In Baldur’s Gate 3, players are often faced with situations where combat is inevitable. However, not every battle needs to end in death. There are moments when players might wish to incapacitate their foes without delivering a fatal blow, either due to moral reasons or strategic gameplay choices. This is where the non-lethal damage mechanic comes into play. This guide will provide an in-depth look at how to use non-lethal damage and its workings in the game.


How to Use Non-Lethal Attacks

To use non-lethal attacks, players must first activate the non-lethal mode. This can be done by navigating to the Passives section of the hotbar or expanding the action radial for those using a controller. Players should look for an icon depicting a figure being struck on the head with a hammer.

Hovering over this icon will display the Toggle Non-Lethal Attacks description. By selecting it, each party member will have a smaller version of this icon next to their portrait, indicating that non-lethal mode is active. It’s essential to double-check this setting at the start of combat to ensure it’s activated when needed.

Combat Mechanics

While in non-lethal mode, it’s crucial to understand that not all actions will result in non-lethal outcomes. Ranged attacks and spells will still deal lethal damage, as there’s no way to mitigate the harm caused by these methods. Only melee weapons, such as swords, glaives, and daggers, will incapacitate enemies instead of killing them. You can also use an unarmed weapon slot for non-lethal damage if melee weapons aren’t available.


Non-Lethal Damage Tips

Strategic Combat Choices

Non-lethal attacks can be used at any point during combat, proving useful in encounters where players might prefer avoiding fatalities. For instance, early in the game, players encounter two tieflings deliberating over the fate of the fighter, Lae’zel. A failed persuasion check can lead to combat. In such scenarios, players might opt for non-lethal measures, especially if they wish to align with certain factions or maintain a good-aligned character.

Temporarily Hostile Targets

Another crucial aspect to note is the “temporarily hostile” condition. Enemies with this status imply that incapacitating them now might result in them being non-hostile upon a later encounter. This offers players a chance to navigate tricky situations without making permanent enemies.

Moral and Ethical Choices

Baldur’s Gate 3 is rife with moral dilemmas. Players might find themselves in combat due to misunderstandings, failed checks, or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Using non-lethal attacks allows players to progress without the weight of unnecessary deaths on their conscience. Moreover, incapacitated foes can still be looted, albeit it’s termed as stealing.


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