Pillars Of Eternity II Is Getting A Turn-Based Mode 

Pillars Of Eternity II Is Getting A Turn-Based Mode 

Today, Pillars of Eternity II developer Obsidian said that, nine months after its release, Pillars II is getting a turn-based combat mode as part of a free update on Januay 24. Previously, the fantasy RPG’s default mode of combat was real-time, but with the option for players to pause and issue commands to their party members, à la classic Infinity Engine RPGs like Baldur’s Gate.

This optional new mode, according to game director Josh Sawyer, changes things up pretty significantly. “The turn-based mode slows everything down,” he said in a developer update video published on Shacknews.

“It’s a very, very tactical mode of play. It highlights some abilities and debuffs and things like that, that aren’t necessarily as highlighted in the real-time with pause combat system. And it’s really a lot of fun.”

When I reviewed Pillars of Eternity II last year, I came away impressed, but found it “too chaotic to be fully satisfying” and a bit easy on regular difficulty. My praise was als odiluted by the fact that I was still pretty fresh off playing PC-RPG-for-the-ages Divinity: Original Sin 2. I wondered what Pillars II might be like if it embraced a more ambitious approach to combat.

Now, I’m excited to go back and play turn-based on a higher difficulty — to really chew on some of my mid-fight decisions instead of just gritting my teeth while arrows fly (and occasionally yelling at my party members for being numbskulls whose graveyard worth of tombstones all read “refused to stick to the dang plan”).

However, I’m also wary of an overhaul like this being retrofitted onto a game made up of encounters that were specifically tuned for an entirely different system. Fortunately, Obsidian is launching this mode as a beta and seems committed to taking player feedback and getting it right.


  • This sounds like a welcome addition. I never really liked the Infinity style of realtime combat, but put up with it because the games were really good RPGs otherwise. I’m hoping this mode has a similar kind of feel to Fallout’s turn-based approach, because I loved that.

    • Have had this in my library for a while. Probably the last push I needed to start a game. Have you played Pathfinder: Kingmaker? I wish that had turn based combat.

        • If you like the idea of managing a kingdom while going out on adventures at the same time it is. I found the combat pretty unforgiving at times. Some cool classes though.

    • I’ve got it installed but haven’t started it up yet. Too much backlog to churn through.

  • A very welcome and surprise addition. Considering that MS owns the studio now, I’d have thought that they’d get them moving on to the next thing – resurrecting Fable (guess).

    • Given that the rumors around a new fable swirl around Playground games, I dunno if that’s all that likely… buuuut my godddddd could you imagine Obsidians Fable 4 ;O

  • This is what I need to finally grab this. I really can’t stand that realtime-with-pause system.

  • Bet there’s 2 specific reasons this is being implemented – 1, better for the console versions, and 2, Divinity OS 2. Still, should prove to be a great addition

  • I like turn based combat as much as the next sensible human, but I can’t say that “I wish Pillars of Eternity took longer to play” was a thought that’s crossed my mind.

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