What Happens When You Get Save Failed In BG3? (Passive Checks)

Got save failed in Baldur's Gate 3, but your last save seems to reload? This save is different and here is how it works.

One of the many confusing messages you get in Baldur’s Gate 3 is Save Failed, Perception Failed, or similar notifications. Save failed might appear scary, especially if you rely on auto-save and haven’t manually saved for the entirety of your play session. But this message doesn’t happen to do anything with when you last saved your game. Rather it actually has a lot to do with ability checks. A passive check to be precise. So here is how passive checks work in BG3 and how you can reduce the chances of failing them.

What happens when You Get Save Failed in Baldur’s Gate 3?

what does save failed mean in baldurs gate 3

You get Save Failed, when some party member fails a Passive Ability check. Unlike your regular Ability checks, passive checks take place on their own. These take place for things like when you are looking for secret entrances, if someone is trying to pickpocket from you, looking out for traps, or other similar situations.

Let’s take an example, while exploring a dungeon, you happen to pass by an area where there is a hidden trap. One of your party members will perform a perception check. Perception is a skill based on wisdom, you use it to detect the presence of things or entities in your surroundings. Since this is a passive check, your character won’t have to do a die roll. Depending on how the check goes, you will either get perception successful or perception failed.

There is no guarantee when a passive check will take place as it happens depending on the situation. While the above example was of when you are exploring a dungeon. These checks can also take place when you are talking to an NPC or if you are under attack.

How to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Save Failed in BG3

bg3 what happens when you get save failed for passive check

Since this is a passive check, you won’t be able to control it much. But what you can do is get more Ability score points, you get that as you level up. Ability checks are calculated using Ability modifier which is designed to reward or punish you based on your Ability score. It also adds any proficiency or other external bonuses during calculation.

To calculate your Ability Modifier you use the formula:

  • Ability score – 10 / 2 (round off the number to the lowest for positive score and round of to the highest for negative score)

So for example, if your Ability score is 5, then your Ability Modifier will be 5-10/2, which will be -5/2 = -2.5, that gets rounded of to -3.

But let’s say your character is wearing some gear that is relevant to the passive check (example something that modifies wisdom for perception check) or is under the effect of a spell then those numbers are also added to your Ability check.

That’s all you should know about what Save Failed means in Baldur’s Gate 3 for passive checks. Since you like playing this game you should also check out our guides on how to respec companions, add Halsin to your party, and how cantrips & spells work.