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Baldur's Gate 3

Reactions Explained in Baldur's Gate 3

Nathan Garvin

Not every action you’ll take in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the premeditated result of careful deliberation and planning. Sometimes fortune will smile (or misfortune will sneer) on you, and you’ll find yourself given the opportunity to make a reaction. This page will discuss reactions in Baldur’s Gate 3.

(1 of 3) You can toggle reactions on and off, and demand a prompt beforehand, by entering the reactions menu via your inventory.

What Are Reactions in Baldur’s Gate 3

Some actions, spells and abilities are triggered under specific circumstances, and when these occasions arise, you’ll get the opportunity to perform a reaction. The most common type of reaction is an Attack of Opportunity, triggered by enemies moving out of reach of a melee character without using the Disengage action. Other reactions include a Paladin using Divine Smite (triggered by landing a hit or critical hit on an enemy) or a Wizard attempting to Counterspell another caster (triggered by another caster attempting to cast a spell).

Since Baldur’s Gate 3 is a turn-based game, twitch reflexes aren’t really a core gameplay element, so reactions aren’t something you have to keep an eye out for - you can set which reactions you want to trigger. Since some reactions may trigger fairly often - the Paladin’s Divine Smite being a prime example, triggering oh every hit or critical hit - and fortunately you can both toggle which reactions you want to keep active, and even set it up so you’ll be promoted when they do trigger, effectively giving you veto power on reactions.

To see what reactions a character has available, open up their inventory (press the I key) and search for three buttons on the top left of the inventory window. The third button - two arrows intersecting - will take you to the reactions tab. Here every reaction available to the character will be listed, and it’s quite likely that a character may not have any reactions, especially at lower levels. If you do have reactions listed, you will see a dot to the left of the reaction bar that allows you to toggle the reaction on or off. If the dot is checked, you’ll perform the reaction every time it is triggered, if the dot is empty, the reaction will never trigger. There’s also an “Ask” box to the right of the reaction bar, which will prompt you whenever the reaction triggers, allowing you to confirm or veto the reaction.

For example, a 2nd-level Paladin has the Holy Smite reaction - two variants, in fact. The “Divine Smite” reaction triggers every time you hit an enemy, and another variant, “Divine Smite on Critical Hit” only triggers when you land a critical hit… the latter of which was likely added just to make using this reaction less onerous. If you have “Divine Smite” activated, it’ll discharge every time you hit an enemy, assuming you have the resources to use it. If you also click the “Ask” box, it’ll require confirmation before using the reaction on every hit.

As mentioned earlier, reactions require resources to use. The first and most common resources are reactions themselves - each character is limited to one reaction per combat round, but reactions often require other resources, as well, spell slots being common (Divine Smite - this page’s go-to example, requires a 1st-level spell slot to use, in addition to that round’s reaction resource).

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Larian Studios
  • Platforms,
    Mac, PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Adventure, RPG
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2023
  • Last Updated
    14 June 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is an immersive roleplaying game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It features a rich story with multiple outcomes for almost every encounter, and plenty of character customization features including more races, classes, subclasses and party combinations than you are ever likely to explore. The seemingly endless possibilities and numerous choices that you can make throughout your journey make a helping hand always welcome, and that’s where we come in! This guide features the following:

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