Baldur's Gate 3 full release date: How long will the game be in Early Access, and when can you play Act 2?

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Baldur's Gate 3 is shaping up to be the kind of game that'll change gaming going forwards, with players eagerly awaiting the Act 2 release.

The freedom it offers is unparalleled and the inclusion of seemingly simple things like jumping, shoving, and throwing, mean that you can play it in a different way each time.

The most impressive thing about that is that the game is still in Early Access, and that means it's only going to get better as time goes on.

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How long will it be before the next big update drops, and how long can we expect to wait for the full game?

When is the Baldur's Gate 3 Act 2 Release Date?

All of this is speculation based on what we know about the game, the studio, and their past games.

Act 2 is likely to be another 20-30 hours of game, which is as much as some entire games out there in the first place.

Initial expectations suggested we might hope to see it around the start of 2022 at the earliest. But with the bug-stomping the team has been doing, things are certainly taking some time.

In an interview with GameSpot in 2021, Larian's founder Swen Vincke said: "We are really trying to get the game done by next year. It's not gonna release this year for sure."

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Granted, this was not the news many Baldur's Gate fans may have wanted during the E3 season - of which Larian and Baldur's Gate 3 was noticeably absent.

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As 2022 has drifted pass like fluffy clouds, there still isn't much sign of Act 2 being announced. And it seems more and more likely that Act 2 is only going to be released at the same time as the main game. Act 2 is clearly a substantial part of the game, so we're no longer expecting to see it earlier than the main game.

Add to this the fact that Act 1 remains incomplete, with several parts of that storyline either unfinished or unavailable, and this adds further weight to the idea that Act 2 remains some way off.

A warrior stares at something off screen - Baldur's Gate 3 release date
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Credit: Larian Studios

How long will Baldur's Gate 3 be in Early Access For?

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Because of how in-depth and meaty Larian games tend to be, we were expecting to see the full release in 2022, as confirmed by Larian's Vincke in June 2021.

Vincke further reiterated a 2022 release in July 2021. Speaking on the Panel from Hell live stream before Patch 5's release, Vincke said Baldur's Gate 3 will launch "hopefully somewhere in '22."

Game design is hard and a game like this is incredibly complicated. It's also worth remembering that a significant number of games and updates have been pushed back or delayed due to the impact of COVID-19.

With the closure of offices and a shift to working-from-home, combined with yet another rushed game being released to heavy criticism (Cyberpunk 2077), it iwas perhaps inevitable that the overall release of Baldur's Gate 3 would be pushed back further.

Indeed, in an interview with Destructoid in April 2021, Larian's founder Swen Vincke warned fans to temper their expectations for the 1.0 release date. "I know that the community wants us to go faster than we can," he said. "It does take time to implement things, especially for a game that's as vast as Baldur's Gate 3—also a game that we're still developing—so we have to balance the two things to each other."

Whether you decide to wait until the game is out or not is up to you. It's good fun already, but it's also definitely Early Access.

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2022 Update

We know, we know. We had previously anticipated an end to early access and a full release of the game in 2022. And yet still we wait.

We have though, been given some futher signposting about the release of the game. In Community Update 15 in February 2022, the developers stated the following:

Our internal goal post for release is a quality bar rather than a date. A ton of progress has been made towards that quality bar over the past year in Early Access, but we know many players are waiting for an actual date. That date will come when we’re even closer to meeting our goal, but right now our expectation is that Baldur’s Gate 3 will release out of Early Access in 2023.

Now, there's a fair amount to unpack here. But the key thing is the last sentence. The game developers are expecting the game to be released no earlier than 2023. Which would mean early access has been in place for over two years.

This is backed up by a D&D Direct in April 2022, in which a planned full release is still expected in 2023.

While this seems like an eternity, if it means the final game has everything the developers envisaged, isn't full of game-crashing bugs, and fulfils the potential gamers are hoping for, then there's an argument to say it will all have been worth it.

But this is the first time that a release window has been officially confirmed. Which suggests they are getting more confident in a release date for Baldur's Gate 3. While 'the whole of 2023' is an admittedly large window, it's at least a step in the right direction.