Update: Larian Studios have now posted a detailed guide on how to prepare for Baldur's Gate 3's launch. The Steam blog says that early access saves and profiles "aren't compatible with the release version... and leaving them in your save folders may in some fringe cases cause issues."
Original Story: Baldur's Gate 3 is mere days away, and you may be wondering if you can prep in some way for the epic RPG's release. You can, it turns out: not by pre-loading its 122GB download size on Steam, no, but by deleting your Early Access saves and uninstalling the game entirely.
"PSA: Full post tomorrow, but for Baldur's Gate 3 players with existing Early Access saves, we ask that prior to August 3, launch the game, and delete all save files to avoid unintended conflicts at launch," Larian tweeted earlier today. "Also, remove any mods and ensure they do not automatically re-download."
"We recommend players with Early Access installed uninstall the game after deleting their save files," they continued in a followup tweet. "This will reduce the risk of file conflicts when the final game downloads, and should mean more playing, and no troubleshooting! We’ll have a full guide for launch tomorrow."
Larian have been saying for years now that Early Access saves will not be compatible with the 1.0 release, because the final update will change a lot about the included first act as well as adding the remaining two-thirds of the game. This is the first time, I think, that they've suggested manually binning your old saves. I'm guessing they're worried about a lot of people unknowingly, or stubbornly, continuing to try to play their Early Access saves on 1.0 and then getting frustrated when it doesn't work.
Given that Larian confirmed it wasn't possible to pre-load Baldur's Gate 3 earlier this week, you might have been forgiven for wondering if installing the Early Access might have given you an equivalent leg up. It sounds like that's not the case either and you'll be downloading the game from scratch either way.
Larian moved forward Baldur's Gate 3's release date to August 3rd so as to avoid Starfield. I haven't checked with Katharine but I assume no one on RPS is allowed to sleep until they've played all 80 hours of the thing.
Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur's Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.