Baldur's Gate 3 Race Guide

Published: Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 13:41 | By: Jackson Wery
Developer
Larian Studios
Publisher
Larian Studios
Release Date
October 6, 2020
Genre
RPG
Multiplayer modes
Online, Online Features
Platforms
PC
Monetization
One Time Purchase
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
GOG Steam
Yes, Your Choice is Viable

As any Dungeons & Dragons player will tell you, race matters as much as class when designing an adventurer. Their different lifespans and experiences shape their perspectives and change them both in personality and mechanics. Seven distinct races are playable in Baldur's Gate 3, and there are many more subraces to choose from, bringing the total up to 16. Each possesses their own strengths. While picking a non-optimal race will not ruin your game experience, you may want to play something that feels strong for your first character. TechRaptor's Race Guide will help you decide which races are your best mechanical choices for each class. If you need help picking a class, or just a basic overview, be sure to read the basic character creation guide we've got for you.

The higher the number in an Ability Score, the better the character is at tasks involving it. You have 27 points to spend at creation to put into 6 stats. As you increase the stats, they become more expensive to compensate. The highest base value you can purchase up to is a 15. Past that your Racial Modifiers will increase it further. This makes the highest potential stat you can have a 17 (buy a 15, then +2 from racial mods). Since the modifier only changes every even number, a 17 has the same modifier as a 16 (+3). A +3 is as good as you can get at level 1, but a +2 isn't the end of the world, either. Unless you're doing an off-the-wall build, the stat indicated by a star should be your highest.

 
 

Drow

Seldarine

Racial Mods: Dex +2, Cha +1

Elves from the Underdark. They have a distaste for worshipers of Lolth, the Drow spider goddess. They are mechanically identical to the Lolth-Sworn, below, but have a vendetta against the deity. They seek allies across the continent to combat her insidious evil. Their Dexterity bonus makes them capable agile fighters and rogues, and their Charisma bonus makes them a decent choice for a warlock as well. They are proficient in rapiers, hand crossbows, and shortswords. They have excellent Darkvision, a whopping 24 meters, but they get Dancing Lights as a Cantrip to help their less-gifted allies. Seldarine Drow also can't be magically put to sleep, and resist Charm effects.

Lolth-Sworn

Racial Mods: Dex +2, Cha +1

These Drow are mechanically the same as Seldarine Drow, but these elves were raised in the cult of Lolth. As such, they're marked by glowing red eyes. They excel in the same classes as their Seldarine relatives.

Dwarf

Gold

Racial Mods: Con +2, Wis +1

These sturdy fellows boast great Con scores. Both types of dwarves possess resistance to Poison damage, advantage on Saving Throws against Poisons, proficiency in battleaxes, handaxes, light hammers, and warhammers, and 12 meters of Darkvision. Gold dwarves also gain an extra hit point every level, making them quite beefy regardless of their chosen class. They gravitate towards clerics, but can make good frontliners of any sort.

Baldur's Gate 3 Male Gold Dwarf Cleric
You can do all sorts of things.

Shield

Racial Mods: Str +2, Con +2

Shield dwarves are even stronger than their burly cousins. They're also proficient in Light and Medium Armor regardless of class, so you can have the novelty of a moderately-armored dwarven wizard if you want. Their high Strength, however, will likely push them towards Strength-based fighters, clerics, and rangers.

 

Elf

High Elf

Racial Mods: Dex +2, Int +1

High elves are the arcanists among the elves. They excel at Dexterity and get a small bonus to Intelligence. This makes them capable wizards as well as rogues and other Dex-based classes. Picking high elf also gets you a nice wizard cantrip, which scales with your Intelligence. They also have proficiency in longswords, longbows, shortswords, and shortbows, helpful to expand any limited weapon selections. Like wood elves, they gain Darkvision, Perception as a class skill, are harder to charm, and cannot be magically put to sleep.

