CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Baldur's Gate 3 on PS5 and Xbox: 5 Starter Tips You Should Know

Console gamers are about to have a real RPG experience.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
Expertise Video Games, Misinformation, Conspiracy Theories, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Movies, TV, Economy, Stocks
Oscar Gonzalez
3 min read
Close up of Jaheira from baldur's gate 3
Larian Studios

Baldur's Gate 3 is now out on PlayStation 5 and soon to be released on Xbox Series consoles. The computer role-playing game, or CPRG, won over gamers and critics when it came out in August, and it'll give console gamers something usually not found on home consoles. 

CPRGs are a unique experience. As the name implies, they're primarily available on PCs. Baldur's Gate 3 is very intricate -- it has its own rules, based closely on the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game, making it much more complex than console RPGs like Final Fantasy 16 or Starfield.

All of this means console gamers might be overwhelmed playing Baldur's Gate 3, but that anxiety can be quelled by knowing a few tips going in.  

Here's what console gamers should know before playing Baldur's Gate 3. 

Save and save again 

Autosaving is a common practice in modern games, meaning you rarely have to think about saving your progress -- the game does it for you. Although there are autosave points in Baldur's Gate 3, they're not as frequent as the important decisions you make. 

Every conversation, battle and random occurrence in the world can possibly determine a different branch in the game's story or the future of your party. Saving often will give you the option to reload a save if you aren't happy with the outcome.

Think outside the box

Most RPGs require players to use weapons, magic and items to defeat enemies, but Baldur's Gate 3 takes offensive options a step further. For example, each character has the ability to push an enemy, which will move them back a space. This doesn't do any damage, but if the battle has enemies on a cliff or ledge, your character can push the enemy off and they'll die from fall damage. 

Crates, barrels and other items can also be picked up off the ground and thrown at enemies. Need to heal a character during a fight, but they're too far away? Throw a healing potion at them. There are numerous options available when battling in Baldur's Gate 3 and it pays to be creative. 

Don't spam spells

Magic is powerful in Baldur's Gate 3, but it's not just about doing more damage. It can have tons of different effects on enemies, from making them go to sleep to having them constantly slip on a sheet of ice. These can help turn the tide of battle more effectively than a few points of damage. 

The thing is, magic is very limited. Unlike your typical RPG where casting a spell requires a certain amount of magic points or mana, Baldur's Gate 3 has spell slots at different levels, with level 1 magic being weaker than level 4. A caster can use only so many of those spells per level, with level 1 being the most plentiful. Early on, casters will have just two or three spell slots in total, meaning that once they cast that same number of spells, they're out, and they won't be able to cast more magic until they rest. This is why coming up with a proper battle plan is so important. 

Rest often

In a lot of RPGs, resting isn't really necessary unless your party is on the brink of death, but in Baldur's Gate 3, battles can deplete the party of important resources. Resting is vital because it's the most efficient way to heal and replenish spells. 

There are short rests and long rests. Short rests allow characters to heal, regain certain abilities and health, and can be done twice a day. Long rests completely heal characters and replenish spells, while progressing the in-game time by one day. These rests require supplies that can be found throughout the game. Don't worry that you're going to run out of supplies early on -- getting your spell slots back is much more valuable.

Stay proficient

Every character is proficient in certain weapons and armor. For example, Astarion, the elf rogue that can join your party, is an expert with daggers and wears light armor. However, if you try to give him chainmail and a huge claymore sword, he's going to miss his attacks, since he's not proficient with those kinds of weapons and armor. Check their character sheet and stick with what the character knows instead of giving them whatever armor or weapons have the higher stats. 

Baldur's Gate 3 is out on Steam for $60 and on PS5 for $70. No date has been set for an Xbox release, but it's expected to happen before the end of the year.