If you thought picking a character in a normal RPG was tough, then you’ve never tried to work out what the best class in Baldur’s Gate 3 for beginners is.
It’s not just that there’s 12 classes to choose from, although that is a ridiculous amount. It’s that without experiencing the game for a protracted period of time, where you can get used to how your party performs and the situations you need to deal with in combat, genuinely how are you supposed to tell the difference between a Wizard, a Warlock and a Sorcerer?
Not only that, but not long after your adventure has started, you’re tasked with choosing a new subclass, further refining the specialist abilities your characters have access to.
Then there are the finer points of character creation in Baldur’s Gate 3 like your race and background.
Your background affects two key things: your skills and Inspiration. Skills are extra little things that your character is good at. The best skills are probably Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Perception and Animal Handling because they pop up in dialogue checks often and have an effect on gameplay. But it’s not necessary to completely build your character around these though. Things like Arcana and History often give you really interesting lore even if it’s not always gameplay critical, and you will find a use for nearly every skill throughout your adventure.
Inspiration is a little different. Based on your background performing certain actions during your story will give you Inspiration points that you can use to re-roll dialogue checks that go against you. Again, this isn’t worth building specifically for, so don’t sweat it too much.
Additionally, these suggestions expect that you can choose whichever race you like. Unless you’re deliberately trying to make the most specialised build possible, I prefer to treat my character’s race as part of the role-play as most of their bonuses are adaptable to different situations. Baldur’s Gate 3 is based around Dungeons and Dragons for a reason – role-play whatever feels like fun!
What is the best class in Baldur’s Gate 3 for beginners?
Battle Master Fighter
- Pros: Strong and dependable, easy to understand but still with lots of abilities
- Cons: Not great at range, can struggle to hit highly protected enemies
The Battle Master is a skilled, well-rounded warrior who can hold their own in just about any situation. They’re great for beginners because they’re easy to understand while also being powerful enough to not make you feel like you’re missing out on anything.
They’ve got a good health pool, good attacks, and access to a slew of useful weapons and abilities including a self heal and an Action Surge that basically lets you take another turn.
If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by enemies who seem to be able to do loads more actions than you, look no further. At level 5 the Fighter can perform an extra attack action in their turn. Combined with their Action Surge ability, this means you can do a whopping four attacks in a single turn.
The Githyanki soldier, Lae’zel, who’s one of the main companions in Baldur’s Gate 3 is also a Fighter. However, because of their adaptability, versatility and basic prowess, you won’t feel like your team is unbalanced using two of the same archetype. What’s more they also have access to self healing, which lessens the burden on a support character somewhat.
- Pros: High damage, can take lots of actions in a turn
- Cons: Needs to be paired with other characters to draw aggro
Low-key one of the biggest powerhouses in Baldur’s Gate 3, the Thief subclass of the Rogue class is great for beginners because it deals a lot of damage, has a surprisingly good health pool, and lets you perform advanced actions basically for free.
Rogue characters gain access to a “Cunning Action”. This basically allows them to Dash (double their movement total), Hide (secrete themselves stealthily to avoid detection) or Disengage (walk away from an enemy without getting hit by an attack of opportunity) as an extra bonus action. They can then use these actions to gain an advantage when they sneak attack an enemy for huge damage.
Thief Rogues specifically get access to another bonus action early on in their adventure, giving them access to a huge range of movement, a chance at hiding and a very powerful attack almost every turn.
This class is likely how many players will also build Astarion, another of the main companions in Baldur’s Gate 3. But again, combined with a tank and more supportive, healing character your party won’t feel lopsided.
- Pros: Unmatched health pool, you are a bear
- Cons: Can feel like you don’t get many actions in the very early game
A shape-shifting Druid is a fun, flexible and tanky class that’s really easy to understand and enjoy.
Basically: you turn into a giant bear and hit people with your big meaty claws.
There’s a bit more nuance if you want it though. In the early game the Bear form has a huge amount of health and when your shapeshifted health hits zero, you’re just knocked out of the bear form, you’re not dead.
This means you can just jump back into Bear form and tank a load more damage without dying again. Baldur’s Gate 3 is not an easy game, so if you’re finding yourself getting bopped in one hit by tough foes, try a tankier class.
As you level up as a Druid, you start to get access to a lot of powerful spells too. Things like Moonglow and Call: Lightning allow you to reliably throw down damage with a high percentage to hit from almost anywhere on the battlefield, which is invaluable for finishing off foes and punishing those who bunch together.
It’s also worth mentioning that NPC Druids feature heavily in Act 1, so you get a lot of unique dialogue options from being a Druid yourself. Plus, you can also prepare the ability to talk to animals, which gives you loads of funny encounters.
- Pros: A great variety of spooky spells, more robust than wizards
- Cons: Just because you recharge on a short rest doesn’t mean the rest of your party does
Some of the Warlock class’s main offensive abilities have additional scaling from Charisma. And do you know what else needs a lot of Charisma? Dialogue Checks throughout Baldur’s Gate 3’s story!
Adventuring as a silver-tongued protagonist is a popular play style in Dungeons and Dragons and RPGs in general. This makes the Warlock a natural fit if you want to rely on your created character both in combat and story situations.
The Warlock class is good in and of itself too. They not only have powerful spells that can knock enemies around the battlefield, but can also recover their spell-casting charges during a short rest. Most other spellcaster classes require a long rest to do the same, meaning you can adventure for longer without making as many compromises to conserve energy.
- Pros: Access to healing spells, buffs and strong attacks
- Cons: You have to be a goody two-shoes, don’t you?
Similar to the Warlock, Paladins also use Charisma to aid their spellcasting. However, they’re more focused on hitting monsters with a big hammer than throwing fire bolts.
Paladins have access to a wide range of abilities, including healing and unique buffs, which makes them feel like a busy, capable class.
It also must be said that their basic set looks pretty cool.