Baldur's Gate 3: Shadowheart Romance Guide (All Acts)

Published: Aug. 27, 2023
Updated: Dec. 21, 2023

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Starting a romance with Shadowheart in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a top priority for many players. That's why our editor Alex, with over 100 hours of gaming experience, shows how to successfully woo the attractive half-elf. This guide covers:
  • How to find and free Shadowheart.
  • How to handle her personality and initiate a romance.
  • Getting maximum approval from Shadowheart.
  • Optimal responses in dialogue with her.

Shadowheart: A Romance in Three Acts

Shadowheart is a half-elven companion in Baldur's Gate 3, who can be freed from a sealed Mind Flayer pod at the beginning of the D&D role-playing game. Additionally, the sincere fighter is one of the characters with whom a significant portion of the player base wants to start a romance.

During my many hours with Baldur's Gate 3, Shadowheart often put me to the test. I had to convince my companion over three acts that my character was the best partner for her. Based on this experience, I'll reveal the ways in which I managed to romance Shadowheart.

Where to Find and Free Shadowheart in BG3

In contrast to Karlach, a member of the Tiefling race whom you should visit as part of later quests in the first act, you'll encounter Shadowheart at the beginning of the game on the Nautiloid ship. The Nautiloids have captured your potential romance interest and imprisoned her in an Mind Flayer pod on the right side of the ship (north on the map). As you approach, you can already hear Shadowheart calling for help.

To free the distressed companion from the pod, you need to operate the switch console next to it. However, you still lack a rune to activate the console. Here's how to obtain both items:
    1. Go to the room to the right of the chamber where Shadowheart is trapped.
    2. Right at the entrance, you'll find a corpse. Loot it to get a key for extra loot.
    3. Continue to the end of the room, where you'll find another corpse. The second corpse contains the needed rune.
    4. Return to the console and activate it using the rune.
Once you've successfully completed the dialogue, Shadowheart is freed. Now you can focus on the deep romance that awaits you.
shadowheart-bg3-free
Above: Shadowheart in the Mindflayer capsule in Baldur's Gate 3.

Starting a Romance with Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3

First and foremost, it's helpful to know that, despite her name, Shadowheart has a "good heart." Because the foundation of any romance in Baldur's Gate 3 is the general approval of the one being courted, which can only be gained through actions and words that align with their personal beliefs.

Logically, for instance, a murderous rogue with a gloomy disposition will find it challenging to win the heart of an opposite character.
Baldur's Gate 3 Romance Guide Shadowheart 01
If Shadowheart agrees with you and you desire it, she'll invite you for a private evening by the campfire. (Baldur's Gate 3)

How to get Maximum Approval From Shadowheart

To gain Shadowheart's approval, align with her preferences and personality traits. She appreciates:
  • Respect for her privacy and personal boundaries.
  • "Good deeds." Shadowheart welcomes avoiding unnecessary violence in conflict situations and thoughtful dialogue choices.
  • Actions in self-interest, strangely enough. Who among us doesn't behave inconsistently at times?
  • Curiosity and secrecy. As a member of the Trickery domain, Shadowheart is keen on mysticism and exploring mysteries.
  • Stealthy actions. If you want to please her, ditch the brute force, as she rewards points for cunningly (think "Deception") or stealthily solving problems, so always be clever.
  • Skillful use of dice-rolled responses in dialogues. Besides reactions falling under the "Deception" category, Shadowheart also appreciates successful persuasion attempts and rolls based on "Insight" and "Religion."
On the other hand, you'll receive Shadowheart's disapproval if you:
  • Disregard her privacy and personal boundaries.
  • Humiliate, insult, or align with oppressors against others.
  • Meddle in things that don't concern you.
  • Use unnecessary violence.
  • Trust a Githyanki.
Also important: As you've likely noticed, Shadowheart and Lae'zel are practically archenemies. Without a mediator, the two would figuratively tear each other apart, so do not follow Lae'zel's suggestions or desires, especially not in Shadowheart's presence. Doing so will undoubtedly result in significant negative points.

The same happens if you don't give Shadowheart the necessary time to open up to you. So, listen to what she tells you. If she doesn't want to talk about a specific topic right now, don't push further. While this might demonstrate curiosity, not every type of curiosity apparently suits the cleric's taste.
Baldur's Gate 3 Romance Guide Shadowheart 02
Don't be like Guided and sell your underwear because it has no stats. Otherwise, you might have to go to your date with Shadowheart naked at night.

How to Get Additional Approval From Shadowheart

With Shadowheart, it's somewhat like courting a partner in real life: cater to her interests and serve them as needed. In dialogues with Shadowheart, there are frequent opportunities to learn more about her favorites; be it places she likes to hang out or things she particularly enjoys. For example, your companion has a favorite flower that you can discover in dialogue.

If, despite everything, you happen to mess up an answer terribly, you surely know that Baldur's Gate 3 has a quicksave function (F5 to save, F8 to load the last save). It's also interesting to note that you can afford more mistakes during intimate moments with Shadowheart than in "sober" situations.

