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What is the Baldur’s Gate 3 max level?

Larian's DnD RPG uses Dungeons and Dragons 5e character levels, but there's a limit - here's the Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap and how to hit it.

Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap guide - author BG3 screenshot showing a wizard character wearing a floppy hat

Looking to find out the Baldur’s Gate 3 max level cap? It’s a key stat – Larian’s gargantuan Dungeons and Dragons RPG might claim to offer a playtime of 70-100 hours, but let’s be honest: fantasy adventures tend to go off the boil once your character stops leveling up and getting new skills. This guide explains the official BG3 max level cap; how leveling up works in BG3, and how many XP you need for each level up.

If you’re just starting out in BG3, have a look at our guide to the Baldur’s Gate 3 classes and Baldur’s Gate 3 races first, to help you craft your ideal character.

You should also cast an eye over our guides to all the BG3 companions and BG3 romance options – racing to the max level cap is hardly the only fun to be had, after all. If you’ve not yet taken a trip to the Sword Coast, our Baldur’s Gate 3 review may help you decide. However, if you want a glimpse at the finish line…

Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap guide - author BG3 screenshot showing the game launch screen animation, including a party stepping down into a dungeon with the Baldur's Gate crest on the wall

The current Baldur’s Gate 3 max level cap is 12. While a slight disappointment to some fans who hoped to see BG3 include the full range of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons levels 1-20, developer Larian says this is an increase from the game’s earlier planned level cap of ten.

In one of the studio’s pre-launch ‘Panel from Hell’ live streams, Larian founder and Creative Director Sven Vincke said the level cap had been raised to 12 to give players access to “rad high-level spells” including “Planar Allies, Otto’s Irresistible Dance, and Chain Lightning”.

The Early Access version of Baldur’s Gate 3 (which only included the game’s first act) initially had a level cap of four, before extending it to five. So, even if you’ve been playing BG3 for three years in Early Access, the launch version still offers more than twice as many levels to grow through than you’ve experienced so far.

Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap guide - author BG3 screenshot showing a wizard character wearing a floppy hat, standing on the bridge into the Goblin Camp in Act 1

Will the Baldur’s Gate 3 max level increase post launch?

Some fans have hopefully suggested Larian could be intending to increase the BG3 max level as part of upcoming DLC or game updates.

While Larian has said nothing yet to indicate this is the case, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the first major Baldur’s Gate 3 DLC (for there surely will be some) include at least a couple more levels for your characters to progress through.

After all, presuming that players hit the current level 12 cap in the course of the main game, they’ll want some way for their character to keep developing while exploring the DLC’s additional challenges.

That said, we reckon the level cap won’t go too much higher than 12 any time soon. This is because BG3 is based directly upon DnD 5th edition, whose 1-20 level scale canonically spans from powerless commoner (level 0/1) to godlike, reality-bending super-being (level 20).

Level 20 Dungeons and Dragons characters aren’t just tooled-up badasses; they have abilities which (like the infamously broken DnD spell known as Wish 5e) have functionally unlimited powers. This setup is perfect for an imaginative tabletop RPG session, but almost impossible to make work in a DnD videogame.

With that said, we wouldn’t rule anything out completely. The sheer, bewildering breadth, depth, and flexibility of the Baldur’s Gate 3 base game speaks to Larian’s appetite for delivering the impossible, after all. And, with Hasbro expecting Baldur’s Gate 3 sales to surpass the last 10 years of tie-in DnD movies, it seems as though the money’s there. We live in hope.

Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap guide - author BG3 screenshot showing the characters' XP bars and a dialog box explaining how many XP remain to get to the next level

How does levelling up work in BG3?

Rather helpfully (at least, helpfully for veterans of many a Dungeons and Dragons campaign), Baldur’s Gate 3 mirrors the DnD level up system exactly.

Each time a character passes one of the experience point (XP) thresholds in the table below, they’ll level up – unlocking ability score increases, feats, new skills and spells, and more.

Level Experience Points
1 0
2 300
3 900
4 2,700
5 6,500
6 14,000
7 23,000
8 34,000
9 48,000
10 64,000
11 85,000
12 100,000

We’ll be able to comment more on this when we’ve actually had time to finish the game – but Baldur’s Gate 3’s concluding quests, areas, and enemies are presumably tuned to a party of level 12 characters. So it’ll most likely be heavily advisable to hit max level, unlocking BG3’s most powerful spells and abilities, before taking a run at completing the story.

Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap guide - author BG3 screenshot showing Lae'Zel in conversation with the player.

How do I get XP in Baldur’s Gate 3?

As BG3 aims to give players a level of freedom that’s as close as possible to tabletop DnD, there are a fair few ways for your characters to gain XP, beyond simply bludgeoning fantasy enemies to death in combat.

The main activities that earn you XP in Baldur’s Gate 3 are:

  • Completing quests
  • Exploring new areas of the map
  • Passing skill checks
  • Defeating enemies in combat

Naturally, behaving like a ‘murder hobo’ and slaughtering every single killable NPC that crosses your path is going to be one of the more efficient ways to climb to the BG3 level cap quickly – but we recommend strongly against it (at least on your first playthrough).

This a lovingly detailed fantasy world where (almost) every person, animal, monster, or other creature you meet has some kind of story or quest behind them. You’ll have a better time leveling up via a mix of exploring, questing, talking, and fighting, rather than doing just the last one and leaving a bloody trail across the Sword Coast.

Baldur's Gate 3 max level cap guide - author BG3 screenshot showing Lae'zel with a greatsword near the Goblin Camp

Loving Baldur’s Gate 3, and want to try the full-fat tabletop version? You’re in the right place to start – try our expanded guides to the original DnD classes and DnD races, or our beginner’s guide on how to play Dungeons and Dragons.