When it comes to best builds, it is our strong suggestion that the best build to play in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the one that will best represent your personality as you get immersed in the world of Faerun and the adventures that await. We hope you feel confident looking for something that really speaks to you, and rest assured that the game will do its best to support your choices. However, with so many incredibly fun options available, we thought we’d lay out a few starting options for those that may be overwhelmed by choice.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, we made some adjustments to the rules to make sure that the choice of fantasy race and your character’s background is primarily driven by role-play. The starting ability bonuses have been uncoupled from the choice of race and any character can fulfill the roleplaying goals of any of the available backgrounds. Racial features are nice perks that can be broadly attractive to most character builds – a Barbarian Halfling will feel different to play than a Barbarian Half-Orc, but both choices are equally viable to face the fights and tough choices ahead. Try to think about which character you will enjoy role-playing as you explore the world, navigate tense conversations, enjoy hard-won victories, and maybe even pursue a romantic interest!
Best Build for players that are new to Baldur’s Gate 3 and D&D
If you’re only just dipping your toes into this whole CRPG trend, you can’t go wrong with a Barbarian. Simply pick the Barbarian class and go with default suggestions. Your biggest choice in Character Creation is which bod is going to look especially impressive on you as you’re slamming into some fiends under the fiery skies of Avernus.
As a Barbarian, you can expect to solve a lot of problems with (capital R) Rage. If you see a problem, simply get angry and whale at it until you don’t see a problem anymore. In dialogues, you’ll get unique choices to solve problems with – you guessed it – unleashing some raw unbridled fury.
This goes double for Berserker, a subclass we recommend you to choose at Level 3 (or about 2 hours into the game). Berserkers upgrade their Rage into Frenzy, which lets you attack and throw objects and characters an extra time per turn. The other subclass choices you can go for are the Wildheart, if the idea of animalistic powers sounds good to you (or if you are a huge fan of facial piercings), and Wild Magic, if you think there can never be too much chaos in a combat.
In terms of magic items, look out for the biggest two-handed weapon you can loot or buy. Keep in mind that Barbarians get bonuses for not wearing proper armor, so magic cloth equipment with properties that enhance melee combat is especially good on them.
Best Build for Magic Casters
If you are looking for something more refined and magical than the crude approach of the Barbarian, getting into spellcasting might be for you.
A great starter spellcaster is the Warlock, who is packing some serious firepower, but whose spells and rules are more a tad more manageable than the sprawling spellbook of a Wizard.
For most of the game, Warlocks get only two big spells to cast at a time until needing to rest, but their bread-and-butter free spells called Cantrips more than make up for it. For example, Warlocks have access to a classic Cantrip called Eldritch Blast, which is the closest thing to a sniper rifle you’ll find in Baldur’s Gate 3. Then, at crucial points in the fight, you can drop those two big spells for devastating effects. As you progress in levels, your Cantrips will grow in power, and you will gain more spells to choose from.
Warlocks also focus on Charisma in their spellcasting, which makes them a good pick for the “face” of the party – the character that gets to talk to everyone.
Subclasses of the Warlock are tied to the powerful patron that provides Warlock’s powers. For your first playthrough, we recommend sticking with the Fiend patron that gives you some extra temporary hit points for extra tankiness in combat, among other things.
And important choice for Warlocks comes at Level 3, when they pick a Pact, which can be thought of an extra specialization. We recommend going with the Pact of the Chain to get a unique pet Familiar, which is good for scouting, distracting your enemies and is just kind of adorable in an evil sort of way.
Best Build for Crime
Who is better at crime than a literal Thief? Start out as a Rogue and pick Thief subclass at Level 3 to get that sweet lifetime five finger discount.
Rogues have great bonuses for any crime-related activity whether it is sneaking, lockpicking, pickpocketing or straight-face lying your way out of going to prison. In combat, they are especially good at surprising the enemy by attacking out of stealth and deploying hit-and-run tactics. Thief subclass also provides a second Bonus Action that can be spent on throwing grenades, using consumables and executing follow-up attacks.
When browsing through trader’s back pockets, look out for magical weapons with Finesse property which are the only weapons that work with Rogue’s Sneak Attack feature. Dress in light armor to avoid disadvantage on stealth rolls and build up a stock of consumables for your line of work – invisibility potions, potions of speed, potions of gaseous form.
Best Build For A Chill Time
Not all problems need to be resolved with violence. In fact, you’ll find ample opportunity to talk, lie, bluff and improvise your way out of trouble.
