clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Baldur’s Gate 3 guide: How to heal

Potions, spells, resting, and more

Shadowheart from Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Taking damage in Baldur’s Gate 3 is easy. Recovering that damage can be simple too, so long as you know all of the ways you can gain your strength back.

The items you have, the skills your party knows, and whether or not you’ve slept recently all determine how easy it is to restore your vigor. However, healing isn’t as simple as popping a potion or using a spell. There are some unique ways to heal that are worth knowing first, before you rely on other means.

In this Baldur’s Gate 3 guide, we’ll explain how healing works and explore all the ways you can heal in the game.

How healing works

In a traditional role-playing game, using a potion or a spell would recover a set amount of health points. In Baldur’s Gate 3, the amount of health you can recover isn’t static, but reliant on dice rolls. That means the amount of health you can recover is random. If you’re not experienced with the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset that this game employs, this can be confusing.

As an example, let’s look at how potions recover health.

The potion tooltip information in Baldur’s Gate 3
Potions recover health based on a dice roll
Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Using a potion to restore health restores health using a specific formula. The text for a potion states that it recovers 2d4+2 HP.

In Dungeons & Dragons parlance, the game will roll a four-side die twice, add the the sum of those rolls, and add two to that number. So when you use a potion, you could gain a minimum amount of four health (1+1+2), a maximum of 10 (4+4+2), or any number in between.

There are other ways to heal that aren’t so random, but most of the ways to recover health operate in this way.

Potions

The standard potions you find throughout the game will heal 2d4+2 health points, just as we explained above.

Outside of combat, you can use potions freely. In combat, they will count as a Bonus Action. You won’t come across too many of these throughout Baldur’s Gate 3, so use them sparingly. Often it’s better to rely on resources that you can replenish, like spells and resting to restore life, instead of the finite amount of potions that seem to be available in the game.

Spells

As a cleric, Shadowheart will learn several healing spells as she levels up. One of the first spells she’ll learn is Cure Wounds which heals 1d8+3 health. It’s one of her more powerful spells, however she has to be in close range to use it.

Another one of her spells, Healing Word, offers up less healing for the sake of usefulness. As long as Shadowheart can see her target, she can bring back up to 1d4+3 hit points. These spells will receive upgraded versions as she levels up, allowing her to roll an extra die for added restoration.

If you find any scrolls that have healing spells on them, such as a Scroll of Cure Wounds, you can have any wizard learn that spell and spread healing duties onto them, too.

Bonus Actions

Some characters, like the fighter Lae’zel, gain Bonus Actions that allow them to restore their own health.

The text for Second Wind in Baldur’s Gate 3
Fighters can self-heal
Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

As a Bonus Action, fighters who have the skill Second Wind can restore 1d10+4 HP per short rest.

Short and long rests

Bonus actions like Second Wind, as well as spells, cannot be used freely as game mechanics like mana points don’t exist in Baldur’s Gate 3. To use Bonus Actions again or to replenish spell slots, your characters must use one of the two resting options.

Short rest

A short rest can be performed any time you’re not in combat by clicking on the short rest button near your minimap. This in-game siesta happens instantly and does a few things for your party.

By using a short rest, you will:

  • Regain some health
  • Restore purple spell slots
  • Restore superiority dice
  • Restore any Bonus Action that requires a short rest to reuse

Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t explain how much health is restored during a short rest, but based on Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules, the game likely rolls a certain amount of dice based on a character’s level, and adds the result to their constitution modifier to determine how much health is restored. In any case, don’t expect a full heal. Instead, expect a small chunk of life back.

You can do a short rest once per long rest.

Long rest

A long rest will restore all of your health and any other resource you’ve expended, such as spell slots, Bonus Actions, superiority dice, and so on.

To perform a long rest, you must choose the “go to camp and end the day” option from your minimap or fast travel to camp. Once at your camp, click on the bedroll near the campfire and choose to end the day and sleep.

Depending on where you are in the game, you might have some fun — or not so fun! — dreams, or you’ll just sleep through the night and wake up fully restored.

Food

Consuming food items you find in the game as a Bonus Action also restores health.

Each piece of food restores a different amount of health, so it’s never really clear how much health each one grants. However, it’s always a good idea to keep any random zucchinis or grilled pork ribs you find in your inventory in case you need some extra health.