can turn you away if you haven't got high enough approval with them.
All current romance options in Baldur's Gate 3
Here are the romance options currently available in Baldur's Gate 3:
- Shadowheart, Female Half-Elf Cleric
- Lae'zel, Female Githyanki Fighter
- Wyll, Male Human Warlock
- Gale, Male Human Wizard
- Astarion, Male High-Elf Rogue
- Minthara, Drow Female
Your companions are complex individuals to romance in comparison to the only NPC romance we've come across, Minthara. As we've stated above, you'll need to get in their good books in order to trigger their romance scenes.
Minthara, however, is different. She is the drow woman located in the Goblin camp to the South of Act 1's map, and the only way to earn her affection - which really just means a one-night stand - is to slaughter everyone in the Druid's Grove.
You can proposition her afterwards during the party at camp (which is filled with goblins, unlike the tieflings you get if you do the Halsin quest) and when you go to lie down at camp, a sex scene with occur if you choose to go along with it.
Currently these are the only options available, but there will be more companions - and potentially more romance options - as the game continues to progress from Early Access.
How to recruit companions in Baldur's Gate 3
In Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access, you're able to recruit five different companions that are very different but are brought together through some extremely annoying, life-threatening circumstances.
They are all ridiculously good-looking, so in a way, we're thankful that there's currently only five companions to choose from right now.
Of course, as you could with Divinity Original Sin 2, you're able to play the game with just yourself for company if you so wish, meaning that the current companions are missable to a certain extent.
We don't recommend you do that, however, as the best thing about Baldur's Gate 3 are the characters that you surround yourselves with. Also, who wants to go up against 15 goblins with just one person? Madness!
The companions that can join you on your adventure are:
Lae'zel - Githyanki Fighter
Lae'zel Location: First seen on the Nautiloid ship, later found in a cage strung up by tieflings north of the crashed Nautiloid ship.
Is Lae'zel missable? Yes
You may want to make Lae'zel your Bae'zel, but first you should really ought to get to know her. She is very no-nonsense to a certain extent, values strength, and pretty much likes everything if it includes being nasty to your other companion, Shadowheart.
She doesn't take kindly to you sticking your nose in and helping everyone either.
You'll first get to know more about Lae'zel when you enter camp the first time, as well as doing her quest. As the game is in Early Access right now, some of Lae'zel's questline is shut off, but don't worry, you can still romance her all the same!
Astarion - High-Elf Rogue
Astarion Location: Past the crashed Nautiloid ship and up the hill. Astarion will call for you, so you can't miss him.
Is Astarion missable? Yes
Astarion adds a new meaning to thirst, and let us assure you that we mean that in more ways than one! Astarion is similar to Lae'zel in that he would rather not save people if he can help it.
He does have a taste for the dramatics, however, and likes it when your character is very blunt to the characters you come across.
Like the other companions, you'll get to know more about Astarion by speaking to him in and outside of camp. There is a particular night that is very...tasty, so look forward to it if you're planning to romance him!
Wyll - Human Warlock (The Fiend)
Wyll Location: At the Druid's Grove camp, near the training arena with tiefling children.
Is Wyll missable? Yes
When there is a Wyll, there's a way and if you want your way with this charming, human warlock then you're in luck! You don't have to be a jerk!
At least, not too much... Unlike other members of your group, Wyll does value compassion, especially when it comes to helping those who can't help themselves. He is protective and believes in justice for the downtrodden. But don't worry, he isn't your typical 'knight in shining armour' either. Wyll has a dark side, but will he reveal it to you?
As you progress throughout the world, you'll realize that Wyll has quite the history with goblins. Along with the camp, as well as speaking to him, we suggest further progressing the questline with the goblins to experience what makes Wyll so special.
Gale - Human Wizard
Gale Location: Above the crashed Nautiloid ship, just next to the Roadside Cliff's waypoint.
Is Wyll missable? Yes
Gale is one of the more mysterious members of your group - he is also incredibly sarcastic at times, but like Wyll, values people for the most part. He doesn't like your character belittling yourself, and despises mindless violence.
Once you get to know more about Gale - through the camp and progressing throughout the world - you'll come to realize that there's more to Gale to meet the eye. Something beautiful and, without spoiling, rather tragic, too.
Shadowheart - Half-Elf Cleric
Shadowheart Location: Directly ahead of where you wake up after the Nautiloid crash. It is very hard to miss her.
Is Shadowheart missable? Yes
If you thought Gale was a mystery, then you're going to love Shadowheart. She's a half-elf cleric who worships Shar - Mistress of the Night. She values someone who isn't too nosey and, like Astarion and Lae'zel, likes a character who doesn't go out of their way to help someone.
Despite agreeing with Lae'zel a lot, she dislikes anything positive said towards the Githyanki fighter - so be aware of that! Shadowheart seemingly has a soft spot for animals, as she approves if you help certain animals you come across.