Wood Elf

Racial Mods: Dex +2, Wis +1

Wood elves are more outdoorsy than high elves, trading their Intelligence for a bit of extra Wisdom instead. They make great rangers, clerics, and other dex-based classes. They're faster than other races, too. Great for scouting! You also gain proficiency in longswords, longbows, shortswords, and shortbows, like the high elves. And, just like them, you gain Perception as a class skill, are harder to charm, and cannot be magically slept. Instead of a cantrip, wood elves automatically gain proficiency in Stealth.

 

Githyanki

Racial Mods: Str +2, Int +1

Psychic warriors from another plane, Githyanki seek the complete annihilation of all mind-flayers. Their high Strength makes them suited to any Strength-based build, but they can also make a potent wizard. Githyanki wear light and medium armor and can use shortswords, longswords, and the mighty greatsword. All Githyanki also have Mage Hand as a Cantrip.

Half-Elf

High

Racial Mods: Cha +2, +1 to any other two Ability Scores

Like their elven parents, half-elves of high elf ancestry inherit a wizard Cantrip, Darkvision, immunity to sleep, and resistance towards Charm effects. From their human half, they gain a flexible ability score bonus. This pushes them towards warlocks, but a half-elf can do well regardless of their class.

Baldur's Gate 3 Female Half-Elf Wood Rogue
Want to play a charming redheaded rogue? Go ahead.

Wood

Racial Mods: Cha +2, +1 to any other two Ability Scores

While they don't gain a Cantrip, half-elves descended from a wood elf gain their parent's movement speed and proficiency in Stealth. They're otherwise identical to high elf half-elves. They will do well regardless of their class.

Drow

Racial Mods: Cha +2, +1 to any other two Ability Scores

Half-elves of Drow ancestry feature identical flexible Ability Scores as their cousins. They also gain Dancing Lights as a Cantrip. Any class is a good choice for them.

Halfling

Lightfoot

Racial Mods: Dex +2, Cha +1

These small folk are Lucky. Whenever they roll a 1 on an Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Skill Check, they may roll again and take the second result. That makes them quite reliable, as the odds of rolling two 1s in a row are 1/400. You will assuredly do better with the reroll. They are also proficient in Stealth. Naturally, they are excellent rogues, but any class that rolls a lot of dice will appreciate it.

Strongheart

Racial Mods: Dex +2, Con +1 

Like their counterparts, stronghearts are nimble and naturally fortunate. Instead of Stealth, however, they have advantage on Saving Throws versus Poison and resistance to Poison damage. They can be useful in any dex-based class, but the ability to reroll remains very powerful.

Baldur's Gate 3 Female Human Wizard
There are so many options. It's ridiculous. Choosing the elven eyes really made hers stand out.

Humans

Racial Mods: All Ability Scores +1

The most versatile race, humans function well in any class as any role. If you don't know which race you want to play, human is never the wrong choice. They gain a small bonus to each stat, making them ideal for Multi-Ability Dependent (MAD) builds. While it isn't fancy or fantastic, humans are one of the best picks overall.

Tiefling

Asmodeus

Racial Mods: Cha +2, Int +1

Descendants of the Prince of Darkness, these devilborn come with innate Darkvision, a free Cantrip, and resistance to Fire damage. Their Charisma and Intelligence make them suited to be both warlocks and wizards. Taking the Fiend Patron as a warlock may seem passé, but this is entirely appropriate and mechanically strong. Thaumaturgy lets them capitalize on Intimidation and Performance, both powered by their good Charisma.

Baldur's Gate 3 Male Tiefling Warlock
Dissatisfied with your race's eye, hair, and skin color options? You can uncap those, too!

Mephistopheles

Racial Mods: Cha +2, Int +1

These tieflings are nearly identical to their Asmodean relatives, but are descended from Mephistopheles and come with Mage Hand as a Cantrip instead. Otherwise, they excel in similar roles.

Zariel

Racial Mods: Cha +2, Str +1

This third playable variant of tiefling trades Intelligence for Strength. If you want to melee as a tiefling, then this is a great choice for you. They are otherwise identical to Asmodean tieflings, right down to the free Thaumaturgy Cantrip, except they come from Zariel instead.


That's all the currently-playable races in the Early Access version of Baldur's Gate 3. Which is your favorite? Which do you hope appears next? Let us know via social media or in the comments below.


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