Should You Let The Emperor Evolve You Or Not In Baldur’s Gate 3

After going through some dialogue with Emperor in Baldur's Gate 3, you can choose whether you want him to evolve you or not.

In Baldur’s Gate 3, there will come a certain point where the Emperor will offer you a powerful upgrade in the form of a specific tadpole. After going through some dialogue with him, you can let the Emperor evolve you or not in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Moreover, the Emperor also can trigger the Tadpole’s Lifecycle next stage. You must open your mind to it and let it in for that to happen. This will result in you gaining more powerful Illithid Powers at the cost of your physical appearance in BG3.

Read on as we will discuss all the outcomes of your choices regarding this evolution in Baldur’s Gate 3.

What happens if You evolve in Baldur’s Gate 3

You encounter the Emperor at the end of the game on the Astral Plane. There you will have a lot of dialogue options with him in which he will ask you some questions. One of these would be to evolve yourself using a particular tadpole.

This will happen to be the Astral-Touched Tadpole, and as the name suggests, it will offer you access to more powerful Illithid powers. If you evolve, you will unlock the final tier of Illithid Powers.

You can use those Illithid powers, such as Fractured Psyche, Mind Sanctuary, Charisma, etc., and dominate your fights in Baldur’s Gate 3. To do that, you can simply select “Open your mind to the tadpole.” A cutscene will then play, and the tadpole will enter your mind. This way, your teammates can also take advantage of its powers.


If you had selected the option “Eat it, ” it would have played out the same outcome. However, your allies could not exploit the tadpole’s power.

The only side effect of evolving in Baldur’s Gate 3 will be related to your physical appearance. Moreover, not all team members will be pleased if you evolve in BG3.

What happens if You don’t evolve

As stated earlier, the Emperor will offer you the Astral-touched Tadpole, determining your evolution in BG3. So if you want to reject his offer and don’t want to evolve, you can choose the second option in BG3: “Please don’t evolve me.” 

The Emperor will not be displeased by your decision but will respect it. Furthermore, you will still receive the Astral-Touched Tadpole, which will be stored in your inventory for later use.

This way, you will keep your physical appearance free of the Mind Flayer’s influence. Remember to explore this option if you haven’t used the Illithid powers from the beginning. On the other hand, going with this evolution will also come with its benefits at a specific physical cost in Baldur’s Gate 3. If you are still confused about whether you should use Illithid Powers in BG3 or not, do check our guide for clarification.

Should You Evolve or Refuse the Emperor in BG3

Well, to answer this question, it is up to your personal choice, so before making this choice remember to save the game beforehand if you want to consider the other option.

That being the case, many players have been playing without using their Illithid powers from the beginning. Refusing the Emperor on this matter should not affect them that much.

However, evolving is an excellent option for you if you want are using the Illithid Powers, as it will allow you access to more powerful psionic powers in Baldur’s Gate 3. So whatever choice you make here will change your outcome and experience in BG3.

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Decade-long gaming enthusiast turned guide author, sharing insights on SegmentNext to improve your gaming experience.