Baldur’s Gate 3 has shadow-dropped on Xbox One Series X – Here are the Ten Things You Need to Know!

Baldur’s Gate 3 has been out on the PC and PlayStation 5 for months now, and is already being declared as Game of the Year (and perhaps Best Game Ever) by large sections of the community. I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the Xbox One version, and thankfully Larian have just dropped their genre-defining CRPG onto Microsoft’s console. But why the wait, and what do Xbox One owners need to know?

Why was the Xbox One version of Baldur’s Gate 3 so heavily delayed? 

Larian has confirmed that this was due to issues with the split-screen feature on the Xbox Series S, and the desire from both Larian and Microsoft to have a streamlined, like-for-like experience across both Series S and X.

So can I play Baldur’s Gate 3 in split screen if I have a Series S?

Yes, the game has now shipped with all features on both Series X and Series S.

Split-screen isn’t obvious from the main menu, how do I access it?

To access split-screen mode on Baldur’s Gate 3 for Xbox, you’ll need to have a second controller switched on and paired with your Xbox One, and then you’ll need to press A on that controller to begin a login prompt. We recommend that your second player uses a permanent account (rather than logging in as a guest) and once this is done, a local multiplayer option will pop up on the menu.

Can I play the whole campaign in split-screen multiplayer? 

Yes, each player will see cut scenes on their side of the screen, and when one player enters dialogue, the other player can continue to do whatever they are doing. If they happen to come over and join the conversation by pressing the “listen” prompt, then the split-screen will temporarily give way to a full-screen conversational view. The implementation of split-screen play in Baldur’s Gate 3 is truly one of the most remarkable things I’ve experienced in a board game. 

What if my friend wants to drop out of the game for a while? 

Amazingly, you can just continue with your friend’s character still in your party, or you can leave them in the “Wardrobe of Absent Friends” (yes, really) back at your camp. 

How does Baldur’s Gate 3 play on a controller?

Whilst there are many, many complex prompts in Baldur’s Gate 3, the controller implementation is excellent. Most commands can be accessed through grouped radial menus that you will scroll through via the right and left bumpers. Less “urgent” menu options are accessed via the right bumper, which takes you to a single radial menu where you’ll find your character sheet, journal, inventory and other key information. 

Baldur's Gate 3

How does Baldur’s Gate 3 perform on Xbox Series, given it has taken so long to be released? Should I expect bugs?

Forget what you’ve heard or read, the Baldur’s Gate 3 experience for me after about 20 hours playing on a Series X has been close to flawless — whether playing solo or in split-screen. The graphics options included a locked 30 FPS performance mode and an uncapped quality mode, and I’ve used the latter of these most of the time without any visual issues.

I’m not really into complex RPGs and I’ve heard even character creation is a drag, is that true?

No, not really. Baldur’s Gate 3 offers the player several completely pre-designed origins characters who come with a race, class, appropriate stats and even a backstory, or even if you’re not an RPG veteran, you can feel your way through the character creation process quite easily.

What about character development? Are there any characters that are simpler for newcomers to play?

I will say that spellcasting classes in Baldur’s Gate 3 are harder for beginners to get to grips with. This is because they have low health and armour (so they die easily) but also because when they level up, the range of spells (and choosing which ones to memorise) can be a bit confusing. Choose a Fighter, Ranger or Monk if you’re completely new to this kind of game. 

Baldur's Gate 3

Do I need to “role play” to enjoy Baldur’s Gate 3?

No, of course not — although you might find that you get more into it as your time in the game progresses. Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a completely immersive experience, and as an experienced RPG player, I absolutely love it. 

My wife (who I have been playing along with) is not, but over our time playing she has grown into the experience, and is taking more and more time thinking about how her character should react in different situations based on her own personal objectives and feelings — it’s been great to see!

As one of the biggest and most expansive games of 2023, Baldur’s Gate 3 offers lots to discover for both returning fans and complete newcomers. The split-screen multiplayer revolutionises the experience for console gamers who would normally have to work around their partner’s TV time and I highly recommend it as a way to play. With that said, there’s nothing left for me to say except that you should dive in as soon as possible!

You can purchase Baldur’s Gate 3 on PC, Xbox or PlayStation 5 now.

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