Baldurs Gate 3: All Acts [Explained]

Baldur's Gate 3 features a total of three acts. Each act takes you deeper into the immersive experience this game provides.

All Acts from Baldurs Gate 3
Baldurs Gate 3 All Acts [Image credits - Gamesual]

Baldurs Gate 3 features three acts, each with its main quests, side quests, locations, characters, and challenges. 

Key Takeaways

  • In Act 1, you will escape a crashed ship near Baldur’s Gate, face tadpole infection, investigate Ketheric Thorm, encounter factions, and reach the Underdark.
  • Act 2 is about collecting Netherstones, exploring districts, confronting enemies and allies, and dealing with complex dynamics.
  • Act 3 is the showdown, assembling allies and intense battle deciding Faerûn’s fate.

ActDescriptionMain Events and HighlightsPlaytime
Act 1Escape mind flayer ship, investigate Ketheric Thorm, encounter factions, enter Underdark.Ship escape, Ketheric Thorm, factions, Underdark entry.Almost 25 hours
Act 2Seek Netherstones, explore Baldur’s Gate districts, confront factions, build alliances.Netherstone quest, city districts, factions, alliances.45-50 Hours
Act 3Assemble allies, prepare for ultimate battle, face nemesis, conclude the story's climax.Ally gathering, battle prep, nemesis showdown, climax.20 Hours approximately

Act 1: The Underdark

Commencing the opening act, the players successfully flee a crashed mind flayer vessel near Baldurs Gate. Their immediate objectives encompass grappling with the effects of their tadpole infections and delving into the enigma surrounding the Ketheric Thorm.

During this first Act, I had to forge alliances and navigate diverse factions, including the druids inhabiting the Emerald Grove, the formidable Githyanki warriors displaced Tiefling communities, and the covert Harpers organization. 

Act 1 Map [Wilderness]
Act 1 Map [Image Credits – Mapgenie]
Must-Have Items for Act 1

In the initial Act of Baldur’s Gate 3, an array of items holds potential value, although a subset stands out for its significance and utility. I would consider securing the following essential items before moving on from Act 1:

  • Goodberries: Healing conjured items lasting until a long rest. Rangers and Druids cast Conjure Goodberry for health restoration, eliminating potion/spell needs. Cast them on yourself/another to materialize in inventory.
  • Wyvern Toxin: Potent poison coating boosts weapon damage. Get from Mattie for mercy during mind flayer transformation or chest near Druid Grove.
  • Soul Coins: Currency for Avernus in Nine Hells. Store souls, empower machinery, and facilitate trades. Found in Druid Grove, Dank Crypt, Risen Road.
  • Thieves’ Tools: Essential for lock picking and trap disarming. Procure from shops, chests, corpses, or craft using iron scraps and needles.
  • Smoke Powder Satchel: Snije Powder Satchel is a throwable item, that causes explosive fire damage. Found near Blighted Village entrance or from Zevlor in Druid Grove. Versatile for diversions, destruction, and harming foes.
  • Netherese Scroll: It is a Rare scroll with a Wish spell, the pinnacle of D&D magic. Offers nearly unlimited wish fulfillment but may forfeit future casting—concealed vault under Abandoned Ruins, access with password from Arcane Tower’s book.

Act 2: The Sword Coast

The second Act unfolds within the influential city of Baldur’s Gate in the Forgotten Realms. Here, my mission revolved around securing three Netherstones, ancient relics that hold the potential to counter the central threat of the game. As you undertake this quest, you navigate through various city districts, including the Lower City, Upper City, and the foreboding Black Pits.

Act 2 Map [Wilderness]
Act 2 Map – Wilderness [Image credits – Mapgenie]
Along your journey, you encounter new allies and adversaries, such as the Flaming Fist mercenaries, secretive Zhentarim smugglers, enigmatic Shadow Thieves assassins, and dedicated Bhaalspawn cultists. This is the longest of all the acts in the game.

I discovered two ways to enter Act 2: navigating the Mountain Pass or delving into the Underdark. I accidentally delved into the Underdark, although players can also use the Mountain Pass.

Mountain Pass

Found northwest of Act 1’s map after Risen Road. Deal with a Githyanki Patrol through diplomacy or combat. Upon reaching the map’s perimeter, interaction with the Mountain Pass triggers a transition to the new terrain. Here, the ensuing Rosymorn Monastery Trail greets you, complete with the presence of Ghouls and their overseers.


Reachable from Act 1 locations like Hag’s lair, Goblin Camp, or Zhentarim Hideout. Here, players will explore areas like Underdark Beach, Grymforge, and Mindflayer Colony.

As your exploration unfolds, an elevator grants passage to the following map—the resultant destination is the Shadow-Cursed Lands, where you will engage in unique side quests.

Note: I can not implore enough as these paths offer unique challenges and rewards. I recommend reaching level 5 before proceeding, as Act 2’s foes are more formidable. Consequently, thorough preparation is essential to ensure your survival.

