The rogue in Baldur's Gate 3 is a quick, dexterous fighter. They scout ahead, disable traps, and investigate clues using adroitness and finesse. Some are clever, wise, or just charismatic. Their major contribution in combat is via their Sneak Attack, which does extra damage under the right conditions. They bring a large number of skills to the table, from sneaking to investigating.
Baldur's Gate 3 offers a variety of ways to build your rogue, with two specializations available in Early Access: Thief and Arcane Trickster. Since this is Early Access, be aware that races, classes, and content are subject to change before the game's final release. First, be sure to check out the basic character creation guide. That will help you get a baseline for building any character. Also peruse our class guides, which will give you more detailed information about each class.
Look around, everywhere you turn's stuff to take. It's everywhere that you go. You try everything you can to escape the pain of that guy's arrow. When all else fails and you long to be somewhere better than you are today, I know a way you can get away. It's called parkour, and here's what it's for, so come on, rogue.
Baldur's Gate 3 Rogue - Getting Started
For a quick reference, here is your basic rogue chassis:
- Hit Die: D8 (8+Con modifier at 1st level, then 5+Con mod thereafter)
- Primary Stat: Dexterity
- Secondary Stats: Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, Charisma
- Good Saves: Dexterity, Intelligence
- Weapons: Simple, Hand Crossbows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords
- Armor: Light
- Specializations: Thief, Arcane Trickster (Choice at 3rd Level)
Light Armor and many Finesse weapons will effectively lock you into Dexterity as your attack stat. This is fine, since your defenses will scale with it as well. When building in creation, decide if you'd prefer a melee fighter or an archer. All of it keys off of Dexterity, so you'll be equally competent at both until 4th level or so, when you can pick a Feat. If you would rather switch-hit in Early Access, try to pick up at least a 14 Constitution. You can sacrifice a bit if you want to build a pure ranged attacker. Your final Dex, after racial adjustments, should be a 16 if possible. If your race grants you a +2 Dex bonus, consider buying a 14 instead of a 15 to save some points for mental scores. After all, your modifier only changes with even numbers, so there's no performance difference between a 16 and 17. Dump strength and make someone else carry your stuff outside of a fight.
As for your mental stats, this is more of a toss-up. If you're going Arcane Trickster and care about your Spell Attacks and Saving Throw DCs, then try for a 14 Intelligence. Perception and Insight, useful skills, both scale off of Wisdom as well, so it's your default otherwise. Charisma is useful for any rogue who wants to talk to people. The stat spread below is a good starting point. Adjust based on your racial bonuses and personal taste. Rogues are somewhat Multi Ability Dependent (MAD), so your stats may seem to be spread a bit thin.
- Strength: 8
- Dexterity: 15
- Constitution: 12/14 (Swap with Wisdom)
- Intelligence: 10
- Wisdom: 12/14
- Charisma: 12
- Strength: 8
- Dexterity: 15
- Constitution: 12
- Intelligence: 14 (but you can potentially leave it, see below under Subclasses)
- Wisdom: 13
- Charisma: 10
There are a number of standout skills to choose for your rogue. You get several in addition to your race and background choice. Perception and Stealth are must-picks. Also consider snagging Acrobatics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, and Sleight of Hand. Take each according to taste and concept. Arcana is a viable choice for your Arcane Trickster, as well.
Baldur's Gate 3 Rogue Races
Each race has its own advantages to bring to a character concept. Which one you'll want to play for your rogue depends on what you want to do with them. Our race guide has some basic lowdowns on each race, but to summarize, you'll want a race with a Dexterity bonus. This means any full-blooded elves, half-elves, humans, and halflings will work.
High and wood elves provide proficiency in shortbows and the very nice longbow, plus have nice defenses against Charm effects. They also can't be magically put to sleep. High elves get a free wizard Cantrip (scaling with Intelligence) and another point in the mental stat, making them good Arcane Tricksters. Wood elves have proficiency in Stealth (which you were taking anyway), extra movement, and bonus Wisdom, freeing up your skills and points a bit. Drow have enhanced Darkvision compared to other elves and Dancing Lights. They can make decent social rogues with their bonus Charisma.
Humans have a bonus to each stat, easing the MAD burden on your rogue. Humans are well-suited to either specialization, since they benefit from the bonus to everything except Strength. Try to buy odd stats as a human, using the +1 to each Ability Score to boost your modifiers. Their lack of Darkvision may be an issue, but they're otherwise great.
