CRPGs are notorious for being very lengthy investments, and Baldur’s Gate 3 is no exception. Even in its early access days, players were spending hundreds of hours on just the first act of the game, though just doing the main story would be significantly less. Some people may spend hours just in the character creator choosing their race and speccing out their class, while others may dive in and only do the main quests. In a game this large, your playtime will vary quite a bit, but no matter how much, or little, of a completionist you are, we can give you a good idea of just how long Baldur’s Gate 3 will take to beat.
Oh boy, this is going to be a somewhat complicated and intimidating answer. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a massive CRPG that is all about giving you a unique and tailored experience. Everything from your race, stats, and skills to choices, dialogue choices, and successful or failed skill checks can alter your playtime in some way. There’s also the vast number of optional activities and objectives you can choose to engage with or ignore, as well as your difficulty level, to consider. Prior to launch, Larian Studios developer Swen Vincke said that an average playthrough of the game would take “between 75 to 100 hours, that’s what we’re seeing. That’s not doing everything, that is just going to be a playthrough. There will be people who will be way over that, the ones who want to do everything. They will probably hit 200 hours, I think. On average, we’re seeing people who are going through take about 75 to 100 hours.”
From our experience, we would say that figure is accurate if you’re playing on the normal difficulty and taking time to do some sidequests and diversions to explore and engage in a decent amount of the optional content. Normally, a 25-hour range would be a bit wide as an average, but when you consider how your class comes into play, how much combat you encounter, to what degree you are role-playing, and whether or not you’re playing alone or in co-op, it starts to make more sense.
If we had to estimate a length of a playthrough focused only on completing the main quest, that could cut your playtime down to somewhere between 40 to 50 hours. Again, that’s a large gap for all the variance, but considering the type of game this is, we wouldn’t recommend playing this way.
Finally, for completionists, that 200-hour mark mentioned by Vincke almost seems too low. If you considered doing everything with just one of the 12 classes and 11 races (not counting subclasses and subraces), then perhaps 200 hours would be accurate, but rerolling your character, doing new builds, and playing in or out of co-op can give you hundreds upon hundreds of hours of content.
As mentioned, a lot of players got a good long look at Baldur’s Gate 3‘s first act via early access, but the full game will feature three act. However, if you’ve played that first act, you shouldn’t expect it to represent one-third of the total playtime. Each act will vary in length, with act 2 being by far the largest, with the third shrinking down to something closer to the size of the first. These acts are meant to give players a bit of a breakpoint to step away from the game if they wish and then return later at a good point to pick the story back up.