How to romance companions and earn approval in Baldur’s Gate 3

In Baldur’s Gate 3, romance is a complicated and often messy set of affairs. You need to balance multiple relationships and dig into the secrets and souls of your allies without offending them in the process. Since your allies are often ideologically opposed to each other, you should initially plan on deepening your relationships with one or two allies instead of earning everyone’s approval at the same time.

It’s also worth noting that Baldur’s Gate 3 really earns the “Strong Sexual Content” tag from its ESRB rating. Bear that in mind before initiating romance scenes if you’re in a situation where you don’t really want people overseeing what’s happening on screen. If you’d rather tone it down slightly, visit the options screen and toggle cutscene nudity off.

This in-progress guide explains how romance works and how to raise approval with each companion in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Romance Overview

An elf with a ponytail glares while flirting in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Romance in Baldur’s Gate 3 has at least three moving parts. At the foundation is your approval rating with the love interest in question. Every companion in Baldur’s Gate 3 has an approval meter at the bottom left of their character overview sheet, which you can access by selecting their character portrait and then opening their inventory.

The second part is at least one conversation at your camp that has very specific requirements. Choosing the wrong answer locks you out of a romantic encounter, at least for a short while. We’re not entirely sure of the exact circumstances that trigger this conversation, though it seems like the bare minimum is having the approval meter in the green zone.

Assuming you stay in their good graces until you complete Act 1’s conflict between the goblins and druids, another conversation will occur back at camp. Handle that one correctly, and you can interact with a bed roll at night and choose to invite them with you.

As far as we can tell, there’s no consequence for being in a romantic relationship with multiple allies at once.

All companions you can romance in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here are all the characters you can form a romantic attachment with in Baldur’s Gate 3.

  • Shadowheart
  • Astarion
  • Wyll
  • Lae’zel
  • Gale
  • Karlach
  • Halsin
  • Minthara
  • Jaheira
  • Minsc

Minthara is a bit of a special case, one that requires you to plan ahead and do some very bad things to win her heart — and then she leaves anyway.

Shadowheart romance requirements

Shadowheart looks skeptical while standing in a cave in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

The early access exploit that let you start a relationship with Shadowheart early still works in the full version. Head to the Blighted Village, across the bridge that’s west of Emerald Grove, and deal with the goblins there. Ideally, you’ll do it peacefully to avoid a drawn-out battle.

Behind the windmill that the poor gnome is tied to is a busted statue. Speak with Shadowheart about it, and then the next time you’re at camp during the night, you can initiate the first romance conversation.

While speaking with her, you should pick these choices:

  • We should get to know each other more.
  • Tell me more about yourself, besides [spoiler], besides tadpoles.
  • You’ll have to point out Night Orchids to me if we ever pass some.

After selecting the bedroll, you’ll need to make these choices:

  • Tieflings?
  • Are you worried Shar won’t approve?
  • I’d be glad to. (If she asks to share a bottle)
  • I’ll find you after everyone’s turned in for the night.

How to earn approval with Shadowheart

If you want to maintain Shadowheart’s approval, here’s what you should aim to do in general:

  • Be kind to children and the downtrodden.
  • Show mercy where you can, including stopping the Tieflings from killing Sazza.
  • Be kind to animals and find non-violent ways to deal with them, especially in the Owlbear cave.
  • Crush the Ilithid tadpole you can find outside Blighted Village.
  • Make Novice Crusher kiss your foot.

Astarion romance requirements

Astarion looks downcast while wearing a comically ridiculous cowboy hat in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Astarion’s romance follows the usual pattern of raising approval and making the right choices in conversations, though from our experience, he doesn’t have a specific set of dialogue options like Shadowheart does, at least until you rescue Halsin and save the refugees (assuming you do). You just need to be flirtatious in your responses and express interest in Astarion, without rebuffing his interest in you.

After rescuing the refugees, pick these options:

  • Really? Saving lives is awful?
  • True, the goblins would have thrown a wilder party.
  • And what’s your idea of ‘a little fun’?
  • All right, let’s do it. I’ll see you later.

