Should I Start the Underdark or Githyanki Creche First in Baldur's Gate 3
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Should I Start the Underdark or Githyanki Creche First in Baldur’s Gate 3

In Baldur’s Gate 3, you and many of your companions have a very specific problem to deal with. But there’s a point in the game when you have two major lines of inquiry to pursue. So, should you start the Underdark or Githyanki Creche first in Baldur’s Gate 3?

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Githyanki Creche or Underdark: Which Should You Choose?

You should choose the Underdark first, then return to the Githyanki Creche area and clear it out. Why? Because the Creche area is tougher than the Underdark in Baldur’s Gate 3.

You’ll level up enough taking on the Underdark, so tackling the Creche will become easier. You can ignore the Creche entirely, but you’ll be missing out on some loot, and if you want to dive into Lae’zel’s story, I seriously recommend not skipping it.

That’s because, in Baldur’s Gate 3, you can visit both areas. Your quest will take you to Moonrise Towers, which you can reach overland via the Mountain Pass/Shadow-Cursed Lands or the Underdark. The Githyanki Creche is in the Mountain Pass area, beneath a monastery, but entering there doesn’t lock you out of going to the Underdark. Similarly, just stepping foot into the Underdark doesn’t block the Creche off. It’s only when you take the Grymforge elevator that Act 2 will begin.

Here are some of the pros and cons of taking each route first:

Githyanki CrecheUnderdark
AdvantagesYou learn more about Lae’zel.
There’s the promise of getting your tadpole removed.
You can earn the Awakened buff, which lets you use your Illithid powers as a Bonus Action.
You get access to the Githyanki merchant there, whose wears include the Knife of the Undermountain King.

You can clear the Underdark without going to Act 2.
Enemies are easier, so you can level up and return to the Creche later.
You can access the The Adamantine Forge, which lets you forge powerful items.

DisadvantagesEnemies are tougher.
Unless you use stealth, you can end up fighting the enemies in the monastery and the Creche below.
If you miss the Creche entirely and proceed to Act 2, some Act 3 content may be locked out.

Baldur's Gate 3, with several NPCs defending themselves from their Githyanki attackers, in the middle of a wide room.

Thanks to loading and reloading (or “save scumming“), I was able to make my way through with my party intact. Physically intact, that is. Emotionally, it’s quite a ride for Lae’zel fans, no matter how you play it.

There may be some pacifist route that I overlooked, but I couldn’t avoid coming to blows with her Gith clan. But by visiting the Creche, you find out more about Shadowheart’s artifact and why it’s more than just a Hellraiser puzzle box knock-off. Just be prepared to have a tough time.

The Underdark is less of a struggle, and not just because of the enemies you face. It’s more open and easier to get into a position where you can rain arrows down on enemies, for example. I still felt like I was about to be yeeted into the abyss, but I managed to escape that fate. I did have one or two boat-related fatalities, though.

So, on the question of whether you should start the Underdark or Githyanki Creche first in Baldur’s Gate 3, I’d recommend you clear out the Underdark and then head back to the Creche. Meanwhile, if you’re lost in the Underdark, this guide will tell you how to progress, while this one will tell you how to get to the Arcane Tower that’s down there.

The above article was updated on 4/12/2024 by Chris McMullen to clarify information about Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.