I absolutely love this Baldur’s Gate 3 Artefact turned controller

Custom Baldur's Gate 3 controller based on the Mysterious Artefact held up.
Image: Rudeism

As gamers, it’s in our nature to seek out the most awkward way to complete a game. Whether it’s Twitch pushing through Pokemon using chat-based controls, a deahtless Elden Ring run using a dance pad, or playing Doom on a pregnancy test, no challenge is too great. The latest achievement comes in the form of a Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough using none other than the Mysterious Artefact instead of a traditional controller.

Designed by Dylan Beck, A.K.A. Rudeism, who’s known for his unconventional creations, the aim was to create a “fully functional wireless Xbox controller” with a form factor that’s as true to Baldur’s Gate 3’s Mysterious Artefact as possible. As you can imagine, that’s no easy task. What started as a week-long project transformed into five long months.

Custom Baldur's Gate 3 controller based on the Mysterious Artefact on a table.

It’s unsurprising that it took so long. He had to map the blueprints, 3D print the parts, wire the circuitry, program it, paint it, and pray that it all works. Fortunately, it looks like it was all worth it. With 20 working key switches, it’s as much a gamepad as it is a showpiece.

In true Larian Studios fashion, the game developers designed the Mysterious Artefact to resemble a Dungeons and Dragons die. That’s great for tabletop but isn’t the most accommodating shell for a controller. Without any thumbsticks, the thing works using gyro motion controls instead – a fan favourite in the Steam Deck community.

Naturally, Beck admits that it’s not the most ergonomic device to play with. That doesn’t stop him from trying, though, as he’s livestreaming his first Baldur’s Gate 3 Dark Urge run on Twitch. It’s not his first rodeo, either. He’s previously climbed to level 100 in World of Warcraft using a dance pad and beaten The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with the eponymous instrument.

I can’t say I’d relish a playthrough using one, but I do like my gimmicks. After all, I use PC foot pedals every single day. At the very least, it’d look great sitting on a shelf, declaring our love for one of the best RPGs.