While you may be keen to kill any mind flayers you come across, you may also want to occasionally avoid outright slaughter. Thankfully, there is a simple way in Baldur’s Gate 3 to use non-lethal attacks on any enemies you might want to keep alive…for the time being.
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How to Deal Non-Lethal Damage
By using the Non-Lethal Attacks feature, your characters can knock enemies unconscious instead of killing them outright. Non-lethal damage can be dealt by any race and class, and this feature is immediately available upon starting the game.
To toggle Non-Lethal attacks on and off, navigate to the Passives submenu found at the bottom of the screen. Here, you’ll find the Toggle Non-Lethal Attacks button.
Non-Lethal damage will work against most enemies, with the exception of Undead and Constructs.
When to Use Non-Lethal Attacks
Choosing to render your enemy unconscious can come in handy throughout your journey in Baldur’s Gate 3. If your opponent is someone you may need to gain information from, leaving them alive allows you to interrogate them without using the limiting Speak with Dead spell.
Certain story events can benefit from the use of Non-Lethal damage. Towards the beginning of the game, you can free Lae’zel from a duo of Tieflings near the beach. If you fail to persuade them to let the Githyanki go, you’ll be forced to fight them.
While you might be desperate to free the Fighter and add her to your party, you might also want to avoid killing the Tieflings if you’re playing a good-aligned character. This is a great example of when Non-Lethal damage can be incredibly helpful.
Players with a good-aligned character might not want to kill a Druid acting to defend his home or a guard just doing his job for a paycheck. Additionally, if you’re playing as a Paladin, utilizing Non-Lethal Attacks can help you avoid breaking your oath when getting involved in certain activities that might go against your values.
Don’t worry if you’re still hoping to fill your pockets with enemy goods—even without killing an enemy, you’re still able to steal their loot by some good old-fashioned pickpocketing.
As you come across more unique and nuanced encounters in Baldur’s Gate 3, deciding when to kill and when not to kill can have some major implications on the game’s storyline. If you’re not embarking on a bloodthirsty Dark Urge playthrough, this is one handy skill to keep in mind.