Baldur's Gate 3 is almost here, launching on August 3 for PC, after a couple years in early access. The game looks like a true next-gen PC RPG, combining the classic turn-based gameplay Larian Studios is known for with absolutely stunning visuals I've never seen in an isometric CRPG.
Because the game has been out in early access for a while now, we have a pretty good idea of how it will run, and even though the game looks way better than Divinity: Original Sin 2, the system requirements aren't actually that steep. Instead, this will be a game that's all about scaling from low-end hardware to the very best graphics cards on the market right now.
Baldur's Gate 3 System Requirements
Baldur's Gate 3 has had official system requirements for both Windows and Mac for a while now. The minimum requirements are extremely reasonable, requiring only an Nvidia GTX 970 (an 8-year-old graphics card) and an Intel Core i5-4690. Both of which were mid-range parts nearly a decade ago, which means all kinds of budget gaming PCs will be able to play the game with ease.
The only thing really stopping old budget builds from playing the game is the hard requirement for an SSD. But, with how cheap the best SSDs are getting on a daily basis, it shouldn't be much of a big deal to grab an affordable drive for your PC.
The recommended specs are a bit more intense, but even these requirements are tame for 2023. Larian recommends an Nvidia RTX 2060 Super or an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT for graphics, and an Intel 8700K for CPU. Both parts have been around for a while, and current-gen equivalents are dirt cheap. For instance, you can get roughly the same CPU performance out of an Intel Core i5-13600K, and the same GPU performance from an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti.
Baldur's Gate 3 will also run on the best MacBooks, though you're going to need quite the machine to handle it. The developers recommend at least a MacBook Pro 15 (2016) with an AMD Radeon 460 – and that's the minimum spec. If you want to run it at recommended specs, you're looking at either a MacBook Pro 16 (2019) or a MacBook with an M1 and 16GB of RAM.
The Best PC for Baldur's Gate 3
I've been playing Baldur's Gate 3 on PC since early access began back in 2020, and the recommended system requirements are perfect – if you're playing at 1080p. But because all of those parts are discontinued at this point, you'll need equivalent performance from whatever you can find on the shelf in 2023.
Right now the closest graphics card to the RTX 2060 Super is the Nvidia RTX 3060. Because that graphics card has been replaced by the RTX 4060 and is on its way out, you can actually get it for pretty cheap right now, like this $289 version from MSI on Amazon. If you want to go team Red, the best 1080p graphics card for Baldur's Gate will probably be the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, which is a bit cheaper at $279.
If you want to step up to 1440p, you're going to need a bit more graphics horsepower. We'd recommend going with the Nvidia RTX 3070 (if you can still find it in stock). Failing that, you should get about the same performance from the RTX 4060 Ti.
However, if you're looking to play Baldur's Gate 3 on one of the best gaming laptops, a good rule of thumb is to go up one tier to get similar performance. So, a gaming laptop with an Nvidia RTX 4070 will perform similarly to an RTX 4060. So, if you want to play Baldur's Gate 3 on the go, you're going to want at least an Nvidia RTX 3070 or RTX 4070.
As for the CPU, Larian Studios recommends at least an Intel Core i7-8700K, but you won't find that for sale anywhere. For reference, though, that was a 6-core, 12-thread processor with a turbo boost of 4.7GHz. The best way to get similar performance is actually on Team Red. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X will only set you back about $160 these days and is a 6-core, 12-thread processor just like the older Intel chip.
To round out the build, you're going to want an AMD B550 or X570 motherboard, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and at least a 256GB SSD. The game only requires 150GB of storage space, but you're going to need some space for Windows 11, too.
You'll also need a power supply that's up to the task. Luckily, because none of the components in this build are especially power hungry, you don't have to go too crazy here. A solid 700W power supply should be more than enough to handle everything I've mentioned. Try to find one that supports PCIe 5.0, as that's more likely to have the 12VHPWR connectors modern Nvidia graphics cards have.
To save you a bit of time I went ahead and gathered up links to all the parts to build the perfect Baldur's Gate 3 PC build for either 1080p or 1440p down below.
Should You Play Baldur's Gate 3 on PC?
Baldur's Gate 3 is a game that's designed for PC first, even if it's getting a PS5 release a month later. Not only will it look better on PC, at least if you have the hardware to push it to max settings, but it will likely control better with keyboard and mouse. In fact, while the game will be playable with a controller, Larian Studios haven't added controller support to Early Access on PC, and the global launch is just a couple weeks away.
Not only is the game built for PC first, but it's actually releasing earlier on PC, coming August 3 instead of September 6 on PS5. Getting the game running on a gaming PC means you'll get a month jump start on this massive RPG.