Do you need a strong Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build? If you’re aiming to build a Baldur’s Gate 3 character ready to deal some hardcore damage, the Barbarian is your best bet. These melee characters are so heavy hitting they don’t even need armor, making them ideal choices to run as tanks for your crew. Almost any group composition can benefit from a Barbarian, a relatively straightforward Class specializing in combat and warfare, with a threatening aura sure to help you get anything you want from the locals.
If you’re looking for an all-out brawler that’s ready to take on anything Faerun can manage to throw at them, here’s everything you need to know about the Barbarian Class in Baldur’s Gate 3. We’ll go over the benefits of running this Class, Subclass options, and our choices for Feats to choose for your character as you level up.
Note: Looking for lots more builds to choose from? Check out our dedicated list of the best builds in Baldur’s Gate 3 for each class!
Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build basics
Barbarians are beasts trapped in humanoid form. If you select the Barbarian Class, you begin Rage as a Bonus Action, which immediately makes you very powerful from the start of the game. Rage allows you to deal extra damage with melee and improvised weapons and when throwing things. Rage also grants Resistance to physical damage and Advantage on Strength Checks and Saving Throws. You don’t even need to wear armor with these folks, as the Barbarian’s Class Feature will add your Constitution modifier to your Armor Class (though eventually, you may find it beneficial to switch to armor anyway, as some especially high-stat armor will allow you to respec your Constitution points if desired).
Barbarian Subclass options
At Level 3, you’ll have the option to choose a Subclass. You can choose from the following Barbarian Subclasses:
- Wildheart: An attunement with nature allows you to choose from a number of animal-inspired Actions and Aspects.
- Berserker: Emphasising Barbarian fury, this allows you to enter a Frenzy, granting both the Frenzies Strike and Enraged Throw Bonus Actions, as well as physical damage Resistance and Advantage on Strength Checks and Saving Throws.
- Wild Magic: Grants a random magical effect, along with Resistance to physical damage and Advantage on Strength Checks and Saving Throws.
Barbarian Weapon, Armor, and Class Proficiencies
- Barbarians Weapon Proficiencies: Simple weapons, martial weapons
- Barbarian Armor Proficiencies: Light armor, medium armor, shields
- Barbarian Skill Proficiencies: Choice of two: Athletics, Insight, Perception, Religion
- Barbarian Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
- Level 4: Great Weapon Master
- Level 8: Savage Attacker
- Level 12: Durable
Best Barbarian Race, Background, and Skills
In Baldur’s Gate 3, your Race, Background, and chosen Skills can grant you additional Actions and traits that help strengthen your character. Here are the best picks for your Barbarian build.
The best Barbarian Race is Half-Orc.
The Half-Orc Race has several special features that make it a powerful choice. The Race has Darkvision, which allows it to see in dark areas. The Race also has the Savage Attacks trait, which means Critical Hits with melee weapon attacks triple damage dice rather than double them. Further, with Relentless Endurance, being reduced to 0 HP keeps you at 1 HP instead, allowing you to potentially recover and heal by your next turn. This Race also grants Proficiency in Intimidation.
The best Barbarian Background choice is Soldier.
Soldier grants skills in Athletics and Intimidation. Athletics improves Shove, resistance to Shove, and Jumping, while Intimidation affects attempts to influence through threats and hostile actions.
The best Barbarian Skill Proficiencies are Survival and Animal Handling.
Survival provides benefits in following tracks, hunting wild game, terrain navigation, and avoiding other natural hazards, while Animal Handling allows you to calm domesticated animals and intuit animal intentions.
The best Barbarian Subclass
Berserker is the best Barbarian subclass. If you choose to run with this class, using a two-handed weapon is ideal because it can deal more damage than other weapons. Further, at Level 4, you can select the Feat Great Weapon Master for added damage and a Bonus Action on kills or Critical Hits.
Though this Subclass option removes the variety of choice you’d get with the Wild Magic and Wildheart subclasses, you’ll gain a few powerful abilities as you progress. Frenzied Strike lets you make an additional melee attack as a Bonus Action and Intimidating Presence lets you inflict the Fear effect on a target to make them run away.
Best Barbarian Feats
Barbarians can choose Feats at Levels 4, 8, and 12. The best Barbarian feats are:
With Great Weapon Master, you can make an extra melee attack after getting a Critical Hit or a Kill and can also take a -5 penalty to Attack Rolls in exchange for 10 extra damage. Savage Attacker allows you to roll your damage dice twice and select the higher result. Durable restores all HP with a Short Rest and raises Constitution score by one.
If you’ve followed our suggestions, you’ll have a powerful Baldur’s Gate 3 Berzerker Barbarian capable of leading your team into the most challenging boss battles. Your character will both be able to deal major damage and handle significant blowback. However, you will want to ensure your crew’s composition includes a strong healer and a character proficient in spellcasting, as often, you’ll need more than brute force to take on a fight.
That’s everything you need to know to develop a masterful Barbarian build in Baldur’s Gate 3. Be sure to check out some of our other guides as well, especially if you need some insights on multiclassing or are interested in romancing a special somebody as you journey through Faerun. And, if you don’t like the build we recommended, there’s always the option to respec in Baldur’s Gate 3, too.
Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur’s Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.