Quick Links Pick Up, Throw, & Shove Enemies Scout Ahead Through Small Spaces Distract Enemies From Targeting Party Members Mage Hand Can Activate & Disarm Traps “Safely” Activate Out-Of-Reach Levers & Environmental Objects
The Mage Hand Baldur’s Gate 3 ability lets players summon a spectral hand to do their bidding. Though Mage Hand is limited in BG3 compared to tabletop Dungeons and Dragons, it’s still one of the most useful skills in Baldur’s Gate 3 for a number of reasons.
Not only does it function as a companion in combat, with its own unique actions that help to displace enemies, it also can be used to fit into places players couldn’t otherwise get to. This Mage Hand guide details the best ways to use the summon to your advantage in BG3, both in and out of combat.Pick Up, Throw, & Shove Enemies
One of the best things to use Mage Hand for in Baldur’s Gate 3 is its ability to shove and pick up some enemies. In BG3 Mage Hand is actually extremely useful in combat because of this – summon Mage Hand next to an enemy near a ledge (or near an elemental surface) and use the Shove action on them. Be sure to position the Mage Hand itself correctly and look for the blue line, which shows the distance and direction the enemy will be pushed if the Shove is successful. Just aim for a Chasm, or the bottom of a long drop.
Mage Hand can also pick up and throw enemies – but not all of them. Some enemies are just too large to be picked up without major buffs (like Enlarge), but it’s surprising just how many targets Mage Hand is capable of throwing – most Medium targets, for example, can be picked up and thrown a short distance. Use this similar to the Shove action to completely take out enemies with the use of cliffs, or simply reposition an enemy to prevent Opportunity Attacks and the like. It’s not a bad idea to “reposition” the target into another enemy, possibly causing them both to fall prone.Scout Ahead Through Small Spaces
Another incredibly useful job for a Mage Hand out of combat is scouting, particularly through spaces that would normally be too small for most characters to fit through. Instead of Wild Shaping into a Tiny creature, consider instead sending a Mage Hand to see where a burrow, crack, or other minuscule passageway leads.
The Githyanki-only Invisible Mage Hand, a Racial ability, is the best choice for scouting ahead because enemies it runs into won’t see it (without See Invisibility-type effects, that is). When scouting ahead with Mage Hand, look for enemies, possible traps, buttons, levers, and other interactive objects – as well as a larger entrance so the party can get inside, too.Distract Enemies From Targeting Party Members
In combat, Mage Hand might seem limited in its functionality – its only actions are to Shove, Fly, and Throw, but arguably the most useful thing Mage Hand can provide for the team in combat is a distraction. Though it has a measly amount of HP and AC, and can be hit incredibly easily by enemies, enemies will often target it over party members. This essentially takes out their turn for the round, even if it means the Mage Hand itself is destroyed.
At the start of combat, summon Mage Hand very close to enemies to make it more likely that they will attack it instead of party members. If you’re lucky, the Mage Hand won’t be destroyed, and can then be used to Shove and Throw enemies as desired.
Be careful when moving Mage Hand through enemies, as it can still trigger Opportunity Attacks and is susceptible to Concentration AoE like Cloud of Daggers.Mage Hand Can Activate & Disarm Traps “Safely”
Though the Baldur’s Gate 3 version of Mage Hand has fewer abilities than the tabletop Dungeons and Dragons version (like being able to pickpocket and loot), it still retains some of what makes it such a useful cantrip to stealthy builds. One of these things is its ability to Disarm Traps.
Though Mage Hand can’t reveal the traps itself, it can still attempt to Disarm them once discovered. Separate the Mage Hand from the party and move them far away from the trap. If the Mage Hand isn’t successful in its Disarm Trap attempt, it might go off and get killed, but at least the party won’t be damaged. Plus, some traps don’t reset, so the sacrifice can be worth it.Activate Out-Of-Reach Levers & Environmental Objects
The last use for Mage Hand is its ability to manipulate and interact with some environmental objects. This is relatively limited, as the Mage Hand can’t loot items, but it is still able to set off buttons and levers and move objects on the ground. Explosive Barrels can be shifted from the corner of the room to the center, Potions placed by a companion can be moved to a more optimal spot for splash effects, and so on. The one thing it can’t do is bring out objects from the inventory, they must be placed down by someone else.
Buttons and Levers often reveal hidden doorways to new areas, shortcuts between discovered ones, or otherwise activate something out in the world. Mage Hand can flip these switches and press these buttons like any other companion. When exploring through burrows and other small crevices with your Mage Hand, keep a particular eye out for these devices – oftentimes, they reveal an entrance for the rest of the party, but sometimes they set off traps that weaken (or kill) enemies before they have a chance to draw swords.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is available on PC and will release on PlayStation 5 on September 6, 2023. A version for Xbox Series X|S is currently in development.