baldur's gate 3 romance guide

Baldur’s Gate 3 Romance Guide | A Guide to Each Possible Romance

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I’ve frittered away more hours with Elden Ring than I care to admit, but rather than going in for New Game Plus number four, I’ve let FromSoftware’s spearheading RPG alone for another behemoth (at least until the DLC!).

I’d say that much more so than in other games of the same genre, the world is truly your oyster in Baldur’s Gate 3. Who you want to be and what you want to do is limited only by your imagination — just like the tabletop game that inspired it. 

A crucial part of enacting these boundless choices are the characters you can bring along for the ride, each wholly distinct in their personalities, backstories, and motivations, and with fates that usually sit within the palm of the player’s hand.

One aspect we’re all having a lot of fun with is the romance system. You have the potential to provoke utter repulsion or steal a companion’s heart away, but as is the case in the real world, sentient beings and their feelings tend to be pretty complicated.

Say the wrong thing and they might get the formidable ‘ick’; kick a squirrel to death, and certain characters will fall for you hard.

In this article, I’ll be your digital dating coach for the Forgotten Realms. First, we’ll go over the basics of how the approval system works, and then I’ll get into everything you need to know to trigger those all-important romantic cutscenes.

Bottom Line Up Front

If you’re in a rush, here’s the general rule of thumb to seduce each main party member.

  • Astarion  Embrace your violent side and be unnecessarily cruel and manipulative to all.
  • Karlach  Maintain a strong moral compass and show compassion and loyalty.
  • Lae’zel Show that you are unwaveringly fierce in battle and prepared to solve most problems with the sword.
  • Wyll  Be noble and selfless, and resist the temptations that he was unable to.
  • Gale Embrace the finer points of your character and showcase your intelligence, skills with magic, and alignment with the more philosophical aspects of life.
  • Halsin  Display a deep connection with nature and be kind to all living beings.
  • Shadowheart Show her your witty and sarcastic side; prove yourself with your ability to persuade and work others with your words for a diplomatic solution to a problem.

How Romancing Works

Before we delve into the idiosyncrasies of each character, here’s a quick look at the nuts and bolts of the romance system in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Recruiting

With the exception of Jaheira and Minsc, any party member you recruit has the potential to be romanced, and there’s no restriction on race or gender.

The opportunity to recruit characters will be offered to you organically, and your relationship with them can start before you officially bring them over. You won’t necessarily get them to join you straight away, and for certain members, it may be a long while before you can induct them into your group. Once they’re recruited, they’ll come to live with you back in camp.

Your active party can only consist of four members at a time (including you), and while romance scenes usually take place back at camp, you’ll want to bring along whichever member you want to romance on quests with you: This is your opportunity to showcase your best qualities.

Approval Ratings: Likes and Dislikes

So, while you and your crush are out adventuring, how do you know you’re wooing them?

Approval ratings are at the heart of a successful romance in Bladur’s Gate 3, and they can be viewed separately for each character on their respective character sheet menus. The rating will start at Neutral and move either way throughout the game depending on your behavior. There are seven levels in total:

Very LowLowNeutralMediumHighVery HighExceptional: Once the approval rating drops below Very Low, the character will decide to leave your company for good.

baldur’s gate 3 romance guide approval rating
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

Most things you do and say cause each present member of your party to express approval or disapproval, and this is displayed immediately in the left-hand corner of the screen when the opinion is formed.

approval and dissaproval baldur’s gate 3 romance
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

A character’s approval rating is determined by how well you align with their personal likes and dislikes.

Each character has a range of preferences in this regard, and you can ensure getting them to like you by avoiding actions you know or suspect they’ll disapprove of, positively furthering their own narrative arcs through their respective quests, and performing actions that intrinsically appeal to their nature and moral compass.

These three points often intertwine, and a big part of the fun is building a picture of what makes that character tick and then acting accordingly.

Whether or not a character reacts to your immediate actions depends on whether they’re in earshot. Leave them back at camp, and companions won’t display approval or disapproval — at least not acutely. They’ll still come to learn of and form opinions on the big decisions in the game, even if they’re not present when you make them.

Romance Cutscenes

The approval level at which someone will be willing to romance you can be different for each character: Some will approach you with a Neutral rating but most require considerably higher. As things progress between you and your approval rating with them goes up, more flirtatious dialogue options will usually become available.

