How to play Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer with friends

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

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer and coop mode is a somewhat seamless affair, though not an entirely bug-free one at time of writing. But yes, Baldur's Gate 3 does have multiplayer co-operative gameplay, allowing you to adventure with your friends and have them join the party online, because Dungeons and Dragons wouldn't be what it is without multiple bad ideas bouncing off each other. We'll explain how it works and what's involved in our guide to Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer below.

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

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

To play multiplayer with friends in Baldur's Gate 3 is somewhat simple. From the main menu you can pick the "Multiplayer" option, at which point you can either select an existing lobby and 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. While originally only friends could join each other, it's now possible to play with random players.

Alternatively, players can join a single-player game in progress, if the host allows it. To do that, the host pauses the game and selects "Session" from the pause menu, which allows you to invite friends and assign control of various characters and party members to different people. Which is good, because everyone has their preferences when it comes to the Baldur's Gate 3 classes.

How does multiplayer work?

Baldur's Gate 3 multiplayer

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Multiplayer in Baldur's Gate 3 allows players to join somebody's specific adventure, with one player hosting. The rules on it are a little sticky, but here's the basics:

  • Joining a single player game in progress has you take over an existing party member, rather than importing your own.
  • Creating a multiplayer game from scratch allows you to make your own character from the start, so you're not dependent on controlling one of the Baldur's Gate 3 companions.
  • Characters can go 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. The person who prompted dialogue is in control, but others can mark what they think the best option is and what they'd pick.
  • There is no splitscreen or local co-op at time of writing, though you can connect via LAN on the multiplayer menu.
  • There is no official competitive mode. While there's technically nothing stopping you hurling Firebolts at each other, this is a collaborative game where co-op is the main point, and there's no reward for attacking or outdoing each other.

Being early access, multiplayer is still pretty buggy, though things should ideally get better as we approach and pass the final release to come. We've also heard that cross-play will be functional when Baldur's Gate 3 moves to more platforms later on.

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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.