"The biggest-brained AI move in history" has Baldur's Gate 3 tacticians sharing the best and worst of the RPG's NPCs

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian)

The robust combat systems in Baldur's Gate 3 offer equally stunning showcases for both brilliance and stupidity, and "the biggest-brained AI move in history" has players sharing the best and worst moves they've seen from the RPG's NPCs.

We're about to talk about particular in-game encounters, so here's your warning that some minor spoilers for fights you might find yourself in are about to follow. This all starts with an anecdote about a battle you're likely to find yourself in near the end of Act 1, against the Drow boss Nere in Grymforge.

When Reddit user DeyUrban did that fight, "Nere himself got pushed into the lava. Business as usual, I was preparing to reload a save so I could get his head for the Myconid sovereign, but then I witnessed the craziest thing I have seen in the game so far - One of his crossbowmen shot a push-back arrow AT NERE, and it PUSHED HIM BACK UP ONTO SOLID GROUND. I was absolutely stunned, I wouldn't have even thought of doing that. The AI is something else in this game man, I've seen a couple cases where they did something really stupid but otherwise even on Balanced [difficulty] they are extremely competent."

While that anecdote is all about how smart Baldur's Gate 3 characters can be, the top comment underneath sums up the rest of the responses: "The duality of AI is that they do shit like this then walk into their own AoE with only 4 HP left."

The most infuriating AI blunders, of course, are those that come from friendly characters. The biggest heartbreak I've seen comes from ladollyvita84, who managed to "finally save Isobel at Last Light Inn after so many attempts... then Jaheira walks into my still-active moonbeam and aggros the whole place against me."

"I had an instance where Shadowheart was on fire, shockingly the friendly AI used their turn to dash then push Shadowheart out of the fire. My mind was blown away when that happened. Guess what though? That friendly AI was now the one standing on fire," the aptly-named AggravatingRage says.

That sort of story about AI doing something really smart and then following it up with something really dumb is pretty common. "Jaheira 'wasted' an action to throw a water bottle on Shadowheart and my Paladin/Warlock Tav," DERH4UPTMANN says, which "put the fire on the ground and the characters out. In the same fight she revived Lae'zel with a healing spell. She also used her thorn grappling thing to pull an archer to his death. And then she ran into MY dagger cloud and died… Reload it was…"

The Baldur's Gate 3 AI broadly seems to be the personification of the "I am a genius! …oh no!" meme, which is also a pretty accurate summation of how I tend to feel about my own combat tactics. Listen, if the AI ran through its own wall of fire spells as often as I do you'd probably think it was completely broken.

If you want to see a true Baldur's Gate 3 tactician at work, you can follow that link for a breakdown of one genius's incredible method to beat the game's most difficult chapter. 

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.