Half-elves also provide flexible ability bonuses with an emphasis on Charisma, making them good social rogues. All of them have some Darkvision, too. The half-elf with wood elf ancestry is the standout, thanks their movement speed and free Stealth proficiency. Half-elves with high elf ancestry gain a Cantrip scaling off of their Intelligence as well. Drow-born half-elves don't get much, but they still get a flexible bonus and Dancing Lights.
Halflings benefit from Lucky, meaning any natural 1 on an attack, Saving Throw, or skill check gets a free reroll. A fantastic power for any class! They also get a +2 Dexterity bonus. Lightfoot halflings get a bonus to Charisma and automatic Stealth proficiency. Very good. Stouthearts gain bonus Constitution instead, as well as the dwarven resistance to Poison damage and the Poisoned condition. The only thing holding them back is a lack of Darkvision.
Dwarves, tieflings, and Githyanki offer niche benefits for rogues, but you won't likely seek them out as a race unless you have something specific in mind. The possibility of a greatsword-wielding Githyanki Arcane Trickster exists, of course, but they are more novel than mechanically strong.
Baldur's Gate 3 Rogue Class Features
The rogue's signature ability in combat is Sneak Attack, adding extra damage when you have an advantage in combat. To perform a Sneak Attack, click the icon in your bar before attacking to declare it. You also need to either have Advantage, or an ally threatening them in melee. The easiest way to get Advantage is to Hide and attack from concealment, but your items and allies can provide various sources of Advantage, too.
Since Early Access will cap out at 4th level, there are only a few levels to plan out. Rogues gain a handful of extra features to help in exploration and maneuvering.
- Proficiencies (see above), Sneak Attack +1d6
- Cunning Action: Dash (Double Movement for turn as a bonus action)
- Subclass: Thief/Arcane Trickster, Sneak Attack +1d6
- Ability Score Improvement OR Feat
Baldur's Gate 3 Rogue Subclasses
There are two options in Baldur's Gate 3's Early Access for your rogue to specialize in: Thief, and Arcane Trickster. Thief gives you more of the good things you have as a rogue, while Arcane Trickster attempts to blend rogues with some wizardry. You make this choice at 3rd level, so you'll have time to think about your decision.
Thief is an extension of the base rogue. A nice perk lets you reduce the falling damage they take. This is rather situational, but a good backup in case you misjudge a distance. The real nice thing is getting an additional bonus action on your turn. This means things like using a potion, moving, using your Cunning Action, and attacking, all on the same turn. The most valuable resource in Baldur's Gate 3 (and 5e in general) isn't any item, spell, or class feature. It's actions. Being able to easily pop healing potions is better for a frontliner than an archer, but you can still make this work as a ranged attacker. One use, like above, is attacking from stealth, moving, then popping a potion and hiding.
Arcane Tricksters have a bit of wizard casting to go with their rogue things. They gain some spellcasting and the Mage Hand Cantrip, which gains some extra uses beyond the normal Cantrip. They also gain two more Cantrips, two 1st-Level Illusion or Enchantment spells, and a single other 1st-Level spell off the wizard list. Intelligence-based casting gives them a bit of dependence on that Ability Score, but only if they rely on attack rolls or Saving Throw DCs, which care about your casting stats. If your Intelligence is good, consider Ray of Frost as an opening volley or Chill Touch for its power against Undead. Otherwise, you might want to take True Strike and Blade Ward for easy ranged Advantage and defenses, respectively.
For your free spell, among others, our wizard guide also has some solid ideas if you're looking for advice on spell selection. Unlike a wizard, however, you cannot add new spells to your spellbook, because it doesn't exist. Make the free spells you choose worth casting in a variety of situations. Arcane Trickster is a good choice for either melee or ranged rogues, but the spellcasting will compete with your Sneak Attack for your actions. In general, the spellcasting is more of a "nice bonus" than a main combat technique, since you don't have the slots other casters do.
In summation, there are many ways to build your rogue. Even though nearly all will focus on pumping up their Dexterity, you can play with the other Ability Scores, Skills, and various Races quite a bit to find something you like. Multiclassing is not currently available in Early Access, but your Rogue will bring in lots of utility and heavy damage thanks to their many skills and Sneak Attack.