Best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build: Race, skills, subclass, background & more

Best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build: Race, skills, subclass, background & more
Images via Larian Studios

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Published 

4th Sep 2023 14:45

Contents

Learning the best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build is vital if you want to make the most of this heavy-hitting classing, so check out what race, skills, subclass, background, and other options you should pick when creating and levelling your character.

Baldur's Gate 3 lets you go wild when picking one of the many classes, allowing for a myriad of combinations, and even multi-classing if you can't contain yourself to just one. If you like to be at the front of the party in the game and bashing in brains, we've got you covered with the best Barbarian build in Baldur's Gate 3 below.

Not a fan of the Barbarian build? Check out our recommendations for other best builds in Baldur's Gate 3:

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian explained

the Barbarian class in Baldur's Gate 3
Click to enlarge

The Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian is a Strength-based fighting class designed to dish out tonnes of damage on the frontlines while soaking up just as much without breaking a sweat - far from the type of class that will want to skip fights and talk their way out of situations. 

They are essentially tanks, allowing them to occupy the attention of the most powerful enemies, but they still require support to do their roles well and not get overwhelmed quickly.

A key aspect of a Barbarian is the Rage ability, which facilitates their playstyle by letting them deal extra damage and regain HP for hurting others.

One of the major companions you can meet in Baldur's Gate 3 - Karlach - also takes on a Barbarian role, so you can use this guide to optimise her once you add her to your party, or make your own perfect Barbarian build if you're looking to change class or start fresh.

All Barbarian subclasses in Baldur's Gate 3 

the Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian subclasses
Click to enlarge

There are three Barbarian subclasses in Baldur's Gate 3: Wildheart, Berserker, and Wild Magic. Check out more about each one below.

Wildheart

Your attunement with nature and its beasts inspires your rage, empowering you with supernatural might.

Subclass Feature Description
Speak with Animals Gain the ability to comprehend and communicate with beasts
Bestial Heart Select a beast heart to give you extra abilities during Rage

Berserker

Violence is both a means and an end. You follow a path of untrammelled fury, slick with blood, as you thrill in the chaos of battle, heedless of your own well-being.

Subclass Feature Description
Frenzy Your Rage turns into a frenzy and you gain two new bonus actions, and can make an Improvised Weapon Attack as a bonus action
Frenzied Strike As a bonus action, make a melee attack
Enraged Throw Pick up and item or creature and throw it at the target, dealing additional damage and knocking it Prone

Wild Magic

The wild influence of magic has transformed you, suffering you with an arcane power that churns within you, waiting to be released.

Subclass Feature Description
Rage: Wild Magic Enter a Rage that releases all the magic inside you, causing a random magical effect
Magic Awareness Anyone within range adds their Proficiency Bonus to Saving Throws against spells

What is the best Barbarian subclass?

an image of a Barbarian using Frenzy in Baldur's Gate 3
Click to enlarge

Our pick for the best Barbarian subclass in Baldur's Gate 3 is the Berserker, as it allows you to play the role of the Barbarian to its fullest extent

Your Frenzy action replaces Rage, allowing you to use Frenzied Strike and Frenzied Throw as bonus actions to really take it to enemies during your turn and dish out massive amounts of damage.

Best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build

Here is what you need to know when creating the best Barbarian build in Baldur's Gate 3.

It's worth noting that you can respec your character in Baldur's Gate 3 if you have already started the game but want to try out some of the options below.

You also can't always select new features when levelling as a Barbarian, so we've only highlighted the levels where you need to make a choice below.

Level 1

the best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build at level 1
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Option Selection
Race Half-Orc
Background Soldier
Skill Proficiencies Perception & Survival
Ability Points
  • Strength: 17
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Constitution: 15
  • Intelligence: 8
  • Wisdom: 12
  • Charisma: 10

Level 3

a level 3 Barbarian in Baldur's Gate 3
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Option Selection
Subclass Berserker

Level 4

the best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build at level 4
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Option Selection
Feat Ability Improvement, +1 Strength, +1 Constitution

Level 8

a level 8 Barbarian in Baldur's Gate 3
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Option Selection
Feat Tough

Level 12

the best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build at level 12
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Option Selection
Feat Great Weapon Master

That's our full breakdown of the best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build, and now you know what choices to make during character creation, and when levelling up.

For more guides, be sure to check out our Baldur's 3 homepage, take a look at our explainer of the Strange Ox in BG3, or find out the best settings to run the RPG on Steam Deck.

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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