Skip to Content

Baldur’s Gate 3 – What is The Dark Urge

Baldur's Gate 3 - What is The Dark Urge

When starting Baldur’s Gate 3 you may notice among the origin characters one called, The Dark Urge. This has led to many players wondering what is The Dark Urge especially since it isn’t a set character. At least not the same way one like Astarion or Shadowheart is. A simple way to describe this origin is as a custom character with a unique story.

As someone whose first playthrough was a Dark Urge one, I can say there’s a whole lot more to it, however. Many people in the community like to describe it as an evil run that forces you to do all sorts of violent things. But, they couldn’t be further from the truth as it’s much more complex than that. Before we dive into a light spoiler explanation of how it works, here’s the character description:

“You remember nothing but a path paved with blood. Unimaginable cruelty whispers to you from within. Can you escape it? Would you even want to?”

What is The Dark Urge Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 - The Dark Urge Start Dialogue

This early dialogue is one example of a Dark Urge choice being italicized, even though not all are.

This unique character origin immediately starts a little differently despite still taking place on the Nautiloid ship. First, you’ll get a quick narration about not remembering anything aside from knowing your name and that you’re in danger. This bit even has a couple of dialogue choices to try and remember who you are.

As we wrote in the intro of this guide, the character description for The Dark Urge mentions remembering nothing. But, it also talks about a path paved with blood. While this doesn’t tell you too much, it does imply a violent past. This origin story will weave its way into random conversations and significant parts of your run.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Dark Urge Run Differences

Interacting with a body after arriving on the beach provides a slight idea of what to expect.

Similar to a class with the occasional unique dialogue choice, The Dark Urge has its’ own options as well. With that said, they’re never labeled so it can be difficult to notice at times. These choices can be something as minor as having violent thoughts mid-conversation or outright killing someone. So if you plan on doing a Dark Urge run, you’ll want to save often.

This is because it’s easy to pick a choice without actually knowing what you’re about to do. Unless you want to wing it and prefer not to save scum. In that case, I wouldn’t recommend doing this origin first. Personally, I love that I chose it as my first playthrough.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Dark Urge Interaction With Body

Despite not remembering anything, you know enough to know something is off.

One bit that I can see confusing some players when creating a Dark Urge character is customizing them. Despite a small note mentioning you can change your appearance and class, it’s easy to miss. So if you’d like to play as a certain race or class, you still can. You’re not stuck as the default Dragonborn sorcerer.

Regardless, prior to Baldur’s Gate 3 release, the developers teased violent bits of The Dark Urge playthrough. This is likely why some people assume the game forces you to do terrible things. However, you can still have a playthrough where you make all the good choices. With that said, there is one brutal event that you have no control over that doesn’t alter your playthrough. But, it does make or break the run for some.

Baldur's Gate 3 - Dark Urge Run Meeting Astarion

This is one of my favorite silly but creepy interactions near the start of my Dark Urge playthrough.

Even with that event in mind, my favorite part of The Dark Urge is that it gives you your own personal questline. While a normal playthrough revolves around the worm in your head, The Dark Urge is more in line with a companion quest. Each companion has something driving them that you’ll learn more about. And this is the same for The Dark Urge.

As you get deeper into your playthrough, you’ll try to learn more about your past and why you have the occasional urge for violence. It’s just a matter of whether you decide to pursue it or fight it. So if you’re someone who plans on doing several Baldur’s Gate 3 playthroughs, make sure The Dark Urge is one of them. It’s a very well-written storyline with unique plot paths.

Should You Play The Dark Urge?

The quick answer to this question is yes that you should. While the complicated question is whether you do it as your first playthrough or come back later and do it as a second one. Personally, I think it works well for a first playthrough since it significantly adds to your story.

Does The Dark Urge Have to Be Evil?

Despite the misconception mentioned in this guide that The Dark Urge has to be evil, it’s not true. However, you’ll occasionally be tested with die rolls that push you toward doing evil actions. But, you can fight back or simply not choose many dialogue choices that feed into it.

Can You Do a Good Playthrough With The Dark Urge?

You can have a good playthrough as The Dark Urge depending on the choices you make. The developers at Larion Studios have mentioned there are over 17,000 different endings. And while that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, you can certainly get many of them even with this origin story.