How to play Baldur's Gate 3 co-op multiplayer with friends

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

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer is a slightly complex thing to set up, but one that can definitely be worth it - after all, what's more of a D&D tradition than an adventuring party formed of friends working together? Baldur's Gate 3 provides that opportunity, allowing you to fill the party of four with friends online or splitscreen, allowing for a real chance to work together in battling the illithid invasion. With that in mind, here's how to get started playing BG3 multiplayer mode, including an explanation of how each method works.

How to play multiplayer co-op in Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer session list

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

To get into a multiplayer session in Baldur's Gate 3, the easiest method is to pick the "Multiplayer" option from the main menu. Here you can either select a session from the list to join somebody else's game, or press the "Create" button at the bottom of the screen to create your own game and lobby which other people can join. If you're playing with friends using the same network as you, you can also switch over to the LAN tab and find your friends there.

Alternatively, you can join a single-player game in progress, if the host allows and/or invites you. To do that, the host pauses the game and selects "Session" from the pause menu, which allows them to invite friends and assign control of various characters and party members to different people.

How does multiplayer work?

baldur's gate 3 multiplayer

(Image credit: Larian)

Once you've either joined someone else's Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer session or set up your own, there are a few rules to be aware of that affect who each player plays as and what each player can do when in co-op. Here are the basics:

  • Joining a single-player game in progress has you take over one of the host's existing party members, rather than bringing in your own character. As mentioned above, the host dictates who controls who.
  • Creating a multiplayer game from scratch allows you to make your own character from the start. When creating a character you can invite friends. This'll mean all players can use their own newly created characters and won't need to control one of regular the Baldur's Gate 3 companions.
  • Players can do their own thing. You're not obliged to stay near each other or take the same actions, though as ever, survival is easiest through collaboration.
  • If one character starts dialogue, others can suggest choices but don't actively participate. The player that initiated dialogue is in control, but others can mark the responses they think are best.
  • There is no official PvP mode. While there's technically nothing stopping you hurling Firebolts at each other, this is a collaborative game where co-op play is sort of the point, and there's no reward for attacking or outdoing each other.

How to play Baldur's Gate 3 split screen or couch co-op

(Image: © Larian)

You can play BG3 in split-screen couch co-op if you are playing on PS5. This feature is set to come to the PC version soon, though at the time of writing it is not yet available outside the PS5 game. Couch co-op is another term for local co-op or multiplayer, meaning you need to have a second controller for your friend to use while playing next to you.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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