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How to romance companions and earn approval in Baldur’s Gate 3

Is that a hidden dagger in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

An elf with long hair and big muscles smiles while trying to romance in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

In Baldur’s Gate 3, romance is a complicated and often messy set of affairs. You need to balance multiple relationships and dig into the secrets and souls of your allies without offending them in the process. Since your allies are often ideologically opposed to each other, you should initially plan on deepening your relationships with one or two allies instead of earning everyone’s approval at the same time.

It’s also worth noting that Baldur’s Gate 3 really earns the “Strong Sexual Content” tag from its ESRB rating. Bear that in mind before initiating romance scenes if you’re in a situation where you don’t really want people overseeing what’s happening on screen. If you’d rather tone it down slightly, visit the options screen and toggle cutscene nudity off.

This in-progress guide explains how romance works and how to raise approval with each companion in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Romance Overview

An elf with a ponytail glares while flirting in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Romance in Baldur’s Gate 3 has at least three moving parts. At the foundation is your approval rating with the love interest in question. Every companion in Baldur’s Gate 3 has an approval meter at the bottom left of their character overview sheet, which you can access by selecting their character portrait and then opening their inventory.

The second part is at least one conversation at your camp that has very specific requirements. Choosing the wrong answer locks you out of a romantic encounter, at least for a short while. We’re not entirely sure of the exact circumstances that trigger this conversation, though it seems like the bare minimum is having the approval meter in the green zone.

Assuming you stay in their good graces until you complete Act 1’s conflict between the goblins and druids, another conversation will occur back at camp. Handle that one correctly, and you can interact with a bed roll at night and choose to invite them with you.

That moment was implied as a sexual one during early access, but that isn’t always the case now. Some characters, including Lae’zel, will ask if you want to get sexual before you even start their romance and companion quests. If you want to deepen your romantic relationship with them, make sure to agree.

As far as we can tell, there’s no consequence for being in a romantic relationship with multiple allies at once. No one’s approval rate drops, and they won’t leave your camp. However, some characters prefer monogamy and will let you know that, if you continue pursuing your other interest, they’d rather stay friends.

After Act 1, the focus turns to completing companion quests and maintaining their approval, rather than navigating the fickleness of flirtation.

All companions you can romance in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here are all the characters you can form a romantic attachment with in Baldur’s Gate 3.

  • Shadowheart
  • Astarion
  • Wyll
  • Lae’zel
  • Gale
  • Karlach
  • Halsin
  • Minthara

Minthara is a bit of a special case, one that requires you to plan ahead and do some very bad things to win her heart — and then she leaves anyway.

You can also enter a relationship with two non-companion characters:

  • Mizora
  • The Emperor Mind Flayer

Shadowheart romance requirements

Shadowheart looks skeptical while standing in a cave in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

The early access exploit that let you start a relationship with Shadowheart early still works in the full version. Head to the Blighted Village, across the bridge that’s west of Emerald Grove, and deal with the goblins there. Ideally, you’ll do it peacefully to avoid a drawn-out battle.

Behind the windmill that the poor gnome is tied to is a busted statue. Speak with Shadowheart about it, and then the next time you’re at camp during the night, you can initiate the first romance conversation.

While speaking with her, you should pick these choices:

  • We should get to know each other more.
  • Tell me more about yourself, besides [spoiler], besides tadpoles.
  • You’ll have to point out Night Orchids to me if we ever pass some.

After selecting the bedroll, you’ll need to make these choices:

  • Tieflings?
  • Are you worried Shar won’t approve?
  • I’d be glad to. (If she asks to share a bottle)
  • I’ll find you after everyone’s turned in for the night.

How to earn approval with Shadowheart

If you want to maintain Shadowheart’s approval, here’s what you should aim to do in general:

  • Be kind to children and the downtrodden.
  • Show mercy where you can, including stopping the Tieflings from killing Sazza.
  • Be kind to animals and find non-violent ways to deal with them, especially in the Owlbear cave.
  • Crush the Ilithid tadpole you can find outside Blighted Village.
  • Make Novice Crusher kiss your foot.

