Baldur’s Gate 3 Illithid Powers Guide – How to Unlock, All Tiers

Baldur's Gate 3 Illithid Powers Guide

Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3 are special powers that are exclusive to those who are infested by the brain tadpoles. Apart from yourself, if someone else is infected in your party as well, you can unlock these powers for them too. These special powers are unique abilities that use the power of your mind i.e., psychic force. There are different tiers of these powers, and the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3 has changed how these powers work as compared to its early access release. This Baldur’s Gate 3 Illithid Powers Guide lists all of the Ilithid Powers that you have in Baldur’s Gate 3 and how you can unlock them.

Illithid Powers Guide – Baldur’s Gate 3

The Illithid Powers are not unlocked for you right from the start of the game we will start with how you can unlock these special powers in the game first and then move to their tiers and see what sort of powers you can grab for yourself by having a tadpole eating away at your brain in Baldur’s Gate 3.

How to Unlock Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3

As I previously mentioned, the Illithid Powers are only for characters who have a brain tadpole infestation, and even then, these powers are not available right from the start of the game. These powers are unlocked by collecting the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens which are found in different locations. We have a separate guide that will help you find and collect all of them so make sure that you check out the Baldur’s Gate 3 Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens Guide for it.

You can keep collecting these and progress in the main story of the game and these will ultimately unlock for you in the game. Once you unlock the Illithid Powers, you can access the skill tree and check the ones that are closer to the center of the tree. These are the Tier 1 upgrades, and you can work your way toward the Tier 2 powers which are located on the outer side of the tree. Each character will have its own unique set of powers and when you unlock them, they are locked on that particular character. You can talk with your party members and have it unlocked for them as well if they are interested.

Illithid Powers Tiers and Types

There are two tiers of Illithid Powers, and they fall into different categories as well. We have detailed them below for you:

Tier 1 Powers

Power Type Details
Concentrated Blast Offensive An attack that deals psychic damage and you must be concentrating on another spell to cast this. If your enemy is concentrating at the same time, you will heal as much as the damage is dealt
Favorable Blessings Passive The First attack roll or ability check you make against a target will grant a bonus equal to your proficiency bonus
Force Tunnel Offensive An attack where you will charge forward and push all objects and creatures away from you by four meters
Psionic Overload Offensive A powerful attack that deals an additional 1-4 psychic damage on the enemy and your own self as well
Transfuse Health Support You will sacrifice half of your remaining hit points to heal a target for the same amount

Tier 2 Powers

Power Type Details
Ability Drain Passive When you make an attack roll, the attack will reduce the target’s ability by 1 point once per turn. The ability that is reduced depends on your attack
Luck of the Far Realms Passive You can change a successful attack roll to a critical hit
Charm Passive You can charm an enemy to prevent them from attacking you for the current turn
Displace Passive All creatures that suffer fall damage from your actions will suffer additional 1-8 psychic damage
Repulsor Offensive This attack deals force damage and pushes your target back 6 meters
Cull the Weak Passive (Can be turned on or off) Bringing an enemy’s health down then your unlocked Illithid Powers instantly kills them. Nearby creatures suffer from an additional 1-4 psychic damage as well
Psionic Backlash Passive Any enemy within nine meters when casts a spell, you can use your reaction to inflict psychic damage per spell level
Shield of Thralls Support You can conjure a shield that gives a target 10 temporary HP. This shield stuns nearby enemies as well when it breaks
Perilous Stakes Support You can empower a target to heal whenever it attacks but in return, it makes it vulnerable to all types of damage
Stage Fright Support All targets will have a disadvantage on attack rolls and they take 2-12 psychic damage if they miss.

High Teir Illithid Powers

For unlocking the final tier of the Illithid Powers, you first have to rescue the Emperor Mind Flayer. These are the highest tier of powers and if you want to get them, you have to complete a lengthy bit of a mission first and truly dedicate yourself to the tadpole in your brain. There are different steps throughout the campaign that you will need to take to ensure that you are on the right path to gaining access to these high tier Illithid Powers.

Make sure that you gain access to the basic Illithid Powers in both tiers and also gain and invest more points to your skill tree by collecting the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens. When you reach Act 3 of the game, survive the ambush in Wrym’s Crossing and defeat the Githyanki attackers. Once it is done, you will need to enter the portal to the Astral Plane where you will find the Emperor. Make sure that you do not attack the Emperor or else it will fail the game instantly as he will take control over your ‘reborn’ character.

You still have a chance to decide what is best for your character as the Emperor will ask you whether you want to evolve or not. If you decide yes, the Emperor will give you an Astral-Touched Tadpole with which you must link your psyche with to become a Half-Illithid. If you want to convince more people later to become Half-Illithid, you will always find the Astral-Touched Tadpole in your inventory. However, if you consume it, only you will become Half-Illithid and the tadpole will be gone from your inventory.

In short, to unlock the highest tier of the Illithid Powers, you must become Half-Illithid, and you can convince your party members to turn Half-Illithid as well by completing a dialogue check with them. It is as simple as that. The highest tier of Illithid Powers include:

Power Type Details
Absorb Intellect Support This will lower the target’s intelligence by 1 point and heals you for 1-8 HP for five turns
Black Hole Offensive You can target a point in a location and pull nearby enemies with the possibility of slowing them down. After the first one, you can cast five additional ones during the same battle
Displacer Beast Shape Shapeshifter Turns your character into an astral-powered cat
Fly Support This skill is unlocked automatically, and it does not require unlocking or a skill spot. This allows you to fly around
Fracture Psyche Support This lower’s the target’s armor class by 1 and if the enemy dies, you can use this power again
Freecast Passive (Can be turned on and off) This will remove the resource costs for spell slots and charges. Must rest after use
Illithid Expertise Passive Grants you expertise in Persuasion, Deception, and Intimidation checks
Mind Blast Offensive An attack that deals 6-34 psychic damage as it fires an energy beam that stuns the enemies as well while damaging them
Mind Sanctuary Support Creates a field on the battlefield and everyone inside this battlefield
Psionic Dominance Passive If you cast a spell on enemies within 18 meters and the enemy has a lower level to your proficiency, you can use a reaction to completely nullify the spell

That is all for this guide. If you need more help with Baldur’s Gate 3, we have additional guides linked below for you:

This concludes our Baldur’s Gate 3 Illithid Powers Guide. If you want to add anything to this guide, feel free to use the comments section below.

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with Forza Horizon 5 and The Division 2.

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