Baldur’s Gate 3 – Move / Action (Combat Tips)

Tips for Newbies to Combat

Each turn consists of three parts – a move, an action, and a bonus action. This gets more complex later when fighters can take multiple attacks in an action, but we’ll save that for later.


“Move” is what it says on the tin – you walk from point A to point B, and the distance depends on your class, race, and a few other factors like feats and encumbrance. If you want to do something other than just move in a turn, this is your range for doing it. You can move further, however, if you take the “dash” action. You can do this after you move, but before you do anything else. Exception is a bonus action, which I’ll cover later.


“Action” is anything non-movement-related that’s big, for the most part. Attack, cast a spell, use a special feat, whatever. These are green in your hotbar / radial menus. I was playing more with a gamepad technically than keyboard due to being at work, so I know on the gamepad this stuff is all color-coordinated in that manner (action is a green dot, icons are green, etc.) You can typically only do one of these in a turn – exceptions would be higher-level fighters and paladins who can get multiple attacks in the same turn by using their action to attack, or like… if a casting class does something to be able to cast multiple spells like the twinspell feat or something.

Bonus Actions

“Bonus Actions” are smaller actions that typically help out but aren’t major factors outside knowing when to use them. You can do these before you move, after you move, before you take an action, or after you take an action, or at the end of your turn. Whenever. This is stuff like jumping, shoving an enemy (VERY useful in this game,) making an attack with your offhand weapon, etc. In radial menus and hotbars these tend to be orange in color. You get one per turn.

Free Actions

There’s also “free actions” which get used more in tabletop rules, but here it’s basically looting corpses or checking your inventory. You can check five dead bodies if you have enough move to move between them all in a single turn.

So, in total, you can move to an enemy, attack him once, kill him, and then decide (if you have move left over) to move to another one, and then shove this new foe as a bonus action.

Actions tell you if they require any resources to be used (it’ll say “Spell Slot” or something and typically highlight where it is on your HUD,) or they’ll say something like “short rest” or “long rest.” If you don’t have the spell slots or charges to use them, or if you used them already and haven’t had a short or long rest, then you still can’t use them even if you stand there for an hour – you need to restore those uses or charges to do them again. This is why for casting classes it’s important to have at least one damage-dealing cantrip – your spells are limited *except cantrips.* Cantrips can be used infinitely so long as something isn’t blocking them (i.e. a silence spell or an anti-magic field.) You smacking an enemy with a dagger won’t do much as a wizard (though it can still help in a last-ditch effort.)

A final note – if you are in melee range of something, and you want to move away, if your character has the THREATENED status, you need to use the Disengage action to move away without getting hit. Attacks of opportunity are what happen when you don’t do that – same applies for enemies, too. This is why shoving is important – if you want to use your action after you move away from Big Hulking Mad Man, try using your bonus action to shove him first. It probably won’t work if you’re a wimpy mage character or something, but you never know – you might get a crit and shove him away so you can flee and toss a fireball down his throat.

That’s about all my tips for newbies to combat. I think in the prologue the healing things treat it as a long rest, but not positive, so use them liberally. Also, equip ranged weapons, they come in handy to try to hit something at a distance.

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