Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds: What Are the Best Subclasses and Races to Play?

Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the most flexible and free games ever. You can pick nearly countless combinations of races, subraces, classes, subclasses, and more. There is so much to do in this game that your play-through will likely be vastly different from your friends. But if you wanted the best playthrough possible? That is where the Baldur’s Gate 3 best builds come into play.

I’ve enjoyed playing this game for more than 40 hours and trying out several different builds while my family and friends did the same. After scouring through the entire possible set of classes and subclasses you can play, I’ve come up with the best possible options. Without further ado, let’s dive right in and take a look at the ten Baldur’s Gate 3 best builds you need to know about.

best builds baldur's gate 3

Bottom Line Up Front

Baldur’s Gate 3 features a grand total of 12 classes in the game, all based around the various Dungeons & Dragons classes in the fifth edition. In addition to those base classes, players must pick one of the whopping 46 available subclasses. Every single class has at least a couple of these.

Some classes even have upwards of seven or eight different subclasses for you to choose from. They radically change the class, sometimes giving melee classes a chance to use spells or almost being like a hybrid multiclass.

If I had to pick a single build I like the most in Baldur’s Gate 3, it would be the Oathbreaker Paladin. This build requires you to not only pick a Paladin but then make the right choices to break your oath and head down a darker path. The added Necromancer-like techniques make it a powerful and versatile build.

Selection Criteria

Given that there are 46 possible core builds you could have in Baldur’s Gate 3, coming up with the ten best ones is a challenging task. Here are the criteria I used to select the ten best builds that you should consider using in this game:

  • Power: The strength of the build’s spells, skills, and general potency is the most essential aspect of this list. It didn’t make this list if it isn’t one of the strongest in its category.
  • Flexibility: The best builds can do more than hit hard with spells or swords. They can use various skills or even switch between roles like DPS or tank.
  • Uniqueness: The best builds stand out among the massive crowd of possible subclasses and offer memorable gameplay options.
  • Solo Classes: For this build, I focused only on a single subclass build to keep it simple. However, I will give you some ideas for multiclassing you could do with each build to make it even better.

Best Builds Tips

Here are some of my best tips for creating a build in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Don’t worry about your race. While races affected your stats and builds in the early access version of the game, it isn’t the case in the full version. Only focus on the class you want. As such, choose whatever race you’d like.
  • First, pick a specific class or type of character you’d like to play. For instance, maybe you decide you want to be a mage of some kind first. Then you can narrow it down between the various magical classes like Wizard, Warlock, and Sorcerer.
  • Once you find a class or two you like, now it is time to take a look at the subclasses they have. This will help you determine what build you use.
  • Weapons are up to you. But no matter what weapon you use, make sure it is one that your class is proficient with, or else you won’t be that effective.
  • All classes can be flexible if done right, so don’t focus too much on the restrictions of your class. For instance, even if you don’t have magic, you can learn feats when you level up to get spells. Meanwhile, mages can learn how to wield better weapons.
  • Multiclasses can make any class better. However, I don’t recommend mixing more than three or so classes together, or else you will suffer from the limited level cap.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds Ranked

I have come up with the ten best builds you could use in Baldur’s Gate 3. I will note what I like about this particular build, how to unlock it if you can’t immediately have it, what it specializes in, and what weapon you should use for it. In addition, I will note a few multiclassing options for those who prefer to go that route. Let’s get started.

10. The Fiend Warlock

the fiend warlock Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: N/A. It’s initially available at the character selection screen or right when you unlock it at level one.
  • Recommended Races: Any. That said, High Elf, High Half-Elf, Dragonborn, Drow, Human, Deep Gnome work well role-play-wise.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Cleric, Paladin, Fighter, Rogue, Druid
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, Charlatan, Criminal, Noble, Hermit, Outlander, Sage, and Urchin sound nice.
  • Recommended Weapon: Any. That said, daggers, spears, or light crossbows are pretty helpful.
  • Specialization: DPS and crowd control

The Fiend Warlock is one of the most powerful spellcasters you can find in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Warlock class focuses on following a devastating patron who grants them wonderfully powerful blessings in return. You get some of the most unique boons and bonuses in exchange.

For instance, with The Fiend, you can get the Dark One’s Blessing, which grants you extra hit points whenever you defeat an enemy. This is heavily useful for a player character since you will probably take out foes often. In addition, its core cantrip, Eldritch Blast, is fantastic.

You can even tweak it later to push enemies back or cast it twice per turn. This makes it far more powerful than the usual spellcaster cantrip of Fire Bolt, which is less impressive than this one. Pick this class if you want a deadly spellcaster that mixes well with several melee classes in the game.

