Nov 09, 2023

How Baldur's Gate 3's stealth and sneak work

How to thrive in the shadows.

Stealth in Baldur's Gate 3 works like you'd expect if you've snuck around in other games, but a number of things can reveal you if you're not careful. A keen understanding of the RPG's stealth mechanics, stats, and stealth checks will make slipping into the shadows much easier.

Combat encounters in Baldur's Gate 3 can go from trivial to hellish quickly, especially if you ignore the many ways you can gain advantages in a fight. Stealth, which is improved by your dexterity, is one such method, allowing you to tiptoe around the battlefield and surprise enemies with an advantage to your initial attack.

"Hide" is an action that every character has from the start, but to slip past particularly perceptive enemies you'll have to successfully pass stealth checks. By default, you can force a character to Hide by pressing C as long as you're not directly in someone's vision. Shift + C will activate Hide for your entire party. The only way to break out of hiding (other than reactivating the ability) is to use an action or be caught by an enemy.

As soon as your character crouches, enemy vision is projected onto the ground in red. If you step into these zones, you'll have to pass a stealth check to go unnoticed. There are a few things that determine the odds of you passing a stealth check: your dexterity, your proficiency in stealth, the enemy's perception, and how obscured you are by the light in the environment (represented by the sun icon on your cursor).

Here's how each of them influence your stealth check dice rolls in Baldur's Gate 3:

Here are some keybinds to remember if you're planning to sneak around a lot:

Once you successfully enter stealth, you'll have several ways to use it:

Baldur's Gate 3 guide: Everything you needBaldur's Gate 3 tips: Be preparedBaldur's Gate 3 classes: Which to chooseBaldur's Gate 3 multiclass builds: Coolest combos Baldur's Gate 3 romance: Who to pursueBaldur's Gate 3 co-op: How multiplayer works

Rogues and Rangers are the only classes in Baldur's Gate 3 that can choose to be proficient in stealth and are the best choices if you want to stay hidden as much as possible. Rogue's can take the Assassin sublcass that makes sneak attacks extremely deadly on characters who haven't taken a turn yet. Other classes can enter stealth but will struggle to stay hidden while passing through an enemy's vision. Character who wear medium armor, for instance, usually have a disadvantage on stealth checks (unless you find some fancier armor later on).

When preparing for a fight, it's often a good idea to ungroup your sneakiest party member from the pack to get them in position first. It's actually possible for some members to enter turn-based combat while the rest are still in real-time, allowing them to walk around normally while enemies are frozen in time.

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Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.

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CShift + CShift (hold)Shift + SpaceF5/F8Baldur's Gate 3 guideBaldur's Gate 3 tipsBaldur's Gate 3 classesBaldur's Gate 3 multiclass buildsBaldur's Gate 3 romanceBaldur's Gate 3 co-op