Astarion romance requirements

Astarion looks downcast while wearing a comically ridiculous cowboy hat in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Astarion’s romance follows the usual pattern of raising approval and making the right choices in conversations, though from our experience, he doesn’t have a specific set of dialogue options like Shadowheart does, at least until you rescue Halsin and save the refugees (assuming you do). You just need to be flirtatious in your responses and express interest in Astarion, without rebuffing his interest in you.

After rescuing the refugees, pick these options:

  • Really? Saving lives is awful?
  • True, the goblins would have thrown a wilder party.
  • And what’s your idea of ‘a little fun’?
  • All right, let’s do it. I’ll see you later.

After inviting him to bed, you should say:

  • You don’t have me yet
  • And what do you want?
  • Nod

How to earn approval with Astarion

Astarion is your typical noble, a man who’s very interested in himself and doesn’t mind seeing other people suffer for his amusement. In general, you should:

  • Tell lies and practice deception.
  • Intimidate people.
  • Be cruel to animals (e.g. kick the squirrel in Emerald Grove).
  • Be cruel to other characters, by mocking them or messing with their emotions.

Avoid being nice if you want Astarion to like you.

Lae’zel romance requirements

Lae’zel frowns while talking to the player character in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Lae’zel is a bit like Astarion in the sense that she despises kindness, though she’s less capricious in her appreciation of brutality. True to her no-nonsense nature, there’s only one required conversation before starting a romance with her, and it’s a short one during the celebration after rescuing the refugees.

She’ll approach you and ask whether she can sniff you (yes, this is true). Say:

  • Are you... asking for sex?
  • Yes. I will share my bed with you tonight.

And that’s it.

How to earn approval with Lae’zel

Getting Lae’Zel to like you basically means acting like her. You should:

  • Choose violence.
  • Tell people you don’t have the time or willingness to help them.
  • Side with those carrying out rough justice (e.g. let the Tieflings kill Sazza and don’t save the thief child in Emerald Grove).
  • Let her speak with the githyanki.
  • Roar at the delusional elf in Auntie Ethel’s lair.
  • During the night when you’re sick, tell Lae’zel she’s far gone and that you’ll kill her first – but don’t actually kill her.

Gale romance requirements

Gale stands in darkness in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Making Gale fall in love with you takes a bit more effort at the end. Much like Shadowheart, he prefers kindness and sympathy. However, he’s also reluctant to start a relationship for spoilery reasons and needs some extra encouragement to take that step.

We’re not sure whether you have to give him magical items to consume as part of a romance requirement, but it’s certainly worth handing them over to keep him happy with you.

On the night of the refugee rescue celebration, Gale invites you under a Weave. Say:

  • You’re a good teacher.
  • Hold on to the moment. It’s a good night for intimacy.
  • Picture kissing him.

The next time you talk about your magic lesson with him, pick these choices:

  • I never though it was so easy to cast magic.
  • So what did you think about what I pictured when we were connected by the Weave?

Take a long rest, and then the next time you spend a night at camp, you should see him having issues near the campfire. Speak with him and offer comfort and sympathy, and don’t rebuff him when he says he wants to get closer with you. You should be able to choose Gale when you next interact with your bed roll.

Karlach romance requirements

Karlach smolders on a sunny day in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Romancing Karlach is a bit more in-depth at first and requires you to advance her companion questline — something you’ll have to do with each character’s romance once you get to Act 2. To start with, though, you need to:

  • Keep Wyll from killing her.
  • Keep the Fist of Tyr from killing her.
  • Start her quest to find an Infernal Engineer.

It’s unclear whether giving Karlach Soul Coins makes a difference in her approval rating, but you should respond positively and willingly when the conversation first happens.

