Baldur's Gate 3: Modding to Go Beyond PC  

edited April 10 in Gaming

Baldur's Gate 3, the critically acclaimed role-playing game (RPG) from Larian Studios, is poised to take its modding scene to the next level. With official cross-platform mod support on the horizon, players on consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S will soon be able to experience the transformative power of user-created content, a privilege previously exclusive to PC players of the game. This move marks a significant step forward for accessibility and community engagement in the RPG genre. 

Posting under the handle @Cromwelp on X (formerly Twitter), Larian Studios’ director of publishing Michael Douse had this to say: “We’ve been working on a robust, cross-platform plan for mod support to be released later in year. We love our modding community and we want to support them. It’s coming.” 

Online gaming communities on platforms like Reddit are abuzz with the news, expressing both excitement and reservations about issues such as asset creation and mod management. Will there be mods to reveal the Forgotten Realms or Wilderness maps? Will console players be able to take advantage of a mod that lets them skip the Nautiloid ship quest but still receive the experience and loot that the stage offers? On PCs, these are possible, especially when using computers with powerful components, such as Acer’s Nitro 17 Gaming Laptop. But on consoles, there are challenges that need to be overcome. 

Roadblocks to Console Modding 

While modding has long been a staple of PC gaming, bringing this feature to consoles presents a unique set of challenges. Unlike PCs, consoles have stricter hardware limitations and closed ecosystems, making it more difficult to implement user-generated content seamlessly. 

One of the primary challenges of console modding lies in ensuring compatibility and stability across different hardware configurations. Unlike PCs, where users can customize their setups, consoles have standardized hardware, requiring mod developers to optimize their creations for specific platforms and to avoid performance issues on any console model. On top of that, console user interfaces (UI) are designed for controller navigation, while PC mods often utilize mouse and keyboard controls. Adapting mods for a controller-friendly UI requires additional work. 

Additionally, the process of installing mods on consoles may be more restrictive compared to PCs, where players have greater freedom to manipulate game files. Console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft often impose strict guidelines and security measures to prevent unauthorized modifications and the introduction of bugs, requiring developers to work within these constraints. This adds an extra layer of time and complexity compared to the “download and play” approach on PCs. 

Benefits of Console Modding Support 

Despite these challenges, introducing modding support on consoles offers myriad benefits for both players and mod developers. 

For players, console modding opens a whole new world of possibilities, allowing them to enhance their gaming experience with custom content. From new quests and characters to gameplay tweaks and graphical enhancements, console modding provides players with opportunities to tailor their games to their preferences. 

Furthermore, console modding fosters a sense of community and collaboration among players as they share their creations, engage with fellow enthusiasts, and contribute directly to a game’s evolution. This sense of community extends beyond the game itself, enriching the overall gaming experience and fostering long-lasting relationships among players. 

For mod developers, console modding represents a lucrative opportunity to reach a wider audience and showcase their talents on a larger stage. By tapping into the console market, devs can attract new players and expand their fan base, leading to increased recognition and potential financial rewards. Cross-platform modding support could also foster collaboration between PC and console modders, leading to even more innovative creations. 

Other Moddable Console Games 

Console mod support is still relatively uncharted territory, with only a handful of games like Bethesda RPGs Skyrim and Fallout 4 featuring it in limited capacities so far. Other examples include: 

  • Farming Simulator 22 (PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S) 
    The latest entry in the popular agricultural sim franchise developed by GIANTS Software embraced mods on console and PC with official tools to create new maps and assets. 
  • Ark: Survival Ascended (PS4, Xbox One) 
    Developed and published by Studio Wildcard, this open-world survival hit features some light mod support on console and PC, allowing things like custom maps and total conversions that significantly change the experience. 
  • Cities: Skylines II (PS5, Xbox) 
    This city-building sim will expand to consoles in spring 2024 and, according to developer Colossal Order, “players will be able to easily explore and manage mods directly within the game, regardless of platform.” 

While Larian Studios hasn't provided a concrete release date, the promise of cross-platform modding in Baldur's Gate 3 indicates a commitment to fostering a vibrant and inclusive community. The game has the potential to become a truly evergreen RPG experience, and Larian is helping push the industry in a direction where players are empowered to make their mark on games across all platforms. 

Now, the big question is: Will the must-have mods for Baldur’s Gate 3 on PCs be accessible to console players? Hopefully, we’ll find out later this year. 

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About Lalaine Capucion: Lalaine has been working as a freelance writer and editor for more than 12 years, focusing on lifestyle, travel, and wellness. When she isn’t writing, she's most likely curled up with a good book or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen. She lives in Metro Manila, Philippines. 



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