Mindflayers from Act 2
Mindflayers from Act 2 (Image Credits – Gamesual)

Secrets from Act 2

Act 2 also features concealed treasures and enigmas that enrich gameplay and unveil deeper aspects of the game world’s lore. In Act 2, I was excited to uncover all the secrets and the rest of the story. Notable Act 2 secrets include:

  • Blood of Lathander: You can obtain it by placing three ceremonial weapons (longsword, battleaxe, Warhammer) on altars, retrieving Dawnmaster’s Crest from the Githyanki Creche beneath the monastery, and employing it to unveil the hidden vault housing the mace.
  • Legendary Items: Act 2 introduces unique legendary items with exceptional traits, such as Crimson Mischief (gold-stealing dagger), Bloodthirst (healing sword), Viconia’s Walking Fortress (Shield of Faith shield), Markoheshkir (earth elemental staff), The Red Knight’s Final Stratagem (Fireball-casting helmet), The Annals of Karsus (Wish-casting book), The Tharciate Codex (Power Word Kill-casting book), Mask of the Shapeshifter (appearance-altering mask).
  • Shadow-Cursed Lands: A novel region accessible via the Underdark or the Mountain Pass. This dark location is filled with new enemies, allies, and quests like Shadow Druids, Shadowheart Cultists, and a Shadow Dragon. This area elucidates the curse’s origin, nature, and means of dispelling.

These are some of Act 2’s concealed enigmas in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Quest List Act 2

Main Quests

  1. Ritual: Triggered upon entering the Shadow-Cursed Lands, this quest propels you into investigating a potent Mind Flayer ritual. Unveil its purpose and implications for the land.
  2. The Abduction: Embark on this quest upon encountering abducted Tieflings held captive by Mind Flayers. Your task is to rescue them and ascertain the reasons behind their capture.
  3. The Dark Cleric: Commence this quest by encountering a group of cultists dedicated to an evil deity. Dive into the investigation to thwart their ominous plans before they come to fruition.
  4. The Knights of Shield: Engage with this quest when you cross paths with knights determined to safeguard the Shadow-Cursed Lands from the encroaching Mind Flayers. Your assistance in their valiant struggle is paramount.
  5. The Shadowheart’s Past: Triggered by uncovering more about Shadowheart’s enigmatic past, this quest involves helping her confront her history and decide about her future.
General Zhul Act 2
General Zhul In Act 2 (Image Credits – Gamesual)

Side Quests

  1. Rescue the Survivors: Upon stumbling survivors who fell victim to Mind Flayer attacks, your role is to guide them to safety, protecting them from further harm.
  2. Find Zevlor: As you learn of Zevlor’s disappearance, a companion from Act 1, your mission involves tracking and reintegrating him into your party.
  3. Wake Up Art Cullagh: Art Cullagh, a gnome petrified by Mind Flayers, prompts a quest to reverse his petrification, uncovering more about his story.
  4. Find Mol: A note from Mol, a captured goblin, triggers a quest to locate him and thwart the clutches of the Mind Flayers.

In my experience, I had a great time playing all of the quests and side missions presented in Act 2. I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next major cutscene to reveal more about the world. These missions were not only exciting but also gifted me with some great rewards.

Act 3: The Final Act

The climax arrives in the third Act as the players face off against their archenemy. Rallying their most trusted companions, they ready themselves for a monumental confrontation that balances Faerûn’s destiny. 

However, I was surprised that this Act was also one of the shortest in the game. Still, the less time did not mean this was less fun to play. 

Act 3 Maps [Shadow lands]
Act 3 Maps [Image Credits – Mapgenie]
To progress to Act 3, follow these steps:

  1. Complete Act 2: includes finishing the main quest, “The Absolute,” and some side quests.
  2. Reach Level 10: Act 3’s adversaries are notably stronger, requiring you to attain Level 10 to ensure survival.
  3. Gather Companions: Ensure all your companions accompany you as they are crucial for Act 3 completion.
  4. Visit the Moonrise Towers: These towers within the Shadow-Cursed Lands are your gateway to Act 3.

Additional tips for transitioning to Act 3:

  • Party Composition: A balanced, diverse party with varied skills is essential for success.
  • Prepare for Challenge: Act 3’s enemies are formidable; readiness for a tough battle is crucial.
  • Seek Help: Online communities can provide valuable advice and tips.

Quest List Act 3

  • Confront the Elder Brain: This quest entails facing the Elder Brain, the mind flayers’ leader orchestrating Faerûn’s invasion. Your choice lies between controlling it, eradicating it, or forming an alliance.
  • Retrieve Gortash’s Netherstone: This mission involves acquiring one of the three Netherstones, potent ancient relics to combat the primary threat. Confront the formidable red dragon Gortash in its lair to obtain this Netherstone.
  • Obtain Orin’s Netherstone: Pursue another of the three Netherstones through this task. Investigate a string of Baldur’s Gate murders, uncover the culprit, and interact with enigmatic figure Orin, tied to a Netherstone.
  • Assemble Allies: Rally your closest allies in preparation for the ultimate battle. Select who joins the final conflict and who remains behind. This quest introduces opportunities for companionship or betrayal.
  • Journey to Moonrise Towers: Travel to Moonrise Towers for the climactic showdown, choosing between the Mountain Pass or the Underdark routes, each presenting distinct challenges and rewards.

These quests offer insights into what can be expected in Act 3 of Baldur’s Gate 3.

My Experience With All Acts

All three Acts provide incredible lore and some of the best gameplay moments. Even with the extraordinary length of the game, I was not bored or disinterested in the story for one second. The story features some incredibly heartfelt stories and some truly unforgettable characters.

These three Acts all feel distinct and have a unique setting. This is one of the primary reasons I was not fatigued after staring at my screen for countless hours. Moreover, I do not want to spoil, but the main reveal of the villain has to be one of my favorite moments from all three acts.

We hope you know all you need to know about the acts. Explore these additional guides to navigate your journey through Baldur’s Gate 3:

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