9. Nature Cleric

nature cleric Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available immediately in the character creator screen or at level one.
  • Recommended Races: Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Gnome, Human
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Wizard, Rogue. Pretty much anything but Druid since it is a bit redundant in a way.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, Acolyte, Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Hermit, Outlander, Sage, and Urchin make the most sense.
  • Recommended Weapon: Any. However, hand axe, dagger, mace, light crossbow, and spear work well.
  • Specialization: DPS, crowd control, and some healing

The Cleric is by far the most flexible class in all of Baldurs Gate 3. This class has a whopping seven Domains you can pick between, and almost all of them are pretty like hybrids in a way, making you be like a multiclass without actually having to take on another class.

In this case, the Nature Cleric is, you might have guessed it already, mixing the Cleric with the Druid. You get some solid magic spells plus the ability to speak with animals, which is a highly valuable and rare ability. Being able to talk with animals opens up a whole new world of possibilities and even some strange side interactions.

Overall, Nature Cleric gives you a nice mix of being able to be the healer for the team while also being able to deal ranged magical damage and even have some crowd control capabilities with nature-themed abilities. This makes it especially great for multiplayer parties.

8. Circle of the Moon Druid

circle of the moon druid Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available once you reach level two in the Druid class
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, you might want to consider races like Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Gnome, and Dwarf.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Pretty much any except Nature Cleric, a stealthy Rogue, or Wildheart Barbarian. Some of my favorites include Life Cleric, Warlock, Wizard, Fighter, and Paladin.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Acolyte, Entertainer, Folk Hero, Hermit, Outlander, and Sage.
  • Recommended Weapon: Javelin, dagger, or spear. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much.
  • Specialization: Aggro, tank, DPS, crowd control

Druid is one of the game’s more intriguing and arguably underrated classes. You are the main class who can transform into beasts and use them in combat, which is one of the most fascinating and powerful specialties a class has.

What I particularly love about the Circle of the Moon subclass, even though all three are solid, is how it hones in on the idea of shapeshifting into beasts and enhances it even more. You get more options and can shapeshift more often, allowing you to take on the role of bears, ravens, sabertooth tigers, and even full-on elements at the end.

These beasts are better than many standard beasts that other Druids can turn into. This makes you exceptionally flexible and able to be like a tank that keeps aggro or a supportive DPS that deals a ton of damage. Plus, you have skills that can stun and move enemies, being great at crowd control. This class is so fun and welcome in multiplayer lobbies.

7. Transmutation Wizard

transmutation wizard Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available when you reach level two as a Wizard.
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, my favorites are High Elf, High Half-Elf, Tiefling, Drow, Human, Dragonborn, and Halfling.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any. However, I do suggest not picking Warlock or Sorcerer. Go with Cleric, Rogue, Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, or Druid.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, I like Noble, Hermit, Outlander, Sage, and Urchin.
  • Recommended Weapon: I prefer a light crossbow for its ranged damage
  • Specialization: Crowd control and AOE damage

Wizard has some of the most impressive and powerful magical subclasses you’ll find in all of Baldurs Gate 3. The whopping eight schools of magic you can pick can radically change the types of spells you learn, but there are only about four that I prefer. Of those four, one of the best is the Transmutation school.

A Transmutation Wizard focuses on changing the properties of objects and even shifting them. Think of them like alchemists from Fullmetal Alchemist in a way. Speaking of which, they are masters of alchemy and crafting, but there is even more to the Transmutation Wizard than meets the eye.

If you stick around with this class long enough, you’ll learn its unique Shapechanger spell. This gives you a Druid vibe in a way, which is so vastly unique. The best part is you can use this on enemies to change their health and make them vulnerable to attacks. Transmutation is a unique take on the Wizard you shouldn’t ignore.

6. Way of the Open Hand Monk

way of the open hand monk Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available immediately in character creation or at level one
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, I recommend Human, Dragonborn, Githyanki, Tiefling, Half-Elf, and Half-Orc.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any. However, I suggest more ranged or magical classes like Bard, Ranger, Druid, Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, and Cleric.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, I like Acolyte, Entertainer, Guild Artisan, Hermit, Outlander, and Urchin.
  • Recommended Weapon: Unarmed all-day
  • Specialization: Single target damage and single target control

The Monk is one of the less popular classes in this game, likely due to its focus on unarmed combat, but two of its subclasses are some of the most powerful in the game. Of them, the best is the Way of the Open Hand. This subclass is a master of unarmed damage.

If you don’t want to have to worry about weapons, this is the class for you. You will deal the best possible unarmed damage with your fists alone. This class focuses on learning new Ki techniques that will help you to control a single target, keep them in place, affect them, and deal intense damage.

