Best Guide: How to Pick Your Class and Subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3

Unravel the Power Within: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Your Class and Subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3, a game that revolves around an eon-old conflict threatening to engulf the Sword Coast, offers players ample opportunities to carve out their individual character paths. The character creation process, heavily reliant on the distinct, detailed classes and subclasses borrowed from Dungeons and Dragons, holds great significance as it can define the entirety of the gameplay. You, the protagonist, stand before a realm riddled with chaos, and your choice of class and subclass will greatly influence your journey through the vast landscapes.

Navigating the labyrinth of classes might seem overwhelming at first. From harnessing the forces of nature as a Druid to accepting the warrior’s path of a Barbarian, from practicing soul trades as a Warlock to mastering combat as a Fighter, the choices are numerous. Each class opens the gate to a unique narrative, offering abilities that will steer your course through the game. Yet, the intricate details associated with each class and subclass are what truly enable you to mould your character in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Understanding this, we’ve crafted this comprehensive guide that aims to unravel the strengths, weaknesses, and unique abilities associated with each class and subclass in the game. In this detailed exposition, we’ll cover distinct gameplay strategies, best combinations, and alignment alignments, providing godsends for both beginners and experienced players alike.

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As we journey through the world of Faerun, it’s not merely about surviving the chaos and emerging as a hero. It’s about creating a character that resonates with you, a class that mirrors your instincts, and a subclass that represents your approach towards adversities. So let’s delve into the remarkable class system of Baldur’s Gate 3 and discover what your choice says about you!

Overview of Baldur’s Gate 3 Classes

As we delve into the diverse landscape of classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s worth noting that there are twelve primary classes from which you can choose, each offering unique capabilities and contributing distinct playstyles to the game.

  1. Barbarian: Embodying the untamed ferocity of warriors, Barbarians are the masters of rage. Unleashing their fury in chaotic, aggressive combat, they excel in dealing damage and soaking hits from enemy forces.
  2. Bard: The charismatic Bards in Baldur’s Gate 3 wield magic that manipulates others’ emotions and weaves reality to their bidding. Possessing the power of music, they heal their allies, charm their enemies, and boost their party’s morale.
  3. Cleric: Vested with divine powers, Clerics channel the might of their deities. They serve as potent healers with access to damage-dealing spells and buffs, becoming pillars of support for their team.
  4. Druid: The children of nature, Druids wield elemental magics and shape-shifting abilities, allowing them to adapt to various situations and tasks.
  5. Fighter: With martial prowess and multiple fighting styles, Fighters are versatile combatants. They form the backbone of any combat unit, offering solid damage and tanking capabilities.
  6. Monk: Monks are masters of martial arts, using their inner strength, agility, and spiritual wisdom to strike down opponents and dodge incoming attacks.
  7. Paladin: Paladins are holy warriors, combining martial skills with divine magic. They can heal allies, smite their enemies, and protect the team with their aura buffs.
  8. Ranger: As adept scouts and hunters, Rangers exhibit skilled marksmanship or dual-wielding abilities. They also boast an affinity to nature magic, enabling them to command beasts or set magical traps.
  9. Rogue: Unseen and lethal, Rogues excel at stealth, picking locks, disarming traps, and delivering critical strikes. They possess an uncanny knack for getting out of the most hideous situations.
  10. Sorcerer: Harnessing the inherent magic within, Sorcerers can shape magical energies to their will. Their spells are often more forceful and are influenced by their unique magical bloodline.
  11. Warlock: Bound by pact to otherworldly patrons, Warlocks exchange their loyalty for a profound range of magical abilities, for offense, defense, or manipulation.
  12. Wizard: Wizards are scholarly magic-users who manipulate arcane energies. They access a vast variety of spells, able to adopt roles as specific as a party requires.

Each of these classes branches into several subclasses once your character has reached a specific level. These subclasses add an extra layer to your chosen class, providing your character with additional skills, spells, and role-playing possibilities that further define your character’s persona and approach to the challenges the game presents.

Fighter Class Guide

Fighters are the epitome of combat proficiency, legendary for their resilience and prowess in battle. They possess the most extensive choices in weapons and armor, with a small touch of combat-themed magic to their abilities. Fighters are notable for their ability to affect the battle with their combat maneuvers and their endurance, able to fight at maximum effectiveness even when their health is alarming.

