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BG3: Should you evolve into Illithid or not?

Deciding whether you want to be a Mind Flayer or not should be easy, but here's an idea of how it'll impact your game.

The player character in Baldur's Gate 3 speaks with The Emperor, who is asking whether they want to evolve or not
Image credit: Larian/VG247

Baldur's Gate 3 presents you with plenty of important decisions, some of them bearing more weight on your playthrough than others. One such decision that you’ll eventually come to is whether to evolve into an illithid or not, and it’s a pretty tough decision to make, especially if you’re trying to be the hero in your playthrough. Spoilers ahead!

You’ll actually be presented with the decision to evolve into a half-illithid, and later, if you play your cards right (or wrong) a full-illithid. Both decisions are unequal, with one having no impact on your playthrough, and the other resulting in an alternative ending. So, here’s whether you should evolve into an illithid or not in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Should you evolve into Illithid in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Whether you evolve into an illithid or half-illithid in Baldur’s Gate 3 is up to you, and while evoling into a half-illithid, evolving into a full illithid will result in an alternative ending..

You’ll also run into the disapproval of your camp, but if you want to become a fully-fledged, sentient Mind Flayer, you can. You’ll just shock plenty of NPC’s in the process, and receive an alternative ending.

Similarly, if you want to ignore the will of the Absolute and decline the chance to transform into an illithid or half-illithid, this also has no bearing on how your game will ultimately end. You can even continue to consume tadpoles for illithid powers without the risk of evolving, or your ending being affected. So, the decision is entirely down to how you feel, or how you want your story to play out.

If you’re trying to be a true hero in Baldur’s Gate 3, completing whatever morally good deeds that you can, then you’ll want to decline the chance to transform. If, on the other hand, you’re hoping to side with the Absolute, then by all means evolve into a half-illithid, and later, an illithid.

The player party in Baldur's Gate 3 speaks with The Emperor in the Astral Plane about evolving into a half-Illithid
Will you, or won't you? | Image credit: Larian/VG247

Half-Illithid Evolution

During the beginning of Act 3, you’ll wind up meeting your Guardian in the Astral Plane again. There’ll be plenty of information unveiled here, but ultimately, your Guardian will present you with the opportunity to open your mind to or destroy the Astral-Touched Tadpole.

Consuming the Astral-Touched Tadpole will turn you into a half-illithid. You’ll still be your character of choice, with some slight alterations to your look (darkened eyes and vein-like markings across your stomach and torso), and you’ll get access to additional, powerful skills in the illithid power skill tree.

The player character in Baldur's Gate 3 stands in front of a portal at camp after having evolved into a half-Illithid
Shown here, your character will have dark markings around their eyes after evolving. There will also be vein-like markings across their torso and stomach. | Image credit: Larian/VG247

If you don’t mind looking a little scary, and the disapproval of members of your camp, this isn’t actually an awful idea given the skills you can get your hands on. You’ll also be able to use the Fly action, rather than Jump, and it’s a pretty good action to have.

All in all, if you don't care for headcanon and want a powerful character, we recommend turning into a half-illithid for the illithid powers you can get. If you're hoping to remain a hero throughout your playthrough, however, give this opportunity a pass.

Full Illithid Evolution

Later in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll then be presented with the option to open your mind to the Supreme Tadpole if you choose to side with the Emperor. Doing so will turn you into a full illithid; your character will transform into a fully-fledged Mind Flayer, and they’re pretty powerful.

That said, this is part of an alternate ending for Baldur’s Gate 3 according to YouTuber Hector (do not watch this link unless you want the ending spoiled!), so unless you’re siding with the Absolute, you might not even get the chance to evolve into a full illithid. And if you do, you’ve about an hour of gameplay as an illithid before you reach your alternate ending!

For more on Baldur's Gate 3, here's our guide on how to recruit all companions, in case there are any that you're yet to meet. On top of that, kit your party out with the best spells and best weapons that we've been able to find.

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