This makes you one of the best possible single-target DPS subclasses in the entire game. This is the one to go with if you want to focus on an enemy at a time and not have to worry too much about AOEs or being the tank for the party. This is another I recommend for multiplayer lobbies.

5. Wildheart Barbarian

wildheart barbarian Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: You have to reach level three as a Barbarian to pick this subclass.
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, if you need help, I recommend Human, Half-Orc, Tiefling, Githyanki, and Dwarf.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any except maybe Rogue. However, I really like Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Fighter, and Druid.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, I like
  • Recommended Weapon: Any. However, I prefer battle axes, great axes, or unarmed Barbarians.
  • Specialization: Tank, aggro, and single-target DPS

Barbarian is already the melee physical combat master and one of the two classes best suited to being the aggro tank for the group. The Barbarian, in particular, focuses on mastering most weapons and using its rage technique to blast through enemies with intense, high damage and defense potential.

If you go this high-risk, high-reward route, I heavily suggest picking the Wildheart Barbarian. With this one, you have a bit of nature and Druid influence, allowing you to channel the hearts of various beasts like elks and eagles to use unique abilities and boosts.

This makes you highly flexible and an even better aggro tank than other Barbarians. You also have a decent bit of control over your character and flexibility. This is honestly one of the better builds to go with if you want to do a highly challenging solo run in Baldurs Gate 3.

4. Beast Master Ranger

beast master ranger Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available once the player reaches level three in Ranger.
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, I really like Elf, Half-Elf, Gnome, Dwarf, Halfling, and Human.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any. This class benefits the most from basically every class. The classes I would suggest the most are Bard, Druid, Rogue, Fighter, Wizard, Warlock, and Cleric.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, I like Charlatan, Criminal, Entertainer, Folk Hero, Hermit, Outlander, and Urchin.
  • Recommended Weapon: Longbows or heavy crossbows
  • Specialization: Crowd control, single target DPS, and light aggro aspects

The Ranger is, sadly, one of the more forgettable and less popular classes in this game, which is a shame considering how impressive it can be. Well, if you go with the Beast Master build, at least. This particular subclass is what Ranger should have been from the start for all three subclasses.

It allows you to summon a beast companion to fight alongside you in battle, similar to what the Wizards do with their familiars. This beast is quite strong, and you can pick between a few to fight alongside you. This makes you two party members in one, allowing you to deal extra damage and even take aggro if necessary.

If you want to break this build truly, opt for the Wizard as a multiclass and have a familiar alongside your beast for the ultimate team composition. Enemies won’t know what to think when you show up with six, seven, eight, or even more party members, despite the usual limit of four characters at once.

3. Necromancy Wizard

necromancy wizard Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available when you reach level two as a Wizard.
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, my favorites are High Elf, High Half-Elf, Tiefling, Drow, Human, Dragonborn, and Halfling.
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any. However, I do suggest not picking Warlock or Sorcerer. Go with Cleric, Rogue, Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, or Druid.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, I like Criminal, Noble, Hermit, Outlander, Sage, and Urchin.
  • Recommended Weapon: I prefer a light crossbow for its ranged damage
  • Specialization: Crowd control, AOE damage, and summoning

Wizard appears once again on this list and for a good reason. This is by far one of the most unique and best subclasses you can pick for the Wizard. With the Necromancy school on your side, you become a master of the undead, where you can deal necrotic damage, stop the undead, and survive well.

However, where it really shines is when you level it up and gain the unique ability to raise the dead to fight for you. Creating your own zombie force is bonkers in this game and one of the most impressive builds. There is nothing like overwhelming your foes with so many enemies they won’t know what to do with them.

Pair this up with some other summoning and companion-based builds, such as the Ranger and summoning your Wizard familiar, and suddenly you have an army on your side. This could make for a wild solo playthrough or a hilarious addition to any multiplayer party.

2. Life Domain Cleric

life domain cleric Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: Available immediately on the character creator screen or at level one.
  • Recommended Races: Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Gnome, Human
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any. However, Paladin, Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Druid, and Ranger make the most sense.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, Acolyte, Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Hermit, Outlander, Sage, and Urchin make the most sense.
  • Recommended Weapon: Any. However, hand axe, dagger, mace, light crossbow, and spear work well.
  • Specialization: Healing. All of the healing. And support, too.

There is not a single build or subclass you’ll find in Baldurs Gate 3 that is as good at healing and survival as the Life Cleric. If you are struggling with this game in winning fights, it is time to go Respec your character and change someone over to the Life Cleric.

Considering how limited healing can be in this game, having a Life Cleric on your team is almost a requirement or at least a high recommendation. They can heal multiple allies at once pretty early in the game, revive fallen teammates, buff, and even wear heavy armor.

