Baldur's Gate 3 - Best builds for all classes

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A magic character casting a spell in Baldur's Gate 3.

The topic of Baldur’s Gate 3 best builds is a widely searched one, with many players flocking to the internet to find out which player-created character setups are optimal for the game.

You’ve definitely landed at the right place, as this comprehensive Baldur’s Gate 3 guide will dissect the main strengths of the finest builds within each class for this game, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned melee combat player or a new one with a preference for spell casting.

For more guides, check out our Baldur's Gate 3 class tier list and race tier list. We've also got a look at the best Baldur's Gate 3 companions ranked.

Best Cleric build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Cleric

The best race choice for Cleric is Wood Elves, whilst coming in close second are Gold Dwarves, depending on your own playing style. Wood Elves have decades of training in archery and camouflage, with their otherworldly speed being the cherry on top.

Best weapons for Cleric

When it comes to the Cleric build, the best weapon is a combination of the longbow, any one-handed dexterity weapon, and a shield. You’ll use the longbow to deal the vast majority of damage to enemies and, once you get to the end of your turn, you can exchange the bow for the shield to benefit from an extra defence bonus (+2 Armor) during the enemy’s turn.

Best background for Cleric

Backgrounds in Baldur’s Gate 3 are said to primarily have an influence on the roleplaying aspects of the game, as they allow you to create unique characters. From our gaming perspective, the Folk Hero background ranks as the top choice, because of animal handling and survival proficiencies, which help players make the most out of the build.

Best subclass for Cleric

The Light Domain subclass is a great choice for majority of the playing population, because it offers a good balance between damage and healing ability. Provided by deities of justice, majesty and primordial flame, this subclass gives players the choice to use spells that effectively dispel darkness and deal a lot of damage to the undead.

Best Ranger build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Ranger

You can't go wrong with Wood Elves here. The reason for this is that they receive a +1 bonus to Wisdom and a +2 bonus for Dexterity, in addition to the fact that they have the best movement speed of any race in the game.

Best weapons for Ranger

The weapons one can use for maximum damage effect in this build are the longbow and the Joltshooter. You’re able to acquire the latter early on in the game, as a reward for the Rescue the Grand Duke Quest.

Best companions for Ranger

Lae’zeal is the best companion for a Ranger build, due to the fact that she doesn’t shy away from a battle. She’s able to inflict heavy damage on enemies with melee-focused attacks, which ultimately take the pressure off of your ranged-focused build, thereby allowing you to freely cast spells and ranged attacks.

Best subclass

Only one word is needed here: Hunter. The Hunter subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 provides high damage infliction, mobility, and good survivability. More so, at level three, you get to choose which unique abilities and strengths to add to this already great subclass.

Best background

In Baldur’s Gate 3, choosing a background can add extra proficiencies, skills and role-playing opportunities for your chosen character. We recommend the Outlander as a background because it provides survival skills and athleticism, which are valuable traits to have for a Ranger’s exploration and survival. Outlanders have experience with living off the land and navigating the wilderness, making them a fine background choice to survive harsh playing environments.

Best Rogue build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Rogue

Wood Elves are the best race choice when it comes to the Rogue build. The bonus points they get for the main abilities of dexterity and survival, along with their tip top speed, make them a fine choice to quickly outmanoeuvre enemies.

Best companions for Rogue

Shadowheart is a fine option for a companion in the Rogue build, because she has access to healing spells and can provide buffs and utility through her divine magic. Conversely, she’s not a bad damage-dealer either, as her proficiency with medium armour and shields also grants her decent durability in combat.

Best subclass

The Thief subclass is what you should opt for as it focuses on stealth and resourcefulness. It provides additional bonus actions, can pick locks, disarm traps, and has high movement. More so, this subclass gets bonus actions that can be utilised to gain an upper hand in combat.

Best background

Criminal is the best background for a Rogue Build in Baldur’s Gate 3 because it boosts your proficiency when it comes to the attributes of stealth and deception.

Another good option here is the Charlatan background, which increases your Deception and Sleight of hand, allowing you to expertly bend the truth and turn allies against each other.

Best Wizard build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Wizard

You can’t go wrong with High Elf when it comes to a race choice for the Wizard Build. The perks of this race include:

  • An extra Cantrip
  • +1 to Intelligence
  • +2 to Dexterity

Even better is the fact that you gain the ability to see in dim light through access to Darkvision, which is a massive help in the Underdark.

Best weapons for Wizard

The Staff of Crones Quarterstaff gives players the ability to use the Ray of Sickness spell, a level 1 spell from the Necromancy School that poisons the target in question by way of inflicting ailments or dealing physical damage to enemies. It can be found at Sunlit Wetlands, in the Hag treasure room.

