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Baldur’s Gate 3 on Xbox Series X|S still has some issues

After months of waiting, the Xbox experience for Larian's latest leaves something to be desired

Baldur’s Gate 3 has been one of the biggest hits of the year, bringing millions of players into the world of Dungeons & Dragons across PC and PS5 these last few months. But its road to Xbox was a rocky one at best, and now that it’s finally here, I’m sad to say that you should probably play it on something else if you can.

Let me preface this by saying that by no means is Baldur’s Gate 3 a bad game, even on Xbox. It’s an utterly brilliant game with rock-solid gameplay, nice visuals, and performance that is surprisingly consistent even on the Series S.

On Series X, the game is more or less identical to its PS5 counterpart — good-looking, well-performing, and according to Digital Foundry’s analysis, minor differences separate the two. Series S is notably lower resolution, at least when playing on my 60” TV, looking a little bit fuzzier and performing a little bit worse due to its lack of a performance mode — but it’s still far from looking and performing poorly.

And of course, the gameplay is the same no matter where you go. It’s a turn-based game with very little in the way of quick decision-making and twitch reactions needed, so even if it were performing poorly, there’d be a lot of wiggle room here.

So if it’s more or less the same, what’s the issue? Well, it’s unfortunately a little bit rough around the edges, not in terms of visuals, but in terms of execution. Things are just a bit buggy at the moment. And by a bit buggy, I mean there are some key features that seem to be straight up broken.

The biggest issue seems to be related to Xbox’s handling of cloud saves and how the game interacts with that system. Almost every time I try to launch the game, it asks me to choose between a save on my console and a save in the cloud, saying there’s a clash between the two. In most instances, picking the one with the most recent date is the right call… but not every instance.

I lost about 2 hours of gameplay by selecting the most recent save, which was on the cloud, and I guess it just took a while for the save to upload, resulting in a more recent timestamp. That’s annoying, and despite Xbox’s insistence that it’s been fixed, and Larian’s attempts at patching it, I’m still, at the time of writing, getting that prompt when I try to launch the game.

Sometimes launching Baldur’s Gate 3 just results in it sitting on a black screen, too. In those cases, there’s not much I can do but close the game down and restart it again, giving me one more chance to accidentally lose progress.

Another frustrating issue is that selecting the multiplayer option from the main menu will invariably lead to anything other than a multiplayer match. In most instances it just sits on the “finding lobby” screen, doing nothing, requiring a reboot of the game to get going. At least twice in my testing, it idled on that screen for a few seconds and hard-crashed the game. The only way I can find to consistently get a multiplayer game going is to start a single-player game and then open the game up from the start menu. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

The lobby screen for Baldur's Gate 3 on Xbox.

Pro tip: it will never find a lobby

There are some other, more minor issues too. Some texture streaming issues on Series S where it takes just a few moments after switching scenes for models to switch over to their high-res versions. I’ve also noticed a bit of flickering in the sky, shadows, and around foliage on both Xbox consoles, though the most recent patch – released yesterday – seems to have resolved the worst of that.

Save issues aside, none of these are game-breaking issues, and if all you have is an Xbox Series X|S, I’d still implore you to buy and play Baldur’s Gate 3. If you have a half-decent gaming PC, a Steam Deck, or a PS5, though, you’re almost definitely going to be better off playing it on those systems instead.

The good news is that Larian Studios isn’t one to cut and run — the folks over there will be patching and updating the game for years to come, and that’s likely to result in some improvements on the Xbox side of things.