Baldur’s Gate 3 is breaking expectations worldwide and made the list on our August 2023 Games Recommendation post. The company expected 100,000 concurrent users to log in at one time, but they peaked at 700,000. PS5 presales for the game in the US broke records.
Everyone wants to get their hands on this infectious game, but you have a very important decision to make when playing: picking a class. You have 11 classes to choose from, with subclasses of their own, and make them your hero.
Which should you choose?
That’s what we’re going to explore. We’re going to enlighten you on the strengths and weaknesses of each class, the playstyles that work best for them and why you may or may not want to play a certain class.
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A Complete Guide to Baldur’s Gate 3 Classes
Every class has its strengths, weaknesses and roles to fill. We’re going to start with a class that newbies will like playing because of powerful heals and buffs.
Do you like being a healer? No class in the game has the level of healing that a Cleric offers. If you’re not inclined to be a high-end damage dealer, you’ll appreciate that this class allows you to “play it safe” because you’re always going to be able to heal yourself out of dangerous situations.
You will need to be versatile and move around the battlefield to buff and heal.
Damage centres around:
- Spiritual Weapon
- Spirit Guardians
You’ll wear light and medium armour, use shields and wield simple weapons. However, your role is all about control and support. Bless allows you to improve team accuracy (and damage) and Healing Word will heal teammates through most fights.
Bane and Hold Person offer great control to the class, and then you have subclasses that allow you to adapt your playstyle, such as:
- Light Domain: Gain the strength to fight undead and darkness.
- Life Domain: Strong focus on healing and health.
- Trickery Domain: Master deception and illusion with Charm Person and Disguise Self.
Barbarians are strong, filled with rage and can deal considerable damage to their foes. If you’re an offence-oriented player, you may do better with this class than a Cleric. You will use:
- Light or medium armour
- Simple and martial weapons
Hack-and-slash gameplay fits the Barbarian class the best. Rage is your main ability here, causing you to increase damage while also giving you a resistance boost and other bonuses.
Of course, you can also choose a subclass at level three:
- Berserker: Rage out further, attack with a Frenzied Attack and even throw creatures at your foes.
- Wildheart: Use animal-centric Rage abilities, Speak With Animals and enjoy new abilities.
- Wild Magic: Cast random spells when you go into a rage.
Fighters wield swords, shields, wear heavy armour, and they’re known for high HP. Beginners often choose a Fighter because they’re versatile, allow for more mistakes and do decent damage.
You’re a Striker and you have Second Wind that will offer a self-heal if you’re in trouble.
Players can also choose from six Fighting Styles, such as archery, which will boost your ranged abilities or TWF, which adds more damage to your offhand. Subclasses include:
- Battle Master: Utilize dice to impact enemies and trick them while doing great damage.
- Champion: A decent upgrade to damage thanks to Improve Critical Hit.
- Eldritch Knight: Cast spells, such as Thunderwave and Witch Bolt.
Currently, the best sub-class is Battle Master, thanks to Menacing Strike and Riposte.
Wizards must buy their spells, which makes them a little more complex, but they’re a lot of fun for anyone who loves to hoard spells. The devs went all out with spells, which can fall into one of many subclasses, including:
- Many others
Wizards can be anything they like: control, support or striker. You can select subclasses, such as:
- School of Abjuration: Focus on wards, nullifying magic and banishing enemies with this defensive subclass.
- Necromancy School: Learn to zap the enemy’s energy and make friends with the “dead”.
- Conjuration School: Summon creatures and objects.
Multiple other subclasses exist, including Evocation, Enchantment, Divination, Illusion and Transmutation.
If you’re new to the game, you may want to skip the Ranger class. Think of this class as a weaker Fighter, but you do have the option to perform hybrid magic attacks to obliterate your foes.
Rangers can use any type of armour. They love animals, and they are ideal for players who love to sneak around – kind of like a Rogue.
You can also call on your animal friends, such as bears, rats, wolves, frogs, cats and countless others.
Rangers can select up to three subclasses, including:
- Beast Master: Allows you to summon a beast to fight alongside you.
- Hunter: Gain range specialities, such as Giant Killer or Colossus Slayer.
- Gloom Stalker: Proficient and dangerous, Gloom Stalkers focus heavily on stealth and ambushing their foes.
Rogues are a tough class for beginners and even more experienced players. They’re highly mobile, but they don’t deal much damage and are very squishy.
To master this class, you need to have a good understanding of the game and the class’s mechanics.
Rogues can do sneak attacks up close or from far away. They’re proficient in a number of weapons, including hand crossbows, simple weapons, rapiers, longswords and shortswords.
There are three subclasses to choose from:
- Thief: Gain additional bonus actions and resist fall damage.
- Assassin: Gain an advantage on Attack Rolls against creatures that haven’t taken a turn.
- Arcane Trickster: Manipulate and interact with objects. These Rogues can choose two Cantrips, three spells and one wizard spell.
Bards are a tricky class for beginners because they have complex spells. But they’re a fun option and great for causing mischief (just like Rogues). They’re irreplaceable assets once you master them.
Bards can choose two Cantrips and four Level 1 spells at character creation. Of course, you also choose your starting instrument (flute, hand drum, violin, lute or lyre), which will influence the soundscape whenever you cast spells.
Bards have three subclasses:
- Valour: Inspire allies and buff them, and gain additional proficiencies in Medium Armour, Martial Weapons and Shields.
- Lore: Gain proficiency in Intimidation, Arcana and Sleight of Hand. You can also distract creatures and sap their confidence.
- Swords: Become a highly trained and skilled warrior. This subclass has additional subclasses to choose from that influence your combat style and effectiveness.