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Baldur’s Gate 3 offers three subclasses for fighters:

  1. Battle Master: They see battle as an art and employ martial techniques commonly known as maneuvers. These techniques give them an edge, allowing them to control the battlefield.
  2. Eldritch Knight: These Fighters take on the study of magic, merging both spell and sword to deliver devastating attacks and frustrate their opponent’s defenses.
  3. Champion: Champions excel in raw physical power. They focus on honing their martial skills to the peak of physical perfection.

Playstyle & Role:

Fighters excel at being the frontline of the party. They’re excellently suited to both shielding allies and engaging enemies directly thanks to their heavy armor and high hit points. They also have access to a large number of attacks, providing reliable, consistent damage. Battle Masters are more strategic in combat, Eldritch Knights can implement control, or damage spells, and the Champions are all about raw physical power.

The most important ability for a fighter is Strength for melee weapons or Dexterity for ranged ones. Constitution is a close second for extra health. Races like Human and Half-Orc are great choices, with both providing strength bonuses. However, Dexterity-based fighters might find Elves or Halflings to their liking.

Wizard Class Guide

Wizards are masters of arcane power, commanding spells which can change the tide of battle, confound enemies, or even reshape reality itself. They’re scholars of ancient knowledge and devotees of lore.


There are eight opposing schools of magic for a Wizard in Baldur’s Gate 3, and they are: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, and Transmutation. These specializations are chosen at Level two and offer unique abilities to suit any playstyle.

Playstyle & Role:

Wizards excel at casting spells, and they have an incredibly wide pool of them. Depending on their spell choices and specializations, they can fill various roles in the party from damage dealer to crowd controller, or support. They have an impressive array of utility spells that can be very useful out of combat too.

The spellcasting prowess of a wizard hinges on their Intelligence, so High Elves, and Gnomes, with their Intelligence bonuses, make excellent wizards. In addition, Humans can be useful for their all-around stat bonuses.

Rogue Class Guide

Rogues are the masters of stealth and guile. They excel in skilled-based tasks and are known for their ability to avoid attention, handle tricky traps, pick locks, and when necessary, deliver devastating sneak attacks.


Rogues in Baldur’s Gate 3 have three subclasses options:

  1. Thief: Expert in stealth and larceny, Thieves have the ability to perform additional bonus actions that let them quickly navigate the battlefield.
  2. Arcane Trickster: These Rogues supplement their stealth and cunning with a dabbling in magic, casting spells to distract or bewilder their enemies.
  3. Assassin: Professionals of stealthy elimination, Assassins excel at dispatching their targets undetected and swiftly.

Playstyle & Role:

Rogues are masters of stealth, skilled at working from the shadows to set traps, disarm enemy threats and execute successful sneak attacks. Their high dexterity makes them dodgy in a fight and hard for enemies to hit.

Rogues rely heavily on Dexterity, for their skills, stealth and ranged combat. Halflings, Elves, and Humans make good Rogues. Lightfoot Halflings make particularly good traditional stealth-based Rogues, while High Elves are well-suited for the Arcane Trickster.

Cleric Class Guide:

Clerics are the divine agents on the mortal plane, chosen to spread the will and represent their deity. They have divine magic at their disposal, used mostly for healing, warding and banishing undead. They can also gird themselves for battle, becoming capable frontline warriors.


Clerics choose their divine domain from deities they serve. The subclasses for Clerics in Baldur’s Gate 3 include the Life Domain, Light Domain, Trickery Domain, Knowledge Domain, Nature Domain, Tempest Domain, and War Domain. Each Domain provides its own unique features and bonus spells.

Playstyle & Role:

Clerics are the main healers of the group but depending on their domain they can also serve as tanks, damage dealers, or even tricksters. They also have access to a list of spells that can be changed after a long rest, providing a lot of flexibility and adaptability.

Wisdom is the key attribute for a Cleric because it governs their spellcasting. Hill Dwarves, Wood Elves and Humans make good Clerics owing to their wisdom bonuses.

Bard Class Guide

Bards are versatile spellcasters, known for their musical talents and abilities to inspire allies with enchanting melodies and debilitate enemies with dissonant sounds. Equipped with a myriad of skills, bards serve as a jack-of-all-trades.


At level three, bards can choose to join one of the two Colleges. The College of Lore grants the ability to pick up additional skills and spells from other classes while the College of Valor enhances the bard’s fight capabilities.

Playstyle & Role:

Bards are the party’s support class, boosting allies’ abilities, healing the injured and controlling enemies with their spells while dealing decent damage. Depending on their College, they can roam the battlefield, inspiring allies and disrupting enemies, or dish out considerable melee or ranged damage.

