The huge 122GB Baldur's Gate 3 preload will not be available to download early

A Tiefling Barbarian shouts at an NPC
(Image credit: Larian)

Larian has confirmed that the Baldur's Gate 3 preload - a whopping 122GB of goodness - will not be available to download ahead of the game's release date on August 3rd.

Baldur's Gate 3 is one of the most anticipated upcoming games of the year, and with only a few short days to go, many folks were hoping to get everything in order by preloading the game ahead of launch. However, as reported by our friends at sister site PC Gamer, in a new post on Steam, Larian has confirmed that: "Baldur’s Gate 3 will launch on August 3rd at 5pm Gent time, or your non-Belgian timezone equivalent... There will be no pre-loading of the game before then." Pretty categoric, then.

To be clear right at the top here, Baldur's Gate 3 launches at 8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm BST on August 3rd - but if you're looking for a handy graphic to see when exactly when your release time is, then Larian has provided a delightfully on-brand image, which we've put below.

Baldur's Gate 3 PC launch graphic with time zones and map

(Image credit: Larian)

At first, it does seem strange to hear that the Baldur's Gate 3 preload is bucking the trend of videogame preloads by, well, not allowing a preload, but apparently it's a limitation of Steam and the fact that the game has been out in early access for so long, according to our expert and learned siblings at PC Gamer. It also follows Larian's logic of the game's release being a clean, fresh start for players. No existing files can be used or relied on (from early access), in the same way that no existing saves will be compatible as the full release is so different.

Either way though, that is bad news for fans of what's likely to be one of the best RPGs of the generation. Send good vibes and thoughts to anyone with a slow or unsteady internet connection in particular, as 122GB is not small. This likely means that the release time is actually just not going to be 'Actual Play Time' for a lot of people.

For clarity, and to complete the information on preloads, there is no news about a Baldur's Gate 3 PS5 preload as of yet, and, naturally, no news on an Xbox Series X one as there is no release date for the latter still. We will update this story if we get any more information on preloads across any platforms.

Given its popularity in Early Access, Baldur's Gate 3 is likely to be on many folks'  best PC games lists for this year.

Rob Dwiar
Managing Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Rob is the Managing Editor of TechRadar Gaming, a video games journalist, critic, editor, and writer, and has years of experience gained from multiple publications. Prior to being TechRadar Gaming's Managing Editor, he was TRG's Deputy Editor, and a longstanding member of GamesRadar+, being the Commissioning Editor for Hardware there for years, while also squeezing in a short stint as Gaming Editor at WePC just before joining TechRadar Gaming. He is also a freelance writer on tech, gaming hardware, video games, gardens, and landscapes and is crowdfunding a book on video game landscapes that you can back and pre-order now too.