The choices are tough, especially when you’re creating your ideal character in a massive RPG with hundreds of customization options based on longstanding Dungeons and Dragons lore. Even if you have finally decided on your race and appearance in Baldur’s Gate 3By giving your half-orc biscuit just the right amount of face paint, you still have to choose your class and eventually your subclass… and there are so many options!
The class system in Baldur’s Gate 3 is very deep and fun to explore, but can initially be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with traditional D&D elements; you can even create unique configurations by going the multi-class path. To help you choose an ideal build when the game launches on PS5 on September 6, we’ve put together a list of the core defining characteristics that make each base class unique.
Have you ever dreamed of fiercely rampaging through enemies in a mad rampage? Then Barbarian is the class for you! Big guns let you spread the pain around, and the Rage ability lets you deal even more damage (and take less) in a frenzied state during combat. Subclasses add even more damage potential: Berserker lets you hit more and throw things, Wildheart gives you a touch of primal fury with animal-themed Rage effects, and Wild Magic grants random spell effects during Rage.
The easiest class, but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s boring. There’s a lot of personal variety you can add to a fighter’s playstyle, especially with the wide variety of weaponry and armor to choose from. Whether you want to hit hard or be the designated tank, the Fighter packs plenty of power and health to get the job done. Subclasses like Battle Master and Eldritch Knight add magic and fancy footwork to the mix, while Champion keeps it simple by giving you better chances to hit hard.
Sometimes you just want to hit it all and Monk will let you do it with great style. You won’t have access to many weapons or armor, but that’s okay – your expertly trained corps will pick up the slack in spades. Strike hard and dodge fast with your unique class Ki attacks. Choose from one of three subclasses: Path of the Four Elements, Path of the Open Hand, and Path of Shadows to add magic, versatility, and stealth to your strikes.
Fighters holier than you with access to a vast array of weapons and armor, paladins are shining beacons of heroism bound by sacred oaths of conduct. In addition to excellent combat abilities, paladins can also offer healing and support options. Your additional magical abilities will be determined by your choice of oath: Oath of the Ancients, Oath of Devotion, and Oath of Vengeance. But if you’re tired of being the good guy with two shoes, you can always see what happens when you break your oath and give in to the desire for power…
If your motto is that the best defense is not getting hit, you’ll feel right at home in the Rogue class, with great dexterity and plenty of stealth and evasive movement and combat abilities. What better way to destroy your enemies than to kill them before they even know you’re there? All subclasses build on the Rogue’s natural strengths: the Thief gains additional actions each turn, Arcane Tricksters use magic to confuse with illusions and distractions, and Assassins indulge in efficient, stealthy kills.
Do you like to get close to nature? Then you’ll want to look at the Ranger class. These swift master hunters live to stalk their prey and are experienced in navigating some of the harshest environments; you can choose their favorite quarry and terrain during character creation to get some fun extra abilities. The Beast Master, Hunter, and Gloom Stalker subclasses can make you a friend to all wildlife, or a ferocious hunter feared by all breathing creatures.
Get in touch with your artistic side and make everyone swoon with your support skills and offensive spells. Bards are charming by nature, so their high Charisma stat can not only inspire allies in traditional fights, but can also help win battles of words and wits. The bardic subclasses are the Knowledge, Valor, and Swords Abilities, and will potentially grant more gear and combat options, as well as improve abilities to help support your other party members.
Being the healing-focused class isn’t boring at all in Baldur’s Gate 3. Cleric is a diverse and highly customizable class, delivering surprising offensive punch between a suite of healing and support skills. Both the Cleric’s Domain subclass and your protector deity, chosen at creation, have a profound effect on your structure, transforming you from a back-line healer to a versatile melee medic wielding holy slam weapons.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming something more than just a human being? Druids are so attuned to the natural world that these practitioners can assume animal forms. Healing, support, and the ability to turn into a dinosaur—there’s a lot to love about being a druid. Subclasses include the transformation-focused Circle of the Moon, the attack and support spell-focused Earth Circle, and the fun-filled, mushroom-filled Circle of Spores.
Mages, the archetypal backline spellcaster, have little going for them in terms of weapons or armor, but they do have the biggest and best magical abilities of any class in the game. Their high intelligence allows Wizards to learn and use offensive attacks suitable for almost any situation. Mage subclasses focus on giving additional attributes to the type of spells your character specializes in, though these options won’t limit the potential of your magical arsenal in the slightest.
Drawing powerful magical abilities from otherworldly creatures by swearing allegiance – what could possibly go wrong? Many things can go right in the Warlock class: not only can you wield powerful offensive, support, and debilitating magic, but the wisdom and charisma your patron has bestowed on you give you the wits you need to get out of difficult social situations. The exact operation of your spells will vary depending on which being you swear allegiance to: The Fiend, The Ancient One, or the Archifey.
Some people are born talented. Sorcerers do not need to study or gain power from others for their magic: they simply that’s good. This class’s exclusive Metamagic trait allows you to enhance your spells in exciting new ways, creating custom spells that, combined with your fluid charisma, make a Sorcerer useful in and out of combat. By subclassing into Storm Sorcery, Wild Magic, or Draconic Bloodline, you can further infuse your spells with tempests, chaos, or even the power of dragons.
Don’t worry if you find that a class isn’t working for you. If you complete the Explore the Ruins quest available early on, you’ll meet a lich named Withers, who will hang around your camp and allow you to respec whenever you want… for a small fee. And if you’re really stuck early on with choice paralysis, there are pre-rolled characters you can play around with!
Hopefully now you have a better idea of the path you want to take. Of course, this is far from the only choice you’ll have to make in Baldur’s Gate 3 – every choice in dialogue, exploration, and battle carries its own weight. We look forward to forging your own path through this epic adventure. Baldur’s Gate 3 will be available on PS5 on September 6.