Charisma is key to a bard’s spellcasting and performances, so Half-Elf, Tiefling or Humans with their Charisma bonus make good bards.

Paladin Class Guide

Paladins are holy crusaders, bound by a sacred oath to uphold justice and righteousness. Combining martial prowess with divine magic, they serve as the party’s robust frontline.


Upon reaching level three, Paladins choose a sacred Oath that reflects their divine calling—Oath of Devotion, Oath of the Ancients, or Oath of Vengeance, each granting unique spells and features.

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Playstyle & Role:

Paladins serve as solid tanks with their heavy armor and healing capabilities while dealing impressive damage with their smite ability. They can also buff allies and dispel harmful effects using their auras.

Strength and Charisma are crucial for Paladins— strength for striking down enemies, and charisma for their spellcasting—making Humans, Dragonborn, and Half-Orcs ideal choices.

Warlock Class Guide

Warlocks are unique spellcasters who derive their magic from a pact forged with powerful, often extraplanar entities. They command potent offensive spells, which refresh on a short rest, making them consistently dependable during lengthy adventures.


Upon character creation, Warlocks choose a powerful patron – either The Fiend, offering destructive fire spells; The Great Old One, granting mind-altering powers; or The Archfey, bestowing enchantment and illusion spells.

Playstyle & Role:

Warlocks are powerful ranged damage dealers who use their patron’s power to unleash potent spells. They also possess Eldritch Invocations – specific enhancements providing unique abilities, like seeing in darkness or gaining magical armor.

Charisma is vital for Warlock spellcasting. Tieflings and Half-Elves, with their Charisma bonuses, suit this class.

Monk Class Guide

Monks are martial artists who channel cosmic energy, called Ki, to perform stunts of speed and strength. They shun armor, relying on speed and agility for both attack and defense.


Monks choose a monastic tradition at level three. The Way of the Open Hand focuses on martial prowess; The Way of Shadow blends stealth and subterfuge; while The Way of the Four Elements merges combat with elemental magic.

Playstyle & Role:

Monks focus on mobility and control. They can stun enemies, deflect missiles, and deal quick, successive strikes. Monks also excel at moving across the battlefield, making them ideal for engaging vulnerable enemy backlines.

Dexterity and Wisdom are fundamental to a Monk’s combat effectiveness. Wood Elves and Hill Dwarves are excellent choices due to these respective attribute bonuses.

Ranger Class Guide

Rangers are precision hunters, adept at tracking foes and surviving in the wilderness. They can cast nature-themed magic and excel at hit-and-run tactics.


Rangers choose an archetype at level three: The Hunter archetype focuses on improving combat capabilities against specific enemies, The Beast Master archetype forges a bond with a beast companion, and The Gloom Stalker archetype excels at ambush and infiltration.

Playstyle & Role:

Rangers are versatile, filling various roles depending on their chosen archetype and spells. Capable ranged combatants, they can also engage in melee if necessary.

Wood Elves and Half-Orcs, with their Dexterity and Strength bonuses, respectively, suit the class.

Druid Class Guide

Druids are keepers of the world, utilizing nature-themed magic for various effects and assuming animal forms for combat and utility.


Druids choose a Druidic Circle at level two: The Moon Circle enhances Wild Shape usage, the Land Circle focuses on mastery of nature-based magic, and the Spore Circle harnesses the power of fungi for combat and control.

Playstyle & Role:

Druids are extremely versatile. Depending on their chosen Circle and prepared spells, they can heal, deal damage, tank, or control the battlefield.

Wisdom is essential for Druid spellcasting. Both Wood Elves and Hill Dwarves, with their bonus to Wisdom, are suitable choices.

Sorcerer Class Guide

Sorcerers are innately magical, with their power derive from an inherent trait or bloodline. They wield potent magic but possess fewer spells than other casters. However, Sorcerers can modify these spells on-the-fly with Metamagic.


Upon entering the game, Sorcerers choose a source of their power: The Draconic Bloodline offers improved durability and draconic-themed powers, while the Wild Magic causes spellcasting to potentially generate a random magical effect.

Playstyle & Role:

Sorcerers serve as powerful elemental damage dealers, more versatile than Wizards but with fewer available spells.

With Charisma as their key attribute, Half-Elves and Humans make ideal Sorcerers.

Barbarian Class Guide

Barbarians are high-health brutes who excel at withstanding and dealing damage, often flying into rage that boosts their combat abilities.