After inviting him to bed, you should say:

  • You don’t have me yet
  • And what do you want?
  • Nod

How to earn approval with Astarion

Astarion is your typical noble, a man who’s very interested in himself and doesn’t mind seeing other people suffer for his amusement. In general, you should:

  • Tell lies and pracatice deception.
  • Intimidate people.
  • Be cruel to animals (e.g. kick the squirrel in Emerald Grove).
  • Be cruel to other characters, by mocking them or messing with their emotions.

Avoid being nice if you want Astarion to like you.

Lae’zel romance requirements

Laezal frowns while talking to the player character in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Lae’zel is a bit like Astarion in the sense that she despises kindness, though she’s less capricious in her appreciation of brutality. True to her no-nonsense nature, there’s only one required conversation before starting a romance with her, and it’s a short one during the celebration after rescuing the refugees.

She’ll approach you and ask whether she can sniff you (yes, this is true). Say:

  • Are you… asking for sex?
  • Yes. I will share my bed with you tonight.

And that’s it.

How to earn approval with Lae’zel

Getting Lae’Zel to like you basically means acting like her. You should:

  • Choose violence.
  • Tell people you don’t have the time or willingness to help them.
  • Side with those carrying out rough justice (e.g. let the Tieflings kill Sazza and don’t save the thief child in Emerald Grove).
  • Let her speak with the githyanki.

Gale romance requirements

Gale stands in darkness in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Making Gale fall in love with you takes a bit more effort at the end. Much like Shadowheart, he prefers kindness and sympathy. However, he’s also reluctant to start a relationship for spoilery reasons and needs some extra encouragement to take that step.

We’re not sure whether you have to give him magical items to consume as part of a romance requirement, but it’s certainly worth handing them over to keep him happy with you.

On the night of the refugee rescue celebration, Gale invites you under a Weave. Say:

  • You’re a good teacher.
  • Hold on to the moment. It’s a good night for intimacy.
  • Picture kissing him.

The next time you talk about your magic lesson with him, pick these choices:

  • I never though it was so easy to cast magic.
  • So what did you think about what I pictured when we were connected by the Weave?

Take a long rest, and then the next time you spend a night at camp, you should see him having issues near the campfire. Speak with him and offer comfort and sympathy, and don’t rebuff him when he says he wants to get closer with you. You should be able to choose Gale when you next interact with your bed roll.

Wyll romance requirements

Wyll gazes at the player character while in conversation in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

We still haven’t romanced Wyll — and will update this guide when we have — but do know how to gain approval with Wyll.

How to earn approval with Wyll

True to his background as a folk hero, Wyll prefers action and valor, with a splash of determination and kindness on the side. In most cases, you can expect the actions that Shadowheart and Gale approve of to go down well with Wyll, though there are a few specific instances where you need to make certain choices to keep him happy.

  • Fight the goblins near the windmill in Blighted Village instead of scaring them off
  • Don’t let the devil remove your tadpole
  • Help Zevlor in Emerald Grove
  • Help Karlach during Hunt the Devil

Minthara romance requirements

Minthara glares while standing in front of an illuminated castle in Baldur’s Gate 3. Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Minthara is a malicious drow who wants to destroy the druids and bring pain and suffering to the world — not your usual romance candidate, in other words. Getting in her good books is also not your usual courtship ritual.

Minthara isn’t a party member, so there’s no specific actions you should take while adventuring to gain her approval in general. What you will need to do is sell out the Druids, though.

Head to the Shattered Sanctum in the goblin camp, and speak with Minthara. Give her information about Emerald Grove and the goblin attacks there, and after the goblins destroy the settlement, speak with Minthara again. Say:

  • It’s been a privilege to fight alongside you.
  • Embrace the change.
  • Open your mind.

During the goblin camp party, speak with her one more time and tell her that you belong to her. Interact with your bed roll, and choose to sleep with Minthara.