Warlocks are knowledge seekers who are willing to make pacts with supernatural beings in order to gain ancient secrets that will boost their magical powers. Charisma is their primary ability score, which makes it just a little easier for them to make a pact with the devil and still live to tell the tale.
There are three subclasses to choose from, each of which grants you the ability to choose two spells:
- The Great Old One: Landing a critical hit on a creature, the target and nearby enemies must become Frightened or succeed a Wisdom Saving Throw until the end of the turn.
- The Fiend: Gives you the Dark One’s Blessing, which grants you 4 temporary hit points whenever you kill a hostile creature.
- The Archfey: Allows you to Frighten or Charm enemies.
Warlocks are a strong class for beginners to try. They have excellent control abilities and can dish out some damage.
Sorcerers may have a smaller set of spells compared to other classes, but they offer a lot of utility and support. They need quite a bit of theory-crafting (much like Bards), but they can be an insanely good partner for hard-hitting classes.
Sorcerers have the following weapon proficiencies:
- Light crossbows
When creating your character, you’ll have the option of choosing four Cantrips and two Spells. You can also choose one of three subclasses:
- Wild Magic: Focuses on the forces of chaos. Wild Magic Surges can arise at any time when casting spells, creating a random effect that may be beneficial or harmful.
- Storm Sorcery: Focuses on storm magic. After casting a spell, you get the ability to Fly as a bonus action until the end of your turn.
- Draconic Bloodline: Increases your hit point maximum by one for each Sorcerer level. You also gain more base armour and can choose your dragon ancestor: Red (fire), Blue (lightning), Green (poison), White (cold), Silver (cold), Gold (fire), Copper (acid), Bronze (lightning) and Brass (fire).
Are you a fan of support classes? The Druid may be an excellent fit for you.
Druids are an excellent support class, and they have a nice range of utility spells. They’re easy and safe to play, which makes them an excellent choice for newbies.
As far as weapons go, Druids have proficiencies in daggers, clubs, shields, quarterstaffs, maces, javelins, speaks, sickles and scimitars.
Druids can spew noxious gas and deal fire damage. They can also pull creatures to them, and transform staves or clubs into magical items. With the Animal Friendship ability, you can even convince beasts not to attack you. Charm Person allows you to do the same thing to humans.
Other useful utility spells include:
- Goodberry: Conjure magical berries that restore hit points.
- Longstrider: Increase movement speed.
- Enhance Leap: Tripe a creature’s jumping distance.
- Create or Destroy Water: Call upon the rain, or destroy any water-based surface.
All Druids also gain the Wild Shape ability, which allows you to shapeshift into different animal forms, including badger, wolf, cat and spider.
At level 2, you can choose from three subclasses:
- Circle of the Moon: Focuses on the Wild Shape ability and unlocks a fifth shape: bear. Bears are tanky and can take more damage. You also gain the Lunar Mend ability, which allows you to regain hit points while in Wild Shape.
- Circle of the Land: Gives you the Natural Recovery ability, which replenishes extended spell slots when you’re not in combat. These Druids also get an additional Cantrip.
- Circle of Spores: Focuses on poison spells, which may deal AOE damage or even heal you.
Paladins are great damage sponges, which also makes them a great choice for beginners. Because you can withstand so much damage, you have more flexibility and room for error if you’re new to the game.
Think of Paladins as a Support and Tank hybrid.
Paladins have two proficiencies: martial weapons and simple weapons. They also have an advantage on Attack Rolls against fiends, undead and celestials.
Their ability, Lay on Hands, allows you to heal and cure diseases and poisons.
Paladins have four subclasses:
- Oath of the Ancients: Defenders of Nature and Life. This subclass gains Healing Radiance, allowing them to AOE Heal. They can send enemies fleeing in fear or crowd control enemies when needed.
- Oath of Devotion: The classic knight in shining armour. These paladins defend the weak by placing divine wards on allies. They can ward off Fiends and Undead by making them terrified, and they can turn their weapon into a Sacred Weapon. Later on, they gain the ability to remove diseases.
- Oathbreaker: If you break your Oath during gameplay, you have the option to become an Oathbreaker. Naturally, this subclass isn’t available at the start of the game. If you break your Oath, you can also choose to have it restored. Oathbreakers can control undead creatures, send enemies fleeing in fear and deal necrotic damage.
- Oath of Vengeance: A damage-dealing subclass that buffs attacks to deal additional Radiant damage. These paladins can also daze enemies.
For newbies, Paladins are a great option. They can take a lot of damage, but they can also dish out some damage. Just be mindful of your Oath and stick to it if you don’t want to become an Oathbreaker.
Monks are a new class in Baldur’s Gate. They’re similar to Rogues, but they have more offensive abilities.
The Monk’s primary ability is Dexterity, and their proficiencies are shortswords and simple weapons. You start out with high dexterity and strength, but you’ll have little in the way of spells. Instead, you’ll rely on Ki, which is a magic that flows through all living creatives. Ki will give you the power to exceed your physical capabilities.
In other words, you’re going to have to improvise and get creative when playing a Monk, and that’s why players love them.
Monks can also avoid combat and even impose their will in dialogue.
Once you hit level three, you can choose a subclass:
- Way of the Shadow: Specializes in stealth and subterfuge.
- Way of the Four Elements: Unlocks elemental spells (fire, ice, wind, water).
- Way of the Open Hand: Specializes in unarmed combat.
While Monks have excellent damage and mobility, they’re a little more complex than other classes. It takes some time and practice to understand their skills and how they work together.
If you’re new to Baldur’s Gate 3 you’re in for an adventure, and our class guide will help you choose the perfect character for your journey. If you’re struggling to get ahead in this game, be sure to watch gameplays and streamers on YouTube or Twitch for tips, tricks and playthroughs.
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