They are also excellent at keeping themselves alive, which could allow them to have some weird pseudo-tank and healer possibilities. No character is better suited to surviving and keeping the party alive. It may not be the flashiest or most fun class around, but it is undoubtedly the second-most powerful and viable in the entire game.

1. Oathbreaker Paladin

oathbreaker paladin Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Builds
  • How to Unlock: You first pick a subclass for Paladin at the start of the game and then make specific choices to break your oath.
  • Recommended Races: Any. However, Human, Half-Orc, Dwarf, Dragonborn, Tiefling, Drow, and Githyanki are some of my favorites for this one.
  • Recommended Initial Paladin Subclass: Oath of the Ancients or Oath of Vengeance
  • Recommended Multiclasses: Any. However, ranged ones like Warlock, Sorcerer, Cleric, Druid, and Ranger make the most sense.
  • Recommended Backgrounds: Any. However, I really appreciate the Acolyte, Charlatan, Criminal, Folk Hero, Dark Urge, Noble, Hermit, Outlander, Sage, Soldier, and Urchin for this one.
  • Recommended Weapon:
  • Specialization: Single target DPS, aggro, tank, summoning, crowd control, and pseudo-healing

Look no further if you want the do-it-all class build in all of Baldur’s Gate 3. There is a reason the Oathbreaker Paladin sits at the top spot. Sure, two of the other Paladin subclasses—Oath of the Ancients and Oath of Vengeance—are excellent, but even they pale in comparison to the best overall build in the entire game.

If you want to be able to do anything and everything in this title with no problem, pick the Oathbreaker Paladin path. It is the unique hidden fourth subclass for the Paladin. Initially, you only have access to the Oath of the Ancients, the Oath of Vengeance, and the Oath of Devotion, but there is a secret fourth one.

If you head down this route, you’ll have turned your back on the noble and benevolent path you were initially upon. This doesn’t mean you are evil, but that you could be an anti-hero or a complicated person with a troubled past.

In practice, Oathbreaker has one of the most surprising styles in basically becoming the Necromancer of melee characters. It is all about using the necrotic forces of darkness to inflict pain on foes and even control the undead to be part of your zombie army.

This is in addition to whatever you initially picked for your Paladin. So, you could have healing powers like a Cleric but mixed with your zombie army for crowd control and able to deal some serious damage all at the same time. And this is without having to multiclass with anything.

This makes it the best solo-player build and a fantastic one for any party, offline or online. Unfortunately, you have to go through specific steps to unlock it. You can break your oath by doing actions, such as killing the Tieflings holding Lae’zel captive in Act 1, intimidating the old hag, or even outright attacking innocent people in the middle of a conversation.

FAQs

Question: What is the best solo build in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Answer: The best solo build in Baldur’s Gate 3 is either the Oathbreaker Paladin or the War Cleric. Both of these have the advantage of mixing together melee aspects and magical spells together. In addition, they are able to survive a fair number of hits and even heal themselves whenever necessary.

Question: What is the best background for Fighters in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Answer: Background barely affects your classes, like Fighters in Baldur’s Gate 3, so you are free to pick whichever one you want. That said, if you want a background that makes sense for your Fighter from a roleplay perspective, I would suggest going with the Soldier one.

Question: Is Baldur’s Gate 3 as good as Divinity Original Sin 2?

Answer: Yes, Baldur’s Gate 3 is not only as good as Larian Studios’ previous game, Divinity Original Sin 2, but it is massively better in every single way. The combat is tighter and more engaging, the characters are wonderfully memorable, the graphics are more impressive and more.

How to Escape the Nautiloid in Baldur’s Gate 3

escape the nautiloid baldur's gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 features a ton of different builds, classes, and subclasses for players to pick. There are seemingly endless options for roleplaying however you like, especially whenever you throw in more flavor options like your background and what race you want to pick.

If I had to pick a single build for players to go with, it has to be the Oathbreaker Paladin. You get the mix of a warrior with a bit of magic and even some necromancy thrown in there. This makes for one of the most flexible and powerful builds in the entire game you could pick.

Unfortunately, Oathbreaker Paladin is unique in that you can’t pick it right from the character creator screen. You’ll have to first escape the Nautiloid ship in the prologue and make your way deeper into the story of the game before you can make some decisions that will lead you to break your oath and unlock this highly valuable build.

Continue reading:

Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Armor Ranked: What Is the Best Armor for You?

Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Weapons Ranked: Which is the Best Weapon for You?

Baldur’s Gate 3 Getting Started Guide: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Spells Ranked: Magic Missile, Healing Word, More

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