Best Baldur’s Gate 3 classes and subclasses

Our expert guide crafted with hours of playtime details the best Baldur's Gate 3 classes, complete with strengths, weaknesses, and the optimal BG3 subclasses.

What are the best Baldur’s Gate 3 classes? When you consider how long you could be playing BG3, you need to think carefully about what class you’re going to settle with. We’ve spent dozens of hours playing the game to determine what the best Baldur’s Gate 3 class is and provide you with all the info you need on why you should pick them.

The Baldur’s Gate 3 release time has finally arrived, so it’s time to make a decision about your next character. The best BG3 class largely depends on how you intend to play the RPG game. Do you want to be a charismatic scoundrel, charming the pants off of anyone in earshot and piercing the hearts of your enemies? Or do you prefer the brutalist approach; bludgeoning anything and everything in your path? These scenarios are all possible but they require a little bit of thought about your class before you begin. As noted in our Baldur’s Gate 3 review, we’ve spent countless hours in the game to answer your most pressing questions. Now, here is our definitive guide to the best class and Baldur’s Gate 3 subclasses to pick out.

What is the best Baldur’s Gate 3 class?

The best Baldur’s Gate 3 class is the Paladin due to the unrivaled versatility of their abilities that makes them the perfect jack-of-all-trades class.

Unless you intend on playing Baldur’s Gate 3 as a lone wolf, it’s difficult to pin down a ‘best class’ as you have a party of characters to fill in for your main character’s weaknesses. For example, if you pick the Barbarian as your main character, you probably won’t be able to smooth talk your way out of any problematic situations. However, if you pair the Barbarian up with a Bard, now your party can both smash and talk their way out of danger. We highly recommend reading our Baldur’s Gate 3 companions guide to find out who compliments your primary character.

All Baldur’s Gate 3 classes

There are twelve Baldur’s Gate 3 classes, each with a handful of sub-classes you can specialize in to diversify your character. These are:

  • Paladin – the most versatile class, can become a hybrid tank, DPS, and support role.
  • Barbarian – powerful melee user, built to rip through foes.
  • Bard – provide your party with a range of buffs and debuffs by playing specific tunes.
  • Cleric – play as both a support and DPS user with faith-based magic.
  • Druid – nature-loving Druids can fill in for any role with their shapeshifting powers.
  • Fighter – a close-range DPS user with access to arcane magic.
  • Monk – the unarmed melee expert with Zen-like qualities.
  • Ranger – a versatile class that features an animal companion.
  • Rogue – the sneakiest class of all, perfect for stealth and stealing.
  • Sorcerer – set fire to your enemies using the deadliest spellcaster class.
  • Warlock – a master manipulator and a powerful DPS spellcaster.
  • Wizard – harness arcane magic to defeat your opponents with elemental spells.

There are currently a total of twelve Baldur’s Gate 3 classes, each with a handful of sub-classes you can specialize in to diversify your character. Subclasses are chosen after your main class – Clerics choose their subclass at level one, but other classes will need to wait longer before specializing.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin class

The Paladin utilizes holy powers to make them proficient at virtually everything. Whether it’s casting Divine Smite at enemies to deal radiant damage, or healing your friends with Lay on Hands, the Paladin can truly do it all. Utilizing our Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin build, you can take advantage of the Paladin’s unique proficiencies to ensure you’re as tough as you look.

As with any jack-of-all-trades class, the Paladin definitely could use a hand when it comes to taking down groups of enemies. We highly recommend pairing the Paladin with a powerful DPS class like the Barbarian or Wizard to make combat significantly easier. Due to the Paladin’s proficiencies that allow them to wear a range of armor, you can sit back and play in a defensive support role if you have someone strong in your party.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Barbarian on the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian class

Equipped with a powerful two-handed weapon, there’s no one quite like the Barbarian that has the capability to rip through waves of enemies in an instant. Our best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build focuses on the Rage mechanic, giving the Barbarian access to additional damage and resistance to physical damage. As long as you’re in a position to dish out or receive damage, you should be able to stay in Rage mode.

