Is Baldur’s Gate 3 early access worth it?

Jessica Filby
Baldur's Gate 3 early access

Wondering whether it’s worth playing Baldur’s Gate 3 in early access? Here’s everything you need to know about the content that’s available before release.

After 3 years in early access, a full release for Baldur’s Gate 3 is coming this August and while some will want to pre-order the full game now, others may want to try the early access version to get an idea of the gameplay before fully committing.

There’s quite a substantial amount of content for early access players to enjoy but if you want to know exactly how much there is to do we’ve got you covered.

If you’re curious to see what Baldur’s Gate 3 is all about, or just want to get a good headstart on the game before the full release, here’s everything you need to know about the early access period, including whether or not it’s worth getting.

What’s in Baldur’s Gate 3 early access?

A screenshot of Baldur's Gate 3 from Steam

The Baldur’s Gate 3 early access has years of content under its belt, meaning those looking to pick up the game now will have plenty to explore. Below, we’ve listed what you can expect to see in the game’s early access:

  • Act 1 of Baldur’s Gate 3 (25-35 hours of content)
  • Nine races
  • 11 Classes
  • 24 Subclasses
  • Fully active multiplayer capabilities

Is Baldur’s Gate 3 worth it in early access?

So, with all those elements present in Baldur’s Gate 3 early access, it’s not uncommon to wonder whether getting it early is worth it. That decision requires a longer answer, with it becoming important for you to assess what you’re looking to gain from the early access and whether it’s worth doing.

First of all, it’s worth noting that Baldur’s Gate 3 has been in early access since October 2020. The features, design, and gameplay within have been meticulously polished and provide you with around 30 hours worth of gameplay. It’s filled with beautiful cinematic scenes, and enough unique characters to engross you into every battle and interaction.

On top of this, the many races, classes, subclasses, and feats for you to try out when creating a character allow for a unique run every time. It’s perfect for those a little unsure regarding which build they want to commit to when the game fully releases. Sure, it may be a little overwhelming initially, but early access gives players the chance to explore these features at their own pace, and get a sense of the best builds when leveling up fully in the main game.

Lastly, and perhaps the sway for many players, if you own the early access, which comes in at the same price as it would be when it fully releases, then you get access to all the pre-order bonuses. This grants exclusive cosmetics, a digital Artbook, a digital soundtrack, character sheets, bonuses for your characters, and much more. Given the game’s the same price no matter what, if you want to get access to those bonuses, then there’s no harm in grabbing it early, even if you don’t play it much.

Baldur's Gate 3 story

On the other hand, if you’re not too interested in the early access rewards then trying out the game early could be reletively futile.

This is primarily because your character’s level will be capped at level 5 until the game fully releases. This can be pretty frustrating for those looking to test out their characters and see what works and what doesn’t as you’ll never get far enough to try those powerful builds or get a taste of the tougher monsters.

Also, as it has been with every version released to early access, you’ll have to start your character and the story all over again when the game comes out in August. Stripping you of all your feats, chosen design, loot, and progress in the story. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re purchasing the early access so close to its release date and don’t have the time to dedicate at another 30 hours to exploring the game fully.

Moreover, while the price consistency works well as an argument to purchase Baldur’s Gate 3 before its fully release date, the fact that it stays the same also works as an argument to leave it until it’s out. The only element you’ll be losing out on is the pre-order bonus, which is futile if you’re not interested in grabbing those.

Lastly, it’s worth remembering that the game is still in early access, even if it’s been in there for years now. That means it’s still a little buggy, and you can still face crashes, texture issues, and glitches which for some, can ruin the immersive experience they’re looking for in the final game.

Should you get Baldur’s Gate 3 in early access?

Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you want to try out the earlier patches, get those pre-order rewards and test out all the classes and races before the full game comes out, then you should definitely grab Baldur’s Gate 3 in early access. However, if the idea of your character being reset and you having to start again doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t really care about the rewards, then it’s likely worth leaving it and waiting until the beginning of August.

While waiting for the game to release or for it to download, take a look at some of our other handy Baldur’s Gate 3 guides and content:

Does Baldur’s Gate 3 have crossplay & cross-platform progression? | Can you play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Steam Deck? | Baldur’s Gate 3 voice actors for all characters | How long is Baldur’s Gate 3? | Baldur’s Gate 3 pre-release bonuses & edition differences | Is Baldur’s Gate 3 coming to Xbox? | Is Baldur’s Gate 3 single-player? | Baldur’s Gate 3: All playable races & their abilities | Baldur’s Gate 3 Mind Flayers explained: Who are the Illithids? | Baldur’s Gate 3 proficiency explained