Baldur's Gate 3 adds D&D's Bard class, playable Gnomes, and "hair upgrades" today

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Baldur's Gate 3 is getting a major update today that adds the new Bard class, Gnomes as a playable race, and plenty more.

Larian Studios revealed Baldur's Gate 3's Patch 8: Of Valour and Love during today's Panel From Hell showcase. The new Bard class will let you "hurl pithy one-liners at your enemies or play songs with your companions by the campfire." 

Bards are split into two subclasses: the combat-focused College of Valour, which gives you battle advantages and abilities to buff and inspire allies. The College of Valour subclass' signature feature is called Combat Inspiration, which lets an ally add +1d6 bonus to their next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. Allies can also choose to add a +1d6 bonus to their next weapon attack's damage, or a +4 bonus to their armor class for one attack.

The Bard's College of Lore subclass focuses on support spellcasting to debuff enemies and buff allies. Its signature feature is Cutting Words, which deals a 1d6 penalty to enemy attack rolls, ability checks, and damage dealt until the start of your next turn. The Perform ability lets you use musical instruments to capture the attention of certain NPCs, who might join in or otherwise reward you for your talent.

Patch 8 also lets you play as "adventurous and vibrant" Gnomes, which are the first new playable race to be added to Baldur's Gate 3 since its launch into Early Access in October 2020.

Remember how I mentioned some pretty big combat changes? Well, Patch 8 introduces swarm AI, which makes minor enemies like animals and goblins group together in combat. Larian hopes this will make for "a much faster and smoother combat experience during larger battles."

Other updates include a new killcam for ranged critical attacks that gives your finishing blow a nice dramatic effect, and improved hair-shading model and "other general improvements" to your character's locks. 

Servers have implemented network compression, which should give folks with slower, less reliable internet connections some noticeable relief when it comes to stability and lag in multiplayer. Finally, Patch 8 adds Brazilian Portuguese subtitles.

For what to play next, don't miss our guide to the best RPGs in 2022.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.