Baldur’s Gate 3 Mind Flayers explained: Who are the Illithids?

Sourav Banik
an image of a Mind Flayer in Baldur's Gate 3 with the game's logo on top left

Illithids, or Mind Flayers, stand as formidable adversaries within the universe of Baldur’s Gate 3. Let’s uncover the nature and narrative role of these iconic game creatures.

Resembling cephalopods with their tentacle-adorned faces, Mind Flayers are a storied enemy from the Dungeons and Dragons universe, and they maintain their role as a seminal antagonist within the game.

Mind Flayers are one of the most powerful enemies in Baldur’s Gate 3, having the ability to temporarily drain intelligence and ultimately kill the target. The game is on the verge of coming out of its beta phase in August, so in case you’re planning to purchase it, you’ll face this enemy at some point.

With that said, here’s a rundown of who Mind Flayers or Illithids are in Baldur’s Gate 3 along with their powers and where they can be found.


an image of a Mind Flayer in Baldur's Gate 3
Illithids can be quite intimidating.

Who are Mind Flayers in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Mind Flayers are humanoid monsters that devour other beings and are ubiquitous throughout Baldur’s Gate 3, integral to the game’s main storyline. Their heads look like an octopus or squid, having multiple tentacles, and possessing psionic abilities. However, they don’t belong to the list of playable races in the game.

They are also known as Illithids in the game. As we mentioned earlier, Mind Flayers belong to the universe of the Dungeons and Dragons series. As the name suggests, these monsters having mind-control abilities, can mess with the brains of other humanoids and enslave them for their own gain.

Mind Flayers or Illithids also have a horrifying method of reproduction, Ceremorphosis. They plant an Illithid tadpole into a host’s eye, which, over time, transforms the host into a new Mind Flayer. This process is central to the plot of Baldur’s Gate 3, as the player character starts the game infected with an Illithid tadpole.

Where can you find Mind Flayers in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Right off the bat, players encounter an Illithid in the game’s intro scene, aboard a Nautiloid – a living, biomechanical ship used by Mind Flayers.

Further on, you can find Mind Flayers in various game locations, often accompanied by enslaved thralls. However, remember that these encounters are not for the faint of heart. The Mind Flayers’ horrifying appearance and potent abilities make them daunting foes.

Baldur's Gate 3 story

Mind Flayers’ powers in Baldur’s Gate 3

One of the most unique powers Illithids are gifted with in Baldur’s Gate 3 is extraordinary psionic powers. They can mind-control individuals, manipulate their perceptions, and extract information from their minds. This ability alone makes them strategic enemies and can turn allies against each other.

They’re also equipped with powerful spells that can cause significant damage to both single targets and groups. Mind Blast is one of their iconic abilities that unleashes a psychic wave, stunning and injuring its victims.

Mind Flayers also possess telepathy, enabling them to communicate silently and across great distances. This makes coordinating a fight against them challenging, as they can plan and execute strategies with perfect synchrony.

Take a look at some of our other handy Baldur’s Gate 3 guides and content:

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About The Author

Sourav is a Games Writer at Dexerto, specializing in writing tips and guides for a number of games, including Apex Legends, Baldur's Gate 3, Diablo 4, Palworld, The Finals, XDefiant, and occasionally Tech. He is also passionate about esports, following games such as Valorant and Rainbow Six Siege. He previously wrote for Sportskeeda. Contact Sourav at