How To Disable The Steel Watch In Baldur’s Gate 3

In Baldur's Gate 3, Disable the Steel Watch is a quest that will see you liberate some slave Gondians and destroy Gortash's source of power.

Disable the Steel Watch quest is part of a much larger “Get Gortash’s Netherstones” quest during Act 3 of Baldur’s Gate 3. This quest will pit you against one of the three main antagonists of the game, Lord Enver Gortash and his army of Steel Watchers. 

This is a very difficult quest that requires both finesse and strength. Before starting this quest, we recommend having party members with haste, portal, and misty step spells. Disable the Steel Watch quest is prone to many bugs, especially if you try to skip Gortash’s Coronation. Make sure that you follow the steps precisely.

How to acquire Disable the Steel Watch quest in Baldur’s Gate 3

There are three ways to pick up Disable the Steel Watch quest.  

  • Accepting Orin’s offer to side with her against Gortash.
  • Siding with Wulbren against Gondians.
  • Simply stumbling across the Steel Watch Foundry on your own. 

Before you proceed, you need to remember the reactive nature of Baldur’s Gate 3. Disabling Steel Watch has major repercussions throughout the game. As such, completing this quest will impact or outright lock you out of completing some other quests. Certain characters will die immediately, and city areas will become hostile.

Quests affected by disabling the Steel Watch

Rescue the Grand Duke: Grand Duke Ravengard is a prisoner at Iron Throne. Destroying the Steel Watch before rescuing him will kill him, thus failing Rescue the Grand Duke’s quest. 

Blades of the Frontier: Duke Ravengard is Wyll’s father, and if you disable Steel Watch before saving him, he will die, thus making it impossible to finish Wyll’s Find the Way to Ansur quest

Avenge the Drowned: There will be no submarine under Flymm’s Cargo to take you to the Iron Throne if you destroy the Steel Watch first. Everyone in the prison dies, locking you out of Avenge the Drowned quest

Gortash’s Coronation: Disabling Steel Watch before Gortash’s coronation messes up the game in a big way narratively. Many things won’t make any sense; Gortash and Grand Duke Ravengard die, so it could lead to quest bugs or confuse the hell out of you. Ensure you visit Wyrm’s Rock Fortress and attend the coronation before completing Disable the Steel Watch in Baldur’s Gate 3.

How to complete Disable the Steel Watch quest in Baldur’s Gate 3

There are two ways to complete this quest. The first one ignores everything, and you will end up blowing Steel Watch Foundry, destroying many other side quests.  

However, we went with a good and diplomatic playstyle so we will be guiding you through that process and try to save as many people as possible before destroying the Steel Watch Foundry.

1. Obtain Runepowder bomb from Wulbren

If you decide to side with Wulbren by saving him from Moonrise Towers during Act 2, you can approach him and ask for help. He now lives in Ironhand Hideout in Rivington and is the leader of Ironhand Deep Gnomes. He will welcome you gladly and, upon proper persuasion, will offer a Runepowder bomb, powerful enough to destroy the Steel Watch Foundry.

2. Infiltrate the Steel Watch

Now, you need to find the Steel Watch Foundry. You may use the Grey Harbour docks waypoint to reach it. Lockpick the main Gate and advance further into the premises. If lockpicking is not an option, stack up some boxes on the right side of the perimeter wall, climb them, and then jump the fence to reach the main door.

You will encounter the Steel Watchers surrounding the Foundry in Baldur’s Gate 3. You can defeat them or try sneaking past them to the Gate by using an Invisibility potion. They are formidable foes with 206HP each. They are impervious to physical attacks and only electrical attacks can hurt them. A cutscene will show Gondian Lowa asking for relaxation in her work at the Steel Watch Foundry.

3. Find and talk to Zanner Toobin

To get to Zanner Toobin, first, you need to defeat the first wave of Bane Cultists. Make sure to defeat them fast, as their leader will use a device to kill the Gondians. Once defeated, he will drop the device known as the Motivator. You need to disable this device, or it will end up killing all Gondians inside the Steel Watch by detonating their collars. It will also kill all the captives inside Iron Throne, resulting in failing a lot of side quests.

