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Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build

Utilize your Rage and build your Barbarian the right way in Baldur’s Gate 3. We've got all the best subclass options, spells, and backgrounds.

The best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build: a Barb stands with dark eyes, beard, and bathed in a red light.

What is the best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build? Our guide has got that covered. We focus on the Barbarian’s unique features and look at its two subclasses, Berserker and Wildheart. We’ll also look at the ideal selections when it comes to races, abilities, and backgrounds.

The Baldur’s Gate 3 Barb utilizes Rage to boost offense and defense and is – quite literally – one of the strongest Baldur’s Gate 3 classes.  When considering the best BG3 Barbarian build, we’ve selected the best equipment and subclass to choose, as well as which of the BG3 races is the best fit, so read on for our advice on making the strongest Barb possible.

Best BG3 Barbarian build

The best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build is:

  • Subclass – Berserker 
  • Race – Shield Dwarf 
  • Background – Soldier
  • Skills – Athletics and Intimidation
  • Weapon – Everburn Blade

Best Barbarian subclass

The best subclass for Barbarian is Berserker, thanks to the massive damage increase that can be dealt in Frenzy.

The Barbarian has two subclasses: Berserker and Wildheart. You can only select either of these once you reach level 3. When talking about the best Barbarian subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3, both are equally viable. We think Berserker slightly takes the edge over Wildheart though, going for all-out damage. It lets you use the following actions:

  • Frenzied Strike – Make a melee attack with your weapon; this is essentially an extra attack.
  • Enraged Throw – Pick up an item or creature and throw them; the target will be knocked prone if successfully hit.

Because of these, you can chain two or more attacks in a single turn fairly early in the game, whereas other classes and subclasses might only get this feature a few levels later.

Best Barbarian abilities

Here are the best stats for Barbarian:

  • Strength – 17
  • Dexterity – 13
  • Constitution – 17
  • Intelligence – 8
  • Wisdom – 12
  • Charisma – 8

The Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian primarily focuses on two attributes: strength and constitution. The former improves the effectiveness of weapons, while the latter increases health and improves survivability. These are both integral for melee combat.

Dexterity is also viable as a third ability for the extra initiative and armor class rating. Depending on the race that you pick, you’ll want to have stats that look like the following:

Baldur's Gate 3 barbarian build: strength is important for this build

Best Barbarian race

The best Barbarian race in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Shield Dwarf. Apart from multiple weapon proficiencies, it grants +2 strength and +2 constitution, the two most important attributes for the class. Darkvision allows you to see in dimly lit areas, which is important when you need to hit your targets with a melee weapon. There’s also Dwarven Resilience, which makes you resist poison damage. The only problem here is that the Shield Dwarf has a very low movement range.

Best Barbarian background

The best background for the Barbarian is the Soldier.

Since the best skills to focus on for the best BG3 Barbarian build are Athletics and Intimidation, the Soldier is the ultimate choice of background as it buffs these areas.

The best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build relies on a smart background selection

Best Barbarian Rage and leveling

You don’t really have much say in the direction of a Barbarian build, except for the feats you take. It’s mainly about getting close to someone, and splitting them in two, right?

Level 3

  • Berserker

Level 4

  • Savage Attacker

Level 8

  • Tough

Level 12

  • Mobile

Best Barbarian equipment

Here is the best equipment, and the best weapons to use as a Barbarian:

Bonespike Helmet: When you rage, hostile creatures in a three-meter radius must succeed in a wisdom saving throw or take 2-8 psychic damage. The targets receive half on a save.

Armour of Agility: Add your dexterity modifier to your armor class.

Gloves of Dexterity: Increases the wearer’s dexterity score to 18.

Sword of Chaos: On a hit, regain 1-6 hit points.

Amulet of Bhaal: On a hit, inflict bleeding upon targets that have maximum hit points.

Disintegrating Night Walkers: Can’t be enwebbed, entangled, or ensnared and can’t slip on grease or ice.

BG3 Barbarian character creation overview

Here are the key class features, mechanics, and subclasses that make the Barbarian unique among melee brawlers.

Class Features

  • Strength Saving Throw Proficiency
  • Constitution Saving Throw Proficiency
  • Light Armour Proficiency
  • Medium Armour Proficiency
  • Shield Proficiency
  • Simple Weapon Proficiency
  • Martial Weapon Proficiency

Unique Mechanics: Rage and Unarmoured Defence

Rage – This is a special action available to Barbarians at the start. Once activated, you’ll gain +2 damage with weapons and thrown objects, as well as resistance to physical damage and an advantage on strength checks and saving throws.

The Barbarian’s Rage state lasts for ten turns, but it can end early if you’re unable to attack a creature or take damage during a turn. This action can only be used twice per long rest.

Unarmored Defence – This perk, meanwhile, adds your constitution modifier to your armor class (AR). Conversely, wearing heavy armor impedes your Rage gain.

Berserker Subclass Features

Here are the three skills the Berserker subclass has access to immediately:

Frenzy – Spend your Rage points to enter the Frenzy state, giving you access to Frenzied Strike and Enraged Throw.

Frenzied Strike – This ability can be used in combat and exploration scenarios to move across the battlefield or aid characters.

Enraged Throw – Just like Frenzied Strike, this can be used in combat and exploration. The better your strength, the more weight you can throw.

Wildheart Subclass Features

The Wildheart subclass grants the Speak With Animals spell, which allows you to communicate and understand beasts. Moreover, you can choose from five animal aspects, each with its own Rage boons and special skills. Even better, you can change to another aspect or “heart” whenever you level up. Here are their effects:

Bear Heart

  • Rage: Bear Heart – Lets you use Unrelenting Ferocity; resistance against all types of damage except psychic.
  • Unrelenting Ferocity – Heal yourself using stamina.

Eagle Heart

  • Rage: Eagle Heart – Lets you use Diving Strike; enemies have a disadvantage on opportunity attacks made against you; Dash can be used as a bonus action.
  • Diving Strike – Leap from the high ground and hit your target to knock them prone for two turns; you are immune to fall damage.

Elk Heart

  • Rage: Elk Heart – Gain the ability to use Primal Stampede; +4.5m movement range.
  • Primal Stampede – Charge forward to damage and knock down enemies to make them prone for two turns; this ability does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Tiger Heart

  • Rage: Tiger’s Heart – Lets you use Tiger’s Bloodlust; +4.5m jump distance.
  • Tiger’s Bloodlust – Attack up to three enemies at once to make them bleed for two turns.

Wolf Heart

  • Rage: Wolf Heart – Lets you use Inciting Howl; allies gain an advantage on melee attack rolls against enemies that are within 2m of you.
  • Inciting Howl – Allies gain +3m movement range on their next turn.

The Wildheart subclass, meanwhile, offers survivability and utility. It has five aspects, but only two are viable options: Bear Heart and Eagle Heart. Don’t forget that you can still change your aspect each time you level up.

Bear Heart is for those who seek more tankiness and an additional healing option with Unrelenting Ferocity. Eagle Heart, however, requires a bit of positioning since you need to be at least 1.5m above a target before you can use Diving Strike. At the very least, you can weave around hostiles without triggering attacks of opportunity.

That does it for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build guide. If you’re still not committed to the fearsome Barb, take a look at the full list of the best BG3 builds and go from there. Perhaps the best Druid build might tickle your fancy if you prefer shapeshifting to fist-fighting.