The Barbarian’s biggest weakness is its lack of ranged damage. While Barbarians can always push their way to the next enemy, there’s almost nothing you can do if you’re being pummelled with arrows, bolts, and magic attacks from afar. To fix this glaring issue, you should aim to add a support class like the Cleric to protect you at all times. As long as you have someone to heal you or keep a protective shield around you, the Barbarian can and will steamroll through its enemies.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Bard on the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard class

If the Cleric isn’t enough of a damage dealer for you, perhaps the Bard might suit you better. The Bard provides their party with Bardic Inspiration, a spell that buffs an ally’s roll, ability check, or saving throw. This can be the difference between life and death at times, and the Bard’s usefulness doesn’t stop there. They can hypnotize batches of enemies by playing a tune, effectively turning your fight into a training exercise. Check out our best Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard build to find out how to put together this tricky class.

The Bard’s unique abilities make them surprisingly versatile when it comes to picking their best party members. We quite like the Bard and Druid pairing, particularly when the Druid transforms into a Bear to quickly tear down any dazed minions. The Bard also has the advantage of having high stats in charisma, giving you more options outside of combat to swindle people to save you both time and money.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: A High-Elf Cleric on the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Cleric class

There’s no point running around with the strongest, buffest, and most powerful BG3 classes unless you’ve got someone to keep them protected at all times. The Cleric is arguably the best support class in the entire game, capable of providing your entire party with enough heals, buffs, and even ranged attacks if you set them up with the best Cleric build.

Naturally, the best people to pair the Cleric with are the buffest and strongest classes. The Cleric paired alongside a Wizard can be one of Baldur’s Gate 3’s deadliest duos, capable of turning most enemies into dust. The Wizard has a variety of spells to stop the most resilient enemies, and the Cleric can stop them from getting killed at a moment’s notice with a range of protective and healing spells.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Druid on the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Druid class

The Druid is arguably even more versatile than the Paladin as long as they use the Baldur’s Gate 3 Druid build which allows them to shapeshift into seven different creatures: Badger, Bear, Cat, Spider, Wolf, Dire Raven, and Deep Rothe. Going down the Circle of the Moon subclass gives the Druid access to the Bear and Deep Rothe beasts, two forms that work extremely well in combat.

If you go down the defensive route as a Druid, the Barbarian makes an excellent partner as it can utilize the Druid’s tanky abilities to make things easy for our DPS friend. The Druid can aggro the battlefield and withstand plenty of hits before they run into trouble – pair them with a Wizard to crush your enemies from any distance without ever putting the Wizard in danger.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Fighter in the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter class

Where the Barbarian excels in close-range combat using heavy weapons, the Fighter is much more agile and elegant, opting for knives and swords to take down their opponents. Our Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter build utilizes the Eldritch Knight subclass to give the class access to arcane spells, combining their physical strength with spells to deal further damage or protect your party.

The Fighter is incredibly dull as a character, so you’re going to want to pair them up with someone that can chat their way out of danger. The Bard is an excellent pick thanks to their high charisma stat, or you could opt for the Sorcerer who also has a lot of points in charisma. Whether you’re looking for a class to help you stun foes or you want someone to help you deal damage, you can’t go wrong with either of these two options.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk class

If you’re a fan of karate movies, you might want to check out the Monk who has more unarmed attack animations than every other class. With the right set of attacks, you can literally cause your enemy to explode by blasting them with Ki attacks. Our best Monk build specializes in the Way of Shadow subclass to instantly move from shadow to shadow, turning the Monk into a monster in both combat and exploration situations.

The natural pairing for the Monk has to be the Rogue who also likes to spend their time hiding in the shadows. They say the best form of attack is a great defense, and you can’t take any damage if you can’t be seen by your opponent. If your Monk does get caught, a Cleric could protect them from any long-range attacks, keeping them safe from harm if they start to get overwhelmed.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Ranger in the characte creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger class

There must be something about these nature-loving classes that make them incredibly versatile. The Ranger borrows elements from every non-magic class to create a jack-of-all-trades fighter, able to use a range of weapons and equip most armor sets. What makes our Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger build stand out is the Beast Master subclass which gives the class access to five different animal companions: Bear, Boar, Giant Spider, Raven, and Wolf.