Bard is the best class for this approach. Bards can do a bit of everything – spellcasting, fighting with weapons, healing and supporting your allies, talking on behalf of the party – but they don’t particularly sweat any of those things. Besides being useful all around, Bards also carry a musical instrument that you can use to enjoy music and even make a few coins.
Don’t forget to grab the Speak with Animals spell in Character Creation so that you can chat with every squirrel and ox, because that is the Bard way. Also do use the Vicious Mockery at every possible chance to utterly humiliate your enemies before defeating them.
For the subclass choice at Level 3, we recommend going with College of Lore on your first playthrough. This subclass lets the Bard lean further into supporting spellcaster role and eventually give the Bard an extra spell they can learn from the spell list of other classes.
Best Build If You Want to Bonk
Whether you are interested in the bonking of enemies with weapons, or perhaps wooing and bonking some characters you’ve met on your journey, the crowned champion of bonk is the Paladin. Not only are they fearsome in battle, smiting enemies with massive radiant damage, their focus on Charisma also makes it easy for them to sway hearts and minds.
This awesome power comes with a catch, however – Paladins take their oaths very seriously and quite literally. You need to pick an Oath in Character Creation, which acts as the subclass. You can be bonking evil as a punishment for their wrongdoing (Oath of Vengeance), or for the protection of the innocents (Oath of Devotion), or just, like, for the trees, man (Oath of the Ancients). Read the description of your oath carefully and follow it to the letter, lest you become an Oathbreaker. Be warned, that inaction can also lead to your breaking your oath, like if you let evil folks get off scot-free.
Itemizing a Paladin is very straightforward – find yourself the heaviest armor you can carry and the biggest bonking sword you can lay your hands on. Look out for magic items that help you deal even more radiant damage, as that comes in very handy when you are fighting the undead.
Best Build For A Lone Wolf
Combat and trap challenges in Baldur’s Gate 3 are meant to be tackled with a whole party of companions that can give you a hand or resurrect you when things go inevitably south. Lone Wolf playthroughs are running the risk of getting terminally snagged by a single wrong move. Seriously, don’t try it on your first run!
But if you are really determined to make a solo run, or simply can’t stand it when random needy vagabonds mope around your camp and stink it up with their moody attitudes, there is a build for you.
It is hard to get around the need for some companionship, so why not get a pet? Specifically, start out as a Ranger, then pick Beast Master subclass at Level 3. That will provide you with a permanent beast companion who will grow in power with levels, can take a punch for you or scout ahead in dangerous areas. And most importantly your beast companion doesn’t have any judgmental opinions about your conduct due to their unwavering loyalty. (Does having a literal pet wolf disqualify you from being a Lone Wolf? Who even makes the rules? Certainly not people within the biting radius of your wolf!)
When sifting through loot piles, that are definitely too big for one character because they were designed for a party of four, look for items that improve your tankiness and give you bonuses to Saving Throws in Intelligence, Wisdom and Dexterity – protection defense against common kinds of crowd control. Stick to ranged weapons and keep enemies as far away from your loneliness as possible. Dabbling in alchemy to get some extra oomph out of your only character is also a good idea.
Oh yeah, and definitely pick the Dark Urge origin in Character Creation. It’ll all make sense.
My Favorite Build Ever
I have a new personal favorite build ever every week!
My current fancy for the early game is the Storm Sorcery subclass of the Sorcerer class. Not only is Sorcerer a fun spellcaster on their own, thanks to their flexible Metamagic feature that lets you tinker with your spells, but you can also enjoy a limited Fly action from the get-go.
Access to flying really turns around the early game, opening new shortcuts and angles of attack in combat arenas. It also lets you reach all of the secret loot stashes and chests, generously peppered around Faerun, presumably by the chest fairies. I’m still finding new ones after working on this game for six years!
Besides a breezy early game, character with Storm Sorcery can be combined with Tempest Cleric through Multiclassing to get some nice synergies. Top it all off with magic items that improve and encourage the use of lightning and thunder and you’ve got yourself an electrifyingly broken build.
A Build That’s Better Than It Sounds
A surprisingly good alternative to following a build, is using the Randomize button a few times, until you find a character that surprises and intrigues you, and just setting off as them. It will give you a good sense of the full gamut of characters that Baldur’s Gate 3 has to offer and push you to try new things and perhaps find out things about yourself!
Baldur’s Gate 3 also has a flexible difficulty selection that can be changed at any time, and players will get an opportunity to redo their class and features choices early in the game, so if your first pick doesn’t resonate, don’t worry – there will be an opportunity to reroll until you find that perfect build. Good luck out there!