Baldur’s Gate 3: Should you evolve or not? Illithid consequences explained

Rajarshi Acharya
mind flayer character baldur's gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is full of mind-boggling decisions that impact the ending and one such choice is regarding evolution. Here’s whether you should turn into an Illithid or not in Baldur’s Gate 3 during Act 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3 has a massive campaign that covers three Acts and plenty of quests will require you to make difficult decisions that impact the fate of other characters or the ending of the game.

Towards the end of Act 3, you learn about the reality of the Guardian. This is when you have to either evolve into an Illithid or remain the same and both choices have can drastically influence your companions, abilities, and appearance.

So, here’s whether you should evolve into an Illithid or not in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Should you evolve or not in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3 Act 3 reveals that the Guardian is really an escaped Mind Flayer named The Emperor, who wants to destroy the Absolute. If you choose to trust him, he can give you the Astral-Touched Tadpole, which is an item that has the ability to ‘evolve’ you into a half-Illithid.

The decision to evolve is a pretty big one in Baldur’s Gate 3, as it can have lasting consequences on the game’s ending. While the Tadpole’s powers can seem quite attractive, they will change your whole appearance and have a major impact on your companions’ approval rate.

There are two kinds of transformations in the game — one where you turn into a Mind Flayer with free will and another where you become partially Illithid but preserve your humanoid appearance to some degree.

half-illithid face dark veins baldur's gate 3
Here’s what happens if you decide to be a half-Illithid in Baldur’s Gate 3.

What happens if you evolve into a half-Illithid in Baldur’s Gate 3?

In Baldur’s Gate 3, evolving to become half-Illithid will drastically alter your appearance. Your face will be covered in black veins, and your eyes will turn dark and colorless. You will unlock all Tier 1 Illithid powers for free and gain access to the last tier, which is the most potent. You’ll also get access to becoming a Displacer Beast with these powers. The powers are:

  • Absorb Intellect (Action)
  • Black Hole (Action)
  • Displacer Beast Shape (Action)
  • Fracture Psyche (Action)
  • Freecast (Passive Feature)
  • Illithid Expertise (Passive Feature)
  • Mind Blast (Action)
  • Psionic Dominance (Reaction)

Note that all your party members will disapprove of this decision. Later on, you can convince them to change, but doing so will be quite difficult. If you also want to transform your companions in Baldur’s Gate 3, you should open your mind to the tadpole rather than consume it.

The plot of Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t change significantly if you only become a half-Illithid, but doing so later on allows you to become a full Illithid. You will get a drastically different ending if you fully transform into a Mind Flayer, so keep that in mind as well.

That covers everything to know about evolving into a half-Illithid in BG3. If you wish to learn more about the game, check the following:

Baldur’s Gate 3: How to complete the Gauntlet of Shar Trials | Baldur’s Gate 3: How to use Withers’ Wardrobe of Wayward Friends | How to install mods in Baldur’s Gate 3 with BG3 Mod Manager | Baldur’s Gate 3 Hirelings explained | Baldur’s Gate 3: All returning characters & where to find them | Baldur’s Gate 3: Should you give the Artefact to Kith’rak Voss?