The ‘Perfect’ Playthrough Choices for Baldur’s Gate 3 Explained
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The ‘Perfect’ Playthrough Choices for Baldur’s Gate 3 Explained


  • Saving the Emerald Grove is the best course of action as it preserves important vendors, NPCs, and quest-givers for Act 2, while destroying it locks off content and romances.
  • It is crucial to protect Isobel in the battle in Last Light Inn, as her capture or death leads to everyone in the Inn dying and a chance of lifting the curse being lost.
  • Sparing the Nightsong, an aasimar and daughter of Selune, is recommended as she is key to lifting the Shadow Curse and defeating Ketheric, rather than killing her for Shadowheart’s quest.



With hundreds of hours worth of content, Baldur’s Gate 3 has dozens of quests with decisions to make for each of them. Many of these decisions have an impact further on in the story, with characters reappearing in later acts and being changed by the decisions made earlier. This can make playing stressful when the consequences of seemingly mundane decisions may become important later.

While there is no such thing as an objectively perfect playthrough in Baldur’s Gate 3, some decisions lead to better outcomes than others thanks to the rewards they give, the world state they result in, or the amount of content they provide in the aftermath. Likewise, many decisions lead to a playthrough where the player makes Good-aligned choices.

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Save the Grove and the Tieflings

A picture of Halsin with the Glaive Sorrow next to him in Baldur's Gate 3

Saving the Emerald Grove isn’t just the best course of action because it opposes the Absolute’s plans, but because it also preserves many important vendors, NPCs, and quest-givers for Act 2. While siding with the goblins does unlock other content, there’s far more content that’s locked off when the Grove is destroyed, including several Origin companions and their romances, in exchange for relatively little content in return.

Protect Isobel

Isobel from Baldur's Gate 3

Isobel is a cleric of Selune encountered in the Shadow-Cursed Lands, who has created a sanctuary out of Last Light Inn that keeps the curse at bay. She has some surprising depth to her thanks to her connections to Ketheric Thorm and the Nightsong, secrets which she keeps close to her chest out of necessity.

It’s her connection to Thorm that prompts the invasion of Last Light Inn and a battle that proves to be very annoying thanks to the AI. Despite how she seems to not care for her own survival, it’s best to keep reloading until the battle is won with her alive and conscious, because the consequences of her being captured or dead are very bad, with everyone in the Inn dying and all chance of lifting the curse gone.

Spare Nightsong


The quest to find the Nightsong appears as early as the goblin camp in Act 1, but it’s only in the final moments of Act 2 that it’s revealed what or rather who the Nightsong is: an aasimar, and the daughter of the moon goddess Selune. Shadowheart’s quest to become a Dark Justiciar requires her to kill the Nightsong, but it’s best to spare her instead as she’s key to lifting the Shadow-Curse and killing Ketheric.

Lift the Shadow-Curse

Baldurs Gate 3 Ketheric Thorm Moonrise Towers Phase One

The lands surrounding Moonrise Towers are affected by the Shadow Curse, magic created by Shar that kills anyone who lingers in it for too long and turns them into undead thralls. The curse prevents anything from living in the area and has affected Thaniel, the spirit of nature that used to rule over the land. Lifting the curse requires several important choices to be made across Acts 1 and 2, but it is possible.

Halsin needs to be rescued from the goblin camp and the Grove saved. Once he joins the camp, he’ll offer his expertise in how to lift the Shadow Curse. Once in the Shadow-Cursed Lands, a Flaming Fist soldier called Art Cullagh will be comatose in Last Light Inn. He can be awakened with a lute found on Malus Thorm in the House of Healing and will explain that he saw Thaniel in the Shadowfell, Shar’s realm. Once Thaniel is rescued, his other half needs to be recovered from the Shadow-Cursed Lands. Finally, the curse is lifted once Ketheric is killed.

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Side with Orpheus

Orpheus locked in the Astral Prism in Baldur's Gate 3

The githyanki conflict with the illithids forms much of the framing of the central conflict in Baldur’s Gate 3, and essential to their victory is the possession of the Astral Prism, the mysterious artifact that prevents the party from turning into mind flayers. Inside the artifact is Orpheus, the son of Gith and the true heir to the throne. His survival and very existence are a threat to Vlaakith’s power and would lead to a revolution for the githyanki.

Unfortunately, the Emperor, who’s been an ally the entire time, is adamantly against freeing Orpheus and will turn against the player if they free Orpheus. Freeing Orpheus is the best thing to do, especially if the player is concerned with Lae’zel’s approval or the wider implications of their actions on the world of Baldur’s Gate 3. Vlaakith is consistently an antagonistic force, and Orpheus promises to bring a new change in a positive direction to the githyanki.

Don’t Ascend Astarion

Baldur's Gate 3 Cazador Boss Guide Astarion Coffin Shove Ledge

Despite Astarion’s insistence he needs to ascend to be free, what he wants and what he needs are two different things. Ascending causes Astarion to lose himself and sacrifice all the parts of himself that are good for the sake of power. If Astarion remains a vampire spawn, he acknowledges that it’s better he didn’t ascend as he has his freedom and still remains true to himself. Ascended Astarion becomes a very different person and is an especially bad option for those romancing him as he loses all respect for any partner who stays with him.

Give Mystra the Crown of Karsus

Baldur's Gate 3, Mystra

The Crown of Karsus is the source of all the power of the three Chosen and has enough power to control an Elder Brain. It’s an item sought after by many denizens to augment their power, including the likes of the devil Raphael. It plays a part in Gale’s personal quest, where he contemplates using the Crown to ascend to godhood and to challenge Mystra, the god of magic, to take her place. Alternatively, Raphael offers a contract where the player gives the Crown to him in exchange for the Orphic Hammer.

Both of these options are not great, and it’s actually best to just give the Crown to Mystra so no one can have it. As the events of Baldur’s Gate 3 and the history of the Crown show, the Crown’s power just leads to misery. If Gale does use the Crown to challenge Mystra to godhood, as seen in his Origin, she immediately defeats him without fanfare.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on PC and PS5. An Xbox Series X/S port is expected to launch in late 2023.

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