Villain is a Tag in Divinity: Original Sin 2 that allows the player to have certain dialogue with NPCs and certain options during Quests. Please see below for a list.

Villain Tag Mechanics

To get the villain tag, you must do three actions that qualify for the villain tag. These actions are very specific, and few options qualify. While the game offers a lot of evil dialogue options, only a select few qualify for the tag.
(From a coding perspective, the game checks the number of times the player has received the "GLO_SetTag_Villain" flag)

  • Commit three murders (only counts once. Animals don't count. Larian's code comments say "yes, we're cruel like that")
    • Note that they must be kills that are considered murders by the game's crime system. The crime system is pretty complicated and has a ton of rules for when it does or does not consider something a murder. Often killing the same NPC on different playthroughs will count as a murder on one, but not on another due to different circumstances.
  • Absorb spirits with Source Vampirism three times (target must be tagged as a ghost, and not tagged as a construct)
    • This is far less picky than the murder condition. There are incredibly few exceptions. Both in and out of dialogue uses are counted.
    • The tagging conditions mean that Shriekers do not count
  • Convince Unnis to give you all of her gold by lying to her
  • Side with the brutes in the shakedown against Elodi
  • Rat out stingtail to Griff
  • Enslave the Lady Vengeance
  • Set off the Doomsday Device in Arx

The following actions have been confirmed to not grant credit towards the villain tag through investigation of the game's scripting code.

  • Leaving your future companions in the ship's hold in the Prologue
  • Helping Lohse kill Saheila
  • Breaking Gratiana's Soul Jar
  • Anything involving the Ice Dragon
  • Urging Gareth to kill Magister Jonathan
  • Kill Hannag's apprentice and his family
  • Betray Ryker
  • Hurting the frightened Dwarf near the Blackpits

Getting the tag


 The primary hurdle towards getting the villain tag is the requirement of at least one story event that qualifies. Luckily Fort Joy has three options for story events early on. Doing all three, or two out of the three and a few murders, will allow the player to get the tag very early in the game.

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    • 12 Jun 2021 00:41  

      I just did a complete rewrite of this article. I got frustrated with how inconsistent getting this tag felt, and that the instructions in this wiki page didn't seem accurate.

      I loaded up the modding SDK, and went through damn near every relevant script and dialog to both confirm the mechanics, and find every location that triggers the mechanics.

      • Anonymous

        20 Feb 2021 06:04  

        Just got the Villain Tag. Currently in Fort Joy. Got level 2 on the ship (attacking door guard on the way to Windego with the door open), skipped straight to the top of the ship, shot the child to skip the dialogue and to not have to save anyone. On Fort Joy, I deceived the Unnis into giving me her money (cannot do this as a human/undead human without Fane's mask), killed the turtles, assisted Ifan in dispatching with the two thugs, then assisted in freeing the locked elf by convincing the Lizard to give me the oranges, then ratting him out. Then I stole the Sparkler card, used it in a game with the three thugs on the tower area, then killed them. This made me hit level 3 and obtain the Villain tag immediately. I doubt it's relevant, but I skipped the dialogue with Atusa, Dallis and Alexander by climbing up on a ladder to the side of them.

        If this doesn't work every time, then this system is probably random chance.

        • Anonymous

          06 Sep 2020 05:28  

          I consumed the soul of the Swallow Man and then got the villian tag lmao. I've only used source vamparism on Blackring souls, and haven't done any of the other things listed above so idk

          • Anonymous

            04 May 2020 18:19  

            I got the Villain tag at the end of a combat for targeting my teammate to hit the enemy, need verification. I also got both the Hero and Villain tag trought my playtrough once, but I think this was in beta, I don't know if it's still working

            • Anonymous

              03 May 2020 22:34  

              anyone still trying to do this: after trying to figure out the fastest way for about an hour here's what i got... -start as an elf, i used a custom one for this -leave the ship without rescuing the origin characters -lie to unnis that you're taking her stuff for atusa -side with griffs people and kill ifan and elodi -tell griff it was stingtail who stole the oranges

              • Anonymous

                28 Jan 2020 05:43  

                Killing the mind controlled Black Ring soldiers in the Blackpits seems to turn the needle toward Villain because i got the tag there

                • Anonymous

                  18 Sep 2019 17:41  

                  Taking my mask off as Fane on the ship triggers the windego fight early. This combined with the fact that I am killing all npc's and pets who have been looted and are no longer quest relevant must have nabbed me this relatively quickly - by the time I got to Verdas, i had it :P

                  • Anonymous

                    14 Sep 2019 22:26  

                    Suddenly got the Villain tag after killing a group of White Magisters, Weaponized Monks, a Silent Watcher and some brainwashed Black Ring members. What. Might be because I said I was their reinforcements and then attacked them while they were neutral..?

