Baldur’s Gate 3 Elf race overview

The most deft of all the races, we have an overview of the Elf race in Baldur’s Gate 3, including racial features, traits, spells, and the best class to play.

Baldur's Gate 3 Elf: an elven woman with shoulder length blonde hair.

What is the Baldur’s Gate 3 Elf race? Ah, Elves. You know Elves. Beautiful, wise, and blessed with very long lives, Elves live in harmony with nature. They appreciate art, music, poetry, magic, and every other lovely thing found in the world. Elves are slender and taller than humans, with elongated, pointed ears. While their hair is long and beautiful, they do not have facial hair.

One of the most famous fantasy races, Elves are a fan-favorite and will be high on the list of created characters in Baldur’s Gate 3. Check out our BG3 classes guide if you’re struggling to decide what to pair your sleek warrior with.

Baldur's Gate 3 Elf: an Elven male with grey long hair and a lute strapped to his back.

Elf racial features

Here are the racial features of the Elf:

  • Base speed – 9 meters per turn

Baldur’s Gate 3 Elf subraces

Elves have two subraces, and each provides access to different build options.

High Elf

High Elves are the heirs to the Feywild, and value every form of magic quite highly. Even High Elves who don’t practice spells can use the Weave.

  • One cantrip of your choice from the Wizard spell list – uses intelligence in spellcasting.

Wood Elf

Wood Elves are a reclusive race that occupies Faerün’s forests. They train for decades to master the art of archery, swiftness, and camouflage.

  • Fleet of Foot – base speed is 10.5 meters per turn.
  • Mask of the Wild – grants stealth proficiency.

Baldur's Gate 3 Elf: an Elven woman with blue hair, shaved on one side.

Elf traits

Here are the Elf traits:

  • Elf weapon proficiency – add your proficiency bonus to attack rolls (your chance to hit a target) with a longsword, shortsword, longbow, and shortbow.
  • Keen Senses – you have proficiency in the Perception skill.
  • Fey Ancestry – you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
  • Darkvision – you can now see in the dark out to a range of 12 meters.

Best class for Baldur’s Gate 3 Elf

The best class to play as an Elf is:

  • Wizard
  • Rogue
  • Ranger
  • Cleric

The best class for Elf depends on which subrace you choose, but either way, elves tend to favor stealth, range, and spellcasting. High Elves’ excellent Dexterity and Intelligence, as well as their access to a free cantrip, make them an excellent choice for Wizard, Rogue, or Ranger. Wood Elves also make excellent Rogues and Rangers, but their extra point in Wisdom makes them a great choice for Cleric, too.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Elf backgrounds

Since there are no real bonuses for the Elf race or subrace, you’re largely going off the class. If you’re going down the Rogue route, either Charlatan, Criminal, or Urchin will give you the best perks. Clerics should take Folk Hero or Guild Artisan, while Ranger should take full advantage of Urchin’s double bonus or Entertainer for something different. Finally, Wizards should absolutely go with Sage’s double intelligence proficiency bonus.

Now after this summary of the Baldur’s Gate 3 Elf race, it should be fairly obvious whether you want to take on the RPG as the noblest of races. If you aren’t convinced and fancy something different, check out our guides on the Human race, Halfling race, and even the Dwarf race. Life is a wonderful tapestry, they say, so try to experience it all.