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Baldur's Gate 3 romance options: How to gain approval

There's no shortage of steamy romance options in Baldur's Gate 3

The cast of Baldur's Gate 3.
Image credit: Larian Studios

Want to know how romance works in Baldur's Gate 3? The adventuring life is a tiring life, and no-one knows that more than the Baldur's Gate 3 crew. As you and your campmates traverse the Sword Coast on a fateful journey to save the world, things can get pretty tense, and there's nothing like a steamy one night stand or some endearing romance to break that tension. Developing romantic relationships in Baldur's Gate 3 isn't easy, though, so you'll need to put in some effort to get lucky.

In this guide, we'll break down every romance option in Baldur's Gate 3, covering details on how to romance each companion and what will increase or decrease their approval. We'll also explain how romances work in Baldur's Gate 3, so you can understand roughly what stage you're at when it comes to winning over your favorutie party member.

All romanceable companions in Baldur's Gate 3:

Now that Baldur's Gate 3 has left early access, vid bud Liam reckons it was worth the wait.Watch on YouTube

Romance options in Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 has eight romancable characters, which includes all of your Origin characters and three potential companions you may meet along the way. These are: Astarion, Gale, Halsin, Karlach, Lae'zel, Minthara, Shadowheart, and Wyll.

There are two companions you are unable to romance: Minsc and Jaheira.

To enter a romantic relationship in Baldur's Gate 3, you must select actions that will raise approval with your preferred partner. Approval measures whether your companions agree or disagree with your actions, and is the primary driver for whether they will be open to a romantic relationship. The character sheet shows each character's approval rating of you, and you'll get notices that characters approve or disapprove of your actions at the upper left-hand corner of your screen.

Companion romances have no limitations in terms of gender, race, or other factors beyond your efforts to build rapport within the game. Potential suitors may interact with you differently based on race or class, but ultimately, you can still romance any romanceable character.

You don't need to include them on your quests to romance them, either - though if you do, you may end up taking actions that increase or decrease their approval of you while adventuring. While you can romance more than one character, certain romances may cause specific characters to become jealous of one another.

Astarion romance

Astarion is the snarky, extravagant Rogue that you meet near the Nautiloid crash site, and he has a secret. Shortly after inviting him back to camp, Astarion will reveal himself to be a vampire, and he's pretty eager to drink some of your tasty blood. This presents a few opportunities to actually fight and potentially kill Astarion, but to romance him you'll need to support and follow his whims.

To raise your approval with Astarion, you must let him drink your blood, support his vampiric condition, and generally be dramatic and cruel with your actions. Astarion also likes to see you aligning with "monstrous" creatures, such as goblins. He's also quite posh, so show some appreciation for the finer things to get his approval.

Astarion's approval will decrease if you help others, especially those who are down on their luck, or if you show any weakness. Of course, the inverse of the above points is also true - confronting him about his condition and acting negatively towards it will send your approval rating down, understandably.

Check out our full guide on how to romance Astarion to learn more about getting steamy with this cold-blooded vampire spawn.

Gale romance

Gale gives a smiling and apologetic introduction to the player after being rescued from a portal.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Larian Studios

Gale is the most popular romanceable companion so far, according to Larian. The Wizard of Waterdeep himself, Gale will try to start charming you nice and early. A romantic mind meld, a night of passion, and some heartwarming stargazing are all on the cards here, but you'll also need to help him avert his fated demise. You know, the "blow up to save the world" kind of fate. Normal Wizard things.

To gain Gale's approval, you'll need to display Intelligence and Arcane knowledge by passing relevant checks and dialogue options that use those stats. He also likes to see you find peaceful alternatives to situations that could get dangerous, and will be a big fan if you routinely show kindness. In an amusing twist, you'll also gain his approval by giving him magic items to eat. Wizards, eh?

Gale's approval will decrease if you fail Intelligence or Arcana checks, display aggression or unnecessary violence towards NPCs that you meet, or deny him magic items that could satiate his Arcane Hunger.

Develop your wizarding relationship further with our guide on how to romance Gale in Baldur's Gate 3.

Halsin romance

Halsin, the handsome Druid you can romance in Baldur's Gate 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

An Arch-Druid of the Emerald Grove, Halsin is one of the later companions that you'll meet in Baldur's Gate 3. He is locked within the Goblin Camp that you raid during the finale of Act 1, and you can start to make some romantic hints at the celebration immediately after. However, Halsin won't become properly romanceable until you get a good ending to Act 2 (spoilers follow!) by lifting the Shadow Curse, the dark blight that bars your progress in the game's second act.

To raise Halsin's approval, you'll need to show an affinity for and appreciation of nature. As a Druid, he also likes to see you being kind to animals.

Halsin's approval will decrease if you harm animals or nature. He also generally dislikes unnecessary violence, so be careful to avoid anything that seems unreasonably cruel.

Learn more about getting freaky with this Arch-Druid with our full guide on how to romance Halsin in Baldur's Gate 3.

Karlach romance

Karlach, a Tiefling barbarian that you can romance in Baldur's Gate 3.
Image credit: Larian Studios / Rock Paper Shotgun

Karlach is a fiery Barbarian, and we mean that in the most literal sense. Karlach is hot - so hot, in fact, that touching her will leave you with painful burns. That makes romance quite difficult, as you can no doubt imagine, so you'll need to find some way to cure Karlach of her affliction. This will come during Acts 2 and 3, so it'll be a reasonably long wait.

Of course, you can start gaining Karlach's approval earlier on. Karlach's approval will increase by expressing pro-Tiefling sentiments throughout the game. You'll be given plenty of opportunities for this during Act 1, when the Druids of the Emerald Grove are trying to banish the Tiefling refugees. Karlach also likes other heroic acts, such as protecting the innocent and safeguarding children.

