How To Play Baldur’s Gate 3 Multiplayer Co-op

The Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer and co-op options allow you to experience the game alongside your friends and even random people. But knowing how to set it up and how it works is the key.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a larger-than-life RPG bringing tabletop gaming experience to PCs, PS5, and XBSX. The ability to play with three other friends or people in a four-player multiplayer environment is a huge draw for many to play Baldur’s Gate 3.

The interesting part is that not only can your friends 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.

How multiplayer works in BG3

Multiplayer in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a bit different from other games. It works exactly like a DnD 5e board game. The person who is hosting the game has control over everything. If you are the host, you have access to the save file. This is exactly like having the board game set up in your house with all the pieces. 

Other people who join your multiplayer game are like friends and visitors who must come to your place to progress their campaign. This means if you are a visitor in someone else’s session, you won’t have access to the character that you have created on your PC or PS5. All the progress and characters are tied to the save file, not the accounts from which the players are playing.  

However, the host can pass the save file to anyone, and they can use it to play solo or host the next session. This is akin to physically bringing your board game to another place and handing over the responsibility to them. Below is a detailed explanation of how multiplayer works and how you can set it up for Baldur’s Gate 3. 

Before proceeding with how we want to clear up the rules for multiplayer co-op. These rules remain the same whether you are playing with friends or anonymous people. 

  • People joining the campaign can select an origin character only if they join at the start of the campaign. 
  • If someone joins mid-campaign, they can only use custom characters from the character creation screen. 
  • As a guest, you can’t take your character to another save file. Your character is bound to the save file of the host. 
  • You can switch hosts by passing the save file around
  • Jumping halfway will instantly match you or anyone with the host’s character level. There is no need to level up to match the levels. 
  • As of patch 2, the host can continue the campaign alone and control your characters. The host can even remove the multiplayer co-op partners with the help of Withers. 
  • Co-op players can wander and participate in activities. However, the main campaign is tied to the host’s progress. 
  • You can give your feedback or vote if someone else initiates a conversation. However, you can’t choose for them as the power lies with their character. 
  • Loot is rare, and you must all agree on who will use a particular item. 
  • Your dialogue choices and romance scenes are hidden from your party members unless you make them visible from the options. 
  • You can’t romance a multiplayer co-op partner in Baldur’s Gate 3. 

Multiplayer co-op with friends

To play multiplayer co-op in Baldur’s Gate 3, 

  • Choose the multiplayer option from 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 from the Steam list to join the created lobby. 
  • If you are playing with friends who own a GOG copy, simply share ServerID with them. This will enable your friends to join the current session.

Multiplayer co-op with anonymous people

Baldur’s Gate 3 can be played co-op with anonymous people in Multiplayer mode. Follow the steps to set up a unique Dnd session.  

  • 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. This will allow anyone to hop into your game as a companion. 

How couch co-op works in Baldur’s Gate 3

Couch co-op in Baldur’s Gate 3 allows you to play the game on one system with a split screen. However, this mode is more suited for consoles like PS5 as it is controller-exclusive. Both people should be using controllers to play couch co-op. 

On PS5 and Xbox series S/X, this requirement gets a bit steep as both people need to log in with their own accounts using their controllers.   

  • Instead of choosing a multiplayer game, start a New Game. 
  • Once you’re at the character creation menu, press X on the PS5 controller or A on an Xbox controller, and you will be on the split-screen menu. 

Once you return to play this campaign again, activate your second controller, and you will be in couch co-op mode. Like 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 play in split-screen on the 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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-op in Baldur’s Gate 3

While being unique in nature, Baldur’s Gate 3 multiplayer has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Tabletop RPGs are meant to be played with friends. The more, the merrier. Instead of deciding everything by yourself, you will have sentient people making decisions. 
  • It becomes a lot easier to focus on one character (your own) than managing the whole party. 
  • Some of the best friendships are made during online multiplayer gaming sessions. Period. 
  • The lack of items via loot creates a moral dilemma for the team. Multiple parties can desire a weapon or a piece of armor, and it can lead to a rift. 
  • You can plan another session with a friend or go through a planned campaign easily. This can’t be said about people you just met and having different routines. Arranging a DnD session is always a headache. 
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Usman is an Associate Editor at Segmentnext who is obsessed with retro gaming. His love for video games begins all the way back in 91 with Final Fight on arcades and is still going strong ...