Baldur’s Gate 3 is a larger-than-life RPG bringing the tabletop gaming experience to PCs and the PS5. The ability to play with three friends in a four-player multiplayer environment is a huge draw for many to play BG3.
The interesting part is that not only your friends can play with you, but you can also invite random players to your party through open sessions. On top of that, Couch Co-op is also featured in the game, making a local multiplayer practice possible.
But before diving into the nitty gritty of different multiplayer modes and aspects, knowing how the co-op and multiplayer system works in Baldur’s Gate 3 is important.
How Co-op works in BG3
Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a four-player online co-op, a two-player split-screen co-op, and a lot in between, including combo co-op.
BG3 is not a usual online game, which forces you to interact with other players in the co-op environment for gameplay progress. Even in the co-op mode, you can roam around and make decisions like a single player. Your friends may be engaged in a turn-based fight while you are busy exploring a rather peaceful region on the other corner of the map.
The co-op system works in a host-controlled scenario. You will not be allowed to jump in and out of a particular lobby with your chosen character. Your character in BG3 is associated with the save files on the host’s end instead of your account.
So, if you decide to join an already established lobby, you must select one of the available party companions as your character. The host decides all the dialogue options, while companions can only suggest their choices as votes.
It is also important to note that once a player’s character has been created as a party member, removing them is impossible. It will require you to erase the whole save file collection. You must go to the one where they have not joined the lobby yet.
How to play co-op with friends in Baldur’s Gate 3
To play online co-op in Baldur’s Gate 3,
- One of the players in your group needs to choose the multiplayer option in the main menu.
- Select Create at the bottom of the screen to make a lobby.
- In Online Visibility from the Lobby Settings menu, choose Friends only.
- Now, invite friends to join the created lobby.
When the game starts, each player will have the opportunity to create a character. Alternatively, they can choose an Origin character from the given choices. If your friends join later, they can create a custom character but not play as a pre-made origin player.
Now, the host can save, and when they do, they create a point where you can load back whenever you want to re-enter that campaign. When you re-enter, the host will assign characters to everyone. Or you will get assigned automatically. Then, you will start from right where you left off.
Finally, remember that you can switch hosts by sending the saved file to a friend.
How to play couch co-op in BG3
As for local/ couch co-op, you must play on the same system using controllers to access this feature.
- Instead of choosing a multiplayer game, start a New game.
- Once you’re at the character creation menu, press X or A, depending on your controller, and you will be on a split-screen.
Once you return to play in this campaign again, activate your second controller, and you will be in couch co-op mode. Similar to online co-op, if your friend gets added to the split-screen later, they will have to make their character from scratch and won’t be able to select an original character.
If you are trying to split-screen in the game’s PC version, use DirectX 11 instead of Vulkan. The split-screen feature does not work on Vulkan. And if you want to know whether it should be Directx or Vulkan for Baldur’s Gate 3, we have a guide, which you should check out.
How multiplayer works in BG3
In the game settings, turning on the multiplayer option will allow others to join your lobby as random players in Baldur’s Gate 3. As a host, you can take control of companions in your party and move them around as you please.
Like the online co-op, the main host can assign different characters to the players as soon as they join. The host can even assign different companions for you to control while still being the sole decision-maker of dialogue choices himself. The guests will still be able to see others joining or voting in the dialogue options without being able to interfere in his matters.
How to play multiplayer in Baldur’s Gate 3
To start playing multiplayer in BG3, do the following steps.
- Choose the Multiplayer option from the game’s main menu
- Select Create to make a lobby
- In Online Visibility from the Lobby Settings menu, choose Anybody.
Now, any random player from the online world can hop into your lobby and play as a guest. The rules of this random setting will be the same as those of co-op, where the host is the decision-maker and guests play their roles as companions.