Karlach's approval will decrease if you act generally cruel, or side with those who would propagate such acts (such as the goblin followers of the Absolute in Act 1). Understandably, speaking out against Tieflings at any point will also lower her approval rating.

To learn more about gaining her steamy love, check out our full guide on how to romance Karlach in Baldur's Gate 3.

Lae'zel romance

A close-up of Githyanki warrior Lae'zel from Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

Lae'zel is a mighty, passionate warrior of the Githyanki. That passion overflows into her romantic encounters, though, and she'll prove to be a loyal partner if you're brave, strong, and willing to fight enemies at any turn.

To increase Lae'zel's approval, you must be a bloodthirsty combatant and display your expertise as a fighter. She also likes general acts of aggression, especially towards followers of the Absolute and Mind Flayers.

Lae'zel's approval will decrease if you choose non-violent approaches to encounters. If you're the type who prefers to charm someone with wit rather than smacking them with a sword, you might have a hard time getting Lae'zel invested in your relationship.

Discover more about getting wild with your Githyanki gal with our full guide on how to romance Lae'zel in Baldur's Gate 3.

Minthara romance

Minthara, the bloodthirsty drow in Baldur's Gate 3.
Image credit: Larian Studios / Rock Paper Shotgun

Minthara is one of three leaders in the Goblin Camp during Act 1, and those evil enough to side with the goblins and destroy the Emerald Grove will get a one-night stand nice and early. While she's less open to a full relationship than other companions, you can keep the flirting alive by raising her approval.

To raise Minthara's approval, you must act like a True Soul and show loyalty to the Absolute. Of course, you also need to side with the goblins in Act 1.

Choosing to fight the goblins will make Minthara hostile, and the relationship cannot be recovered after this point. Her approval rating will also go down if you are disloyal to the Absolute.

Embrace the dark side and fall for evil with our full guide on how to romance Minthara in Baldur's Gate 3.

Shadowheart romance

A screenshot from Larian Studios' Baldur's Gate 3 showing party member Shadowheart
Image credit: Larian Studios

Shadowheart is a Cleric of Shar, the goddess of darkness, loss, and the night. Her romance is one of the harder relationships to get in Baldur's Gate 3, taking far longer than most other companions. You can share a kiss early on, after defeating the goblins during Act 1, but advancing further will take time and patience.

To raise Shadowheart's approval, you must show kindness to animals, help the less fortunate, and safeguard children. However, Shadowheart also likes when you approve of her worship of Shar, and her approval will increase further if you also try to follow Shar when the story allows. As a Trickery Domain Cleric, she also likes when you are deceitful, or try to steal things using your Sleight of Hand skill.

However, Shadowheart does not like when you are deceitful towards her, so this will bring your approval rating down. Likewise, choosing to help the wealthy over the poor or being unnecessary violent will also make her dislike you, so try to do good while helping her on the journey to worship Shar.

Learn more about falling for this Sharran Cleric with our full guide on how to romance Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3.

Wyll romance

Wyll smilingly proposes friendship to the player in his first cutscene.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Larian Studios

Wyll the Warlock, the Blade of Frontiers, is a brave, charismatic hero... who has given his soul to a devilish pact. If you're willing to look past the pact and fall for this dashing hero, then you'll also need to become a brave champion of the Sword Coast.

To gain Wyll's approval, you must perform acts of heroism by saving people across the Sword Coast from their many predicaments. Be selfless, help those in need, and take the fight to the baddies threatening the world!

Wyll's approval rating will decrease if you act cruel, entitled, or deceitful towards him or people of the Sword Coast. He also has particular disdain for "monstrous" species, such as Tieflings and Goblins, so make sure to side against them at any cost. Hunting Karlach, for example, will make Wyll happy, as will clearing the Goblin Camp in Act 1.

Will this Warlock to fall in love with you using our full guide on how to romance Wyll in Baldur's Gate 3.

Baldur's Gate 3 romance steps

The Baldur's Gate 3 romancing blueprint is generally the same no matter who you'd like to romance, with Minthara as the exception.

In each case, you must first meet the character. Upon meeting them, try to understand their wants and desires. For instance, Astarion, a Rogue with a hidden condition, will like you more if you tend to side with monsters. Wyll, on the other hand, is quite opposed to assisting monsters, particularly Goblins and Devils.

Generally, you'll need to make decisions and take actions that put your chosen characters' values at the forefront. This will often take time and story progress. If you can earn a high approval from a romancable character, they will express interest in you. To romance a particular character, follow dialogue options most in line with the their belief systems.

Note that you can typically leave a character in camp or far away from the dialogue to avoid disapproval events.

What happens when you romance a character in Baldur's Gate 3?

Romancing bears fruit in the form of romance cutscenes. For most romances, you'll need to complete the Rescue Druid Halsin quest to unlock this opportunity, which will be about 20 hours into normal gameplay. You can then complete a side quest called Save the Refugees, which leads to a celebration. If you have managed to gain a high approval rating from a potential romantic interest, choosing the right dialogue options can lead to an opportunity for you to share your bedroll with them. In doing so, the game will reward you with a romance cutscene. These are often rather intimate, so be prepared for NSFW content.

Though most character romances start in Act 1, you can continue romancing your chosen interests beyond this moment and late into the game. This can earn you additional romantic moments with your chosen partners.

That's everything you need to know about romance in Baldur's Gate 3. If you're itching to dig into this long-awaited RPG, you'll also want to check out our Baldur's Gate 3 release and gameplay details guide.

Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur's Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.

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