Baldur’s Gate 3: All elemental surfaces and effects

ELemental Surfaces in Baldur
All Elemental Surfaces and their effects in Baldur’s Gate 3 (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)

Much like with their previous titles, Larian Studios have made Elemental Surfaces a core part of Baldur’s Gate 3 as well. They dictate much of how a battle will go down, along with exploration through many parts of the Forgotten Realms. While Elemental Surfaces might not be as prevalent in BG3 as they were in the Divinity Original Sin games, they still play an important role.

Hence, if you are looking to make the most of the combat in the RPG and have a significantly easier time during harder encounters, then you will need to learn about all the Elemental Surfaces that are in the game.

It’s one of the more complicated mechanics to grasp and it’s not surprising why there are many in the community who are a bit confused as to how they work. Hence, this Baldur’s Gate 3 guide will go over all the Elemental Surfaces in the table-top RPG along with their effects.


All Elemental Surfaces and their effects in Baldur’s Gate 3

Blood Surface (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)
Blood Surface (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)

There are 12 different Elemental Surfaces in Baldur’s Gate 3, and below is the list of all of them, along with their effects:


1) Water Surface

As the name itself suggest, this surface just has a pool of water and it can be Frozen, turning them into Ice Surfaces in Baldur’s Gate 3. Additionally, if there is Fire in the vicinity the water surface will be able to put it out. Water surfaces can also be electrocuted, thereby turning it into Electrified Water.


2) Blood Surface

Blood surfaces are usually made after damaging and defeating other living creatures. They will not appear after taking down an Elemental. Blood Surfaces can be Frozen and can extinguish Fire, however, you will not be able to electrocute them making electric blood.


3) Fire Surface

It’s just a surface that is burning and can be caused by hitting oil with Fire spells, or there are already many areas on the map that have Fire surfaces that you will need to go through. Fire surfaces will apply the Burning status effects on your characters and they will take 1d4 damage for a couple of turns.

You can even dip certain weapons in the surface, coating them in Fire and dealing with an additional 1d4 damage to enemies with them with a chance to set the Burning status.

Fire Surface (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)
Fire Surface (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)

4) Electrified Surface

The surface just has electricity running through it and can be turned into an Electrified Water Surface when hit with a water spell. Walking over the surface will cause 1d4 Lightning damage, however, unlike with the Fire Surface, you will not be able to coat your weapon with it.


5) Ice Surface

This surface is created by hitting a Water Surface with some Forst spells. Characters that walk over it will have their movement distance halved and you will have to invest in Dexterity saving throws to prevent from slipping while walking over it and becoming Prone. Becoming Prone makes you vulnerable and open to a lot of attacks.


6) Electrified Water Surface

Electrified Water Surfaces in Baldur’s Gate 3 are created by either hitting a Water Surface with Electric attacks or hitting an Electric Surface with some water. This will cause 1d4 Lightning damage to anyone who steps over it along with creating the Shock status effect.

Characters who get Wet when Shocked will be stunned and not allowed to act that turn. Getting Shocked twice in a row will also cause a stun.


7) Poison Surface

If you are walking over a surface that is Poisoned, then you will be forced to make Constitution saving throws. If you fail, your characters will be poisoned and will have a Disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Ability Checks.

You will be able to dip a weapon in the surface as well, as it will provide you with an additional 1d4 Poison damage for three turns.


8) Mud Surface

Mud surfaces are occasionally encountered when exploring the wilderness in Baldur’s Gate 3 and it will just halve a character’s movement distance when they are trying to walk over it.


9) Caustic Brine Surface

A Caustic Brine surface in Baldur’s Gate 3 can be made by throwing a Caustic Bulb on the surface. It’s one surface that you can actively create very early in the game, and it will help you have an easier time in an encounter as a Caustic Brine surface will deal 1d4 Acid Damage each turn to enemies standing on it.

Creating Elemental Surface (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)
Creating Elemental Surface (Image via Baldur's Gate 3)

10) Acid Surface

An Acid Surface is usually made with the use of certain abilities in the game and is not something that you will see all that often early in Baldur’s Gate 3. Acid Surfaces cause a -2 penalty to Armor Class to everyone who steps on it. As there is no saving throw, it will apply to all enemies and allies.


11) Smokepowder Surface

Usually created by throwing a Smokepowder Barrel, which will then explode, causing a Smokepowder Surface. The surface alone itself does nothing. However, you can ignite it, which will create a huge explosion and deal 2d6 Fire damage and 2d6 Force damage to all foes and allies in its blast radius. The surface will then turn into a Fire Surface.


12) Steam Cloud Surface

Applying Fire to a Water Surface creates a Steam Cloud surface. Those who walk through it will receive the Wet status and will be vulnerable to Frost and Lightning damage. However, they will be immune to Burning and gain a greater resistance to Fire Damage.