Due to the Ranger’s animal companion, this class doesn’t necessarily need to pair up with anyone to get through the campaign. That being said, two heads are always better than one, but you could easily pair this class with practically anyone. The Ranger doesn’t need anything to help them survive, but the Ranger could help any of the other classes fill in their gaps to create one powerful party.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Rogue in the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue class

What makes the Rogue stand out from the rest is its ability to kill enemies very quickly, though you need to come up with a strategy and have a lot of patience in order to plan the perfect kill. If you like the idea of playing as a medieval hitman, our Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue build turns to the Thief subclass to drastically improve the classes’ sneak attack damage. You also gain the ability to steal from enemies which could prove handy in the campaign.

The Rogue’s biggest strength is arguably one of its weaknesses when it comes to pairing them with another class. Rogues want to be hidden, they want to hide in the shadows waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. If you can coordinate this well with a class like the Fighter, or a tank class like the Druid, you could open your opponents up to easy backstabs.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Sorcerer on the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Sorcerer class

As long as you have access to the Fireball spell, you should know that nothing can stand in your way forever. Unlocking Fireball at level 5 gives the Sorcerer access to one of the best early-game spells, capable of burning your foes to a crisp. Our Baldur’s Gate 3 Sorcerer build also so picks the Dragonic Bloodline subclass, providing the spellcaster with Draconic Resilience to give the class some extra steel when fighting on the battlefield.

Spellcasters pair well with support classes like Paladins and Druids, essentially anyone that can heal their party. Sorcerers may be slightly sturdier compared to Wizards, but they can still be killed in a single attack if you aren’t protected. No matter how well you build your Sorcerer, you’re going to need a support class to pair them with because you can’t risk being targeted by multiple enemies at one time.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Warlock in the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock class

The Warlock has sacrificed their soul in exchange for otherworldly powers, including the ability to mind control friends and foes alike. Our Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build throws our morals to the side as we focus on obtaining powerful spells. The Great Old One subclass gives you access to powerful spells, but you will have to provide something to a benefactor unknown to you.

When it comes to defeating powerful single targets, we recommend pairing the Warlock with a support class like the Cleric to ensure your Warlock doesn’t get destroyed in a single attack. Like most of the spellcasters in BG3, these DPS dealers are typically some of the squishiest in the game, so you’re going to want to protect them with a party member.

Baldur's Gate 3 classes: a High-Elf Wizard in the character creation screen.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard class

Though the Wizard does have the option to pick a subclass that focuses on supportive play, our best Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard build centers around the Evocation School subclass to destroy enemies in only a matter of turns. Not only does the Wizard have access to Fireball, but you also have a range of elemental spells like Thunderwave, Melf’s Acid Arrow, and Burning Hands to take down opponents at any range.

There are going to be plenty of moments in combat where enemies decide to gang up on the weakest class, and most of the time that’s going to be the Wizard. In these scenarios, you’re going to wish you had a support class like the Paladin or Cleric with you to stop you from taking lethal damage. With some added protection, the Wizard is free to destroy anyone in their sight.

What are the best Baldur’s Gate 3 subclasses?

Every BG3 class comes with different sub-classes that can drastically alter their abilities, in some cases transforming their roles into something entirely different. These are:

  • Paladin: Oath of the Ancients
  • Barbarian: Berserker
  • Bard: College of Valour
  • Cleric: Light domain
  • Druid: Circle of the Moon
  • Fighter: Eldritch Knight
  • Monk: Way of Shadow
  • Ranger: Beast Master
  • Rogue: Thief
  • Sorcerer: Draconic Bloodline
  • Warlock: The Great Old One
  • Wizard: Wizard is the Evocation

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Hopefully, you now have a good idea of who you want to be in the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, but don’t worry if you’re still undecided – the RPG is so deep, it’ll take multiple playthroughs to experience everything. Don’t forget to check out our list of every Baldur’s Gate 3 quest, the best Baldur’s Gate 3 team comps, and Baldur’s Gate 3 skills to improve your party.