What you need to know
- Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5 just dropped and it's packed with new content, including a playable epilogue that takes place 6 months after the game.
- An Honour mode has been added, meaning players only get one solitary save file, and a custom game mode to tweak settings.
- Orin's armor is now an item drop and companion inventory management vastly improved.
- Performance enhancements have been made to RAM/VRAM use and these are directly related to work undertaken to get the game working on Xbox Series S, as quoted by dev on Twitter.
Wake up Baldur's Babes, new patch just dropped, and oh boy is it a good one. Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5 just launched and not only are the patch notes juicy and full of all the new content added to our favorite D&D-like adventure, a dev has attributed the performance improvements for PC and PS5 to the work the team have been doing on Xbox Series S. Without further ado, let's dive into all that we can expect from Patch 5.
Baldur's Gate Patch 5 adds new playable epilogue
First up in the patch notes, after acknowledging that an incredible 1.3 million players have completed Baldur's Gate 3, the devs tell us of a whole epilogue to play, Journey's End. Set at a camp in High Hall, overlooking the city of Baldur's Gate itself we'll see the culmination of all of our choices throughout our game. According to Larian, this particular chapter has "resulted in some of the most complex writing in the game thus far", as it utilizes all of the choices you have made during your playthrough.
In Journey's End we'll get new cinematics, reunite with our companions and even get to play fetch with Scratch in a tale that takes place 6 months after the story's end.
Companions will get new clothes
In news that will delight fashion fans, our companions are getting new threads. Your final party each get a new outfit, and Orin's armor is now droppable loot that can be dyed to your preference. Larian have showed a photo of Astarion looking even more impeccable in Orin's stolen gear, and I can't wait to get my hands on
Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5 adds two new game modes
Can you imagine Karlach disapproving of your actions and you not being able to immediately reload your save? Well imagine no longer, as those who want a tougher and more organic experience can now play Honour mode. Honour Mode is not only harder than Tactician (the game's previous hard mode) it also introduces over 30 new tweaks to all of Baldur's Gate 3’s boss-fights, with a new Legendary Action system meaning bosses can perform new and unexpected actions.
Honour mode is one save, and one save only, if you die it's all over. You will be presented with some interesting statistics on death though to show off your survival skills. If you do manage to complete this mode, you'll earn a GOLDEN D20.
Custom mode brings a whole new level of customization to your gameplay, including the option to play like a true D&D experience by hiding the numbers required to pass a dice roll. You can also tweak things like Short rests being able to heal the party, disabling death saving throws and even hide failed perception checks.
Performance updates thanks to the Xbox Series S
It's true, the Xbox Series S was the hero all along. We already know that Larian found a 34% VRAM optimization technique whilst working their fingers to the bone trying to get the game to work smoothly on the Xbox Series S, and said this could improve the game on all platforms. Well now we will finally see the fruits of that labour as the performance improvements coming to PC and PS5 are as a direct result of this work.
Patch 5 is really good. Spent the whole day talking with devs & Co. going through it all. They were all so fucking proud of the changes. I can tell a lot of these were “finally, we did *this*!” Interesting thing post launch to see so many of them so keen to perfect the experienceNovember 29, 2023
"Performance improvements are coming to both PC and PS5 on behalf of all the work that’s gone into optimising for Xbox. That’s exciting, but also maybe the least exciting thing in Patch 5" said the Director of Publishing on Twitter. Patch 5 brings reduced memory leaks and RAM/VRAM use as well as other improvements.
Quality of life changes, and kissing...
No more switching companions in and out of the party to give them new gear, we'll now be able to manage our companion's inventories directly from camp and in one single UI. Then perhaps the single most important change of all? Improved character kissing animations. Yes really.
In addition to this, Korean language support is now available, and there will be a visual transformation to character eyes who choose to turn half-Ilithid.
We're aiming to release Patch 5 this week, which fixes the eternally-active acts of thefts & violence causing slowdowns, introduced in the previous patch. It also fixes Astarion's little kisses, and more! pic.twitter.com/APRAPdSouNNovember 27, 2023
Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5 is huge
Patch 5 is huge, and I don't just mean the patch notes, which are so big that they hit the character limit on Steam, but actually HUGE at 30GB. So if you want to play all of the above new content, you better start downloading now. Larian have stated it needs approximately 130GB of free space on your device to install, and if you don't have this room you'll need to completely uninstall the game and re-download the patched version. My broadband router is already crying.
The FULL patch notes were too lengthy to list here, but you can read them in full over at Larian's website.
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Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.