If you aren’t doing a fun run with four BarbarianHalflings, then chances are you have a sneaky character to round out your party composition. With Rogues and Gloom Stalkers, stealth is a paramount skill that they can use to leverage a plethora of advantages, on the battlefield. Other classes will have an easier time sneaking around out of combat. This guide will go over the basics of using a stealth, and give you some tips to streamline your play and help you avoid making beginner mistakes.
How Does Stealth Work?
In Baldur’s Gate 3, stealth can be activated anytime outside of combat by making a character ‘hide’. You will always see it as a main action among all the others (the symbol looks like a figure kneeling). When this is activated, you can perform acts without characters (outside your party) noticing you. This is the mode you will want to use if you plan on stealing anything, picking a lock you’re not supposed to, pickpocketing someone, or getting the jump on an unsuspecting enemy. Be aware that the controls are different for mouse and keyboard (M&K) than they are for controllers.
Usually when you’re using a rogue or ranger, it is easier to sneak when alone because they pass stealth checks easier. To split your group and control each individual, press (press to manage party on controller). You can tell if your party is split if the character portraits on the left are not touching. For the times that you do need to make your whole party enter stealth, you can quickly do it by pressing, + (or holding on controller).
As you’ve probably imagined, sneaking around in stealth is easier when it’s dark; this is because your character is ‘obscured’. You can tell when your character is obscured because they will have this symbol next to their portrait. When you hover over the symbol (or any symbol), it tells you their level of obscurity. If your character is fully visible in the sunlight, then it will say ‘Clear Area’, meaning that a character will be caught if seen.
While sneaking, the darkness level of an area is indicated by your cursor. A half-filled sun means you’re in shadow, making it less likely for you to be detected — the filled sun, meanwhile, means you’re lit up and easy to spot.
Another important part of staying hidden is the line of sight of enemies. You will be able to see enemies’ line of sight after you’ve started “hiding”, making them easy to avoid. An enemy’s sight is represented in game by the floor being colored red. However, this makes going into stealth a bit hard, since you don’t know if someone is watching. Luckily, you can hold thekey (or hold) to see enemies’ lines of sight without being in stealth.
How to Use Stealth in Combat
For the most part, you will want to reserve stealth while in combat for the rogue or ranger characters. Other classes can use the ‘hide’ action in combat, but it takes up one of their main actions, which are better spent using a spell, attack, or item. The reason the rogue and ranger subclasses can use stealth in combat more easily is because they have class features that let them use ‘hide’ as a bonus action. For rogues, this is called ‘Cunning Action: Hide’ and for the Gloom StalkerRanger, it’s called ‘Dread Ambusher: Hide’.
Using these effectively is easy after you realize you can see the enemies’ line of sight by holding (). Simply check if your desired position is visible to enemies, and if it’s not, then use stealth. When you’re a rogue, you can attack from stealth and do bonus damage with a ‘Sneak Attack’ (melee or ranged). If you are in an enemies’ line of sight, try to move around objects to find a place that isn’t red.
You might see this white ghost thing appear where you are when you go into hiding. This is the game telling you where the enemies last saw you and where they think you still are. Typically, enemies will just attack your companions if you’re successfully sneaking, however, if it’s just the sneaky character in combat, they will search their last known area (the white ghost). When the character is able to evade their searches and put enough distance between them and their enemies, the enemies will give up and combat will end.
If you are looking for a fun build to use stealth and become a sneak attack machine, you may want to check out our Drow Infiltrator build. What has been your favorite way to use stealth? Tell us about it in the comments!
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Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.