Did you listen to the Steam store page instead of doing a bunch of nerdy research? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
If you’re here, you’re probably wondering why the game isn’t running on Windows 7. That’s because it’s not supposed to.
According to the Official Baldur’s Gate 3 website, it needs Windows 10. According to Steam, it doesn’t.
But I, a humble Windows 7 user, have been playing Baldur’s Gate 3 for about 4 hours now so Steam is correct.
It’s possible that this option may be removed in future. It’s also possible that the game will run fine on Windows 7 in the future. Ah, the excitement of Early Access games!
If, after following these instructions, the game does run for you on Windows 7, you may find that it stutters more than a shy anime character in a snowstorm. Just try and bear it until you get to the second area – it’ll go from briefly locking up every 2-3 minutes to briefly locking up every 20-30 minutes. Hardly ideal, but still less hassle than installing Windows 10 for one game.
If you’re curious about how I’ve been playing it on Windows 7 when you can’t – read on!
Please note: There’s no guarantee this will actually work for you, but there’s no way to know unless you try it!
Step 1: Get to the Baldur’s Gate 3 Steam directory
If you know how to get to the Baldur’s Gate 3 directory on your own, feel free to skip ahead to Step 2.
I’m assuming that you’re using Steam for this, so the first batch of instructions will be Steam-specific. If you’re playing a non-Steam version, don’t worry – that will be covered in the next section.
Go to your Steam library and right-click on Baldur’s Gate 3. You should see something like this:
Left-click on ‘Properties’ from the bottom of the context menu – you can see I’ve highlighted it in the picture above.
That should bring you to – wait for this, you won’t see it coming – the Properties page for Baldur’s Gate 3, which should look like this:
Next, you need to left-click on the ‘LOCAL FILES’ tab, which I’ve also highlighted in that picture above because I love you and I only want the best for you in life.
That should bring you to the ‘LOCAL FILES’ tab.
Fun Fact: If you’re reading this out loud to someone else you have to yell the words ‘LOCAL FILES’ because they’re in all-caps. Moving on.
The LOCAL FILES tab should look like this:
Left-click on the topmost option, the one that says ‘BROWSE LOCAL FILES’, presumably because Steam doesn’t know what an inside voice is.
That should open up the Baldur’s Gate 3 install directory, which should look like this (although the path/address might be different – just ignore that, it won’t make a difference):
Open up the ‘bin’ directory and you should see this:
Okay, now – all you Steam users, feel free to skip ahead to Step 2 now because I’m going to catch the non-Steam users up.
Also Step 1: Get to the Baldur’s Gate 3 directory (for non-Steam users)
First, left-click on the Windows Menu (1), and then left-click on Computer (2), as seen here:
That should bring up a view of your computer which should look something like this:
Now, left-click in the top-right corner where it says ‘Search Com…’ or possibly ‘Search Computer’ on your system. In either case, just left-click near the magnifying glass symbol. That should bring up something like this:
Type the following into the search field: bg3_dx11.exe
Or, for extra nerd points, just select and copy-paste (Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste) it directly from the previous sentence in this article.
The computer will probably start searching for the file on its own. If not, just press the Enter key on your keyboard.
If you’ve done it correctly, it should look like this:
It will keep searching until it’s found the file.
If it hasn’t found the file, then you probably don’t have Baldur’s Gate 3 installed. If this is you, you might do well to question why you’re even reading this article but hey – thanks for the view anyway!
When it does find the file, right-click on it to bring up the context menu, and left-click on the ‘Open file location’ option near the bottom of the menu:
You should now be in the correct directory, just like the Steam users. This means that we can all just get onto the clever stuff now.
Step 2: How To Actually Run Baldur’s Gate 3 On Windows 7
Okay, for this next part you need to do EXACTLY as I say.
Go into your bank account and send me 20 dollars. (LIAM, YOU’RE FIRED – The Editor)
Relax, I’m joking. I’ll tell you what’s no joke though – the part where I said ‘you need to do EXACTLY what I say’.
This is for two reasons:
– If you get it wrong it won’t work
– I can’t show a picture of a certain part of the process, so you’ll have to follow the instructions
Fortunately, the instructions are incredibly simple – if very obscure.
Experienced computer users will scoff at this, and possibly think I’m joking. I’m not. I’ve started the game multiple times using this method. Ready?
I want you to hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and DON’T RELEASE IT UNTIL THE GAME HAS BOOTED. I cannot stress that enough, so here’s a quick multiple choice quiz:
How long should you hold down the Shift key for?
A) UNTIL THE GAME HAS BOOTED
B) UNTIL THE GAME HAS BOOTED
C) UNTIL THE GAME HAS BOOTED
D) ALL OF THE ABOVE
Now while you’ve got the Shift key held down, right-click on the file named bg3.exe (or just bg3 depending on your Windows settings) OR the file named bg3_dx11.exe (which, again, might just be called bg3_dx11).
The only real difference between the two files is that the second one uses DirectX, meaning it should be more compatible with most systems. I’d say use that if the first one doesn’t work for you.
After right-clicking on your chosen file, you should see a menu that looks like this:
While you’re still holding down Shift, left-click on the ‘Run as administrator’ option.
In case you were wondering: DO NOT LET GO OF SHIFT YET.
Now for the part I can’t show a picture of because I’m too stupid to figure out how to screenshot it: You’ll get a pop-up dialogue box asking if you’re sure.
Left-click ‘Yes’ or ‘Okay’ or whatever it is. Now, I don’t know if you know this or not, but you should still be holding down Shift.
The launcher will automatically launch (you can ignore it), and the game will start soon enough.
If it didn’t work for you, then you’ll see a black screen and your mouse pointer will be the ‘waiting’ symbol (which, in my case, is a rotating blue circle).
If it did work for you, then you’ll still see a black screen but your mouse pointer will be a metal gauntlet (although there may be a few seconds where it’s the ‘waiting’ pointer).
In either case, I’m going to leave this picture here for no particular reason:
Oh, and you can let go of the Shift key now.
If this helped you out at all, feel free to show your appreciation by commenting below! Or not, whatever. I’m not your dad. Probably.