Barbarians choose a Path at level three: The Path of the Berserker focuses on dealing more damage, while the Path of the Totem Warrior borrows the spiritual power of animals to enhance durability.

Playstyle & Role:

Barbarians serve as front-line damage dealers and damage soaks. They are simple to play and very durable, but lack versatility or ranged options.

Strength is key for a Barbarian’s ability to deal damage, while Constitution enhances their survivability. Half-Orcs, known for their Strength and Constitution bonuses, are well-suited for the Barbarian class.

Multi-Classing Guide

The mechanic of multi-classing in Baldur’s Gate 3 presents an opportunity to diversify and personalize your character’s ability set. The system allows you to level up in various classes, broadening your characters’ skills, abilities, and strategic options. Instead of focusing on one class throughout their growth, your character can simultaneously level up in another class at each level advancement. However, keep in mind that with each multi-classing selection, the overall proficiency of your character in each individual class will grow slower due to the spread of experience points.

Pros and Cons of Multi-classing

Multi-classing offers a great deal of flexibility and customization, enabling you to create a character that perfectly fits your gaming style. This strategy permits combinations of different class skills, opening possibilities for unique and unexpected gameplay tactics. However, such advantages come with trade-offs. By dividing your experience points among multiple classes, your character may develop more slowly compared to a single-class character, delaying the unlocking of higher-level abilities in each class.

Best Combinations and Strategies

The right multi-classing combination greatly depends on your gaming preferences. For instance, combining a Fighter’s martial prowess with Rogue’s sneak attack abilities can create a formidable front-line damage dealer, while pairing a Cleric and a Wizard can lead to a versatile support character with a wide range of spell options. It is essential to have clearly defined goals for your characters and an overall strategy in mind before deciding to multi-class, as the selection can significantly impact your gameplay approach.

Role of Races in Class Selection

Each race in Baldur’s Gate 3 has distinctive sets of attributes and traits that can play a substantial role in your class selection. These racial bonuses can help shape your character’s abilities and determine their performance within certain classes. For example, Elves have an innate dexterity bonus, making them natural choices for classes that rely on agility, such as Rogues or Rangers.

How Races Complement or Hinder Specific Classes

The race you choose can either complement or hinder your chosen class. For instance, Dwarves are naturally hardy, receiving bonuses to constitution, which synergizes well with frontline classes like Barbarians or Fighters. However, if a Dwarf aspires to be a Sorcerer, which primarily relies on charisma, this bonus might not be of much use. Thus, racial attributes exert a significant influence over the efficiency of your chosen class.

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Recommendations for Racial Selection

The matching of racial bonuses and class requirements can impact your character’s effectiveness. For instance, a Half-Orc or Goliath would be a great pick for a Barbarian or Fighter due to their strength bonuses, while a High Elf’s intelligence bonus makes them an excellent choice for a Wizard class. The key is to realize how these racial traits map with the chosen class and employ them to enhance your character’s prowess.

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Backgrounds and Skills

When delving into Baldur’s Gate 3, the character-defining decision isn’t confined to the selection of the class or subclass. Your choice of background significantly influences your journey as an adventurer. The background you assign to your character will grant you additional proficiencies, skills, and even equipment, enhancing your role within the group and providing avenues to interact with the game’s world in unique ways.

Each class in Baldur’s Gate 3 comes equipped with a set of skills, some available to all while others are class-specific. These can range from stealth and perception to persuasion and animal handling. Understanding the skills associated with your preferred class can mean the difference between a successful negotiation or a quick descent into combat.

The choice of background isn’t an afterthought but a strategic decision that should align with your chosen class. The key lies in creating a synergy between your class, background, and skill set in a way that complements your playstyle. For instance, a rogue class benefits from a criminal background as it provides access to stealth and deception, further augmenting the rogue’s skillset.

Tips on Alignment and Role-Playing

While Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t enforce alignment restrictions on classes, your ideological leaning can have tangible effects on the narrative and you should account for alignment when choosing your class. It’s essential to consider how your character’s moral and ethical compass adheres to their selected class. A Lawful Good rogue could present roleplay challenges, while a Chaotic Neutral bard might just align perfectly with your envisioned character.

Role-playing is much more than following game mechanics; it’s about inserting a piece of yourself into your character, molding their decisions, and adapting their worldview. Each class offers unique role-playing opportunities, and to grasp these, you need to be familiar with their lore, guiding principles, and typical behaviors.