The best place to encounter these specific dialogues is back at camp, where there’s no imminently pressing objective to get in the way. For most characters, you won’t get to this stage until you’ve progressed somewhat with their specific companion questlines after Act Two.

You should also make sure to watch out for exclamation marks around a character, as these denote them wishing to talk with you about something.

baldur’s gate 3 romance cutscenes
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

Once you’ve entered into a romance dialogue, you can choose from several responses that each further your goal in a slightly different way, but ultimately, they culminate in a romance scene. This could take the form of a simple kiss or a close moment by the fire, or it could be as intimate as things can get as you wholly give yourselves to each other. 

It’s also possible to get to this stage with multiple characters, though this can be tricky; The majority of your party isn’t keen on the idea of sharing you, and once they get wind that you’re into someone else, they’ll likely break the relationship off. Halsin, however, is fine with polyamory, so he’s a good bet if you want to give it a go.

How to Romance Each Main Character

So, let’s get into the ins and outs of romancing each main companion. There are currently seven separate characters offering complex, branching romance options in Baldur’s Gate 3.

As not to take away the fun in building these relationships, I’ll do my best to keep the following as spoiler-free as possible. I won’t be delving into every possible dialogue option for that reason, but I’ll give you enough pointers so that you know how you should and shouldn’t behave.

Astarion

baldur’s gate 3 romance astarion
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Astarion likes it when you commit murder, side with nefarious characters, and approve of his schemes.
  • He dislikes it when you help the weak, question his attitude, and behave altruistically.
  • He is impressed if you force Lae’Zel to say “please” for you to free her from her cage and if you kick the squirrel at Emerald Grove.

Astarion is a High-Elf Vampire you’ll meet early on in Act One. He has a dark past and a particularly interesting personality in that you’re never quite sure of his true motives.

He will align with your most maniacal habits; actions that would disgust others light a flame within him, so “kill first, ask questions laterreactions and spiteful vitriol will always be a big hit.

Conversely, altruistic behaviors and genuine acts of kindness are somewhat repulsive to him, so this is a character you’ll have a shot with if you’re consistent in playing the baddie. Choose the most dismissive and unfeeling dialogue options when speaking to others, and engage positively with any flirtatious behavior he exhibits, and you’ll be onto a winner.

Karlach

baldur’s gate 3 romance karlach
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Karlach likes it if you are honest, loyal, trustworthy, and willing to engage in heroic acts of kindness.
  • She dislikes it if you are cruel, partial to senseless violence, and willing to cooperate with evil forces.
  • She is impressed if you save the Druids and Refugees at Emerald Grove, help the Tieflings, and aid her in upgrading her Infernal Engine.

Karlach is a Barbarian Tiefling you’ll meet during your time in the Risen Road area. Despite having a heart that’s permanently on fire, you’ll find basic acts of human kindness and compassion will kindle that flame to burn solely for you.

Representing the antithesis of Astarion, Karlach is a particularly authentic character. Her past is that of a slave used to fight the enduring Blood Wars, and she is therefore impressed by freeing other slaves and showing mercy to the downtrodden.

She’s been the victim of dishonesty and cruelty, so a strong moral compass and authentic, unwavering personal choices will impress her. Naturally, acts of deception and surreptitiousness are a big turn-off.

You’ll also need to offer somewhat of a protective role here. Without spoiling anything, certain major characters will make an attempt on her life, and these situations are within your power to prevent.

Lae’zel

baldur’s gate 3 romance lae'zel
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Lae’zel likes displays of violence, battle prowess, physical strength, and generally dismissive behavior.
  • She dislikes physical weakness, perceived cowardice, and siding with Shadowheart.
  • She is impressed if you approve of the violent justice at Emerald Grove, and accept her advances when she asks to sniff you.

Lae’Zel is a Githyanki, a race of fierce warriors, of which she is a particularly ferocious example. When the player meets her, she’s been exiled from her clan. She fears dying without proving that she’s a worthy knight.

As is her approach with everything else in her life, she’s often laughably direct with her flirting; she’ll make plenty of allusions to “tasting” various aspects of you, while any suggestion of cuddling will be met with scorn.

You can win her over with physical feats of strength or acts of violence, and you’ll gain the most approval by brute-forcing your way through situations and approving of brutality as the ultimate solution to most situations. If you live by the sword, you’re sure to swiftly win her favor.