                    • Anonymous

                      13 Sep 2019 16:44  

                      I got it after useing the hero tag to stop ryker ritual and then consumed his sorce, i was so suprised by it that i imidetly quick loaded and redid the fight, not consumeing him this time, because i tought that i would lose my hero tag.

                      • Anonymous

                        09 Aug 2019 16:27  

                        Got my Villain tag after consuming the Sallow Man's source, like uuuuuummm he's gross? Only other thing I did out of that list is kill Ryker after completing his quest, and consuming Source from souls that were horrible people. Guess I'm evil now.

                        • Anonymous

                          28 Jul 2019 08:22  

                          Lmao I got the villain tag when facing Lohse's demon and used lightning storm and it broke all the chairs and gave me the tag... It is I destroyer of furniture FEAR ME

                          • Anonymous

                            14 Jun 2019 22:20  

                            Got it by "murdering" Trompdoy's irritating albeit neutral mocking illusory selves. Tho I did extort Unnis and tell Griff about Stingtail (with the intention to murder the assassin sent), and murder Migo and Yarrow after reuniting them, so I can't really say it's unfairly earned :v

                            • Anonymous

                              31 Jan 2019 06:09  

                              Using Source Vampirism on Sir Lora the Squirrel got me the Villain tag literally right after I'd gotten the Hero tag from saving the family being executed in the Blackpits. Had been playing a relatively balanced game, plenty of heroic things and some senseless XP and/or loot motivated murder, plenty of things played neutral. But the fact I got one then the other so quickly makes it seem to me it is not a balance, but perhaps a 1 +1 = tag type system, with most choices not affecting your status. Either way if you're hero and want villain and have the Lora DLC, try absorbing him bc that worked for me. Was unintentional, but I'm good with max dialogue options. Trying to mostly skew good, but am mostly playing it as a game as opposed to any strict RP. Also Lora seems pretty useless after he's taught you the skill or two he can, and was already dead, so I'm glad to be rid of them tbh. xD

                              • Anonymous

                                06 Dec 2018 06:12  

                                Got it all the way at the end of Act III inside the lady vengeance. Absorbed the souls of the companions I didn't choose. Also got the Hero tag before that, so I'm both.

                                • Anonymous

                                  25 Nov 2018 23:07  

                                  Been trying to get this, killed Buddy, Dain etc, set the elf free but cannot get this to trigger. Even killed Ifan and Elodi.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    26 Jul 2018 22:04  

                                    I didn't do any of that stuff and triggered it... By attacking Radeka without talking to her beforehand... (I just gave stingtail but saved his ass rigth after)

                                    • Anonymous

                                      17 Mar 2018 23:18  

                                      I am both a villain and hero. I am the black and the white, the light and the dark, then yin and the yang. And I love. this. game!

                                      PS I got hero by being generally awesome, villain by the stealing soul of nuns in Cloisterwood (though I also killed Blaine, the spider chick, the troll, Mordus, the undead upon second encounter, and rob anyone who turns their back to me)

                                      • Anonymous

                                        16 Mar 2018 01:11  

                                        So I killed the elf kill Sahalia, and then freed Aymo or w/e but I'm never given the option to tell him that it was I, who killed her. If I follow him back to the cave he sees her dead and just tells me that he fails her obviously unaware that I did it and I am unable to tell him I did it.

                                        • Anonymous

                                          06 Feb 2018 15:18  

                                          I tried to consume almost all the souls in ACTII, still does not get the tag, the developer must changed something here

                                          • Anonymous

                                            05 Jan 2018 16:21  

                                            Another way is to kill the fire slug princess AFTER telling her Braccus Rex is dead(pet pal). The battle log will end with fire slug was murdered in cold blood. This will proc the villain counter.

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