Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (2024)

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (1)

Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3) offers five different difficulty modes called Explorer, Balanced, Tactician, Honor, and Custom. Read on to learn more about the differences between each difficulty setting as well as the best difficulty to play on for your playthrough!

List of Contents

  • Difficulty Setting Differences
  • Explorer Difficulty
  • Balanced Difficulty
  • Tactician Difficulty
  • Honor Mode
  • Custom Mode
  • Does the Difficulty Affect the Story?
  • Are There Difficulty Achievements?
  • Related Guides

Difficulty Setting Differences in Baldur's Gate 3

Explorer Allows You to Enjoy the Story

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (2)

Explorer Difficulty Features

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (3) +2 Proficiency Bonus at the Start of the Game

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (4) Up to 40% Gold Discount from Vendors

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (5) Party Members Have More HP

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (6) All NPCs have less HP

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (7) Easier Combat Encounters

Explorer difficulty is the Baldur's Gate 3 experience for players who are in it primarly for the story. Simply put, Explorer difficulty offers easier combat and faster ways to get Gold so that players can focus on roleplaying rather than gaming during their playthrough.

When playing on Explorer difficulty, you will get a higher proficiency bonus (+4 at level 1), easier skill checks, discounted prices from vendors, increased HP scaling for your party, and decreased HP for all NPCs in the game (yes, even the friendly ones).

Balanced is the Base DnD Experience

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (8)

Explorer Difficulty Features

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (9) Regular Proficiency Bonus Scaling

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (10) No Gold Discounts

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (11) Party Members Have Regular HP Scaling

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (12) NPCs have the Normal Amount of HP

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (13) Combat is Challenging but Not Punishing

Players who enjoy the lows as much as the highs will feel right at home when playing on the Balanced difficulty setting. This is the base difficulty for Baldur's Gate 3, offering a true DnD experience where your wins and losses hinge on that one crucial dice throw.

Basically, Balanced difficulty is Explorer with all of the benefits removed. HP scaling is normal, vendors only give discounts if they like you, and combat pits you against enemy AI that are competent but not overly punishing.

HP and Hit Dice Guide

Tactician is a Campaign With a Brutal Ruleset

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (14)

Tactician Difficulty Features

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (15) Regular Proficiency Bonus Scaling

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (16) 30% Increase in Prices from Vendors

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (17) Party Members Have Regular HP Scaling

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (18) All NPCs have more HP

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (19) Enemy AI Punishes You for Mistakes in Combat

If you're looking for a challenge then Tactician difficulty will probably be the setting for you. In this mode, combat will be much more brutal as the enemy AI will be much more responsive, punishing you for your mistakes by always going in for the kill. If you end a turn beside a high ledge for example, you best believe one of your foes will try to shove you.

On top of the increased combat difficulty, Tactician will also bump up the vendor's prices as well as the hit points of all NPCs in the world. In this mode, you will be truly challenged to get creative since, more often than not, your party will always be on the back foot if you decide to settle scenarios via combat.

Honor is for the Most Experienced Players

Honor Mode Difficulty Features

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (20) Bosses are Stronger and Have Legendary Actions

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (21) Stricter Rules for Action Economy and Bonuses

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (22) Single Save File

Honor Mode, which was introduced in Patch 5, ups the difficulty past Tactician. This is meant to provide the hardest challenge to the most seasoned players as enemies are stronger and gameplay is slightly tweaked. There are also no do-overs, as you can't reload older saves with the single save file.

Honor Mode Changes and Rewards

Custom Mode

Custom Mode, also added in Patch 5, allows for more flexibility to adjust difficulty as you can change options to suit the experience you want. Some options include the ablility to hide the required roll for dice checks and the ability to hide enemy HP. However, you cannot adjust the options after you've started a game in custom mode anymore.

Custom Mode Options

Does the Difficulty Affect the Story?

No, Difficulty Does Not Affect the Story

Your chosen difficulty setting will not affect the overall story of Baldur's Gate 3. However, since dialogue and skill checks lean towards success on Explorer compared to Balanced and Tactician, do expect some slightly varied conversations and outcomes when playing on a higher difficulty.

Are There Difficulty Achievements?

Tactician Mode has an Achievement

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (23)Critical Hit Complete the Game in Tactician Mode.

The Tactician difficulty has a Steam achievement tied to it. Players aiming to get this achievement should probably avoid switching difficulties mid-game so as not to affect their saves partway through their run. Once you finish the game on Tactician, you will get the achievement, Critical Hit.

Honor Mode Rewards a Special Dice

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (24)Foehammer Complete the Game in Honor Mode.

Completing Honor Mode rewards the Foehammer achievement and a special Golden D20 dice that can be used in succeeding playthroughs.

Update 5 Patch Notes

Baldur's Gate 3 Related Guides

Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (25)

Baldur's Gate 3 Beginner's Guide

All Beginner Guides
Class Tier List DX11 vs Vulkan
Scuffed Rock Location: Hidden Cache Rewards Difficulty Setting Differences
Fall Damage Guide Guardian Explained
Where to Get the Wolf Rune All Companions and Types
All Illithid Parasite Locations Soul Coin Guide
All Infernal Iron Locations Best Adamantine Item
Noblestalk Location What to Do With the Iron Flask
Crafting Guide How to Use the Flower Key
Glossary Guides
Proficiency Bonus Guide Advantage and Disadvantage Guide
Difficulty Class Guide Armor Class Guide
High Ground Guide HP and Hit Dice Guide
Bonus Action Guide Alchemy Guide
FAQ and How-To Guides
What is Concentration? What is the Max Level?
Is BG3 Multiplayer? Is There a Split-Screen Feature?
Should You Enable Karmic Dice? What is Opportunity Attack?
How Many Party Members Can You Have? Should You Sell or Keep the Owlbear Egg?
Do Illithid Powers Have Consequences? What Does Add to Wares Do?
What is Saving Throw? How to Mod BG3
How to Pause the Game Is There a Bag of Holding?
How to Shove How to Go to the Camp
How to Highlight Objects How to Get to the Underdark
How to Solve the Silent Library Puzzle How to Multiclass and Best Class Combos
How to Jump and Increase Jump Distance How to Destroy Destructible Objects
How to Turn Off the Arcane Turrets Death Saving Throws: How to Help Incapacitated Allies
How to Use and Cast Spells How to Sneak: Stealing and Pickpocket Guide
How to Respec Your Character How to Get to Last Light Inn
How to Fix Top Down Camera View How to Use a Torch
How to Get to the Grymforge How to Recruit Hirelings
How to Buy and Sell Items from NPCs How to Get to the Shadow-Cursed Lands
How to Revive Fallen Allies How to Adjust the Camera
How to Get a Sussur Tree Bark How to Use Non-Lethal Attacks
How to Farm Gold Fast How to Get to Moonrise Towers
How to Learn New Spells How to Stack Objects
How to Infiltrate Shattered Sanctum How to Save / Quick Save
How to Find and Dig Up Dirt Mounds Should You Invite Yenna to Your Camp?
Where to Find Dammon How to Get to the Last Light Inn Basem*nt
How to Use the Strange Chunk of Amber How to Get to Thorm Mausoleum
Best Difficulty Settings and Differences | Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)|Game8 (2024)

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