The Romance with Shadowheart in Act 1

When can I start a romance with Shadowheart? While it wasn't possible to romance Shadowheart before the quest "Save the Refugees" in the Early Access version of Baldur's Gate 3, it's now easily achievable in the full version. The dialogues with Shadowheart not only contain romance options during rests but sometimes also during your journey.
Can female characters romance Shadowheart?Yes, absolutely. In Baldur's Gate 3, same-sex relationships are generally possible, which makes Shadowheart a polyamorous woman.
If you approach the dark-haired elf later, you don't have to worry about missing your chance. At least in the first act, you can steer your relationship with her toward romance at any time. Just be aware that winning Shadowheart's favor is easier if you haven't started her personal quest yet.
Baldur's Gate 3 Romance Guide Shadowheart 03
In dialogues with Shadowheart, there are often answers that further improve your relationship with her. (Baldur's Gate 3)
The beginning of the romance with Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3 presents the dialogue option "I can't shake the feeling that we both missed the chance for a relationship – a real relationship." This triggers your first date on a cliff during the next long rest at the camp. You must click on the sleeping bag in the camp to be picked up by Shadowheart at night.
Mehr Romanzen in Baldur's Gate 3:
Because a date is an intimate moment, "wrong" answers here play a smaller role than in other situations. Through "correct" answers, you learn more about Shadowheart and continue to accumulate smaller positive points with her. During the initial flirting, pay attention to respecting any confidentiality on her part.

However, if you want to extract more information from Shadowheart through a persuasion roll than she's willing to reveal, she won't hold it against you. However, in a later scene where your character and Shadowheart lie next to each other, things may go awry.

Your crush apparently finds it boring if you throw standard responses like "Let's do that again." In this case, you part ways after the date as usual. In the optimal case, a kiss marks the beginning of your relationship. You could also "demand" the kiss more dominantly ("If you want something from me, you should take it"), but it's advised to steer clear of that.

Successful Answers in Act 1

Here's an example of responses that will make you successful:
    • I wouldn't miss it for the world.
    • To us.
    • Tell her about how you grew up in Baldur's Gate.
    • Your turn. It's only fair. (Persuasion roll 10)
    • Wrong. You like night orchids and you can't swim (...).
    • The moment is not to stop yet.
If the automatic "detect thoughts" roll fails here, it might mean that the kiss might not happen despite everything. In that case, repeat the date or smooth things over by talking to Shadowheart, discussing the last night, and selecting the option "I should have kissed you."
    • I hope there will be more of this.
    • Kiss her.
    • No. Quite the opposite.
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Romancing Shadowheart in Act 2

In the second act, your affair with Shadowheart is in danger of faltering – or possibly ending altogether. The reason for this is her religious devotion in connection with your visit to the Silent Library. This dungeon houses, among other things, a statue of Shar, your girlfriend's faithful deity.

You have the option here to support Shadowheart's admiration for Shar by letting her pray to the statue. However, you should refrain from doing so if your connection with Shadowheart is important to you. In her religious fervor, she will feel even more connected to Shar after praying and assert that she wants to serve her deity with body and soul.

An outcome you want to avoid? It strongly sounds like it, especially considering the further storyline.
Baldur's Gate 3 Romance Guide Shadowheart 04
The lovebirds have gotten quite close. (Baldur's Gate 3)
Because in the second act, your romance faces another challenge. After defeating Balthasar, Shadowheart will possess the Spear of the Night, and she might use it to kill Nightsong. You can verbally support your girlfriend in this matter or dissuade her. However, the latter requires a charisma roll of 20 points.
Shadowheart as a CompanionThe braided half-elf has qualities not only as a romantic partner but also as a companion. Shadowheart is skilled in handling a weapon. Her base stats as a companion are as follows:
  • Strength: 13
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Wisdom: 17
  • Charisma: 8
  • Constitution: 14
And what happens if Shadowheart kills Nightsong? Well, if Shadowheart truly lets Nightsong cost her using the Spear of the Night, she will assume the role of Shar's Chosen and may end the relationship with you. In the other case, you'll be able to convince Shadowheart once and for all to leave Shar behind and continue the relationship with you. However, Shadowheart won't renounce Shar within a few hours, so you should mentally support her for some time.

Successful Responses in Act 2

With these responses, you'll be successful with Shadowheart in the second act:
    1. "You're not alone; you have me."
    1. "I want that. I've been waiting for a long time."
    1. "I'm here for you whenever you need me. I thought you might need a reminder after everything that happened."
    1. "How do you feel?"
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The Romance with Shadowheart in Act 3

Shadowheart's separation from Shar will extend into the third act when she receives the blessing of the Moon Goddess Selune as part of her companion quest. From the presumably spared Nightsong (who reveals herself as Aylin, the daughter of the Moon Goddess), you learn many private details about your girlfriend. For example, the reason for her aversion to swimming and other details from her past.
Baldur's Gate 3 Shadowheart Romance Guide Bath
Skinny dipping in the moonlight? Shadowheart is definitely up for it. (Baldur's Gate 3)
If you continue to behave according to Shadowheart's liking, the third act triggers the final cinematic of this romance. This simultaneously represents the peak of your relationship because Baldur's Gate 3 apparently agrees that you should stop when things are at their best. If you want to watch the scene right away, you can do that a bit further down. Otherwise, here are the response options that lead to a successful conclusion of the romance.

Successful Responses in Act 3

    1. "There are simpler ways to get me naked, you know..."
    1. "You first."
    1. "It's hard not to. You're beautiful." After that, all options work.
Note: If you didn't spare Nightsong in the second act, you must choose different dialogue options. Respond as follows:
    1. "Why me?"
    1. "As you wish."
And after the scene transition to the Selûne statue:
    1. "What's this? More wine?"
    1. "No, not at all. And now, shall we celebrate?"
    1. Kiss her.
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After graduating from high school, I initially wanted to study instrumental music. However, eventually I pursued a career as a video game journalist, which I started at the prestigious Ehapa-Verlag publisher, among others. Today, I share my extensive video game expertise with Guided. I benefit from over 40 years of experience with PC and console games, as well as my work in game development for the indie studio Knights of Bytes. I understand how video games work, and I also know how to convey my knowledge in an understandable manner.
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