As you craft your character’s story, remember that there exists a fine line between adhering to game mechanics and embracing the role-playing essence that is core to Baldur’s Gate 3. Even as you optimize your character for combat or skill checks, ensure that your class, background, and decisions are consistent with your character’s personality and story. Above all, Baldur’s Gate 3 is about creating memorable narratives, so always keep the role-playing potential in mind even while engaging with the game’s intricate mechanics.

Equipment and Starting Gear

A thorough understanding of your class and subclass doesn’t just dictate your skills and abilities; it also plays a significant role in the equipment you select for your character.

Overview of Class-specific Equipment

Each class in Baldur’s Gate 3 equips class-specific gear, from weapons to armor, that compliments its unique abilities. An adept Fighter might favor heavy armors and broadswords; sorcerers might gravitate towards staffs or wands; rogues might opt for light armor and slender blades, perfect for swift movements and lethal agility; and a Cleric might stand their ground behind a sturdy shield and a symbol of their deity. It’s important to remember that the right equipment can enhance your character’s strength, making them a formidable force on the battlefield.

Importance of Choosing the Right Starting Gear

Starting gear sets the groundwork for your journey. Choosing the correct gear could mean the difference between an early-game struggle and a smooth start to your quest. When selecting your starting gear, evaluate the pros and cons of each option in the context of your chosen class and subclass. Remember, you’re laying a foundation with your starting gear; while it’s inevitably going to change and improve as you progress, the right start can significantly streamline initial obstacles.

Tips on Equipment Progression

As you advance, take note of loot drops and the opportunities the game provides for better equipment. From secret stashes deep inside a dungeon to rewards for helping NPCs, there’s always a chance at better gear. It’s advisable to regularly review and update your equipment to match the increasing difficulty of foes you’ll face. Equipping your character properly according to their class can offer important buffs and increases in damage output or defenses.

Party Composition and Strategy

Baldur’s Gate 3, being a game heavily influenced by Dungeons and Dragons, involves a lot more than a singular quest of an individual hero. It’s about camaraderie, working as a team, and leading a troop of varying abilities.

Understanding Party Dynamics and Class Roles

A balanced party in Baldur’s Gate 3 comprises different class roles covering the fundamental RPG areas: tank (to garner enemies’ attention), DPS (to cause damage), healers/support (to provide healing or buffs), and the utility role (to deal with miscellaneous challenges). Understanding the role each class can play in a party composition can mean the difference between a successful strategy and a swift defeat.

Creating Balanced and Synergistic Party Compositions

A well-rounded party is key to surviving the various challenges thrown your way in the game. You’d want someone who can soak up damage, a character who can dish out the DPS, a healer to keep everyone alive, and a utility member to deal with different in-game mechanics. For instance, combining a Fighter (tank), a Rogue (DPS), a Cleric (healer), and a Wizard (utility) can cover most bases.

Strategies for Different Party Combinations

Different parties will require different strategies. A party heavy on magic-users will necessitate a different battle plan than a group filled with martial classes. Pay attention to every class’ strengths and weaknesses, and devise strategies that capitalize on those strengths while minimizing weaknesses. Always remember to adjust and adapt your battle strategies as you progress in the game and face evolving challenges. Flexibility can mean the difference between defeat and victory.

Conclusion: Baldur’s Gate 3 Classes and Subclasses

Navigating Baldur’s Gate 3’s complex class system undoubtedly makes for an enriching gaming experience. Critical decision points such as understanding and aligning with the primary abilities of your chosen class, considering the fascinating interplay between races and classes, laying out a strategic multiclass pathway, and adapting to your desired playstyle and role-playing narrative, all contribute to an optimized and deeply personalized game journey. These elements are key in setting up the foundation of your adventure in the Forgotten Realms.

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However, remember that games provide platforms for exploration, excitement, and sometimes, a bit of whimsical mayhem. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different class combinations, and feel free to test out character builds that go against the grain. Often, the most rewarding experiences come from daring to tread the less-traveled path. Plus, with the depth and flexibility that Baldur’s Gate 3 offers, replayability is naturally high, allowing you to explore a variety of classes and subclasses in different playthroughs.

In conclusion, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a treasure trove of class diversification and character personalization – a realm where every choice becomes a stroke on the canvas of your unique journey. As this guide comes to a close, we invite you to venture forth into the game, fully armed with the insights you need to command your character with aplomb. We’d love to hear your unique experiences, unexpected challenges, or victorious stories from the realm of Faerun. After all, it’s the extraordinary tales from unique heroes like you that continue to breathe life into the sprawling world of Dungeons and Dragons. Happy adventuring!

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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