Wyll

baldur’s gate 3 romance wyll
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Wyll likes displays of
    bravery, sacrifice, and selflessness, and when you resist the temptations from the underworld.
  • He dislikes it if you side with monsters and are overtly cruel and disregarding of those in need.
  • He is impressed if you save Halsin, help Zevlor at Emerald Grove, and are supportive of him if he undergoes his transformation.

On the surface, the Human Wyll is typical of the brave and noble Warlock class he hails from, yet his pact with the devil—something he makes great effort to conceal—haunts him daily.

You’ll first find him during the Remove the Parasite quest in the first chapter of the game, and winning him over with displays of bravery, courage, and selflessness is relatively straightforward compared to the romance requirements of other characters.

He’ll also be impressed with your resistance to the persuasion of hellish beings given that you’ve achieved something he couldn’t. The true romance comes later on in the game rather than being accessible after saving the Emerald Grove like most characters; it’s crucial to aid and support him in his own quest involving saving his father to get especially close.

Gale

baldur’s gate 3 romance gale
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Gale likes intelligent conversation, selfless acts, proficiency with magic, and an affinity with the arts.
  • He dislikes stupidity, gratuitous violence, cruelty, and dismissive and arrogant attitudes.
  • He is impressed if you engage positively with his offer to teach you magic and share in his enthusiasm for the arts.

Gale is a Human Wizard with the sole goal of becoming the world’s greatest sorcerer, but a ticking time bomb in his chest presently gets in the way of that. With a Netherese Destruction Orb threatening not only his own life but the destruction of all around him, he needs to find a cure fast.

Despite the threat of looming death, Gale still partakes in the pleasures of life. He’s an intellectual who woos with his knowledge of literature and magic, and in having the chance to impress him early with displays of your own wit and proficiency in the majestic arts, he’s one you can win over early on.

Your best chance to connect with him is when he offers to teach you magic. Take him up on this and connect with his passions; he’ll deeply appreciate your showing interest in an area of his life that others mock.

Halsin

baldur’s gate 3 romance halsin
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Halsin likes displays of kindness to other creatures and a strong moral compass.
  • He dislikes unnecessarily violent acts and destructive tendencies.
  • He is impressed if you save the refugees at Emerald Grove and show affection towards the pig at Rivington.

Halsin is a human Druid you come across at the Worg Pens of the Shattered Sanctum, and you won’t be able to recruit him until the second Act of the game. He goes missing during an expedition to the Goblin Camps and gets captured. Freeing him marks your first interaction, but you’ll be playing for a long time before you can finally get closer to him.

To form a proper relationship with him, it’s important to complete his personal quest and align yourself with his goals, and it won’t be until you reach the Last Light Inn at the Shadow-cursed Lands that you can actually recruit him.

When you do finally have the opportunity to bring him into your party, though, you’ll find him to be one of the few characters that’s outwardly flirtatious with you. He’ll be into you from the get-go, but being the gentle giant that he is, he can be put off by acts of cruelty and a disregard for animals and creatures of the natural world.

You’ve probably also learned by now of the infamous bear romance scene. If you want to experience this, tell him you approve of his new body when he accidentally transforms. If you want the standard romance scene, choose one of the other dialogue options.

Shadowheart

baldur’s gate 3 romance minthara
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer
  • Shadowheart likes it if you align with the values of Shar, have good diplomacy skills, and are proficient with persuasive language.
  • She dislikes cruelty, gratuitous violence, and siding with Lae’Zel.
  • She is impressed if you force Novice Crusher to kiss your feet at the Goblin Camp and if you show mercy to animals in the Owlbear Cave.

Shadowheart is a Half-Elf Cleric and a devoted follower of a deity called Shar. Constantly questioning her alliances and with a great deal at stake, she certainly represents one of the more complex characters you’ll meet in the game.

Personality-wise, she’s generally a witty and sarcastic person with motivations that can be difficult to place. She dislikes acts of cruelty and those that go against the values of Shar, but with her devotion to her god dictating much of how she behaves, it’s difficult to get a handle on how she truly feels about a given situation.

Winning her approval requires a lot of patience through consistently displaying small acts that align with her beliefs, such as agreeing with the teachings she outwardly expresses regarding her deity (this is an element that becomes more involved with the general plot as you enter Act Two).

Being the secretive type herself, she’s also partial to subtle acts of deception and enjoys witnessing you use persuasive language.