Once her approval is high enough, a scene triggers during a long rest at camp where you can share a kiss with Karlach. From our experience, you have to at least have rescued Dammon and finished the first part of Karlach’s Infernal Engine quest.

Completing the second part of the quest in the Grymforge advances your relationship further, but you can at least turn the heat up before then. Literally. Karlach burns so hotly that you have to douse her before you can get intimate.

Throw water on her, use the Create Water spell, or cast Ray of Frost to cool her down, and then speak with her again. Say:

  • I want to talk about your Infernal Engine.
  • You got your second upgrade. How does it feel?
  • I’ve never been more excited for anything in my life.
  • Of course. Nothing would make me happier.

Choose your bed by the campfire, and then say:

  • Go on.
  • I’m yours.
  • I thought you’d never ask.

How to each approval with Karlach

Karlach and Gale share similar worldviews, so she appreciates kindness, valor, bravery, and a little bit of violence. She can’t abide cruelty, siding with devils and villains, or weakness, though, so if you choose to help the goblins and Minthara, expect Karlach to be sorely displeased.

In general, you should:

  • Defend Karlach.
  • Choose violence.
  • Help those in need, especially Tieflings (including Arabella, the bard outside the grove, Silfy, and Mol).
  • Save the Druids and refugees in Emerald Grove.
  • Upgrade her Infernal Engine.
  • Don’t fall for Auntie Ethel’s disguise.
  • Give Mayrina the wand with Connor inscribed on it.

Wyll romance requirements

Wyll gazes at the player character while in conversation in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Wyll’s romance is a lot more complex than it was during early access, at least if you have Karlach in your party. If you have Karlach, but not Wyll, then Wyll invades your camp during the first long rest after you recruit Karlach. You need to calm him down, defend Karlach, and, of course, don’t kill him.

We haven’t found a way to navigate the conversation with Mizora and get an ending where Wyll doesn’t transform. Be kind and supportive after he does transform, and exhaust all dialogue options. Say you want to dance with him when prompted.

Once his approval is high enough, you’ll encounter him dancing alone at camp. Join, and you’ll have to pass an Acrobatics, Strength, or Performance check. We chose Acrobatics, so while we’re not sure if the other two have positive outcomes, it’s probably best to stick to that one.

Kiss Wyll after the dance.

Wyll’s romance and quest in Act 2 center on the quest to save his father, so make sure to follow that through and keep Wyll and his father’s interests at heart during the quest.

How to earn approval with Wyll

True to his background as a folk hero, Wyll prefers action and valor, with a splash of determination and kindness on the side. In most cases, you can expect the actions that Shadowheart and Gale approve of to go down well with Wyll, though there are a few specific instances where you need to make certain choices to keep him happy.

  • Fight the goblins near the windmill in Blighted Village instead of scaring them off.
  • Don’t let the devil remove your tadpole.
  • Help Zevlor in Emerald Grove.
  • Help Karlach during Hunt the Devil.
  • Save Halsin.
  • Defeat Minthara and the goblins.
  • Be kind and supportive if Wyll undergoes a transformation because of choices made when you speak to Mizora the first time.

Minthara romance requirements

Minthara glares while standing in front of an illuminated castle in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Minthara is a malicious drow who wants to destroy the druids and bring pain and suffering to the world — not your usual romance candidate, in other words. Getting in her good books is also not your usual courtship ritual.

Minthara isn’t a party member, so there’s no specific actions you should take while adventuring to gain her approval in general. What you will need to do is sell out the Druids, though.

Head to the Shattered Sanctum in the goblin camp, and speak with Minthara. Give her information about Emerald Grove and the goblin attacks there, and after the goblins destroy the settlement, speak with Minthara again. Say:

  • It’s been a privilege to fight alongside you.
  • Embrace the change.
  • Open your mind.

During the goblin camp party, speak with her one more time and tell her that you belong to her. Interact with your bed roll, and choose to sleep with Minthara.

