The short answer is no, Baldur‘s Gate 3 is not free. It‘s a premium AAA RPG that will cost $59.99 for PC on release.
But let‘s dig deeper into the pricing, availability, content, and value that this hugely anticipated sequel offers. I‘ll provide plenty of details to help you decide if Baldur‘s Gate 3 is worth buying or waiting for a sale.
As a long-time RPG fan excited for BG3, I totally understand wanting to get this game in your hands ASAP. Who doesn‘t love free stuff, right? But sadly, even patient gamers like myself will need to put down some cash to play.
Let me walk you through what‘s included, so you can determine if the cost sounds reasonable for your budget. Stick with me, and you‘ll have all the info needed to make the right call on buying Baldur‘s Gate 3 for PC or consoles.
What‘s Included in Baldur‘s Gate 3 Early Access?
Larian Studios opened up early access for Baldur‘s Gate 3 back in October 2020. Gamers could pay to play this unfinished version early and help provide feedback for the developers.
I decided to buy early access myself to get a sneak peak. Here‘s an overview of what you‘ll get if you choose to purchase now instead of waiting for the full launch:
- Act 1 of the story, estimated 25-30 hours of content
- Playable classes: Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Wizard
- Playable races: Human, Drow Elf, High Elf, Wood Elf, Dwarf, Tiefling
- Level cap of 4 (increased from 3 at early access launch)
- Co-op for up to 4 players online and locally
- Access to the opening region and major hub city
- Core gameplay systems like combat, dialogues, narration
- Note this is unfinished and lacks a lot of planned content!
While far from the complete experience, early access gives big fans a solid chunk of content and gameplay to enjoy. All progress will carry over to the full release as well.
|Platform||Early Access Price|
As you can see, early access currently costs the same as the planned full game price. Larian Studios hasn‘t indicated if this will change when it leaves early access next year.
In my opinion, 30 hours of content justifies the price for super eager players. But more patient gamers might prefer waiting for the full game.
When is the Baldur‘s Gate 3 Release Date?
Baldur‘s Gate 3 spent over two years in early access before getting its official release date reveal. Larian Studios announced it will fully launch the game on August 31, 2023.
This lines up perfectly with the studio‘s timeline of releasing exactly three years after the early access launch in October 2020. Fans were hoping for a 2022 release, but getting a solid date locked down is still exciting news!
Mark your calendars – August 31, 2023 will be a huge day for RPG fans. We can finally experience the full vision Larian has planned for their take on Baldur‘s Gate after so many years of waiting.
How Much Will Baldur‘s Gate 3 Cost at Launch?
Larian Studios revealed that Baldur‘s Gate 3 will have a premium price point of $59.99 for PC when it releases. The same pricing is confirmed for Google Stadia and PlayStation 5, which will receive the game on August 31st alongside PC.
Here are the announced Baldur‘s Gate 3 editions and their prices:
|Standard Edition||PC, Stadia||$59.99|
|Standard Edition||PlayStation 5||$59.99|
The developer hasn‘t shared pricing details for any other console platforms yet. But expect Xbox and Nintendo Switch versions to also be $59.99 if they happen.
This matches the pricing for Larian‘s last major RPG release, Divinity: Original Sin 2. As a big-budget AAA title, BG3 was clearly positioned as premium product right from its early access launch.
While not cheap, $59.99 seems very fair for a massive RPG offering potentially over 100 hours of adventures, especially with co-op multiplayer expanding replayability.
But can we expect any discounts or sales? Let‘s dig into that next.
Will Baldur‘s Gate 3 Go on Sale?
The $59.99 price tag might be too much for some budgets. A sale could help make Baldur‘s Gate 3 more accessible after launch.
Larian‘s past RPGs have seen decent discounts within 6-12 months after release. I‘d expect to see a similar trajectory for BG3:
- Minor 10-20% discounts at launch from third-party PC game sellers
- Down to around $40-50 during holiday sales in late 2023
- Potentially 50%+ discounts by 2024 summer sales events
So if you aren‘t dying to play on day one, waiting 3-6 months could get you a nice price cut. Just add Baldur‘s Gate 3 to your wishlist and watch for deals.
However, don‘t expect the game to get any cheaper than about 50% off in the first couple years. As a prime RPG release, Larian will want to retain value.
Can You Play Baldur‘s Gate 3 on Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass has become a phenomenal deal for gamers. The Netflix-style subscription provides access to hundreds of games for just $9.99-$14.99 per month.
Is it possible Baldur‘s Gate 3 will come to Game Pass? Here‘s an overview of what we know:
- Larian Studios hasn‘t announced plans to bring it to Game Pass yet
- The company‘s previous RPGs like Divinity: Original Sin 2 never released on Game Pass
- But other major RPGs like Pillars of Eternity 2 have been added
- Game Pass often sees third-party games join 1-2 years after launch
Based on these factors, I‘d say Game Pass odds aren‘t super high, at least not right away. But down the road after release, it‘s very possible.
For now, treat any Game Pass appearance as a nice potential bonus later rather than an expected option at launch.
Does Baldur‘s Gate 3 Support Mods?
One of my personal favorite parts of Larian RPGs is the incredible mod support the developers provide. Modding allows communities to fix issues, customize the experience, and create their own content.
Larian fully understands the importance of mod support for in-depth PC RPGs like this. For proof, just look at the awesome mod scene around Divinity: Original Sin 2!