Other Romance Encounters

Alongside the main party members, you’ll also have the opportunity for several other flings on your journey. Be warned that I’ll be delving into spoiler territory here: while the descriptions above don’t spoil much associated with the main plot, the relationships with the following characters will illuminate deeper aspects you may not want to know about yet.

Minthara

baldur’s gate 3 romance minthara
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

Minthara is a battle-hardened Drow who is first found in The Shattered Sanctum. She’s a divisive character that has the potential to alienate the more morally aligned members, so siding with her does have its consequences and leads you down a decidedly more evil path.

Obtaining her as a party member and romancing her is quite different from the usual methods I’ve described above; you need to be wholly devoted to her cause of crushing the Druids by offering her information, so being much more linear in this way, I haven’t included her amongst the main companions.

Upon your main encounter with her, you must inform her of the ongoings at Emerald Grove, show her the location on the map, and betray the Druids by acting as a double agent. Thanks to your information, she will accomplish her mission. Returning and expressing your unwavering devotion will seduce her.

Naoise Nallinto

baldur’s gate 3 romance naoise nallinto
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You’ll meet Naoise at Shares’ Caress. If you break entry to the Nymph’s Grotto room, you’ll be required to defeat the Dryad’s current client to be rewarded with her ‘special blessing’.

The Guardian

baldur’s gate 3 romance the guardian
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

It’s been recently discovered that it’s possible to romance The Guardian: the ethereal character who infiltrates your dreams throughout the game. You’ll have to wait until you get past Act Three, though; you must venture to the basement of the Elfsong Tavern (Lower City Baldur’s Gate), and the path forward will become clear to you.

The Drow Twins

baldur’s gate 3 romance the drow twins
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You’ll meet the Drow Twins Nym and Sorn in Act Three when you venture to Sharess’ Caress brothel. Given the nature of your environment and the proclivities of those around you, romancing them simply involves paying each of them 500 gold individually. If you already have a partner, you can even hire them both at the same time.

Haarlep

baldur’s gate 3 romance haarlep
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

While snooping around devil Raphael’s bedroom at the House of Hope, you’ll likely come across his double, Haarlep. As well as his name being an anagram of Raphael, Haarlep mirrors him exactly. This is essentially a faux Raphael romance, and as soon as you meet him, he’ll try to tempt you to bed.

Mizora

baldur’s gate 3 romance mizora
Image: Larian Studios via RPG Informer

Mizora is the devil presiding over Wyll’s captive soul. As you can imagine, he won’t be too happy if you decide to get together with her.

Nevertheless, you can if you choose. Once you’ve decided on some specifics I won’t spoil about Wyll’s contract, Mizora will hang around the camp for a while. It’s pretty easy to initiate a romance with her by talking to her in this window as your path will open up clearly (as deleterious as it may be).

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Romancing Worth the Effort?

Answer: That all depends on the life you envision for your character. Baldur’s Gate 3 draws heavily from Dungeons and Dragons, after all, so more so than most RPGs, the sort of character you want to roleplay is up to you.
Personally, I think the romance options available greatly enrich your playthrough, but if you consider your character a stony-faced warrior with no time for love, go right ahead with that idea — the game won’t punish you for it!

Question: Will more Romantic Characters be Added?

Answer: The game is still in its infancy at this stage, but while we have no idea of what future updates will come and in what form, I suspect more characters to connect with will be added to the game before long.
This is a very character-driven game, after all, so you’d expect any additional content to lean heavily into that strong point. For now, though, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Question: There Seem to be a Lot of Bugs Involving Approval Ratings. Should I Wait Until they’re Fixed before Attempting Romance?

Answer: The game indeed needs a patch to fix some consistent issues with the approval system. Many players have found approvals not registering, or even that, halfway through the game, they’ve lost ratings they previously had.
I only experienced a couple of issues with Minthara, but it would make sense if you wanted to wait for future patches to fix everything, which are already coming in hot.

Wrapping Up

I hope this guide has provided you with all you need to be a master romancer in Bladur’s Gate 3. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on other aspects of the game, why not check out our Best Builds Guide or Best Classes Guide?

Be sure to also keep an eye on the News section for any further developments, and as always, thanks for reading RPG Informer!

Continue reading:

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Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Feats: Martial Adept, Tough, and More

Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Mods: Increased Level Cap, Summon Minthara, Fast XP, More

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