Best companions for Wizard

Lae’zeal is one of the best companions to have in any build, this one included, because of her aggressiveness when it comes to melee-focused combat. She will distract and engage opponents up close, which gives you the opportunity to deal with enemies from a safe distance.

Another good companion for the Wizard build is Shadowheart, who has access to healing spells and utility through divine magic, which make her a solid supporting character.

Best subclass

Evocation is our top choice for a subclass in this build, because its powerful spells deliver the highest level of area-based damage, which is what you need when defeating enemies is the one of the biggest objectives in the game.

Best background

We have a three-way tie between Acolyte, Noble, and Sage when it comes to the background choice for a Wizard build. These backgrounds boost your primary intelligence ability - through learning about things such as rare lore and sacred rites - which is what you want in a background for this particular build.

baldur's gate 3 best builds - warlock class
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Best Warlock build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Warlock

When you take into account the racial traits that improve your ability score main stat, the best choice here is Drow.

Choosing Drow will give you a +1 boost to Dexterity and a +1 increase to Charisma, which works well in combination with the free spells and superior Darkvision you get as well.

Best weapons for Warlock

The Spell Sparkler is a good weapon choice for damage stacking, and the Staff of Crones is another option, especially if you have the ring of poison resistance.

Best companions for Warlock

Astarion is an often-overlooked companion, but we’re going to recommend them for this particular build.

Astarion is an asset in and out of combat, who works best at playing as a Rogue Thief with huge sneak attack damage. What this then allows you to do is sit back and fire off damage abilities from a distance.

Best subclass

The Fiend subclass works best in this particular build, because it gets temporary health upon killing an enemy through the Dark One’s Blessing special ability. Survivability is a big component of progressing in the game and the Fiend subclass achieves this through being aggressive and inflicting damage.

Best background

You should undoubtedly go with the Guild Artisan for background, as it gives you extra Insight proficiency and Persuasion proficiency.

The inspiration not only works for your character, but also for your companions in this build.

baldur's gate 3 best builds - druid class
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Best Druid build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Druid

The Gold Dwarf is the best race choice here due to the fact that they get a +2 for Constitution, which is really important for survivability. More so, they get Dwarven Toughness, which basically adds an extra hit point for every level.

Best weapons for Druid

The Staff of Crones is a versatile two-handed weapon that’s a fine choice to use for this build. It comes with the Ray of Sickness spell to poison enemies.

Best companions for Druid

For the Druid build you’re better off with a combative character like Lae’zeal, who can distract and engage opponents in an aggressive way. Alternatively, you could opt to go with the wizardry of Gale, who offers range magic damage.

Best subclass

Circle of the Moon is the best subclass for this build. It allows the Druid to transform into powerful beasts. You also get enhanced Wild Shape abilities that you can use as a bonus action to bolster your hit points when in this form.

Best background

Folk Hero is a good background to select here, due to its proficiency in animal handling and general survival. As a Folk Hero, people look up to you as their saviour, and saving innocents within this build helps your legend to grow.

Best Barbarian build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Barbarian

Half-Orc is the optimal race choice because its ability score increases in Strength and Constitution fit in with the Barbarian’s needs. Additionally, the Relentless Endurance feature that this race comes with can help prevent you from dropping to 0 hit points.

Best weapons for Barbarian

The Sword of Justice will help you defeat enemies with ease in this build with 2d6+ slashing. When used in tandem with the Crusher’s Ring, which offers a +3m boost to movement speed, you’ll be virtually unstoppable!

Best companions for Barbarian

In this particular build, you don’t need an all-action fighter to deal with enemies. So, add a supportive companion like Shadowheart or Astarion as you’ll need someone to engage opponents whilst you sneak in with stealth or from range.

Best subclass

The Berserker subclass is considered the best due to its destructive level of damage. They can deal a lot of damage to enemies within a very short timeframe, which makes them a worthy asset to use for any party.

Best background

For a background in this build, the Soldier works well due to its proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation. Another good choice is the Outlander. This has the same proficiencies, which are reflective of wilderness expertise and self-reliance.

Best Bard build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Bard

Wood Half-Elf is a fine race choice because it gives you great ability distribution, with +2 to Charisma and another +2 to any other ability. Backing that up is high movement and Darkvision (12m).

Best weapons for Bard

When it comes to the Bard build, you can go for a pretty unconventional weapon choice with the Smokepowered Bomb. It promises 3d4+0 force, and all you have to do is throw the bomb towards enemies, and it explodes upon landing. Pretty nifty to take out a couple of opponents in one foul sweep!