The studio confirmed Baldur‘s Gate 3 will receive full modding tools and support for PC gamers. But rather than at launch, the modkit will come sometime after release.
This is smart as it lets Larian focus on polishing the base game first. Once BG3 is out in the wild, modders will be able to tweak existing content to their heart‘s desire and create brand new adventures.
The possibilities will be endless! Mod support is a huge win that will keep the game feeling fresh and active for many years. Larian has a great track record here.
What New Video Game Features Does Baldur‘s Gate 3 Offer?
If you‘ve played classic CRPGs like the original Baldur‘s Gate 1 & 2, you‘ll notice some major gameplay innovations in Baldur‘s Gate 3. Let‘s break down the biggest changes:
New Camera Perspective
- Shifts from traditional isometric to third-person over-the-shoulder
- Offers more immersive exploration and conversations
- Replaces real-time with pause combat systems
- Adds tactical depth with turns, action points, and bonuses
- New ability to freely jump, climb, and shove objects/NPCs
- Higher level of environmental interaction
- Huge graphical improvements thanks to modern technology
- Detailed high-fidelity 3D world and characters
More Cinematic Storytelling
- Cutscenes and conversations feature more camera work
- Cinematic dialogue sequences
- Lip syncing and expressive facial animations
These changes modernize core elements of the classic formula while keeping the vital spirit intact. This is a true next-generation evolution!
How Does Character Creation and Progression Work?
Building a character is one of my favorite parts of any RPG. I love having the tools to create a hero tailored to my personality and playstyle.
Baldur‘s Gate 3 already provides an incredible amount of depth even in early access. Here‘s an overview of what you can expect:
Races – Currently 6 playable races covering all core classes, with more to come.
Classes – 6 main classes so far with more planned, plus ability to multiclass later.
Attributes – The classic D&D ability scores like Strength, Dexterity, etc to configure.
Backgrounds – Fleshed out backstories that impact dialogue options and story reactivity.
Appearance – Extensive customization of facial features, hair, accessories, body type, and more.
Skills – Specializations like Athletics, Acrobatics, Stealth, and an added custom skill.
Leveling – Classic XP progression system allowing you to unlock new skills and abilities.
The depth of tools provided already for early access is incredible. The final game promises to expand this even further to match the full flexibility of tabletop D&D 5th Edition.
Will Baldur‘s Gate 3 Have Multiplayer and Co-Op?
Exploring epic adventures with friends is a timeless joy. Baldur‘s Gate 3 absolutely plans to include both online and local co-op multiplayer.
In co-op, each person will control one of the four protagonist party members. You‘ll need to work together, make decisions as a team, and plan tactics in combat scenarios.
There will also be a Game Master mode where one player takes the role of DM controlling all NPCs and storybeats. Your friends would control the player characters.
This sounds incredibly fun and a smart adaptation of the tabletop RPG experience. Co-op will add tons of replay value and let groups roleplay creatively.
Baldur‘s Gate 3 vs Divinity: Original Sin 2 – How Do They Compare?
As Larian Studios‘ last major RPG release, Divinity: Original Sin 2 makes a great comparator to get an idea of what to expect in Baldur‘s Gate 3.
There are a lot of strong similarities between the two:
- Turn-based tactical combat
- Mixed party with origin characters
- Co-op multiplayer support
- Sarcastic and quirky sense of humor
- Freedom in character builds
- Interactive environments
However, the shift to D&D rules and Forgotten Realms fantasy setting makes BG3 very much its own thing. And it pushes the ambition and production values even further as a triple-A project.
Fans of DoS2 should feel right at home. But BG3 aims to deliver an even greater roleplaying experience.
Why Premium RPGs Are Worth Supporting
As gamers, we all love finding great deals and saving money where possible. But for truly special experiences like Baldur‘s Gate 3, I believe paying full price is worthwhile to support the developers.
Larian Studios clearly poured endless passion, talent, and resources into delivering their dream RPG. By purchasing at launch, we encourage them to keep making more amazing games we love.
Of course this is just my two cents! Every gamer should decide for themselves what threshold feels right. But with 100+ hours of adventure in hand, I‘m happy to pay $60 for this work of art.
Great art isn‘t free – nor should it be. But it‘s absolutely worth paying for.
The Bottom Line – Should You Buy Baldur‘s Gate 3?
If you‘ve made it this far, hopefully you now have a detailed overview of what Baldur‘s Gate 3 offers and what to expect from pricing to content.
For RPG fans, especially those who enjoyed classic CRPGs like Baldur‘s Gate or modern hits like Divinity: Original Sin 2, I can‘t recommend Baldur‘s Gate 3 enough.
Larian Studios has achieved something truly special here in translating the beloved tabletop Dungeons & Dragons experience into a rich, layered video game. This is an RPG fan‘s dream come true.
Is it worth buying at full price? For me, absolutely. Considering the sheer scale and quality of adventure provided, $60 is a bargain for the memories you‘ll make. And that‘s not even factoring in multiplayer replays!
However, if your budget is tight, waiting for a sale in 2023 into 2024 is perfectly reasonable too. Baldur‘s Gate 3 will deliver whenever you play. But fair warning – the hype will be hard to avoid!
For those excited to support Larian‘s work or hop in early, even the unfinished early access is solid. But at the end of the day, the full edition releasing August 31, 2023 will be the definitive Baldur‘s Gate 3 experience no RPG fan should miss.
See you in the Forgotten Realms! But bring your coin purse – this incredible journey won‘t come free.