Video Games

How to Pause Your Game in Baldur’s Gate 3

How to pause Baldurs Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a hell of a lot of fun, even if you’ve never tackled any of the previous games. Okay, it’ll probably put you off calamari for life but that’s a small price to pay for its fantastic fantasy shenanigans. But what if you’re mid-game and something comes up and you need to step away? You’ll want to know just how to pause your game in Baldur’s Gate 3. Here’s the answer.

Here’s How to Pause the Action in BG3

Baldur’s Gate 3 does not officially have a pause function. Even if you go to the setting’s menu, the game will just keep rolling along. If the doorbell rings and you’re mid-cutscene, there’s not a lot you can do. You can always load an earlier save and replay it, but that scene’s going to carry on playing whether you’re in front of your machine or not. What you can do is the next best thing.

Even if you’re not in combat you can switch the game into turn-based mode, as signified by the circle at the bottom of the screen. The easiest way to do that is to hit Shift + Space. You’re now in turn-based mode. Once you’ve moved, the scenery gets a turn. It sounds absurd, but I’m not making this up. And it’s not a great way to roam around Baldur’s Gate 3’s world, honestly. But as long as it’s your turn and you’re not touching the keyboard, nothing’s going to sneak up on you, activate, or so on.

If you’re playing it on the PC, there’s another way of pausing Baldur’s Gate 3, conjured up by IT consultant Hajo Kirchhoff. It’s slightly fiddlier but it pauses the game in its tracks, suspending the Baldur’s Gate 3 windows process. This works for both cutscenes and in-game action. 

He tested it with the GOG release of BG3 but I can confirm it also works with the Steam version. There’s always a risk involved in meddling with Windows, but this is using Microsoft’s own tools so you should, hopefully, be okay. You can find an explanation of this method here on his blog

And if you’re looking for any other tips to make this sprawling RPG a little bit more manageable, take a look through our full coverage.

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.