Halsin romance requirements

Halsin laughs at dusk in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

The Halsin romance is one of Baldur’s Gate 3’s more involved relationships, and you have to put in quite a lot of effort before he’ll even join your party as a romance candidate. We’ve outlined how it works in our Halsin quest guide, but the short version is that you have to:

  • Rescue Halsin from the goblin camp.
  • Save the refugees.
  • Complete Halsin’s quest, with Halsin’s needs in mind.

He’ll join your group as a playable character after his quest, and you can work on raising his approval the same as with your other companions.

Once his approval is high enough, do the usual long rest routine at camp, and speak with Halsin. The conversation with him is a bit more involved than usual if you’re already in a relationship with someone else.

Respond positively to his overtures, and express your interest in him. Then, Halsin will bring up your other connection. He’s happy to be in a polyamourous relationship, and if you are as well, you should tell him:

  • I will speak with [partner’s name].

Bear in mind that not every companion is keen on polyamory, so you might have to choose between them and Halsin.

To end your other relationship and only be with Halsin, tell the druid:

  • I want you. Consider things ended between [partner] and I.

Go to bed, and a scene with Halsin will play next. You can pick any of the first four choices the next two times you’re asked to say something. The scene goes one of two ways after that.

How to get the Halsin Bear romance scene

If you want the infamous bear scene, tell Halsin after he accidentally transforms:

  • “Don’t apologize. I like it.”

Then, say:

  • “Yes. Change back again. Let me have the beast... and the beast have me.”

How to get the Halsin standard romance scene

If you’d rather stick to Halsin’s elf form, choose one of the other options after he transforms into a bear.

How to gain approval with Halsin

Halsin has values similar to Gale and Karlach in that he values kindness and honesty, so you might want to keep Lae’zel and Astarion in camp while you’re getting close with the druid.

You should:

  • Be kind to animals.
  • Respect nature.
  • Support Halsin’s beliefs.
  • Show kindness to others.

Some specific actions you can take in Act 3 are:

  • Being kind to the pig in Rivington.
  • Taking Halsin to the Dryad in Rivington and saying: “Comfort doesn’t come naturally.”
  • Helping the Tiefling refugees when you meet them again.

Mizora romance requirements

Mizora stands in the sun in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Mizora has no approval rating, since she’s not a companion. Instead, you have to follow a very specific chain of events if you want to win her over, and they start in Act 1.

You should:

  • Save the Tieflings in Act 1 and keep Wyll’s approval high enough that he remains in your party.
  • Help Mizora find Zariel’s Asset at Moonrise Towers in Act 2, and free Mizora from the Mind Flayer colony before taking down Thorm.
  • At Wyrm’s Rock Fortress in Act 3, avoid fighting Gortash immediately, and speak with Mizora afterward.
  • Speak with Mizora at your camp, and let her stay. A new conversation should be available after the next long rest or two.

Mizora will propose an intimate encounter. Say “sounds delicious,” and take a long rest again.

When you wake up, choose:

  • Bask in the powerful sensations.
  • I’m ready.

After the next scenes unfold, choose:

  • Step into Mizora’s outstretched wings.

In our experience, the consequences of this connection weren’t much different from your other relationships. Anyone you’re currently involved with will be disappointed at your betrayal, and Wyll won’t be very happy either.

Emperor Mind Flayer romance requirements

Emperor Mind Flayer gazes in a mystical realm in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

This relationship is a giant spoiler, so while we go into as little detail as possible, you may want to ignore it unless you’re about to start Act 3.

Shortly after Act 3 begins, side with the Mind Flayer during the Astral Plane conflict, and choose to evolve. After the next long rest or two, you’ll start seeing them in your dreams again at night. Choose the positive dialogue options that encourage a deeper relationship, and hold their hand when you get the opportunity.

The next dream sequence is when you have the option to pursue a physical relationship. When prompted, say:

  • I could have done with more coddling.
  • True.

Don’t reject their advances if you want to go through with the physical relationship.