One of Baldur’s Gate 3’s best strengths is the freedom and choice it presents its players– the sheer number of avenues for creativity and resourcefulness are staggering in the game. Thus, it’s only more fitting that the game also extends this design philosophy by allowing players to download modifications they can add to the game.
It’s not as flexible or as plastic as something like Skyrim (nothing is, really), but Baldur’s Gate 3 is already being modded attentively less than a month into its release.
Not everyone is familiar with such a process since, at times, modding can feel like borderline programming, and it can be intimidating. There is going to be official mod support for Baldur’s Gate 3 via Steam, but the devs are still working towards it at the time of writing.
For now, we’ll be helping you with how to mod Baldur’s Gate 3 the good old-fashioned way through Nexus Mods.
Some mods are easy to install since they require just dropping into the game directory, while others are more reliant on a third-party Baldur’s Gate 3 mod manager and some prerequisite mods.
Important note: Before we give instructions on how to mod Baldur’s Gate 3, we recommend that you play the game unmodded first and finish it at least once (take your time, please); some mods can disable the Steam achievements or might even corrupt save files. Remember that all mods for Baldur’s Gate 3 are still unofficial and haven’t gone through the Steam Workshop yet.
Step 1: Download the Baldur’s Gate 3 Mod Manager
Trust us when we say you’re likely not going to stop at one mod. There are so many useful Baldur’s Gate 3 mods. So you might as well download the Baldur’s Gate 3 Mod Manager or BG3MM or BGMM courtesy of a person named LaughingLeader.
- Visit here for the download link. It’s from GitHub, not exactly a user-friendly site if you’re unfamiliar with it, but you can just click on the ‘BG3ModManager_Latest.zip’ word to download the file.
Once you’re done, extract the folder anywhere you can easily find it. There’s also an instruction page on how to install this mod manager in Github, here’s the link. And here are the instructions to save you a click. Skip step 6 for now since you don’t have mods yet.
Step 2: Go to Nexus Mods for Baldur’s Gate 3
If you’re unfamiliar with the site, Nexus Mods is the largest repository of mods for most games that can be modded. Baldur’s Gate has its own directory here.
Here, you can view which mods are most downloaded, endorsed, or new. Each mod has a page, and there are usually installation instructions under the ‘Description’ segment.
One thing to note is that certain mods are more important than others, as some of them act as hotfixes to the game until the developers have sorted out the most glaring bugs and glitches. Other important mods are quality-of-life improvements or companion tweaks.
There are also cheats such as level boosts and the juicy ‘All Items’ mod, which gives you all the items stored in an in-game barrel. However, mods that count as cheats will most likely disable your Steam Achievements if that matters to you. You’ll know which ones are cheat mods; the mod authors will usually warn you before you use them.
Step 3: Download your chosen mod
Once you’re ready to download the mod, just click on ‘Files’ and select ‘Manual Download.’
Depending on the file size, you might be prompted to create an account for Nexus Mods (it’s free, don’t worry). There are two types of download speeds, ‘Slow’ and ‘Fast,’ As expected, the ‘Fast’ download is for users who have paid the premium membership cost.
This premium membership is optional; don’t worry.
Once you’re done with the download, refer to our instructions below:
In order to place the mods in the mod manager, you can just extract the contents of the zipped file for the mod you downloaded to a safe location you can remember. Afterward, open the Baldur’s Gate 3 Mod Manager and click on File > Import Mod > select the mod (.pak file usually) you extracted. Check the image below if you’re having trouble.
This will place the extracted mod in the ‘Inactive Mods’ section of the Mod Manager. In this example, we download the ‘True Initiative’ mod that will replace the Initiative die in Baldur’s Gate 3 from a D4 to a D20, as is the case in the tabletop Dungeons & Dragons.
To activate the mod, just drag it to the ‘Active Mods’ section.
Afterward, hit the ‘Export Order to Game’ button and this will save the mod configuration.
Step 4: Launch the game and follow the mod’s further instructions
Some mods, like the ‘All Items’ mod, have a secondary activation sequence that you need to perform if you want to activate it in-game. Just follow the instructions in the mod description section on its Nexus Mods page.
In any case, you now know how to download and activate the mods. You can also change the mods’ load order depending on its instructions. Feel free to pick and install any mod you want (as long as you’ve at least finished the game once, if it matters). Happy modding! And don’t forget to support the mod authors and our website if and when you can.