Is Baldur's Gate 3 turn-based? Combat & movement explained

Is Baldur's Gate 3 turn-based? Combat & movement explained
Image via Larian Studios

Written by 

Chris Penwell


5th Sep 2023 14:32


If you're looking to dive into the rich world of Larian Studios' latest RPG, Baldur's Gate 3, you may be wondering if it features turn-based combat like in its previous Divinity titles. Luckily, we've got all you need to know.

A turn-based system in Baldur's Gate 3 might be a huge turn-off for some gamers, with many RPG series like Final Fantasy having switched to action-based combat from their traditional turn-based affair.

Find out below if Larian Studios has ventured to do the same, or if the game features a turn-based system that may appeal to old-school fans of the series.

Does Baldur's Gate 3 have a turn-based combat system?

A gameplay image of Baldur's Gate 3, which has turn-based combat
Click to enlarge
Image via Larian Studios

Yes, Baldur's Gate 3 does feature turn-based combat. As this series is based on the Dungeons & Dragons universe, players will be using the 5e ruleset from the tabletop game.

Here, you'll be rolling dice and playing tactically as you work out how much space your movement allows per turn and which of your skills will work best during a fight - you can even use objects and height in the environment to aid you. 

If you're not as keen on the turn-based combat system, however, and want to be able to get through those fights a little bit easier, there are three difficulty settings to choose from.

Does Baldur's Gate 3 have turn-based movement?

A character in Baldur's Gate 3, which does not have turn-based movement
Click to enlarge

No - by default, Baldur's Gate 3 does not have turn-based movement. This means that, whenever you're not in combat, you're free to move around the world freely and at your own pace.

You can enable the turn-based mode while outside of combat, which can be used for world traversal if you like. However, it's a very slow method of movement, and as such would only recommend using it in specific scenarios.

If you use a mouse and keyboard, the controls are still point-and-click like in other top-down RPGs. You can use more traditional movement controls if you plug in a controller.

However, if you want to use WASD to move your character, you'll need to install a mod to do it.

Action RPG alternatives to Baldur's Gate 3

dragon age 2 screenshot
Click to enlarge
Image via EA

If you want a fantasy RPG that's action-oriented instead, there are a few games like Baldur's Gate 3 that are available to you.

The Dragon Age series is a good way to go if you aren't a fan of the turn-based system in Baldur's Gate 3, with Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition having intense action RPG combat with multiple classes to choose from.

Your narrative choices account for the overall narrative direction of the game, too, and there are also romance options, just like Baldur's Gate 3. 

If you have a PS5, you should also check out Final Fantasy 16. It has an epic story and combat that will keep your heart racing during tough scenarios. While you can't influence the story like Baldur's Gate 3, the well-rounded characters and engaging writing more than make up for it. 

So that's a full rundown of whether Baldur's Gate 3 features turn-based combat. For more on Larian's latest RPG, check out our Baldur's Gate 3 homepage, or take a look at all Origin Characters in Baldur's Gate 3.

Chris Penwell
About the author
Chris Penwell
Chris Penwell is an experienced video games journalist with a Bachelor in Communications. He loves to play narrative-focused games like Kingdom Hearts and Beyond Good & Evil.
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