Best companions for Bard

In the Bard build you’ll need more destructive damage characters than supportive ones. The objective should be to create a team of one or more frontline fighter, a range build, and yourself as the main supporter.

So, Lae’zeal is a great choice for her aggression, which helps to take pressure off of your in-game character.

Best subclass

You can’t beat the College of Valor subclass when it comes to subclass, as it offers versatility, martial art combat skills, medium armour proficiency, spellcasting, and support.

Best background

Entertainment is a good background to go with for this build, because it offers proficiency in acrobatics and live performance, which you can use to sway and subvert audiences as well as keep common crowds engaged.

Best Fighter build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Fighter

Shield Dwarves are a great race choice for the Fighter build, as they come with enhanced strength (+2) and Constitution, along with nice ability extras like Dwarven Resilience and Darkvision. You’ll be able to hit high numbers with this ability and deal a lot of damage to opponents whilst maintaining a good amount of health.

Best weapons for Fighter

The Sword of Justice is one of the game’s best weapons, and is once again a recommended choice here. You get 2d6+ Slashing and a Level 1 Abjuration spell to go with it.

Best companions for Fighter

You can’t go wrong with any of Shadowhear, Astarion, or Gale as a companion for this build. This is because we don’t recommend damage dealers as you’ll want your character to be the primary damage force by charging in with melee support, stealth attacks, or range damage.

Best subclass

Battle Master is seen as the best subclass for this build because it ranks as the most adaptable and versatile. They’ve got many abilities which allow them to control the battlefield and debuff enemies, as well as being proficient with a variety of weapons and armour.

Best background

The Soldier background is a good choice for people who like being a frontline fighter with their character. Soldiers have many useful tools in their armoury and they’re skilled when it comes to combat technique.

Best Rogue build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Rogue

Wood Elves are a fantastic choice for this build, because they get +2 for Dexterity and +1 for Wisdom, which are your two main abilities. When you accompany that with the greatest movement speed of all the races, then you see why we recommend them as first choice.

Best weapons for Rogue

Rapier is a good magic weapon to use in this build because of its 1d8+3 piercing ability, which allows you to launch deadly attacks.

Best companions for Rogue

Lae’zeal is a good choice of companion because she’s a weapon-focused damage dealer. This will help your character pick apart opponents with ease while she serves as a crowd controller.

Best subclass

Thief is a good subclass choice because of their stealth ability and resourcefulness. Thieves can take out enemies without them noticing any threat by moving quickly and quietly.

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Best background

Tying in well with the Thief subclass is the Criminal background, due to the fact that it gives you Deception and Stealth proficiency.

Best Sorcerer build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Sorcerer

Drow is the best race choice because of their +1 for Dexterity and +1 for Charisma. They also come with free spells and a great Darkvision range of 24m.

Best weapons for Sorcerer

The Staff of Crones Quarterstaff is great for bludgeoning 1d8 damage and comes with the Ray of Sickness spell too.

Best companions for Sorcerer

You can’t go wrong with any of:

  • Lae’zeal
  • Shadowheart
  • Astarion

Best subclass

Draconic Bloodline is our pick for the best subclass because you get Draconic Resilience, Draconic Ancestor, and Draconic armour class, which have high survivability and allow you to focus on a particular elemental magic type.

Best background

Noble is a good background to choose here, as accumulating power and loyalty will help raise your status level in the game.

Best Monk build in Baldur's Gate 3

We’ll update this section of the post as more details about the build become available to players after the Early Access launch.

Best Paladin build in Baldur's Gate 3

Best race for Paladin

The best race choice here is none other than Zariel Tiefling. With Darkvision going up to a 12m range, Hellish Resistance that limits your damage to fire by half, as well as +1 Strength and +2 charisma, it makes this a tough one to beat.

Best weapons for Paladin

The Sword of Justice magic weapon deals 2d6 slashing damage, which is perfect for two-handed combat at close range.

Best companions for Paladin

More supportive companions like Gale, Astarion, or Shadowheart are ideal for this build, where having multiple melee characters can be troublesome in close range combat situations.

Best subclass

The Oathbreaker subclass offers combat-heavy focus, crowd control, and powerful damage abilities that make it a fine choice.

Best background

Using the Noble background would be wise here, because it allows you to scale up your proficiency in persuasion based on your Charisma ability score.

That's it for our look at the best builds for all classes in Baldur's Gate 3! For more on the game, check out how to use Mage Hand, as well as how to edit the hotbar.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and Baldur's Gate page.