Then take a left into the Steel Watch Foundry until you reach the Security office. Navigate the area, and you will find Zanner Toobin close by. He is a blind Gondian and will brief you about Gondian families held captive by Lord Enver Gortash inside the Iron Throne prison. You can offer him a helping hand by selecting the right options from the dialogues. In return, he will agree to help you in destroying the Steel Watch Foundry.

There is a possibility that Toobin won’t talk to you if you killed the Gondian slaves to get here. In that case, you must pickpocket him and read his journal. This will skip past the Save the Gondians quest, as now you have the code to disable Steel Watch.

Upon accepting Zanner Toobin’s request, you will unlock another quest in Baldur’s Gate 3, “Save the Gondians.” Your objective will be to find the Iron Throne prison and free the prisoners from there.

4. Save the Gondians from Iron Throne prison

After that, take the staircase leading you below into the security office towards the Lab level. A short battle takes place where you must kill the second wave of Bane Cultists, aka Steel Watchers. 

Afterward, locate a “Vessel Identified” document that will give you a clue about Iron Throne prison. The document lies on a shelf, and you can find it by climbing the ladder near the Control Centre Antechamber. Then, travel back to Flymm’s Cargo and kill the enemies that are present there.

Proceed left inside the cargo and you will find the basement entrance. Go straight ahead until you find a submersible. Talk to the guard and persuade him to take you to the Iron Throne prison.

After taking the submersible, a cutscene will show Lord Gortash warning about the repercussions if you ever go near the Iron Throne prison. After getting into the Iron Throne, you must save as many hostages as possible with only 6 turns at your disposal. The whole prison will blow up if you don’t leave it before finishing the sixth turn. However, it is not easy, as multiple enemies will spawn to stop you from saving the hostages.

We recommend that you save Duke Ravengard and Omeluum on a priority basis. Save as many Gondians as you can. If you are having difficulty, change the difficulty to explorer to get eight turns and tone down enemies a bit. You can also take Mizora’s deal at the expense of sacrificing Wyll, but we strictly recommend against it.

5. Disable the Steel Watch Foundry

Now that you have rescued the Gondians, you will have more choices about how you want to destroy the Steel Watch in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Return to the Steel Watch Foundry, and you will find that Gondians and their leader, Barcus Wroot, have decided to rebel against their slavers. Make sure to disable all the Motivators that Steel Watchers drop once defeated. After defeating the opponents, talk to Zanner Toobin. He will inform you about the Neurocitor and ask you to lead him there to disable the Steel Watch in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Go to the Steel Watch chamber by taking the staircase in the Security Office. At the Lab Level, locate Hahns Rives, retrieve the control lever key from his dead body, and unlock the Control Centre Antechamber. If you have the Runepowder bomb at your disposal, you can use it at this point without hurting any other side quests.

Guarding the Chamber is another giant boss, Steel Watcher Titan. He has massive HP and attack power. Brace yourself for a tough fight. After the boss is defeated, talk to Zanner Toobin once more.

Here, you have two choices: you can either use the Runepowder bomb to destroy the place or ask Toobin to destroy the Steel Watch. The choice is yours, depending on how your game has progressed so far. So even if you don’t want to or were unable to save the Gondians, you can still destroy the Steel Watch.

Similarly, if you didn’t save Wulbren or don’t have the Runepowder bomb, you can ask Zanner Toobin to disable the Steel Watch.

Whatever method you choose will disable all Steel Watchers across the city once the factory blows up. This also locks you out of siding with Gortash against Orin. Personally, we recommend asking Toobin to destroy the Steel Watch. This way, you can keep the extremely powerful Runepowder bomb and use it later. We found it to be quite handy in the final fight against the Elder Brain.

Once you go outside, you will notice Wulbren standing there with his gnome army and wanting to kill the remaining Gondians you saved. You can broker a peace treaty at this point, but you can only recruit either Gondians or Gnomes during the Gather Your Allies quest.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...