Baldur's Gate 3 is getting another big update soon, so developer Larian Studios has released some guidelines to prevent players from unwittingly resetting their save.
The as-yet-unnamed Patch 3 is "just around the corner," the studio said in a new Steam post, and will introduce the first save incompatibility in the game's Early Access history. In other words, if you update to Patch 3, you won't be able to play your current save. Fortunately, the update isn't mandatory, and there are two ways to avoid breaking your current playthrough.
Firstly, you can opt into the secondary branch of the game via Steam's beta program. Per Larian's instructions, just right click on Baldur's Gate 3 in your Steam library and open its properties menu. Navigate to the betas tab and, under the beta drop-down menu, select "patch2" and then close the tab. Voila! Your game will now default to the current, pre-Patch 3 version of the game for as long as you want.
To completely eradicate update anxiety, you can also disable automatic updates through the updates tab of the game's Steam properties menu. That way, your game won't even update to Patch 3 and future patches until you're ready.
"You can already move to the beta branch now, if you’d like to protect your save file and continue on the current version," Larian adds. "Note: save files are not ‘deleted’ from your computer; they’ll remain in your folder, but you’ll only be able to load saves specific to their respective versions."
In other words, even if you do update to Patch 3 on accident, your current save isn't gone for good. You can always go back and swap to the patch2 beta to continue it, but without the new content and features of Patch 3. However, this sort of patch branching is currently unavailable for the Google Stadia version of the game, so take that into account.
Brighter news in the Baldur's Gate 3 patch notes: the dog has been pet several hundred thousand times.