After a combat, your party members in Baldur’s Gate 3 may need a few moments to relax and readjust themselves. Everyone in your party will not passively regain health points or have their spell slots return. Instead, to do this, you may need to take a long rest at a camp. However, this is not always the case, and a short rest can have them regain a few spell slots, and regain a handful of health points.
To take a short rest, go the top right of your screen and click on the icon underneath the campfire, next to your map. Doing so allows a handful of your party member’s spell slots to recharge, for abilities to return, and for their health to come back. Not everything will be charged. Some magic user’s spells must be recharged by taking a long rest, which you can only do at your campsite, after a night’s rest in bed.
You can only take one short rest between a long rest. So if you want to replenish your character’s health, you’re better off attempting to use any food you have or finding an alternative. It’s better to reserve the short rest for when you truly need it, rather than using it out of convenience.
The short rest is like taking a fifteen-minute break during the adventure to tend to wounds and grab something to eat. It doesn’t fully recharge everyone, but it’s extremely helpful to make sure everyone in your party can continue fighting immediately after engaging in a fight.